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Paul George to Replace DeMarcus Cousins in All-Star Game

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Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins on Team LeBron in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles (8 p.m. ET).

George earned his fifth All-Star selection and third in a row. In his first season with the Thunder after spending seven seasons with the Indiana Pacers, the 6-9 George is averaging 21.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.17 steals per game. He is shooting a career-high 42.6 percent from three-point range for Oklahoma City.

Cousins sustained a season-ending ruptured left Achilles tendon against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 26.  An All-Star selection for the fourth consecutive season, Cousins was voted to start and drafted to Team LeBron by captain LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Team LeBron head coach, determined by the best record in the Eastern Conference through games of Sunday, Feb. 4, will select the player to replace Cousins in the starting lineup.  Boston head coach Brad Stevens is ineligible to coach Team LeBron because he coached in last year’s All-Star Game.

Source: NBA

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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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