National Basketball Association roundup

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[July 22, 2017] 

July 21 (The Sports Xchange) - Kyrie Irving would like to be more of a focal point on a team, but not with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

According to a report by ESPN on Friday and confirmed by, Irving asked the Cavaliers to trade him during a meeting with team owner Dan Gilbert last week.

Irving, 25, reportedly has stated a desire to be a top scoring option and does not want to play with LeBron James after being teammates with the superstar for three seasons.

The point guard's request is a continuation of a turbulent offseason for the three-time Eastern Conference champions.

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The Atlanta Hawks made a pair of moves to help their frontcourt by signing center Dewayne Dedmon and re-signing forward Ersan Ilyasova.

Terms of the deals were not announced by the team, but Dedmon reportedly signed a two-year, $14 million contract while Ilyasova inked a one-year, $6 million deal.

Dedmon is coming off the best season of his career when he averaged career highs of 5.1 points and 6.5 rebounds in 17.5 minutes in 76 games for the San Antonio Spurs. He shot 62.2 percent, grabbed at least 10 rebounds 13 times and led the Spurs in rebounds and blocked shots 21 times.

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In 26 games (12 starts) with Atlanta last season, Ilyasova averaged 10.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 24.3 minutes. He also appeared in 53 games with Philadelphia and three contests with Oklahoma City last season, playing in 82 games for the first time in his career.

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At some point, the Houston Rockets will be under new ownership but former center Yao Ming will not be involved.

The Hall of Fame center ended speculation that he could be involved with a group looking to purchase the team by issuing a statement through China's Xinhua news agency.

"I have no time to consider anything else (including buying the Houston Rockets)," Yao said.

Since retiring from the Rockets in 2011, Yao has been involved with the China Basketball Association, initially as an owner of his hometown Shanghai Sharks. He was elected Thursday as the chairman of the company that runs the league and was named league president in February. (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina)

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