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  • James salutes NFL response to Trump comments
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, September 25, 2017

    LeBron James met with the media on Monday and answered questions on a wide range of topics, including President Donald Trump without mentioning his name.

    • James defended the protests at NFL games on Sunday in response to Trump attacking players through the weekend for kneeling during the anthem to protest racial injustice.

      "First of all, I salute the NFL, the coaches, the players, the owners, the fans. Everyone had any association with the NFL was unbelievable," James told reporters at NBA Media Day. "There was no divide. Even from that guy that continues to try to divide us as people.

      "He used the sports platform to divide us. Sports is so amazing, what sports can do for everyone, no matter shape, size, race. It brings people together like no other. I'm not going to let one individual no matter the power, the impact he or she should have ever use sport as a platform to divide us. The people run this country, not one person. And damn sure not him."

      Trump called for the NFL to "fire or suspend" those who kneel during "The Star-Spangled Banner."

      "It's powerful what all these athletes are doing," James said. "It's not about the disrespect of our flag and the military that's made this world free. ... It's about equality."

      James acknowledged he has not considered taking a knee when the NBA's regular season starts up again next month, but he plans to continue speaking out.

      "I can look myself in the mirror and say that I want the best for the American people -- no matter what skin color, race. No matter how tall, athletic you are or whatever the case may be," James said.

      After Trump said on Saturday the Golden State Warriors were not welcome to the White House to celebrate their 2017 NBA championship, James took to social media to denounce the president: "U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!"

      James said he did not regret the tweet and said referring to someone as a bum was not what he would define as name-calling.

      "If you voted for him, you may have made a mistake," James said. "Can we sit up here and say I'm trying to make a difference? I want the best for the American people no matter the skin color, the race. We know this is the greatest country in the world. We still have problems, just like everybody else. ...

      "As I have this platform, I will lend my voice, my passion, my money to let these kids know there is hope, greater walks of life. No one individual can stop your dreams from being a reality."

      Still-unsigned quarterback Colin Kaepernick drew national attention last season while playing for the San Francisco 49ers when he knelt during the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice.

      "I salute Colin for being as powerful as he was," James said. "I wish I owned an NFL team right now. I'd sign him today."

      James told reporters at media day that he was surprised Kyrie Irving requested a trade. James said he has not spoken to Irving since his former teammate was traded to the Boston Celtics last month.

      "I don't think anybody in the organization saw this coming," James said of Irving's trade request. "It was definitely a shock.

      "I was ready to give him the keys. I tried to help him be as good as he could be. ... I don't have any advice for him now, you're either with us or against us."

      James said his previously stated intentions to finish his career with the Cavaliers haven't changed, but he would make a decision on his future after this season.

      "It hasn't changed," said James, nodding when asked if he intended to finish his career in Cleveland. "Anytime I'm able to be free agent or my contract ends, I'll approach that when the summer comes."

      The 32-year-old James has a player's option for next season worth $35.6 million. Rumors have swirled all summer about James possibly considering the Los Angeles Lakers next season.

  • Hawks acquire, release G/F Liggins
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, September 25, 2017

    The Atlanta Hawks acquired guard/forward DeAndre Liggins and cash considerations from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for draft considerations, the team announced Monday.

    • A couple of hours later in an expected move, the Hawks released Liggins and the veteran is now an unrestricted free agent.

      The Clippers created a $1.67 million trade exception with the move, according to ESPN. They will have one year to use the exception.

      Liggins reportedly will be owed $26,000 on his 2017-18 contract. He spent most of the 2016-17 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 2.4 points in 61 games. He also played one game for the Dallas Mavericks.

      The Hawks also announced the signing of guard John Jenkins.

      Jenkins was originally Atlanta's first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2012 draft out of Vanderbilt and spent his first three NBA seasons with the Hawks. He also played with Phoenix and Dallas in his five-year NBA career.

      In 145 regular-season career games (eight starts), Jenkins averaged 5.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per contest.

  • Cavaliers expect Thomas (hip) to play by January
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, September 25, 2017

    The Cleveland Cavaliers announced Monday that newly acquired point guard Isaiah Thomas is expected to return from his hip injury in January.

    • Thomas was acquired last month from the Boston Celtics in a trade for Kyrie Irving. Thomas suffered a torn labrum in his right hip last season that caused him to sit out the last three games of the Celtics' loss to the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals.

      "Isaiah Thomas has successfully continued with the rehabilitation process related to his right hip impingement," the Cavaliers said in a statement. "Based on his progress thus far, and after several weeks of evaluation and monitoring with the Cavaliers medical team and Cleveland Clinic Sports Health, the team and Thomas are hopeful he will be in position to return by January. His status will be updated again, along with any further timeline adjustments, after the start of the regular season."

      Questions following Thomas' physical examination and his recovery from a postseason hip injury served as a significant hiccup to completing the deal with the Celtics.

      Boston ultimately agreed to send Cleveland an additional second-round draft pick.

      The 28-year-old Thomas averaged 28.9 points, 5.9 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 76 regular-season games for the Celtics last season.

  • Thunder officially acquire Anthony from Knicks
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, September 25, 2017

    The Oklahoma City Thunder officially acquired All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks on Monday.

    • In exchange, the Knicks get center Enes Kanter, forward Doug McDermott and the Chicago Bulls' 2018 second-round draft pick from the Thunder.

      The deal was agreed to Saturday afternoon after Anthony waived his no-trade clause ahead of the NBA Media Day on Monday.

