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  • Spurs, Aldridge agree to 3-year, $72 million extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, October 16, 2017

    Five-time All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge agreed to terms on a three-year, $72.3 million contract extension with the San Antonio Spurs, multiple outlets reported on Monday.

    • The deal will keep Aldridge under contract with the Spurs through the 2020-21 season.

      Aldridge will opt into the $22.3 million player option on his 2018-19 contract, and the extension's new terms will start with the 2019-20 season. The 32-year-old Dallas native is set to make $21.4 million in the 2016-17 season.

      Aldridge averaged 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Spurs last season. He's averaged 19.1 points and 8.3 rebounds for his 11-year NBA career since being selected by Chicago with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2006 draft.

      The 6-foot-11 Aldridge played his first nine seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers before joining the Spurs prior to the 2015-16 season.

  • NBA outlook: Four challengers will make Warriors work
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, October 16, 2017

    Ghidorah took down Godzilla, the Great Depression crumpled Wall Street, and Buster Douglas put Mike Tyson on his tush, so there must be a team that can challenge the Golden State Warriors for the NBA championship this season, right?

    • There are four legitimate contenders, in fact, to the throne on which the Warriors perched last June after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games in the NBA Finals.

      The most important thing, perhaps, is that the Cavaliers, the Houston Rockets, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs all believe they can beat the Warriors and, inevitably, win the 2017-18 title.

      "There's an aura of respect for how good they are, but not necessarily a feeling of their invincibility," says Terry Stotts, whose Portland Trail Blazers have been ousted from the playoffs by Golden State in each of the past two seasons. "They're a great team. they've won two of the last three NBA championships, and it easily could have been three out of three. Everybody in the league has a healthy respect for what they've done, and they have everybody back.

      "But invincibility? I don't think players or coaches in the NBA would ever view an opponent like that. You've lost before you played the game."

      Cleveland has the best chance for one main reason -- LeBron James -- and a lot of secondary ones.

      The Cavaliers went to the NBA Finals each of the past three years, too, winning the 2016 crown and losing to the Warriors in '15 and '17. Kyrie Irving was dealt to the Boston Celtics, but most of the roster from last season returns, including power forward Kevin Love, center Tristan Thompson and shooting guards J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver.

      And the Cavs have added four key pieces -- point guard Isaiah Thomas, who will miss the early portions of the season while rehabbing a hip injury; shooting guard Dwyane Wade, point guard Derrick Rose and small forward Jae Crowder. Coach Tyron Lue has a lineup every bit as deep -- and perhaps as talented -- as Golden State's.

      The biggest issues will be health and age. Thomas' hip is a question mark, and Rose has not had an injury-free season since 2011. James (32), Korver (36), Smith (32), Wade (35), Channing Frye (34) and Jeff Green (31) are all on the wrong side of 30.

      Houston might be the biggest threat to Golden State in the Western Conference. The Rockets, who won 55 games and made it to the West semifinals a year ago, added master maestro Chris Paul to team with James Harden for perhaps the most potent backcourt in the league.

      "That's going to be interesting," Stotts says. "Paul is really good at making other players better. He'll make it a little easier on Harden to have a great season, but his impact will be when James is out of the game.

      "I have so much respect for what Chris is able to do. He makes his team better. That will be their biggest advantage."

      History says good-offense/bad-defense teams rarely win a title, but Houston coach Mike D'Antoni added defensive specialist Luc Mbah a Moute along with Paul, a seven-time NBA All-Defensive first-team selection.

      Oklahoma City made the biggest splash in the offseason, adding perennial All-Star forwards Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook. The question: Will there be enough shots for all three?

      "They're all great players," Stotts says. "They can play the right way. They want to win. When it comes to winning, they'll figure out a way to make it work."

      San Antonio is the NBA's version of the NFL's New England Patriots -- Old Man River as a perennial championship contender.

      "(The Spurs) just keep rolling along," Stotts says. "They won a quiet 61 games last year, and they still get overlooked. They're in the position they love. Everybody is talking about Golden State and Oklahoma City. They'll just roll along and do what they do."

      Small forward Kawhi Leonard is the straw that stirs the drink for the Spurs, but there is plenty of returning talent around him, including power forwards LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol, point guards Tony Parker and Patty Mills and shooting guards Danny Green and Manu Ginobili. The Spurs added another seasoned veteran -- small forward Rudy Gay -- who will provide pop at the offensive end.

