Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant is not sure where he will be playing next season, according to his manager.

The 30-year-old, who is expected to become a free agent this offseason, has widely been linked to the Knicks and one rumour surfaced earlier this week that said he already had a handshake deal in place with New York.

But, Durant's manager, Rich Kleiman, said on Tuesday that was not the case.

"That is 100 per cent undecided," Kleiman said at the Wall Street Journal Future of Everything Festival.

"I'm waiting on Kevin. That's the truth. I think there's a feeling that this thing is like war games and everybody is playing chess years out. But, when somebody gets to the level of basketball that he's at, you can't juggle focus like that. There's so many things he's juggling. He's not scripting his future while he's playing the way he plays and practices the way he practices.

"I think it's frustrating, honestly, at times. But, I get it. I do get it … He really doesn't know and I really don't know."

Durant has not played since straining his calf in Golden State's Game 5 win over the Rockets in the second round.

The Warriors went on to close out Houston in six games before sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals.

"His health is good," Kleiman said. "When you have an injury that's real, and it's a real injury, for him, he's got to be Kevin Durant. He has about the highest pain threshold of someone I know, so, when he misses time, it's because the injury is real. It's a real injury and I hope we can see him next week, or two weeks from now."

The 10-time All-Star has won a pair of NBA titles, along with two Finals MVP awards, since he joined Golden State before 2016-17. He averaged 26 points and 6.4 rebounds for Golden State this season.

Golden State will play the winner of the series between the Bucks and Toronto Raptors for the championship. Milwaukee hold a 2-1 lead in that matchup heading into Game 4 on Tuesday.

John Beilein believes he has a great opportunity with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Beilein explained his decision to leave Michigan after 12 seasons to become the next coach of Cleveland at his introductory news conference on Tuesday.

"I left the greatest university in the world, a place that was special to [wife] Kathleen and I and our entire family to come to some place I think was equally as special," Beilein told reporters.

"I see a lot of the potential and the high, high ceiling with the Cavs organisation that I saw at the University of Michigan.

"I love the young roster. I love the draft picks and the potential we have for flexibility now and in the future. I texted Kathleen as we were interviewing a potential candidates at the combine and I just texted her, 'I love this'. I love being a part of this."

Beilein led the Wolverines to the NCAA Tournament nine times and reached the championship game twice during his time at the school.

But, he will take over a Cavaliers team that had much less success last season.

Cleveland were one of the worst teams in the NBA in 2018-19 and finished with a 19-63 record.

"Every single time that we've decided to do this, some people would say with every job, and probably with this one, 'What are you crazy? Why are you doing that?' And I say exactly that, opportunity and challenges go hand in hand," Beilein said.

"So, when we can be in these situations, it's so gratifying [to] turn a program [around].

"Rebuild is not a word we're going to use here, I saw it more as a renaissance. Look at all those banners up there. It's been done before. Why can't it be done again?"

The Cavaliers hold the fifth pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Draymond Green thinks the Golden State Warriors will need Kevin Durant to win another championship.

Golden State managed to complete a sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals even though Durant was sidelined with a calf strain.

Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins also missed the series as he continues to recover from a torn left quadriceps muscle.

But Green is eager for Durant to make his return, saying he made the Warriors unstoppable.

"There's been so much talk about how, 'Oh, they're the Warriors. Before Kevin got there, they were great.' Bull****," Green told ESPN.

"We was damn good. I think we were a very good team who was tough to beat. I think when Kevin came here, he made us unbeatable. When DeMarcus [Cousins] came here, it made people scratch their head even more.

“So, we need those guys. The next series is going to be tough, and I hope and pray that we can get [Durant] back."

Durant has not played since injuring his calf in Golden State's Game 5 win over the Houston Rockets in the second round.

The Warriors went on to close out Houston in six games before winning four straight against Portland. Andre Iguodala also missed Game 4 against the Trail Blazers with a leg injury.

"Our goal is obviously to get all three of those guys back," Green said.

"We know we're a good team with who we have, but those guys make us great and almost unbeatable. And we know we need [Durant]."

The Warriors will be playing for their third straight championship and fourth title in five seasons. Their lone finals loss during that stretch came to the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games in 2015-16. Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder and signed with Golden State that offseason.

Golden State will face the winner of the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors for the title.

