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Alonzo Gee Reaches Deal With Nuggets

Free agent forward Alonzo Gee has reached agreement on a deal with the Denver Nuggets, a source with knowledge told RealGM.

After deciding on Monday to join the Nuggets, Gee will report to Denver training camp Tuesday.

As one of the best players on the available market, the 6-foot-6 forward brings active defense and athleticism on the wing for the Nuggets.

Gee, 27, has trained vigorously on his overall game and basketball shape in the offseason, when he was traded three separate times and ultimately released by the Sacramento Kings to open a roster spot.

Over five NBA seasons playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards, Gee established himself as a contributing role player, averaging 7.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in his career.

Via Shams Charania/RealGM

Thunder Look Forward For Opportunity To Re-Sign Kevin Durant In 2016

Kevin Durant candidly discussed his present and future with the Oklahoma City Thunder, making it clear that he is pleased with the franchise's direction and likes his situation.

"We'll keep dancing around (the topic), and by the time it comes it's going to be even more awkward than it was, so it's not a surprise (that people ask him about it) because everybody wants to know," Durant said. "But I'm taking it day by day with the Oklahoma City Thunder. That's my main concern. And whatever the future holds, I don't know, because I can't tell you the future. I'm going to take it a day at a time. I enjoy being here. I enjoy my teammates. I like the direction we're going in, and that's not just a cliché (expletive) answer. That's real."

"I love OKC. I always wanted to be a part of something bigger than just basketball. And what I told myself coming into the league was, 'This city is going to adopt me, I'm going to adopt this city, and we're going to grow together.'"

For their part, the Thunder are confident about their chances to re-sign Durant as a free agent in 2016.

"We know it's there, and we are looking forward to it — the opportunity to re-sign a legacy player — especially when you consider where our team could be at that point, with two more years of experience and cohesion and taking that into account," Presti said. "We have to honor the season in front of us, because we have a tremendous opportunity to win right now and continue to build the tradition of the Thunder. We are fortunate to be in this position, and we want to capture and respect this moment. We have to put that anticipation in its place for now and not allow ourselves to get distracted from the present, regardless of what the future could look like for Kevin and the organization he has built with us, brick by brick."

Via Sam Amick/USA Today

Jimmy Butler, Bulls Moving In Right Direction On Extension Talks

Jimmy Butler's representatives and the Chicago Bulls have started discussions on a possible contract extension.

"I want to be here," Butler said. "I think the Bulls want me here. So however long it takes, as long as we get it worked out. Basketball is my main focus, not really the contract situation."

Butler would become a restricted free agent next offseason if a new deal is not reached.

"They definitely are [working on it]," he said. "I think we're really good right now, moving in the right direction. But that's between them. I just got to be with my teammates and whatever I do between myself and that basket will handle that a lot easier.

"I don't really think about it too much," he said. "I grew up without money. I think I'll be all right for a couple more days. I just play basketball. That's what I know. And if you play basketball the right way, the contract situation will handle itself."

Via Nick Friedell/ESPN

76ers Waive Pierre Jackson

The Philadelphia 76ers have waived Pierre Jackson.

Mark Deeks writes that Jackson will receive a guaranteed $400,00 from the 76ers for this season while he rehabs from an Achilles tear that occured during Summer League.

Via Marc Stein/ESPN

Justin Hamilton Undergoes Procedure For Atrial Flutter

Justin Hamilton underwent a procedure at South Miami Hospital on Monday to repair an atrial flutter.

After experiencing light-headedness during practice, he was sent to Doctors Hospital where the diagnosis was discovered. He will remain sidelined for a few days and can then begin non-contact exercises for approximately three weeks before being re-evaluated prior to re-joining the Miami Heat for practice.

Hamilton is expected to make a full recovery.

Via RealGM Staff Report

LeBron Was Disappointed By Miami's Decision To Amnesty Mike Miller

The decision by the Miami Heat in the 2013 offseason to amnesty Mike Miller drew the ire of LeBron James.

The move saved the Heat money while taking away a key locker room guy and rotation player with big game experience.

"LeBron thought it was an unnecessary change," Miller told Northeast Ohio Media Group.

Miller signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason.

"I'm not saying I would have been a difference-maker," Miller said. "San Antonio was unbelievable last year and there are a lot of things that go into a season, but it was difficult for LeBron.

"It was difficult for all of us. It was difficult for me. I had to uproot my family and move again. It was tough. I think he was disappointed because he understands legacies and he understands what he wants to do in life. That's what makes him special."

