Golden State general manager Bob Myers was hopeful his team would retain Kevin Durant since it could offer a five-year, $221 million contact but said Monday that there wasn’t anything the Warriors could have done to keep the star forward with the team.
“He felt like it was something inside of him and his heart that he wanted to try something different,” Myers told reporters at the team’s practice facility. “There was nothing wrong about it. I’m at peace about it. I hope our fans can be, too. He’s one of the best athletes we’ve ever seen come through our city and certainly this organization.”
Durant accepted a four-year, $164 million free agent deal from the Brooklyn Nets. He could end up missing the entire first season of his new contract as he recovers from a ruptured Achilles sustained during the NBA Finals in June.
The Warriors and Nets engineered a sign-and-trade deal involving Durant, and Golden State ended up with All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell, who agreed to a four-year, $117 million contract. Myers refuted speculation that the Warriors are willing to ship Russell for multiple assets to help in their reloading process.
—Point guard Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers agreed to a five-year, $170 million maximum contract extension, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported.
Agent Rich Paul confirmed the deal, Charania said. Simmons, who turns 23 on Friday, made his first All-Star team in the 2018-19 season and averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.4 steals in 79 starts.
The 6-foot-10 Australian was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and won NBA Rookie of the Year honors in 2017-18.
—Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $50,000 by the NBA for leaking information from a recent Broad of Governors meeting to a reporter, ESPN reported.
Cuban was disciplined because league rules prohibit discussing Board of Governors information with reporters or other outsiders. The league office released a memo to inform teams of the fine but didn’t announce it publicly, according to ESPN.
“I appreciate the irony of your reporting on a fine that someone should, but won’t, get fined for leaking to you,” Cuban told ESPN. He reportedly admitted to leaking information about the league’s decision to allow coaches the ability to challenge referees’ calls.
—The Milwaukee Bucks locked up veteran shooting guard Wesley Matthews with a two-year, $5.26 million contract, The Athletic reported.
The deal includes a player option for the 2020-21 season, according to the report. Matthews, 32, played for the Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers last season and averaged a combined 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 69 games (68 starts).
Matthews played with the Utah Jazz (2009-10) and Portland Trail Blazers (2010-15) before spending three-plus seasons with Dallas. He has made at least 150 3-pointers in eight of the past nine seasons, including a career-high 201 with the Trail Blazers in 2013-14.
—The Cleveland Cavaliers waived veteran JR Smith in order to stay below the NBA’s luxury-tax threshold.
The Cavaliers were unable to find a trade partner to take on the 33-year-old shooting guard scheduled to make $15.7 million next season — of which just $4.3 million is guaranteed. Smith would become a free agent if he clears waivers.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Smith is unlikely to be reunited with former Cavaliers teammate LeBron James, as the Los Angeles Lakers are unlikely to make a run at the pending free agent. Smith has averaged 12.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 971 career games (395 starts) with New Orleans Hornets (2004-06), Denver Nuggets (2006-11), New York Knicks (2011-15) and Cleveland.
—Lakers forward Anthony Davis is pulling out of participation in Team USA and the FIBA Basketball World Cup this summer.
Davis, acquired by the Lakers this month in a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans, said he would not participate in the USA Basketball training camp and FIBA Basketball World Cup to focus on the upcoming NBA season, per multiple reports.
Davis, 26, won gold medals with Team USA at the 2012 Olympics in London and at the 2014 World Cup in Spain. He reportedly is still interested in playing in the 2020 Olympics.
—Field Level Media