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Sources: Bucks Interested in JR Smith, Buyout Unlikely

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The Milwaukee Bucks have interest in JR Smith, sources said, though Smith and the Cavs are not close on a buyout. There is very little incentive for Cleveland to buy him out, and at this stage in his life, NBA money is important to Smith.

Smith is guaranteed $3.9 million for next season and $15.7 million if he’s on Cleveland’s roster July 1. What this means for the Cavs is — there is great reason to hold on to him for the rest of the season, and then try to trade him before July 1. If they fail, then they either waive him by June 30, paying him the $3.9 million to walk, they take on his full contract with the hope of being able to trade it by the February deadline next season, or they keep him past July 1 in an effort to trade him by a late August deadline to “waive and stretch” his contract. In essence, this would be risking $12 million for an extra two months to trade him.

Source: Joe Vardon of The Athletic

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Report: Rockets, Mike D’Anton Hold ‘preliminary discussions’ on Extension

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The Houston Rockets and coach Mike D’Antoni have had preliminary discussions on the framework of a contract extension that would keep the two-time NBA Coach of the Year from entering the final year of his deal.

“I’ve let [general manager] Daryl [Morey] and [team owner] Tilman [Fertitta] know that I’m energized to keep coaching — and believe that I can continue to do this at a high level for at least another three years,” D’Antoni, 68, told ESPN on Sunday night.

“I want to be a part of a championship here.”

It is unclear how significant of a commitment the Rockets are willing to make to D’Antoni, who told ESPN he prefers to avoid entering the final year of his original four-year contract in 2019-20 without an extension.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Sources: Cavaliers Hire JB Bickerstaff as Associate Head Coach

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Cleveland has hired JB Bickerstaff as associate head coach, league sources tell ESPN. Bickerstaff was a target of several teams, but Cavs were determined to pair him with John Beilein and made him one of league’s top paid assistants.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Pelicans Hire Trajan Langdon as General Manager

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New Orleans has agreed on deal with Brooklyn assistant general manager Trajan Langdon to make him the new GM working alongside David Griffin, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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