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Jonas Valanciunas Improving Low Post Game

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(Jonas) Valanciunas says he’s been working hard on free-throw shooting (he’s a career 77 per cent in the NBA) — and hook shots — during and after practices. He’s also honing his low-post game.

“That’s my strength,” he said.

“I need to perform in the low post, like a big man, trying to help my team by scoring in the low post.”

Lithuania coach Jonas Kazlauskas said Valanciunas “is becoming stronger and more experienced.”

Valanciunas is hoping the World Cup could give him an edge over players who took the summer off.

“I’m going to come back to Toronto ready for the season,” said Valanciunas, who is about to enter his third year in the NBA. “It’s like preparation for the season, you know, by playing against the best centres in all of Europe and all the world. So, it’s giving me a lift.”

via Christopher Johnson of the Toronto Star

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Sources: Cavaliers Interested in Jimmy Butler

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ESPN Sources: Another team pursuing a Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota: Cleveland. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert was seen talking privately with Glen Taylor at NBA Board of Governors meeting on Friday. Both owners played a part in negotiating the Love-Wiggins deal.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Timberwolves Want Jimmy Butler Dealt Quickly

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Against the displeasure of Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau, owner Glen Taylor has mandated that a deal needs to be negotiated to trade disgruntled All-Star forward Jimmy Butler in the next several days, league sources told ESPN.

Butler has likely worn the Timberwolves uniform for the final time, because Taylor has no interest in bringing Butler into the team’s training camp and threatening a bigger circus than already exists within the franchise.

Thibodeau has been willing to coach the Timberwolves through the dysfunction that has surrounded his star players, but Taylor has sided with Butler and agreed that the four-time All-Star should be away from the Wolves for the foreseeable future, sources said.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Sources: Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns Agree to Super-Max Extension

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In a deal that cements him as the franchise’s long-term cornerstone, Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns has agreed to a five-year, $190 million super-maximum extension, league sources told ESPN.

Towns’ agent, Leon Rose of CAA Sports, informed the organization of Towns’ intention to sign the extension on Saturday night, sources said. The Timberwolves report for media day on Monday and begin training camp on Tuesday.

The super-max deal includes the ability for Towns to earn 30 percent of the Timberwolves’ salary cap with the fulfillment of reaching one of the three All-NBA teams, or being voted league MVP or Defensive Player of the Year this season.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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