Dan Feldman

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 07: Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder puts up a shot in front of the Washington Wizards during the first half at Verizon Center on January 7, 2013 in Washington, DC. 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 Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Report: Wizards give up Kevin Durant chase


Kevin Durant called Wizards fans “disrespectful” for cheering him when the Thunder visited Washington last fall. He reportedly eliminated the Wizards in free agency, and he won’t even meet with them.

Unlike the similarly situated Knicks, Washington is throwing in the towel.

J. Michael of CSN Washington:

While it’s evident that the Wizards aren’t in Kevin Durant’s plans for free agency, they aren’t holding out hope to make a pitch just for appearance sake. They’ve moved on, and league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com on Monday that the idea of returning home just “doesn’t resonate” with the NBA’s hottest unrestricted free agent.

Chasing Durant was a good plan. The upside was sky high, and Washington could offer something no other team could. Turns out Durant wasn’t interested in going home, but at least that differentiated the Wizards from other suitors. Otherwise, Washington would have had no chance from the jump.

But now it’s probably time to move on, the Wizards avoiding missing out on other free agents while Durant deliberates.

Serge Ibaka not playing for Spain in Olympics

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Serge Ibaka #14 of Spain looks on with team mate Rudy Fernandez #5 of Spain during the Men's Basketball gold medal game between the United States and Spain on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 12, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
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Serge Ibaka is headed to the Magic, who will presumably give him a larger role. A productive season could lead to a huge payday in free agency next summer.

The 2016 Olympics won’t get in the way of that.

Ibaka won’t play for Spain in Rio, as translated by E. Carchia of Sportando.

This opens the door for Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic to represent Spain. Each team can have only one naturalized citizen, so Spain had to to choose between Ibaka and Mirotic.

There’s still little certainty with Spain’s roster. Pau Gasol plans to play. Marc Gasol wants to play, though that seems like wishful thinking.

All the problems Team USA had getting players – injuries, rest, free agency, Zika – also apply to other countries. At least the Americans won’t be at a competitive disadvantage.

Carmelo Anthony says he’s recruiting Kevin Durant to Knicks

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17:  NBA players Carmelo Anthony (L) and NBA player Kevin Durant (R) attends Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2014 at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on July 17, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For Nickelodeon)
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For Nickelodeon

Kevin Durant reportedly eliminated the Knicks as an option in free agency. He has set meetings with six other teams – but not New York.

None of that is stopping Carmelo Anthony.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony told ESPN on Monday that his recruitment of marquee free agent Kevin Durant has already begun and will not be affected “whether he meets with the Knicks or not.”

‎”I’m with KD now; he’s right downstairs,” Anthony told ESPN in an interview that will air later Monday on SportsCenter. “We’ve been together. We’ve been talking.

“I do consider myself part of the Knicks,” Anthony continued, “so that meeting has already taken place.”

Anthony has been at this for months. Why stop this close to the finish line, even if the Knicks’ odds are long?

They play in a market that can attract elite talent. It’s worth taking a swing at Durant.

Anthony might even be laying the groundwork for next year, when Kristaps Porzingis will be a year closer to his peak and Derrick Rose‘s expiring contract will create cap space.

Report: Kevin Durant would sign one-year contract even if leaving Thunder, other teams preparing for 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 28:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives against Andre Iguodala #9 of the Golden State Warriors during the first half in game six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 28, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 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 J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
J Pat Carter/Getty Images

Kevin Durant is setting up his meetings: Thunder, Warriors, Spurs, Clippers, Celtics and Heat.

Word is already leaking about the approach the superstar and his courters will take.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports on CBS Sports Radio:

I think that Oklahoma City remains the frontrunner – and I think a strong frontrunner.

I’m told even if he left, he would do a one-year deal somewhere. Because economically, it makes sense for him to do a one-year deal and then do the longer deal after it. It’ll be worth more money because the cap goes up again next year. But Oklahoma City is a frontrunner. They’re a strong frontrunner.

The one thing about the KD meetings – and I’ve gotten this from several teams – a lot of them really see it more as they probably, listen, they’d love to get him now, but they kind of feel like they’re planting the seed and laying the groundwork for next year. They all know he’s likely to stay in OKC – or certainly, it’s going to be hard to convince him to leave. They feel like they’re laying the groundwork for the 2017 free agency by getting in front of him now, telling the story of their organization and how they view his future with them, and that maybe they get another crack at him next summer.

I’m extremely skeptical Durant would sign a 1+1 contract anywhere but Oklahoma City. Every other team would need to carve out cap space to sign him to his max salary in 2017 (unless a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is ratified with different rules).

How can another team clear cap room for Durant this summer, build a competitive roster for 2016-17 and still have max cap room in 2017? If it’s not unfeasible, it’s close.

The Thunder are different, because they’d have his Bird Rights in 2017 after a one-year contract. They wouldn’t need cap space to give him his max next summer.

I do believe that teams – especially the Heat (dealing with Hassan Whiteside and Dwyane this summer), Celtics (not yet added another complementary star) and Clippers (minimal roster flexibility) – will push for Durant to become a free agent again in 2017. Durant’s re-signing with Oklahoma City on a one-year contract must be a lot of teams’ second choice over him choosing them.

That’s not true for the Warriors, the consensus No. 2 in the race. They can create cap room this summer, and if Durant doesn’t come, they’ll have to invest in longer-term options. They’re too good to put everything on hold another year (which is why them signing him to a 1+1 and leaving max 2017 cap space for him is practically unworkable).

Report: 11-year-old LeBron James Jr. has scholarship offers from Duke and Kentucky

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates with his sons LeBron Jr. and Bryce after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, California. 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Ohio State coach Thad Matta has competition.

More college teams pursuing him than just the Buckeyes are pursuing 11-year-old LeBron James Jr., whose talent is evident.

Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

he already has standing scholarship offers from both Duke and Kentucky, according to a source

These aren’t real scholarship offers. If LeBron Jr. gets hurt or doesn’t pan out, Duke and Kentucky are under no obligation to pay for his college.

These offers are just for show – to develop a rapport with a recruit, to show you believed in him before others (again, though, that’s a sham), to gain publicity (you’re welcome).

But in this case, if you think you’re currying favor with his famous father, think again.