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Kyrie Irving on Trade: ‘Me leaving wasn’t about basketball’

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The Celtics formally introduced Irving and fellow summer acquisition Gordon Hayward on Friday at TD Garden. The Celtics traded Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick, and the Miami Heat’s 2020 second-round pick in exchange for Irving. Hayward signed a four-year, $128 million contract with the Celtics in July.

“It was my time to do what was best for me in terms of my intentions, and that’s going after something bigger than myself, and obviously being in an environment that was conducive for my potential,” Irving said. “I think that statement is just self-explanatory because it’s pretty direct in terms of what my intent is — it’s to be happy and be with a group of individuals that I can grow with. That’s not a knock on anything that has transpired in my six years [in Cleveland], because it was an unbelievable experience. To think about what we accomplished in Cleveland and individually as well, it bypasses the amount of moments I had with all the special people out there.

“Me leaving there wasn’t about basketball; it was more or less about creating that foundation of me in Cleveland, and then now taking this next step as a 25-year-old evolving man and being the best basketball player I can be.”

Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN

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2018 NBA Draft Diary

Sources: Kawhi Leonard ‘irate’ with Spurs

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San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich traveled Tuesday to Southern California and met with Kawhi Leonard prior to Thursday’s NBA draft, league sources told ESPN.

Leonard had told confidants that he did not want to sit down with Popovich and has been purposely difficult for the Spurs to reach recently. Among the issues, Leonard is angry over what he believes was the Spurs’ mishandling of his quad injury, and he remains irate with public comments from teammate Tony Parker and Popovich that he felt were not supportive of him, league sources said.

So far, the Spurs have been largely reluctant to give teams guidance on the players, or packages, that would interest them in trades, sources said.

Sources: Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN

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2018 NBA Draft Diary

Sources: 76ers Interested in Moving into Top 5

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As Jeremy alludes to, the Sixers are indeed continuing calls about moving into the Top 5. They have offered packages of picks, but have thus far rebuked including oft-mentioned Robert Covington and Dario Saric, per sources.

Source: Jake Fischer on Twitter

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2018 NBA Draft Diary

Sources: Trae Young Had ‘secret workout’ with Cavaliers Saturday

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Source: Trae Young conducted a secret workout with the Cavs on Saturday. If Michael Porter is gone, it seems to be a toss-up at the moment between Young and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for Cleveland at #8. We’ve given Shai the nod in our latest mock today:

Source: Jonathan Givony on Twitter

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