Kevin Durant swapped the Golden State Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets because he loves the "system", according to general manager Sean Marks.

Durant joined the Nets via free agency after winning two championships and two NBA Finals MVPS with the Warriors.

Recovering from an Achilles injury sustained in the Finals defeat to the Toronto Raptors, Durant thought highly of Brooklyn and their style of play, which is one of the reasons he chose the Nets over other suitors in free agency.

Marks told WFAN on Tuesday that in his first conversation with Durant after the announcement, the star said: "I love the system. I love how you guys play. I see how hard you guys play ... you were never out of games. We could never take you guys lightly."

Marks stood by the fact he did not know Durant's choice to join the Nets until he announced it on Instagram just a few minutes after free agency began on June 30. 

"What we knew was we were either getting a teleconference call with Kevin that night or we were going to potentially get a meeting," Marks said.

"We'd seen some media reports earlier in the day that Kevin had crossed several teams off his list and we were still one of them [being considered]. And those reports were there for everybody to read. And when Kevin posted it on The Boardroom Instagram site, that was news to all of us in the office."

Marks remains excited about the addition of Durant, despite him recovering from an injury that will likely have him sidelined for the upcoming season. Brooklyn also signed Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan.

Irving joined Durant after he opted out of his deal with the Boston Celtics following a number of reports surfaced about the turmoil he faced at TD Garden.

"I'm not going to lie, there's been a couple of times I'm definitely excited about — Kevin for sure, the whole group and really the challenge of getting all these guys together on the same page and watching how it unfolds," Marks said.

"I think that's the magic and that's the real special piece where you see elite talent ... want to play together and see who's going to sacrifice what and who's going to bring what to the table and just see how they all mesh."

Kevin Durant "wanted to try something different" after leaving for the Brooklyn Nets, according to Golden State Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers.

Durant ended his three-year association with the Warriors after two NBA titles, signing with the Nets via free agency this offseason.

Myers was asked about Durant's decision to leave the Bay Area when he met with reporters on Monday.

"The one thing I'd share is, he just felt like, it was something inside of him, in his heart, that he wanted to try something different," Myers said.

"Nothing wrong with that. I'm at peace about it, personally, I hope our fans are, too. He was one of the best athletes to come through our city, certainly this organisation."

Durant won two titles and two Finals MVPs during his time with the Warriors. He averaged 26.0 points and 6.4 rebounds last season but ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

The 10-time All-Star is expected to miss most, if not all, of 2019-20.

"I just appreciate [him]," Myers said. "Growing up here, the fact that Kevin Durant wore a Warriors uniform for three years, to me, that's pretty cool, whether I'm here in the position I'm in, or just a Warriors fan. I think for him, it was just a new chapter."

Warriors co-chairman and CEO Joe Lacob announced earlier this month the team were effectively retiring Durant's jersey.

"Three years ago, we were thrilled with the arrival of Kevin Durant," Lacob said in a statement. "He provided our fans and franchise with numerous highlights during his stay here ... and carried himself with class and dignity both on and off the court.

"As he starts a new chapter in his incredible career, we thank KD for all of his contributions, for being an integral part to one of the most prolific runs in NBA history and wish him well as he continues his Hall of Fame journey. As long as I am co-chairman of this team, no player will ever wear No. 35 for the Warriors again."

Kyrie Irving left the Boston Celtics and joined Durant at the Nets this offseason, while the Warriors signed D'Angelo Russell.

The Golden State Warriors have no immediate plans to trade D'Angelo Russell.

Warriors president Bob Myers on Monday addressed rumours that the team want to trade the 23-year-old guard in the near future.

Russell, who was acquired in a sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets, is expected to start in the Warriors' backcourt alongside Stephen Curry in 2019-20. Klay Thompson will likely miss most of the season recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) he suffered in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

There is speculation Russell will hit the trading block once Thompson is back in good shape, but Myers insists Golden State are focusing on the present.

