|Eliminations, Today - 2:00pm - Mall of Asia Arena|
|Eliminations, Today - 4:00pm - Mall of Asia Arena|
The Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and incumbent Oklahoma City Thunder are the first three known teams to secure face-to-face meetings with free agent-to-be Kevin Durant, starting next weekend, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN that the list of teams that get to pitch Durant directly will grow before NBA free agency officially commences July 1 at 12:01 a.m. ET, but the list of confirmed suitors for now features the Thunder and their two main rivals in the Western Conference.
The Warriors and Spurs, sources say, are both already planning to load a plane full of key organizational figures -- including Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for Golden State, and Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan for San Antonio -- to fly to an undisclosed location once free-agency season starts to try to lure Durant away from the only franchise he has ever played for.
METAIRIE, La. -- Buddy Hield, still with his official New Orleans Pelicans draft-day hat atop his spiked mane, stood up from the table after his first NBA news conference and couldn’t wait to fire away.
"Got any more questions?" Hield, one of the college game’s best shooters last season, said with a big smile to the assembled media.
One reporter asked him his preferred choice of conversation topics.
As it ends its European training camp this weekend, the Philippine national men’s basketball team will be naming the final 12 players who will compose the official Gilas Pilipinas lineup for the coming FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The announcement will be made right after the conclusion of Gilas Pilipinas’ stint in a pocket tournament that features China, Italy and Canada on Sunday.
With that, head coach Tab Baldwin expects his players to fight for spots until the final minute.
NEW YORK -- Derrick Rose isn't sure why he was traded, but he said he is grateful that the Chicago Bulls sent him to the New York Knicks.
"I would like to tell them, 'Thank you,'" Rose said of the Bulls at Friday's news conference introducing him as the newest member of the Knicks.
Rose, a Chicago native, elaborated on why he'd thank the Bulls for trading him to New York.
One year after serving as the Dallas Mavericks' unofficial recruiting coordinator, forward Chandler Parsons looks forward to being recruited by other franchises.
Parsons eagerly anticipates exploring his options in free agency as the Mavericks plan to prioritize other targets, sources told ESPN, although a return to Dallas remains a possibility.
"He'll be all ears," one source said.
HOUSTON – Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey conducted a conference call with his newest draft pick late Thursday night.
Morey was speaking with Zhou Qi, the 43rd pick of the NBA draft, who just so happened to be in Italy playing for the Chinese national team. The interpreter on the call was legendary Rocket and newly elected Hall of Famer Yao Ming.
“Yao Ming was acting as a very expensive translator for us,” Morey said with a smile.
CLEVELAND -- Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue got a unique championship ring -- from the White House.
President Obama called Lue on Thursday to congratulate the coach on winning the NBA title and invited him and the Cavs to visit Obama in Washington before he leaves office. Lue spent nearly four minutes talking hoops with the president, who said he had already emailed superstar LeBron James to offer his congratulations.
"You did a really great job. It didn't hurt having this guy named LeBron James," Obama told Lue. "You should be proud of yourself. You did a great job on this and I really do think you brought cohesion and steadiness and a focus to the team. It really showed itself. You should feel good about what you did."
OKLAHOMA CITY —- One thing that was reaffirmed on draft night: Sam Presti does not general manage out of fear.
The Oklahoma City Thunder GM pulled the stunner of the night, sending Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and 11th overall pick Domantas Sabonis.
There were rumblings around the league on Thursday that the Thunder were shopping Ibaka, and while for the most part they were simply fielding calls and turning down offers, they had one on the table early in the afternoon that they loved. The front office spent the next few hours discussing exactly what everyone else is right now: How would this impact Kevin Durant's decision?
WASHINGTON -- Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal has declined an invitation to play for the United States in the Rio Olympics.
Beal said on Twitter that he is dedicating his summer to getting into the "best physical shape" for next season. He called the invitation from USA Basketball "the ultimate honor."
Beal is the latest player to decline the chance to play for the U.S. in Rio. NBA Finals MVP LeBron James, regular-season MVP Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, James Harden and others have said they won't go.
PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- Injured Los Angeles Clippers stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are recovering without incident, coach Doc Rivers said Thursday before the NBA draft.
"They're good," Rivers said. "Blake was in here today. Feeling good. Wants to get to working out soon, he told me. Chris has been healthy with the hand for a while."
Paul fractured the third metacarpal of his right hand in the third quarter of Game 4 of the Clippers' first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers. His hand got caught in Gerald Henderson's jersey while defending the Trail Blazer on a fast break, forcing the nine-time All-Star to miss the remainder of the series, an eventual 4-1 Clippers loss.