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Paul George: Thunder Finish Won’t Dictate Free Agency Decision

Basketball Insiders

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As the Oklahoma City Thunder battle to secure a playoff spot, Paul George said it’s not “championship or bust” for him as he evaluates this season with regard to his future free-agency decision.

“As I told [ESPN’s] Rachel [Nichols], I can see myself being here,” George said. “I’ve been happy here, I’ve been happy with the organization, happy with my teammates. Our record is not what we want it to be, but I think I’ve enjoyed just learning and being around these guys. So my answer is still the same. I’m not going to let the playoffs or how we finish this season persuade or indicate where I’m going to this offseason. I’m going to put everything into this and again, I can definitely see myself being here.”

George, who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, has remained consistent in praising the Thunder organization since it traded for him last July. But with the Thunder’s season going through some considerable ups and downs, and now the possibility of missing the postseason altogether in play, George attempted to alleviate some of the pressure.

“This is our first year together. This is Year 1 for this group,” he said. “We’ve got a chance to win it all, but realistically it takes time for things to build and chemistry to mesh. Just for everybody to be on the same page. So this wasn’t a championship or bust coming into this for me. It was just an opportunity to see what it’s like being here and just to naturally fall in love with it. And it’s been that. It’s been a lot of love here.”

Source: Royce Young of ESPN

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Report: Nick Nurse, Raptors Agree to Extension

Shane Rhodes

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The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have signed head coach Nick Nurse to a multi-year contract extension. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. This past season, Nurse guided the Raptors to a 53-19 record during the regular season (second best in the NBA) and set a franchise-record with a .736 winning percentage. Toronto also reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the fifth straight year.

Source: Toronto Raptors

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Sources: Rockets Interested in Tyronn Lue, Sam Cassell for Head Coach

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Sources: There is mutual interest between the Rockets and Clippers assistant coach Sam Cassell. Cassell started his playing career with the two-time champion “Clutch City” Rockets.


With a head coaching vacancy in Houston, expect the franchise to take a strong look at Los Angeles Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue.

Source: Tim MacMahon and Chris Haynes on Twitter

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Sources: Mike D’Antoni Won’t Return to Rockets Next Season

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Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni has informed the franchise that he’s becoming a coaching free agent and won’t return to the team next season, he told ESPN on Sunday.

“It’s with tremendous sadness and gratitude that my wife Laurel and I announce that our incredible journey in Houston has ended for now and that we’ll be moving to a new chapter,” D’Antoni told ESPN in a statement.

D’Antoni, whose contract expired with the end of Houston’s season in the Western Conference semifinals on Saturday, turned down extension offers before the season.

He will be considered among a group of candidates for the Philadelphia 76ers’ coaching opening, sources told ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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