Warriors

NBA rumors: Kyrie Irving, Nets 'motivated' to move quickly on contract

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NBA rumors: Kyrie Irving, Nets 'motivated' to move quickly on contract

The Brooklyn Nets' dream scenario this offseason is to land free agents Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

It appears the Nets are close to achieving half of their goal, and that could be bad news for the Warriors.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday, through a league source, that Irving and the Nets are "motivated to move quickly toward reaching a 4-year, $141M deal" after NBA free agency opens.

Now the Nets can turn their attention to Durant. On Friday, Wojnarowski reported, through league sources, that Durant is planning to engage with four teams when free agency starts, and the Nets are one of them.

So, the Nets will have a chance to make their pitch to Durant to join Irving in Brooklyn.

For months, there have been rumblings that Irving has been trying to recruit Durant to Brooklyn. According to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, Irving even flew to the Bay Area during the playoffs to meet with the two-time NBA Finals MVP while he was rehabbing his right calf strain.

Durant likely will miss the entire 2019-20 season while recovering from Achilles surgery, so if he does pick Brooklyn, Irving will have to play at least one season without his friend.

With Brooklyn moving toward an agreement to bring Irving on board, that means All-Star D'Angelo Russell will have to find a new home. Wojnarowski reported, through league sources, that the Lakers have reached out to Russell's agents and the sides have “mutual interest in a reunion."

As for the Warriors, they are half way to achieving their dream goal of keeping Durant and All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson. League sources confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole on Saturday that the Warriors and Thompson will reach an agreement on a max contract.

[RELATED: Warriors realized Klay was worth max]

Will the idea of playing with Irving be a bigger draw to Durant than remaining with Thompson, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala? We'll find out in the next couple of days.

Why NBA's new tampering proposal won't stop players from recruiting

Why NBA's new tampering proposal won't stop players from recruiting

The NBA is a players' league. 

For nearly a decade, the league at large has been trying to curtail that notion. In the latest effort, the NBA has proposed new rules, including a fine of $10 million for teams caught tampering with potential free agents, according to a league memo obtained by ESPN. 

The proposal comes two months after $1.4 billion in contract terms were agreed to 90 minutes into free agency, all but proving teams and players had agreements prior to the June 30 moratorium period. Such players included Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, who were reported to have agreed to terms with the Brooklyn Nets hours before free agency period began. 

Nine years ago, LeBron James sat in the Boys and Girls Club in Greenwich, Conn. and -- with the sports world in the palm of his hand -- announced his intention to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat, marking the biggest shift to player empowerment since Curt Flood fought for MLB free agency in the 1970s. The move opened the door for players to determine their own futures on a level not seen, to the point that even the league's newest overtures won't help. 

The NBA's latest attempt to stifle player movement is wide-ranging. According to the memo obtained by ESPN, the proposal includes prohibiting players from influencing other players to request trades and random audits on teams to "assess compliance." Additionally, a requirement would be put in place that requires teams to report any instance of a player or representative asking for extra benefits within 24 hours. 

The NBA's newest proposal is in response largely to the recent open recruiting of free agents from former Lakers executive Magic Johnson. In 2017, Johnson alluded to his recruitment of upcoming free agent Paul George during an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Paul, then a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, was considering the Lakers in free agency. Though rules forbid Magic to openly recruit George, he did so anyway. 

“We going to say hi because we know each other, you just can’t say, ‘Hey, I want you to come to the Lakers,’" Johnson said. "Even though I’ll be wink-winking like, ‘You know what that means, right?’”

Johnson was fined a league-record $500,000 and George signed with the Thunder. Though the league's proposal is aimed at curtailing further actions like Johnson's, it does little to help with player-on-player recruitment. Thirteen years ago -- during the 2006 World Championships -- Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, each a member of a different team, openly pondered the idea of playing together. Each signed short-term deals with their teams to become free agents in 2010, subsequently signing with the Heat in free agency. 

Will the new rules actually prohibit players from doing it again? Probably not. 

No rules are going to stop a player's will under the current landscape. Take Kevin Durant's free agency this summer. Before signing, Durant hadn't met with any executive nor toured any of the Brooklyn Nets facilities, but said he wanted to sign regardless. 

[RELATED: Durant still searching for what slipped from time with Warriors]

The biggest proposal would be for teams to self-report any agent asking for extra benefits. Not sure that could work, considering teams would run the risk of turning off top-flight talent by outing a player's inner circle. 

The NBA is now a player's league, thanks to LeBron James, and even with the current set of rules in place, it doesn't seem like that power struggle will be changing anytime soon. 

Ex-Warrior Andre Iguodala planned to be math teacher before NBA career

Ex-Warrior Andre Iguodala planned to be math teacher before NBA career

Andre Iguodala has made a respectful name for himself in the NBA.

Across eight seasons, he’s helped lead the Warriors to three NBA championships and earned Finals MVP honors during the 2014-15 championship over the Cavaliers.

But was this always his dream? To be a well-known name in a professional sport? 

Not necessarily. 

Believe it or not, Iguodala figured he would be a teacher when he grew up.

“I come from a small town [Springfield, Illinois], and no one knew who I was,” Iguodala told Fast Company’s Claire Miller. “I thought I would go to college and become a math teacher. I remember joking around in practice and my coach was like, “You know there are NBA scouts here,” and I said, “What does that have to do with me?” He said, “Well, who do you think they’re here to see?”

That humbleness remained throughout his career. He mentioned he received advice at one point from a coach who said to take more shots than pass, but as a team player, he’s happy to be more of a distributor.

The Warriors traded Iguodala to the Grizzlies in July in order to clear enough cap space to sign D'Angelo Russell via sign-and-trade, but Warriors owner Joe Lacob has maintained that Iguodala's No. 9 will hang from the rafters someday at Chase Center.

[RELATED: Warriors reveal jerseys ahead of 2019-20 season]

But just imagine … Andre Iguodala, the math teacher. Crazy. Err, Mr. Iguodala. Perhaps Professor Iguodala? 

It appears the journey he chose is working for him just fine, however.