You probably know by now that Kevin Durant isn’t playing for Team USA. They could have used him Sunday, when his absence exposed virtually all of the warts of this American squad. On the same day ESPN reported that Nike will match Under Armour’s offer of nearly $300 million to Durant, Team USA showed how much it really missed its true alpha dog in an unconvincing 98-77 win over Turkey, which gave every medal contender a blueprint for beating the Americans. In a
There are about a dozen players from the 2011 NBA draft whom you could argue deserve contract extensions. But thus far, only one has been extended – Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, the guy at the head of the class. Does that mean teams are holding out? Not necessarily. A year ago at this time, it was the same story for the 2010 draft class. Only top pick John Wall had gotten an extension. And even in a truly bad
In an interview in April 2013, Kevin Durant told Sports Illustrated he was tired of finishing second. Durant was the second player taken in the 2007 draft. He lost in the NBA Finals in 2012. He finished second in MVP voting four times. This past season, Durant took a huge step forward when he won his first MVP award, finally emerging from the shadow cast by LeBron James. But if he doesn’t win an NBA championship in the next two years with
July has become a great month for the NBA. Considered the start of the offseason, July begins with the moratorium, when teams can’t do any official business but rumors and reports fly fast and furious. There are summer leagues in Orlando and Las Vegas, and NBA-TV fills countless programming hours by televising these games for hoops junkies. Sin City and its triple-digit temperatures has become the unofficial summer home of the league, hosting the Players Association meetings and Team USA’s training camp.
The recent rookie signings of Doug McDermott in Chicago and Andrew Wiggins in Cleveland put the possibility of a Kevin Love trade in a temporary holding pattern. Rookies cannot be traded in the first 30 days after signing their deals, so we are looking at late August before Minnesota Timberwolves GM Flip Saunders can complete a deal for his All-Star power forward. But that doesn’t mean Saunders can’t discuss those deals or another possible trade with the Golden State Warriors, whose proposal does
Four players – three of them future Hall of Famers – took pay cuts of a staggering eight figures this offseason. Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol and Paul Pierce all took salary slashes of more than $10 million to extend their careers with contending teams. They head the list of the top 10 individual pay cuts this summer. Our list uses exact salary figures from last season. In some cases, this season’s figures are averages of multi-year deals received by players. For example,
Is the white American player making a comeback this summer? All of the recent offseason buzz is centered around Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love and which team can put together the most appealing trade package to acquire him. Meanwhile, two of the top three salary bumps also went to white American players – Chandler Parsons and Gordon Hayward. As restricted free agents, both got max salary offer sheets and cashed in. So while white men can’t jump, they certainly can jump in
For the third straight year, the Dallas Mavericks went into the summer trying to snag a superstar to line up alongside Dirk Nowitzki. Two years ago, the Mavericks went after All-Star point guard Deron Williams, who took a pass on playing in his home state with no local income taxes and re-signed with the Brooklyn Nets. The consolation prizes were Elton Brand, Chris Kaman and O.J. Mayo. Last year, the target was All-Star center Dwight Howard, who stung the Mavericks by signing