      The Warriors are everybody's favorite to repeat, and they should be. But don't make arrangements for that championship parade in the Bay Area just yet.

  • Top overall pick Fultz to open 76ers season as reserve
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 15, 2017

    Philadelphia 76ers rookie guard Markelle Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in June's NBA draft, will open the season as a reserve, coach Brett Brown revealed Sunday.

    • The 76ers open the season Wednesday against the Washington Wizards and the star backcourt combo of John Wall and Bradley Beal and that was one factor in the decision. Another is that Fultz played in just two preseason games after battling shoulder and knee ailments.

      "He hasn't played much basketball in preseason," Brown told reporters. "He's been out for a while. He hasn't been with our group. I think the decision like, 'do you put him into the fire right away and have him play against starting NBA defensive players, especially with the little foundation that he has?' I don't think that's smart."

      Fultz scored four points on 2-of-13 shooting in his first preseason appearance against the Memphis Grizzlies. He fared better in his second when he tallied 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting against the Boston Celtics.

      Fultz said he was OK with the decision.

      "At the end of the day, I want to do whatever I've got to do to help my team win," Fultz said. "So if that's coming off the bench, I'm fine with that. Just contribute any ways I can."

      Fultz said the ailing shoulder affected his performance in the preseason and was a prime reason why his shooting percentage was 29.2.

      "My shoulder is bothering me, so that's the reason my shot's like that," Fultz said. "At the end of the day, I'm not going use that as an excuse, like I said before. But my shoulder is the main reason why my shot's doing that."

      Veteran Jerryd Bayless is the likely starter in place of Fultz.

      Fultz is the fourth top-three selection to join the 76ers over the past four seasons and two of the other three didn't see the court as rookies.

      In fact, 2014 selection Joel Embiid (third overall) missed both of his first two seasons due to foot injuries. He returned to action last season and averaged 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds in 31 games before his season was cut short by a knee injury.

      Last season's No. 1 overall pick, swingman Ben Simmons, missed the entire season due to a foot injury. He will make his NBA debut on Wednesday.

      The other top-three choice was center Jahlil Okafor (2015). He averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 53 games as a rookie before a knee injury ended his campaign. He dropped to 11.8 and 4.8, respectively, in 50 games last season.

      Brown said Fultz's role could change at some point during the season, but the fact that he was the No. 1 overall pick won't be a factor in the decision.

      "The balance of development and winning is a slippery slope because he hasn't played basketball and he's really had an erratic preseason," Brown said. "How we are fair in delivering him to an NBA court and situations that I put him in and volume of minutes he gets with the notion he's the first player chosen, we understand the microscope, the pedestal that he is on.

      "But the reality with all those under things that I just said are also my responsibility to figure it all out. Ultimately, you've got play and develop him and take some hits so that he can grow with us."

  • Celtics F Morris to miss opener vs. Cavs
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 15, 2017

    Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris will miss Tuesday's season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers due to right knee soreness, Boston coach Brad Stevens said on Sunday.

    • Morris will miss at least the first couple weeks of the regular season, according to Stevens. He played just 11 minutes in the preseason due to the knee woes and because he was away on trial in Phoenix for aggravated assault. He was acquitted.

      "With him getting here a little bit late, we feel like he needs a little more of a preseason," Stevens said. "He will most likely be out here for the coming week-plus and then we will re-evaluate after that. They've done all the testing and, structurally, the knee is in good shape.

      "But I think it is a quick turnaround to get here last week and play in a regular-season game. It's going to be a little bit of time probably before he hits the court again."

      The loss of Morris will require some lineup shuffling as the 28-year-old was the player in line to guard Cleveland star LeBron James. First-round pick Jayson Tatum may end up with the starting assignment in his first NBA game.

      Morris was acquired in the offseason from the Detroit Pistons, a less-publicized acquisition than signing free agent forward Gordon Hayward (formerly of the Utah Jazz) and landing point guard Kyrie Irving from Cleveland.

      Morris averaged 14 points and 4.6 rebounds in 79 games last season.

      The deal for Irving included star guard Isaiah Thomas being shipped to the Cavaliers and has helped make the opener a highly anticipated contest even as Irving attempted to downplay his return to Cleveland during Sunday's media availability.

      "The excitement and the energy is there but I think everything extra has been created by outside influence," said Irving, who helped the Cavaliers down the Celtics in last season's Eastern Conference finals. "So that's neither here nor there. I don't know what that reality is. I don't necessarily concern myself with that because, if I do, I'd really be doing myself a disservice and my teammates a disservice of trying to figure out whether or not I want to give some distractions or specific people energy in terms of what they're saying or what they think about what's going on.

