Update: Kevin Durant confirmed he’ll sign with the Nets:
The Nets were right about Kevin Durant.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Even with a ruptured Achilles that will reportedly sideline him all of next season, Durant just swung the NBA’s balance of power. He’s that good. With Kyrie Irving also signing in Brooklyn, the Nets are now championship contenders for years to come… maybe in years to come considering Durant’s injury.
But after falling to the pits of the NBA, Brooklyn will gladly wait another year. This is an incredible turnaround for a team that was recently terrible and without its own first-round pick four years.
On the other hand, it’s a huge blow to the Warriors and Knicks. With Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and likely Klay Thompson, Golden State still has the talent to recover and remain a championship contender. After pursuing Durant and Irving all year, New York is now left with a bare-bones rebuild around R.J. Barrett, Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson.
The Nets, meanwhile, are building depth for their new present as a winner.
Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:
That sounds like the room exception for Garrett Temple. That’d likely leave a minimum salary for DeAndre Jordan.
The Nets still must make a minor move, like trading Dzanan Musa, to clear double-max cap space. But there’s plenty of time before players can officially sign July 6.
Jamal Murray‘s performance since signing a max contract extension? Uneven.
But this play during the Nuggets’ win over the Thunder yesterday? Brilliant.
Caught picking up his dribble and seemingly well-defended, Murray flipped the ball off the backboard then finished his own alley-oop.
That’s obviously a flashy move, but it’s also an effective one more players should use. The backboard can be an effective weapon for passing, especially for a player to himself, when he knows exactly where he’s putting the ball and can get a step ahead of the defense.
How wild is it that the Grizzlies have two rookies who can dunk like this?
After Ja Morant threw down a jump-out-of-your-seat jam over Aron Baynes a few days ago, Brandon Clarke just made Ian Mahinmi — a good rim protector — look helpless in Memphis’ win over the Wizards yesterday.
Add Jaren Jackson Jr., and the Grizzlies are onto something with their young core.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pioneered resting players.
But San Antonio has played an NBA-record four straight overtime games, meaning the Spurs have had to play an extra 25 minutes.
Popovich, via ESPN:
“It’s awful,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
At least Patty Mills spared San Antonio a sixth overtime period in these four games. After DeMar DeRozan missed a free throw, Mills hit the game-winner in a 121-119 victory over the Suns yesterday.
And at least the Spurs are mostly winning these longer games. In this span, San Antonio beat the Rockets in double overtime, beat the Kings, lost to the Cavaliers and now beat the Suns. I’d also argue the Cleveland result was worth it.
Luka Doncic sprained his ankle during the Mavericks’ loss to the Heat yesterday.
Whether this timeline constitutes good news or bad news depends on your perspective.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
Doncic’s injury is a blow not just to Dallas, but the NBA. He’s one of the league’s brightest stars. In the next eight days, the Mavericks make their only appearances of the season in Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Toronto.
Though Doncic has played like an MVP candidate, the Mavericks also boast considerable depth. They’ve outscored opponents by 8.0 points per 100 possessions without Doncic.
Those non-Doncic lineups will be thrust into more difficult situations now. That net rating will likely drop, especially against a tough upcoming schedule. Dallas might have been in line for some losses, even with Doncic. So, don’t overreact to that.
But the Mavericks can remain at least competitive without their best player.