Kevin Durant, who is expected to be the most sought-after name on this summer’s free agent market, respects David West for passing up millions to pursue an NBA title, relays Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. West declined a $12.6MM option with the Pacers last year and signed with the Spurs for the $1.5MM veteran’s minimum. The move raised eyebrows around the league, but Durant found it admirable. “Money isn’t everything in this life,” Durant said. “I know we tend to think about taking care of your family and being financially stable, but from the outside looking in, it looked like he said, ‘I’ve been blessed enough to make X amount of dollars, and I want to be happy chasing something that is the grand prize in this league.’”
There’s more news from Oklahoma City:
- The Thunder are the favorites to keep Durant, but their chances would decline if they can’t get past the Spurs, writes Mark Heisler of The Los Angeles Daily News. That largely falls in with a Friday report from Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Heisler expects Durant to sign a one-year deal with Oklahoma City or possibly a two-year pact with an opt-out clause for next summer. That will enable him to earn about $40MM more and time his free agency with Russell Westbrook‘s. “I think he’s going to test the water,” said former Thunder teammate and current Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie, “but at the end of the day, Oklahoma City is something dear to his heart.” In order, Heisler lists the Spurs, Warriors, Wizards, Clippers, Knicks and Lakers as the top contenders if Durant does decide to leave OKC.
- Because he was drafted with a pick the Thunder received in the James Harden trade, Steven Adams has been dealing with huge expectations from the start of his NBA career, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Adams averaged 8.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game this year while splitting time at center with Enes Kanter. Before the start of last season, Oklahoma City picked up Adams’ $3,140,517 option for 2016/17. “He’s not easily impressed, he doesn’t take things too seriously,” said teammate Nick Collison. “I think that’s the culture from his background. He’s all about, ‘Get over yourself.’ He didn’t grow up with the dream to play in the NBA, and it shows.”