Now that the Finals are over, the Bucks are celebrating, and two of their top players are about to join Durant and Team USA at the Olympics, Durant is calling the Bucks a “dynasty.” “I know it’s the first chip and a lot of people call you a dynasty after a few (titles), but the continuity of that team is something that’s impressive and how they continue to build and add and now they’re champions, and you can appreciate that,” Durant said from Tokyo, after the Americans’ first practice inside the Olympic host country of Japan. “To see a couple of friends become champions today was cool. That experience doesn’t happen for just anybody, so you respect that journey.”
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July 27, 2021 | 5:37 am EDT Update
So, should the Celtics be considered legitimate suitors for Beal? NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller joined Chris Forsberg on a brand new episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast to discuss. “I would say this, the Tatum thing is real,” Miller said. “Bradley would have never considered Boston if Tatum wasn’t there. Let’s just be honest, he would have never considered it. But that’s a thing, and before he had to leave [the Olympics] due to COVID, he had some really good synergy with Jayson, and those daily conversations didn’t hurt the Celtics’ chances. …
The Jump on ESPN: “Bradley Beal told me he loves Washington, wants to have a career in Washington and wants his jersey retired there. He wants to be a Wes Unseld type figure. Giannis sticking with Milwaukee could give Beal more motivation to stay in Washington” — @MarcJSpears
The Wizards, multiple sources have said, are aligning toward a full rebuild should Beal ask out. It’s not a coincidence that Bleacher Report reported that there have been preliminary talks between the Lakers and Wizards about a deal for Russell Westbrook, a deal that league sources said was increasingly likely as of Sunday night.
Multiple sources confirmed Sunday that the Toronto Raptors have emerged as a team with “significant” interest in Simmons. One source close to talks said discussions have not been substantial as of yet. Multiple sources including those close to talks said a proposed framework including Raptors guards Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and the 4th overall pick in Thursday’s draft for Simmons was rejected by Toronto.
One other significant shift on the Simmons front: There was talk that 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey would be willing to start the season with Simmons to rehab his value before a midseason deal. That idea now seems untenable to executives based on discussions with Philadelphia.
PhillyVoice reached out to multiple team sources on Monday morning in wake of the report, and received pretty firm denials at every stop. “We talked to Ben on his birthday a couple of days ago, we’ve been in touch with him throughout the summer,” one source said. “We’re going to send some training personnel out to see him this summer, too…we have good dialogue with Ben, his team, and his family.”
The Lakers’ bitter cross-town rivals, the LA Clippers, are reportedly also in the running in the DeRozan bidding war. The same goes for the New York Knicks, the Chicago Bulls, and his current team, the Spurs, making it a five-horse race. This is according to NBA insider Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:
There was some assumption from league sources that Lowry would be chasing a second ring in free agency. But while playoff or prospective playoff teams make up the list of suitors, the new operating assumption is that money will be the deciding factor for Lowry.