Friday, September 30, Stories
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LeBron James applied pressure to the Cavaliers Friday to strike a deal with free agent guard J.R. Smith. James insisted he has stayed out of negotiations to this point, but seemed to make it clear he sides with Smith. “Negotiations are always two sides, but J.R. did his part,” James said. “He showed up every day. Worked his ass off every day. Became a two-way player, a model citizen in Cleveland and he’s a fan favorite. Obviously we all know that. … He’s a big piece of our team and they just need to get it done.” Akron Beacon Journal
Smith shares an agent, Rich Paul, with both James and Tristan Thompson. This marks the second contract dispute in as many seasons involving a Paul client after Thompson was a holdout for all of preseason last year. Thompson was a restricted free agent, meaning he was bound to return to the Cavs at some point. Smith is an unrestricted free agent and available to sign with another team. To this point, he has remained close to Cleveland during the dispute, even taking in a few Indians games. Akron Beacon Journal
The preseason schedule begins Saturday, which is a bit too soon for Warriors coach Steve Kerr, and the same is true for some of his players. CSN Bay Area
With seven games spread over 21 days, the preseason surely lasts too long for Kerr, who made clear his feelings about training camp and preseason games. “I kind of like the idea that’s been tossed around the last couple summers, to start the regular season a little bit earlier, maybe a week early,” Kerr says. “Cut camp down to 21, 22 days and play five exhibition games instead of eight. CSN Bay Area
Durant, listed at 6-foot-9 but closer to 7 feet, will join charter members Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green to form a new quintet that has the right components to be even more imposing than previous versions. CSN Bay Area
Hassan Whiteside missed Friday morning’s training camp practice in the Bahamas, but the Heat aren’t too concerned. The 27-year-old center sat out practice because of a sore left knee. Whiteside expects to be back at practice Saturday morning before the Heat return to Miami in the afternoon. “I’m just resting it. Today I felt some pain and I want to be safe,” Whiteside said to the Palm Beach Post. Palm Beach Post Blog
Whiteside signed a four-year, $98 million max contract this summer to return to Miami. As one of only two Heat starters returning this season, he’s expected to be a focal point on both ends of the floor. Palm Beach Post Blog
Bradley Beal missed another training camp session Friday morning but he could be available later when the Wizards have their second session that'll be open to the public at Siegel Center. CSN MidAtlantic
Just don’t expect [Tyler] Johnson to come in and be a traditional pass-first point guard. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Fresno State product is an aggressive guard who is still trying to learn how to run the offense with the ball in his hands. Palm Beach Post Blog
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