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John Wall, James Harden Named Players of the Week

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The Washington Wizards’ John Wall and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 8, through Sunday, Dec. 14.

Wall led the Wizards to one of the East’s two perfect records on the week at 4-0 (the Chicago Bulls were 3-0).  He averaged 18.3 points, a league leading 11.8 assists, and tied for second in the conference with 2.5 steals.  Wall recorded three point-assist double-doubles, including a 26-point, 17-assist effort on Dec. 8, as the Wizards topped the Boston Celtics 133-132 in double-overtime.  The Wizards’ 4-0 week has vaulted them into the second overall spot in the Eastern Conference at 17-6 (.739), a half-game behind the Toronto Raptors (18-6, .750).

Harden’s league-leading 34.0 ppg on the week helped the Rockets to a 2-1 mark, which included wins over the Sacramento Kings on Dec. 11, and the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 13.  He ranked fifth in the conference in assists at 7.3 apg, and second in both steals (2.67 spg) and minutes (41.8 mpg).  Harden poured in a season-high 44 points during the Rockets’ 113-109 win over the Kings. It marked the ninth game this season in which Harden connected on 10-or-more foul shots.

Via NBA Press Releases

 

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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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