Warriors

Kevin Durant mum on details of hushed conversation with LeBron James

Kevin Durant mum on details of hushed conversation with LeBron James

LeBron James is in desperate need of another star to join him in Los Angeles, and not just for "Space Jam 2."

James and the Lakers drastically underperformed during his first year donning purple and gold. Despite getting off to a decent start through the first two months of the season, injuries, poor chemistry and an odd roster derailed the Lakers' season, forcing James to miss the playoffs for the first time since his second season in the league.

With a number of stars including, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving, set to hit free agency this summer, James surely will be trying to recruit some of the NBA's best to join him in Tinseltown.

So it's only natural that when TNT cameras caught James and Durant whispering during a timeout in the Warriors' win over the Lakers, the internet went nuts.

If you ask Durant, though, the conversation was much ado about nothing. But that doesn't mean he's going to tell you what they talked about. 

“Everybody wants to know what we’re talking about,” Durant said. “It wasn’t even that serious. Just laughing and joking and catching up.”

Durant is expected to opt out of his contract at the end of the season, and many believe he'll depart the Bay Area, with the Lakers, Knicks, Clippers and Nets seen as possible landing spots. 

With his offseason plans unknown, media members and fans will continue to dissect Durant's every move, and he knows that.

“Everybody is so interested, especially in LeBron. So whoever he talks to, the lipreaders are going to try to figure that out,” Durant said. “You guys are infatuated with that whole thing. It’s fun. People try to figure it out.”

It's likely that Durant and James were just catching up and not hatching some plan to revive the Lakers.

While the Lakers do have the cap space to sign a max free agent this summer, the possibility of Durant leaving the Warriors to join James and the rest of the young Lakers seems unlikely. Earlier this season, Durant called the environment around James "toxic" due to the amount of media attention the superstar commands. The two-time NBA Finals MVP also has been vocal in the past about his desire to be seen as the best player in the NBA, and while James had an injury-plagued season in LA, he's still seen as the NBA's marquee talent. Joining him to win a title in LA likely wouldn't help Durant's desire to be elevated above King James.

[RELATED: Warriors rounding into championship form at the perfect time]

If Durant does leave the Warriors, many believe he will join the Knicks, potentially along with Irving, to try to bring a title to one of the NBA's big-name franchises.

Of course, it still seems far-fetched that the 30-year-old star will leave the Warriors, especially if they win another NBA title this season. Coming back to try and four-peat seems like his best option, but there are some who can't resist the glitz of New York or LA.

But until Durant signs on the dotted line this summer, whispers about the Knicks and Lakers will continue to swirl around the Warriors star.

Warriors' Shaun Livingston in no hurry to make decision on retirement

Warriors' Shaun Livingston in no hurry to make decision on retirement

It's been 11 days since the Warriors' season came to an end with their Game 6 loss to the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals.

So what's next for Golden State guard Shaun Livingston?

"I'm letting everything breathe," Livingston said to Warriors.com before bursting into laughter. "Let it all breathe and just kind of see where the summer goes.

"But no coordinated plans."

He's not in a hurry to make a decision?

"No. Not in a hurry."

You might be asking yourself: What decision lies ahead of Livingston?

Back in early April, he told Anthony Slater of The Athletic that he was contemplating retirement at the end of the season.

The third year of the contract he signed back in July 2017 -- the 2019-20 season -- is worth $7.7 million. But the Warriors will owe him only $2 million if they waive him before the end of business on June 30.

If the Dubs do part ways with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, he will be an unrestricted free agent and can sign anywhere.

Or, he could choose to hang up the shoes for good.

"Going to another organization at this point? It doesn’t sound like the greatest thing to do," Livingston said to The Athletic. "It would just have to be somewhere, to me, that made sense.

"Somewhere warm, somewhere close, that maybe the family would want to be in. But that’s a conversation for the summer."

[RELATEDWhy Iguodala believes KD, Klay will re-sign with Warriors]

June 30 is six days away, so it's a conversation that Livingston could be having with his family as early as next week.

Then again, it's a talk that won't take place if the Warriors decide to keep the 33-year-old on the roster as the franchise moves to Chase Center.

We will have some clarity soon.