      "Everyone's entitled to an opinion. I respect it. But it's my job to go out there and be the best I can be for my teammates and ultimately try to win every single game and put myself and my teammates in a great position to win. It's going to happen regardless. That's just the nature of the business. I understand that. But that reality, I leave that for other people."

  • Timberwolves exercise options on Towns, Jones
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 15, 2017

    The Minnesota Timberwolves exercised the fourth-year options on center Karl-Anthony Towns and guard Tyus Jones, the team announced Sunday.

    • Towns, the top overall pick in the 2015 draft, averaged 25.1 points and 12.3 rebounds while starting all 82 games for the second straight season in 2016-17.

      The 7-footer set a team single-season scoring record with 2,061 points and recorded 1,007 rebounds. He became the youngest player in NBA history to total at least 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a season, the 15th player overall and first since Tim Duncan in 2001-02.

      Jones averaged 3.5 points and 2.6 assists in 12.9 minutes in 60 games last season. Jones was originally drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015 and dealt to Minnesota on draft night.

  • Pistons pick up options on Fs Johnson, Ellenson
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 15, 2017

    The Detroit Pistons exercised team options on forwards Stanley Johnson and Henry Ellenson for the 2018-19 season, the team announced Sunday.

    • Johnson, in his third season, has averaged 6.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.7 steals and 20.4 minutes in 150 NBA games, including seven starts. He was the No. 8 overall pick by the Pistons in the 2015 draft.

      Ellenson averaged 3.2 points, 2.2 rebounds 0.4 assists and 7.7 minutes in 19 games (two starts) last season as a rookie. He was taken 18th overall by the Pistons in the 2016 draft.

  • Blazers' McCollum suspended for season opener
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, October 14, 2017

    Portland Trail Blazers star guard CJ McCollum has been suspended for the regular-season opener after leaving the bench during an altercation in Wednesday's preseason game, the league announced Saturday.

    • McCollum, 26, was given a one-game ban for the incident that occurred with 9:33 remaining in the fourth quarter of Portland's 113-104 preseason win against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

      McCollum left the bench area when Portland's Caleb Swanigan and Phoenix's Alex Len got into a shoving match. Both Swanigan and Len were ejected.

      The 6-foot-3, 190-pound McCollum averaged a career-best 23.0 points last season, his fourth with the Blazers since being a first-round pick (10th overall) in 2013 out of Lehigh.

      The Trail Blazers open their regular season next Wednesday night at Phoenix.

  • Cavs trade Jefferson, Felder to Hawks
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, October 14, 2017

    The Cleveland Cavaliers traded forward Richard Jefferson, guard Kay Felder, two future second-round draft picks and cash considerations to the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.

    • In exchange, the Cavs acquired the draft rights to forward Dimitrios Agravanis and guard Sergey Gladyr.

      Sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that $3 million is going to Atlanta.

      The Hawks later requested waivers on Jefferson and Felder, and they will become free agents after clearing waivers. Jefferson was set to earn $2.5 million this season and Felder $1.3 million.

      The trade gets the Cavaliers' roster to 15 ahead of the start of the regular season on Tuesday. The Cavaliers will save $12.8 million in luxury tax by unloading the two contracts, according to ESPN.

      "These situations and decisions are some of the toughest to be in and have to make. Certainly, both RJ and Kay are two guys we also wanted to have here with us this season," Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman announced from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

      "RJ embodies all of the things you could want in a veteran player and teammate. His consistent success at a very high level over many years is a reflection of the kind of high quality player and person he is. His steady leadership, great attitude, dependability and performance helped us win an NBA championship and we are grateful for all of his contributions on the court and within our locker room. Kay is a young, hard-working, talented player who has the potential for a bright and long future in this league as well. His daily dedication and hard work are going to help him greatly. We thank RJ and Kay and wish them the very best as they move on to the next chapter of their NBA careers."

      The two draft picks that Cleveland will send to Atlanta include the lesser of the Los Angeles Lakers' and Minnesota Timberwolves' 2019 second-round picks, and a protected 2020 Portland Trail Blazers' second-rounder.

      The Cavs will create two trade exceptions ($2.6 million and $1.4 million) with the trade, and the Cavaliers will have one year to use them, according to ESPN.

