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Erik Spoelstra on Dragic Ejection: ‘Disgraceful’

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After his team’s 127-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday at Staples Center, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra strongly criticized the officials’ decision to eject Heat point guard Goran Dragic after a scuffle involving Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson, who was also ejected.

The ejections came midway through the third quarter after the players nearly came to blows. The altercation began after Clarkson pushed Dragic to the court following some physical play between the two players. “That’s really shameful, disgraceful that Goran Dragic got thrown out of that game,” Spoelstra said. “It’s an elbow to the face, somebody that wants to fight, knocks him down on the ground, and it’s just a bail-out, shameful, disgraceful ejection.

Source: Baxter Holmes of ESPN

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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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