Via Ira Winderman/Sun Sentinel

K.J. McDaniels Agrees Upon One-Year Tender With 76ers As 2nd Round Pick

K.J. McDaniels has agreed upon a one-year, non-guaranteed tender with the Philadelphia 76ers,

McDaniels, who was the 32nd overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, could become a restricted free agent next July.

McDaniels’ agent, Mark Bartelstein, wouldn't accept the 76ers’ structure of two guaranteed contract seasons that included two non-guaranteed seasons in years three and four of the deal. The 76ers have had success using these contracts to control young players’ service and flipping the non-guaranteed seasons into valuable trade chips.

Philadelphia would have to guarantee McDaniels $1.2 million next season to simply avoid allowing him become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

"The 76ers have a philosophy that they're adhering to, and we totally respect that, but it doesn't fit for K.J. and us," Bartelstein told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday morning. "I just totally disagree with the idea of doing a four-year deal that includes a structure of two non-guaranteed years. We think K.J. is going to be a good player, and it came down to doing a one-year deal and letting the market determine his value.

"There's no hard feelings. The Sixers’ philosophy has worked for them. It just doesn't work for us."

McDaniels will make $507,000 this season, which is less than his 2nd round peers, but his ability for significant earning power over the next several years is unmatched among second-round picks.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Blazers Exercise Fourth-Year Option On Damian Lillard

The Portland Trail Blazers exercised their fourth-year option on the contract of guard Damian Lillard.

In two seasons, Lillard has averaged 19.9 points (42.7% FG, 38.1% 3-PT, 85.9% FT), 3.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 0.84 steals and 37.2 minutes per game. Only four players in NBA history have more points (3,257) and assists (988) in their first two seasons (O. Robertson, T. Archibald, A Iverson, L. James). Lillard’s 403 3-pointers through his first two seasons are the most in league history. He’s tied for eighth on Portland’s all-time list for 3-pointers (403). Lillard set a franchise record last season for the most 3-pointers made in a single season (218).

Via RealGM Staff Report

Rondo Wants To Stay With Celtics, Realistic About Short-Term Prognosis

Rajon Rondo will begin the 14-15 season coming back from a left hand injury, but it will be an important year with free agency looming in July. A veteran of eight seasons, Rondo has assumed a leadership role with the Boston Celtics since the departure of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. He has also developed a good relationship with Brad Stevens, who replaced Doc Rivers before the 2013-14 season.

There have been rumors for more than a year that Rondo’s days with the Celtics are numbered, but on Monday he insisted that he wants to remain with the Celtics over the long-term. He even joked that he hopes to put an end to persistent trade rumors by negotiating a no-trade clause into his next contract, looking over at Danny Ainge with a smirk.

“Yes,” Rondo replied with conviction when asked if he wants to re-sign with the Celtics. “The fans and the people here are the ones that make me want to stay. I can’t say enough about Danny and Wyc [Grousbeck], but when I’m out there on the street the whole community embraces me.”

Rondo could command a max contract as an outright free agent next summer, something he admitted during the team’s annual media day that he believes he deserves. He was the starting point guard for a championship team as a second-year player back in 2008, but he's aware that Ainge is currently working on a rebuild.

“I’m pretty smart, I know this isn’t a championship season,” Rondo said when asked about the team’s short-term chances.

Via Andrew Perna/RealGM

Turner Has Nothing Bad To Say About Pacers, Not Weighed Down By Expectations As Former 2nd Overall Pick

Evan Turner was supposed to push the Indiana Pacers over the hump last spring, but they ended falling at the hands of the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals for the second-straight season.

Turner’s arrival, which came via a deadline trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, wasn’t the only thing that didn’t go Indiana’s way in the second half, but he quickly became one of the faces of the Pacers’ demise.

“I did the best I could. When coach asked me to do something, I tried my best to do it,” Turner said of his short tenure with the Pacers, which he knows many viewed as a disappointment.

“Whether it was bring the ball up, pass it off or anything else. The thing that put a big hit on it was that I wasn’t putting up 15 points per game. I feel like I took a big hit on that, but I just tried to fit in and shoot when I could. Rebound, play defense. A lot of times those things get blown up.”

In 27 appearances with Indiana, Turner scored just 7.1 points on 41.1% shooting in 21.1 minutes per game. For his career, Turner has averaged 11.1 points on 42.7% shooting. Never an efficient offensive player, issues were magnified in Indiana.

“I had certain scoring outbursts and then other nights I only shot three times or something like that,” the swingman said. “That’s just how the game goes and you go along with it.”

Turner was also involved in some controversy with then-teammate Lance Stephenson. A Yahoo! Sports report claimed that Stephenson and Turner fought during practice as the Pacers were preparing for the Atlanta Hawks, their first-round opponent.