      The 6-foot-10, 235-pound Agravanis has played for Olympiacos in the Greek Basketball League since 2013 and was the 59th overall pick by the Hawks in the 2015 NBA Draft. In 2016-17, he played in 51 total games (nine starts) for Olympiacos in Greece and Euroleague play with averages of 4.6 points and 3.5 rebounds. Over his career, the 22-year-old Agravanis has helped his teams capture the FIBA Intercontinental Cup (2013) and two Greek League titles (2015, 2016).

      The 6-5, 190-pound Gladyr was drafted by Atlanta with the 49th overall pick in 2009 and has spent the past two seasons with the French League club AS Monaco Basket. Gladyr, who also participated in the Summer League with the Hawks in 2010 and 2013, averaged 9.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in 53 total games (nine starts) for Monaco in the French League, Basketball Champions League and Leaders Cup during the 2016-17 season. He is a two-time Leaders Cup winner (2016, 2017), Leaders Cup MVP (2017) and French Cup winner (2014).

      The 6-7, 233-pound Jefferson spent the previous two seasons with the Cavaliers, playing in 153 games (18 starts) with averages of 5.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per contest. A member of the Cavaliers' 2016 NBA championship team, Jefferson appeared in 35 postseason games for Cleveland and averaged 4.8 points and 2.8 rebounds. The 16-year veteran originally signed with the Cavaliers on Aug. 5, 2015.

      The 5-9, 176-pound Felder appeared in 42 games for Cleveland in 2016-17, averaging 4.0 points, 1.4 assists and 9.2 minutes. He was the No. 54 pick of the 2016 draft by the Hawks and was acquired by the Cavs on draft night.

  • Spurs F Leonard to sit out opener
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, October 13, 2017

    San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard is expected to miss Wednesday's season opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves as he continues recovering from a left quadriceps injury.

    • Before Friday's preseason game against the Houston Rockets, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters Leonard will not be available for the opener.

      Leonard has not practiced since training camp began but has been rehabbing at the Spurs' practice facility.

      Popovich also said he was unsure of when Leonard might return.

      "I don't gauge it," Popovich said. "He's still rehabbing and when he's ready, he'll be ready. I try not to qualify it."

      The 26-year-old Leonard missed time in the 2017 playoffs due to an ankle injury suffered in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets. He aggravated that sprain in Game 1 of the conference finals and sat out the rest of San Antonio's 4-0 series loss to the Golden State Warriors.

      Earlier in training camp, Popovich said the injury was not recent but a continuation of an issue that first occurred sometime last season.

      The 6-foot-7, 230-pound Leonard is entering his seventh NBA season after averaging a career-high 25.5 points and 5.8 rebounds last season, making the All-Star Game for the second time in his career. He was voted first team All-NBA and named first team All-Defense.

  • Pacers F Robinson to miss 3-4 months following surgery
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, October 13, 2017

    Indiana Pacers forward Glenn Robinson III underwent successful ankle surgery Friday and is expected to return in three to four months.

    • Robinson underwent the procedure to repair medial and lateral ligaments in his left ankle.

      The 23-year-old was injured driving to the basket during a scrimmage in practice on Sept. 29.

      The 6-foot-6, 222-pound Robinson, the son of former NBA star Glenn Robinson, averaged a career-high 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 69 games (27 starts) last season. The 2017 NBA slam dunk contest champion shot 39.2 percent on 3-pointers.

      Robinson was a second-round draft pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2014 after leaving Michigan following his sophomore season. In 149 regular-season games for the Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers and Pacers, Robinson has averaged 4.4 points on 44.8 percent shooting.

  • Reports: Hawks acquire Jefferson, Felder from Cavs
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, October 13, 2017

    The Cleveland Cavaliers traded veteran forward Richard Jefferson and guard Kay Felder to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday to get down to the maximum 15-player roster limit, according to multiple reports.

    • Cleveland also gave up second-round picks in 2019 and 2020 and cash in the deal and received the draft rights to Greece's Dimitrios Agravanis (59th overall selection in 2015) and the Ukraine's Sergii Gladyr (49th pick in 2009).

      The Hawks reportedly will waive both Jefferson and Felder.

      The 37-year-old Jefferson averaged 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 79 games last season. Felder, who was a rookie, averaged 4.0 and 1.4 assists in 42 games in 2016-17.

  • Jordan not a fan of NBA 'superteams'
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, October 12, 2017

    Count Michael Jordan among those who are not fans of the NBA's recent "superteam" trend.

