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Suns’ GM Ryan McDonough Explains Decision to Trade Marquese Chriss, Brandon Knight

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Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has an interesting situation on his hands as the Suns have no established starting point guards on their roster, and after trading away forward Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight to the Houston Rockets a few weeks ago, McDonough is still shaping the team.

“A big part of it, not only with Marquese but with Brandon as well” McDobough said of the decision to execute the trade, during an appearance on Bickley and Marotta on 98.7 FM.

“With Igor Kokoskov and his staff coming in, they have new philosophies. They have a very high-level offensive system that I think our fans will really enjoy watching because it’s pretty impressive and has proven to be effective over time.

That being said, the pieces have to fit the system and there has to be a role in the system for certain players, and if there’s not a role, we look externally to see if there are players we can bring in to fit the system and play a role better.”

McDonough now has rookies Elie Okobo and De’Anthony Melton, along with veterans Shaquille Harris and Isaiah Canaan on the roster, but explained that the team is still exploring their options.

“We’re very high on Elie Okobo, he’s looked terrific in the pickup games we’ve had so far. [Melton] we thought was one of the better rookies in summer league, and guys like Shaquille Harrison and Isaiah Canaan played very well for us a year ago. We have depth there, I realize we don’t have a lot of experience there. We’re evaluating options. We’re trying to be deliberate and strategic, and just make sure it makes sense — if we are to do a deal — in the short- and long-term.”

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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Chicago Bulls

Bulls’ Zach Lavine Meets Privately with Jim Boylen

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Amid the division within the Chicago Bulls organization between new head coach Jim Boylen, who took over recently for the fired Fred Hoiberg, and a number of players on the roster, has taken another turn.

According to ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Ramona Shelbourne, Bulls guard Zach LaVine spoke with Boylen one-on-one following the players boycotting of Sunday’s practice imposed by Boylen, which they felt was excessive.

“You just want to be real with people,” LaVine said, per the report. “There shouldn’t be any clouds. I think of myself as one of the leaders on the team. I just wanted to voice my opinion to them.”

“This is a business, this isn’t a dictatorship. We are all grown men, so everybody has a voice.”

Boylen has said that he has spoken with the team regarding the purpose of the practice on Sunday, but it is clear that the dysfunction runs deep in the organization.

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Eastern Conference

Knicks Could Trade Enes Kanter

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Enes Kanter’s days as a member of the New York Knicks could be coming to a close as the veteran big man could be traded by the Knicks ahead of this year’s NBA trade deadline, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

If they choose not to trade him, the Knicks could renounce him during the offseason to maximize their cap space so that they could be major players in free agency next summer.

“If the Knicks are going free-agent shopping in July, they will likely do it without Kanter,” Marks speculated. “The impending free agent has a $27.9 million cap hold, and the only clear path for New York to create max room would be to renounce Kanter or let him walk in the summer.

The question leading into the deadline: Will the front office decide to maximize Kanter’s trade value now or keep the center as an insurance policy if they miss out on their free-agent targets?”

Kanter has posted 14.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game for New York this season.

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