And-Ones: Durant, Noah, LeBron, Draft

Kevin Durant fielded the first direct questions in more than two months about his upcoming free agency today as the Thunder prepare to play the Knicks in New York, and his answers revealed little, with mostly boilerplate responses surrounding his sentiments for playing at Madison Square Garden, as The Oklahoman’s Anthony Slater transcribes. Still, he dismissed the notion that a large market would be any better for his business profile than small-market Oklahoma City and said his main focus is on the court, anyway. He spoke fondly of New York basketball culture, but that’s standard fare, as Durant himself essentially suggested.

“They link everybody with New York City,” Durant said, according to Slater’s transcription. “One of the greatest cities in the world. They link everybody with this city. So it’s not a bad thing. Great city. Great place to visit, great place to live, I’m sure. They link everybody, it’s not just me.”

See more from around the NBA:

  • Joakim Noah, another soon-to-be free agent, hopes he’ll be back with the Bulls next season, as he told reporters, including Nick Friedell of (Twitter link). It’s not uncommon for players to say that about their incumbent teams as they approach free agency, but he has reportedly been displeased with how the team has viewed him this year, one in which he played mostly in a backup role before suffering a shoulder injury that’s likely to have ended his season.
  • Heat minority share owner Ranaan Katz is among those who say that LeBron James engineered the firing of former Cavaliers coach David Blatt, adding that James tried and failed to oust Erik Spoelstra when they were together in Miami, according to international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). Spoelstra is currently the NBA’s second longest-tenured coach.
  • Ben Simmons goes to the Sixers, Brandon Ingram to the Lakers and Dragan Bender to the Celtics in the top three picks of the latest mock draft from Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
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