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Kyler’s Latest: Durant, Conley, Whiteside, Rondo

The prevailing wisdom heading into free agency has suggested that Kevin Durant is likely to sign a two-year contract with a second-year player option this summer. After all, opting out a year from now and signing a long-term deal at that point figures to be the best way for the star forward to maximize his earnings.

Still, we’ve heard whispers that Durant may prefer to simply sign a long-term pact now to avoid having free agency looming over him for another year, and Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders cites sources close to the former MVP who echo that sentiment. According to Kyler, Oklahoma City remains the frontrunner for Durant, but the free-agent-to-be will hear out and consider all his suitors, and could make a long-term commitment to the team he signs with, whether that’s the Thunder or another club.

Here’s more from Kyler on a few of this summer’s top free agents:

  • Mike Conley is expected to listen to some free agent pitches, but will likely give the Grizzlies the last word, writes Kyler. Conley would like to see Memphis be aggressive about adding talent to fortify the roster if he’s going to return. If the veteran point guard decides to go elsewhere, the Mavericks, Rockets, Spurs, and even the Nets are among his potential landing spots, per Kyler.
  • The Lakers, Mavericks, Celtics, and Hornets are some of the teams expected to make a push for Hassan Whiteside if the Heat waver on offering him a max contract, says Kyler.
  • Kyler identifies the Heat as a potential dark horse in the Al Horford sweepstakes, if Whiteside does leave Miami. Horford is believed to be the next target on the team’s wish list, and that interest may be mutual, Kyler writes.
  • There’s mutual interest between Rajon Rondo and the Nets, who could be the favorites to land the point guard. However, according to Kyler, Rondo wouldn’t want to be Brooklyn’s only high-profile addition this summer, so the Nets might have to make a commitment to another notable free agent if they hope to lure Rondo.
  • Dwight Howard could end up being a primary target this offseason for teams like the Bucks, Trail Blazers, and Hornets, who aren’t necessarily expected to get involved with many top-tier free agents, per Kyler. Sources close to Howard and the Magic indicate to Kyler that the odds of D12 returning to Orlando are slim, despite the fact that the team expects to be active on the open market.
  • Kyler adds the Lakers and Grizzlies to the list of teams with interest in Ryan Anderson, and notes that there’s mutual interest between Anderson and the Wizards. Sources also tell Kyler that Anderson would prefer to land with a playoff team.
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25 thoughts on “Kyler’s Latest: Durant, Conley, Whiteside, Rondo

  1. angrypoptart99

    Not sure why durant would ever leave Okc as long as westbrook is there, not gonna get a much better Pg to pass to him

    • Chris815

      What are you smoking. Westbrook passing . It’s like a urban myth. Something you hear about but will never see. Ha ha

      • 333ddd1

        He’s one of the best in assists. Still if he wanted best chances of championship he should go to warriors not OKC

      • And he averaged the most assists this past year. Where’s ya boy John Wall on that list?

        • cjh815

          First off no he didn’t number one was rondo at 11.4
          Wall was .1 percent ass less then Westbrook . Westbrook was at 10.4 and wall was 10.3 and he didn’t have so called talent that Westbrook had so once again know your stats.

    • ChiSoxCity

      Westbrook and “pass” aren’t words frequently used together in a sentence.

      • Yet the guy averaged the most assists this pass year. I guess they must give out assists at random.

    • Bbone34

      The problem I’ve had with the media over his free agency is why is everyone so sure he makes the best decision? Sure OKC is probably his best chance to win while not potentially being relegated to a lesser role (i.e. GSW) but that doesn’t necessarily mean he believes that, or that he isn’t just fed up with the western conference or Westbrooks play, or maybe he just wants a fresh start. Sometimes players don’t make the obvious choice so everyone saying there’s no chance he leaves isn’t thinking clearly.

      • ChiSoxCity

        If you payed closer attention, you would notice how close Durant and Westbrook are. If there were any indication that Durant was unhappy with his teammates, his role or the city, we would know by now. He’s very clear about his support for Westbrook and OKC in press conferences and interviews. Add that to the fact OKC has the most talented roster in the game, and it becomes obvious why OKC is favored to keep him.

        • JoeGNYC

          I think Durant has respect for Westbrook but wonders how it wud be as the first option in another team (where he can never be sure he is wit Westbrook) or on another team like GSW, with very smart players, where they pass to the open man or feed the hot man. Westbrook has never been known to make smart decisions

  2. Chris815

    That’s like a urban myth

    • ThatGuy

      *an

  3. Pihc123

    Do you realize a smock is a type of ladies dress? And how does one “her about it”?

  4. not sure why anybody would want to live in San Antonio or Houston or Memphis or especially OKC? please at least NYC, Miami or LA is cosmopolitan

    • He doesn’t live there. He lives in LA.

  5. Danthemilwfan

    Sign and trade Howard for Monroe and carter Williams and he’ll throw in Johnny obryant or Damian inglis

    • md2t23

      I think Monroe and MCW are a bit too much for just Howard. Maybe Howard for Monroe straight up, but too much with MCW too. D12 isn’t worth that much anymore.

      • Danthemilwfan

        Howard is still better then Monroe. If not mcw maybe Vaughn. Plus Monroe can opt out next year.

        • Md2t23

          I have to disagree there. Yes Howard was hampered in a system, but Monroe is 4 years younger, can actually make free throws and as such isn’t a liability late in close games. He outscored D12 in PPG and was close in every other major category. Plus he played more games te Dwight. Add Dwight’s known locker room/hustle issues and I think teams will value Monroe over D12.

  6. Sturge86

    I wouldn’t mind seeing what Howard could do with Dame and CJ3 in Portland.

    • I second this, Portland should go hard after Dwight, they could use his D and rebounding

      • lakersfan27

        He won’t be content unless he’s their primary offensive option. He’ll wine and cry and pollute the locker room. He’s a waste money.

        • GoPackGo23

          He won’t be a primary option on any team in the NBA at this point

          • Steve in Chicago

            So it follows that he is a waste of money.

        • koedean

          If Dwight really wants to win he will do what Chamberlain did. Concentrate on R and D and forget offense. That’s how he can help a team.

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