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Isaiah Thomas on Shouldering Blame for Cavaliers’ Struggles: ‘Not fair’

Basketball Insiders

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Speaking to reporters for the first time in a week — which spanned an explosive team meeting, a lopsided loss to the San Antonio Spurs, an underwhelming win over the Indiana Pacers that included a questionable exchange with Kevin Love and an 8-for-22 personal shooting total — Isaiah Thomas explained himself: He says he is shouldering an undue amount of blame for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ struggles.

“We’ve been a lowest five [rated] defensive team in the NBA the whole time [this season],” Thomas said after practice Saturday. “So when I come back, it’s my fault now. Which, life isn’t fair, but that’s not fair, bro. At all. I just laugh at those things because I know in this circle and this team, everybody believes in each other, and everybody’s in here for it to work and for us to be playing in June. That’s the ultimate goal.”

Thomas said the various reports detailing Monday’s team meeting as having been instigated in part by him criticizing Love for missing most of Cleveland’s 148-124 blowout loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder with an illness, and then exiting the arena early and missing practice the following day, were inaccurate.

Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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Sources: Nuggets Will Decline Nikola Jokic’s Team Option

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The next major contract domino for Denver is [Nikola] Jokic’s max deal. As of Sunday morning, one league source told The Denver Post that the Nuggets had not yet declined their $1.6 million team option for Jokic for 2018-19 but “will” do so, making him a restricted free agent and eligible to sign a max contract with Denver.

“Nikola’s going to be here for a long, long time,” president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said following Thursday’s NBA draft. “I think whatever we do, we’re going to ensure he’s here as long as possible. When that moment happens, we’re going to talk to Nikola and his brothers and his representation. He’ll be in Denver for a long, long time. He’ll be buying (a home) here.”

Source: Gina Mizell of The Denver Post

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Sources: Milos Teodosic Exercises Player Option with Clippers

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Los Angeles Clippers guard Milos Teodosic has exercised his $6.3 million player option for the 2018-19 season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Teodosic’s salary will become fully guaranteed for next season if he is on the Clippers’ roster past July 15.

Teodosic, 31, had impressive moments in his rookie NBA season in 2017-18. He averaged 9.5 points, 4.6 assists and 25.2 minutes per game in 46 contests with the Clippers. Teodosic served as a starter for 36 games and was one of the Clippers’ key playmakers.

Source: Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports

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Sources: Mike Muscala Exercises Player Option with Hawks

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Hawks forward Mike Muscala has exercised his $5M player option, source tells ESPN. He will be back with Atlanta.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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