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LeBron Wants Cavs, J.R. Smith to Reach Deal Now

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It only took until the close of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first week of training camp before LeBron James stuck his neck out into the stalled J.R. Smith negotiations and publicly stumped for the holdout guard.

“I hate coming into another season — two years in a row — with one of my big guns not here,” James said, alluding to Tristan Thompson, who missed most of training camp last fall with a similar holdout situation. “So, for a leader of a team and for me personally, I just hate to deal with this s— again.

“It’s just too big of a piece to our team to have to deal with in another training camp. Like I said, hopefully things get resolved fast, because you know how big and important he is to our team.”

Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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Paul Millsap Returns to Practice, Return Still Unknown

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Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap on Wednesday returned to his first full practice since undergoing left wrist surgery in November. Although Millsap said it felt good to be back with his teammates, he stopped short of putting an exact date on when he’ll return to game action.

“Hopefully pretty soon,” Millsap told reporters, according to the Denver Post. “It feels good now. We’ll see how it feels in the morning or after [Thursday’s] practice, and we’ll go from there. My intention was to come right back after the All-Star break and get into it, but we have to be smart about it. This was my first practice today, full contact, and I have to be smart about my wrist and my body.”

Source: ESPN

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Mark Cuban Fined $600K for ‘Tanking’ Comments

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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined $600,000 by the NBA for saying his team should tank this season.

Cuban called tanking “brutal” but acknowledged that he told his team that it would be best to lose for the rest of the 2017-18 season. Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement that the fine was for “for public statements detrimental to the NBA.”

Source: ESPN

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LeBron on Potential Playoff Reseeding: ‘Let’s not get too crazy’

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Fresh off being named MVP of the NBA All-Star Game played in a reimagined format that seemingly reinvigorated the February festivities, LeBron James urged the league to pump the brakes when it comes to potential changes to the playoffs.

“It’s cool to mess around with the All-Star Game — we proved you can do that — but let’s not get too crazy about the playoffs,” James said after Cleveland Cavaliers practice Wednesday. “You have Eastern Conference and you have Western Conference. You have Eastern Conference champions, you have guys from the Eastern Conference that win the big dance and sometimes you have it from the West as well.”

Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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