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Report: Magic, Nikola Vucevic agree to four-year extension


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:11 pm ET) The Magic and center Nikola Vucevic have agreed to a four-year, $53-million extension, Yahoo! Sports reports.

Vucevic posted a career-best 14.2 points per game last season while appearing in 57 games. He has shot 50.4 percent from the field in three seasons as a professional, the last two with Orlando.


Brooks: Thunder G Reggie Jackson expected to play in opener


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:52 pm ET) Thunder coach Scotty Brooks expects guard Reggie Jackson (wrist) to be ready for the regular-season opener, The Oklahoman reports. Jackson "didn't feel comfortable" after his Monday workout as he continues to recover from a wrist injury suffered earlier in the month.

MRI confirms sprained thumb for Bulls SG Jimmy Butler


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:41 pm ET) An MRI has confirmed that Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler is dealing with a sprained thumb, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Butler is going to sit out practice this week as well as the team's preseason finale Friday before being re-evaluated this weekend. The Bulls open the season Oct. 29 on the road against the Knicks.


Lakers PG Jeremy Lin to return to action Tuesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:09 pm ET) Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin will return to preseason action Tuesday, he announced.

"[A]nkles are finally feeling better ... excited to get back on the court tonight!" Lin said Tuesday.

Lin has been dealing with an ankle sprain but appears to be on track to be ready for the regular season.


Williams: Jimmer Fredette to play scoring role off Pelicans bench


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:02 pm ET) Pelicans coach Monty Williams indicated that he plans to have guard Jimmer Fredette in a scoring role during the regular season, The Times Picayune reports.

"You are trying to take advantage of Jimmer’s ability to score," Williams said. "When he plays point, they pressure him full court, so you’re getting into your offense later than you want to."

Fredette has played on and off the ball during the preseason, filling the same role as guard Austin Rivers. Tyreke Evans should be the ball handler while on the court with either Fredette or Rivers, but when Evans hits the bench, Rivers will take the point over Fredette, who should be free to focus on scoring.


Van Gundy: 'Focused' Greg Monroe 'playing great basketball'


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:31 pm ET) Pistons forward Greg Monroe is having a pretty promising preseason, averaging 16.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, according to the Detroit Free Press. He is shooting 61.3 percent from the field and 74.2 percent from the free-throw line.

"I just know he's playing really well -- very consistent and not just in games," coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I don't remember him having a bad day out here. He's just been really, really good. I think he's playing great basketball."

Van Gundy added Monroe is also getting the job done on defense.

"He's focused," Van Gundy said. "He concentrates well and does his job. He doesn't make many mistakes. I like guys like that defensively. He doesn't miss rotations."


Warriors center Festus Ezeli set to play for first time in 17 months


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:14 pm ET) Warriors center Festus Ezeli will make his first appearance in a competitive game in 17 months during Tuesday's preseason game against the Clippers. Ezeli missed all of last season recovering from knee surgery and has been sidelined since the summer due to shin inflammation.

"He's going to just get a few minutes just to start to get some timing and experience," coach Steve Kerr said, per the Bay Area News Group. "He's feeling pretty good. Festus is a big part of what we're doing going forward. I like to stay big as much as possible. . . . We've got plenty of depth at that spot when everybody's healthy."


Heat to lean on Mario Chalmers as combo guard in 2014-15


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:17 pm ET) Heat guard Mario Chalmers is being asked to take on more of a combo-guard role in 2014-15 after primarily playing the point in his NBA career, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

"Now he's being able to display a little bit more versatility," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "The Golden State game, he literally was playing point guard one possession, off the ball one possession.

"We forced him to become a point guard. We've developed that aspect of his game for six years … That's six years in the makings. If you're expecting a young player to do that immediately in this league, there's no chance."


Shawne Williams could be factor in frontcourt rotation for Heat


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:09 pm ET) Heat forward Shawne Williams is down to 235 pounds after losing 25 pounds since the summer, according to the Sun-Sentinel. It is the lightest the seven-year pro has been since college.

"It's helped me a lot mentally," Williams said. "Right now, I still haven't even tapped into it. You're so big sometimes you forget what you can do. The coaches have been doing a great job of trying to remind me what my body can do."

The Heat are hoping Williams' improved conditioning will make him a valuable piece of the frontcourt rotation.

"Keep your eye on him," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He's an excellent shooter and in much better shape than he's been in before. He just needs to be comfortable with where and when and how he'll get to those shots. He's one of the better shooters we have in our gym."


76ers forward Nerlens Noel on track to play Thursday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:01 pm ET) 76ers forward Nerlens Noel, who has been sidelined since last week with an upper respiratory infection, was able to practice Tuesday. Coach Brett Brown said Noel should be available to play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Pistons.

Timberwolves' Muhammad expects to play Tuesday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:45 pm ET) Timberwolves forward Shabazz Muhammad said he expects to play during Tuesday's preseason game against the Pacers after missing the previous two with a sore right Achilles. He averaged 3.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 37 games as a rookie in 2013-14.

Hornets guard Gerald Henderson set to play Thursday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:11 pm ET) The plan for Hornets guard Gerald Henderson, who has been sidelined since early October with a right hamstring strain, is to play Thursday against the Pacers and then scrimmage with the team Saturday, according to the Charlotte Observer. The team will assess how much the hamstring injury has set Henderson back.

Hornets' Clifford: Noah Vonleh not close to playing in game


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:05 pm ET) Hornets coach Steve Clifford said Tuesday rookie Noah Vonleh is "not even close to being ready to play" in a regular-season NBA game, according to the Charlotte Observer. Vonleh has been sidelined since early September due to sports hernia surgery.