“I thought it was a great experience,” said Turner, who refused to say anything outwardly negative. “Once again, surrounding the Pacers there were a lot of rumors, a lot of controversy towards them and it made things seems crazier than it probably was.”

Turner watched his value decrease as he entered free agency, eventually landing a two-year, $6.7 million deal with the Boston Celtics. The No. 2 overall pick in 2010, who will turn 26 on Oct. 27, insists that he isn’t trying to silence any critics.

“I’m not coming in here like I have anything to prove, I really just want to get into a groove and make the best of my opportunity,” Turner said. “That’s really it. I’m not trying to prove anything to anybody else; I’m trying to prove something to myself. I have to look in the mirror. If I tried to prove myself to other people, I’d probably go crazy.”

Turner said there were no discussions between his agent and the Pacers this summer about a potential return.

“No, we both kind of decided that we were just going to go our separate ways and that was pretty much it,” he admitted.

A polarizing figure at both of his previous NBA stops, Turner is comfortable enough in his own skin to know someone is always going to find something wrong with his game given the expectations with which he entered the league.

“Too much is given, too much is expected, that’s just the way of life. When it comes down to it you know there are a hundred ways you can attack the story of me and how my career is going,” Turner opined. 

“The one thing I always try to say is I’m getting better every year. I look at these past years, I feel like I’ve made jumps. When it comes down to it, next to my name you’ll either say the No. 2 pick before or after, so things come along with that. I’ve always just tried to fit in the best way I could. It hasn’t been the 25 points everyone has been expecting and whatever occurred, but I’m just worried about what’s happening now.”

Via Andrew Perna/RealGM

Durant To Return To USA Basketball For 2016 Olympics

Kevin Durant intends to rejoin USA Basketball for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

D.J. Stephens To Sign Camp Contract With Pelicans

D.J. Stephens has reached an agreement on a training camp deal with the Pelicans, leagues sources told RealGM.

Morey Responds To Criticism From Cuban

Mark Cuban recently criticized Daryl Morey and the Rockets for not caring about chemistry.

Markieff, Marcus Morris Agree Upon Four-Year Extensions With Suns

Markieff Morris' deal is worth $32 million over four seasons, while Marcus Morris will earn $20 million over four.

Chris Johnson Claimed By 76ers Off Waivers

Chris Johnson was recently waived by the Celtics.

Sources: Knicks Not Discussing Extension With Shumpert

The Knicks have about four weeks to start talks with Iman Shumpert.

Robert Sarver Still Regrets Allowing Joe Johnson To Leave Suns

The Suns were $833,333 per year apart on an extension before Joe Johnson's last season with the team.

Norris Cole 'Ready' To Start For Heat

Pat Riley identified Mario Chalmers as the Miami Heat's starting point guard in the offseason.

Ricky Rubio, Wolves Continuing Extension Talks On Possible $11M Annually

Ricky Rubio and the Timberwolves will have contract talks in person this week that could make him the second-highest paid player on the team.

Nuggets Pursuing Alonzo Gee

The Nuggets are actively pursuing free agent forward Alonzo Gee, sources with knowledge told RealGM.

Tyreke Evans To Miss 3-5 Weeks With Strained Hamstring

Tyreke Evans is expected to miss 3-5 weeks with a strained right hamstring.

Tim Duncan Hesitated Before Accepting $10.3M Player Option

Tim Duncan admitted he had hesitation before opting into his $10.3 player option for the 2014-15 season.

Cavaliers Trade Keith Bogans To 76ers

The Cavaliers will also send a future second-round pick and create a $5.3 million trade exception in the process.

Brendan Haywood Cleared For Full Participation To Start Cavs' Camp

David Blatt called Brendan Haywood the surprise of the day one of camp.

Julius Randle Gives Lakers An Ability To Handle Ball At Forward

Julius Randle projects in the NBA as a power forward.

Luol Deng Forgives Danny Ferry For Racial Comments

Luol Deng wants to move on from the unfortunate situation of Danny Ferry's racial remarks directed toward him during free agency.

Hornets Remove Jeffery Taylor Indefinitely From Team Activities

Jeffery Taylor will not be participating in any team-related activities with the Hornets while the NBA is investigating his conduct, effective immediately.

Rajon Rondo Out 6-8 Weeks After Surgery On Broken Hand

Rondo's return timetable is six to eight weeks.

Jason Kapono Agrees To Camp Deal With Warriors

Jason Kapono last played in the 2011-12 season for the Lakers.

Christian Watford To Re-Sign With Celtics After Release

Christian Watford has agreed on a new training camp contract to re-sign with the Celtics on Monday, league sources told RealGM
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