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Eastern Conference

Raptors President Masai Ujiri Apologizes for ‘Miscommunication’ with DeMar DeRozan

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Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri has apologized for “miscommunication” with  former Raptors superstar DeMar DeRozan who was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard.

“I had a conversation with DeMar at summer league, and I really want to leave it at that,” Ujiri said Friday, according to ESPN.

“We spoke … I think maybe my mistake was talking about what we expected going forward from him. So, not necessarily talking about a trade but what I expect from him going forward, and I think that’s where the gap was.”

DeRozan has maintained that he was lied to by the organization as he met with team officials in Las Vegas during Summer League play and believed he would not be traded.

“In my job, I always have to assume we’re going forward with the team that I have” Ujiri said.

“If there was a miscommunication there, I do apologize to DeMar and his family and his representation. It’s not what I meant.”

Ujiri says that the opportunity to land Leonard was too good to pass up.

“When you have a chance to get a top-five player, which doesn’t come very often, I think you have to jump on it,” he said.

Ujiri also addressed reports that state Leonard has no interest in playing in Toronto.

“(Leonard) didn’t express a lack of interest to not play in Canada to me,” Ujiri said on Friday. “A lot of these things are everybody has their own opinion about everything. … I haven’t gotten that sense from Kawhi Leonard or his people, and I’m going to give him that chance when we meet face to face.”

“I’ve had conversations with Kawhi, with his agent, with his uncle and everything has gone well,” Ujiri said. “I look forward to meeting with them face to face, and that’s our responsibility … to figure it out and to make them as comfortable as possible. … I’m confident. I think we have a good game plan, and we’ll see how that goes.”

Charlotte Hornets

Hornets Sign Jalen McDaniels

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Jalen McDaniels

The Charlotte Hornets have signed second-round draft pick Jalen McDaniels to a contract, according to an official team press release.

The McDaniel signings comes off the heels of the team releasing Thomas Welsh, which created the necessary roster spot of the addition of McDaniels.

McDaniels averaged 15.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists last season for San Diego State.

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Charlotte Hornets

Hornets Release Thomas Welsh

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Thomas Welsh

The Charlotte Hornets have released veteran big man Thomas Welsh, according to the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell.

Welsh spent his rookie season on a two-way contract with the Denver Nuggets, but was waived in July.

The Hornets picked him up shortly thereafter, but he now becomes an unrestricted free agent if he successfully clears waivers.

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Eastern Conference

Pacers Sign Walt Lemon Jr.

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Walt Lemon Jr.

The Indiana Pacers have signed Walt Lemon Jr. to their 20-man roster, according to a team press release.

Lemon, 27, appeared in five games with the New Orleans Pelicans last season and six games with the Chicago Bulls as well, but has spent the majority of his career in the G League.

It will be interesting to see how the Pacers utilize Lemon moving forward.

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