LeBron James shot down a rumor that he spent part of the All-Star break in Philadelphia checking out possible schools for his children, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. The report, which James called “disgusting,” started with Sixers TV analyst Alaa Abdelnaby, who said his brother told him a Philly-area superintendent relayed that James was looking at private schools in the region.
“Pennsylvania? Nah. What are you talking about?” James said. “Over the All-Star break, I was on vacation and then went to Los Angeles.”
There has been speculation that Philadelphia is one of the destinations James will consider in free agency this summer, with a company from the city buying billboards near Quicken Loans Arena urging him to join the Sixers.
There’s more today from the Atlantic Division:
- Ersan Ilyasova held his first workout with the Sixers today since returning to Philadelphia following a buyout with the Hawks, and his ex-teammates were thrilled to see him again, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’m happy that we got him back,” Joel Embiid said. “I thought we should have kept him last year and re-signed him this summer. But I’m glad that he’s back and I’m excited.” Ilyasova played 53 games for the Sixers last season before being dealt to Atlanta.
- The Raptors don’t expect to pick up anybody on the buyout market, tweets Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet. He adds that the team doesn’t see any players who would be good fits for the limited roles it has available. Toronto saved about $1MM by trading Bruno Caboclo‘s expiring contract to the Kings last month for Malachi Richardson and was hoping to use that money on a buyout, adds Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun (via Twitter). The Raptors may wind up with a slightly larger tax bill for next season due to Richardson’s $1.57MM salary for 2018/19.
- Fully recovered from knee surgery, D’Angelo Russell is showing why the Nets traded for him over the summer, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. It took a while for Russell to return to form following the operation, but he is averaging 14.5 points and 5.3 assists over the past 11 games. “Oh man, it was only a matter of time,” said teammate Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. “That’s D’Angelo’s game. He can score, he can pass, play-make. There isn’t much he can’t do. “It just feels good to have him back.”