    • The Chicago Bulls legend and six-time NBA champion who now owns the Charlotte Hornets shared his thoughts on stars around the league joining forces in an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine.

      "I think it's going to hurt the overall aspect of the league from a competitive standpoint," Jordan told the magazine. "You're going to have one or two teams that are going to be great, and another 28 teams that are going to be garbage. Or they're going to have a tough time surviving in the business environment."

      The defending champion Golden State Warriors, highlighted by the superstar foursome of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, have faced the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, Kevin Love and formerly Kyrie Irving, in three consecutive NBA Finals.

      Before returning to his native Cleveland, James teamed up with Miami mainstay Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form a Heat "superteam" that won two titles and appeared in four straight Finals from 2010-11 to 2013-14.

      Overall, James has reached the finals seven straight seasons between the Cavaliers and Heat.

      Jordan also told the magazine that he does not have the patience for coaching. Additionally, the 54-year-old revealed in the interview that he smokes six cigars a day.

  • NBA notebook: Heat's McGruder out 3-6 months
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, October 12, 2017

    Miami Heat swingman Rodney McGruder is expected to miss three to six months due to a stress fracture in his lower left leg, according to multiple reports.

    • McGruder is slated to undergo surgery next week.

      It wasn't clear when the 26-year-old McGruder suffered the injury. He played 25 minutes in Wednesday's preseason victory over the Washington Wizards.

      McGruder averaged 6.4 points in 78 games, including 65 starts, last season in his first NBA campaign. McGruder went undrafted out of Kansas State in 2013.

      --Indiana Pacers forward Glenn Robinson III will undergo surgery on his injured left ankle and is expected to be sidelined until mid-December, ESPN reported.

      Robinson sustained the injury while driving to the basket during a scrimmage in practice on Sept. 29.

      The 6-foot-6, 222-pound Robinson, the son former NBA star Glenn Robinson, averaged a career-high 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 69 games, including 27 starts, last season. The 2017 NBA slam dunk contest champion shot 39.2 percent on 3-pointers.

      With Paul George traded to Oklahoma City, Robinson is expected to play a more prominent role this season.

      --The Brooklyn Nets exercised the 2018-19 contract options for D'Angelo Russell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert.

      Russell, the No. 2 overall pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2015 NBA Draft, was acquired by the Nets in June. He averaged 15.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.4 steals last season.

      Hollis-Jefferson, acquired in a draft-night trade after he was selected No. 23 overall by Portland in 2015, appeared in a team-high 78 games last season and averaged 8.7 points and 5.8 rebounds.

      LeVert was acquired from Indiana after the Pacers selected him with the 20th overall selection in 2016. He started 26 of 57 games last season, averaging 8.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists.

      --The Denver Nuggets have officially signed guard Gary Harris to a contract extension, the team announced.

      As reported earlier, Harris agreed to the four-year, $84 million extension on Saturday.

      Harris, 23, averaged 14.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists and made 50.2 percent of his field goals last season.

      --The Memphis Grizzlies announced plans to retire the number of Tony Allen in the future.

      Allen departed the team this summer and signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans for the veteran's minimum of $2.3 million.

      Allen averaged 8.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game during his seven seasons with the Grizzlies. He also earned first- or second-team All-Defensive honors in six of those campaigns.

  • Nets pick up options of Russell, two others
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, October 12, 2017

    The Brooklyn Nets exercised the 2018-19 contract options for D'Angelo Russell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert on Thursday.

    • Russell, the No. 2 overall pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2015 NBA Draft, was acquired by the Nets in June. He averaged 15.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.4 steals last season.

      The 6-foot-5 Russell increased his numbers across the board after posting averages of 13.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.2 steals during his rookie season.

      Hollis-Jefferson, acquired in a draft-night trade after he was selected No. 23 overall by Portland in 2015, appeared in a team-high 78 games last season and averaged 8.7 points and 5.8 rebounds. The 6-7 forward averaged 7.9 points and 5.7 rebounds as a rookie.

      LeVert was acquired from Indiana after the Pacers selected him with the 20th overall selection in 2016. He started 26 of 57 games last season, averaging 8.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists.

  • Heat's McGruder to miss 3-6 months
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, October 12, 2017

    Miami Heat swingman Rodney McGruder is expected to miss three to six months due to a stress fracture in his lower left leg, according to multiple reports.

    • McGruder is slated to undergo surgery next week.

