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Curry and Durant: Lonzo Ball Will Overcome Rookie Sturggles

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Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant have come to the defense of struggling Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball.

“He’s a rookie,” Curry said of Ball after practice Tuesday. “He’s going through ups and downs like every rookie has. Whether you’re highly touted or not, it’s all a learning experience and you’re trying to find your way and be comfortable. …

“I’ve always said he’s a great talent. I think he loves to play basketball, so he’ll be able to fight through all that and have a great career. I hope you didn’t judge me off my first 20 games in the league.”

Ball, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft, is averaging 8.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists. However, because he has struggled mightily with his shooting — 30.9 percent from the field, 24.5 percent from 3-point range — he’s been heavily criticized.

“Lonzo is just playing like a rookie, as far as learning the game, finding the ins and outs of the game,” Durant said. “It’s slowing down for him. Picking and choosing his spots. He’s still figuring it out.

“He’s 19? That’s what any 19-year-old would go through in the pros. It’s just a matter of him being in L.A., where the eyes and scrutiny are on him. He’s playing like he should play as far as learning the game and adjusting on the fly.”

Source: Chris Haynes of ESPN

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2018 Free Agency Diary

RFA Montrezl Harrell Stays with Clippers on 2-Year Deal

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Restricted free-agent center Montrezl Harrell has agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract to return to the LA Clippers, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN. Harrell’s deal is fully guaranteed, sources said.

Harrell, 24, joined the Clippers as part of the Chris Paul trade with the Houston Rockets last season and made an imprint with his rebounding and defense. Harrell averaged 11 points and 4 rebounds in 17 minutes per game for the Clippers.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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2018 Free Agency Diary

Free-Agent Center Alex Len Agrees to Deal with Hawks

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Free-agent center Alex Len has agreed to a two-year, $8.5 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Yahoo Sports first reported the deal. Len averaged 8.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for the Suns last season. The 25-year-old was taken fifth overall by Phoenix in the 2013 draft. He’s averaged 7.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in his career.

Source: ESPN

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2018 Free Agency Diary

Sources: Kings, Nemanja Bjelica Agree to Deal

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Forward Nemanja Bjelica has agreed to a three-year, $20.5M deal with the Sacramento Kings, league sources tell Yahoo. Third year will be non-guaranteed.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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