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Brown: Irving, Waiters are Still Learning

Basketball Insiders

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It took Cavaliers coach Mike Brown nine games before he pulled the plug on the combination, and moved Waiters to the bench.

Brown said Waiters and Irving aren’t just learning how to play together, they are learning how to play. Waiters is in his second year in the NBA, Irving in his third.

“They’ve had some moments where they’ve played very well together on the floor,” Brown said. “They are two young guys trying to figure out how to play the right way themselves, no matter who else is out on the floor. They are getting better learning how to play with each other.”

Being moved to the bench has fueled rumors the Cavs might entertain offers to deal Waiters at the Feb. 20 trade deadline. They might live to regret that move, especially if Waiters continues to have games like he did on Sunday against Memphis.

via Bob Finnan of The Morning Journal & News-Herald

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Sources: Jimmy Butler Prefers Trade to Clippers, Interested in Knicks, Nets

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After registering a trade request with the Minnesota Timberwolves, All-Star Jimmy Butler is most interested in pursuing a future with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told ESPN.

Butler’s ability to partner on the Clippers with a second star player in a deep summer free agency market holds a strong appeal to Butler, league sources said.

The Clippers have two max contract slots available in July, and are emerging as a front-runner for Toronto’s All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard when he becomes a free agent in July, league sources said.

Butler told Minnesota president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau that he would like to be traded before reporting for Timberwolves media day on Monday and prefers the possibility of the Clippers — as well as the New York Knicks, league sources said. Butler told the Timberwolves that he planned to leave the franchise in free agency next summer, sources said.

The Brooklyn Nets’ ability to sign two max free agents in the summer will keep them in consideration for Butler, but he has prioritized the Clippers and Knicks over them, league sources said.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Sources: Brandon Knight Had ‘clean up’ Procedure on Left Knee

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On @theathleticnba @watchstadium: Houston’s Brandon Knight underwent surgery on his left knee, considered a “clean up,” and will miss some time, per league sources.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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Report: Pelicans Waive Emeka Okafor

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The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has requested waivers on center Emeka Okafor.

Okafor, 6-10, 252, appeared in 26 regular season games last season with New Orleans after signing with the team on February 3, 2018 and finished the season with averages of 4.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.

Source: New Orleans Pelicans

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