NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Kevin Durant's Future and Possible Kyle Korver TradeNovember 16, 2018
Calling the NBA too predictable is a misguided take.
Sure, the on-paper favorite and two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors may well take the crown again in June. But good luck plotting all the twists and turns to be encountered between now and then.
Think about it. Who had the Cleveland Cavaliers ousting former coach Tyronn Lue just six games into the season? Or Carmelo Anthony's Houston Rockets career spanning all of 10 contests? Or Draymond Green and Kevin Durant butting heads in a way that could threaten the Association's most dominant franchise?
People don't run marathons solely for the thrill of crossing the finish line. It's more about the journey to reach that point.
With that in mind, let's examine some of the biggest topics on the NBA rumor mill.
'No Way' Kevin Durant Re-Signs With Warriors?
It's always wise to take November predictions about July decisions with copious amounts of salt.
However, when said prediction is coming from a teammate—albeit anonymously—it feels more like an educated opinion than a blind guess.
This stems from the aforementioned Green-Durant rift, which one Golden State Warrior feels was damaging enough to dash any hopes of Durant re-signing next summer.
"With what was said, there is already no way Durant is coming back," the player told The Athletic's Marcus Thompson. "The only hope is that they can say this summer, 'See, KD. We've got your back. We protected you from Draymond.'"
According to Thompson, the dustup began when Green took issue with the way Durant addressed him and responded, "Who the [expletive] you talking to?" Green would go on to accuse Durant "of making the whole season about him even though he was going to leave after this season," per Thompson. The scribe added Green reportedly called Durant a "b---h" several times.
The immediate fallout was a one-game suspension for Green, served during the Dubs' 110-103 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday. The long-term ramifications, though, won't be clear for some time.
Durant will return to the open market in July. He's kept coy about his intentions there, and ESPN's Brian Windhorst wrote recently that "everyone in the league knows Durant might leave next summer."
While the Warriors were both champions and 73-game winners before Durant's 2016 arrival, they've been almost unbeatable since. They won titles in each of his first two seasons—with the 30-year-old earning Finals MVP honors both times—and have only had one series extend beyond five games.
That's not to suggest Golden State would crumble without him. But with him, this might be the best roster this league has ever seen.
Bucks Craving More Shooting, Eyeing Kyle Korver?
There's no such thing as too much of a good thing in the NBA, so it's good to be greedy in this business.
No one needs to explain that to the Milwaukee Bucks, apparently.
Their 10-4 start under new head coach Mike Budenholzer can largely be traced to the three-point arc. Everything about this perimeter attack is radically improved from last season. Milwaukee sits first in three-point makes (14.8 per game), second in attempts (40.1) and fifth in accuracy (36.9 percent). Last season, those respective rankings were 27th (8.8), 25th (24.7) and 22nd (35.5).
Still, the Bucks aren't content to rest on their three-point laurels. Three-point shooting is a critical part of their identity now, and they're reportedly interested in bulking it up.
"League sources said the Bucks are still in the market for another perimeter shooter," Gery Woelfel wrote for WoelfelsPressBox.com. "...One of the shooters who has piqued Budenholzer's curiosity is one of his former players when he coached the Atlanta Hawks: Kyle Korver."
The 37-year-old sharpshooter owns the seventh-highest career three-point percentage in NBA history (43.11). Anyone who wants more shooting—which might be everyone in today's game—probably has at least an eye on Korver.
To that end, sources told Woelfel that the Philadelphia 76ers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers are among Korver's suitors. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Woelfel added, are trying to milk this interest by squeezing a first-round pick out of someone for Korver, though several NBA officials told Woelfel they don't anticipate anyone paying that price.
Woelfel added that the Bucks are looking to move Matthew Dellavedova, who played his first three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers and helped them capture the 2016 championship. He's now buried in the Bucks' backcourt rotation and has only logged 39 minutes so far.
If Milwaukee could reroute Dellavedova back to Northeast Ohio in a deal for Korver, Woelfel says a sweetener—like a draft pick, Thon Maker, D.J. Wilson or Christian Wood—would likely be required.