NBA notebook: Durant opts out, will hit free agency

NBA notebook: Durant opts out, will hit free agency
By Reuters

27/06/2019 at 02:25Updated 27/06/2019 at 02:27

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

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