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Pistons aim to manage Blake Griffin’s workload better this season, but won’t make any promises

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If the Detroit Pistons want to make any noise in the playoffs, they are going to need their star forward Blake Griffin’s body to be intact.

Despite a good start in 2018/19, the Pistons barely survived a collapse and essentially crawled into the post-season. As expected, they ended up getting swept by the Milwaukee Bucks in embarrassing fashion. Pistons head coach Dwane Casey hopes the situation doesn’t repeat itself again this season.

“I’ve said too many times, being from Kentucky, we rode him like a cheap horse last year,” said Casey earlier this week.

“If we didn’t, I don’t think we would have made the playoffs, because he was that special to us, but again, with addition of some other talented guys on our team, hopefully we don’t have to use him as much. I’m not going to put that in concrete, but I have to be smarter as far as the usage, because he takes a beating.”

The 30-year old is coming off one the best seasons of his career, averaging 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 75 games. However, issues with his left knee kept him out of the final six games of the regular season, and the first two playoff games.

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Kings ink Buddy Hield to lucrative four-year contract extension

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They finally did it!

After weeks of bickering and bantering, the Sacramento Kings have negotiated a deal with Buddy Hield.

According to reports, the team signed the 26-year old guard to a four-year, $94 million contract extension that could reach as much as $106 million in bonuses.

Hield, who was selected sixth overall in the 2016 NBA Draft and acquired by the Kings in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans midway through his rookie season in February 2017, has averaged 14.9 points, 4,0 rebounds and 2.0 assists over a span of four seasons and 244 games.

He is coming off a career-season where he averaged a career-high in points (20.7), rebounds (5.0) and assists (2.0).

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Wizards ink Bradley Beal to two-year max contract extension

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The trade rumours can be put to rest, because Bradley Beal will be staying in the nation’s capital for a little while longer.

The Washington Wizards announced Thursday that they have signed star guard Bradley Beal to a two-year, $72 million max contract extension that includes a player option for the 2022/2023 season. The deal also has a 15% trade kicker, and a no-trade clause during the regular season.

The 26-year old still has two years remaining on his current contract, so the total value of his two deals combined is close to $130 million over a span of four years.

Beal, who was selected third overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, has averaged 19.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in seven seasons and 488 regular season games.

He averaged a career-high 25.6 points last season on a 47.5 field goal percentage.

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Bucks starting point guard Eric Bledsoe out 2-3 weeks with rib injury

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The Milwaukee Bucks are probably going to have to start the 2019/2020 NBA regular season without their starting point guard.

The team announced that Eric Bledsoe will be sidelined for approximately 2-3 weeks after sustaining a small fracture of his rib.

He suffered the injury midway through the Bucks’ 133-99 preseason win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. After the game, Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer that the injury is not too serious.

“It feels like it’s not that severe,” said Budenholzer after the game.

“but I’m sure Troy (Flanagan, the team’s director of performance) and those guys will give me an update. … Just talking to Bled (it seemed positive) – I don’t know if you can trust Bled – Troy will be the truth-teller”

The 29-year old, who is entering the first season of a lucrative four-year, $70 million contract, averaged 15.9 points, 5.5 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 78 games in 2018/19.

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