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Stevens: ‘Incredible’ what Isaiah Thomas did in Boston

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Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens engaged in a question-and-answer session Friday at the Basketball Hall of Fame, where a young visitor asked him pointedly why he traded away Isaiah Thomas earlier this week.

“That’s an excellent question,” Stevens answered after laughter dissipated from fans in attendance following the unexpected hard-hitting question. “Here’s what I’ll tell you: What [Thomas] did in Boston the last 2½ years has been incredible. I said earlier what he’s meant to me, what I think of him, how great he’s been in the locker room, what kind of teammate he’s been. Those are all really, really, really hard decisions. That’s the hard part about being a professional basketball coach. I’ve stared at the wall many times and thought, ‘Man, having guys in college for four years and knowing exactly when they’re coming and going is a pretty good way of doing things.’ So that’s a tough one.”

Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN

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Sources: HEAT Aggressive in Pursuit of Jimmy Butler

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So far, Pat Riley and Miami have been as aggressive as any team in pursuit of a Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota, league sources tell ESPN. Ownership still prefers to find a deal by early this week, sources said.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Knicks, Joakim Noah Nearing Buyout Agreement

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Sources on @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium: Joakim Noah and the New York Knicks are near agreement on his waive and stretch. Noah will not report to training camp this week as sides part ways before media day.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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Sources: Cavaliers Interested in Jimmy Butler

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ESPN Sources: Another team pursuing a Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota: Cleveland. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert was seen talking privately with Glen Taylor at NBA Board of Governors meeting on Friday. Both owners played a part in negotiating the Love-Wiggins deal.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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