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Caris LeVert: Nets’ Playoff Berth ‘really realistic’

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Now [Caris] LeVert, who appeared Thursday at Barclays Center for a project: OM Yoga event, in partnership with the WWE and the Susan G. Komen Foundation to fight breast cancer, sees the playoffs in the Nets’ future.

“I feel like it’s really realistic,” said LeVert, echoing recent sentiments of teammate Jeremy Lin, with whom he toured Taiwan this summer. “Last year, we were like top seven in the East when we had all our players healthy. Just building off that momentum with the pieces we’ve added — obviously we lost a great player in Brook [Lopez] — but I feel with the pieces we’ve added we’ll be in that conversation.”

One of the pieces LeVert is excited about is D’Angelo Russell, acquired from the Lakers in the deal for Lopez. Russell, 21, was the No. 2 pick in 2015.

“He can really pass, really score, has a really high IQ,” LeVert said. “He wants to win more than people give him credit for. I know he has a lot of people to prove wrong. I know he will prove a lot of people wrong.”

Add it up and it’s why LeVert sees playoffs.

“I honestly don’t really care what other people have to say,” he said. “We know the pieces we have, the pieces we’ve added. And we’re really excited.”

Source: Fred Kerber of the New York Post

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Sources: Timberwolves Want Jimmy Butler Dealt Quickly

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Against the displeasure of Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau, owner Glen Taylor has mandated that a deal needs to be negotiated to trade disgruntled All-Star forward Jimmy Butler in the next several days, league sources told ESPN.

Butler has likely worn the Timberwolves uniform for the final time, because Taylor has no interest in bringing Butler into the team’s training camp and threatening a bigger circus than already exists within the franchise.

Thibodeau has been willing to coach the Timberwolves through the dysfunction that has surrounded his star players, but Taylor has sided with Butler and agreed that the four-time All-Star should be away from the Wolves for the foreseeable future, sources said.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Sources: Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns Agree to Super-Max Extension

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In a deal that cements him as the franchise’s long-term cornerstone, Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns has agreed to a five-year, $190 million super-maximum extension, league sources told ESPN.

Towns’ agent, Leon Rose of CAA Sports, informed the organization of Towns’ intention to sign the extension on Saturday night, sources said. The Timberwolves report for media day on Monday and begin training camp on Tuesday.

The super-max deal includes the ability for Towns to earn 30 percent of the Timberwolves’ salary cap with the fulfillment of reaching one of the three All-NBA teams, or being voted league MVP or Defensive Player of the Year this season.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Sources: Timberwolves Want to Move Gorgui Dieng in Jimmy Butler Trade

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The Wolves would like to dump Gorgui Dieng in any [Jimmy] Butler deal, league sources say. Dieng is a backup set to earn $48 million over the next three seasons. Good luck, and thanks to the summer of 2016! Swallowing Dieng will be a non-starter for almost everyone, even if a few suitors could do so while still maintaining one max-level cap slot for this summer. (Minnesota could in theory find a third team to take Dieng, but things get tricky as more teams enter a deal.)

Source: Zach Lowe of ESPN

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