Kevin Durant Hopes Jeff Green Joins Him in Landing Contract Extension
Durant, who last July signed a five-year extension worth about $85 million that kicks in for next season, said he hopes Thunder forward Jeff Green also signs a contract extension by the Nov. 1 deadline.
"I hope they do,'' Durant said in an interview with FanHouse about Thunder officials working out a contract agreement with Green. "I think he's worked so hard. He deserves it. He's going to do a great job of bringing it every day and not worrying about it. Hopefully, it gets done.''
If no deal can be reached to extend Green this fall, he would become a restricted free agent next summer. Green is one of a Thunder trio called by Durant the "OKC Boys.''
Durant and Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook both won gold medals last summer for Team USA in the FIBA World Championship in Turkey. Green was one of the team's final cuts.
"Yeah, definitely,'' Westbrook, who is not up for a possible extension until next summer, said of hoping Green gets signed by Nov. 1. "I'd love to keep Jeff. He's always a big asset to our team. A real big part of our success.''
Green reiterated before Tuesday's 130-115 preseason loss to Denver at the Pepsi Center he's hoping soon to sign an extension.
"It'd be great if it happens,'' said Green, who, taken like Durant in the 2007 draft, can sign for as many five additional years. "But if it don't, it don't. But I just got to stay focused on what I'm trying to do this season as far as helping the team.''
Green didn't hurt his chances against the Nuggets to get a deal done. With Durant and Westbrook resting, he scored a game-high 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting to raise his preseason average to 17.3.
"I just took what they gave me,'' said Green, who averaged 15.1 points and 6.0 rebounds last season and has three-year Oklahoma City averages of 14.0 points and 5.8 rebounds. "I am not a guy that is going to force the issue. I just try to take advantage of it. All the offense looks good on paper, but I think I could have done a better job on rebounding.''
Green, who grabbed just two rebounds, said he's worrying about playing while his agent, David Falk, negotiates with Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti. It wouldn't be a surprise if negotiations were to go down to the wire considering the Thunder reached a deal to extend guard Thabo Sefolosha's contract just before last fall's deadline.
"We value Jeff as a player and as a person, and we've had positive conversations,'' Presti said. "But, just out of respect to Jeff and the team, I just don't feel like it's appropriate for me to go any deeper than to say that Jeff Green is someone that we value and we're proud to have him as a part of our organization.''
Durant sure values Green. He'd love to see another Thunder forward locked up through 2015-16.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson.