Warriors

Report: Warriors among first three teams to land Durant meeting

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Report: Warriors among first three teams to land Durant meeting

The Golden State Warriors came up five points short of repeating as NBA champions this season. To even get to the NBA Finals, though, Golden State had to come back from a 3-1 deficit to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. 

"We’ll move on and try to get better – and we will do whatever it takes, within reason, to get better,” Warriors CEO Joe Lacob said to reporters on Tuesday, just days after the NBA Finals loss. 

Lacob mentioned no names of potential targets; that would be tampering. But the Warriors, have long made it clear they covet Durant.

And it appears they will be one of the first teams to get the chance to sit down with Durant. The Warriors, along with the Spurs and Thunder, will reportedly be the first teams to recruit Durant once free agency begins midnight of July 1, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

Durant's representatives at Roc Nation are also trying to lock up invitations to speak with Durant from the Celtics, Clippers and Heat, according to The Vertical.

Bringing Durant to Oakland would require serious financial moves, all of which the Warriors are willing to make. The luxury tax would not frighten Lacob, for he’s already paying it.

[POOLE: Analysis: Lacob, Warriors will do all they can to land Kevin Durant]

Durant was in Austin, Tex. Monday for the release of his latest shoe. He told reporters his decision, whether he stays with the only NBA team he’s ever known or departs, would be based not on market-size or profile.

“I’m worried about basketball,” he said. “That’s what it is for me. It’s a basketball decision.”

Once free agency begins, the Warriors reportedly plan to get Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, among other key figures, on a plane to an undisclosed location to meet with Durant, according to Stein.

[POOLE: Analysis: Can Warriors benefit from OKC trade of Ibaka?]

Durant, 27, has spent his whole nine-year career with one franchise. Durant spent his rookie year in Seattle after being drafted No. 2 overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the SuperSonics. After the franchise moved to Oklahoma City, his last eight seasons have been with the Thunder.

He has made seven straight NBA All-Star teams and was named the 2013-14 NBA MVP. As one of the top scoring threats in all of basketball, Durant has led the NBA in scoring four times.

For his career, Durant is averaging 27.4 points, which leads the NBA among all active players, and 7.0 rebounds per game.

In the Western Conference Finals, Durant averaged 30.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game as the Thunder fell to the Warriors.

DeMarcus Cousins didn't make debut vs. Pelicans for one specific reason

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USATSI

DeMarcus Cousins didn't make debut vs. Pelicans for one specific reason

Programming note: Watch DeMarcus Cousins and the Warriors take on the Clippers on Friday night at 7:30pm PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

DeMarcus Cousins isn't exactly on the best of terms with the New Orleans Pelicans organization. 

The four-time All-Star was hoping to re-sign with the franchise that traded for him back in February 2017, but things didn't work out. There is still some bad blood.

Cousins will make his Warriors debut on Friday against the Clippers. Apparently, he could have suited up against the Pelicans but opted to remain on the sideline.

[RELATEDDeMarcus Cousins' surgeon wants Warriors fans to know something important]

"I wasn’t going to return against them,” Cousins told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports before the Warriors' victory. “I didn’t because I didn’t’ want to give (the media) a storyline. Straight up. You can ask Bob (Myers) that.

"I didn’t want to give y’all a storyline. That’s why (my return) is Friday.”

Cousins is right in that if he made his debut against the Pelicans, the emotions would have been off the charts. He made the right decision to wait two extra days.

At his introductory press conference with the Warriors back in July, the big man implied that New Orleans GM Dell Demps didn't offer him a contract.

"I’m gonna put it like this: Only me and Dell Demps know what was said on the phone that night," Cousins declared. "We both know the truth. And I’ll leave it at that."

If you like drama, then mark April 9 on your calendar because that's when Cousins and the Warriors will face Anthony Davis and the Pelicans in New Orleans...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

DeMarcus Cousins' surgeon wants Warriors fans to know something important

DeMarcus Cousins' surgeon wants Warriors fans to know something important

Programming note: Watch DeMarcus Cousins and the Warriors take on the Clippers on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

In April 2012, Steph Curry underwent surgery on his right ankle. The surgeon was Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute.

In late January 2018, DeMarcus Cousins underwent surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon. The surgeon was ...

... Dr. Richard Ferkel, who certainly will be watching when the Warriors big man takes the floor Friday night in Los Angeles.

[RELATED: Cousins’ debut means Warriors will face 10 crucial questions]

He recently spoke with NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh about Cousins' rehab process and acknowledged that keeping the six-time All-Star's weight down has been a top priority.

"The stress they're putting on is a little different than for somebody who is a 6-foot point guard," Dr. Ferkel said. "It probably extends the rehab a bit longer in bigger people than in smaller people.”

Cousins isn't a small person, and at various points throughout his career, he has needed to shed some pounds. At this point, that isn't an issue because he truly looks to be in very solid shape -- not elite-level "game shape," but he definitely passes the eye test right now.

But Warriors fans shouldn't expect a seamless assimilation. It will take Cousins some time to shake off the rust and get fully comfortable. He'll have to adapt to the Warriors' high-octane pace and style.

“I think it’s important for people to understand that even if he’s released, we, as part of DeMarcus’ team, feel this current release (to play) is really the final phase of his rehabilitation," Dr. Ferkel added. "We’re not saying he’s 100 percent like he would be if he was uninjured.

"He’s done everything he can do but be in a game situation with elite players.”

Buckle up and enjoy the ride ...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller