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Gordon Hayward: ‘Probably smarter’ to Leave West for East

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In an extended interview about his free-agency process, All-Star forward and new Celtic Gordon Hayward visted with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski to discuss the courtships of Boston, Utah and Miami in a wide-ranging visit on The Woj Pod, released on Monday afternoon.

On leaving the Western Conference for the East:

“When we’re going through this process and you keep seeing some of the big-name guys and it’s like, the West is loading up more and more and more, it’s not something where, like, I’m going to go East just so I don’t have to play them, ’cause you don’t want to run from competition at all. That’s not how I am. But there is a sense that it’s probably a smarter thing as far as you’re not going to have to battle it out with all these teams just to make it to the second round, make it to the third round, giving yourself a better chance against a Golden State. So it definitely crosses your mind, 100 percent.

Source: ESPN via Adrian Wojnarowski’s WojPod

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Report: Earl Watson Fired as Suns Coach

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Phoenix coach Earl Watson has been fired, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Sources: Jameer Nelson Signs 1-Year Deal With Pelicans

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Free-agent guard Jameer Nelson has agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources told The Vertical.

Nelson entered free agency Wednesday, when the Denver Nuggets waived him to create roster space to sign Richard Jefferson and allow second-year guard Jamal Murray to assume the starting point-guard role.

Source: Shams Charania of The Vertical

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Bobby Portis Apologizes to Bulls for Mirotic Fight

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Bobby Portis has apologized to his Bulls teammates for getting into a fight that left Nikola Mirotic with facial fractures and a concussion. “He didn’t address us today, but he did address the team before so that was taken care of,” Bulls swingman Justin Holiday said after Friday’s practice.

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg acknowledged that Portis’ apology took place during a team meeting but did not want to go into specific details about his message. “I’ll keep that between the team,” Hoiberg said, “as far as exactly what was said in that meeting.”

Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN

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