Not a lot happened around the NBA over the weekend. It shouldn’t be a surprise; August is generally the slowest month on the NBA calender.
News broke late Friday afternoon that Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant is dropping out of the FIBA World Cup. Durant cited fatigue as the reason for his sudden exit, and it’s been tough for many to take the superstar forward at his word in the wake of Paul George‘s gruesome injury just one week prior while scrimmaging with Team U.S.A.
The squad is certainly in a tough spot at this point, as it looks as though they’ll be short all of the top-flight superstars that they were originally expected to have. The team should still be the favorites in the upcoming tournament, but the edge over Spain is very slight at this point in time.
University of Kansas head coach Bill Self had a few comments regarding Andrew Wiggins’ apparent pending involvement in a trade to the Timberwolves, and they were largely positive. Via ESPN.com:
“When all this trade stuff started, I talked to Andrew and Andrew told me, ‘I hope I get traded,’” Self said. “And I’m like, ‘No you don’t.’ And he said, ‘Coach, I do. It’s better for me, knowing my personality and what I need to do, to go somewhere where I’m forced to be something as opposed to going in there where they’re going to be patient with me and I’m going to be a piece.’”
Earlier this week, ESPN.com and several other outlets reported a deal has been reached to send Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round pick to Minnesota for All-Star forward Kevin Love, who will join LeBron James andKyrie Irving to form a new “Big 3″ in Cleveland.
The deal cannot be consummated until Aug. 23, when Wiggins is eligible to be traded.
Self said that he initially thought everything worked out perfectly for Wiggins, who would have a chance to win immediately in Cleveland. But he also saw Wiggins’ point: The low-key, soft-spoken swingman could fare better if he’s carrying the weight of a franchise.
That would never have happened if Wiggins was playing in James’ lengthy shadow.
“Even though in a weird way everybody would love the opportunity to play with LeBron because you’re guaranteed winning,” Self said, “for the longevity of his career, he needs to develop that mindset to be the guy, for him to be great, and I think being Minnesota will help him do that.”
It’s an interesting perspective, and it seems to make a lot of sense. It’s not really all that newsworthy, but such is the NBA landscape in early August.
We’ll have a couple feature columns later on in the day. Enjoy your Monday.