Tag: Kevin Love

Charles Barkley on Kevin Durant: “I hope he stays in OKC”


The Washington Wizards are going all-in on trying to convince Kevin Durant to come home next summer. They can offer a max contract, the chance to play with John Wall and Bradley Beal in the backcourt, plus a solid array of role players. On top of all that, they are in the East — Cleveland will be a challenge, but the West remains a gauntlet of top teams.

It’s a good offer.

And the sense around the league is it likely is not enough. Nobody knows for sure what Durant is going to do next summer as a free agent, there are far too many variables from this coming season that will impact his decision to say with any certainty what will happen. But the Thunder are the frontrunners.

Charles Barkley hopes he stays put in Oklahoma City. Barkley joined CSN’s SportsTalk Live in Washington D.C. and told the city most hyped to land Durant he hopes their efforts fall short.

“I hope he stays in OKC,” Barkley said. “I would love because he’s a terrific player and a terrific kid, I would love to see him stay in OKC his entire career.

“But you know, man, these guys do what they want to do. I wish them all the best, but for some reason they all want to play in big cities like you’re going to be more famous winning in a certain city. If you win a championship in Cleveland, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, you’re going to be just as big. So, I hope he stays in Oklahoma City. I wish him nothing but the best. I just hope he gets healthy.”

I’m not sure was paying full attention to the NBA this summer. The “they all want to play in big cities” theory suffered a pretty ugly beating — Greg Monroe chose Milwaukee over New York, LaMarcus Aldridge chose San Antonio over Los Angeles, Kevin Love chose Cleveland over Los Angeles or New York, and the list goes on. The world of social media has shrunk the marketing globe and shrunk the advantage big markets used to have in that regard.

That said, nobody knows if Barkley is going to get what he wants. Frankly, I doubt Kevin Durant himself knows what he will decide next summer. You can be sure he’s thought about it, but an NBA season is a lifetime for these kinds of decisions, and a lot of factors will come into play.

I believe we can all agree with Barkley on one thing: I just hope KD gets healthy and plays a full season again, too. The NBA is better with him on the court.

Report: Cavaliers, Matthew Dellavedova still well apart on new contract

2015 NBA Finals - Game Three

Matthew Dellavedova was the breakout star of the first three games of the NBA Finals — his grit and tenacity was at the heart of Cleveland’s post-injuries grinding style. He was doing as well defending Stephen Curry as can be humanly expected. Well, until  Curry figured him and the Cavaliers out near the end of Game 3 (by Game 4 the Warriors had solved the riddle, and it was all over but the buckets). Walk around Cleveland and only LeBron James got more love than Delly.

But a few games of playoff success should not be confused with future earnings.

The Cavaliers and Dellavedova both want reach a new deal that keeps the reserve point guard being the guy off the bench behind Kyrie Irving (Dellavedova is a restricted free agent, the Cavs can match any offer he gets). But they are nowhere near a deal, reports Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

Not much movement between the Cavaliers and Matthew Dellavedova on a new contract. A restricted free agent, Dellavedova is seeking a multiyear deal starting at $4 million per season, per a source, and the Cavs have balked, largely due to the enormous luxury tax implications that come with that type of contract. The market has largely dried up—Jeremy Lin’s deal with Charlotte closed a potential door—so it will be interesting to see how long this stalemate continues. Paging LeBron James.

It’s was always going to be hard for Dellavedova (or, more accurately, his agent) to secure an offer sheet from another team for the point guard because teams assumed the Cavs would just match. Why tie up your cap space for a few days to offer a player you’re not going to get?

Then there is the financial issue, which former Nets executive Bobby Marks explained (follow that game one twitter).

Yikes. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is going to be writing a payroll check in likely more than $200 million next season, once you figure in luxury taxes. To his credit, he didn’t balk at maxing out Kevin Love (or LeBron) and he the Cavs have spent to deepen the bench. But he’s drawing the line at overpaying for Tristan Thompson (who reportedly wants Draymond Green money) or Dellavedova.

Those guys are fan favorites, and more importantly LeBron favorites. But how much luxury tax do you want to pay for them?

Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green among new players invited to play for USA Basketball

Utah Jazz v Chicago Bulls

USA Basketball is holding a minicamp in Las Vegas later this summer, and seven new players have received invitations to participate.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

Sources told ESPN.com that USAB has extended invitations to Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Memphis ‘ Mike Conley, Golden State’s Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes, Orlando’s Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo and Utah’s Trey Burke to its Aug. 11-13 camp on the campus of UNLV.

USA Basketball is run like a college program, and with somewhat of an iron fist. Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski take their responsibilities very seriously, and expect unflinching loyalty and obedience out of the players who want to participate.

More from Stein:

Colangelo stressed that USA Basketball is making attendance at the three-day event mandatory for invited players if they are interested in securing a spot on the Yanks’ 12-man roster for next summer’s Olympics in Brazil, even if the player is rehabilitating from an injury or otherwise not yet cleared to join in on-court activities.

USAB already knows that Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Indiana’s Paul George and the Cleveland Cavaliers duo of Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving will not be ready to take part in basketball activities at the camp, because they are recovering from their various serious injuries from the past year. But Colangelo’s view is that “it’s important for everyone to be here as a sign of commitment for ’16.”

This seems like a needless power play, but again, it’s how things are done. And with only so many highly-coveted roster spots to go around for the Olympics in 2016, you can bet that a Vegas trip in the middle of August will be in just about everyone’s plans.

Rumor: Sense around league is Kevin Durant likely to stay in Oklahoma City

Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder

LeBron James. Kawhi Leonard. Kevin Love. Marc Gasol. DeAndre Jordan. Draymond Green. Jimmy Butler. Dwyane Wade. Brook Lopez. Goran Dragic. Danny Green.

Every one of those top free agents this summer re-signed with their own team — security and taking the cash on the table were the themes of the summer. Even the restricted guys (Leonard, Green and Butler) didn’t meet with other teams, they were never really on the market. LaMarcus Aldridge was the outlier, bolting Portland to contend in San Antonio.

What does that portend heading into the much-discussed free agent summer of 2016, when the salary cap spikes and every team will be flush with cash?

Don’t bet on Kevin Durant leaving OKC.

Executives around the league expect him to stay put, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.

Most league execs informally polled here at Summer League expect Durant to stay in Oklahoma City when he hits the market next summer. There are only a handful of teams that can legitimately think they’re an option. The Lakers, the Mavs and the Wizards (in Durant’s hometown) are in the mix, for starters. The Knicks? I mean, I guess, in theory.

I will say I’ve heard there is some pressure within Durant’s circle to consider the Knicks, but will they have a roster that he wants to come to?

Oklahoma City has always been the frontrunners, and the owner has signed off on paying the tax this year to show his commitment to winning (that came with matching the Blazers’ Enes Kanter offer). Durant likes the city, the team is a legit title contender, and as we have seen this year the lure of a big market alone is not near enough to draw a superstar.

The NBA season between now and Durant’s decision is a lifetime, and a lot of things could change. But it’s good to be in front of the race now, and Oklahoma City is that.

Report: Kings near deal for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

Philadelphia 76ers v Cleveland Cavaliers

Luc Mbah a Moute spent an entire nine games with the Sacramento Kings before he was traded to Minnesota two seasons ago. Then last summer the Timberwolves used him as a salary balancing bit part of the three-team Kevin Love trade, and Mbah a Moute ended up in Philadelphia. There he played relatively well for a season — relative to the rest of the Sixers roster, we mean. At least he was a professional that hustled every time he was on the court and understood how to play the game.

Now the Cameroonian forward is looking for a new landing spot, and it may be Sacramento, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

This is likely a league minimum deal or something close to it.

The Kings have the athletic but raw and inexperienced Willie Cauley-Stein at the four, they could use a professional, veteran, mentor for him and Mbah a Moute can provide that. That said, Mbah a Moute may have averaged 9.9 points a game last season in Philly, but he isn’t going to get the touches to do that in Sacramento. He’d have to take a smaller role.

Apparently he’s ready to do that.