Russell Westbrook tests positive for COVID-19

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander signs with Converse

The shoes hung over Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s shoulders by their laces, blurred out before the big reveal. The Thunder’s future star stood with a serious expression on his face. This was an announcement of a new venture for Gilgeous-Alexander, one the 21-year-old has been able to get comfortable with during the NBA’s long layoff. Gilgeous-Alexander was unveiled as the next Converse Hoops athlete Wednesday morning. He adds his name to Golden State’s Draymond Green, Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud and Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. as athletes representing the iconic shoe brand.
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Finally, there is one other outside-the-box option — going much bigger and making a play for Toronto’s Fred VanVleet. He is the best free-agent point guard by a mile. The Hawks would have to be comfortable starting VanVleet next to Young and then sliding him over to the point when Young checks out. VanVleet is generously listed at 6-1, so that leaves the Hawks very small in the backcourt. But he is built like a bowling ball and handles bigger players well. This would be expensive. VanVleet will have multiple suitors, likely including Detroit, New York and his own Toronto Raptors, and his price tag is going to be in the $20 million-per-year range for three or four years. But he definitely would solve the problem.

Pau Gasol, Barcelona in advanced talks?

For many years Pau Gasol has said that he might return to Europe to end his playing days with Barcelona. Today the president of the club, one day after similar quotes by newly appointed coach Sarunas Jasikevicius, repeated that he “would love” to have Gasol back. And according to the Spanish Radio Station “Cadena Ser”, the two sides are in advanced talks.
via EuroHoops.net
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“Bradley did everything possible to be ready to play, but after closely monitoring his individual workouts we came to the conclusion that it was best for him to sit out the upcoming games in Orlando and avoid the risk of further injury,” said Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard. “Although he was able to play through the majority of the season with the injury, the layoff from March until now did not leave any of us feeling comfortable that he would have enough time to be ready to perform at the extremely high level we are all accustomed to seeing and agreed that not participating in the games in Orlando was the right decision.”
via NBA.com
Beal experienced discomfort with his shoulder early in the season and worked with the team’s medical and performance staff to manage the injury. The symptoms worsened over the course of the hiatus and he began to rehabilitate the injury with the intent of returning to play. He will not travel with the team to Orlando and will continue his rehabilitation process over the summer. “This was a difficult decision and one that I did not take lightly as the leader of this team,” said Beal. “I wanted to help my teammates compete for a playoff spot in Orlando, but also understand that this will be best for all of us in the long term. I appreciate the support of my teammates, the fans and the entire organization and look forward to returning next season to continue the progress we have made.”
via NBA.com

Spencer Dinwiddie hoping to fly with the Nets to Orlando

The Nets head to Orlando on Tuesday and enter quarantine in Disney. Dinwiddie would be required by the NBA to have two negative tests before he could even travel. His hope is to be able to fly with the team to Florida, because traveling separately will complicate matters. “Protocol only calls for 7 days and negative tests not the 14 day standard,” Dinwiddie tweeted of the shorter one-week quarantine. “Yep, the plan would be to fly to Orlando after workout. For players that show up late, it might make it difficult to resume season at all due to more rigorous testing requirements.”
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Kelly Oubre back in Orlando?

Phoenix Suns General Manager James Jones isn’t ruling out starting wing Kelly Oubre Jr. returning to action in Orlando. Oubre had knee surgery March 3 and reportedly looked to opt out of playing in the 2019-20 NBA season resumption, but Jones, during a media call Monday, sounded hopeful the team’s third-leading scorer will play at some point.
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Pelicans sign Sindarius Thornwell

The New Orleans Pelicans today announced that the team has signed free agent guard Sindarius Thornwell as a substitute player for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Thornwell, 6-4, 215, most recently played for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League, appearing in 40 games (26 starts) while averaging 9.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 29.0 minutes per contest.
via NBA.com
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Brooks, though, said Beal is slated to travel with the team for its scheduled flight on Tuesday pending his coronavirus test result. “No final decision,” Brooks said when asked if Beal had decided on whether to play. “We are all still day by day. “He’s looking great. His physical condition has been pretty good and continues to improve every day, along with our other guys. We are all getting tested every day and as of right now, he’s a go, and we are all going down there ready to compete and get better and play to get in a playoff position. He looks great.”