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KD Applauds Kyrie’s ‘Courage’ for Requesting Trade

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Kyrie Irving is exactly where he needs to be. At least that’s how Kevin Durant sees it. Irving was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, and the way events unfolded leading up to the deal reminded Durant of his move to the Golden State Warriors before last season.

“He did what he was supposed to do in Cleveland. It’s on to the next chapter,” Durant said on “The Bill Simmons Podcast.” “I can really appreciate what he did. He stood up for himself. He showed a lot of courage, man, because it’s hard to take that type of criticism. When you just want to play ball. I feel him on that. … “I just think Kyrie just wanted a place where he can focus on just playing basketball and not worrying about the other drama that comes with [playing alongside LeBron James]. It just felt like he wanted a situation where he would just be free from all of that and just play.

Source: ESPN

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Report: Jimmy Butler to Undergo MRI on Right Knee

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Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Jimmy Butler left Friday night’s 120-102 lossto the Houston Rockets with a right knee injury.

Butler drove into the paint with about three minutes remaining in the third quarter, missed a short jumper, but then clawed the rebound. He dished to a teammate, then crumpled to the floor in pain, holding his knee.

Teammates, coaches and athletic trainers tended to Butler, who had to be helped off the court. He was unable to put any weight on the leg as he was helped to the locker room, where he was evaluated.

Butler was seen hopping on one foot in the Toyota Center hallway as he headed to get an X-ray. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Saturday when the team gets back to Minnesota.

Source: ESPN

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Sources: Multiple Teams Interested in Joakim Noah if Bought Out

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According to league sources, several playoff-bound teams are closely monitoring [Joakim] Noah’s situation in New York and would push to sign him if Noah becomes a free agent.

The Warriors, Timberwolves and Thunder are three such teams that believe Noah, who turns 33 on Sunday, could bolster their respective rosters for the postseason.

Minnesota is an obvious one since it would reunite Noah with his former coach with the Chicago Bulls, Tom Thibodeau. Golden State and Oklahoma City also feel that Noah’s experience and defensive prowess would solidify their respective benches.

Noah remains in limbo following an altercation with Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek last month in Denver.

Source: Frank Isola of the New York Daily News

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Sources: Hawks, Ersan Ilyasova Nearing Buyout, Multiple Teams Interested

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Atlanta Hawks nearing a buyout with Ersan Ilyasova, I’m told.

Milwaukee and Toronto among possibilities for an Ersan Ilyasova landing spot once Hawks buyout is complete, but sense is it could open to other teams too.

Source: Sam Amick on Twitter

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