The Latest on the start of NBA free agency (all times EDT):
Wayne Ellington is entering free agency hoping for a speedy resolution.
And although he expects calls from many teams, he’s still seeking a return to the Miami Heat.
Ellington set a Heat record with 227 3-pointers last season, even though he was playing mostly as a reserve. He’ll be due a raise from his $6 million salary from a year ago, and that could be a challenge for Miami, which is trying to avoid paying a luxury tax.
“The faster the better,” Ellington said Saturday, when asked how soon he’d like to know his future. “The easier, the smoother, the faster, the better.”
Ellington averaged a career-high 11.2 points last season.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin says the NBA’s salary cap and luxury-tax figures aren’t to be overlooked as free agency opens.
The league released its cap and tax numbers Saturday night for the coming season, and they’re slightly higher than some teams may have expected. Plus, cap numbers for 2019-20 and beyond are also a bit more than what’s been projected.
“It’s a really significant amount of money,” Griffin said, in his role as an analyst on NBA TV.
A person familiar with the situation says that Kevin Durant will sign a two-year contract to remain with the Golden State Warriors, with the caveat that the deal will have an option and allow him to return to free agency next summer.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Saturday because the deal cannot be signed until Friday.
It is a win for the two-time defending NBA champion Warriors on several levels. Not only do they get to keep the 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals MVP, but they also get some financial flexibility in the deal.
Durant will be paid $30.5 million this coming season, about $5 million less than he could have commanded if the deal was structured differently. That savings will give Golden State options for other moves this summer.
The New York Times first reported Durant’s intention to sign the deal.
— AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds