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Durant talks rehab, free agent Aldridge changing teams

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Durant talks rehab, free agent Aldridge changing teams

Not sure how everyone spent their July 4 weekend. Kevin Durant spent part of his at the Orlando Pro Summer League watching basketball while wearing a t-shirt that read "High. Volume. Scorer." The Oklahoma City Thunder star also spoke with members of the media. Here are some of things Durant said about recovering from his surgically repaired foot and his own free agency one year from now:

On his right foot that underwent surgery three times since October including a season-ending procedure on March 31 (via The Oklahoman)

“We’re close to Phase 3 now,” Durant happily reported. “A three-phase rehab. It’s going well. I’m jumping when I’m shooting. I’m not quite running and cutting yet but I’m almost there. So it’s going well. I’m excited.” Durant said he’s still on track to be cleared for full basketball activities sometime next month, and barring any setbacks the 2014 MVP should be a go by opening night.

What's he doing in Central Florida (Note - The Thunder have an entry in the Orlando league, but stars of Durant's magnitude don't often show):

“These are my two off days, so I just tried to get out and see some basketball and check out the guys."

On free agent LaMarcus Aldridge's decision to leave Portland (via ESPN)

"You could kind of tell once this whole thing started that he was trying to go somewhere else," Durant said of Aldridge, who signed with the Spurs for four years and $80 million. "But in those decisions, man, you've just got to respect the guy for making a decision that was right for him. I know a lot of fans were probably upset in Portland with the decision. But at this point of your life and your career, you've got to focus on you."

Durant lauded LeBron James' decision to return to Cleveland during last year's free agency after a four-year stint in Miami. "I said this last year when Mr. James made his decision," Durant said. "It was pretty cool to see a guy do what he wants to do and not worry about what everybody thinks."

On facing his own free agency decision in the summer of 2016:

Rumors have swirled about Durant leaving the Thunder once his contract ends in 2016. Durant has spent his entire career as part of the franchise -- he played one year in Seattle before the team moved to Oklahoma City -- but because he was born in Washington, D.C., many think he might return home to the Washington Wizards. The New York Knicks and the Miami Heat are rumored to be in the mix as well.

Durant, however, said he isn't thinking about next year. "No, I haven't thought about it," he told ESPN. "I hear it all the time, but I really am just focusing on rehab. I can't get there unless I take care of today. That's the way I look at it even though I hear it from every side, thinking past to next summer. But I'm not even trying to focus on that."

The opening five days of 2015 free agency, particularly the first 72 hours, were all kinds of wild and that's without a star of Durant's magnitude. The summer of 2016 is going to be a wild and crazy time.

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Jeff Green happy to reunite with head coach Scott Brooks on Wizards

Jeff Green happy to reunite with head coach Scott Brooks on Wizards

The city of Washington, where he grew up near and was a star in college at Georgetown University, isn't the only factor that makes joining the Wizards familiar for Jeff Green. He is also reuniting with his former coach, Scott Brooks, who now leads the Wizards.

Long ago, Brooks was cutting his teeth on the sidelines while Green was finding his way on the court. When Green was a rookie on the Seattle Supersonics in 2007, Brooks was a 42-year-old assistant coach. The team moved to Oklahoma City the following year and by late November of 2008, Brooks was the head coach after P.J. Carlesimo was fired.

Brooks helped oversee Green's first four seasons as an NBA player and Green remembers those days well.

"He looked way better than he does now," Green joked.

Brooks, now 53, has a knack for taking playful shots at those he works with, whether that be players, fellow coaches or the media. Green is clearly on that level and feels comfortable ribbing his head coach, knowing he can both dish it out and take it.

All jokes aside, Green is still appreciative of the tutelage he received from Brooks back in the day.

"Scotty was my No. 1 guy, he’s always been, but when I first stepped foot on an NBA floor, he was there for me. He was a coach with Seattle when I first got into the league," Green said.

The NBA has taken Brooks and Green to very different places in the seven years since they split ways. Green left for the Celtics and has since played for the Grizzlies, Clippers, Magic and most recently the Cavaliers. Brooks stuck around with OKC through the 2014-15 season before he was let go. After taking a year off, he joined the Wizards.

Much has changed in Brooks and Green's lives. They have lost and gained jobs. Their families have grown. Now, they are back on the same team and Green is excited about it.

"We’ve been close and tight ever since. We never lost contact. So, I’m looking forward to being coached by him again. I know he’s going to put us all in great positions to succeed. We just have to do our part on the floor," Green said.

Green spoke with Brooks on the phone before deciding to sign with the Wizards as a free agent in July. His presence was one of the many reasons he felt Washington was a good fit.

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NBA MVP odds are out, with some names missing

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NBA MVP odds are out, with some names missing

Bovada's 2018-19 NBA MVP odds were released, and there's a few head-scratchers on the list. 

First, let's keep in mind that these odds are to get you to place a bet more than anything. They want you to see something, and tempt you to throw your money at it.

That being said, John Wall comes in tied for 14th, while Bradley Beal doesn't show up on the list.

Now, let's look at who else was on the list over Beal.

Lonzo Ball has 100/1 odds to win MVP, DeMarcus Cousins who is still recovering from a torn Achilles, and  Kristaps Porzingis, recovering from a torn ACL also appear over Beal.

Just thinking out loud here, but that seems like maybe a bit of a stretch right?

Porzingis may not play at all for the Knicks this coming season, and Cousins is expected to miss months before making his debut in Golden State. 

Cousins also plays on a team with Steph Curry (15/1) and Kevin Durant (9/1). 

Also missing from the odds was Klay Thompson. So, yeah. 

New Raptor Kawhi Leonard also comes in at 11/1. 

2018-2019 - NBA MVP - Odds to Win

LeBron James                        10/3
Anthony Davis                         4/1
Giannis Antetokounmpo        9/2
James Harden                         11/2
Kevin Durant                            9/1
Kawhi Leonard                        11/1
Russell Westbrook                  14/1
Stephen Curry                         15/1
Joel Embiid                              16/1
Kyrie Irving                               16/1
Ben Simmons                           35/1
Damian Lillard                          45/1
Karl-Anthony Towns                50/1
DeMar DeRozan                       80/1
John Wall                                  80/1
Donovan Mitchell                     85/1
Jimmy Butler                            100/1
Nikola Jokic                              100/1
Victor Oladipo                          100/1
Chris Paul                                 100/1
LaMarcus Aldridge                   125/1
Paul George                              125/1
DeMarcus Cousins                   150/1
Gordon Hayward                      150/1
Jayson Tatum                           175/1
Blake Griffin                              225/1
Devin Booker                            275/1
Kristaps Porzingis                    275/1
Kyle Lowry                                325/1
Lonzo Ball                                 450/1

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