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Lakers' itinerary set for Aldridge

Los Angeles will meet with LaMarcus Aldridge at 9 p.m. PT in L.A. The team is sending: Jeanie Buss, Kobe, Byron Scott, James Worthy, general manager Mitch Kupchak, Jim Buss, assistant GM Glenn Carraro, senior VP of finance Tim Harris and executives from AEG and TIme Warner Cable to woo the free agent big man.

Clippers 'hopeful' to retain DeAndre

But if DeAndre Jordan leaves for Dallas, the Clippers will look to do a sign-and-trade with the Mavs and their own free agent, Tyson Chandler, reports ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

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Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon

Source says Suns, Mavs, Pacers, Grizzlies and Clippers are teams showing most interest in high-flying big Brandan Wright.

Luke Ridnour is no Chris Gatling

Sure, Ridnour was traded four times in a week -- including three times in 26 hours. That means he's been in 7 trades in his 12-year career. But Chris Gatling was traded 8 times in his 11-year NBA career. Notable multi-trade guys

Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE/Getty Images

Bucks F Jared Dudley picks up option

Jared Dudley has exercised his $4.25 million option to stay with the Milwaukee Bucks next season, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein. Story

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Marc Stein @ESPNSteinLine

Jared Dudley, I'm told, has exercised his option to stay with the Milwaukee Bucks next season at $4.25 million

Pop: Don't wake me up for free agency

Don't count Gregg Popovich, 66, among those to be making calls the second free agency starts. The Spurs coach told the San Antonio Express-News: "I'm not calling anyone at midnight. I'll be in bed. And if that’s the difference in someone coming or not coming, then I don't want them.”

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Countdown to the Body Issue: 6 days

Blake Griffin in the 2011 Body Issue was a slam dunk, as the new issue out July 6 is sure to be.

Francesco Carrozzini for ESPN The Magazine

Cavaliers extend qualifying offers to 3

If Matthew Dellavedova, Iman Shumpert or Tristan Thompson receive an offer sheet from another team, the Cavs will now have right of first refusal. Cavs GM David Griffin announced the moves Tuesday.

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The Mavs' big sell to DeAndre Jordan

Dallas envisions a bigger offensive role for the free agent Clipper. With Dirk Nowitzki's outside shooting opening things up, the Mavs believe Jordan's high-flying game can flourish. Getting Jordan to buy in

Bill Baptist/NBAE/Getty Images

Marc Stein @ESPNSteinLine

And word is Rondo, wherever he goes next, could well go the one-year-contract route as he looks to rebound from bumpy season with Celts/Mavs

Calipari denies Kings' rumors

Said Chris Broussard of John Calipari and Sacramento discussing a job: "It's not a stretch they may have talked about it to some degree." Could Calipari be swayed to leave Kentucky? "It would take some ownership stakes."

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Elhassan: Top 30 free agent Big Board 2.0

LeBron leads a star-studded -- but possibly largely spoken for -- class of free agents. Who's No. 2? It's not LaMarcus Aldridge, despite the feeding frenzy he's created on the west coast. Top free agents (Insider)

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Marc Stein @ESPNSteinLine

Free-agent scuttle: Kings forward Rudy Gay is among loudest voices urging on-the-market point guard Rajon Rondo to come to Sacramento

The money behind short deals

Why all the talk about NBA players signing shorter contracts? Because in the next few seasons, the salary cap will bump nearly $41M.

Ridnour's contract attractive to teams

Luke Ridnour has been traded four times this offseason, and Royce Young tells SportsCenter it's because of his valuable contract, which can be used to "manipulate the system."

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Do the Lakers still appeal to big stars?

-- "It's a close call," said one NBA agent, "but probably not, only because it seems players are valuing other things these days a lot more."
-- "They still have an edge," one executive said, "but not like they used to." What's changed

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Scottie Pippen: I was LeBron before LeBron

"They want to compare him to the greatest whether it be Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson, but he's more closer to myself. It's natural for folks to say that, but if you look at how he plays the game and how I played the game, you'll see more similarities with us." (via Northeast Ohio Media Group)

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