      It wasn't clear when the 26-year-old McGruder suffered the injury. He played 25 minutes in Wednesday's preseason victory over the Washington Wizards.

      McGruder averaged 6.4 points in 78 games (65 starts) last season in his first NBA campaign.

      McGruder went undrafted out of Kansas State in 2013.

  • Nuggets sign Harris to four-year, $84 million extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, October 12, 2017

    The Denver Nuggets have officially signed guard Gary Harris to a contract extension, the team announced Thursday.

    • Harris agreed to the four-year, $84 million extension on Saturday.

      Harris, 23, averaged 14.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists and made 50.2 percent of his field goals last season, including 42 percent from 3-point range. For his three-year career, Harris has averaged 10.5 points while shooting 46 percent from the field.

      Harris would receive $74 million in guaranteed money, with the remaining $10 million through individual and team bonus clauses, according to the sources.

      As part of the 2014 draft class, Harris was eligible for his rookie extension. If a deal was not reached by the Oct. 16 deadline, Harris could have become a restricted free agent in July.

      According to salaries provided by spotrac.com, Harris moves into the top 10 among the highest-paid shooting guards in the NBA.

  • Grizzlies plan to retire Allen's number
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, October 12, 2017

    The Memphis Grizzlies announced plans to retire the number of Tony Allen in the future, the team said on Thursday.

    • Allen departed the team this summer and signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans for the veteran's minimum of $2.3 million.

      "Tony was a driving force behind the Grizzlies' seven straight playoff appearances and he remains a beloved member of the Memphis community," Grizzlies owner Robert J. Pera said in a statement. "Tony played with a level of passion that is unrivaled. He helped establish a Grizzlies culture focused on toughness and effort, and he challenged every player that put on Beale Street Blue to match his fiery intensity.

      "On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank him for his incredible contributions to the Grizzlies and the unique way that he inspired the city of Memphis. We are proud that the Grindfather's #9 jersey will hang in the rafters of FedExForum alongside (Zach Randolph's) one day."

      Randolph, who signed with the Sacramento Kings in the offseason, joined Allen, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley as part of Memphis' Core Four.

      Allen averaged 8.9 points and 4.3 rebounds per game during his seven seasons with the Grizzlies. He also earned first- or second-team All-Defensive honors in six of those campaigns.

      "Tony will forever be one of the Core Four responsible for the turnaround in the Memphis Grizzlies' fortunes and our surge in popularity," Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said in the statement. "There would never have been seven straight years of playoff appearances, the incredible electricity in FedExForum for home games, 'Grit and Grind' and 'Believe Memphis' without Tony Allen's contributions to the team. In the process Tony became more than just one of the toughest defenders in the league -- he became a true cult hero who was intertwined with the soul of Memphis like few athletes ever have in any city. Tony and his family will be missed but his impact on the Grizzlies and Memphis will never be forgotten."

  • Pacers' Robinson III to have surgery on ankle
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, October 12, 2017

    Indiana Pacers forward Glenn Robinson III will undergo surgery on his injured left ankle and is expected to be sidelined until mid-December, ESPN reported.

    • Robinson sustained the injury while driving to the basket during a scrimmage in practice on Sept. 29.

      The 6-foot-6, 222-pound Robinson, the son former NBA star Glenn Robinson, averaged a career-high 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 69 games (27 starts) last season. The 2017 NBA slam dunk contest champion shot 39.2 percent on 3-pointers.

      With Paul George traded to Oklahoma City, Robinson is expected to play a more prominent role this season.

      Robinson was a second-round draft pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2014 after leaving Michigan following his sophomore season. The 23-year-old had stops with Minnesota and the Philadelphia 76ers before signing with the Pacers for the 2015-16 season.

  • Cavaliers F James sits out practice, will miss game
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, October 11, 2017

    Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James sat out practice on Wednesday and was ruled out for Friday's preseason game against the Orlando Magic due to a left ankle injury, coach Tyronn Lue announced.

    • Lue also told reporters that he was "not sure" if James would be ready to play in the Cavaliers' season opener against Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics on Oct. 17.

      "Got treatment all day today, so I'm not sure if we should be concerned or not," Lue said. "But it's pretty sore today so we'll just see what happens."

      James sustained the injury during a practice on Sept. 27 when he stepped on the foot of rookie forward Cedi Osman. James made his preseason debut Tuesday and scored 17 points in a 108-94 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

  • Timberwolves' Wiggins signs multi-year contract extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, October 11, 2017

    The Minnesota Timberwolves signed forward Andrew Wiggins to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Wednesday.

