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Luke Walton: Lakers ‘not going to rush’ Lonzo Ball in Return from Minor MCL Sprain

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Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball’s left knee injury, which sidelined him two weeks ago, is a minor MCL sprain that has a recovery timetable of up to three weeks, the Los Angeles Lakers said Saturday.

Ball was hurt in a game against the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 13 and has missed six straight games. He has yet to go through a full practice but has recently been shooting, doing some treadmill work and lifting. The sprain limits his lateral movement. Ball has said that he won’t play until he can run.

Head coach Luke Walton said Ball will have to go through a full practice before returning to play. The Lakers are currently on a five-game trip that ends in Oklahoma City next Sunday.

“He will be back when he is ready to play,” Walton said. “When that is, I can’t tell you — whenever his knee feels good. … We are not going to rush him back. Once he gets cleared, it will be about getting him back to practice and then seeing how he feels after that.”

Source: Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN

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Sources: NBA Investigating Free Agency Tampering

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Within days, the league opened an investigation centered on the timing of some of the earliest reported free-agency deals on June 30, sources familiar with the matter told ESPN.com. The scope of that investigation is developing. It is expected to include interviews with players and possibly agents and team employees, sources say.

The league has the power to punish teams it finds to be guilty of tampering ahead of June 30 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time — the first minute that teams are allowed to speak with representatives of free agents. It also might seek information on the timing of negotiations so that any revised free-agency calendar might better align with what is actually happening.

Source: Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst of ESPN

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2019 Free Agency Diary

Sources: Ben McLemore, Rockets Agree to Deal

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Free agent Ben McLemore has agreed to a partially guaranteed two-year deal with the Houston Rockets, league source tells @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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2019 Free Agency Diary

Report: Wizards to Offer Bradley Beal Three-Year Max Extension

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Washington Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard will offer guard Bradley Beal a three-year, $111 million maximum contract extension upon the All-Star becoming eligible to sign on Friday, Sheppard told ESPN.

“At the very first moment allowed, we are going to offer Brad the full max extension,” Sheppard told ESPN.

Beal, 26, has until Oct. 21 to sign the extension, which would start with the 2021-22 season — a decision that agent Mark Bartelstein indicates that Beal will need time to consider.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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