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Kevin Durant Closing In On 20k Points

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant has been sidelined from an calf injury, but he has a chance to make history with his return. Durant is 25 points shy of scoring 25,000 points before the age 30. If he does it on Wednesday, he would become the second youngest player to do it behind Lebron James.

The Warriors All-Star forward spoke to ESPN about the opportunity to join  Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan as the only players do it.

“Man, that’s some great company, and there’s so many names I never thought I’d be in the same conversation with,” Durant said. “But to know — to have it in numbers, in black and white — to know that you belong in that group is pretty special to me. I’m telling you, man, it’s never been a goal of mine to count how many points I have. That’s not why I play the game. To be under 30 and do it, that’s special to me too. You play in this league for so long, and having an opportunity to do something like this at this age, you just can’t take it for granted, because there’s not too many players on that list.”

Durant went on to say he never envisioned making it to this milestone.

“I had one goal when I came into the league, and that was for me to win Rookie of the Year, and I just kept building after that,” he said. “My second year, I wanted to average 25. Every year I had a goal, but I never envisioned me with 20,000 points, 30,000 points. I was just taking it a day at a time, just trying to lock in, stay in the moment, and here I am.”

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Carmelo Anthony Will Sign With The Houston Rockets

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Carmelo Anthony will be an official free agent once he is waived by the Atlanta Hawks.

On Thursday, the Oklahoma City Thunder agreed to trade Anthony and a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks as part of a three-team deal that netted them point guard Dennis Schroder, per ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Hawks intend to pay Anthony his entire $27.9 million salary for next season as part of the buyout.

According to Turner Sports’ David Aldridge, Anthony “has been telling people for more than a week that he’ll ultimately wind up with the Rockets.”

Anthony will join Chris Paul and James Harden with the Houston Rockets. The Miami Heat and Los Angles Lakers were among the teams that were also interested in Melo.

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NFL Halts Policy To Penalize Players For Kneeling During The Anthem

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The NFL and NFLPA have come to an agreement to not to enforce the rule change to penalize players for taking a knee.

In May, the NFL unilaterally instituted a new policy surrounding the national anthem that would punish players and teams for kneeling as away to protest police brutality against people of color.  Which was a complete change in direction from their stance in October 2017.

The league and the NFL Players Association issued a joint statement Thursday that said “no new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks” while both sides continue to hold discussions to figure out how to move forward.

“The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue,” the joint statement said. “In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy.

“The NFL and NFLPA reflect the great values of America, which are repeatedly demonstrated by the many players doing extraordinary work in communities across our country to promote equality, fairness and justice. Our shared focus will remain on finding a solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation.”

Players around the league were not happy with the leagues’ policy change. At least this move allows more discussions and won’t allow teams to suspend players.

 

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Kawhi Leonard Traded To The Raptors

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The Kawhi Leonard era in San Antonio is officially over.

The San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors agreed to a deal in principle that would involve a swap of All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday.

Wojnarowski reported Leonard and Danny Green will head to Toronto in exchange for DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round draft pick. Toronto’s first-round pick to San Antonio is a protected 1-20 selection. After one year, it becomes two second-round picks.

Per Wojnarowski, the first-round pick is protected for the 20th overall selection and above, and after a year, it will turn into two second-round draft choices.

Toronto would be able to offer Leonard a five-year, $190 million contract next summer. If Leonard left the Raptors, he could sign a four-year, $141 million deal with a team with the available salary-cap space.

Kawhi has already made his intentions known to head back to Cali when he hits free agency. So this move is likely only stop gap.

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