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Westbrook, Harden Withdraw From Team USA

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Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and Houston Rockets guard James Harden became the latest stars to announce they are withdrawing their names from consideration for USA Basketball’s 2016 Rio Olympics team.

“After speaking with my family, I have decided to not participate in this year’s Olympics,” Westbrook said in a statement Friday. “This was not an easy decision, as representing my country at the World Championships in 2010 and the Olympics in 2012 were career highlights for me. I look forward to future opportunities as a member of USA Basketball.” Harden called his decision a “painstaking one that I did not take lightly.”

Source: Royce Young of ESPN

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Sources: Hornets’ Cody Zeller Undergoes Surgery, to Miss 6 Weeks

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Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee on Tuesday, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He’s expected to miss six weeks.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Report: Executives Believe Rockets Have ‘real chance’ at Landing LeBron James Next Summer

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While [LeBron] James has made it clear that he won’t deliberate his uncertain future until the Cavs’ season is complete, there is strong belief in [Houston] Rockets circles that they’ll have a legitimate shot at landing the four-time MVP this summer. Rival executives also believe the Rockets will have a real chance. And once you really look at it, when you get past all the noise about the Lakers and even the compelling case for the up-and-coming Philadelphia 76ers, it makes all sorts of sense.

Source: Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports

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Report: Markelle Fultz No Longer Experiencing Shoulder Soreness

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Philadelphia 76ers rookie guard Markelle Fultz is no longer experiencing shoulder soreness and will be evaluated in three weeks, the team said Saturday.

The Sixers said Fultz will ramp up his basketball activities in the interim.

Fultz, selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, has played in just four games and was shut down on Oct. 29 due to soreness in his right shoulder and a scapular muscle imbalance.

The 19-year-old has resisted jump shots while relying almost exclusively on drives to the basket. He is shooting 33 percent (9-of-27) from the floor and 50 percent (6-of-12) from the free throw line. Off the bench, he has averaged 19 minutes.

Fultz’s shooting woes have been underscored by an altered shooting motion that has made some wonder whether the shooting tweak led to the shoulder injury or the shoulder injury forced him to change his shot.

Source: ESPN

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