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Kawhi Leonard reveals message he gave Kyle Lowry after DeMar DeRozan trade

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History will say Kawhi Leonard was an amazing investment for the Raptors. He turned in a Finals MVP performance (28.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.2 blocks in six games vs. the Warriors) and delivered the franchise its first-ever NBA championship.

But in the beginning? No one knew exactly how the blockbuster trade between the Spurs and Raptors would play out for Toronto. Leonard was, after all, leaving San Antonio on bad terms. Many wondered how he'd mesh with Kyle Lowry, whose close friend, DeMar DeRozan, was among the players traded away last summer to acquire Leonard.

MORE: What does Raptors' NBA Finals win mean for the Drake curse?

Leonard was asked Thursday what exactly his mindset was after the trade to the Raptors. In answering the question, he also revealed he reached out to Lowry with a message.

"I texted Kyle probably a day later — or the day that I got traded — and told him I said let’s go out and do something special," Leonard said. "I know your best friend left, I know you’re mad, but let’s make this thing work out. And we are here today.”

From there, the Raptors turned in the second-best record (58-24) in the NBA during the regular season, then ousted the team with the best record i[......]

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NBA Draft party goes crazy for Jordan Bone after 57th overall selection

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Jordan Bone didn't think he was getting drafted. Tennessee’s starting point guard was with a large group of family and friends on Thursday hoping to celebrate his selection. 

As the 2019 NBA Draft came to a close, Bone’s older brother, Josh Bone, can be seen on video talking to the disappointed crowd — until he was interrupted by an exclamation and an incredible reaction to Bone getting selected 57th overall by the Pelicans:

(WARNING: The video below contains profanity.)

Pelicans, Grizzlies build bright futures; Suns, Wizards reach

Bone appeared to get swarmed by everyone in attendance at the draft party.

Shortly after he was selected, the 6-3 point guard's rights were acquired by the Pis夜网论坛tons.

Bone averaged 13.5 points, 5.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game during his junior season with the Volunteers.


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NBA rumors: Bulls expected to pursue Julius Randle

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Multiple teams are interested in Julius Randle.

The Bulls are expected to pursue the 24-year-old forward when free agency begins June 30, according to a report from The Athletic, which cites unidentified league sources. The Knicks and Nets, amongst others, will also reportedly consider signing Randle.

The 24-year-old forward averaged a career-high 21.4 points, along with 8.7 rebounds, in 73 games with the Pelicans in 2018-19. He shot 52.4% from the field and 34.4% from 3-point range.

“It just shows opportunity and preparation,” Randle said about his season, via NOLA.com. “Just years of preparation and hard work and finally coming and getting my opportunity, I was able to make a jump. So, I expec夜网论坛t that next year, as well, out of myself. My job is just to prepare.”

Randle spent the first four seasons of his career with the Lakers before signing with the Pelicans in July 2018.

“You’ve just got to look at every situation,” Randle said about free agency in April. “I don’t know what the situation will look like. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here (with the Pelicans). Would love to be back. But, like I said, you have to look at every situation, look at options, and do what’s best for you and your family and your career at th[......]

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Kevin Durant free agency fits: Will KD choose Warriors, Knicks, Nets or Clippers after major injury?

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And so it begins. Kevin Durant is an unrestricted free agent.

The two-time Finals MVP declined his $31.5 million player option with the Warriors, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports Duran夜网论坛t is in New York evaluating his choices with business manager Rich Kleiman. It would've been shocking to see Durant accept the player option given how much he stands to make with a longterm deal, but it's important to know that is off the table.

NBA FREE AGENCY: Latest news, rumors on Kevin Durant

With Durant now on the market, the rumors regarding his next move will only intensify before free agency officially begins Sunday at 6 p.m. ET. The terrible Achilles injury he suffered in the NBA Finals hasn't reduced interest in him around the league. Durant will be expecting a full max contract from any general manager trying to sign him.

Based on all the reporting to this point, he has four primary suitors, though an outside team could al[......]

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NBA rumors: Pelicans considering signing Tobias Harris

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Tobias Harris has another suitor.

The Pelicans have expressed interest in the 26-year-old forward, according to a report from The Athletic, which cites unidentified league sources. The Mavericks, Grizzlies, Jazz and Nets are reportedly all also considering adding Harris.

The Clippers could pursue Harris, as well, if they miss out on Kawhi Leonard this summer, while the 76ers want to re-sign him, the report says. Los Angeles sent Harris to the 76ers at the 2018-19 trade deadline.

Harris has bounced around the NBA and has played for five teams in eight seasons, averaging 15.4 points per game while shooting 36.4% from 3-point range in 546 career appearances.

