The Thunder have battled against it since their inception, and with George’s ties to the Los Angeles area, there was no stopping it a second time around. The Thunder staved off the draw of L.A. once before, but after a yearlong, already successful recruiting effort, there was simply nothing left to sell. The partnership with Westbrook was a big part of it, and Westbrook did his part, with the two building a strong relationship both on and off the court. But even as George’s trade request shook the walls of the organization, Westbrook didn’t try to change his mind, according to multiple sources.
July 19, 2019 | 9:30 pm EDT Update
Harris said his father/agent had arranged meetings with other teams, but those never came to fruition because the Sixers’ deal got done. Harris referred to a potential Knicks’ meeting only as a “what-if.’’ Asked what he expects from the Knicks this season, Harris was dismissive. “I don’t play for the Knicks,’’ he said. “I don’t care about the Knicks. I’m not going to waste my energy.”
“I wasn’t surprised,’’ Harris said of the Durant/Irving signings. “You heard a lot of rumblings before about it. I didn’t know for 100%, but if I had to make my guess, I would’ve said Kyrie and Kevin were going to the Nets. Kind of all season long you heard different rumblings. That would’ve been my educated guess.”
The Washington Wizards have made Tommy Sheppard their permanent general manger, league sources confirmed to ESPN on Friday. Sheppard has held the job on an interim basis for the past three and a half months.
Candace Buckner: Also, The Post has learned the #Wizards have had preliminary talks with Cleveland Cavaliers defensive coach Michael Longabardi as a potential addition to Scott Brooks’s coaching staff. Details coming soon
July 19, 2019 | 8:13 pm EDT Update
Tim MacMahon: Mavs guard J.J. Barea has opted to take a cautious approach in his recovery from a ruptured Achilles instead of pushing to play for Puerto Rico in the World Cup. Barea is encouraged with his progress but has accepted that rushing to play in less than 8 months isn’t worth risk.
Tim MacMahon: Barea told ESPN that this was an extremely difficult decision due to how much pride he takes in representing Puerto Rico. He’s still trying to help his national team in the World Cup by recruiting pro players with Puerto Rican roots.