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Big picture in focus for Cavs, Celtics

(Photo by Bruce Yeung/NBAE via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- As the dust begins to settle from Tuesday's blockbuster trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics and Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick to Cleveland, the larger picture for both teams starts to come into focus.

The breakup of the partnership of Irving and LeBron James seemed inevitable after the former said he wanted to be traded. James offered nothing but respect to Irving in his Twitter message in response to the trade:

"That's the only way to be to the kid! Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together."


Hornets add backcourt depth with Stone

(TSX / STATS) -- The Charlotte Hornets signed guard Julyan Stone on Wednesday after being released from his contract with an Italian team.

The 6-foot-6, 200-pound Stone appeared in 47 career NBA games (two starts) over three seasons with the Denver Nuggets (2011-13) and Toronto Raptors (2013-14), averaging 1.3 points and 1.1 assists in 7.0 minutes per contest.


Mayo on return to Bucks: 'I owe them'

(TSX / STATS) -- O.J. Mayo would relish a return with the Milwaukee Bucks when he returns from his two-year suspension from the NBA.

Mayo has less than a year remaining on his ban for violating the league's substance abuse policy.


Raptors ink ex-Rockets, Nets F McDaniels

(TSX / STATS) -- The Toronto Raptors signed forward K.J. McDaniels to a contract, the team announced Tuesday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the club for McDaniels, who split last season between the Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets.


Lakers probed for tampering with George

(TSX / STATS) -- The NBA is investigating the Los Angeles Lakers for alleged tampering involving Paul George after the Indiana Pacers filed a formal complaint.

The league released a statement Sunday from Mike Bass, executive vice president of communications.


Clippers offer GM job to OKC exec Winger

(TSX / STATS) -- The Los Angeles Clippers reportedly offered Oklahoma City Thunder executive Michael Winger their general manager job.

A deal is expected soon, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Sunday.


Magic sign F Payne to 2-way contract

(TSX / STATS) -- The Orlando Magic signed free agent forward Adreian Payne to a two-way contract on Monday.

The team announced the move but did not disclose financial terms of the deal.


Celtics to retire Pierce's No. 34

(TSX / STATS) -- The Boston Celtics plan to retire Paul Pierce's No. 34 during the season next year, cementing his 15-year legacy with the franchise.

The Celtics announced Friday they will honor Pierce after a midseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11.


Durant rips Trump, won't do White House

(TSX / STATS) -- If the Golden State Warriors are invited to the White House, Kevin Durant said he will not visit with President Donald Trump to celebrate the team's 2017 championship.

Durant was honored in his hometown of Seat Pleasant, Md. and the 2017 Finals MVP told ESPN he will not attend any possible ceremony with Trump.


Ex-Lakers, Royals F Tommy Hawkins dies

(TSX / STATS) -- Former NBA player Tommy Hawkins, who was also a college star at Notre Dame, has died. He was 80.

Hawkins, a forward for the Los Angeles Lakers and Cincinnati Royals, died in Malibu, Calif., on Wednesday, according to family members. No cause of death was revealed.