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Westbrook, Antetokounmpo Are Players of Week

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The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Nov. 28 through Sunday, Dec. 4.

Antetokounmpo helped the Bucks to a 3-0 week, averaging 24.3 points (fourth in the East), 10.0 rebounds (tied for fifth in the East), 6.3 assists and a league-leading 3.67 steals.  On Nov. 29, he matched his career highs for points (34) and steals (five) to go with 12 rebounds and five assists in a 118-101 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.  He capped his week by posting 16 points, 10 rebounds and career-high-tying five blocks in a 112-103 victory against the Brooklyn Nets on Dec. 3.

Westbrook led the Thunder to a 3-0 week behind averages of 30.0 points (third in NBA), 16.0 rebounds (second in NBA) and a West-leading 12.3 assists.  He recorded a triple-double in all three games to become the first player with five consecutive triple-doubles since Michael Jordan had seven in a row in 1989.  Westbrook’s fifth straight triple-double came on Dec. 4, when he finished with 28 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists as Oklahoma City extended its winning streak to five games with a 101-92 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans.  For the season, Westbrook is averaging a triple-double of 31.0 points, 11.3 assists and 10.8 rebounds.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Brooklyn’s Sean Kilpatrick, Detroit’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Tobias Harris, Golden State’s Kevin Durant, Memphis’ Troy Daniels and Marc Gasol, Miami’s Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, New York’s Derrick Rose, Orlando’s Serge Ibaka, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Utah’s Gordon Hayward.

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Headlines

Sources: Spurs Plan to Meet with Kawhi, Work Out Differences

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With head coach Gregg Popovich expected to take the lead, the Spurs plan to meet with [Kawhi] Leonard over the summer to gauge whether the sides can work out their differences and continue what has been largely a positive and productive partnership, sources said.

Leonard was sidelined for all but nine games this season because of a quadriceps issue that has led to an icy relationship with the team’s front office over his diagnosis and the rehabilitation process. He continues to rehab in New York.

Popovich, Buford and Leonard’s Spurs teammates have long maintained the squad wants the star forward back in the fold, but they’ve also all said his long-term health is most important.

Source: Michael C. Wright of ESPN

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Report: Hawks, Budenholzer Agree to Part Ways

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The Atlanta Hawks and coach Mike Budenholzer have mutually agreed to part ways, Budenholzer told ESPN.

The Hawks announced the move later Wednesday night.

Budenholzer, the 2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year, and the organization finalized terms of a split Wednesday night.

“I am grateful for the five years that I spent as coach of the Atlanta Hawks and will always cherish the incredible contributions, commitment and accomplishments of the players that I was fortunate enough to work with here,” Budenholzer told ESPN on Wednesday night. “From ownership to management, support staff to the community, I’ll look back with great pride on what we were able to achieve together with the Hawks.”

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Sources: NBA, NBPA Talk Lowering Draft Age Requirement

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The NBA and National Basketball Players Association’s conversations on eliminating the one-and-done entry rule have centered on lowering the minimum age requirement no sooner than the 2020 draft, league sources told ESPN.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts have discussed scenarios to end the requirement for American players to wait one year after high school graduation to enter the NBA draft, but no formal agreement could be reached before the NBPA’s executive committee, including president Chris Paul, gather for a meeting at the end of the NBA playoffs in June.

Silver and Roberts have both expressed a desire to change the rule, but it remains to be seen how the process of negotiating a rule change between the league and players will unfold.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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