    • Terms were not released by the team, but the deal is a maximum five-year, $148 million extension that will keep him obligated to the Timberwolves through 2023, according to multiple reports. The extension starts with the 2018-19 season.

      "I'm pleased that we've reached an agreement with Andrew on a contract extension," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said in a statement. "Andrew is one of the best young players in the NBA and he has the talent and work ethic to get even better and be a foundation for our franchise for many years."

      Wiggins, 22, registered a career-high 23.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 37.2 minutes in 82 games last season, making a career-best 103 3-pointers on a career-high 35.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

      The 6-foot-8, 202-pound Wiggins averaged 26.0 points over the final 30 games in 2016-17, including 28.3 in eight April starts. He registered five 40-plus-point games a season ago, including a career-best 47-point performance.

      "I'm very excited to continue my career with the Timberwolves," Wiggins said. "I love it here. The fans and organization have supported me from my first day here in Minnesota. I want to thank Glen Taylor, Tom Thibodeau, the entire coaching staff and my teammates for believing in me. We've had some good times over the last three seasons, but the best is yet to come. I look forward to doing right by them and bringing this team to the postseason."

      For his career, Wiggins has played in 245 of a possible 246 games, averaging 20.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 36.2 minutes per contest. Only three players (LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony) scored more points before their 22nd birthday and Wiggins' 4,995 career point total ranks sixth on the Wolves' all-time scoring list.

      Wiggins won the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy as the NBA's Rookie of the Year following the 2014-15 season in which he averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists, becoming the first Wolves player to take the honor.

      "We're very excited that Andrew has decided to commit his future to the Timberwolves," Timberwolves president of basketball operations and head coach Thibodeau said. "We feel strongly that he is just scratching the surface of the player he will become. Andrew is among the elite young talents in our league and the sky is the limit for him. We look forward to watching his development in the coming years."

      Wiggins was selected first overall in the 2014 draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers out of Kansas and traded to the Wolves on Aug. 23, 2014.

  • NBA notebook: 76ers sign C Embiid to massive extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, October 10, 2017

    Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has played in just 31 games over three NBA seasons but he has landed a big-money contract that typically goes to a star player.

    • The promising 23-year-old agreed to a five-year, $148 million deal with the 76ers, who publicly announced the agreement on Tuesday.

      The 7-foot Embiid averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots in the games he played and brought significant energy to the squad. He missed his first two seasons with right foot woes and suffered a knee injury last season that ended his campaign after 31 games.

      --New Orleans Pelicans point guard Rajon Rondo underwent surgery for a sports hernia and will miss four to six weeks.

      The Pelicans said the operation was to repair a core muscle injury.

      Rondo was injured in the first quarter of Friday's preseason contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

      --The New York Knicks will wear the logo of website publishing platform Squarespace on their jerseys this season.

      Terms were not disclosed by the Knicks, who became the 17th NBA team to sign a deal to wear an advertising patch on their jerseys. Squarespace, which was founded in 2003, is based in New York and reached $100 million in revenue in 2015. It has raised nearly $80 million from investors in the last seven years, according to ESPN.

      The logo will begin appearing on Knicks jerseys for Friday night's preseason game against the Washington Wizards.

  • Pelicans G Rondo out 4-6 weeks
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, October 10, 2017

    New Orleans Pelicans point guard Rajon Rondo underwent surgery for a sports hernia on Tuesday and will miss four to six weeks, according to the team.

    • The Pelicans said the operation was to repair a core muscle injury.

      Rondo was injured in the first quarter of Friday's preseason contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

      Veteran Jrue Holiday will open the campaign as the starting point guard. New Orleans starts its season on Oct. 18 against the Memphis Grizzlies.

      The 31-year-old Rondo signed a one-year, $3.3 million deal with the Pelicans in the offseason.

      He averaged 7.8 points and 6.7 assists for the Chicago Bulls last season.

  • 76ers C Embiid agrees to 5-year, $148M contract
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, October 10, 2017

    Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has played in just 31 games over three NBA seasons but he has landed a big-money contract that typically goes to a star player.

    • The promising 23-year-old agreed to a five-year, $148 million deal with the 76ers, who publicly announced the agreement on Tuesday. The team didn't confirm the financial package, which is the maximum allowed under the rookie wage scale and will reportedly grow by another $30 million should Embiid win MVP honors or receive All-NBA first, second or third-team recognition.

