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NBA Trade Deadline Rumors: Celtics could prefer Paul George over Jimmy Butler in trade

NBA Trade Deadline Rumors: Celtics could prefer Paul George over Jimmy Butler in trade

It's no secret that the Boston Celtics have an array of expendable assets as they approach Thursday's NBA trade deadline, so many that rumors have them tied to several superstars around the league, most notably Carmelo Anthony. With the Cleveland Cavaliers potentially vulnerable after Kevin Love's injury, will Boston strike for something big?

A new report from the New York Daily News links the Celtics to both Pacers star Paul George and Bulls star Jimmy Butler. Both are on teams currently in the playoff picture, but the Celtics have a very attractive trade piece in the Brooklyn Nets' 2017 first round pick. 

Here is what Frank Isola wrote on Monday:

Two executives doubt that Ainge, who historically plays it close to the vest, would give up the Nets pick in a deal for Butler. However, Ainge might consider it in a trade for George, the Pacers- free agent-to-be who has expressed doubts over re-signing with the Pacers.

"With Danny, no one ever knows what he might do," said the executive. "He's one of the best. If he thinks he can make a run at the Cavs this season, considering all the injuries Cleveland has had, I can see him making a move.

Brooklyn is the NBA's worst team and this upcoming draft class is said to be one of the best in years. Parting with what could ultimately be the No. 1 pick in a stacked class would be a difficult decision, but either George or Butler would make the two-seeded Celtics significantly better. A draft pick could take years to develop and they may still fall short of what George and Butler already are.

If the Celtics did choose to make such a trade, obviously the Wizards would take notice. They are third in the conference behind Boston and a blockbuster deal could create separation between them and a potential Eastern Conference Finals berth.

[RELATED: Cousins trade puts more options on table for Wizards]

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Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura tops the list of jersey sales in Japan

Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura tops the list of jersey sales in Japan

Today the NBA announced that Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura has the most popular jersey in Japan.

Sales from NBAStore.jp, the official online NBA store in Japan, put Hachimura at the top of the list, followed by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry. The rankings were based on online sales during the 2019-2020 NBA season through January.

Hachimura's ranking shouldn't come as a surprise, as the rookie became the first Japanese-born player selected in the first round of the NBA draft when the Wizards took him ninth overall last summer.

Not only was Hachimura the top-selling jersey, but he also accounted for 24% of all jersey sales. Additionally, the Wizards made up 13% of all team merchandise sales. 

The Lakers topped the list of most popular team merchandise, followed by the Wizards and the Warriors. The Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks rounded out the top five.

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Report: Steph Curry will return from hand surgery against Wizards

Report: Steph Curry will return from hand surgery against Wizards

Steph Curry will return to game action when the Golden State Warriors host the Wizards on Sunday night, The Athletic reported Tuesday. The game will come almost four months to the day after Curry broke his left hand during a collision with Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes on Oct. 30.

The Warriors (12-14) enter play Tuesday with the worst record in the NBA having played most of the season without Curry or shooting guard Klay Thompson, who tore his ACL during the NBA Finals last summer.

Curry was cleared for contact Saturday and told reporters that March 1 had been his target date for a while.

"It's always been March 1," Curry said, per ESPN's Nick Friedell. "But that for me mostly is just to give you a target. You have to have something to work towards in the rehab process because that gives you a barometer for each week, what you're building towards."

The Wizards are hoping for the healthy returns of Davis Bertans (sore right knee) and Thomas Bryant (right foot) to the lineup against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday and will presumably go into Sunday’s contest with a clean injury report outside John Wall.

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