Kevin Durant, fresh off the Thunder being eliminated by Golden State in the playoffs, said it was too soon for him to start thinking about where he will be playing next season, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com relays. “I mean, we just lost like 30 minutes ago, so I haven’t even thought about it,” Durant, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, said. “I’m just embracing my teammates and just reflecting on the season. I’ll think about that stuff, I don’t know when. But we just lost an hour ago, 30 minutes ago, so I don’t know.”
“There’s no moral victories in our locker room after the game,” a frustrated Durant continued. “We’re all upset. We wanted to get a chance to play for a championship in the Finals, so that hurts. But when you sit down and look back at what happened throughout the season, you can be proud of not just the players, but everybody in the organization, from the top to the bottom, people that you guys don’t know or ever see contribute to what we bring out on the court. That’s just pride, effort, passion, love for the game. Pure love for the game every single night, and that comes from just walking into our practice facility every single day and feeling those vibes and feeling that energy from everyone. I’m just proud of what we’ve all been through this season. We stuck together and we sacrificed for each other. That’s just what makes this game so special.”
Here’s the latest from out West:
- Former Warriors point guard Nemanja Nedovic inked a two-year contract extension to remain with the Spanish club Unicaja Malaga, the team announced (translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). The 24-year-old former first-rounder last appeared in the NBA during the 2013/14 campaign. Nedovic had given up $599,760 of his $1.104MM guaranteed salary in a buyout deal to secure his release from Golden State after he had grown unhappy with his lack of playing time.
- Golden State has been rumored to be “significant” frontrunners for Durant should he leave the Thunder this summer, and current Warriors forward Andre Iguodala noted that it would be entertaining to play alongside the “Slim Reaper,” Jimmy Durkin of The Mercury News relays. “He made some really tough shots, which is what I expected,” Iguodala said of Durant. “He’s a fighter and competitor and fought to the end. It must be fun playing with a guy like that. Unless I’m not playing with him.” Of course, the rub for Iguodala is that it would be extremely difficult for the team to retain him and his 2016/17 salary of $11,131,368 and sign Durant to a max deal. This is regardless of whether or not Golden State retains restricted free agents Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli, though keeping both would make adding Durant virtually impossible without some significant corresponding roster moves.
- Speculating on Durant’s impending free agency, ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter links) noted that many league insiders predict the forward will ink a two-year deal to remain with the Thunder that includes an opt-out after the first season. The scribe lists the Wizards, Heat, Celtics, Rockets, Knicks, Lakers, Spurs and Warriors as the teams expected to make the most aggressive pitches for Durant this summer.