"We didn't sign him with the intention of just trading him," Myers told reporters. "We haven't even seen him play in our uniform yet and a lot of people have us already trading him.

"That's not how we're viewing it. Let's just see what we have. Let's see what he is. Let's see how he fits. Part of our job in the front office and the coaching staff and organisation is how does it all work.

"So much of our sport is what are you doing next. We've got to figure out what we're doing now. And that applies to a guy like D'Angelo in that there's speculation that we're moving him when we haven't even seen him play.

"We're just happy that we got a young player that has a lot of upside in our opinion."

Russell became an All-Star for the first time last season and averaged career highs in points (21.1) and assists (7.0) per game. He signed a four-year, $117million deal last month.

Stephen Curry explained he is "extremely proud" of three "special years" playing alongside Kevin Durant, as he discussed his former team-mate's free agency departure for the first time.

Durant opted out of his player option with the Golden State Warriors to join the Brooklyn Nets, having helped the team reach three straight NBA Finals, winning two.

Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and DeMarcus Cousins have also left the Warriors, while Klay Thompson will miss most of next season with a torn ACL.

Curry's team are consequently not the favourites to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy for the first time in the last half-decade, but he made it clear the demands the squad place on themselves will not change.

"The three years we had were special," Curry told reporters at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament about Durant, who reportedly opted to join the Nets while Curry was travelling from China to meet him.

"We had three straight Finals appearances and won two of them. We accomplished a lot as a group. 

"Everyone talks about all the talent we had on that team, but that doesn't mean you can put it all together. I like to look at what we accomplished and focus on that and be extremely proud of that run. Now we try to recreate that.

"There are a lot of changes, but the expectations of how we play, that championship-level basketball, won't change. I'm excited about it."

The Warriors managed to land D'Angelo Russell from the Nets as part of a sign-and-trade agreement involving Durant, and Curry is optimistic about the new arrival, even if he may not stay with the Warriors long term once Thompson is fully fit.

"I haven't had much personal interaction with him," added Curry. "Back when he got drafted, there were some comparisons of our games. He can handle the ball, shoot, pass. 

"Having versatile guys like that can only help our team. The chemistry will develop quickly. It's about encouraging each other and having confidence we'll get the most out of each other."

Curry, 31, added: "I'm the oldest on the team now, so I've got to step my game up. 

"It's a tough business. You knew at some point there would be some hard changes. You talk about Andre and Shaun, they're two guys who do things the right way. They have the ultimate level of professionalism, a respect for what they say and do. 

"They're both three-time champs, and I think they have a lot left in the tank. It'll be fun and weird to watch them on different teams."

Willie Cauley-Stein said he could not turn down the opportunity to join the Golden State Warriors.

Cauley-Stein signed a one-year deal with Golden State shortly after he became an unrestricted free agent when the Sacramento Kings rescinded his qualifying offer in early July.

The 25-year-old center said the Warriors' stars helped recruit him to the team, who lost the NBA Finals to the Toronto Raptors.

"Got the phone call and I just don't know how you could turn that down," Cauley-Stein said. "Talking to [head coach] Steve [Kerr], Draymond [Green], Steph [Curry], they were all really excited. It was pretty easy on me."

Cauley-Stein said before 2018-19 he was "ready to get paid" this offseason. But, his contract with the Warriors is reportedly worth about the veteran's minimum of $1.7million.

"It honestly just came down to situation," Cauley-Stein said. "I know I had said something about getting paid at the beginning of the year. But by the end of it, it was no longer about getting paid. It was about staying secure and building off that security… I think the Warriors are probably the best at doing that in the league. It was a really easy decision on me and my team's part."

Cauley-Stein averaged 11.9 points and 8.4 rebounds for the Kings last season.

He was originally selected by the Kings with the sixth pick in the 2015 draft, however, Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac said in June that Cauley-Stein still needed to prove he can be consistent.