Milwaukee hold a 2-1 lead in that matchup heading into Game 4 on Tuesday.

Dallas Mavericks swing man Luka Doncic and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young were unanimously selected to the 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie first team on Tuesday.

The pair were named on all 100 ballots from a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

Doncic, who turned 20 in February, averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game this season. Young, who also is only 20, averaged 19.1 points and 8.1 assists with 3.7 rebounds per game.

The All-Rookie first team was a mirror of the top five picks in the 2018 NBA Draft, as Doncic (drafted third overall) and Young (fifth) were joined by Phoenix Suns center and No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton, Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (second) and Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. (fourth).

Doncic, Young and Ayton are the finalists for the 2018-19 Rookie of the Year award.  The winner will be revealed June 24 at the 2019 NBA Awards in Los Angeles.

This marks the first time since the 1984-85 season that the top five picks in the previous NBA Draft were selected to the NBA All-Rookie first team. Thirty-four years ago, that NBA All-Rookie first team was Hakeem Olajuwon (No. 1 pick in 1984), Sam Bowie (No. 2), Michael Jordan (No. 3), Sam Perkins (No. 4) and Charles Barkley (No. 5).

The 2018-19 NBA All-Rookie second team consists of Los Angeles Clippers guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Landry Shamet, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton, New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson and Hawks guard Kevin Huerter.

Steve Kerr hopes the Golden State Warriors' fifth consecutive NBA Finals appearance does not go "unnoticed or underrated" as he emphasised the difficultly of the achievement.

Two-time reigning champions Golden State outlasted the Portland Trail Blazers 119-117 in overtime to claim a 4-0 series sweep in the Western Conference Finals.

With Monday's victory in Portland, the Warriors became the first team since the Boston Celtics in 1966 to reach five successive finals, and head coach Kerr hailed the feat.

"I hope it doesn't go unnoticed or underrated," Kerr told reporters. "Five straight finals hasn't been done since the 60s, since Bill Russell's Celtics. It hasn't been done for a reason: It's really, really difficult.

"I just can't say enough about the competitive desire of the group of players that we have here and the culture that they have built together. Playing together regardless of injury. Being without Kevin [Durant] these last five games has put us in a really tough spot and our guys stepped up in a big way.

"A couple years back, we were without Steph [Curry] for over a two-year period, I think he missed like 12 playoff games we won nine of them. So, the group has a fibre to them; where guys go down, they find a way to come together and compete and win.

"It starts defensively. If you can defend at a high level in the playoffs, you always have a chance. But I just think the experience of winning titles helps you in these moments and it helps you continue to move forward and come away with victories like tonight."

It was a historic night for the Warriors as Stephen Curry and Draymond Green became the first team-mates in playoff history to both record triple-doubles in the same game.

Curry posted 37 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, while Green had 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists to see the Warriors through to a showdown against the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors.

"They have been playing pick-and-roll together for five years, more than that, seven years and Draymond is an amazing playmaker and Steph is so lethal, he's going to draw a lot of attention," Kerr added.

"They have a lot of knack for working the pick-and-roll together, finding openings and then attacking. They are both great passers, as well.

"They are fun to watch. They are kind of made for each other from a basketball standpoint. You know, they have been doing this for a long time, so they have got a real feel for each other."

The Golden State Warriors became the first team since the Boston Celtics in 1966 to reach five consecutive NBA Finals.

Two-time reigning champions Golden State completed a 4-0 Western Conference Finals series sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers thanks to Monday's 119-117 overtime victory.

The Warriors are just the second team in league history to accomplish the feat, joining the Celtics – who reached the Finals in 10 straight years from 1957-66.

Golden State will be playing for their third successive championship and fourth title during the stretch.

The Warriors' lone Finals loss came to the Cleveland Cavaliers after seven games in 2015-16.

Golden State will face the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors.

Milwaukee hold a 2-1 lead in that matchup heading into Game 4 on Tuesday.

Draymond Green said he will pay to fly a reporter to the NBA Finals after the Golden State Warriors advanced to the championship decider for the fifth successive year.

Golden State's quest for a three-peat of titles continued after sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers 4-0 in the Western Conference Finals on Monday.

Green played a leading role in Portland, where the Warriors star had 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in the 119-117 overtime victory.

