NBA

NBA schedule includes old faces returning to former homes

(Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- The NBA offseason featured plenty of movement. However, two notable stars who changed addresses will have to wait until the new year to face their former teams at the place they used to call home.

The NBA released its regular-season schedule on Monday, with Jimmy Butler and Gordon Hayward returning to Chicago and Utah, respectively, in 2018.

Butler joins Taj Gibson and coach Tom Thibodeau in a reunion of sorts when the Minnesota Timberwolves face the Bulls on Feb. 9. Chicago traded Butler and the 16th overall pick of the 2017 draft to Minnesota for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the seventh overall selection.

Hayward, who signed with the Boston Celtics as a free agent, will return to Utah for a game against the Jazz on March 28.

Paul George will make a familiar trek to Indiana to face the Pacers on Dec. 13. George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder after making it clear that he would not re-sign with Indiana when he becomes a free agent next summer.

Chris Paul, who was a longtime member of the Clippers, will join his new team in the Houston Rockets when they make a return to Los Angeles on Jan. 15.

The league announced its marquee television matchups for opening week and Christmas Day last week.

The defending champion Golden State Warriors will begin their title defense and hold their championship ring ceremony at home against the Rockets on Oct. 17.

Last season's runners-up, the Cleveland Cavaliers, will start the season on the same day at home against the Celtics in a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals.

Here are a few other notable matchups:

Three-time All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins will join the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 26 in a road game against the Sacramento Kings, his former team.

The Rockets will play Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 1.

Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid will get a firsthand look at second overall pick Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 15. Embiid and Ball's outspoken father, LaVar, have exchanged social media jabs during the summer. Markelle Fultz, the top overall pick, is also involved in the game.

The Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets play in Mexico City on Dec. 9 and the 76ers and Celtics tip off in London on Jan. 11.

The Cavaliers and Warriors will play their second regular-season matchup on Jan. 15 in Cleveland. The first one is the highlight of the Christmas Day slate.

Cleveland superstar LeBron James will travel to Los Angeles to face the Lakers on March 11. Speculation abounds on whether "The King" will call L.A. his home (for basketball purposes) in the not-too-distant future.

Updated August 14, 2017


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