2 min read

Friday Bolts – 7.1.16

Marc Stein of ESPN.com: “A successful meeting with Kevin Durant and his closest confidantes Thursday has put the incumbent Oklahoma City Thunder in a strong position as Durant moves into meetings with five other free-agent suitors, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN that Thursday’s five-hour meeting with Thunder officials at Chesapeake Energy Arena 'went well' before Durant, his agent and business manager Rich Kleiman and longtime friend and manager Charlie Bell boarded a flight to New York to start huddling with other teams on Friday.”

Marc Spears of The Undefeated: “So relax, Oklahoma City. Durant leaving would be as stunning as James’ departure to Miami and subsequent return to Cleveland. Instead, look for him to sign a one-year deal with the Thunder that would allow Durant and Westbrook to be free agents together in 2017 and co-star in next year’s NBA free agency reality show. That is when it will become much more real. If the Thunder fall short in advancing to the NBA Finals again, it will be a lot easier for Durant to depart from Oklahoma City in 2017. In other words, Thunder fans, save your popcorn for next summer.”

Read Jordan Brenner’s excellent Sam Hinkie story: “The 76ers are hardly the first team to build through the draft; The Process was once known as The OKC Thing. But the Sixers’ plan to openly exploit the lottery system by amassing high picks threatened to expose the draft’s flaws and make the NBA look ridiculous.”

Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com: “Representatives for Dion Waiters fielded interest from Kings, Nets, Sixers, Bulls, Heat and OKC on Thursday, per a source. The shooting guard showed he could contribute to a winner this year with the Thunder.”

Isaiah Thomas: “First off, I’m going to go buy some KD [apparel],” Thomas said after distributing free ice cream for Good Humor at Boston’s Faneuil Hall. “If I do go to the meeting, I’m going to buy a KD shirt; I’m going to be in the whole outfit. So that’s the first thing I’m going to do, so, right when he sees me, if I’m invited, I’m going to be in his whole little thing.”

The Clippers want to sell KD on a Big 4.

Anthony Slater: “Considering Durant’s comments and humble persona, it’s left some to wonder: Why the show? Why all the meetings? Why in The Hamptons? Why leak it out to the public? The answers are simple. For one, it’s good for business. Durant’s megastar status has dimmed just a tinge since his MVP campaign. He missed nearly the entire 2014-15 season after three foot surgeries and then returned to health just in time to find a historic 73-win Warriors team taking over his league and sucking up all the headlines. KD hasn’t been the top story in the sports world since 2014. This past week and this next week, he is — leading SportsCenter every night, inspiring radio segments every morning and creating massive interest until he decides, as everyone tries to decode his every move.”

Berry Tramel: “So the idea that Durant and Westbrook long for the last train to the coast is misguided. They will make basketball decisions and people decisions. Does that mean they stay in Thunder blue? I don’t know. I think yes, but I don’t know. This I do know. They won’t make geography decisions. They’re too smart for that.”