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Tyron Lue: Cavaliers to Make Fourth Starting Lineup Change

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Five games into the young NBA season, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is committing to his fourth different starting lineup.

The Cavs will start Derrick Rose, JR Smith, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson on Saturday when they play the New Orleans Pelicans, Lue said.

Cleveland opened the season with Rose, Dwyane Wade, James, Jae Crowder and Love as its starters. It switched to Jose Calderon, Wade, James, Crowder and Love; then to Smith, James, Crowder, Love and Thompson. And now this.

The latest lineup swap sends Crowder, the only player Cleveland received from the Kyrie Irving trade currently in Lue’s rotation, to the bench.

“Just another class act by Jae, he was great,” Lue said of the latest potentially difficult conversation he had to have with one of his players — mirroring the chats he already had with Smith, Thompson, Dwyane Wade and Channing Frye– about his role changing. “(He) said ‘Nah, do whatever you want. You don’t have to explain anything to me. I just want to win. That’s the most important thing.'”

“I’ve been open to change because we haven’t found our groove yet,” Crowder said. “We’re still searching for answers to see how we can get games rolling in our favor. So I’m open to whatever the team wants me to do because at the end of the day we’re trying to reach a goal.”

Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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Report: Jimmy Butler to Undergo MRI on Right Knee

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Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Jimmy Butler left Friday night’s 120-102 lossto the Houston Rockets with a right knee injury.

Butler drove into the paint with about three minutes remaining in the third quarter, missed a short jumper, but then clawed the rebound. He dished to a teammate, then crumpled to the floor in pain, holding his knee.

Teammates, coaches and athletic trainers tended to Butler, who had to be helped off the court. He was unable to put any weight on the leg as he was helped to the locker room, where he was evaluated.

Butler was seen hopping on one foot in the Toyota Center hallway as he headed to get an X-ray. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Saturday when the team gets back to Minnesota.

Source: ESPN

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Sources: Multiple Teams Interested in Joakim Noah if Bought Out

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According to league sources, several playoff-bound teams are closely monitoring [Joakim] Noah’s situation in New York and would push to sign him if Noah becomes a free agent.

The Warriors, Timberwolves and Thunder are three such teams that believe Noah, who turns 33 on Sunday, could bolster their respective rosters for the postseason.

Minnesota is an obvious one since it would reunite Noah with his former coach with the Chicago Bulls, Tom Thibodeau. Golden State and Oklahoma City also feel that Noah’s experience and defensive prowess would solidify their respective benches.

Noah remains in limbo following an altercation with Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek last month in Denver.

Source: Frank Isola of the New York Daily News

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Sources: Hawks, Ersan Ilyasova Nearing Buyout, Multiple Teams Interested

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Atlanta Hawks nearing a buyout with Ersan Ilyasova, I’m told.

Milwaukee and Toronto among possibilities for an Ersan Ilyasova landing spot once Hawks buyout is complete, but sense is it could open to other teams too.

Source: Sam Amick on Twitter

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