And Green called out one certain reporter during his post-game news conference.

"You were good luck today," three-time champion Green said before the reporter could finish his question.

The reporter then replied by asking if the Warriors would fly him out for the NBA Finals.

"Absolutely," Green responded. "… I'll pay for the ticket myself."

Laughter broke out in the news conference as Green insisted he would not pay for the reporter's hotel.

The Warriors will face either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals.

The Golden State Warriors are back in the NBA Finals for the fifth successive season at the expense of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Golden State completed a 4-0 sweep of the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals with a 119-117 overtime win in Game 4. 

Here are three takeaways from two-time defending champions Golden State's big win in Portland on Monday.

 

Leonard the X-factor nobody was ready for

Portland's Meyers Leonard had a career night against the Warriors.

The seventh-year center poured in 25 first-half points, which is more than he has ever scored in a game in the NBA or college. He finished with a team-high 30 points, 12 rebounds and knocked down five three-pointers in the contest.

Leonard's insertion into the starting line-up was essential to stretching Golden State's defense out, but it was not enough to prolong the series.

 

Curry has continued to step it up

Stephen Curry is on a roll.

The Warriors star has scored at least 30 points in his last five playoff games, but he took things up a notch on Monday, recording a triple-double.

Curry finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in Golden State's win, while team-mate Draymond Green tallied a triple-double of his own.

Two-time MVP Curry has been re-asserting his dominance as of late, which is a great sign for the Warriors – who have been playing without injured star Kevin Durant.

Curry did not sit for a single second after half-time on the road.

 

Golden State owned the boards

The Warriors took control of the rebounding battle, beating the Trail Blazers on the boards 56-38.

Golden State created plenty of second-chance opportunities, as they grabbed 15 offensive rebounds compared to Portland's six.

The Warriors will now await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors. Milwaukee enter Tuesday's Game 4 with a 2-1 series lead. 

Golden State Warriors pair Stephen Curry and Draymond Green became the first team-mates in NBA playoff history to both record triple-doubles in the same game.

Curry and Green made history as two-time reigning champions the Warriors swept the Portland Trail Blazers to reach the NBA Finals on Monday.

Warriors star Curry posted 37 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in Portland, where the Warriors outlasted the Trail Blazers 119-117 in overtime of the Game 4 Western Conference Finals clash.

Green, meanwhile, had 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. He made an impact defensively too, chipping in three steals and two blocks.

With the win, the Warriors advanced to their fifth successive NBA Finals. Golden State are just the second team in history to play in five consecutive Finals.

The Warriors will face the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors.

Milwaukee hold a 2-1 lead in that matchup heading into Game 4 on Tuesday.

The Golden State Warriors have reached their fifth successive NBA Finals after sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers. 

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka believes the team can win a NBA championship as soon as next season.

The Lakers missed the playoffs for the sixth successive season after finishing 2018-19 with a 37-45 record, despite the arrival of superstar LeBron James.

Los Angeles parted with head coach Luke Walton, while Magic Johnson stood down as president of the Lakers.

However, Pelinka is confident about the Lakers' future, especially after the franchise received the fourth pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

"I think if people take a look at where this franchise is right now," Pelinka told reporters on Monday. "We have a high draft pick. We have a great young core, maybe one of the best in the league.

"We have a superstar on our team, and an open slot. So, I think people can look at this as an opportunity to win a championship possibly next year."

The Lakers entered the season with high expectations after James left the Cavaliers and signed a four-year, $153.3million contract.

Los Angeles opened with a 20-14 record before James strained his groin on Christmas Day. He missed the next 17 games and the team never recovered.

Los Angeles also dealt with injuries to key role players — including Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma — throughout 2018-19.

"We know the characteristics and qualities we stand for," Pelinka said. "And we know as a staff and feel very strongly that if people judge and evaluate us for who we are as an organisation and the vision and path we have going forward, we feel there will be a very, very strong appeal for the great players to come here."

Magic Johnson, who shockingly stepped down from his position as the Lakers president of basketball operations before the team's final game of the season, blasted Pelinka and accused him of "backstabbing" during an interview with ESPN earlier on Monday.

Pelinka denied Johnson's accusations at the news conference — which was held to introduce new Lakers coach Frank Vogel.