      The deal is risky due to Embiid's continual health issues since being selected as the third overall pick of the 2014 NBA draft. He missed his first two seasons with right foot woes and suffered a knee injury last season that ended his campaign after 31 games.

      The 7-foot Embiid averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots in the games he played and brought significant energy to the squad. He is now signed through the 2022-23 season and the team reportedly would receive salary-cap protection if Embiid suffers a significant injury.

      "Joel Embiid is a transformative young talent that you rarely come across in our game," president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. "Joel is only scratching the surface, but he has all the potential and promise to go down as one of the all-time greats to wear a Sixers jersey. Ownership's willingness to extend this contract reflects our collective belief in Joel Embiid and a reinforced commitment to building a championship-level basketball program."

      Embiid scored 20 or more points in 19 of his 31 games last season, including a streak of 10 straight that was the longest by a rookie since Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers recorded 14 consecutive in 2011. He failed to reach double digits just once in 31 games.

      He last played on Jan. 27, subsequently undergoing surgery to repair a torn left meniscus.

      Embiid, a native of Cameroon, appreciates that the 76ers were always supportive as he dealt with the injury troubles before finally making it on the court last season.

      "I'm so thrilled to be in this position," Embiid said in a statement. "I want to thank ownership, management, the coaches and most of all the fans, for supporting me throughout this whole process. I love this city and I'm so, so, so, so excited to be spending my next five years here and hopefully the rest of my career, God willing. Trust 'The Process.'"

      The building process saw the 76ers go 28-54 last season after winning fewer than 20 games each of the previous three seasons.

      Sixers coach Brett Brown saw a difference in his team during the time Embiid was available last season and sees plenty of upside.

      "He has a chance to be great," Brown said. "There's still a lot of work to be done. You know, when you look at his body of work -- only playing 31 games, and really he's only been playing basketball for six years, and he's 23. He's just scratching the surface."

      Forward Jahlil Okafor was among the happy teammates.

      "He deserves it. I'm really happy for him. It wasn't a surprise to me," Okafor told the Philadelphia Daily News. "You've seen how great of a player he was, and he's an even better person, so he deserves that. I'm just happy that it's finally official."

      Said forward Robert Covington: "With him healthy, this team can be very special."

      Special is what the 76ers are counting for as they aim to end a five-season playoff drought.

      "Since drafting Joel third overall in 2014, he has solidified himself as a pillar in this franchise and to this city," 76ers managing general partner Josh Harris said in a statement. "We have all enjoyed watching the hard work he puts into his game and the commitment he has for our organization. We are excited to further build our foundation around his unique talent and leadership skills, and we look forward to the continued growth of Joel and our team."

  • Knicks jerseys to be sponsored by Squarespace
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, October 10, 2017

    The New York Knicks will wear the logo of website publishing platform Squarespace on their jerseys this season, the team announced Tuesday.

    • Terms were not disclosed by the Knicks, who became the 17th NBA team to sign a deal to wear an advertising patch on their jerseys.

      Squarespace, which was founded in 2003, is based in New York and reached $100 million in revenue in 2015. It has raised nearly $80 million from investors in the last seven years, according to ESPN.

      The logo will begin appearing on Knicks jerseys for Friday night's preseason game against the Washington Wizards.

  • Embiid, Sixers agree on contract extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, October 9, 2017

    Philadelphia center Joel Embiid and the 76ers on Monday agreed to a five-year, $148 million contract extension -- the maximum permitted by the NBA's rookie wage scale.

    • The extension could be worth as much as $178 million if Embiid meets certain criteria -- making all-NBA teams, for instance, during the length of his rookie deal.

      Embiid has played in only 31 games in three seasons since Philadelphia made him the third pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. In those games, all played last season, Embiid averaged 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

      He last played on Jan. 27, subsequently undergoing surgery to repair a torn left meniscus.

      Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said, "(Embiid alters games with) his physical presence; he does it with a defensive mindset, and he does it with an offensive target that is different than anything else that we have.

      "When he has been able to practice with us, he has changed the gym."

      Teammate Jahlil Okafor told the Philadelphia Daily News, "He deserves it. I'm really happy for him. It wasn't a surprise to me. You've seen how great of a player he was, and he's an even better person, so he deserves that. I'm just happy that it's finally official."

      Philadelphia forward Robert Covington told the Daily News, "With him healthy, this team can be very special."

      ESPN reported the 76ers would receive salary-cap protection if Embiid sustains a significant injury.