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Gentry Expects ‘Rollercoaster Season’ for Buddy Hield

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“With him (Buddy Hield) it’s never going to be about effort,” said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry. “It’s just going to be about the experience of learning, and if that’s all you’ve got to worry about then I think he’s going to be a very good player. It’s going to be a rollercoaster season for him. He’s going to have some 30-point games, he’s also going to have some 3-for-15 games. That’s all a part of learning as a rookie. But you tell me a rookie that’s come in this league that hasn’t done that.”

Source: Ian Thomsen of NBA.com

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Tony Parker Ahead of Schedule, Expected to Participate in Training Camp

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With the San Antonio Spurs set to report to the team facilities Monday for media day, point guard Tony Parker received some positive news Friday when doctors cleared him to participate in the club’s upcoming training camp, after he suffered a season-ending torn quadriceps tendon in May during the Western Conference semifinals.

“The thing is, I did an MRI on Friday, and the doctor said they were really happy with the MRI,” Parker told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “It looked very good. So they cleared me. But it’s still going to be like another, I think, two months to get back in shape and getting my leg stronger.”

Parker, 35, originally suffered the ruptured left quadriceps tendon during San Antonio’s 121-96 win over the Houston Rockets in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals. While the severity of Parker’s injury left pundits to ponder whether it was career threatening, the point guard said he never considered retirement.

In addition, the organization never issued a specific timeline for Parker’s return, and the point guard mentioned early on during his rehabilitation that he expected to return to the court in January.

Parker called the latest development in his rehabilitation “great news,” but he cautioned against expecting a quick return to action. In fact, Parker made it clear he won’t be suiting up for the team’s opener on Oct. 18 against the Minnesota Timberwolves as the Spurs, under coach Gregg Popovich, typically take an ultra-conservative approach in bringing players back from injury.

Source: Michael C. Wright of ESPN

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Sources: Bulls, Nikola Mirotic Agree to Two-Year Deal

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Restricted free agent Nikola Mirotic has agreed to a two-year, $27 million deal to re-sign with the Chicago Bulls, league sources told The Vertical.

Mirotic and the Bulls held extensive discussions this offseason and reached agreement on a shorter-term contract on Sunday. Mirotic was one of the top stretch fours on the market, but fell into a difficult pool of restricted free agency this summer.

Mirotic has the right to veto any trade in the first year of his new Bulls deal, league sources said.

He had faced an Oct. 1 deadline on a one-year, $7.2 million qualifying offer.

Mirotic, 26, has averaged 10.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in three seasons with the Bulls. At 6-foot-10, he possesses the size and shooting acumen to create mismatches and can be an effective scorer in spots.

Source: Shams Charania of The Vertical

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Paul George on Thunder: ‘This feels like a championship team’

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As Paul George sat back in his dining room chair on Saturday afternoon, a gray Nike shirt on his back and the Carmelo Anthony trade on his mind, he pondered what it all meant for an Oklahoma City Thunder team that has recovered so nicely from the loss of Kevin Durant last summer.

“This feels like a championship team,” George told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m in a good place. I know Russ (Westbrook) is in a good place. Melo is motivated more than ever…You put us three together, who all have something to prove still, (and) we’re going to be a special team. We have a young group, a lot of talent here, an unbelievable coach (in Billy Donovan), (and) as you see, a front office that’s willing to do whatever it takes to improve the team. It just has all the makeups to be a great organization and a chance to put championships together.”

Source: Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports

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