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Sources: Jimmy Butler Prefers Trade to Clippers, Interested in Knicks, Nets

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After registering a trade request with the Minnesota Timberwolves, All-Star Jimmy Butler is most interested in pursuing a future with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told ESPN.

Butler’s ability to partner on the Clippers with a second star player in a deep summer free agency market holds a strong appeal to Butler, league sources said.

The Clippers have two max contract slots available in July, and are emerging as a front-runner for Toronto’s All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard when he becomes a free agent in July, league sources said.

Butler told Minnesota president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau that he would like to be traded before reporting for Timberwolves media day on Monday and prefers the possibility of the Clippers — as well as the New York Knicks, league sources said. Butler told the Timberwolves that he planned to leave the franchise in free agency next summer, sources said.

The Brooklyn Nets’ ability to sign two max free agents in the summer will keep them in consideration for Butler, but he has prioritized the Clippers and Knicks over them, league sources said.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Sources: Rockets Interested in Acquiring J.R. Smith

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The Rockets have expressed exploratory interest in acquiring JR Smith, according to league sources. Smith is currently on hiatus from the Cavaliers as Cleveland seeks a new home for the veteran shooting guard via trade

Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

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Sources: Multiple Teams in Contact with Suns over Trevor Ariza

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Suns have heard from no less than 8 teams interested in acquiring Trevor Ariza. Lakers are one of those teams but there is nothing close at this time. Suns not interested in KCP and a bench player.

Source: John Gambadoro on Twitter

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Sources: DeMarcus Cousins to Practice with G-League Team

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Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins is expected to practice with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors on Monday, a source told @espn @TheUndefeated.

Source: Marc J. Spears on Twitter

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