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Sources: Blake Griffin Expected to Miss Entire First-Round Series Against Bucks

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Detroit Pistons star Blake Griffin will likely miss the entire first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks because of a left knee injury, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Griffin has battled the injury for the past several weeks, getting pulled from the Pistons’ second-to-last game against Memphis and missing the season finale against New York, games the Pistons needed to win — and did — to qualify for the last playoff spot.

Without Griffin, the Pistons were no match for the top-seeded Bucks in Game 1 on Sunday night, losing 121-86 at Fiserv Forum.

Griffin will be listed as day to day for the remainder of the series, with a league source calling it a “slim chance” he plays this weekend. There’s no structural damage in the left knee, and it’s unclear whether he’ll need some type of minor procedure this offseason. Griffin and team doctors will decide the best course of action when the season concludes.

Source: Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports

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Sources: D’Angelo Russell ‘highly unlikely’ to Return to Nets if Kyrie Irving Signs

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As of late this week, teams interested in pursuing Kyrie Irving remained under the impression that the Nets were the odds-on favorite to land the point guard, per sources. But no team interested in Irving, including the Knicks and Lakers, had been led to believe that they are out of the running to sign him, those sources say.

If Irving ends up signing in Brooklyn, it may have an interesting ripple effect on the roster, particularly D’Angelo Russell.

If Irving signs with the Nets, SNY sources familiar with the matter say it is highly unlikely that Russell remains with the Nets. Members of the Nets organization have communicated that idea in recent days, per sources.

Source: Ian Begley of SNY.tv

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Sources: Jimmy Butler to Decline Player Option

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Philadelphia 76ers forward Jimmy Butler intends to decline his player option — barring an unforeseen change of circumstances — yet the Sixers remain adamant about doing whatever it takes to retain the star, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

In opting out of the $19.8 million player option — in which he has a June 29 deadline to do so — it sets the eight-year veteran up to be one of the top unrestricted free agents on the market.

The Sixers were prepared for this decision, sources said.

Source: Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports

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Sources: Knicks Exercise Team Option on Allonzo Trier

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The New York Knicks have exercised guard Allonzo Trier’s $3.5M team option for the 2019-20 season, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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