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Report: 2019 NBA Award Finalists Announced

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The NBA today announced the finalists for six awards that honor top performers from the 2018-19 regular season: Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, Kia NBA Sixth Man Award, Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Kia NBA Most Improved Player and NBA Coach of the Year.

Kia NBA Most Valuable Player

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder
James Harden, Houston Rockets

Kia NBA Rookie of the Year

Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns
Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

Kia NBA Sixth Man Award

Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers
Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers
Lou Williams, LA Clippers

Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Kia NBA Most Improved Player

De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings
D’Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors

NBA Coach of the Year

Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks
Michael Malone, Denver Nuggets
Doc Rivers, LA Clippers

Source: NBA

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Sources: Victor Oladipo to Opt Out of NBA Restart

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Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo has decided to sit out the resumed 2019-20 NBA season, telling The Athletic on Friday he can’t get his mind “to being fully comfortable” in playing.

“I really want to play, and as a competitor and teammate this is tearing me apart,” Oladipo said. “I feel like I’m at a great place in my rehab and getting closer and closer to 100 percent. With all the variables, from how I have to build my 5-on-5 workload back up, to the increased risk of a soft tissue injury which could delay my rehab, and the unknown exact set up of the bubble, I just can’t get my mind to being fully comfortable in playing. I have to be smart and this decision hasn’t been easy, but I truly believe continuing on the course I’m on and getting fully healthy for the 2020-21 season is the right decision for me.”

Oladipo has one year left on his four-year, $84 million deal with the Pacers. Sources said Oladipo plans to travel with the team to Orlando despite his decision to opt out of playing, and that he will continue his rehab, support his teammates and join them inside the bubble environment.

Source: Shams Charania of The Athletic

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Sources: NBA Expected to OK ‘second bubble’ in Chicago

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The NBA is closing in on signing off on a second “bubble” in Chicago for the eight teams that were not invited to play in Orlando, enabling mini-training camps and subsequent games against other clubs with a target date of September, sources tell ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Zhaire Smith Out for NBA Restart with Bone Bruise in Left Knee

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Philadelphia 76ers wing Zhaire Smith has a bone bruise in his left knee, per source. He will not travel to Orlando.

Smith began experiencing pain prior to the Sixers resuming workouts last week, and he started treatment immediately. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Source: Derek Bodner on Twitter

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