NBA superstar Kevin Durant has declined his $31.5 million player option with the Golden State Warriors and will become an unrestricted free agent, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday.
The 30-year-old forward and his business manager Rich Kleiman are in New York evaluating free agency options, according to the report. Free agency begins Sunday.
Durant has been in New York since traveling there to have surgery for the ruptured right Achilles tendon he suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.
Multiple reports have said the Brooklyn Nets are targeting Durant and Boston point guard Kyrie Irving, while the New York Knicks and Warriors also have expressed interest in signing him to a max contract.
–Eyeing a sign-and-trade for Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Jimmy Butler, the Houston Rockets are shopping center Clint Capela, guard Eric Gordon and forward P.J. Tucker to cap-abundant teams, ESPN reported.
ESPN reported that the Rockets are shopping those players individually, seeking the best available first-round pick that they could then include in a deal for Butler.
The Rockets would need to move two or all three players in order for the salaries to match a max contract for Butler, which would be $140 million over four years.
–Center Marc Gasol will return to the Toronto Raptors in 2019-20 after exercising his $25.6 million player option.
Gasol could have been an unrestricted free agent, but he will instead play out the final season of a five-year, $113.2 million pact.
The 34-year-old arrived in Toronto in February via trade from the Memphis Grizzlies, with whom he spent his first 10-plus NBA seasons. Despite lessened production, he helped the team to its first NBA championship in franchise history.
–Atlanta Hawks guard Allen Crabbe was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Crabbe’s blood alcohol content reportedly measured 0.08 percent, which is the legal limit in California. He was charged with a misdemeanor DUI, and his bail was set at $5,000, according to Los Angeles Police Department records.
The Brooklyn Nets agreed to trade Crabbe to the Hawks earlier this month, though the deal cannot be official until July 6.
–The NBA has begun exploring options that include a possible midseason tournament, a postseason play-in tournament and an abbreviated regular-season schedule in 2021-22, ESPN reported.
According to the report, an advisory committee with about a dozen top team executives took part in a June 17 conference call to discuss with the league office possible alternatives to the traditional NBA schedule.
–The Phoenix Suns extended a qualifying offer to forward Kelly Oubre Jr., ESPN reported.
The move will make the 23-year-old a restricted free agent, allowing Phoenix the opportunity to match any offer sheet from another team.
Acquired from the Washington Wizards in a December 2018 trade, Oubre averaged 16.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 40 games (12 starts) with the Suns.
–The Minnesota Timberwolves extended a qualifying offer to point guard Tyus Jones.
Jones, 23, averaged 6.9 points and 4.8 assists in 68 games during his fourth season with the Timberwolves in 2018-19.
–The Memphis Grizzlies extended point guard Delon Wright a qualifying offer, The Athletic reported.
Wright, 27, averaged 12.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.6 steals in 26 games (11 starts) with the Grizzlies after arriving in the Feb. 7 trade that sent Gasol to the Raptors.
–The Washington Wizards extended a qualifying offer to center Thomas Bryant, according to The Athletic.
The 21-year-old averaged 11.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season, starting 53 of 72 contests.
–The New Orleans Pelicans declined to give a qualifying offer to center Cheick Diallo, ESPN reported.
Diallo, 22, averaged six points and 5.2 rebounds in 64 games (one start) last season.
–The Los Angeles Lakers extended qualifying offers to guard Alex Caruso and forward Johnathan Williams.
Caruso, 25, averaged 9.2 points and 3.1 assists across 25 games (four starts) last season, earning a more prominent role late in the year.
Williams, 24, saw action in 24 games as a reserve, averaging 6.5 points and 4.1 rebounds. His offer is for a two-way contract.
–The Dallas Mavericks extended qualifying offers to forwards Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith, ESPN reported.
Kleber, 27, averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds last season, playing in 71 games (18 starts). Finney-Smith, 26, played in 81 of 82 games (26 starts) and averaged 7.5 points and 4.8 rebounds.
–The NBA removed center Omer Asik’s salary from the Chicago Bulls’ cap due to a career-ending illness, The Athletic reported.
The exception opens $3 million in cap space for the Bulls. Asik has not played since 2017-18, after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
–Field Level Media