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Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving coy on possible reunion with LeBron James

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BOSTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving is playing coy about the possibility of reuniting with his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James next season in Boston.

The Celtics guard on Tuesday deferred when asked about the prospect of the team pursuing James this summer. The 33-year-old James has a player option to remain in Cleveland next season but could opt for free agency.

“In this business, I’ve kind of experienced it all and I’ve seen a lot, so we’ll see what management decides,” Irving said when asked if he would be open to playing alongside James again.

Irving was drafted No. 1 overall by the Cavaliers in 2011 and played three seasons with James, from 2014-17. The duo made three straight trips to the NBA Finals, winning a championship in 2016.

“Obviously, it’s a business at the end of the day,” Irving said. “Ownership and management, they’re going to feel what’s best for our future and I’m fully supportive of (them). We’ll see what happens.”

Irving was traded to Boston last August and averaged 24.4 points and 5.1 assists over 60 games in his first season with the Celtics.

The five-time All-Star missed the last 15 games of the regular season and the entirety of the playoffs after undergoing left knee surgery.

“To kind of have something like that unexpected, it was hurtful, because just a lot of what I wanted to accomplish with our guys and individually as one of the leaders of the team,” Irving said.

Irving also had a separate surgery in May to repair a deviated septum, a procedure that kept him away from the sidelines for Game 7 of the Celtics’ Eastern Conference Finals series against James and the Cavaliers.

“Obviously, it wasn’t going to feel the same (not being there), but I was just so proud of our guys and what they did,” Irving said. “They passed a lot of expectations, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Cleveland beat Boston 87-79 in Game 7 to send James to his eighth consecutive Finals series. The Cavaliers were swept by the Golden State Warriors, dropping James’ personal Finals record to 3-6.

The Celtics expect Irving to be completely recovered by the start of training camp in the fall.

“I’m feeling good,” Irving said. “It was going to be a process coming back, just making sure I’m healthy enough for September. Just trying not to push it too hard.”

Via NBA.com

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Grizz shopping No. 4 pick, Parsons, sources say

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The Memphis Grizzlies are in discussions with a number of teams to trade the No. 4 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, league sources told ESPN. Any such trade would likely include forward Chandler Parsons, whose contract is considered an albatross because of his knee problems.

The Grizzlies have several potential trade partners, as the Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics and LA Clippers have shown varying degrees of interest in a deal, a source told ESPN.

According to sources, the Grizzlies don’t anticipate the most serious proposals to arrive until they are on the clock Thursday, shortly before 8 p.m. ET. While contingent deals can be made earlier, the Grizzlies and other teams might want to see which prospects are available at No. 4 before deciding on a deal.

In such a trade, the Grizzlies hope to move back a few spots rather than move out of the lottery altogether, sources told ESPN. The organization wants to add talent even as it potentially trades its biggest free-agent acquisition ever to get out from under the $49.2 million remaining on Parsons’ contract over the next two seasons.

Memphis might be able to trade back to No. 6 (owned by Orlando) or No. 7 (owned by Chicago) on draft night. Duke big man Wendell Carter Jr. is a favorite of the Memphis front office and especially the coaching staff, according to sources. He is currently projected to be selected within the top seven picks in the latest ESPN mock draft.

If Orlando is willing to include Evan Fournier in a trade for Parsons, that could facilitate a deal involving the No. 4 and No. 6 picks, but the Magic currently appear reluctant to do so, instead preferring to give up Bismack Biyombo.

Knicks coach David Fizdale met with Texas center Mohamed Bamba on Wednesday afternoon at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York, sources told ESPN’s Ian Begley. Director of scouting Kristian Petesic was also present. It’s extremely unlikely Bamba would be available for the Knicks at their No. 9 pick, another indication New York has considered moving up via trade.

Knee soreness has led to Parsons playing in only 70 games since joining the Grizzlies in 2016. For Memphis, trading Parsons would potentially create significant salary-cap space in the summer of 2019, and only point guard Mike Conley is under a guaranteed contract for the 2020-21 season.

Still, due to NBA rules requiring matching salaries for teams over the salary cap, any trade Memphis makes on Thursday will need to bring back a contract or several contracts of significant size, at least for the 2018-19 season.

Via ESPN.com

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Report: Los Angeles Lakers acquire 39th overall pick in trade with Philadelphia 76ers

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The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired the 39th overall draft pick in the 2018 NBA Draft from the Philadelphia 76ers, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnaworski.

According to Wojnarowski, the Lakers will send the Chicago Bulls’ 2019 second-round pick and cash considerations to Philadelphia.

The Lakers now own picks 25, 39 and 47 heading into Thursday’s draft.

The Lakers acquired the 25th overall pick in the trade deadline deal that sent Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Channing Frye and Isaiah Thomas.

The Lakers’ own first round pick, No. 10 overall, belongs to the Sixers as a result of the 2012 trade that brought Steve Nash to Los Angeles.

Via NBA.com

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Report: New York Knicks center Kyle O'Quinn declines player option, becomes unrestricted free agent

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New York Knicks center Kyle O’Quinn will become an unrestricted free agent after declining his player option for the 2018-19 season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday night.

In a reserve role, O’Quinn posted career highs in points (7.1), rebounds (4.5) and assists (2.1) last season while shooting 58.5 percent from the field.

O’Quinn’s decision to opt out does not necessarily mean his time with the Knicks is over. Depending on their draft and free agency decisions, the Knicks could still choose to re-sign him.

O’Quinn just completed his sixth NBA season, including three years with Orlando and three with New York.

Via NBA.com

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