"I don't really look at it like inconsistency," Cauley-Stein said. "Numbers don't lie. I think it's pretty cut and dry what consistency is. But I think it goes both ways. Being more vocal, I think that's something as a professional you have to be really good at. You have to be able to speak your mind."

The Warriors also added D'Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade after star Kevin Durant decided to join the Brooklyn Nets.

D'Angelo Russell is surprised he ended up with the Golden State Warriors.

The 23-year-old guard had been linked to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers, among others, this offseason but was acquired by Golden State in a sign-and-trade after the Brooklyn Nets landed Kevin Durant.

Russell discussed the deal when he met with reporters during his introductory news conference on Monday.

"It was a lot of surprises, just all around, throughout free agency," Russell said, via The Athletic. "So, I think it's just one to add to it. I knew it was an opportunity, I knew it was something that could possibly be true. We had to wait until a few other pieces did what they did."

Russell is expected to slot into the Warriors backcourt next to star Stephen Curry next season as Klay Thompson continues to recover from the torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) he suffered in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

"I think it's something that, you have guys that can shoot, dribble and play make for others. That's a dangerous combo," Russell said. "A guy like [Curry], who gets hot anytime throughout the game, it's something that gives you an advantage throughout the game. To add another guy that can possibly do that, consistently, I think that's just an extra piece."

Russell had a career year for the Nets last season, averaging 21.1 points and seven assists while shooting 36.9 per cent from three-point range. He made his first All-Star team, as well.

Russell inked a four-year max contract, but many have speculated the Warriors may look to move him for another asset once Thompson returns healthy.

"That's the business of it. It is what it is," Russell said. "You put yourself in position to go somewhere for a long period of time and it may not be what it is a year later. That's the business. I've come to the realisation of that, I understand that. Whatever situation I'm in, I know the business side of it. We'll just see. I can't predict it."

The Warriors traded Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies in order to create salary cap space to add Russell.

Golden State Warriors have traded Damian Jones to Atlanta Hawks, bringing in Omari Spellman in exchange, the NBA teams have announced.

Beaten finalists last season, the Warriors - who have lost Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets and Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies - are looking to bolster their bench ahead of the new campaign.

Jones was 30th pick in 2016, and was promoted to a starter at Golden State in 2018-19, though he was sidelined after 22 games due to a pectoral tear.

Spellman, meanwhile, was also the 30th pick in the 2018 draft, but he only featured in 46 games in his rookie season, averaging 5.9 points and 4.2 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game.

And it was confirmed on Monday that the players had been traded, with the Warriors also handing the Hawks a second-round pick for the 2026 draft.

With Durant and Iguodala gone, the Warriors are also preparing to be without Klay Thompson due to a torn ACL.

By getting Spellman, the Warriors can pad their bench while the Hawks receive another utility man.

The Golden State Warriors dealt Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, but they plan to retire his number nine jersey.

Iguodala was integral to the Warriors winning their first NBA championship in 40 years in 2015 and was named the NBA Finals MVP.

He was due to earn $17million next season and his departure is understood to be down to Golden State needing to generate cap space after reportedly signing D'Angelo Russell to a four-year, $117m max contract.

Despite trading Iguodala for Julian Washburn and a future first-round draft pick, the Warriors will honour his impact on the franchise by retiring his number.

"As we look back six years [after signing Iguodala], we actually underestimated what his value would be to our team, both on the court and in the locker room," Warriors co-chairman and CEO Joe Lacob said in a statement.

"In what has been well documented, Andre sacrificed for the betterment of our team and, in one of the best stories of this journey, earned NBA Finals MVP honours in 2015.

"He has been absolutely vital to our success during five consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals and three championships. We thank Andre for all of his contributions and look forward to seeing his number in the rafters at Chase Center." 

Iguodala averaged 7.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.1 steals in 413 regular-season appearances for the Warriors.

The NBA is going to look quite different in 2019-20.

After leading the Toronto Raptors to their first title, Kawhi Leonard will reportedly team up with Paul George at the Los Angeles Clippers next season.

