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Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges cleared to return from COVID-19 protocols

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Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges has been cleared from the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols and will be available to play against the New York Knicks on Saturday, the team announced.

He missed six games while in the COVID-19 protocols, with the Hornets going 2-4 in his absence while trying to hold on to the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference with just two games to go before the league’s play-in tournament next week.

The third-year player was averaging 21.6 points over six games prior to entering the protocol on May 4. For the season, he’s averaging 12.4 points and career highs of 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Bridges has also become a highlight fixture around the NBA this season with several poster-worthy dunks.

The Hornets are tied with the Indiana Pacers and are a half-game ahead of the Washington Wizards, who they play in the regular-season finale on Sunday.

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CP3, Kawhi, Kemba, oh my: NBA (news) never sleeps

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The NBA news cycle takes no days off and Chris Paul can catch no breaks. Here’s what went down during a wild week in the association.

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Dirk Nowitzki rejoins Dallas Mavericks as special adviser

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With the Dallas Mavericks charting a new direction following the departures of coach Rick Carlisle and general manager Donnie Nelson, the franchise is turning to one of its all-time greats to help in the journey.

Dirk Nowitzki has rejoined the Mavericks as a special adviser to the franchise, the team announced Friday. In his role, Nowitzki will assist with the searches for coach and general manager while also consulting on other front-office decisions.

“Mark Cuban approached me about a role as special advisor and I am happy to support my Mavs,” Nowitzki said in a statement. “Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle were both mentors and played huge roles in my career and the success of this franchise, and I am going to miss them. It is important for me now to join Mark and contribute as much as I can as we move forward.”

Nowitzki played 21 seasons with the Mavericks — the most in NBA history for one player with one team — before retiring after the 2018-19 season and is the franchise career leader in games, points, rebounds and blocks, among other categories. He was also the Finals MVP in 2011 for Dallas’ first and only NBA championship.

Carlisle resigned Thursday after 13 years as Mavericks coach. That decision was revealed one day after the departure of Nelson following 24 seasons with the franchise.

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Boston Celtics trading Kemba Walker, 2021 first-rounder to Oklahoma City Thunder, sources say

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The Boston Celtics are trading Kemba Walker and their 2021 first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a package that includes Al Horford, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Along with Walker and the No. 16 overall pick in 2021, the Celtics are also sending a 2025 second-round pick to the Thunder in exchange for Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 second-rounder, sources said.

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