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NBA Denies Keeping Giannis Antetokounmpo From Euros

Basketball Insiders

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Greece’s basketball federation accused the Milwaukee Bucks and the NBA of hatching a plan to prevent All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo from playing in the European championship.

The NBA denied the allegation.

The saga started Saturday about an hour after Antetokounmpo posted on Facebook and Instagram that he was unavailable because of a knee injury, with the Greek federation attacking the Bucks and the NBA in a statement, describing an “organized and well-staged plan” to keep Antetokounmpo from playing in the Eurobasket at the end of the month.

“A series of indications … had convinced us of the existence of an organized and well-staged plan by (Antentokounmpo’s NBA) team, with the full knowledge if not encouragement of the NBA that put the athlete on the spot and forced him to announce today that he is no longer part of the men’s national team.”

However, the NBA countered Saturday night with a statement saying Antetokounmpo is indeed hurt.

“The NBA and the Milwaukee Bucks have followed all appropriate protocol under the NBA-FIBA agreement,” the NBA said in a statement released to The Associated Press. “Giannis has an injury that has been confirmed through multiple examinations and any suggestion to the contrary is false.”

Source: Associated Press via ESPN

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Sources: Nuggets Will Decline Nikola Jokic’s Team Option

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The next major contract domino for Denver is [Nikola] Jokic’s max deal. As of Sunday morning, one league source told The Denver Post that the Nuggets had not yet declined their $1.6 million team option for Jokic for 2018-19 but “will” do so, making him a restricted free agent and eligible to sign a max contract with Denver.

“Nikola’s going to be here for a long, long time,” president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said following Thursday’s NBA draft. “I think whatever we do, we’re going to ensure he’s here as long as possible. When that moment happens, we’re going to talk to Nikola and his brothers and his representation. He’ll be in Denver for a long, long time. He’ll be buying (a home) here.”

Source: Gina Mizell of The Denver Post

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Sources: Milos Teodosic Exercises Player Option with Clippers

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Los Angeles Clippers guard Milos Teodosic has exercised his $6.3 million player option for the 2018-19 season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Teodosic’s salary will become fully guaranteed for next season if he is on the Clippers’ roster past July 15.

Teodosic, 31, had impressive moments in his rookie NBA season in 2017-18. He averaged 9.5 points, 4.6 assists and 25.2 minutes per game in 46 contests with the Clippers. Teodosic served as a starter for 36 games and was one of the Clippers’ key playmakers.

Source: Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports

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Sources: Mike Muscala Exercises Player Option with Hawks

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Hawks forward Mike Muscala has exercised his $5M player option, source tells ESPN. He will be back with Atlanta.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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