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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.”

Chicago Bulls

Bulls Pulling Jabari Parker from Regular Rotation

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It appears that the Chicago Bulls are souring on Jabari Parker, who will reportedly be pulled from the regular rotation, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews.

The 23-year old Parker came to Chicago via a two-year, $40 million deal during the offseason, and marked a return to his hometown and a chance to re-ignite his career.

Now, it appears certain that the Bulls will decline his option, sending Parker back to free agency next summer.

“Jabari has been great,” Bulls head coach Jim Boylen said, according to Andrews. “He understands. Jabari wants to make it about helping the team win. And that’s what I’ve asked him to do.”

Parker has averaged 15.8 points and 7.1 rebounds for Chicago this season.

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Detroit Pistons

Pistons Interested in 76ers’ Markelle Fultz

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The Detroit Pistons may be in the market for a point guard and are apparently eyeing struggling Philadelpha 76ers’ point guard Markelle Fultz, according to The Detroit Free Press’ Vince Ellis.

Detroit is reportedly eyeing a young point guard in preparation for the potential departure of Reggie Jackson via free agency following next season.

The report pointed out that in order to take on Fultz, the Pistons would have to move money around to avoid the luxury tax.

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Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs’ Tristan Thompson Out 2-4 Weeks

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The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without center Tristan Thompson for two-to-four weeks with a sprained left foot, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Thompson exited Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks during the third quarter after he landed awkwardly on the foot of Bucks’ guard Malcolm Brogdon.

Thompson, 27, is averaging 12 points and 11.6 rebounds per game this season for Cleveland.

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