Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant is unlikely to play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday against either the Toronto Raptors or Milwaukee Bucks.
May 4, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) dribbles the ball past Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker (17) during the second quarter in game three of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Durant has missed the past five games with a right calf injury and he told reporters on Friday that he was initially worried that he had torn his Achilles tendon.
“I’ve seen the clip on the screen and it’s like ‘That’s the Achilles, that’s the Achilles,’ “ Durant told reporters. “Obviously, everybody is going to be a little nervous until someone reassured me that it’s not.”
The news was better for Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala (left calf) and big man DeMarcus Cousins (quadriceps). Coach Steve Kerr said Iguodala will be available for Game 1. Cousins scrimmaged on Friday and also has a chance at being ready for the opener.
—The NBA free agency period will open six hours earlier this summer, the league and the National Basketball Players Association announced.
Teams and free agents now will be able to open their negotiations on June 30 at 6 p.m. ET instead of July 1 at 12:01 a.m. The two sides may talk solely to schedule meetings beginning June 29 at 6 p.m. ET but can’t talk numbers until 24 hours later.
The 2019 free-agent class has a number of big-name players, including Golden State stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard (Toronto), Kemba Walker (Charlotte), Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler (Philadelphia), Kyrie Irving (Boston) and Khris Middleton (Milwaukee).
—The Portland Trail Blazers and president of basketball operations Neil Olshey agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with the team through the end of the 2023-24 season, ESPN reported.
Olshey, 54, joined the team as general manager in June 2012 and was promoted in 2015. The Trail Blazers have made the playoffs six consecutive seasons and advanced to the Western Conference finals this season for the first time since 2000.
Olshey’s first task will be to secure the Portland futures of guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, both of whom he selected in the draft.
—Field Level Media