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Paul George: ‘I wouldn’t say it’s championship or bust’ in Oklahoma City

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Paul George isn’t looking for a championship as a selling point when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The All-Star forward said Wednesday that what matters to him is being on a team pointed in the right direction.

“I’ve got a lot to think about,” George told ESPN before the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 133-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. “This summer will be huge. I’ve got a lot to think about. If we’re trending, if we’re going in the right direction, if I feel there is something that we’re building, and there’s a foundation, it would be kind of clueless, just stupid on my behalf to up and leave.

“I’m very conscious that we’re only together for a year so far, and we continue to go in an upward trend. It’s best to stick with what we have and work on building. So, I wouldn’t say it’s championship or bust, or championship and I’m out. It’s all about building. If I like where we’re building or the level that we’re going at, it would be stupid to walk away from that.”

George’s comments came in response to those made by teammate Russell Westbrook earlier Wednesday. Westbrook, the reigning league MVP, was asked if he needed to make a sales pitch to George to keep him in Oklahoma City.

Source: ESPN

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Report: Magic Exercise Options on Markelle Fultz, Mo Bamba, Jonathan Isaac

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The Orlando Magic took a major step toward locking up their talented and promising young core for the foreseeable future on Monday.

By exercising their fourth-year option on forward Jonathan Isaac’s contract and their third-year options on contracts for center Mo Bamba and point guard Markelle Fultz, the Magic are now assured of having their young trio signed through the 2020-21 season. Isaac, Bamba and Fultz are all just 21 years old.

“Mo (Bamba), Markelle (Fultz) and Jonathan (Isaac) have each demonstrated a strong work ethic, while exhibiting a commitment to team values,’’ Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman said. “We look forward to exciting futures with them as part of the Magic family.’’

Source: Orlando Magic

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Report: Hasheem Thabeet to Workout with Knicks

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Former No. 2 pick Hasheem Thabeet is scheduled to participate in workouts with the Knicks in Westchester again this week, agent Jerry Dianis told SNY.

The Knicks may have an open spot for training camp, depending on what happens with Kris Wilkes. Wilkes had a 2-way agreement with the Knicks but, according to the New York Post, they may not end up having Wilkes on the roster.

It was first reported on Aug. 28 that Thabeet had been participating in informal 5-on-5 scrimmages alongside Knicks players, SNY learned more about the former No. 2 overall pick’s involvement with members of the team going forward.

Source: Colin Martin of SNY.tv

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Sources: NBA Sends Memo to Teams to Improve Tampering Compliance

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In an effort to prevent tampering, NBA sent memo to teams about improving compliance, @TheAthletic @Stadium has learned.

Memo proposes that a lead team ops member certify annually that it didn’t engage in impermissible free agency talks; max fine amounts raised significantly.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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