It is a move that will reignite the rivalry with a much-changed Los Angeles Lakers, while the Golden State Warriors have seen Kevin Durant jump ship and move to the Eastern Conference.

We look at the teams with a 'big two' following a series of movements in an incredible offseason.

 

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

It was a big surprise when the Clippers took defending champions the Warriors to Game 6 in the playoffs, but they will undoubtedly be a better team next season.

The additions of Leonard and six-time All-Star George – although the latter came at a high price that included sending Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and five first-round draft picks, four of which are unprotected, and two pick swaps to the Oklahoma City Thunder – have created a new force in the Western Conference that will be looking to contend straight away.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

Despite finally pulling off the acquisition of Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans, the Lakers freed up enough cap space for a run at Leonard.

However, they were unable to seal a deal with the NBA Finals MVP and will instead look to improve on LeBron James' disappointing first season by forming a truly formidable duo with Davis.

BROOKLYN NETS

Durant ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but it did not lead to a reduction in interest in the Warriors star.

The 2014 MVP decided to end his time at Golden State and team up with Kyrie Irving at the Brooklyn Nets, who consequently captured two of the three biggest free agents on the market to step up their rebuild several notches.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

It looked as though the Warriors would dominate again when they signed DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year deal in the last offseason, despite the center being sidelined by an Achilles injury.

Cousins has not returned and with Durant out the door, Golden State will be relying on the backcourt tandem of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson – reportedly on a five-year max contract – though trading for D'Angelo Russell could lighten the load.

HOUSTON ROCKETS

Having lost out to the Miami Heat in their reported pursuit of Jimmy Butler, the Rockets will go again with James Harden and Chris Paul leading the charge.

General manager Daryl Morey rejected reports of a rift between Harden and Paul, though he will be keen for the team to start winning as early as possible following a sluggish start in 2018-19.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

The Blazers made a stunning run to the Western Conference Finals before being swept by the Warriors.

They will hope to go one better after tying Damian Lillard down to a four-year contract extension in the offseason, ensuring his partnership with fellow sharpshooter CJ McCollum will continue.

The New York Knicks missed out on top free agents like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving due to a "toxic situation" at the franchise, according to Charles Oakley.

Durant announced on Sunday he has decided to leave the Golden State Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets, where Irving is set to land after two seasons with the Boston Celtics.

Former Knicks star Oakley suggested the organisation's culture is the reason for their failure to sign top free agents this offseason.

"Why are they missing out? New York ain't New York no more," Oakley told WFAN Sports Radio.

"There's a lot of stuff going on. It's not a smooth operation and players don't want to be around a lot of that stuff going on.

"They want to be somewhere they can relax, have fun - it don't have to be a big city no more.

"You can have all the money you want, under the cap, but you have to have everything else in the house tight too.

"For the fans, New York is New York, but for the players now, it's just a different ball game. I mean, they don't want to be around a bad, toxic situation."

Oakley was involved in an altercation at Madison Square Garden with Knicks owner James Dolan in 2017. He was thrown out of and later banned from the arena and he believes the incident has left a sour taste for many in the game.

"I've talked to a lot of guys, and I've talked to a lot of guys representing too, and a lot of them are upset about what happened two years ago," Oakley said.

"People respect me. A lot of stuff that went on wasn't right, and from the commissioner on down, nobody has tried to address it, but the players have seen it for themselves.

"They're not trying to go to an environment where someone says something, and somebody is going to come talk to him with an axe, or someone is going to come and put handcuffs on him. They don't want that kind of environment.

"I just feel bad for the city of New York, the fans that give their heart and soul and sweat and tears to come to games, and they have to keep going through this."

The Knicks have reportedly agreed to terms with Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Reggie Bullock, Taj Gibson and Wayne Ellington.

Kevon Looney has opted to remain with the Golden State Warriors, his agent has confirmed.

The 23-year-old free agent's representative Todd Ramasar told ESPN his client has agreed to a new three-year, $15million deal with the Warriors.

