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Brad Stevens said that Gordon Hayward looked like himself during Tuesday's practice.

"He looks fine," said Stevens of Hayward. "I am sure there will be moments when he’ll be sore. There will be moments when he’s trying to regain his rhythm and playing. But just from the naked eye watching, untrained medical eye of mine, he looks like himself." Hayward got through Tuesday's two-a-day set without issue, and could be in for a huge bounce-back year after playing just five minutes in his introductory season with Boston.
Sep 26 - 11:17 AM

LaMarcus Aldridge is not concerned about sharing the rock with DeMar DeRozan.

"When you get a top-five or top-10 guy in the league to your team, you’re going to get better," Aldridge said. "It’s really not on him to try and fit in. It’s on the mastermind of Pop to figure out how to put us around each other and get us to work. I don’t see it being a hard transition." LMA should still be able to flirt with top-60 value, but it could be tough for him to reach his top-20 ceiling, as his usage will take a significant hit with DeRozan in the fold.
Sep 26 - 10:53 AM

Gregg Popovich said that he's not going to try and change the way DeMar DeRozan plays.

"DeMar’s already an All-Star. He’s played a certain way. There will be some things we’ll try to add to his game, if he’s willing," said Popovich. "I’m not going to jump on him the way I did [LaMarcus Aldridge] I tried to turn L.A. into John Havlicek. I think it confused him." DeRozan should be able to establish himself as the No. 1 option in the Spurs' offense, and he could be in for a career-year in his age-29 season. He's a safe, early-round target.
Sep 26 - 10:49 AM

Zach LaVine is prepared to take on more of a leadership role with the Bulls this season.

"Be a leader of the team, lead by example, show the hard work and be one of the go-to guys," LaVine said of his goals. "Last year, I was about 60 to 70 percent. Now I think I’m back to 100… I feel a lot lighter, athletic, still strong." LaVine dropped about 10 pounds this summer and has said the weight loss has helped him get his speed and explosion back. He'll be the No. 1 option in Chicago's offense and is set up for a huge season, pending health.
Sep 26 - 10:40 AM

Jonas Valanciunas said he's expecting to have a bit "more freedom" in Nick Nurse's offense.

"I’m excited, healthy, it’s going to be different. Nurse taking over, so it’s going to be fun to see how we play offense," said Valanciunas. "Actually we’re going to keep the same strategy, probably, but it’s going to be more fun. More freedom." Nurse is a big fan of JV, and spent a lot of time personally developing him as an assistant coach, so maybe this is the year Valanciunas will finally flirt with 30 minutes a night. He's one of the better value picks in the mid-rounds.
Source: TSN
Sep 26 - 10:34 AM

Kyle Lowry has reportedly been dodging calls Toronto team officials.

Lowry hasn't been answering texts from team president Masai Ujiri, and only talked briefly with Nick Nurse after his hiring, but we wouldn't read too much into this. He's obviously upset that the Raptors dealt away his good friend, and long-time running mate DeMar DeRozan, but he's a professional and will fill a major role in Toronto. He's injury-prone but did manage to make it through 78 games last year. He'll be a risk-reward option in the early-rounds.
Source: TSN
Sep 26 - 10:21 AM

Jimmy Butler has reportedly informed Minnesota management that his preferred destination would be to go to Miami.

The Timberwolves are under no obligation to honor this request, but it's been widely reported that the Heat have been very aggressive throughout the process, and Butler could be the piece that takes Miami to the next level. They'd need to get a third team involved to make the numbers work, but Sacramento has made it known that they'd be willing to take on a few bad contracts if they can secure a future first-rounder. Things are heating up.
Sep 26 - 10:14 AM

Billy Donovan downplayed the recent arthroscopic procedure Russell Westbrook had on his right knee, calling the knee issue, "nothing serious."

Westbrook will be re-evaluated in two weeks, meaning he'll miss camp and likely sit out a few preseason games. The timing isn't great here, but generally speaking, players can get back to 100% fairly quickly after arthroscopic surgery. What is concerning is that this was the fourth operation he had on that right knee and he'll be entering his age-30 season. He's still worth an early-round pick, but with him hurt, he could fall deep into Round 2.
Sep 26 - 10:02 AM
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