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Brad Stevens: Marcus Smart Might Not Return this Season

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Celtics coach Brad Stevens says guard Marcus Smart will evaluate his treatment options next week before making a decision about how to progress with an injured right thumb but acknowledged that Smart might not return this season.

Stevens said Smart is waiting to see how his thumb responds to initial treatment while gathering multiple opinions on the injury.

“[Smart will] go talk to another doc about what his chances are of playing without further injury, and also if he needs surgery or not, and what the recovery time would be,” Stevens said before Wednesday’s game against the Washington Wizards. “After all that information is gathered, he’ll make a decision [next week], along with all of us, about the rest of the year.”

“There could be a slight chance that he’s back sooner rather than later, but I’d say that it’s not going to be any time too soon,” Stevens told the “Zolak & Bertrand” show. “And there’s a chance that he would not be back.”

Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN

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Sources: Suns Prefer Ja Morant to Zion Williamson in Draft

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Even though Zion Williamson appears to be the consensus No. 1 player in the 2019 NBA draft class, the Phoenix Suns are reportedly enamored with a different player.

Per The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie, there is buzz around the NBA that the Suns “prefer to end up with” Murray State star Ja Morant.

Vecenie did note he is “skeptical” the Suns would pass on Williamson at No. 1 because the “financial windfall any team figures to experience by selecting Williamson is real.”

The links with Morant may exist in part because the Suns have been searching for a viable starting point guard since Eric Bledsoe was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in November 2017.

Source: Sam Vecenie of The Athletic via Bleacher Report

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Sources: Lakers Want Second Meetings with Ty Lue, Monty Williams

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Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Ty Lue and Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka met on Friday for approximately 90 minutes to discuss the franchise’s coaching vacancy, league sources told ESPN.

The conversation was described as relaxed and broad, a prelude to what the Lakers hope will be longer and more detailed discussions with top candidates Lue and Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams as soon as next week, league sources said.

Pelinka has plans to interview Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard on Tuesday, league sources said.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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Sources: Timberwolves to Interview Chauncey Billups for President of Basketball Operations

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Chauncey Billups and the Minnesota Timberwolves will meet in near future to discuss the franchise’s President of Basketball Operations role, league sources tell me and @JonKrawczynski.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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