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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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Report: Anthony Bennett Signs With Suns

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Former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett has signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Phoenix Suns, league sources tell The Vertical.

Source: Shams Charania of The Vertical

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Sources: Wiggins, Wolves Nearing Max Extension

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Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins is progressing toward a five-year, $148M maximum extension, hopeful to sign soon, sources tell The Vertical.

Source: Shams Charania of The Vertical

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J.J. Barea Waiting to Hear From Family in Puerto Rico

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As he waits to hear from his parents and other relatives in Puerto Rico, Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea has launched a fundraising campaign to prepare to help people in his homeland after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Barea and his wife, Viviana Ortiz, organized a relief fund on the same online platform used by Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt to raise more than $37 million to aid people affected by Hurricane Harvey. Barea’s fund had reached three-quarters of its original goal of $100,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN

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