And-Ones: Durant, DeRozan, Warriors, Bennett

Kevin Durant is fully cleared for training camp, Thunder GM Sam Presti said, according to Royce Young of (Twitter link). Thus, the former MVP is ready for the start of a pivotal season for the Thunder, who’ll surely do what they can to prove their worth as a contender before Durant can bolt in free agency next summer, and for Durant himself, who’s out to prove he can stay healthy after a broken foot cost him all but 27 games this past season. While we wait for action to begin in a 2015/16 campaign sure to include plenty of chatter about Durant’s future, see more from around the NBA:

  • It’s certainly no shock, but GM Masai Ujiri conceded that DeMar DeRozan won’t be talking about an extension with the team this season in advance of his ability to opt out next summer, as Ujiri said this week on SportsNet’s Free Association podcast. The Aaron Goodwin client becomes eligible for an extension on October 31st, three years from the day that he inked a rookie scale extension with Toronto, but unlike those sorts of extensions, veteran extensions come with sharp financial limits that discourage players from signing them.
  • The Warriors don’t have much cap flexibility, but their existing roster and superior management team, which includes Executive of the Year Bob Myers, has them atop the ESPN Insiders Future Power Rankings, which rate teams based on their potential for success over the next three seasons.
  • Former 15th overall pick Austin Daye has hired agent Obrad Fimic of the AltiSport agency to negotiate deals in Europe, Fimic announced (on Twitter). The Hawks waived Daye in July, but no indication of NBA interest has emerged since.
  • The Timberwolves didn’t provide Anthony Bennett with the tools to succeed on the court, as Flip Saunders‘ lack of enthusiasm for three-pointers encouraged the former No. 1 overall pick to launch too many long twos, one of myriad problems with Bennett’s game, opines Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated. Still, Bennett deserves blame for many of his shortcomings, too, and he’ll need to show improvement just to carve out a niche as a reserve stretch four, Golliver believes.
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