Kevin Durant’s impending free agency hovered over the Thunder’s season from training camp up until their elimination in the Western Conference finals, but general manager Sam Presti credited Durant on Monday with controlling the noise and speculation about his future.
“I also think Kevin deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the way he’s handled his affairs, because what it really did was it allowed our team to focus on the season and really made the season we had possible,” Presti said. “I thought it was a tremendous example of a franchise player putting the franchise first. I thought it was also a tremendous example of leadership on his part, because we’re not able to have that season unless he’s handling his affairs the way that he did.”
Source: Royce Young of ESPN
Sources: Jameer Nelson Signs 1-Year Deal With Pelicans
Free-agent guard Jameer Nelson has agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources told The Vertical.
Nelson entered free agency Wednesday, when the Denver Nuggets waived him to create roster space to sign Richard Jefferson and allow second-year guard Jamal Murray to assume the starting point-guard role.
Source: Shams Charania of The Vertical
Bobby Portis Apologizes to Bulls for Mirotic Fight
Bobby Portis has apologized to his Bulls teammates for getting into a fight that left Nikola Mirotic with facial fractures and a concussion. “He didn’t address us today, but he did address the team before so that was taken care of,” Bulls swingman Justin Holiday said after Friday’s practice.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg acknowledged that Portis’ apology took place during a team meeting but did not want to go into specific details about his message. “I’ll keep that between the team,” Hoiberg said, “as far as exactly what was said in that meeting.”
Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN
Joel Embiid Still Not Cleared for Back-to-Back Games
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid said he has not been cleared to play back-to-back games and does not expect to be in the lineup Saturday at Toronto.
Embiid was in the starting lineup for the home opener Friday night against the Boston Celtics, scoring 11 points to go along with 14 rebounds in 28 minutes as Philadelphia lost 102-92. Asked after Friday’s game if he was OK with not playing Saturday night, Embiid replied, “Um I’m not OK with it but we have a plan in place and we have to follow it.”