Kevin Durant has a shot at the largest contract in league history when his free agency officially arrives this summer, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Durant will have plenty of options to choose from, starting with the Thunder, who would love to keep him and Russell Westbrook together through the prime of their careers. The Warriors are believed to be the front-runners if Durant decides to leave Oklahoma City, and his hometown Wizards will surely be calling, along with the Lakers, who will need a star to replace Kobe Bryant. Or Durant could sign a one-year deal with OKC, maximize his earning power as a 10-year veteran and put off the larger decision until 2017. “Everybody’s going to ask me, so of course I’m going to have to think about it now,” Durant said. “To tell you one thing, it’s great to feel wanted, I guess.”
There’s more news from around the world of basketball:
- James Harden says he feels unfairly targeted for the bad situation in Houston, Washburn writes in the same piece, particularly the rumored rifts with Rockets center Dwight Howard and former coach Kevin McHale. “All the time,” Harden said when asked if he feels he’s being singled out over team disunity, “but I don’t really pay attention to it. I can’t focus on negativity because that drains you. I focus on what I can do, what I can control, and go out there and just compete at a high level.”
- The Blazers‘ C.J. McCollum is almost certain to win this season’s Most Improved Player award, according to Eric Saar of Basketball Insiders. McCollum, who’ll be up for a rookie scale extension this summer, has become a full-time starter and has raised his scoring average from 6.8 points a game last year to 21.1 points this season. Saar’s other candidates for the award are the Warriors‘ Draymond Green, the Celtics‘ Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder and the Raptors‘ Kyle Lowry.
- The Hawks have recalled center Edy Tavares and guard/forward Lamar Patterson from the Austin Spurs of the D-League, the team announced today. Tavares has averaged 10.1 points and 9.6 rebounds in 14 D-League games, while Patterson’s averages are 15.6 points, 5.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds in seven games with Austin.
- Chris Douglas-Roberts, whom the Pelicans cut in training camp, will be rejoining the D-League’s Texas Legends, who are the affiliate of the Mavericks, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com.