Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony believes that Kevin Durant will re-sign with the Thunder next summer when he becomes an unrestricted free agent, citing Durant’s ties to the Oklahoma Cty community, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “C’mon, man, he just got into the [Oklahoma] Hall of Fame,’’ Anthony said. “He brought this team here [from Seattle]. He didn’t bring this team here, but he’s a big part of Oklahoma as a whole, not just from a basketball standpoint but from an economic and business standpoint. He’s a major part of what goes on here.’’
Anthony also noted that Durant doesn’t need to play in a larger city in order to maximize his earning potential, Berman adds. “Nowadays with the way social media is, I don’t think you have to be in a major market to get those opportunities,’’ Anthony said. “The way our TV deal is, you’re seen all the over the world now. Not just in big markets.’’
Here’s more from out West:
- Durant and Russell Westbrook “weren’t big fans” of James Harden during their time together with the Thunder, writes Sam Smith of Bulls.com. Smith, writing in his mailbag column, takes Harden to task for what he sees as an individualistic playing style. The Rockets will presumably be one of the many suitors for Durant when he hits free agency this summer, and Harden is under contract with Houston through the 2017/18 season.
- Brandon Knight understands the business side of the game, but that didn’t prevent him from being deeply disappointed when the Bucks dealt him to the Suns last season, Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports writes. “I wouldn’t say it hurt,” Knight told Lee. “It was more about the brotherhood we had built. Being on the worst team in the league and being able to turn that around. And for them to try to step on that, based on whatever the case may be – money or whatever it is – what’s the point in that?” Knight also noted that he doesn’t harbor any bad feelings toward the Bucks or Pistons, who also traded him, Lee relays. “In the long run, I know the type of player I am, can be, or that I will be,” Knight said. “I’m not out to prove this guy wrong, or that guy wrong, because then, you get caught up in failure. I’m just focused on myself, making sure I’m not cheating myself. In turn, I know that I’ll prove the people wrong that doubt me.”
- Rockets rookie combo forward Sam Dekker underwent successful surgery today to repair damage to his back, the team announced. Houston did not provide a timetable for Dekker’s return, though Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com reported that the rookie would miss approximately three months of action.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.