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Michael Porter Jr.: ‘I’m the best player in this draft’

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Michael Porter Jr. still believes he is the best player in the NBA draft, despite the fact he missed almost all of his lone season at Missouri after having back surgery. When asked during Thursday’s session with the media if he could have been the No. 1 pick had it not been for his injury, Porter left no doubt about where his mindset is as he heads into workouts prior to next month’s NBA draft.

“I know without a doubt that I’m the — I played against all these guys, they’re all great players — but I’m the best player in this draft,” Porter said. “And I just can’t wait to show what I’m capable of.”

Porter, who was a top-rated prospect coming out of high school, says he initially suffered his back injury several years ago and is confident he is now “100 percent” healthy after months of rehab.

Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN

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Sources: Zhaire Smith Out Indefinitely after Allergic Reaction Complications

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Do not expect to see Zhaire Smith on the basketball court anytime soon, at least not during 2018.

The 76ers are no stranger to rookie injuries, especially ones that keep their rookies sidelined for prolonged amounts of time. The Sixers are also familiar with bizarre injuries and situations that can be categorized as anything but typical. Smith has firmly been added to that list.

On Friday night the Sixers released a medical update on Smith.

“Zhaire Smith is recovering well after receiving additional medical treatment for complications derived from the allergic reaction that initially required a thoracoscopy,” the statement read. “His return to athletic training has yet to be determined and as such, there is no timetable for his return to play.”

According to a team source, the timetable has been pushed into 2019 and even then it’s not certain.

Source: Sarah Todd of The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Report: Timberwolves Trade Jimmy Butler to 76ers

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The Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement to trade disgruntled All-Star forward Jimmy Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers, league sources told ESPN.

The 76ers are trading forwards Robert Covington and Dario Saric, guard Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round pick for Butler and forward Justin Patton, sources said.

The Sixers and Butler, a four-time All-Star, have every intention of formalizing a long-term agreement this summer, sources said, but nothing is allowed to be negotiated or agreed upon until Butler opts out of the final year of his contract after the season. The Sixers will weigh Butler’s physical condition and how he fits with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, but they didn’t give up such significant assets believing that this would be a rental situation.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN

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Sources: Timberwolves, Jimmy Butler Agree to ‘scheduled rest’ Plan

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Jimmy Butler is scheduled to play tonight at Sacramento, but league sources say Minnesota will continue to mix in occasional games of “scheduled rest” for Butler as part of a jointly agreed plan coming into the season

Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

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