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Report: D’Angelo Russell to Replace Victor Oladipo in All-Star Game

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Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo in the 2019 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played on Sunday, Feb. 17 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Russell has earned his first NBA All-Star selection and becomes the Nets’ first All-Star since the 2013-14 season (Joe Johnson).  In his fourth season, the 6-5 guard is averaging career highs of 19.6 points and 6.4 assists to go with 3.8 rebounds and 1.17 steals in 52 games.  He is shooting career highs of 43.8 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from three-point range and 80.8 percent from the free throw line.  Russell has made a career-high 140 three-pointers, the third-highest total among Eastern Conference players.

In January, Russell averaged 23.8 points and 7.3 assists in 15 games as the Nets went 11-4 to finish the month with a 28-25 record.  Russell was named the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week for Week 14 of the 2018-19 season (Jan. 14-20).

Source: NBA

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Sources: Kawhi Leonard to Decline Player Option, ‘seriously considering’ Re-Signing with Raptors

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Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard will decline his 2019-20 player option worth $21.3 million to become an unrestricted free agent, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The 6-foot-7 All-Star will be one of the marquee free agents on the open market.

The Raptors are the only team that can offer Leonard a max contract for five years and $190 million.

Leonard, 27, is believed to be seriously considering re-signing with the Raptors, sources said.

Source: Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports

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Sources: Wizards to Decline Team Option on Jabari Parker

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The Washington Wizards will decline the 2019-20 team option on Jabari Parker’s contract, and the forward will become an unrestricted free agent on June 30, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Parker, 24, is valued by the franchise, but this was a decision anticipated by most league executives when the team acquired him from the Chicago Bulls in February.

The Wizards are very much open to re-signing Parker and the interest is mutual, sources said.

Source: Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports

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Sources: Rick Pitino Interested in Return to NBA

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Rick Pitino has turned down an offer to return as president and coach of Panathinaikos, the franchise he led to a Greek League championship this season, Pitino told ESPN on Friday.

The Naismith Hall of Fame coach said he wants to return to the full-time pursuit of a job in the NBA — as a coach or in a player personnel or advisory role.

Pitino led Panathinaikos to a Greek Cup title, completing a 15-0 season. The team was 7-0 when he arrived. Pitino also led the team into postseason play in the EuroLeague playoffs.

Pitino, 66, won NCAA titles at Kentucky and Louisville, reached seven Final Fours and claimed conference titles in the Big East, SEC and ACC. His career has also been marred by scandals that led to his demise at Louisville, where a national title and two Final Four appearances were vacated. He was fired in 2018.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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