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Sources: Jimmy Butler Challenged Brett Brown Over Offensive Role

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Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Jimmy Butler has aggressively challenged coach Brett Brown on his role in the offense, complicating an already tenuous chemistry among the team’s Big Three hierarchy, league sources told ESPN.

Butler has been vocal in his contesting of Brown and his system, including a recent film session in Portland that some witnesses considered “disrespectful” and beyond normal player-coach discourse.

Brown has told people within the organization that he had no issues with that exchange and considered it within the confines of the relationship that he has developed with Butler, sources said.

While a source close to Butler contends that his intense, direct style can come off as combative as he is trying to make clear his viewpoints, Butler’s sluggish assimilation into the Sixers environment is causing some concern about his long-term viability and fit with the organization, league sources said. Nevertheless, the franchise’s full focus and resources remain on making this new partnership work this season and beyond.

Source: Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Sources: Markelle Fultz Back in Philadelphia to Continue Shoulder Rehab

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Guard Markelle Fultz has returned to Philadelphia to continue his shoulder rehabilitation with the Sixers, league sources tell ESPN. No timetable yet on a return to the lineup. He’s attending Sixers-Thunder game today.

Fultz has been undergoing therapy for thoracic outlet syndrome in Los Angeles since leaving the Sixers in early December. Sixers have had staff in California observing progress, and now Fultz will work at team’s facility to try to ramp up for an eventual return to the season.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Report: Anthony Davis Out One-to-Two Weeks with Left Finger Sprain

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Injury Update: Anthony Davis sustained a left index finger sprain in last night’s game. Davis is expected to be out approximately 1-2 weeks

Source: New Orleans Pelicans on Twitter

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Sources: Frank Ntilikina Drawing Trade Interest

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Despite the Knicks’ clear lack of confidence in [Frank] Ntilikina, teams have inquired about the 20-year-old, with the Magic and Suns expressing interest, according to a source. And this is where it gets interesting. There seems to be a debate within the Knicks on whether to deal Ntilikina. He was drafted by Mills and has supporters in the front office. But, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, Perry, who took the job after Ntilikina was drafted, recently approached the Atlanta Hawks to gauge whether the team was interested in dealing for the guard (Hawks have Trae Young and weren’t interested).

Source: Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News

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