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Eastern Conference

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Discusses ReSeeding In Playoffs

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver discussed the possibility of reseeding teams 1-16 in the playoffs, regardless of the team’s conference affiliation, stating that the league will “continue to look at” the situation.

“Reformatting the playoffs is something we’ll continue to look at,” Silver said before a preseason game between the Golden State Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves (h/t ESPN).

“I think though it would require revisiting the regular-season schedule as well. As I’ve said before, we don’t play a balanced schedule now, as I’m sure you know.

And for those that don’t, that means that teams in the East play each other more than they play teams in the West. And our feeling is, if we were going to seed 1-16, we would need to play a balanced schedule to make it fair for everyone if we were going to seed 1-16 in the playoffs.

It may be that as we continue to experiment with the number of days over which we can schedule 82 games that it will create more of an opportunity for a balanced schedule.”

The 82-game schedule as another topic of discussion as Silver stated that the league is not tied to an 82-game schedule forever.

“Let me add to that I said the other day [to USA Today] that there’s no magic in an 82-game season,” Silver said.

“It’s not a change you’re going to see in the short term, but I think when we step back and look holistically at our schedule and how playoffs are seeded we should look at the entire format.

Counter-balancing seeding playoff teams 1-16 is also the desire to create more rest for our players and when possible reduce the amount of travel.

“In adding the extra week to the regular season this year, we will be able to eliminate completely four games in five nights.

I think it’s the first time in the history of the league we were able to do that. Plus we have back to backs at an all-time low. If we took the existing format, the existing schedule and then we seeded playoffs 1-16, we’d be adding additional travel; you would have teams criss-crossing the country in the first round.”

Eastern Conference

Khris Middleton Plans to Re-Sign with Bucks

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The Milwaukee Bucks will likely be keeping one of their core players on the roster for the future.

According to 247Sports’ Mike Fisher, Bucks forward Khris Middleton plans to re-sign with the team.

Middleton scored 18.3 points per game for Milwaukee last season.

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Eastern Conference

Wizards Preparing Run at Masai Ujiri

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Masai Ujiri

The Washington Wizards are preparing to make a significant offer to Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri in a an effort to lure him away from the 2019 NBA Champions.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Wizards are looking to offer Ujiri a deal that could approach $10 million annually and also give him the opportunity for ownership equity.

Ujiri, who has two years left on his contract, constructed the NBA Champion Raptors team that just defeated the Golden State Warriors, and his unique vision and team building is credited as helping the Raptors reach the NBA’s ultimate prize.

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is expected to reach out to Toronto ownership soon to request formal permission to meet with Ujiri, 48, and make him the astronomical offer which includes running the Wizards’ basketball operations and could also include taking on a larger leadership role in the Monumental Sports and Entertainment company that oversees the Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals franchise.

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Eastern Conference

Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard Becomes First Player to Win Finals MVP in Both Conferences

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The Toronto Raptors took home their first NBA Championship on Thursday night when they beat the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena to win the NBA Finals 4-2.

With the win, Raptors star Kawhi Leonard was awarded the Bill Russell trophy, given to the Finals MVP, marking his second trophy and making him the first player in NBA history to win the award in both conferences.

“This is what I play basketball for,” Leonard said, according to ESPN. “This is what I work out for.”

“I think he’s the best two-way basketball player in the NBA,” Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said of Leonard. “He just goes. You know, I’ve seen some stuff from him this year that you just say, ‘Wow.’ You do. You say, ‘Wow.’ You appreciate the work that he’s put in. He works extremely hard at his game and works extremely hard on his body. And he loves this basketball thing. Loves it.”

Leonard averaged 28.5 points per game on 43 percent shooting in the NBA Finals, playing stellar defense as well.

Leonard took home NBA Finals honors back in 2014 when he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs team that knocked off the Miami Hear super-team led by LeBron James, who he played tough defense on throughout.

“Without a doubt, the best thing about this thing is that somehow I wound up on the sideline getting to watch this guy play up close,” said Raptors coach Nick Nurse, who won an NBA title in his first season as a head coach in the league. “It’s really cool.”

Leonard scored 732 points in the 2019 postseason, which ranks as third-most in NBA history behind Michael Jordan (who scored 759 in 1992) and LeBron James (who scored 748 in 2018).

“I just kept working hard, working hard, and had my mind set on this goal right here,” Leonard said. “I came to a team, a new coast — that mindset was the same as mine, trying to get that Larry [O’Brien championship] trophy there. And this is what I play basketball for; this is what I work out for all summer [and] during the season. And I’m happy that my hard work paid off.”

The Raptors now have to convince Leonard, who is set to enter free agency, to stay with the team for the long-term.

“I’m ’bout to enjoy this with my teammates and coaches, and I’ll think about that later,” Leonard said.

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