Northwest Notes: Durant, Lillard, Saunders

Kevin Durant is excited to return to the court and he’s ready for the scrutiny that will come as rumors begin in earnest about his free agency, scheduled for next summer, as USA Today’s Sam Amick observes. Durant, who took part in a light practice with Team USA on Tuesday, said he’ll lean on only three people to convey his thinking.

“Along with Matty Ice [Thunder media relations manager Matt Tumbleson], I’ve got two people who I trust with my life, which is my agent [Rich Kleiman] and my manager [Charlie Bell], who is my best friend as well,” Durant said. “I trust them with my life. So if you hear sources or anything, don’t believe it if it didn’t come from them. I tell them everything. We bounce ideas off of each other. We collaborate on a lot of different things. They give me advice. So throughout this year, if you hear sources from anybody, it’s not true unless you hear it from Charlie Bell, Rich Kleiman or Kevin Durant.”

Bell is not to be confused with the former NBA player by the same name. See more from the Northwest Division:

  • Damian Lillard knows the Trail Blazers will miss the four starters they lost this summer, but he likes the team’s new additions, as he tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Lillard, who signed a five-year max extension this summer, said he didn’t have an eye on maximizing his earnings with a short-term deal that would allow him to stay on top of an escalating salary cap, and he answered affirmatively when Kennedy asked if he could envision finishing his career with Portland. “Definitely. I mean, I love it here,” Lillard said. “I love living here. I love the people here. This is just my kind of place. After growing up where I grew up [East Oakland, California], you just want to be in a nice, peaceful place. You want to be somewhere where people respect you and somewhere that you have built something. And I feel like I’ve built something great in my first three years here and I will continue to build on it. I consider this a second home. As long as they’ll have me, I’ll be here.”
  • Timberwolves shooting guard Kevin Martin hasn’t noticed a change in coach/executive Flip Saunders despite his battle with cancer, as Martin told Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune“It hasn’t been affecting him at all this month,” Martin said. “He has been sending us texts, what he wants from us. He’s upbeat about the coming season.”
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3 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Durant, Lillard, Saunders

  1. Chris Crouse

    Lillard was smart to cash in now rather than wait until later. Portland might ultimately regret this contract. Not sure if he can be the first option on a good team.

  2. Z.....

    It’s going to be tougher for Lillard this year, not being surrounded by nearly as many shooters, and obviously with LaMarcus Aldridge not being there. That being said, I think they did a decent job of bringing in some young athletes

  3. Chuck Myron

    Bold prediction: Lillard will be among the top five per-game scorers this season.


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