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Blake Griffin on Trade to Detroit: ‘Shocked is a good way to put it’

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New Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin admitted Wednesday that, like the rest of the basketball world, he was surprised to be traded from the LA Clippers on Monday.

“Shocked is a good way to put it,” Griffin said during his introductory news conference at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

He is expected to make his debut on Thursday when the Memphis Grizzlies visit Detroit.

Now that Griffin has come to grips with his new basketball reality, he is excited to get the chance to help lay a foundation for his new team. But after signing a max extension with the Clippers over the summer, he acknowledges that it was tough to find out that he was moving on from the only professional organization he ever has known.

“Basketball is a business, the NBA is a business, and they made a decision,” Griffin told ESPN. “The only thing I just wish I had known or had the opportunity to talk to somebody beforehand. Finding out through Twitter, through other people is a tough way to find out when you’ve been with a franchise for so long. But at the end of the day, basketball is a business, and I want to play where a team wants me. And that’s why I’m excited about being here.”

Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN

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Sources: NBA Targeting Pre-Christmas Start, 72-Game Regular Season

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The NBA’s league office informed the Board of Governors on Friday that it is targeting to start the 2020-21 season on Dec. 22, three days before Christmas Day, and would like to play a 72-game campaign, sources told The Athletic.

This would mean a return close to the NBA’s normal schedule, significant financial ramifications to start early, a potential finish before the 2021 Summer Olympics, and allow a window for stars to play in the Olympics, sources said. The NBA wants to continue to incorporate the play-in tournament that was utilized in the Orlando restart to determine the eighth seed in the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs, according to sources. ESPN first reported that a Christmas start and playing fewer than 82 games would be discussed on Friday’s call.

The National Basketball Players Association would need to sign off on any plan to start the season on Dec. 22.

Source: Shams Charania of The Athletic

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Sources: Pacers Interested in Gordon Hayward

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Something to keep an eye on once we find out when NBA teams can start making trades: some within the Pacers organization continue to have interest in trading for Celtics’ Gordon Hayward, per SNY sources.

It’s unknown what Boston would want in return for Hayward — or if the club is even open to moving him.

In an NBC Sports podcast in June, the Indianapolis Star noted that Hayward would be a player of interest for the Pacers in the offseason.

Hayward, who starred at Butler, can become a free agent by opting out of the final year of his deal, worth roughly $34 million. It’s hard to see Hayward opting out of his deal without the assurance of a long-term extension in place.

Source: Ian Begley of SNY.tv

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Sources: Warriors Work Out Deni Avdija

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Steve Kerr and other members of the Warriors organization worked out Maccabi Tel Aviv prospect Deni Avdija on Thursday morning in Atlanta, according to sources. By all accounts, it was a positive get together, one in which the 19-year-old Israeli impressed observers. Not only did Avdija perform well in the workouts, but Warriors officials were blown away after meeting with him. The universal takeaway was that he’s a “great kid” with an immense work ethic.

Source: Ethan Strauss of The Athletic

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