3 min read

Thursday Bolts – 2.11.16

Thursday Bolts – 2.11.16

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical with a doozy: “They are working to keep Conley in summer


free agency, with Memphis planning to be one more contender with two stars that will try to persuade Kevin Durant to make it a Big Three, league sources said. Durant’s the longest of long shots in summer, but the short-term trade deadline directives are unchanged: The Grizzlies are determined to use the trade deadline to better the roster for a playoff push.”

James Herbert of CBSSports.com: “1) It’s extremely hard to picture this happening. Memphis historically hasn’t been a destination for high-profile free agents. Durant will have the option of going to bigger markets with better rosters. 2) Conley, Durant and Gasol is a pretty awesome theoretical Big Three, even if it will always remain a theoretical Big Three. 3) Long shot or not, Memphis might as well try. Every team might as well try. People might laugh at the idea of Durant leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Grizzlies, but it would be crazy for them to not do their due diligence. If they can get Durant to sit down with them, they should. 4) I wonder how many “Team X is planning to pursue Kevin Durant” stories will be written between now and July.”

Nate Scott of FTW: “The Warriors are the perfect team right now. They have a star in Curry and a complimentary scorer in Klay Thompson. They have a versatile big man in Draymond Green who can distribute out of the pick and roll and can defend four positions. They have rim protectors in Andrew Bogut, Mareese Speights and, when he returns from injury, Festus Ezeli). They have fantastic, overqualified 3-and-D wings in Barnes, Iguodala and Brandon Rush. They have a backup point guard in Livingston who is 6-foot-8 and can post up any smaller defender. They can go big and small. If someone is having an off night, they can go to other options. They’re perfectly constructed as is, which is why there’s no way they’re going to go after Kevin Durant. There are too many uncertainties there. You don’t sacrifice the depth the Warriors have assembled for another name at the top of the marquee.”

David Thorpe of ESPN.com in a 5-on-5: “Try this one: Cousins and Collison head to Oklahoma City for Enes Kanter and rookie point guard Cameron Payne. If any team can save Cousins from himself and get the best from him, it will be a team with bigger stars, a coach like Billy Donovan and a front office that is meticulous about helping its players grow. The Kings would get their future starting point guard and a legit big man. They are not likely to get equal value for Cousins, but at least they would get two young starters with excellent potential.”

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times: “The NBA’s hottest rumor, in fact, is that the Warriors will pursue Durant when he becomes a free agent after this season, and that Durant is very much open to the possibility because of his fervent desire for a ring. Seems like a bad idea to me, on several fronts. How much credit would Durant even get for winning a title with a team that probably would have two already? And the Warriors have such an exquisite chemistry now, with astonishing teamwork on display virtually every time down the court, I wonder how the addition of another superstar would affect that.”

More Thunder talk here on the LeBatard Show.

Erik Horne on Cam Payne: “Durant said when he was a rookie he “hit the wall” around the All-Star Break. Payne is playing under far different circumstances than Durant did in his first season — serving as second-unit point guard as opposed to a No. 1 scoring option — but the young lefty hasn’t appeared to tire. Payne never played more than 35 games in a season in two years at Murray State. He passed that mark against Phoenix on Monday. As Collison said, the NBA game comes with adjustments. It’ll be interesting to see how Payne’s education continues as the Thunder’s schedule ramps up after the All-Star break with eight games against the Spurs, Warriors and Clippers.”