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Cavs’ Front Office Source Calls LeBron’s Words ‘Brilliant’

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While one team source told ESPN there was amazed disbelief that (LeBron) James could question the Cavs’ pledge to repeat as champions — considering owner Dan Gilbert is on the hook for the largest payroll in league history at more than $127 million, plus luxury tax — another source within the Cleveland front office told ESPN that the timing of James’ words was “brilliant,” as the Cavs have thrived in adversity the past several seasons and this chaos that James created could jolt the team out of its current malaise.

Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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Agent: Gordon Hayward Unlikely to Return this Season Following Surgery

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Celtics All-Star forward Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return during the 2017-18 season, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Hayward underwent surgery to repair a dislocated left ankle and a fractured tibia in Boston on Wednesday night, a procedure that Bartelstein labeled a success.

“We expect him to make a full recovery and return to his All-Star form,” Bartelstein said.

Source: ESPN

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Ben Simmons on NBA Debut: ‘It felt like I was playing 2K’

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Ben Simmons finally made his long-awaited NBA regular-season debut against the Wizards in Washington on Wednesday night. And after his extended wait to wear the Philadelphia 76ers jersey in a meaningful game, he said he felt initially like he was in a video game.

“It felt like I was playing 2K, honestly,” Simmons said postgame.

“Just looking at Joel Embiid out there with the lights on his jersey. I was like, ‘man, I’m actually here.'”

Simmons was drafted with the first overall pick by the Sixers in the 2016 draft, but he missed the entire 2016-17 season while recovering from foot surgery to repair a Jones fracture. He suffered the injury on Sept. 30, 2016, less than a month before the start of the regular season. The Australian was originally expected to miss three months, but was eventually ruled out for the entire season.

Source: Nick Metallinos of ESPN

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Sources: Nuggets Release Jameer Nelson

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Sources: Veteran point guard Jameer Nelson has been released by Denver, clears free agency waivers Friday.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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