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Rudy Gobert, Anthony Davis Headline All-Defensive Team

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Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year finalists Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz and Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans lead the 2017-18 NBA All-Defensive First Team.

The two big men are joined on the NBA All-Defensive First Team by Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (136 points), Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (105) and Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington (90).  All three players are All-Defensive selections for the first time.

The NBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of 76ers center Joel Embiid (90 points), Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (86), Boston Celtics forward/center Al Horford (85), San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (80) and Minnesota Timberwolves guard/forward Jimmy Butler (79).  Like the First Team, the Second Team has three first-time All-Defensive selections: Embiid, Horford and Murray.

Source: NBA

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Sources: Trevor Ariza Seeking $50-60 Million in Free Agency

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Aside from the looming contract talks of Clint Capela and Chris Paul, the free agency of veteran forward Trevor Ariza’s is another issue the Rockets will need to address come July 1.

Throughout his career, Ariza has signed relatively team-friendly deals, never earning more than $8.5 million per season. According to a person with knowledge of Ariza’s thinking, the veteran small forward will seek a larger deal once free agency arrives. Ariza is believed to want a contract in the range of $50-60 million over 4-5 years, more than $30-40 million Houston would likely offer. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on the record about Ariza or the Rockets’ free agency plans.

Source: Kelly Iko of USA TODAY Sports

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Sources: Kawhi Leonard Prefers Trade to Lakers

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San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard has Los Angeles — preferably the Lakers — at the center of his preferences for a trade destination, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Nuggets, Hawks Contemplating Kenneth Faried Trade

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The Nuggets are aggressively seeking to shed salary by trading forward Kenneth Faried, and the Hawks are willing to accommodate them for the right price, according to a person with knowledge of the NBA trade market.

The Hawks would seek draft picks, young players or both as part of a deal with the Nuggets or any other team that wants to reduce payroll. The Nuggets own the No. 14 overall pick in next week’s draft, and their expendable young players include recent draft picks Malik Beasley and Tyler Lydon.

The Nuggets are looking to reduce their salary commitments for next season. Faried is owed $13.8 million in 2018-19, the final year of his deal, and he fell out of Denver’s rotation this season with a career-low 461 minutes played.

Source: Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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