Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant made news today when he announced that he was withdrawing from Team USA. The United States basketball team has been preparing for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, and Durant was expected to be the veteran leader amongst the team this year.
Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports Reports:
“This was an extremely difficult decision as I take great pride in representing our country,” Durant said in a statement. “I know that I owe it to my USA Basketball teammates to be totally invested in the experience. After going through training camp with USAB, I realized I could not fulfill my responsibilities to the team from both a time and energy standpoint.
“I need to take a step back and take some time away, both mentally and physically in order to prepare for the upcoming NBA season. I will be rooting for USAB and look forward to future opportunities with them.”
This news comes after the devastating injury suffered by Paul George last week, and the cuts made earlier this week by Team USA. Despite withdrawing from the FIBA World Cup, Kevin Durants status as a member of the 2016 Olympics is still open should he return. While his withdrawal is certainly a shock to the team, Durant is still among a list of other names that have decided not to participate in the event this summer.
Kevin Love trade has been agreed upon between Minnesota and Cleveland
The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to a deal in principle with the Cleveland Cavaliers that involves Kevin Love. The two sides have been going back and forth for the past few weeks now trying to work out a deal between each other.
It should be noted that while the deal indeed consists of Minnesota trading Love for Andrew Wiggins, at this point it is merely a verbal commitment. Wiggins can not be traded for about two more weeks due to the timing of his contract signing.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports has details:
The deal cannot be finalized until Aug. 23, because Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, cannot be traded until one month after the signing of his rookie contract. The two teams have agreed to the deal, but neither would have recourse if the other decided to pull out of the arrangement before it can be formally completed this month. No third team is involved in the Cavaliers-Timberwolves trade agreement.
The precise deal terms have been agreed upon for weeks, but the teams and Love plan to stay silent about the particulars until the trade is announced in 16 days, sources told Yahoo Sports. The draft pick the Cavs will send the Timberwolves is the 2015 first-rounder they acquired from the Miami Heat, sources said.
Despite the fact that the pending deal only involves Minnesota and Cleveland, there is still a possibility that the Philadelphia 76ers join as a third team in this trade. It is also possible that two separate trades also take place, but with so much time until this deal can be made official its possible that the surrounding details change.
Other News Around The NBA:
- Dallas Mavericks point guard Raymond Felton has been suspended four games by the NBA after he plead guilty earlier this summer to a gun charge in New York. As part of his plea arrangement Felton was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, and must also perform 500 hours of community service. Tim MacMahon of ESPN reports: “Today we were made aware of Raymond Felton’s suspension,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban said in a statement released by the team. “Today we were made aware of Raymond Felton’s suspension,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban said in a statement released by the team. “We also learned that Raymond will be permitted to complete his community service outside the state of New York. The Mavericks are working with Raymond and the court to develop a community service program that will have a positive and lasting impact on North Texas.”
- Free agent center Greg Oden was arrested early Thursday morning for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Oden, who last played for the Miami Heat was released on bail late Thursday afternoon. Bill McCleery and Matthew Glenesk of the Indy Star report: Oden, 26, was arrested after the 3:30 a.m. altercation in his mother’s Lawrence home, according to a Lawrence Police Department report. An initial hearing is set for 1 p.m. Tuesday. Officers arrived at the home in the 7200 block of Maple Bluff Place to find Oden’s 24-year-old former girlfriend crying and lying across a bed holding her face, police said. A woman described as her best friend told officers what happened.”He punched her in the face,” the best friend said, according to the report. The former girlfriend initially was “uncooperative,” police said.
Esau Howard is a regular contributor to Sheridan Hoops. You can follow him on twitter.