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse believes Kawhi Leonard will be on the floor to face the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Leonard injured his leg early in Sunday's 118-112 double-overtime win, which saw the Raptors reduce the Bucks' series lead to 2-1.

However, Nurse expects Raptors star Leonard – who played 52 minutes in Game 3 – to feature against the Bucks in Toronto on Tuesday.

"I think the consensus today is he's tired, and he's got two days and will be ready to go," Nurse told reporters on Monday.

"Those are kind of the words coming out of his mouth. Little tired, but he'll get his rest, got two days, and he'll be ready."

Leonard appeared to suffer the injury after finishing a layup in the first half and was walking with a noticeable limp.

Despite the injury, Leonard scored 36 points on 11-of-25 shooting.

"I'm just confident in myself," Leonard told TNT. "My team-mates are confident in me. I just go out there and play. I can live with the results because I'm giving 110 per cent out there."

Leonard said he "was feeling alright" after the hard-fought victory on home court.

"This is playoff basketball," Leonard said. "Everybody is hurting. Just have to keep fighting."

Golden State Warriors veteran Andre Iguodala will miss Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals due to a calf injury.

Warriors head coach Kerr confirmed Iguodala's absence for Monday's showdown against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Iguodala was cleared of serious damage after undergoing an MRI exam on his left calf, but the 35-year-old remains on the sidelines.

He left Game 3 after feeling tightness in his left calf in the opening quarter of Saturday's 110-99 victory over the Trail Blazers.

The MRI exam came back negative, but he will not play when the two-time defending champions — who lead the series 3-0 — attempt to seal their spot in the NBA Finals.

Last week, Kerr said Alfonzo McKinnie is capable of stepping up if Iguodala is unavailable.

"We'll have to have more minutes from him, but we're confident he can do the job." Kerr said.

Stephen Curry echoed Kerr's sentiments.

"Injuries are a part of the game, but we have guys that are capable and can step up," Curry said. "It will require Alfonzo having a few more minutes, Jonas [Jerebko], J.B. [Jordan Bell] playing the solid basketball he did on Saturday night."

Magic Johnson revealed how an erosion of his power, plus the breakdown of his relationship with general manager Rob Pelinka, led to him leaving his role with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Johnson, a franchise legend having helped them win five NBA titles during his playing career, abruptly resigned as the team's president of basketball operations in April.

He said during an impromptu media conference at the time he was tired of the "backstabbing", something he explained in greater detail during an appearance on ESPN's First Take show on Monday.

Johnson identified Pelinka as the individual he was referring to, divulging how agents had called him to warn him about the Lakers' general manager, though he decided to give him a "fair shot".

"I started hearing, 'Magic's not working hard enough', 'Magic’s not in the office'. People around the Laker office were telling me Rob was saying things and I didn't like those things being said behind my back," he explained.

"I started getting calls from my friends outside of basketball saying those things were said to them outside of basketball, now not just in the Laker office. Now it's in the media and so on."

Despite the presence of LeBron James, the Lakers posted a 37-45 record as they finished 10th in the Western Conference.

With turmoil – and losses – mounting this season, Johnson said he reached a point where he felt the team needed to go in a different direction, leading to a situation with then-coach Luke Walton that he described as "the straw that broke the camel's back".

"I wanted to fire Luke Walton," he said. "We had three meetings. I showed [controlling owner Jeanie Buss] the things he did well and then the things he didn't do well. I said, 'Listen we got to get a better coach'. I like him, he's great, former Laker, the whole thing.

"So, the first day: 'Well, let's think about it'. The second day: 'Okay, you can fire him'. Then, the next day: 'No, we should try to work it out'.

"So when we went back and forth like that and then she brought [Lakers chief operating officer] Tim Harris to the meeting ...and Tim wanted to keep him because he's friends with Luke. Luke's a great guy, great guy. So when I looked up I said, 'Wait a minute'. I only really answer to Jeanie Buss and now I've got Tim involved. I said, 'It's time for me to go'.

"I've got things happening, that's being said behind my back, and I don't have the power that I thought I had to make the decisions. And I [had] told them when it's not fun for me and when I think I don't have the decision-making power I thought I had, then I've got to step aside."

After Johnson's sudden departure, the Lakers announced they would not fill the team president role. Walton, meanwhile, was fired after the team missed out on the playoffs.

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