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NBA, union in talks to end '1-and-done'

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

MIAMI (AP) The NBA and its players are continuing to move forward on plans to eliminate the "one-and-done" rule in college basketball, something that the sides have been working toward for months.

The league has sent a proposal to the National Basketball Players Association on lowering the minimum age for entering the NBA draft from 19 to 18, and the union discussed the contents at a meeting in the Bahamas earlier this week, a person with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press on Thursday. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither side released the proposal publicly.

USA Today Sports first reported the proposal being sent.


GM: Rules compel Pelicans to play Davis

METAIRIE, La. (AP) When the Pelicans finished practice on Thursday, Anthony Davis went into coach Alvin Gentry's office, followed later by interim general manager Danny Ferry.

As they spoke, privacy shades on windows that otherwise offer a view of practice courts were pulled down.


Harden, Rockets to visit LeBron, Lakers

The Houston Rockets are expected to have their Opening Night starting lineup back together for the first time in two months when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, the first game back from the All-Star break for both teams.

Clint Capela is expected to return after undergoing thumb surgery and missing 15 games. Chris Paul missed 17 games from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25 before playing eight games leading up to the break.


Bucks return with showdown vs. Celtics

With his high-profile All-Star Weekend now complete, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and his pals on the Milwaukee Bucks, will still have national exposure Thursday when the post-break schedule opens with a visit from the Boston Celtics.

The Eastern Conference-leading Bucks (43-14) will enter the nationally-televised contest having won 14 of their last 16 games and eight of their last nine. The Celtics, fourth in the conference at 37-21, have won 12 of their last 15 games and have taken two straight after a mini two-game skid.


Suns try to snap 16-game slide vs. Cavs

Two of the league's worst teams kick off the second half of the season on Thursday when the Phoenix Suns travel to the banks of Lake Erie to play Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Suns have lost 15 straight. Their last win came on Jan. 12 against the Denver Nuggets. The Cavs have been a little better, going 3-11 in their last 14 and 4-23 in their last 27.


DeRozan excited for return to Toronto

TORONTO (AP) From fellow athletes to star entertainers, DeMar DeRozan has seen plenty of celebrities soaking up an extended round of appreciative applause from fans.

"When they get that long standing ovation, I always thought that was the coolest thing in the world," DeRozan said Thursday. "I've never received one."


Jeff Van Gundy: Get rid of All-Star Game

MIAMI (AP) Jeff Van Gundy has an idea on how to fix the NBA All-Star Game.

His plan: Eliminate it.


Hawks' new G League team named Skyhawks

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (AP) The Atlanta Hawks' new suburban G League affiliate will be named the Skyhawks.

The team name announced Thursday recalls the former Hawks mascot Skyhawk, who was retired during the 2013-14 season. The College Park Skyhawks will share their team name with Point University in West Point, Georgia.


USA wrapping up World Cup qualifying

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) The job is done. The United States is going to the FIBA World Cup, which makes its last two qualifying games ahead of that tournament seem irrelevant.

Players and U.S. coach Jeff Van Gundy see it differently.


Pacers standing tall without Oladipo

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) When Victor Oladipo crashed to the floor in late January, the silence inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse was deafening.

Teammates quietly expressed best wishes to their injured teammate as he was wheeled off the court on a stretcher. Fans wondered aloud if this was just another chapter in Indianapolis' injury curse that has claimed Peyton Manning, Paul George and Andrew Luck during the previous eight years. League insiders debated how far the Pacers would slide in the Eastern Conference standings.