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Kevin Durant says he’s 100% to stay with Warriors, rethinks and sarcastically declares he’ll sign with 2018 champion


LeBron James‘ upcoming free agency has been ridiculously dissected. Paul George‘s has drawn plenty of intrigue. DeMarcus Cousins‘ saw the wind leave its sales with his injury, but even his future is closely watched for the effect it’ll have on Anthony Davis.

Another 2018 All-Star can also become a free agent this summer, and it has gotten far less attention.

Warriors forward Kevin Durant holds a $26.25 million player option for next season. But there are good reasons nobody outside Golden State is salivating about signing him.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic:

Is it 100 percent, in your mind, that you will be back with the Warriors next season?

“Yeah,” Durant said. “Yeah.”

“Well, actually,” Durant said, his sarcastic grin obvious, ready to lean into an Internet joke about him. “I want to wait to see who wins the championship and whoever wins that, that’s who I’m going to sign with.”

Durant received immense criticism for signing with the 73-win Warriors, probably more than he ever imagined. Nonetheless, it has gone well for him in Golden State so far, with a championship and Finals MVP in his first season. There’s no way he’s leaving and opening himself to more scrutiny.

Good for him joking about the situation, though. He’s clearly coming to terms with how his reputation fits into who he wants to be.

If Durant opts out, his max salary projects to be $35.35 million. If he re-signs for at least two years (not including options), he could receive 8% annual raises – which would cap his projected contract at about $158 million over four years. If he signs another 1+1 contract, he could receive 5% annual raises – which would make his contract worth about $72 million over two years.

Either way (or if he opts in), Durant would have full Bird Rights for his following contract with Golden State. That’d allow him to get 8% raises and five years. He just must time when he wants to accept risk vs. get long-term security.

Of course, Durant won’t necessarily push for the max. He took a big discount last summer and could do the same again.

PBT Extra: One last mock draft of NBA lottery

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DeAndre Ayton will go No. 1 to the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. Marvin Bagley III probably goes second to Sacramento (but that’s not a lock).

After that, things get wide open in the 2018 NBA Draft. Teams value different players at very different levels this year, and there are going to be a number of trades.

Which makes putting together a mock draft for this year more random than a roulette wheel. Not that it stopped me. Here is my final mock draft for the 14 lottery picks. I present it without much confidence, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.

Report: Dewayne Dedmon opts in for $6.3 million with Hawks

AP Photo/Todd Kirkland
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The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.

And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.

He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.

Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.

If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.

Nick Young says ‘everybody needs to do cocaine,’ later insists he was joking

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.

Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.

Young, via TMZ:

“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”

Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:

Chill. You know I was just joking

A post shared by Nick Young (@swaggyp1) on

Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.

Report: 76ers trade No. 39 pick to Lakers

AP Photo/Chris Szagola

The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.

Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.

So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.

Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.