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Brand unsure if Fultz will return to 76ers this season

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers are unsure if Markelle Fultz will play again this season.

The 20-year-old Fultz was diagnosed this month with thoracic outlet syndrome and is doing physical therapy in Los Angeles. General manager Elton Brand said Saturday prior to a game against Toronto he has no timetable for Fultz’s return to basketball activities.

Brand said it was “to be determined” if Fultz will play again this season.

“I can’t say right now,” Brand said.

The GM expects to update Fultz’s situation in “a few weeks.”

Fultz was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, but his young career has been sidetracked by injuries and ineffectiveness. He averaged 8.2 points through 19 games but was shut down by his agent shortly after Jimmy Butler arrived via trade from Minnesota and Fultz lost his spot in the starting lineup.

Fultz’s shooting form, particularly from the free-throw line, has been scrutinized. The 76ers said earlier this month that specialists have identified a compression or irritation in the area between the lower neck and upper chest. Physical therapy was recommended for Fultz before returning to play.

Fultz played just 14 games last season because of a shoulder injury that appeared to affect his shooting mechanics.

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Big assist: Oladipo gifts car to domestic violence survivor

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Victor Oladipo got an early jump on the giving season.

The Indiana Pacers star has gifted the Kia car he won as the 2017-18 NBA Most Improved Player to a domestic violence survivor who works with the Julian Center, an Indianapolis organization supporting domestic violence survivors.

Renita Hills was honored on the court during the Pacers’ game Sunday against Washington. Oladipo appeared in a taped message with the car and called Hills “an inspiration to so many people.” Pacers mascot Boomer then gave Hills the keys.

Oladipo won the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for December 2015 for his work that includes giving $35,000 to a center that works with children dealing with hearing loss, along with donating a car and money to a single mother and her daughter to help them transition out of living in an Orlando women’s shelter.



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Report: Grizzlies’ Parsons cleared to play, remains inactive

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Per Shams Charania at The Athletic, Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons has been cleared to play by the team’s medical staff, though a return to game action might not be in the immediate cards.

A recent report in the Memphis Commercial-Appeal had indicated Parsons’ condition was improving and that an official update could be forthcoming after Sunday’s road trip closes in Los Angeles against the Lakers (9:30 ET, NBA LP).

Parsons has been out since October 24 with right knee/back soreness. The eighth-year veteran has only made three appearances this season, his third with Memphis after signing a four-year deal in 2016.

He’s played just 73 games since the start of 2016-17, after four years of 60-plus campaigns, and has already missed 29 in the current seasons.



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Reports: Austin Rivers agrees to deal with Rockets

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Free agent guard Austin Rivers has reached an agreement with the Houston Rockets, according to reports from Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Rivers, who started the season with the Washington Wizards, was traded to the Phoenix Suns last week and waived one day after being acquired. He became an unrestricted free agent after clearing waivers. 

The Rockets have an immediate need for guard depth after starting point guard Chris Paul was sidelined on Thursday for two weeks with a grade 2 strain of his left hamstring.

Rivers appeared in 29 games for Washington, averaging 7.2 points while shooting 39 percent from the field. He averaged 15.1 points last season for the Los Angeles Clippers.



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