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Report: Marcus Smart Could Potentially Return by End of First Round

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Celtics guard Marcus Smart engaged in shooting drills Sunday for the first time since undergoing thumb surgery last month and said he could return to action as early as the end of the first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Smart, wearing a new splint on his shooting hand, got up shots before Game 1 between the Celtics and Bucks, then expressed optimism about getting back on the court to help his injury-ravaged team should it hang around in the playoffs.

“Today was the first day with the new splint on to actually get out here and do something. So the thumb felt well,” said Smart, who underwent surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament on March 16.

“We’re on track for [a return in the] next three weeks, possibly Game 7 of the first round, [but] definitely second round. So we’re on the right path.”

Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN

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Sources: Kyrie Irving ‘strongly considering’ Nets in Free Agency

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Sources tell SNY that Kyrie Irving and his camp are strongly considering Brooklyn if he decides to leave Boston. Irving’s camp has kept a close eye on the Nets as the season progressed and the team got better, with the playoffs only helping their case.

SNY also learned recently that the Nets would not shy away from signing Irving even if they re-sign point guard D’Angelo Russell. The ideal scenario would be to pair two max free agents, such as Kevin Durant and Irving, but sources say the Nets would be open to pairing Irving and Russell in the backcourt together.

Source: Anthony Puccio of SNY.tv

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Sources: Hornets to Host Simi Shittu for Workout

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Vandy PF Simi Shittu will workout for the #Hornets on June 1, per a source. The 6-9 1/2 Shittu is a former McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand Classic selection. He measured with a robust 7-1 1/4 wingspan as well.

Source: Jordan Schultz on Twitter

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Sources: Trail Blazers, Neil Olshey Agree to Extension

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Portland Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey has agreed to a contract extension through 2024, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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