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Lakers ‘confident’ in Moving Jordan Clarkson if Necessary

Basketball Insiders

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If the Lakers head into the summer of 2018 with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr., Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Jordan Clarkson and Luol Deng, they would have roughly $47.8 million of the necessary spending power.

Even letting Julius Randle, Brook Lopez and Caldwell-Pope walk as unrestricted free agents, the Lakers are well short of the space needed to sign two max free agents.

Perhaps Johnson and Pelinka’s confidence stems from conversations they’ve had with teams over the course of the past few months.

One person within the organization who isn’t permitted to speak publicly on the subject told Bleacher Report the team is confident it can move Clarkson if needed to open space.

The Lakers, sans Clarkson, project to have about $59.4 million, which is close to the numbers needed for George and Cousins together but not quite there to land one with either James or Westbrook.

Source: Eric Pincus via Bleacher Report

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LeBron James, Cavaliers Advance to NBA Finals

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For the eighth straight year, [LeBron] James’ team will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. But this may have been one of his more remarkable accomplishments.

James helped Cleveland overcome a 3-2 series deficit, winning twice even after Kevin Love — maybe the most capable of his otherwise underwhelming supporting cast — was lost to a concussion early in Game 6.

The Celtics had been a spotless 10-0 this postseason at TD Garden before James & Co. delivered a lone season-ending blemish.

James now has won six straight Game 7s. The Cavaliers are the first team since the 2008 Celtics to win multiple Game 7s to get to the Finals.

Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN

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Report: Chris Paul Likely Game-Time Decision for Game 7

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Houston Rockets star guard Chris Paul’s status for Monday’s Game 7 of the Western Conference finals will likely be a game-time decision, coach Mike D’Antoni said.

Paul missed the Rockets’ Game 6 loss to the Golden State Warriors due to the right hamstring strain he suffered in the final minutes of Houston’s Game 5 win.

“If I get the nod from the trainers, Chris and the doctors, then he’ll be ready to go,” D’Antoni said in a conference call Sunday evening. “Probably if any of those three disagree, he’s probably not going. So I think it’s a game-time decision, whatever it is, probably doubtful or however they listed it or questionable. They will eventually test it and see if there’s any possibility whatsoever.”

D’Antoni said Paul’s recovery is “going good” but acknowledged that the nine-time All-Star has not attempted to test the hamstring by running or working out since he was injured.

Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN

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Marcus Smart: ‘I’m worth more than 12-14 million’

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Marcus Smart walked out of the TD Garden, perhaps for the final time, lamenting squandered opportunities and wondering aloud whether he has played his last game as a Boston Celtic.

Smart, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, was told that Boston might not be able — or willing — to afford the $12-14 million a year price tag that he reportedly has been seeking.

“To be honest, I’m worth more than 12-14 million,” Smart told ESPN. “Just for the things I do on the court that don’t show up on the stat sheet. You don’t find guys like that. I always leave everything on the court, every game. Tell me how many other players can say that.”

Source: Jackie MacMullan of ESPN

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