Frank Isola of the NY Daily News: “The one player who can change the balance of power
in the NBA is expected to meet with prospective teams in Los Angeles when the free-agent recruiting period beings in July, according to a source. Durant had considered holding meetings in New York, but apparently has decided to hear proposals in Los Angeles, where he owns an off-season home. The same source maintains that if Durant doesn’t re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder he would prefer to join the Warriors, a team that has reached two straight NBA Finals and could rule the Western Conference for the next five years if Durant goes to the Bay Area.”
Kurt Helin of PBT: “If this is a “basketball decision” then where is he going to go that puts him closer to a title than OKC? That team was on the cusp of making the Finals and would have had a deep series against the Cavs. And don’t say “he’s better off in the East” because: 1) You will just turn around and slam him for “taking the easy road”; 2) If he goes to Miami or Washington or Atlanta or whatever Eastern team he gets a team to the conference finals and then he runs into a deeper Cleveland team, and even if he gets by them this team would be nowhere near ready for the top of the West. He’d be on a worse team. But it’s his call, and we’ll find out in a few weeks.”
Erik Horne on Kyle Singler: “It was a full year at $5 million, as Singler was signed to a five-year, $25 million deal before the season. With a long-term deal in place and team success for the first time in his NBA career, Singler said he doesn’t want to play anywhere else. It appears the Thunder will grant his wish, hoping a new season in OKC will return more on its investment.”
Warriors are title favorites, but the Thunder are in the mix.
Chad Ford on where Buddy Hield should go: “If he drops this far, I think Hield going to Sacramento is the surest thing in the draft. General manager Vlade Divac and owner Vivek Ranadive have been scouting him heavily all year. He fits a huge need they have at the 2 for perimeter shooters. Plus, Hield’s high character and work ethic are major bonuses on a team that has struggled with both over the years.”
Anthony Slater: “Sprawled out across an Austin barbecue joint, renovated for the day by Nike, Kevin Durant arrived to promote the release of his signature KD9 shoes on Monday afternoon. Complete with a massive international presence, the sneaker community showed up at the Texas state capitol in droves. Durant circled through the various stations, conducting 36 different interviews. The conversations mostly regarded sneakers. But two timely topics necessitated discussion: Durant’s decision to play for Team USA in the Olympics and, more significantly, his looming free agency, which is now just 10 days away.”