Kevin Durant's future plans: General manager of NBA team he owns

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AP

Kevin Durant's future plans: General manager of NBA team he owns

OAKLAND -- Still only 28 years old, Kevin Durant already is visualizing his post-career options.

The Warriors forward wants to stay involved in the NBA, and he aspires to levels above being a coach.

“I want to be a GM, want to own a team, hopefully own a team and run it,” Durant said Thursday, after the team’s morning shootaround.

Minutes before the trade deadline of noon Thursday, Durant acknowledged to following the various web sites devoted to basketball-related speculation regarding potential deals and the thinking behind them.

It’s all part of his long-term plan.

“So I look to see what rumors are getting out there, what deals are being presented to these teams,” he said. “Try to figure that stuff out. It’s fun, especially for a guy who knows that part of the business.”

[POOLE: Mum at deadline, Warriors ineligible to re-sign Andrew Bogut]

The latest former superstar to join the ranks of architects is Magic Johnson, who this week assumed control of the Lakers, the team with which he spent his entire Hall of Fame career. Johnson joins the likes of Larry Bird (Pacers) and Michael Jordan (Hornets).

Only Jordan, though, has the power of ownership.

Though several other former players run front offices, Durant would not be just another former player. Midway through his career, he already owns four scoring titles and an MVP trophy.

For now, he’s doing his homework, examining the Collective Bargaining Agreement in order to better understand its complexities.

“Obviously it affects me and affects my peers,” Durant said. “Like I said, I want to learn more and more about the business of basketball. I try to keep that fine line of keeping it pure and fun and also knowing that this is a really big business. So I like to go through the CBA, also ask questions.”

NBA Gameday: Draymond Green vs Blake Griffin

NBA Gameday: Draymond Green vs Blake Griffin

OAKLAND -- Once upon a time, for a few fleeting seasons, there was a rivalry between the Warriors and the Clippers. These days, however, it’s more like an exhibition of domination.

The Warriors will be trying to sweep LA for the second consecutive season when the teams meet Thursday night at Oracle Arena.

While the Warriors (47-9) open the post-All-Star break trying to solidify their status as the No. 1 overall seed, the Clippers (35-21) are scrambling to hang onto the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. LA has won its last four games, but is 6-7 since Chris Paul went down with a thumb injury on Jan. 18.

Paul was originally expected to miss at least six weeks and still is listed as out. He has, however, received medical clearance and Clippers coach Doc Rivers on Thursday morning left open the possibility of Paul’s return.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 13

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Draymond Green vs. Blake Griffin: The rise of the Warriors can be traced back to Green’s stifling of Griffin in the first round of the 2014 playoffs. It’s a classic battle between a defensive ace and a spectacular offensive star. With Paul expected to miss his 14th consecutive game, it’s up to Griffin to make plays while also carrying the bulk of the scoring load. In three games against the Warriors this season, he is averaging 21.0 points on 45.3-percent (24-of-53) shooting.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: C Zaza Pachulia (R rotator cuff strain) and C David West (L thumb fracture) are listed as questionable.

Clippers: F Brice Johnson (herniated disk) and G Chris Paul (L thumb ligament tear) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 8-2. Clippers: 5-5.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won the last nine regular-season meetings and 17 of the last 22. They have won 10 in a row in Oakland and 20 of the last 22.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

POST-BREAK BLUES: The first game after the break is treacherous for most teams, and the Warriors are no exception. Coming off the break last season, they went to Portland and lost by 32 -- still their most lopsided loss since Steve Kerr arrived before the 2014-15 season. Early intensity may be hard to muster, but it’s necessary.

PARK ON THE ARC: The Clippers are a team of launchers, relying largely on jumpers from the perimeter, often 3-point distance, where they rank fourth in field-goal percentage. They rank 27th in points in the paint and 24th in second-chance points, so the Warriors would be wise to force contested jump shots, no matter who is taking them.

BALL VALUE: The Warriors over the last five games are averaging a very manageable 10.8 turnovers. If they continue this trend, it pretty much closes off any avenue for the Clippers to crank up their offense.

Mum at deadline, Warriors ineligible to re-sign Andrew Bogut

Mum at deadline, Warriors ineligible to re-sign Andrew Bogut

OAKLAND -- The Warriors, as expected, mostly observed from the sideline as the NBA trade deadline came and went on Thursday.

That does not mean they were inactive.

While other teams shopped around with an eye on matching up with them, the Warriors, according to multiple sources, were constantly studying the market -- and will continue to do so with the knowledge that a number of veteran players will be bought out and, therefore, become available on the cheap.

Ex-Warriors center Andrew Bogut, for example, likely will be on the market after the 76ers acquired him in a trade with the Mavericks. But because the Warriors traded Bogut within the last 12 months, they are not eligible to re-sign him, even if they were so inclined, which they are not.

Any move the Warriors make in the coming weeks likely will bring in a wing to play behind the likes of Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson. They place a high value on such players largely because they tend to be relatively seamless fits into their defensive concepts.