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Slow Knee Recovery has Kobe Introspective

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The Lakers guard (Kobe Bryant) said before the All-Star game Sunday that his recovery was “coming slowly” and did not provide a timetable for a possible return from the injury that has sidelined him since Dec. 17.

Bryant said he remained hopeful to return this season after having played in only six games because of the injured knee and a ruptured Achilles’ tendon that delayed his season debut until December.

“I am,” he said. “I just need to keep my blinders on and just focus on getting better myself and going from there.”
Bryant acknowledged having doubts about the possibility of his body giving out at age 35 after logging 54,208 minutes including the playoffs.

“Of course. Absolutely,” he said. “That’s part of the excitement of the challenge, that level of uncertainty. ‘Is this it’ sort of thing, are my best days behind me sort of thing. And to have those conversations with yourself and not be intimidated by that and not be succumbing to that is part of the challenge.”

via Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times

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Report: Jimmy Butler Asks For A Trade

According to Shams Charania, Wolves forward Jimmy Butler has asked to be traded.

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Jimmy Butler has requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources tell me and @JonKrawczynski. Butler has given Minnesota a list of one-to-three teams with whom he’s open to signing extension, in anticipation of trade.

Source: Shams Charania, via Twitter

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Sources: 76ers Promote Elton Brand to General Manager

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Philadelphia has hired Elton Brand as general manager, league sources tell ESPN. Brand will be elevated from VP of Basketball Operations. He made strong impression on ownership and Brett Brown in process, beating out several inside and outside candidates.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: NBA Updates Salary Cap Projections for Future Seasons

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Sources: The NBA has informed its teams of updated projected salary cap and tax level for 2019-20 ($109M, $132M) and 2020-21 ($118M, $143M).

Sources: Shams Charania on Twitter

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