HoopsHype Kevin Durant rumors

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March 27, 2015 Updates
March 26, 2015 Updates

Royce Young, who writes for ESPN and DailyThunder.com, also noticed something strange that night. Durant was watching Westbrook from two lockers over. And Durant was laughing. Grantland

More than once, Durant has accused Mayberry, the toughest of the Thunder reporters, of angling for a job in a bigger market. Durant is sophisticated about the media, but he’s not above the old trick of using a perceived slight for motivation. On December 8, 2013, Paul George visited Oklahoma City. Grantland

“Durant at the All-Star Game said, ‘The media’s not our friends,’” Tramel explained. “Well, he’s right. Nobody on a serious journalism level pretends to be. But with the Thunder, there’s not even an acquaintance. There’s no relationship.” It was a gripe I heard again and again from the Thunder press corps. Nobody held a grudge against Durant or Westbrook. They knew the locker-room scrums would produce a poor harvest. What frustrated the press corps was that the players — especially Durant and Westbrook — remained largely out of reach. Grantland

March 24, 2015 Updates
March 23, 2015 Updates
March 21, 2015 Updates

The cap boom that will help the rest of the league will also help the Thunder. Re-signing Kanter this summer would take them out of the bidding for top free agents in the summer of 2016, but Oklahoma City could still either have a slice of cap room or the full midlevel exception to add a quality piece. The cap could jump from $90 million in 2016-17 to as much as $105 million the year after, per league sources, giving the Thunder a chance to add again without going into the luxury tax. This depends on a bundle of variables, including whether Ibaka gets the max on his next contract. Again: The Thunder are right to be confident of their place in pole position of the Durant sweepstakes, even with Durant’s hometown Wizards hoarding cap space. But Durant is now effectively an expiring contract, and impending free agency at that late stage can take unpredictable turns. You just never know. This season was Oklahoma City’s last grasp at certainty, and it’s gone now. Grantland

The Thunder will put on a brave face. They will say they are confident, that they look forward to the opportunity — how’s that for reframing? — to show Durant that they’re the team for him. But don’t let the false bravado fool you. They know Durant leaving is in play. They know the cap landscape. They were the loudest non-Philly voice against lottery reform, whipping up a frenzy of small-market panic. Grantland

They traded future first-round picks for Dion Waiters and Enes Kanter in separate deals, and though those players are young and the picks protected, those are the sort of win-now moves the Thunder hadn’t engaged in until this season. They are the mark of a team that knows time is precious — that failure today carries a scary downside that is no longer so far in the distance. And as rival executives note, those moves — especially the acquisition of a low-post scorer like Kanter who has a nice pick-and-pop chemistry with Westbrook — provide the road map for a post-Durant team in the worst-case scenario of his departure. Grantland

The stuff about Durant and his connection with the Oklahoma City community is not just rhetoric. It's a real factor in his situation going forward, a unique relationship between a city and its team's players that will no doubt be on display during the Thunder's final home games that will come without him. He'll be hurting in ways that go beyond the pain in his foot, just like every other elite athlete who's so miserable when they can't take part in their craft. The Thunder faithful will support him in street clothes just like they have all the others who fell victim to such physical setbacks — Westbrook through the meniscus tear and multiple knee surgeries, Ibaka with his torn calf and so many others, too. USA Today Sports

March 20, 2015 Updates

When asked if Durant was being shut down for the season, Presti said, "Essentially, that's the direction we're headed right now." Durant was held out of practice Thursday as he was "experiencing a little bit of soreness," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Thursday. ESPN.com

Mark Woods: No timetable for return. “When he’s happy” says Presti. Could be before play-offs or not. “Most important thing is his health" Twitter @markbritball

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