• It’s long been anticipated that Kevin Durant will remain in Oklahoma City. After pushing the Warriors to the brink, it’s unlikely that KD finds himself in a better basketball spot than alongside Russell Westbrook and the rest of the Thunder.

    It appears as though his free agent suitors feel the same way, and see this summer’s meetings as groundwork in case he leaves after next season.

    The probable outcome for Durant is re-upping with the Thunder on a max deal with opt-out clauses so he can maximize his earnings as the salary cap continues to rise.

    In that sense, it’s smart for teams to take their meetings with Durant as an opportunity to plant the seeds for a possible departure later on. The most coveted man on the market might not go anywhere new right now, but he’ll almost assuredly be a free agent again in 2017. While Oklahoma City is about as appealing as a destination can be from a basketball perspective, one never knows what will happen over the course of a year. Maybe the Thunder can’t get over the hump and Durant feels like it’s time for a change. If there is some sort of falling out between Durant and his teammates or the organization, one of these first pitches could pay off handsomely.

    Durant’s 2017 fate may also hinge on Russell Westbrook’s next move, as he’ll become a free agent after this upcoming year. If Westbrook leaves, Durant may look to join a new organization with a core that isn’t in flux. It seems silly to talk about Durant’s next free agency foray considering he’s still the big fish this year, but that’s just the way of the world with the ability to opt out becoming more and more common.

    Ultimately Durant controls his own fate and has enough leverage as one of the game’s top players to negotiate just about any clause he wants. He’ll play it smart and keep his options open. While Thunder fans might view that play as Durant keeping one foot out the door, there have been no inklings that Durant isn’t fully committed to helping the Thunder win. It’s strictly a business decision, and it’s hard to blame KD from trying to cash in at each available opportunity.

Fantasy News

  • JR Smith
    SG, Cleveland Cavaliers

    J.R. Smith will meet with the Bucks on Thursday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

    This is the first team other than the Lakers, who have already been deemed an unlikely landing spot, to be connected to Smith. Milwaukee is looking for another wing shooter and Smith would fit the bill in a perfect world, though it's unlikely that he would play a major role for any team after sitting out since November.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Kyle Lowry
    PG, Toronto Raptors

    Kyle Lowry has undergone a procedure to repair the tendon in his left thumb, per Adrian Wojnarowski.

    Lowry battled with either a left thumb sprain or dislocation (depending on who you believe) in the playoffs and often spoke of how he struggled to handle the ball. It didn't seem to matter too much as Lowry shot 42 percent from deep over the Eastern Conference Finals and Finals, but this procedure is far from surprising. The point guard is still hoping to be ready for Team USA training camp and the FIBA World Cup, so we are not looking at a lengthy recovery here.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Naz Reid
    C, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Naz Reid has signed a multi-year deal with the Wolves.

    Reid was originally expected to sign a two-way deal, and this might be the fastest conversion to a standard contract ever. Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic is reporting that it is a four-year deal worth a max of $6.1 million, with a full guarantee on the first season. Reid averaged 12.5 points, 4.7 boards and 2.0 assists in just 18.3 mpg at Summer League and looked like one of the better big men at the Vegas circuit. The Wolves are obviously set at center in the long term, but Reid could definitely emerge as the backup with a little more seasoning.

    Source: Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Shane Larkin
    PG, International

    Shane Larkin has agreed to a 'lucrative' deal to return to Andalou Efes of Turkey.

    Larkin was reported to have some interest from guard-needy teams like Detroit, Orlando and OKC, but he'll stay in Europe to collect a big check and play in a starring role. Last season's BSL Finals MVP, Larkin could pop up again in free agency next summer.

    Source: EuroHoops.net

  • Shaquille Harrison
    PG, Chicago Bulls

    Shaq Harrison has agreed to a one-year deal to return to the Bulls.

    Harrison was waived by the team a couple weeks ago but will head back to Chicago. There's not much room left at point guard, but Harrison emerged as a lengthy player who's capable of guarding opposing wings last season and that figures to be his role going forward. He had a standard-league finish for the depleted Bulls last season and is someone to remember for silly season if Chicago is tanking hard again.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Luke Kornet
    PF-C, Chicago Bulls

    Luke Kornet has inked a deal with the Chicago Bulls for two years worth $4.5 million according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

    Kornet is another stretch big that will fit into the Bulls' system similar to how Lauri Markkanen does. He is a 36-percent shooter from beyond the arc in his career and shoots at will, so he should be a nice role player for an improved Bulls team.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Josh Magette
    G, Orlando Magic

    The Orlando Magic have signed Josh Magette to a two-way contract according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo.

    Magette was last seen in the NBA two seasons ago with the Atlanta Hawks. After a strong showing in Summer League, Magette will have an opportunity to compete for a roster spot as an additional PG. He doesn't figure to hold any fantasy value if he is to make the squad.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Frank Kaminsky
    PF, Phoenix Suns

    The Suns have officially signed Frank Kaminsky to a two-year, $10 million deal.

    Kaminsky officially joins the young roster that GM James Jones and the Suns are building. He will have some competition backing up Dario Saric as the team is also planning to sign Cheick Diallo. Kaminsky will have some stand-alone value as a deep threat but he doesn't provide much value beyond shooting.

    Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter

  • Stanton Kidd
    PF, Utah Jazz

    The Jazz have signed Stanton Kidd and William Howard.

    Kidd and Howard both participated in Summer League for the Jazz organization and impressed the team enough to be signed to fill out their roster. There is no guarantee that either will make the roster as it is unclear if their contracts are guaranteed. Kidd, 27, most recently played in Turkey while Howard, 25, most recently played in France.

    Source: Eric Woodyard on Twitter

  • Cheick Diallo
    PF, Phoenix Suns

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Suns have signed Cheick Diallo to a two-year contract.

    Diallo has shown flashes in the NBA through his first three seasons with the Pelicans, Unfortunately, he has yet to see the opportunity needed to provide fantasy value as he has yet to surpass 14.0MPG in any season. The Suns could provide an avenue for Diallo to get more playing time off the bench similar to what we saw from Richaun Holmes last season. This is a terrific landing spot for the young big man.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter