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This is your first experience with the crazy NBA off-season and rumour mill. How are you handling it? Murray: It’s different knowing I could be in Cleveland right now. I could be in Minnesota. I could be anywhere in a couple days. It’s kind of nerve wracking because you don’t know what’s going on and there are so many rumours. I just have to stay ready and prepared for any opportunity. SN: How many texts have you gotten about it? Murray: I don’t really text a lot of people so it’s good to have nobody texting you about it. [laughing]
They poked around with Denver, but the Nuggets drew a line at Jamal Murray, sources say. Those teams had to weigh the possibility of Butler bolting in 2019, which cooled the market a bit, sources say.
There is not much evidence, at least not now, that Indiana got close with anyone. Denver made a solid offer for George, roping in assets from a third team, per league sources, but the Nuggets were hesitant to part with Jamal Murray, sources say. (Nikola Jokic is rightfully untouchable.) The Pacers may regret this outcome. George can opt out after next season, and he’s probably not going to make an All-NBA team this time around — precluding Indy from offering him a mega-extension that would blow away anything rivals could dangle.
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February 19, 2018 | 7:18 pm EST Update
Ian Begley: Knicks are one of several teams to express interest in Troy Williams, per league sources. Williams is expected to make a decision on his next destination soon. The 23-year-old 6-7 wing was waived by Houston to make room for Joe Johnson. NYK has an open roster spot at the moment.
Possibly damaging the Lakers’ “King James” dreams is the franchise playing its own role in making the Cavaliers’ roster more attractive. The Lakers recently traded two of their young talents to Cleveland – easy-scoring guard Jordan Clarkson and high-flying forward Larry Nance Jr. Cleveland acquired a veteran point guard in George Hill who complements James well with his 3-point shooting, ability to be effective without the ball and defense, and also added a talented, athletic and young scorer in Rodney Hood, who could start for a lot of teams.
The new-look Cavaliers sans an injured Kevin Love are 2-0 since the moves and fun to watch again. The Lakers have the ability to sign two major free agents this summer, but the Clippers don’t have that ability until 2019. Trading ex-Clippers star Blake Griffin just months after he signed a five-year contract has to be curious to a prospective free agent as well.“I wouldn’t be surprised if he stays in Cleveland now,” one high-ranking Eastern Conference team executive said. “The Cavaliers put a really good team around him. The Cavaliers have made it really tough for him to decide to leave Cleveland again. The Lakers might have helped them keep LeBron.”
February 19, 2018 | 5:31 pm EST Update
Josh Lewenberg: With the buyout market expected to heat up in the next 10 days and the Raptors still intending to fill their vacant 15th roster spot, one guy to keep an eye on is Orlando’s Arron Afflalo.