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Jimmy Butler Sits Through Celtics Late Run

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Chicago Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler says he asked coach Fred Hoiberg to stay in the game to begin the fourth quarter of Wednesday night’s loss to the Boston Celtics. The score was tied at 75, and the Celtics started the period on a 12-2 run without Butler on the floor.

“I told Fred not to take me out at the beginning of the fourth,” Butler said. “I wanted to play because that’s when we give up those leads, at the beginning of the fourth. Nothing against my teammates, but I think if I’m out there and I get their energy going the right way, now take me out and let me rest. But the energy’s going, the energy’s flowing. I think I got to start playing at the beginning of the fourth quarter.”

Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN

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Sources: Trail Blazers, Neil Olshey Agree to Extension

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Portland Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey has agreed to a contract extension through 2024, league sources tell ESPN.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Report: NBA to Officially Move Up Start of Free Agent Period

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The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today an agreement to modify the time at which teams can begin negotiating with free agents.

Teams and players will now be permitted to begin free agent negotiations at 6 p.m. ET on June 30 — six hours earlier than the previous start time of 12:01 a.m. ET on July 1.

By league rules, teams also will be permitted to communicate with free agents or their representatives beginning at 6 p.m. ET on June 29 solely for the purpose of scheduling a meeting to take place at or after 6 p.m. ET on June 30.

Source: NBA

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Report: Warriors ‘hopeful’ of Kevin Durant Return in NBA Finals, DeMarcus Cousins Expected to Return

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Warriors forward Kevin Durant (strained right calf) and center DeMarcus Cousins (torn left quadriceps muscle) were evaluated by the team’s medical staff earlier today.

Durant, who has not yet been cleared to begin on-court activities, continues to make good progress with his rehabilitation. At this point, it is unlikely that he will play at the beginning of the 2019 NBA Finals, but it’s hopeful that he could return at some point during the series.

Cousins also continues to make good progress with his rehabilitation and practiced with the team today for the first time since suffering the injury on April 16. It’s anticipated that he will play at some point during the 2019 NBA Finals, but the exact date is to be determined and depends on his progress.

The status for both players will be updated next Wednesday.

Source: Golden State Warriors

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