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Report: Kawhi Leonard Returns to Practice, Close to Return

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Sooner rather than later appears to be coming soon.

All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard accompanied the Spurs on their two-game road swing that opens tonight in Memphis. He is on the road to complete what coach Gregg Popovich calls “the last steps” in a months-long rehabilitation from a quadriceps injury.

Leonard has played two sessions of 5-on-5, going both halfcourt and full. At shootaround this morning at the FedEx Forum, Leonard practiced with the full team for the first time, Popovich said.

“Those are the last steps,” Popovich said. “That’s what Tony (Parker) did before he came back.”

Parker has played in two games since returning from a torn quadriceps tendon suffered in last season’s playoffs. Leonard, the Spurs’ leading scorer and top defender, has yet to play due to lingering teninopathy in his quad.

The team has announced no specific target date for Leonard’s return. Popovich has repeated “sooner rather than later” so often it is beginning to sound like a mantra. Yet it is clear from Leonard’s place in the rehab process that his 2017-18 debut is growing near.

“He’s starting to feel in a little bit better shape and feeling more confident,” Popovich said.

Source: Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News

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Sources: Nets Guarantee Spencer Dinwiddie’s Salary

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The Nets recently guaranteed guard Spencer Dinwiddie’s $1.65M salary for the season, league sources tell ESPN.


Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Mike D’Antoni: Carmelo Anthony ‘a lot better fit’ with Rockets

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Houston coach Mike D’Antoni, who walked away from the New York Knicks post because of Carmelo Anthony, now will welcome him onto his Rockets team that needs their sordid past to be, well, just that.

No more hard feelings over their infamous split in March 2012, when D’Antoni was so tired of trying to convince Anthony to play power forward that he resigned with more than a month left in the regular season. No more dissecting how it all went down, as D’Antoni has several times in recent years by sharing that it was Anthony’s ultimatum to Knicks management that inspired his exit.

“Back then, there wasn’t even analytics. I was going by my gut, and he was going by (his) gut, and it’s just, you know, styles clash. And I think now, things have changed and everybody is playing the same way. I think it’s a lot better fit and I think we have a really good chance to be really good.”

Source: Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports

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2018 Free Agency Diary

Sources: Bucks, Shabazz Muhammad Agree to Deal

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Free agent Shabazz Muhammad has agreed to a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, league sources tell Yahoo.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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