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Cavs GM: 'Good dialogue' with James camp

(Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) With one deadline looming on his future in Cleveland, LeBron James has been in contact with the Cavaliers through his representatives.

Following the NBA draft on Thursday night, Cavs general manager Koby Altman said he has had positive discussions with the three-time champion's group. James has until June 29 to tell the team if he will pick up his $35.6 million option for next season or become a free agent.

"We continue to have good dialogue with his management team," Altman said. "I think LeBron has more than earned the right to approach his contracts the way he does. He's done that before, so this is nothing new for us. We want to respect his space during this process and I continue to have really good dialogue with his management team as he goes through that process.

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Thunder F Anthony to opt in, take $28M

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony plans to opt in and take the $28 million he is due next season.

The New York Times first reported the 34-year-old Anthony's decision to bypass the chance to become a free agent. A person with knowledge of details confirmed Anthony's choice to The Associated Press on Friday night. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.

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New Cav Sexton gets Irving's old number

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) Collin Sexton endeared himself to the Cavaliers with his competitive streak, speed and attitude long before they picked him in the NBA draft.

His jersey number showed them something else: He's fearless.

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Kupchak: Hornets hoping to keep Walker

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) General manager Mitch Kupchak wants point guard Kemba Walker to end his NBA career right where it started - with the Charlotte Hornets.

Kupchak said Friday that Walker is "revered" in the Charlotte community, and that he and owner Michael Jordan look at the two-time All-Star as "the focal point of this franchise going forward."

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76ers in the market for star additions

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown had an A-list comparison for 1-B first-round pick Zhaire Smith: Disgruntled San Antonio forward Kawhi Leonard.

"I think that when you look at just where I believe Zhaire can be, there are some common denominators that Kawhi had when we first brought him to San Antonio," Brown said.

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Nuggets turn focus to Jokic, free agency

DENVER (AP) Now that the Denver Nuggets have a player they coveted in the NBA draft, their focus shifts to the start of free agency next week.

Michael Porter Jr. went to the Nuggets at No. 14 Thursday night, giving them a potential impact player. Now the priority this offseason is keeping their own free agents and locking down the face of the franchise.

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Ayton arrives as symbol for rising Suns

PHOENIX (AP) Since the heady days of Steve Nash came to an end, there have been few signs of joy from a dwindling fan base that watched the Phoenix Suns tumble to the bottom of the NBA standings and miss the playoffs for the eighth year in a row.

Then came the announcement that Deandre Ayton would go to the Suns with the first overall pick. A huge cheer went up from the several thousand fans at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Thursday night for the draft party. General manager Ryan McDonough, owner Robert Sarver and coach Igor Kokoskov came out of their meeting room to watch and bask in that rare moment of sheer joy from the fans.

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Mavs tap brakes on Doncic comparisons

DALLAS (AP) Luka Doncic didn't get compared to Larry Bird when he was introduced a day after the Dallas Mavericks traded up to get the third overall pick in the NBA draft.

For president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, that's progress based on his last experience of getting a tender-aged European in hopes of lifting the Mavericks out of the doldrums.

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Knicks' Knox vies to turn boos to cheers

GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) Kevin Knox took a call from someone who knew exactly what he experienced on draft night.

New Yorkers didn't welcome Kristaps Porzingis with open arms, either.

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Spurs GM: Keeping Leonard our 1st option

SAN ANTONIO (AP) General manager R.C. Buford acknowledges star forward Kawhi Leonard is unhappy with the Spurs.

He remains optimistic the relationship can be salvaged.

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