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Report: Luka Doncic Boosting 2018 Draft Stock with EuroBasket Play

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Luka Doncic is already raising the bar for college basketball’s top NBA prospects and gamely challenging proven NBA pros like [Kristaps] Porzingis.

“Michael Porter Jr. and Marvin Bagley III couldn’t put up the production that Doncic is doing in a 40-minute FIBA ball-control game,” an NBA veteran scouting executive told Bleacher Report.

Doncic, who went for 27 points and nine rebounds against Latvia, is building confidence in scouts and momentum in the debate as the No. 1 overall draft pick for 2018.

“Yes, 100 percent,” said the executive when asked if Doncic could go first. “His game is leap years above anyone. Continues to shine and impress.”

In 2018, Porter won’t be able to cake-walk to No. 1 at Missouri with empty team production, the way Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz did in college. Flashes of upside will not be enough for Duke’s Bagley, like they were for Karl-Anthony Towns at Kentucky.

Doncic has entered their tier, putting together a resume no 2017-18 college star will match.

Source: Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report

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Sources: Jimmy Butler Trade Talks ‘mostly dormant’

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For now, Minnesota’s talks with teams around the NBA are mostly dormant, league sources told The Athletic. The Miami Heat have long been the most aggressive team pursuing Butler, having advantages with a young, promising wing in Josh Richardson, being a team not in Minnesota’s conference and holding other assets to add in a package. Yet days before their own season opener Wednesday, Miami president Pat Riley informed his locker room that the team would stick with the current roster to start the season in a show of loyalty the organization has for their current players, league sources said.

Source: Shams Charania of The Athletic

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Sources: HEAT, Pat Riley ‘pulling the plug’ on Jimmy Butler Trade

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In another rare confirmation of Miami Heat trade negotiations, a team spokesman confirmed shortly before Thursday night’s game that Heat President Pat Riley recently told the team’s players he was “pulling the plug” on trade negotiations regarding disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler.

Amid growing speculation of specific Heat players being offered for Butler, Riley, during a recent practice session, lined up the team’s players on the practice court at AmericanAirlines Arena and told them he was standing by them.

Riley, however, did not state that a trade was categorically off the table.

Source: Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel

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Report: G League to Offer $125K Salaries to Elite Prospects

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The NBA G League today announced a Select Contract as part of a comprehensive professional path that will be available, beginning with the 2019-20 season, to elite prospects who are eligible to play in the NBA G League but not yet eligible for the NBA.  The contracts, which will include robust programmatic opportunities for development, are for elite players who are at least 18 years old and will pay $125,000 for the five-month season.

“Select Contracts are an answer to the basketball community’s call for additional development options for elite players before they are eligible for the NBA,” said NBA G League President Malcolm Turner.  “The supporting infrastructure surrounding these newly-created Select Contracts is designed to provide a rich offering of basketball and life skills developmental tools for top young players to grow along their professional paths from high school to the pros.”

Source: NBA

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