Oklahoma City Rumors
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving is set to make his season debut Thursday at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder, a source familiar with Irving’s plans told ESPN.com. Irving, sidelined for the first 23 games of the Cavs’ season while recovering from surgery in June to repair a fractured left kneecap suffered in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, was cleared for full contact more than a week ago and has been through a handful of practices since without any setbacks.
Ainge said he understood that his rookies would need crash-course mentoring and seasoning before making an impact. While there may be disappointment among Celtics fans that three draft picks played Saturday night in Canton, there weren’t high expectations that the trio would crack the rotation, especially with the team’s depth. “Right now, two guys that wouldn’t be in uniform [Young and Mickey], instead of sitting in a hotel room in Oklahoma City will be playing in a game in Canton, Ohio,” Ainge said. “That’s better for their development.”
The reason is obvious: Washington will be among the teams trying to lure Kevin Durant from the Thunder. Durant grew up in the D.C. metro area and, should he be willing to leave Oklahoma City — still a very open question — the Wizards would be considered a favorite to sign him. They could do so if they order the contracts the way the Spurs did with Aldridge and Leonard, with Durant first signing, then with Beal’s contract coming after.
The Oklahoma City Thunder waived guards Michael Qualls, Julyan Stone and Dez Wells along with forward Talib Zanna, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Stone appeared in one preseason game with the Thunder and recorded one rebound while logging four minutes of action. Wells saw action in one preseason game and tallied one point and one steal in five minutes of play. Zanna played in four preseason games for Oklahoma City and averaged 2.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in 5.9 minutes. Qualls did not make a preseason appearance for the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s roster now stands at 15.
Standing on a fresh gray blacktop, Kevin Durant dedicated his first outdoor court in North America on Monday at North Highland Elementary in Oklahoma City through his foundation’s “Build It And They Will Ball” initiative. “One day I was reminiscing and I felt that being outdoors molded me into the person I am, the player I am and I wanted everyone feel the same thing I did,” Durant said.