Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is the first NBA All-Star to defect to rapper and mogul Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports agency, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Roc Nation is a newly formed agency that has been aggressively pursuing star players in the NFL, MLB and now the NBA.
“KD doesn’t want a traditional NBA agent anymore,” a league source with knowledge of his thinking told Yahoo! Sports on Friday night. “He wants Jay-Z to handle his branding. …He had a chance to be with his idol and couldn’t say no.”
League executives and agents wonder whether the move to Jay-Z and Roc Nation could eventually lead to the agency pushing for Durant to depart small-market Oklahoma City for the opportunities of New York or Los Angeles.
Durant is signed with the Thunder through the 2015-16 season.
Following the departure of Dwayne Wade for Li-Ning, Jordan Brand is expected to formally announce Blake Griffin as a Jumpman squad member.
Griffin, who signed with Nike during his rookie season in 2009-10, was wearing a royal blue version of the Jordan Brand Super Fly sneakers during the Clippers’ season opener at home on Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.
If this indeed marks a partnership, it will find the high-riser joining the likes of recent Jordan Brand member Russell Westbrook and long tenured endorses Carmelo Anthony and current teammate Chris Paul under Michael Jordan’s line of shoes and apparel.
There are seven NBA teams that have never had a luxury tax payment since it came into existence with the 1999 collective bargaining agreement.
James Harden, Serge Ibaka
The Bulls, Warriors, Clippers, Wizards, Bobcats, Hornets and Sonics/Thunder have always been on the receiving end of tax distributions.
While the Clippers, Wizards and Hornets have taken on salary during the 2012 offseason and the Thunder face tax issues if James Harden and Serge Ibaka are signed to new deals, the Bulls and Warriors continue to be tax conscious in their decision-making.
Golden State has just one playoff appearance over that stretch.
Blake Griffin injured his knee during Team USA’s Wednesday scrimmage and is returning to Los Angeles to be examined by team doctors.
Anthony Davis has been asked to return immediately to Las Vegas for training camp.
Griffin reportedly ‘twisted’ his knee and the extent of the injury is unclear.
Griffin will undergo an MRI as soon as possible.
The Brooklyn Nets’ persistent efforts to land Magic center Dwight Howard are getting close to paying off, according to sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Nets and Magic are cautiously optimistic that the Cavaliers and Clippers will help them facilitate a four-way trade that lands Howard in Brooklyn.
- The Nets would receive Howard, Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark in the proposed deal.
- The Magic would get Brook Lopez, Luke Walton, Damion James, Shelden Williams, Armon Johnson and three first-round picks — two from the Nets and a lottery protected first from the Clippers.
- The Cavaliers would get Kris Humphries, Quentin Richardson, Sundiata Gaines, a first round pick from the Nets and three million in cash. The Clippers would receive MarShon Brooks.
According to sources, the complicated deal is “almost done.”
LeBron James and Chris Paul are the closest of friends, but they will be at cross purposes over the next few days. They are recruiting against each other for the services of Ray Allen.
Allen has not ruled out re-signing with the Boston Celtics, who have made him a strong monetary offer, but signs are pointing to Allen choosing between James’ Miami Heat and Paul’s Los Angeles Clippers.
On Thursday, the Heat will host Allen for a visit as they try to persuade him to accept less money and perhaps a lesser role to join their bid to repeat as champions. Friday, Allen is scheduled to visit the Clippers, who have more money to offer and a clear role as the starting shooting guard.
The Los Angeles Clippers acquired Lamar Odom from the Dallas Mavericks as part of a four-team trade also involving the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets.
The Clippers sent point guard Mo Williams to the Jazz and the draft rights to Furkan Aldemir, the Clippers’ second round selection (53rd overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft to Houston while the Jazz conveyed the draft rights of Tadija Dragicevic, Utah’s second round pick (53rd overall) in the 2008 NBA Draft to Dallas.
To complete the trade, Dallas sent the draft rights of Shan Foster, the Mavericks’ second round selection (51st overall) in the 2008 NBA Draft to the Jazz with Houston sending cash considerations to Dallas.
The Utah Jazz have emerged as the potential third team in the Los Angeles Clippers’ ongoing trade discussions to acquire Lamar Odom from the Dallas Mavericks, according to sources close to the process.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Jazz are willing to take on Clippers guard Mo Williams in a three-team trade scenario that would send Odom to the Clippers and enable the Mavericks to shed Odom’s salary without taking back any salary.
The ball now is in Williams’ court. The trade cannot be completed unless Williams agrees to invoke his $8.5 million player option for next season by Saturday’s deadline, which means that the 29-year-old is essentially deciding if he wants to return to the Jazz — where he began his career in 2003-04 — or test free agency this summer.
The Los Angeles Clippers have engaged in trade discussions to bring Lamar Odom back to the L.A. team that drafted him, according to sources close to the situation.
Yet the deal, sources said, could hinge on the willingness of a third team to take on the contract of Clippers veteran guard Mo Williams, which would allow the Dallas Mavericks to send Odom to the Clippers with no significant money coming back to the Mavericks.
With a Friday deadline looming for the Mavericks to buy out the final year of Odom’s contract for $2.4 million, Dallas officials have green-lighted Odom’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, to try to find a new home for Odom this week via trade.
Dwight Howard still prefers a trade from the Magic, according to a source.
Orlando announced that the tenures of Stan Van Gundy and Otis Smith were over on Monday, but Howard still seeks a trade before the start of the season.
The Nets are considered the frontrunner, but “it is not going to be a one-horse race,” the source said.
The Mavericks and Knicks are also in the conversation, while the Lakers and Clippers are as well to a lesser extent.