Celtics set to waive four players


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:01 pm ET) Celtics coach Brad Stevens announced Tuesday the team will waive forward/center Erik Murphy, swingman Christian Watford, and guards Tim Frazier and Rodney McGruder this week, according to Boston.com.

"They’ve been great," Stevens said. "I wish I didn’t have to waive them. They’ve been great teammates, they’ve put in extra work, they’ve come back in small groups and worked. But a couple of them had made mention that they’ve gotten better and that makes me feel good. They were all real professionals about it. I will root for them for sure."


Knicks center Andrea Bargnani could be questionable for opener


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:55 pm ET) Knicks center Andrea Bargnani, who has been out since early October due to a hamstring injury, will not play in Wednesday's preseason game against the Wizards. His status for the season opener Oct. 29 against the Bulls remains unclear, according to Newsday.

Hawks waive guard Jarell Eddie, center Dexter Pittman


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:39 pm ET) The Hawks announced Tuesday they waived guard Jarell Eddie and center Dexter Pittman. Eddie is a rookie out of Virginia Tech, and Pittman has been in the NBA since 2010-11, playing for the Heat, Grizzlies, Hawks and Rockets.

Report: Celtics to waive Will Bynum, if they can't work out a trade


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:34 pm ET) The Celtics continue to work with the agent for Will Bynum on a trade involving the veteran guard, according to the Boston Herald.

“We’re trying to see if there is something we can do,” agent Mark Bartelstein said.

Bynum is away from the team as he is recovering from a strained hamstring. He has not made a preseason appearance and the Celtics will likely waive Bynum if they can't work out a trade.

"It’s a tough time of year to make a trade," a league source said. "Teams are still trying to get used to their rosters, see what they have. Most likely they have to waive him."


Anthony Davis able to practice Tuesday for Pelicans


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:30 pm ET) Pelicans forward Anthony Davis was practicing Tuesday with his right wrist wrapped, according to The Times-Picayune. Davis suffered a sprained wrist during Monday's preseason game against the Wizards.

Mavericks waive forward Eric Griffin, guard Yuki Togashi


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:18 pm ET) The Mavericks announced Tuesday they waived forward Eric Griffin and guard Yuki Togashi. The Mavericks roster now has 18 players.

Wizards sign guard John Lucas


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:16 pm ET) The Wizards announced Tuesday they signed guard John Lucas. The veteran guard has played six seasons in the NBA, averaging 4.8 points and 1.4 assists in 216 games.

Celtics guard James Young feeling good after returning to practice


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:01 pm ET) Celtics guard James Young, who has been sidelined two weeks due to a hamstring strain, said Tuesday he is feeling no soreness after returning to practice Monday. The rookie guard was the No. 17 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft.

Magic guard Victor Oladipo looking iffy for season opener


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:07 am ET) It appears doubtful Magic guard Victor Oladipo, who is recovering from a sprained MCL, will be ready in time for the season opener Oct. 28 against the Pelicans, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Oladipo did attempt a few jumpers and made a few dunks at the outset of practice Monday.

"It feels a lot better," Oladipo said. "It's a day-by-day process. A sprained MCL is kind of like a scab. You've just got to let it heal. That's pretty much what I'm doing."


Amar'e Stoudemire enthusiastic as new season approaches


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:56 am ET) Only time will tell how many games Knicks veteran forward Amar'e Stoudemire will play and how much he will be able to contribute in 2014-15. However, Stoudemire said he feels healthy entering the season and clearly he isn't short on enthusiasm.

"My joy is there. My love of the game is there," the 32-year-old Stoudemire said, per the New York Post. "I feel like I’m 19 again as far as how much I love to play the game of basketball. I feel youthful. To have that type of feeling again as I had my rookie year, to want to play and just want to be out there and get better as a player is pretty encouraging."

Stoudemire received his first start of the preseason Monday against the Bucks. He had 14 points and six rebounds in close to 24 minutes.

"I thought Amar’e was active, he did some good things. He was a good presence four us," said coach Derek Fisher, who had claimed Stoudemire at center was "something we’ve been thinking about" because of "his versatility at that position."


Thunder star Kevin Durant 'not going to rush' back from injury


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:46 am ET) Thunder forward Kevin Durant told reporters Tuesday he has "been antsy" since undergoing foot surgery last week. However, Durant cautioned that he has no intentions of returning sooner than the 6-8-week timeframe he was given.

"Nah, I'm not going to rush it all. That's one thing I'm not going to do," Durant said, per ESPN.

Durant is the NBA's reigning MVP after averaging a career-best 32.0 points per game in 2013-14. He also averaged a career-best 5.5 assists and 7.4 rebounds per game last season.


Thunder's Anthony Morrow adjusting to small-forward role


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:34 am ET) Anthony Morrow signed with the Thunder in the offseason expecting to come off the bench as a backup shooting guard. However, he has been coach Scott Brooks' choice recently to fill the starting small-forward role with star Kevin Durant sidelined due to a foot injury.

"That’s something I’ve had to do in the past, gotten used to it," Morrow said of sliding over to the small forward, per The Oklahoman. "Guarding guys like Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette (at Golden State), I learned a lot from them early on. So a lot of times I’d be playing small forward my first couple years in the league."

Morrow said he has no preference as to starting or coming off the bench.

"Your physical preparation is the same," Morrow said. "But mentally, I’m the type of guy who wants to get off to a good start. So knowing if I don’t get off to a good start, I got the rest of the game to pick it up (helps). That’s something I had to (adjust to) over the years as I’ve started to come off the bench more."