“There's only so many players that are super stable in the NBA, let's just be upfront with that,” Harris said about his approach to free agency last month. “For me honestly, style of play is a huge thing. Culture. A chance to be able to win. Just being in the playoffs here and getting that feeling.”

The Pelicans, meanwhile, have already undergone a major roster overhaul this offseason. They completed one of the biggest trades in NBA history earlier this month when they sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three f[......]

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Lakers trade creates cap space to chase max free agent

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Anything is possible.

Just when everyone thought the Lakers had no shot at a max free agent after trading for Anthony Davis, the team has reportedly shipped three players — Mo Wagner, Jemerr夜网论坛io Jones and Isaac Bonga — and their 2022 second-round pick to the Wizards (per ESPN). Those three players combined to average 10.2 points per game last season in limited playing time and are set to earn around $5 million in 2019-20.

Additionally, Davis has waived his $4 million trade kicker, according to ESPN.

And there you have it — Los Angeles has the required $32 million in cap space to chase any free agent they deem worthy of a max contract.

Los Angeles will now pursue a third star this summer to pair with Davis and LeBron James. The franchise has been linked to Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and D'Angelo Russell. But before Thursday's trade news, the Lakers only expected to have around $23 million available this offseason and weren't able to offer a max contract.

Despite the previous cap restrictions, the Lakers' front office was bullish on its chan[......]

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Report: Kawhi will take free agency to weekend

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#KawhiWatch continues.

At least into the weekend.

According to a report from Cris Carter of FS1, Kawhi Leonard is still undecided when it comes to his looming free agency decision.

Carter, who has ties to Leonard's camp, also addressed the rumors about Leonard signing a one- to two-year deal, saying he's not interested in a short-term contract.

Leonard has caught the attention of everybody this offseason and after almost all of the big names found their respective teams at the start of free agency, eyes — and even helicopters — are set on the NBA champion.

The Lakers believe they're "firmly in the lead" to land the star because of the "recruiting efforts and assurances made on separate fronts" by former president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and LeBron James, according to an earlier report from the New York Times.

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NBA free agency rumors 2019: Live updates, news on signings, trades and more

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NBA free agency has arrived. Well, it really started a few weeks ago, but it officially began June 30 at 6 p.m. ET.

Free agents and teams have been negotiating the terms of contracts during the moratorium period. With the salary cap set at $109.140 million for the 2019-20 season, plenty of front offices have already used cap space to transform their rosters with initial signings creating a domino effect.

NBA FREE AGENCY TRACKER: List of signings, best available players

We've already seen Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant sign with the Nets. Kemba Walker is off to Boston. Jimmy Butler is taking his talents to the Heat.

And now Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are teaming up with the Clippers. The NBA loves drama, huh?

Follow along for the latest free agency news and updates below.

NBA free agency rumors 2019: Live updates, news on signings 

3:30 a.m. ET — Fallout from the massive Kawhi Leonard and Paul George moves:

    Danny Green to the Lakers (tw[......]

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Kawhi Leonard gives us the Clippers vs. Lakers rivalry we didn't know we wanted

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NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard left the Raptors for the Clippers.

No matter how many times you read that out loud, it's a shocking move considering Leonard was expected to either stay with the Raptors or join the Lakers. Leonard, the 28-year-old Southern California native, captivated the NBA throughout that championship run. Quirky tales about the Board Man's personality piled up as he averaged 28.5 points and 9.8 rebounds while ruining the Warriors' bid for a three-peat.

MORE: NBA players react to Kawhi, PG-13 joining forces

The Clippers were not thought to be a serious contender in the Kawhi Sweepstakes — at least not on the same level as the Lakers and Raptors — but now that they've won, we are 99 percent sure it's going to be awesome in Tinseltown.

It's beautiful for Los Angeles — and the NBA — and it's going to spawn the Western Conference rivalry we didn't know we wanted given what is at stake for all the superstars and power brokers involved. Simply put, Lakers vs. Clipp[......]

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Zion Williamson (knee) will miss rest of Summer League

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Zion Williamson will miss the rest of NBA Summer League.

The Pelicans star rookie sustained a knee-to-knee hit with an opponent during Friday night's game against the Knicks and did not return after the first half.

New Orleans later announced Williamson will sit for the rest of the team's contests in Las Vegas.

"Zion will move forward from this incident without issue," executive vice president David Griffin said in a statement. "However, in an abundance of caution, we have made the determination that he will not appear in game action for the remainder of the NBA Summer League. He will continue to take part in training and conditioning with our performance team."

Although people only got a glimpse of Williamson in his debut, he showed some promise while he was on the court.

The 19-year-old forward recorded 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting while logging nine minutes and threw down some powerful dunks along the way.

Related N[......]

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