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Warriors draft pick Eric Paschall has shades of Draymond Green in him

Warriors draft pick Eric Paschall has shades of Draymond Green in him

OAKLAND -- Within minutes of being drafted by the Warriors last Thursday night, Eric Paschall received a text message from one of his new teammates. That it came from Draymond Green is startlingly appropriate.

Not only because both fit the definition of an undersized power forward. Or that both displayed relentless energy at elite college programs. Or that both played the maximum four years in college. Or that both were drafted by the Warriors -- in the second round.

As much as those factors matter, there is reason to believe the Warriors hope to groom Paschall to become Green’s replacement. There’s no way to know how long such a process will take, or even if it will come to pass, but it has to be the plan because one other similarity is too evident to ignore.

They both obsess over slights. Green still can recall, with more annoyance than bitterness, the 34 players selected before him in the 2012 draft. That same attitude surfaces when Paschall recalls being 15th on a list of New York prep players six years ago.

“I can remember most of them,” he said Monday, after the Warriors introduced their rookies. “I’m not going to say them. But I remember where I had that picture, where I had that list, and I remember most of those guys.”

A little research determined Paschall was ranked 16th among players with New York City roots coming out of high school, 55th among players in the Northeast and 65th among all prep power forwards.

On another list, he was ranked as the 25th-best power forward in the class of 2014. For comparison’s sake, Kevon Looney was No. 2 and Jordan Bell was No. 14.

Mostly ignored by schools from power conferences, Paschall landed at Fordham under coach Tom Pecora. Paschall, as a 6-foot-6 guard, made 27 starts and led the Rams in scoring (15.9 points per game). He was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year.

But when Pecora was fired, Paschall wanted out. His freshman season at Fordham was impressive enough to allow him to upgrade to Villanova, a regular in the NCAA Tournament, coached by Jay Wright.

“When I said I was going to go to Villanova, a lot of people said I shouldn’t go there,” Paschall recalled. “I did. And feel like I made the most of that situation. But they felt like I wouldn’t play. Some people felt like I wasn’t good enough to play there.

“That’s how my whole life has been.”

Green is legendary for his need to prove he belongs. Paschall sees himself as cut from similar cloth.

“I’ve always been the underdog -- my whole life,” he said. “I always try to keep that chip on my shoulder, just to keep myself going. I’ve always felt like I’ve been overlooked. And whomever gives me an opportunity, I try to make the most of it.”

Paschall’s father, Juan, recalls that being the case in high school and AAU basketball. The slights always had to be proven wrong.

“I definitely saw that in him, and it sticks with him today,” Juan Paschall said. “He’s always been somewhat of an underdog. Even when he played in high school, and he was the New York state Class B Player of the Year, it was ‘because he was playing at a small school.’ “

NCAA men’s basketball gets no better than Villanova. The Wildcats won two of the last four National Championships, with Paschall forced to watch as a redshirt transfer in 2016 before being an integral member of the group that cut down the nets in 2018.

The kid that wasn’t good enough kept piling up proof to the contrary. He owned the weight room and now stood 6-8, 250 pounds. He made 38 starts as a junior at ‘Nova. In a 95-79 win over Kansas in the national semifinal, Paschall was nearly perfect, scoring 24 points on 10-of-11 shooting. He was named to the Final Four All-Tournament team.

As a senior last season, Paschall started all 36 games, averaging 16.5 points and 6.1 rebounds at power forward and was a unanimous selection to the All-Big East First Team.

“I don’t think people realize what he had to go through to get here,” Juan Paschall said, ticking off his son’s journey. “And then, after all of that, being drafted 41st. We did not think he’d go that low.

“But the blessing is that ended up going to the Golden State Warriors. There couldn’t be a better fit. A lot of NBA teams are playing “iso” ball. Golden State does not. In fact, they used to say that Villanova plays like Golden State.”

[RELATED: Here are 10 players Dubs could target to help next season]

The hope is that Paschall can contribute as a rookie. At 22, he’s considered mature. At 6-8, 250, he’s considered physical. His energy level is considered Draymond-esque.

“He’s a very animated guy, and I really like that,” Paschall said of Green. “I like his tenacity. I like his character. I like how he’s just always fired up. I definitely want to mimic him, for sure.”