NBA PLAYER NEWS
Timberwolves reportedly intend to keep Jimmy Butler
The Minnesota Timberwolves are refusing trade offers for guard/forward Jimmy Butler, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
"Minnesota executives are telling teams that Butler's an elite player and that the franchise intends to keep him," Wojnarowski writes in the wake of the four-time All-Star's trade request this week. Timberwolves head coach/president of basketball operations Tim Thibodeau wants to keep Butler to better the team's chances of winning now, but that runs the risk of letting him walk for nothing in free agency next summer. Butler turned 29 earlier this month.
Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.2 3-pointers on a career-high 47.4 field goal percentage for the Timberwolves last season.
Lakers' Lonzo Ball (knee) fully cleared to resume all basketball activities
Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball has been cleared by the team's doctors to resume all basketball activities.
Lonzo will be able to practice with the team when training camp opens on Saturday, but he won't initially be running with the team in five-on-five drills, according to Lakers beat reporter Mike Trudell.
numberFire's early projections have Ball slated to average 11.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 27.4 FanDuel points in 29.3 minutes per game.
Jimmy Butler has reportedly requested a trade from the Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves guard/forward Jimmy Butler has requested a trade, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Butler has given Minnesota a list of up to three teams that he would be willing to sign an extension with, according to the report.
He averaged 22.2 points and 4.9 assists per game with a 59.0% true shooting percentage last year.
Dion Waiters (foot) will likely miss Heat season opener
Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters (foot surgery) will not be ready for the start of training camp and it's unlikely he'll be cleared in time for Miami's regular-season opener on October 17.
Waiters won't return to the court until fully cleared by Miami's medical staff and he is in game shape. The guard is expected to be brought along slowly when cleared for action, likely splitting time with Dwyane Wade and Wayne Ellington at the two-guard position.
numberFire's models project Waiters for 12.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 40.5% from the field and 33.3% from the field in 2018-19.
Knicks won't rule out sitting Kristaps Porzingis (knee) the entire season
New York Knicks team president Steve Mills would not rule out the possibility of holding out forward Kristaps Porzingis for the season.
Porzingis tore his left ACL on February 6 and is expected to miss a significant portion of the 2018-19 season. While many believe Porzinigs will be ready to returns by the All-Star Break at the latest, Mills sais the team won't jeopardize Porzinigs' long-term future.
The Knicks own the third-lowest over/under win total in the NBA with 28.5 wins for the 2018-19 season.
Luol Deng agrees to one-year, $2.4 million contract with Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to a one-year, $2.4 million contract with forward Luol Deng.
With Deng, Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, and Taj Gibson again on the same Tom Thibodeau-coached team, we might as well call them the Minnesota Bulls, especially given that they have been rumored to want Joakim Noah as well.
Deng played just one game in the 2017-18 season, his 14th in the NBA.
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