Western Notes: Durant, Jenkins, D-League

If the Warriors go on to win their second consecutive NBA title this season, it may actually act as a deterrent for pending unrestricted free agent prize Kevin Durant, Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report opines. The scribe cites Durant’s disdain for playing second fiddle, which he certainly would have to do on any team Stephen Curry is a part of. The small forward is also conscious of his legacy and would possibly consider going to a ready-made championship team unseemly, Ding also opines. There’s still no guarantee that Durant will re-sign with the Thunder and he still maintains some regrets about not having a player option added on his last deal that would have afforded him a chance to hit the open market earlier in his career, Ding relays. The Warriors are reportedly well out in front as Durant’s top choice should he leave Oklahoma City this summer.

Here’s more from out West:

  • John Jenkins is thrilled to have been released by the Mavericks and claimed off waivers by the Suns because it will provide him a better opportunity to show what he can do on the court, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic writes. “I was praying and hoping that I’d get an opportunity,” Jenkins said. “I’m with a lot of young guys, which helps me a lot. I’m actually probably more experienced than some of them so that’s different for me. Just try to be a leader from that standpoint. But I definitely think I’m rejuvenated. A fresh start is always good.” The 24-year-old only appeared in 21 contests for Dallas on the season and averaged a meager 9.2 minutes per contest prior to being waived.
  • The Grizzlies should strongly consider exercising their team option for 2016/17 on Lance Stephenson, whose versatility could allow him to flourish in Memphis, Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal opines. Memphis gambled on the upside of Stephenson, whom the scribe notes is only 25 years old and a little more than 18 months removed from being a nightly triple-double threat while with the Pacers. Stephenson’s option for next season is worth $9.405MM.
  • The Thunder have assigned Mitch McGary and Josh Huestis to their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be McGary’s seventh trip to the D-League this season and Huestis’ 10th.
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