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LeBron: Physical Woes are ‘Slowing Up Our Process’

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The Cavaliers came into Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Bulls with their best record through 33 games (26-7) since 2008-09 (27-6). However, after a 106-94 loss, LeBron James admitted that progress has stalled on the defending champions’ quest for another title. Injuries certainly haven’t helped.

Kyrie Irving missed his third straight game (hamstring tightness), Kevin Love was out (food poisoning) and J.R. Smith has been lost for the majority of the regular season with a broken right thumb. James could not keep the Cavs’ 13-game winning streak intact despite 31 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. “It can [wear on you],” James said after playing through an illness that caused him to miss shootaround Wednesday morning. “It’s just tough. It’s slowing up our process because of what we’re trying to build.

Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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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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