Looney, who has spent four years with the team since being drafted at number 30 overall in 2015, proved to be a dependable defender last season and grew in importance as the year went on. 

He had garnered interest from a number of teams including the Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls.

In his fourth season with Golden State, Looney recorded a career best 6.3 points per game and shot a career-high 62.5 per cent from the field.

Looney suffered a scary injury in the NBA Finals after sustaining a fracture near his chest and ribcage in Game 2 against the Toronto Raptors.

He was originally ruled out for the series, but he surprisingly returned in Game 4 before re-aggravating the injury. He returned briefly for Game 5 and started in Game 6, but still outdid his regular-season numbers in the postseason by averaging 7.1 points and 4.5 rebounds in 21 games.

Klay Thompson said there was "never a doubt" he would remain with the Golden State Warriors.

According to multiple reports, Golden State sharpshooter and impending free agent Thompson agreed to a five-year, $190million contract with the team.

The five-time All-Star appeared to confirm fresh terms had been settled with a post on Instagram.

Thompson uploaded an expletive-laden clip from the film 'The Wolf of Wall Street' and added the caption: "There was never a doubt. #warrior4life"

Thompson finished the season averaging 21.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 78 games. He has been a consistent offensive presence for the Warriors, knocking down 41.9 per cent of his three-point attempts over his eight-year career.

His 2018-19 season came to an awful end when he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, which ended in defeat to the Toronto Raptors.

Thompson is expected to miss the majority of the 2019-20 season.

The Golden State Warriors have effectively retired the number 35 after Kevin Durant announced he was leaving to join the Brooklyn Nets.

Durant has reportedly signed a max deal as part of a sign-and-trade agreement that will see All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell head in the other direction, while the Nets are also expected to land Kyrie Irving from the Boston Celtics.

In a statement released on Monday, Warriors co-chairman and CEO Joe Lacob paid tribute to Durant and revealed no other Golden State player will wear his jersey number during his tenure.

"Three years ago, we were thrilled with the arrival of Kevin Durant, a transformative player and one of the best to ever play the game," Lacob said.

"He provided our fans and franchise with numerous highlights during his stay here … and carried himself with class and dignity both on and off the court.

"Today, as he starts a new chapter in his incredible career, we thank KD for all of his contributions, for being an integral part to one of the most prolific runs in NBA history and wish him well as he continues his Hall of Fame journey.

"As long as I am co-chairman of this team, no player will ever wear No. 35 for the Warriors again."

Durant averaged 26 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists for Golden State last season before he ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the Finals, which ended in defeat to the Toronto Raptors.

The 10-time All-Star, who is expected to miss the entirety of next season, won two championships and was named Finals MVP twice during his time with the Warriors.

Brooklyn are also reportedly set to secure the signings of DeAndre Jordan and Garrett Temple ahead of 2019-20.

Klay Thompson has moved closer to being a Golden State Warrior for life after reportedly re-signing with the NBA team.

According to multiple reports, including the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, the Golden State sharp shooter agreed to a five-year, $190million deal with the team on Sunday.

The 29-year-old star has been planning to stay with the organisation but was ready to explore other options if Golden State did not offer him a max contract.

Thompson was reportedly open to meeting with other teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers. But, he did not need to with the max deal in place.

The five-time All-Star finished the season averaging 21.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 78 games. He has been a consistent offensive presence for the Warriors, knocking down 41.9 per cent of his three-point attempts over his eight-year career.

However, Thompson's 2018-19 season came to an awful end when he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. He is expected to miss most, if not all, of next season.

"I've said for a long time I want Klay to be a Warrior for life, and so [the injury] doesn't change anything as far as I'm concerned," Golden State owner Joe Lacob told Yahoo Sports in June. "You know I have the utmost regard for Klay's talent and for him as a person. I'm pretty sure we'll talk this summer, and he'll hopefully be a Warrior for life."

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