Some within the Warriors brass aren’t entirely sold on the idea of making significant changes to bring aboard Kevin Durant this summer, reports Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. The team’s primary scenario would involve sign-and-trades that send Harrison Barnes out and Durant in, but that’s a long shot because of all the variables involved, Lowe writes. Signing Durant outright would come at the cost of Barnes and at least two of Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli in cap-clearing moves, Lowe surmises, adding that the team worries it might have to give up as many as two first-round picks to entice other teams to take salary off their hands. The Warriors are reportedly well out in front as Durant’s top choice should he leave the Thunder, but he’s offered few hints about what he’ll do in free agency. He and Russell Westbrook have minor disagreements about who gets the ball, but no personal tension exists between then, Lowe hears. See more from around the NBA:
- The league’s official cap projection for next season has grown to $90MM, up slightly from $89MM, sources tell Lowe for the same piece. Some apparently see it creeping into the $92-$95MM range.
- Former No. 2 overall pick Michael Beasley is drawing the eye of multiple NBA teams, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (ESPN Now link). Beasley can return stateside now that Shandong, the Chinese team he signed with this past summer, is out of the Chinese Basketball Association playoffs. The combo forward averaged 31.9 points in 36.5 minutes per game with 37.1% 3-point shooting against relatively weak competition this season.
- The players union’s executive committee unanimously approved stiffer enforcement of a rule banning agents from representing both coaches and players, a practice that’s been commonplace in spite of regulations against it, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. A grace period runs through August 22nd before the new policy kicks in, and violators face fines up to $100K after that, Berger notes. Agencies, but not individual agents, are still allowed to work with both coaches and players, as long as they make those relationships known to the players they represent, according to Berger.
- The union also passed other rules for agents, including increased dues and requirements that agents pass a written test on the collective bargaining agreement and maintain at least one NBA client over a period of five years, as Berger rounds up in the same piece.