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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: 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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