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Sources: Steph Curry Cleared to Return Saturday, ‘Probably’ on Minutes Restriction

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Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been cleared to return for Saturday’s home game against the Memphis Grizzlies, league sources told ESPN.

Barring an unforeseen setback of the right ankle he sprained on Dec. 4 in New Orleans, Curry is returning to action after missing the team’s past 11 games, a span in which the Warriors went 9-2.

On Friday, Curry underwent his third and final re-evaluation since sustaining the injury and he was deemed physically ready to rejoin the team. During pregame availability in advance of Friday’s 111-100 loss to the Charlotte Hornets, head coach Steve Kerr said the two-time MVP would “probably” be on a minutes restriction.

“I would say most likely he’ll play,” Kerr said. “I talked to him today and he was feeling good, so we’ll see how he’s feeling tomorrow morning. He probably will have a time limit on his minutes, but we haven’t worked that out yet.”

Curry participated in a 3-on-3 scrimmage Thursday, along with partaking in practice, which primarily featured 5-on-5 drills. And instead of watching the games from the locker room, Curry has watched the past three home games while sitting adjacent to the Warriors’ bench. His teammates told ESPN they viewed that as a sign that he was close. Kerr said not only is Curry close, but he’s eager as well.

Source: Chris Haynes of ESPN

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Headlines

Sources: Jimmy Butler Trade Talks ‘mostly dormant’

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For now, Minnesota’s talks with teams around the NBA are mostly dormant, league sources told The Athletic. The Miami Heat have long been the most aggressive team pursuing Butler, having advantages with a young, promising wing in Josh Richardson, being a team not in Minnesota’s conference and holding other assets to add in a package. Yet days before their own season opener Wednesday, Miami president Pat Riley informed his locker room that the team would stick with the current roster to start the season in a show of loyalty the organization has for their current players, league sources said.

Source: Shams Charania of The Athletic

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Sources: HEAT, Pat Riley ‘pulling the plug’ on Jimmy Butler Trade

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In another rare confirmation of Miami Heat trade negotiations, a team spokesman confirmed shortly before Thursday night’s game that Heat President Pat Riley recently told the team’s players he was “pulling the plug” on trade negotiations regarding disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler.

Amid growing speculation of specific Heat players being offered for Butler, Riley, during a recent practice session, lined up the team’s players on the practice court at AmericanAirlines Arena and told them he was standing by them.

Riley, however, did not state that a trade was categorically off the table.

Source: Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel

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Report: G League to Offer $125K Salaries to Elite Prospects

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The NBA G League today announced a Select Contract as part of a comprehensive professional path that will be available, beginning with the 2019-20 season, to elite prospects who are eligible to play in the NBA G League but not yet eligible for the NBA.  The contracts, which will include robust programmatic opportunities for development, are for elite players who are at least 18 years old and will pay $125,000 for the five-month season.

“Select Contracts are an answer to the basketball community’s call for additional development options for elite players before they are eligible for the NBA,” said NBA G League President Malcolm Turner.  “The supporting infrastructure surrounding these newly-created Select Contracts is designed to provide a rich offering of basketball and life skills developmental tools for top young players to grow along their professional paths from high school to the pros.”

Source: NBA

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