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Sources: HEAT, 76ers Interested in Nemanja Bjelica

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Trade interest was already forming on at least two fronts Friday when Kings forward Nemanja Bjelica emerged from the deepest reaches of coach Luke Walton’s bench to prove he’s still got game under that baggy warmup suit.

Two Eastern Conference playoff contenders are believed to have interest in the veteran big man, one that went to the NBA Finals last season and another that hopes to get there this season. One of those teams is the Miami Heat, a club that can absorb Bjelica’s contract using its $7.6 million trade exception, a league source told The Sacramento Bee. The Philadelphia 76ers also “are known to be among the teams who are considering the 32-year-old forward,” according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick.

Source: Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee

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Sources: Hawks Fire Lloyd Pierce, Nate McMillan to Serve as Interim Head Coach

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Atlanta has dismissed Lloyd Pierce as coach, sources tell ESPN.

ESPN Sources: Nate McMillan has accepted the interim head coaching job with the Hawks. McMillan has a 667-591 (.530) record in 16 seasons as head coach with Seattle, Portland and Indiana.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Joakim Noah to Retire

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13-year NBA center Joakim Noah — a two-time All-Star and former Defensive Player of the Year winner — is effectively retiring from basketball, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.

Plan is for the longtime Chicago star to eventually retire as a Bull.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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Sources: Victor Oladipo Turned Down Extension from Rockets

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Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo recently turned down a two-year, $45.2 million maximum contract extension, the most the franchise could offer him before the end of the regular season, sources told ESPN.

As expected, Oladipo is pursuing a longer-term deal, sources said, something that the collective bargaining agreement doesn’t allow the Rockets to offer him until the offseason.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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