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Sources: Bucks Interested in JR Smith, Buyout Unlikely

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The Milwaukee Bucks have interest in JR Smith, sources said, though Smith and the Cavs are not close on a buyout. There is very little incentive for Cleveland to buy him out, and at this stage in his life, NBA money is important to Smith.

Smith is guaranteed $3.9 million for next season and $15.7 million if he’s on Cleveland’s roster July 1. What this means for the Cavs is — there is great reason to hold on to him for the rest of the season, and then try to trade him before July 1. If they fail, then they either waive him by June 30, paying him the $3.9 million to walk, they take on his full contract with the hope of being able to trade it by the February deadline next season, or they keep him past July 1 in an effort to trade him by a late August deadline to “waive and stretch” his contract. In essence, this would be risking $12 million for an extra two months to trade him.

Source: Joe Vardon of The Athletic

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Sources: Suns Prefer Ja Morant to Zion Williamson in Draft

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Even though Zion Williamson appears to be the consensus No. 1 player in the 2019 NBA draft class, the Phoenix Suns are reportedly enamored with a different player.

Per The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie, there is buzz around the NBA that the Suns “prefer to end up with” Murray State star Ja Morant.

Vecenie did note he is “skeptical” the Suns would pass on Williamson at No. 1 because the “financial windfall any team figures to experience by selecting Williamson is real.”

The links with Morant may exist in part because the Suns have been searching for a viable starting point guard since Eric Bledsoe was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in November 2017.

Source: Sam Vecenie of The Athletic via Bleacher Report

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Sources: Lakers Want Second Meetings with Ty Lue, Monty Williams

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Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Ty Lue and Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka met on Friday for approximately 90 minutes to discuss the franchise’s coaching vacancy, league sources told ESPN.

The conversation was described as relaxed and broad, a prelude to what the Lakers hope will be longer and more detailed discussions with top candidates Lue and Philadelphia 76ers assistant Monty Williams as soon as next week, league sources said.

Pelinka has plans to interview Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard on Tuesday, league sources said.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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Sources: Timberwolves to Interview Chauncey Billups for President of Basketball Operations

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Chauncey Billups and the Minnesota Timberwolves will meet in near future to discuss the franchise’s President of Basketball Operations role, league sources tell me and @JonKrawczynski.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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