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Sources: Cavs Fixated on Getting Young Star for Kyrie Irving

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As the Cleveland Cavaliers deliberate on deals to move All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, the franchise is operating under a self-prescribed mandate: presume a future without LeBron James.

The Cavs aren’t giving up on the possibility of re-signing James next summer, but they are no longer investing blind faith in the hope he will stay. For James, a reluctance to commit comes with an emerging set of complications. Beyond Irving’s decision to ask for a trade, Cleveland has determined that it’s unwilling to simply be reactive to James’ possible departure.

The process of building out the franchise’s roster long term has accelerated with Irving’s trade request. The Cavaliers have witnessed James’ exit strategy twice — once to leave Cleveland and once to return — and the Irving trade request has left them unwilling to squander the opportunity to replenish young assets on a roster that could be crippled in a post-James Cavaliers era that is stocked with high-priced veterans.

The Cavaliers find themselves far more fixated on a young star, including New York’s Kristaps Porzingis, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Phoenix’s Josh Jackson and Denver’s Jamal Murray, league sources told ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Kawhi Leonard Probable for Tuesday Debut

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The Spurs listed forward Kawhi Leonard as probable for Tuesday’s road matchup at Dallas, which means it’s likely that the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year will make his season debut against the Mavericks.

The club originally targeted Saturday’s game at Phoenix as a potential debut for Leonard, but sources on Friday said the forward wanted “a couple more days” to recover from the right quadriceps tendinopathy that has kept him out of all 27 of the Spurs’ games thus far this season.

Source: Michael C. Wright of ESPN

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Sources: Hornets’ Cody Zeller Undergoes Surgery, to Miss 6 Weeks

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Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee on Tuesday, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He’s expected to miss six weeks.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Clips’ Danilo Gallinari Suffers New Glute Injury

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On the same night the LA Clippers will welcome back one starter, another starter re-exits the lineup due to injury.

Power forward Danilo Gallinari, who missed 13 games with a glute injury and returned to action this past Wednesday, will miss Monday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors due to what coach Doc Rivers says is a new glute injury suffered in Gallinari’s second game back Saturday against the Washington Wizards.

Source: Lawrence Murray of ESPN

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