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Heat's Whiteside picks up $27.1M option

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

MIAMI (AP) Hassan Whiteside is not leaving the final year of his Miami Heat deal on the table.

A person with knowledge of the situation said Friday that Whiteside is exercising his $27.1 million option for next season in Miami. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the Heat nor Whiteside announced the decision publicly.

The move was not a surprise. It'll be the final year of Whiteside's four-year, $98 million contract with the Miami, and the salary he'll command next season will keep him as the highest-paid player on the Heat roster.

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Zion, Barrett may meet in Summer opener

LAS VEGAS (AP) Former Duke teammates Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett are slated to potentially make their NBA Summer League debuts against one another.

The NBA said Friday that Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans will face off against Barrett and the New York Knicks on July 5, the first day of the league's annual summer showcase at UNLV. Williamson was the No. 1 pick in Thursday's draft, and Barrett was selected No. 3 overall.

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Giannis may join Yelich as Milwaukee MVP

MILWAUKEE (AP) Christian Yelich first met Giannis Antetokounmpo last month in downtown Milwaukee.

The encounter happened inside a hallway at Fiserv Forum after Antetokounmpo and the Bucks eliminated the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

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Williamson greeted warmly in New Orleans

METAIRIE, La. (AP) Zion Williamson and his family were met with applause and traditional New Orleans jazz as they walked into the Pelicans' headquarters.

The practice gym was filled with team employees and executives eager to welcome the player who has infused the franchise with so much more promise than it appeared to have when six-time All-Star Anthony Davis requested a trade five months ago.

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Focus on free agency with draft over

Now on the clock: Chaos.

The NBA offseason is about to kick into high gear.

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Raptors now turn attention to Leonard

TORONTO (AP) The title won and the draft over, the Toronto Raptors turn to the next order of business: keeping Kawhi Leonard.

He is expected to opt out of the final year of his contact and become a free agent June 30. The two-time NBA Finals MVP and three-time All-Star is likely the biggest prize on the market.

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Curry in Japan to talk Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO (AP) Stephen Curry is already looking ahead to the next challenge in his basketball career, including the chance to represent the United States at next year's Tokyo Olympics.

Just over a week since his Golden State Warriors lost a grueling NBA Finals to the Toronto Raptors, Curry was in Tokyo on Sunday talking about the Olympics and the opportunity to face Japan's newest basketball sensation.

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Dumars joins Kings as adviser to Divac

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Hall of Famer Joe Dumars is back in the NBA, hired as a special adviser to Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac.

The Kings announced the hiring Friday of Dumars, the former president of basketball operations for the Pistons from 2000-14. He played his entire 14-year NBA career with Detroit.

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Garland floors Cavs with shooting skills

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) When Darius Garland realized the Cavaliers sent general manager Koby Altman, new coach John Beilein and his entire staff to his private pre-draft workout in Los Angeles, the Vanderbilt guard drew up a personal game plan.

"I knew I had to kind of put on a show for them," he said.

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Casey happy for Raptors' championship

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) Dwane Casey had nothing but positive things to say about the fact that his former team just won the NBA title.

Casey coached the Toronto Raptors for seven seasons but was fired last offseason - even though he'd just guided the Raptors to a team-record 59 wins and would eventually win coach of the year honors. Nick Nurse took over, and Toronto won its first championship this month.

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