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Thursday on Get Up, Brian Windhorst brought up another layer to the Kevin Durant free agency saga that has not been talked about in the media. Windhorst said something that has been discussed is a scenario in which the Warriors would sign Durant to a five-year deal, $57 million more than he can get elsewhere, and work out a “delayed” sign-and-trade. This would put the long-rumored New York Knicks in position to acquire him.

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There is a lot going on here. It would certainly be a win for Durant if he intends to sign with another team like the Knicks. Under this scenario, he would go to the team he wants and not have to give up the extra year and $57 million. With his Achilles injury, it’s going to be much harder to turn that down, which has led to many believing he would just end up staying with the Warriors. It’s hard to call losing Durant a win, but getting something for him, as opposed to nothing, is much less damaging for the Warriors going forward.

 

The key here would be trusted. Durant would have to trust the Warriors that they would be willing to work this out and send him to the team he wants to be sent to. As Jalen Rose mentioned, Durant would be putting the fate of his future into the Warriors’ hands. It’s worth mentioning his trust in the organization could be less than ideal after reportedly being told there was no way he could “injure the Achilles” by coming back in Game 5.

This is the most fascinating free agency rumor yet. Sign-and-trades for marquee free agents is not uncommon. LeBron James was a part of one. But a delayed one like this, with this level of detail and communication, is unheard of. And honestly, it doesn’t sound all that far-fetched.

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Who could have pictured this after Kawhi Leonard was traded from the San Antonio Spurs to the Toronto Raptors, the first ever championship for Toronto with Kawhi leading the way winning the Finals MVP and taking down the back to back champions, the Golden State Warriors.

However, after all that, there’s still some debate that the Raptors champion may still move away in the offseason. It was never Kawhi’s intention to play in Toronto and at the beginning of the season, it was almost certain that he would play just one season there before moving to Los Angeles.

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The championship title may have changed the two-time Finals MVP mind as may have just leaked his decision while under the influence of alcohol.

According to FTNSY Sports Network’s Gabriel Morency, Kawhi told his teammates during celebrations that he plans on heading back to Toronto to try for back to back championships.

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The Golden State Warriors are preparing to face off with the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on May 30 and they’ll have to do it without their explosive superstar.

Scoring machine Kevin Durant suffered a calf strain in the third quarter of Game 5 of the semifinals and has not played since then. The Warriors have recovered quite nicely actually winning that game at home before finishing off the Rockets in Game 6 and then sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals.

Durant has hinted that this calf strain is worse than previous similar injuries and apparently it’s too much for him to even begin the Finals in Toronto.

Highly-touted NBA prospect Ja Morant has signed an endorsement deal with Nike. The news comes courtesy of NBA insider Shams Charania who says the projected top-2 pick in this year’s NBA Draft has joined the brand on a multi-year deal.

Morant’s draft stock and name recognition rose during the 2019 March Madness tournament. The Murray State point guard helped lead the 12 seed Racers to an upset victory over 5 seed Marquette in the opening round. It is widely assumed he will be taken second overall by the Memphis Grizzlies on June 20 at the 2019 NBA Draft.

The 19-year old confirmed Charania’s report with a tweet of his own saying, “Now I’m proud to say I work for the check.” Specifics of the deal have not yet been confirmed.

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It’s no secret that Anthony Davis is going to be on the trade block this offseason, and the New York Knicks are sure to be one of the potential suitors for the Pelicans’ big man.

Although, if the price tag for AD is anything like what is being reported right now, trade talks may be over before they really even begin.

Apparently the demands have not changed since the Pelicans basically asked for the Lakers entire young core and a slew of draft picks back in February.

I mean come on now, this “equitable package” is absolutely absurd. For one, we don’t even know if the Knicks are even going to get the first overall pick, that will be decided at the conclusion of the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday.

For argument’s sake, lets say New York lands Williamson, who just might be the most hyped amateur prospect since Lebron James. That alone is a pretty high price to pay for Davis, who already has one foot out the door and has certainly hampered the Pelicans’ leverage in trade talks.

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Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons entered the 2018-19 NBA season with the goal of fully dominating the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference and winning an NBA championship title. The Pistons have succeeded to return to the Eastern Conference Playoffs, only to be swept by the No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks in the first round – the same fate they suffered in their past two playoff appearances.

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The Pistons’ early playoff exit was mostly blamed to Blake Griffin’s injury. However, even if the All-Star power forward was healthy, no one still expected the Pistons to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals 2019. After suffering another huge disappointment, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report believes that the Pistons may go on some “soul-searching” and explore the possibility of trading Griffin and his lucrative contract in the 2019 NBA offseason.

With their limited salary cap space and lack of interesting trade assets, the Pistons don’t have enough flexibility to have a major upgrade on their roster next summer. Buckley thinks that the Pistons’ current situation may force them to consider everything, including undergoing a rebuilding process which could start by trading Blake Griffin. Once Griffin becomes officially available on the trade market, one of the NBA teams who could express strong interest in adding him to their roster is the Miami Heat.

The Los Angeles Lakers are hardly a stable organization right now. Their president of basketball operations resigned unexpectedly at the end of the season. Their head coach was fired for losing with a roster he openly objected to during its construction. It’s unclear who exactly is running the team right now, but the options appear limited to a former agent that a rival NBA executive described by saying “no one trusts him,” a retired Lakers backup turned coaching nomad viewed as “beyond unpopular,” and, amazingly, that former backup’s wife. This is not a ship many should be eager to board at the moment.

Things are so bad that, apparently, they are struggling to secure a head coach because all of their candidates keep getting told to avoid the team. Jorge Sedano reported on his ESPN podcast Tuesday (as transcribed by Anthony Irwin of Silver Screen and Roll) that a close friend of former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Ty Lue said “‘I told Ty, don’t take the Lakers job. This thing is a mess.’” Ramona Shelburne added a similar nugget on Monty Williams by saying on ESPN 710 with Mason & Ireland that “everyone in the league has told him not to take the job.”

Williams and Lue will ultimately need to make their own decisions on the matter, but the fact that the Lakers are getting bashed from multiple sources to multiple candidates speaks to how miserable their reputation around the NBA is right now. The Lakers are the laughingstock of basketball right now. Forget about luring a top coach away from a playoff team as they may have tried with Doc Rivers. The Lakers can’t even get coaches who are readily available to take over the NBA’s most glamorous job


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