NBA notebook: Durant officially to miss finals opener

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant will not play in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the host Toronto Raptors on Thursday and he might not make the trip due to his calf injury, coach Steve Kerr told reporters on Monday.

FILE PHOTO – May 8, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) dunks the basketball against the Houston Rockets during the first half in game five of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ezra Shaw/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports

Kerr also said that injured center DeMarcus Cousins (quadriceps) is listed as “questionable.”

Durant injured his right calf on May 8 in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets.

Cousins tore the quad muscle in his left leg in Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers on April 15, but the injury did not require surgery.

—Toronto forward OG Anunoby could return during the NBA Finals, Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.

Anunoby has missed Toronto’s entire playoff run after undergoing an emergency appendectomy April 12, one day before the team’s playoff opener against the Orlando Magic. Nurse said Anunoby is about 10 days away from being able to play, which would put him in line for a potential return for Game 4 on June 7 at Golden State.

“He’s doing better. He’s on the court. He’s moving around,” Nurse said. “He’s not 100 percent, but he’s healing.”

—Ja Morant, the presumed No. 2 overall pick in next month’s NBA draft, announced that he signed with Nike.

The former Murray State star point guard, who reportedly agreed to a multi-year endorsement deal, said in a tweet: “All my life my parents worked for a check. Now I’m proud to say I work for the check. #Nike #NikeBasketball”

Morant is expected to be picked second in the draft behind former Duke star Zion Williamson. The New Orleans Pelicans have the first pick and the Memphis Grizzlies have the second selection.

—The Brooklyn Nets named former San Antonio Spurs and Atlanta Hawks executive Andy Birdsong as assistant general manager.

“Andy is an accomplished basketball executive who brings a wealth of experience in talent evaluation and roster construction to our front office team,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a press release. “The knowledge he has garnered from his time as a member of such exemplary organizations as the Spurs and the Hawks will greatly benefit our group.”

Birdsong was the manager of basketball operations with Atlanta from 2012-15. He became San Antonio’s director of basketball operations in 2015 and was promoted to director of pro player personnel in 2016. He also served as GM of the Austin Spurs, the team’s NBA G League affiliate.

—Field Level Media

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