Dan Feldman

CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 31: Mo Williams #52 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates after hitting a three point shot during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at Quicken Loans Arena on March 31, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Nets 107-87. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***Mo Williams
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Mo Williams says he’ll return to Cavaliers, retire after season

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Mo Williams opted into the final year of his contract and then reportedly considered retirement without telling the Cavaliers about his intentions.

It seems he just revealed them.

Williams:

Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:

Williams will provide the Cavs with a veteran option behind Kyrie Irving at point guard. This way, they won’t be stuck with relying on rookie Kay Felder if the No. 54 pick isn’t ready to join a contender’s rotation.

Unfortunately for Cleveland, Williams might not provide steady production himself. The 33-year-old couldn’t sustain his early success last season after multiple injures.

Williams is due $2,194,500 this season. I don’t think this is the case, but if he is trying to extract a buyout from the Cavaliers by threatening to grind through the year rather than preemptively retiring (which would take his salary off the books), this could be a step. They need to believe he’d play to pay him a partial salary in a buyout. Again, I take Williams at his word about playing another season. It’s just hard to square his reported lack of communication with the team prior.

And though I believe Williams intends to retire after the season, next June is a long way off. He wouldn’t have to look far to find someone who changed his mind about retirement.

Report: NBA, union preemptively discussing how to handle national-anthem protests

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 16:  A general view during the national anthem before Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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I expect NBA players to kneel during the national anthem in protest of the mistreatment of black people in America, following the lead of Colin Kaepernick.

How will the NBA respond? The rulebook says, “Players, coaches and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem.”

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

I’m glad both sides are talking now. We all know this issue is coming. Better to find a resolution before it becomes a mess.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been progressive on social issues. He’s also beholden to the league’s owners and corporate partners. That has left him in a bind before.

I doubt he wants to fine players for breaking the anthem rule. They key is finding a compromise he deems permissible.

Kevin Durant says he doesn’t care enough about opponents to hate them

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How could Kevin Durant join Golden State, the team that just eliminated the Thunder? Didn’t he loathe the enemy Warriors?

And how could Durant say he’s still cool with Russell Westbrook after leaving Oklahoma City? Hadn’t Durant just turned Westbrook into the enemy?

Durant on Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons:

When you step in between the lines, that’s when we compete. That’s when we’re going to go at each other. That’s what I’m going to do what I do in my zone and what you’re going to do what you do.

But I don’t carry that with me as soon as I step off the court. I don’t care about you that much even to try to want to hate you. You hear what I mean? I hear all the time that Michael hated such and such, Isiah hated such and such. I’m not thinking about about you at home when I’m on my couch for me to hate you that much. That’s just not who I am.

So, when we play, I’m not even thinking about you. I’m worried about how I’m going to dominate.

So, I’m not going out and meeting Russell by his car and wanting to talk to him. Or he’s not going to want to fight me. I don’t care about all that stuff. I’m going to go in there when we play, I’m going to hoop the way I’ve always hooped my whole life, and I’m going to compete the way I’ve always competed. The work doesn’t stop. I really just got a different jersey on.

This seems like a healthy attitude for Durant. Intrinsic motivation and a work/personal-life separation are noble goals.

But it also seems the unhealthily obsessive attitudes of players like Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas leads to championships. Ever listen to players brag about a team putting their families on hold to focus on a playoff run? We celebrate the devotion to team, but it’s also kind of sick.

Yet, how can the players with a balanced approach keep up on the court with players so menacingly focused on basketball? The best team, not the one with the most inner-peace, wins.

One potential solution: Join Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson on a team so talented, it might win without developing as extreme of a cutthroat mentality as past champions.

Report: Timberwolves expect Kevin Garnett to retire

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 09:  Kevin Garnett #21 of the Minnesota Timberwolves attempts a shot against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 9, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Kevin Garnett and the Timberwolves are advancing toward a buyout, but to what end? So Garnett can join another team or so he can get paid into retirement?

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The belief in Minneapolis, sources told ESPN.com, is that Garnett, at age 40, will opt for retirement after 21 seasons in the NBA.

I’m curious how certain the Timberwolves are of this. They probably don’t want to give Garnett a going-away gift just so he can join another team. Minnesota might want an assurance, rather than impression, of Garnett’s intentions before agreeing to a buyout amount.

If this ends Garnett’s career, it has been a fantastic one. He won an MVP, finished top dozen in voting 10 times and won a Defensive Player of the Year award. Garnett landed spots in 15 All-Star games and on nine All-NBA teams. A title with the 2008 Celtics solidified Garnett’s résumé as an all-time elite player.

He’ll surely join Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant in the Hall of Fame – maybe even be inducted with them five years from now.

Report: Kevin Garnett, Timberwolves advancing toward a buyout

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett acknowledges the crowd during a timeout in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in Boston, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015. Boston won 113-99. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
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The Timberwolves spent most of the season not knowing whether Kevin Garnett would return for the final year of his contract.

It seems they’re finally nearing a resolution for his $8 million salary.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Is this so the Timberwolves can give Garnett a parting gift into retirement, as the Spurs did with Tim Duncan? Or is this so Garnett can sign elsewhere?

The 40-year-old Garnett has seen his production and health declined considerably, but he can still be useful in a limited role. He’d fit better on the court with a contender, but for sentimental and leadership reasons, he would’ve worked in Minnesota.

This might be the end for Garnett with the Timberwolves, a team a team he played for twice and gave MVP-caliber production in his first stint. But does this end Garnett’s NBA career? That’s the lingering question.