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Nets’ D’Angelo Russell detained at LaGuardia Airport for marijuana possession

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Not an ideal situation for a player heading into a summer where he will be a free agent, but this isn’t going to slow down teams interested in him.

Brooklyn’s D'Angelo Russell was detained at LaGuardia Airport in New York when he was found to be transporting a small amount of marijuana, something confirmed by the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey. The USA Today had details on the incident.

Russell, who was flying from LaGuardia Airport to Louisville International Airport, was questioned by police after a routine search by TSA workers flagged what at first glance appeared to be a can of Arizona Iced Tea in a checked bag, a person with knowledge of the incident told USA TODAY Sports. Upon further inspection, the can had a hidden compartment where marijuana was discovered.

Russell received a summons to appear in court for marijuana possession of less than 50 grams, according to the Port Authority spokesperson. The citation Russell received is a violation under New York law and is punishable by a fine of $100 or less.

Recreational marijuana use is still illegal in both New York and New Jersey. However, this small amount he had, a “personal use” amount, is not something state law comes down hard on.

“We have been made aware of the situation involving D’Angelo Russell and are in the process of gathering more information at this time,” the Brooklyn Nets said in a released statement.

Russell is coming off a breakout season where he was an All-Star and averaged 21.1 points and seven assists per game. What fueled his rise was his shooting improved — 36.9 percent from three, and a true shooting percentage of 53.3 that’s close to the league average. He was nailing floaters in the lane, and his more consistent jump shot opened up the rest of this game. He was a leader in Brooklyn and helped lift the Nets to the playoffs, where he and his team played tough but fell short against the more talented 76ers.

There’s a debate about what Russell is worth, both on the open market and to the Nets. They want to keep him, but his agent is looking for a point-guard hungry team that will sign him to a max deal, which would start at $27 million a season. The Nets may want to keep Russell, but that price likely makes them balk.

This situation is not going to slow down teams looking to sign Russell, an NBA player who uses marijuana is, shall we say, not exactly outside the norm. Teams know this and so long as it doesn’t impact his play on the court, teams tend not to worry about these things.

Rumor: Patrick Beverley may meet with five teams before Clippers

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The Los Angeles Clippers want to bring Patrick Beverley back next season, his spark was at the heart of why this team made the playoffs and impressed with their potential.

First, however, the Clippers are going big game hunting for the likes of Kawhi Leonard and/or Kevin Durant (even with the Achilles injury). Beverley isn’t just going to sit around and wait for them, reports longtime NBA reporter Sean Deveney Tweeted.

The Bulls need a point guard and Beverley — a Chicago native — has said he is interested.

The Lakers also are reportedly big game hunting, but Beverley is the kind of guard they could use around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Phoenix and other teams have been mentioned.

Beverley is going to have options, but he loved his time with the Clippers last season, and that means something.

Pelicans reportedly pick up option year on coach Alvin Gentry

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David Griffin, the guy with the hammer in New Orleans, likes Alvin Gentry. They have a relationship that goes back to Phoenix, where Gentry was the coach and Griffin was in the front office (and was eventually GM).

Gentry also has a style of play — he wants to run and be up-tempo. That should fit very well with soon-to-be No. 1 draft pick Zion Williamson.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise the Griffin and the Pelicans want to keep Gentry around, as reported by Malika Andrews of ESPN.

This is another smart, stabilizing move by Griffin. The Pelicans want to build an athletic, fast-paced team and Gentry is the right coach for that style.  Maybe it doesn’t pan out, maybe the Pelicans ultimately need to go another direction with their coach, but right now this seems a good fit.

Report: Utah “frontrunner” to land Mike Conley Jr. if Memphis trades him this week

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Utah feels like it is close — a 50-win team two seasons in a row, an elite defense, an All-NBA center in Rudy Gobert and an elite shot creator in Donovan Michell. They look at the West next season, with a depleted Warriors team, and see an opening.

Yet when Utah fell to Houston 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs this year, it was reminded of what is keeping the team from being truly elite, and another shot creator and shooter is at the top of that list.

Enter Mike Conley Jr. He averaged 21.1 points and 6.4 assists per game last season, shot 36.4 percent from three, and plays strong defense. Conley would be an upgrade over Ricky Rubio at the spot.

The almost All-Star point guard out of Memphis is available via trade. He’s the kind of veteran floor general, shooter, and shot creator Utah could use. The Jazz and Grizzlies talked but couldn’t come to an agreement at the trade deadline, but the sides are talking again and conversations are “intensifying” in the run-up to the NBA Draft Thursday, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Grizzlies are intensifying talks to potentially move franchise cornerstone Mike Conley Jr., league sources told The Athletic. Memphis has been in conversations with the Jazz and Utah is a frontrunner to acquire Conley should the Grizzlies trade the point guard during draft week, league sources said.

What would be in a trade package? Certainly the No. 23 pick in this draft, plus some young players the Grizzlies like (maybe Grayson Allen, Royce O’Neal, and even someone like Jae Crowder. Reports say Derick Favors is not part of the discussion.

While anything can happen the week of the draft — and things change quickly — don’t be surprised if some version of this trade gets done.

Kawhi Leonard wins day with last laugh — his viral laugh — at end of speech

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Kawhi Leonard just won again.

He won his second NBA title leading the Toronto Raptors to the franchise’s first crown. He earned his second Finals MVP in the process.

Then on Monday he had the last laugh and won the Raptors’ championship parade in Toronto by ending his speech with his laugh, the same one that went viral at the start of the season.

Of course, what Leonard will do on July 1 was a cloud hanging over the parade, Leonard is a free agent this summer. Kyle Lowry at one point started a “five more years” chant during the parade, which is the maximum number of years Toronto can re-sign Leonard for.

Leonard, exactly as we all should have expected, dodged the question, while praising his time in Toronto.

Unfortunately, this was a parade marred by more serious concerns.