      The 6-foot-8, 240-pound Anthony, a 10-time All-Star and 14-year NBA veteran, joins the Thunder having appeared in 976 career games (all starts) while averaging 24.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals.

      "We are thrilled to welcome Carmelo to Oklahoma City and the Thunder organization," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. "In addition to his skill level, experience, and unique talents, Carmelo is another high character, professional player for our roster."

      The 33-year-old Anthony waived his no-trade clause and his $8.1 trade kicker to accommodate the deal. He has two years and $54 million left on his contract, including a player option for $27.9 million on the 2018-19 season.

      "This is a deal we feel works for both this franchise and Carmelo," Knicks president Steve Mills said. "We thank him for his seven seasons in a Knicks uniform and all that he accomplished off the court for the City of New York by using his platform to address social issues.

      "We will continue to focus on this team looking forward towards the immediate and long-term future. As we have said recently, this is a new beginning for the New York Knicks."

      The trade ends Anthony's 6 1/2 seasons in New York. The no-trade clause was part of the maximum contract that Anthony signed in 2014 and he declined a trade from the Knicks throughout the turmoil of Phil Jackson's tenure as president of basketball operations.

      "Thank you to All My Fans who supported me through Thick and Thin," Anthony wrote in a letter to New York on his website. "And those who continued to support The Knicks regardless of the outcome. Thank You to Jim Dolan and the Knicks organization and all the hardworking people that don't get the credit they deserve. And most importantly, Thank you to the City of New York for allowing me to represent OUR city."

      Anthony joins MVP Russell Westbrook and newly acquired All-Star forward Paul George in a reshaped and Western Conference contender. Both players played a significant role in recruiting Anthony to waive his no-trade clause for Oklahoma City.

      Anthony credits Westbrook for his desire to come to Oklahoma City.

      "He was a big part, he was big reason why I wanted to come here," Anthony said of Westbrook. "To see his loyalty to the city, to this organization, what he was able to do on the court, I wanted to be a part of that. Adding PG was just another reason why I wanted to come here."

      Anthony received a warm welcome from the Oklahoma City fans.

      "Unbelievable. To go from a situation where it was an emotional roller coaster for me being back in New York," Anthony said. "At times, it was very strenuous on myself, on my family. To come here on the flip side of that and to feel that passion and feel that energy, anytime you feel wanted and appreciated, you can't put those feelings into words."

      Anthony was acquired by the Knicks from the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 22, 2011. He finished his Knicks career as the team's seventh all-time leading scorer with 10,186 points and No. 3 on the franchise's scoring average list at 24.7 points per game.

      Anthony currently ranks 25th on the NBA's all-time scoring list (24,156 points) and he is one of six players in league history (alongside Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce) to record 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 3-point field goals.

      Anthony led the NBA in scoring during the 2012-13 season (28.7 points per game) and during the 2009-10 season, he became the third youngest player in NBA history to reach the 12,000-point plateau (behind James and Bryant).

      A three-time Olympic gold medalist, Anthony is the U.S. Olympic Men's National Team's all-time leading scorer.

      Anthony helped lead Syracuse to a national championship during his freshman season in which he was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player. He was originally selected by the Nuggets with the third overall pick in the 2003 draft.

      The 6-11, 245-pound Kanter is a six-year NBA veteran who holds career averages of 11.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in 445 games played for Utah and Oklahoma City. In 72 games for the Thunder last season, the 25-year-old Switzerland native averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds, while recording the second-most point-rebound double-doubles in the NBA off the bench with 18.

      The 6-8, 225-pound McDermott is a three-year NBA who holds career averages of 8.0 points in 183 games played for Chicago and Oklahoma City. In 66 games for the Bulls and Thunder last season, the 25-year-old McDermott averaged 9.0 points and 22.8 minutes.

      "We acquired two 25-year-old players in this deal that we can develop, while sticking with our overall strategy of emphasizing youth and athleticism," Knicks general manager Scott Perry said. "With this trade, we have added scoring and aggressiveness to our frontcourt, and bolstered the team's perimeter shooting. We are glad to have finalized a trade that made sense for all of us."

  • Cavs appear to be frontrunner to land Wade
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, September 25, 2017

    The Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be the frontrunner to land free agent Dwyane Wade after he reached a buyout agreement with the Chicago Bulls.

    • The 35-year-old shooting guard was slated to make $23.8 million with the Bulls in 2017-18 but reached the buyout agreement with the Bulls after one season, according to multiple reports Sunday.

      Talks between the two sides about a resolution intensified ahead of Monday's start of training camp, according to ESPN. Once Wade clears waivers, he can listen to offers and decide which team is a good fit for him.

      Wade gave up approximately $8 million in salary in order to obtain the buyout, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

      Wade tweeted his thanks to Chicago and the fans on Sunday night: "A Dream was fulfilled!!! Thank you Chicago!!!"

      Wade has a long-standing relationship with Cavs superstar LeBron James. Wade recently worked out with James, his former teammate with the Miami Heat.

      "I would love to have D-Wade a part of this team," James said at NBA Media Day on Monday. "I think he brings another championship DNA, championship pedigree. He brings another playmaker to the team who can get guys involved, and make plays, and also just has a great basketball mind.

      "I think it would be great to have him here. ... I've talked to D-Wade throughout the whole summer, and I probably will reach out to him as well, but it's really not up to me. It's up to D-Wade if he can clear waivers and then it's up to our front office. But I hope that we can bring him here. I would love to have him."

      In addition to the Cavs, the San Antonio Spurs, Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder are contenders for Wade once his buyout becomes official, sources told ESPN. Wade also has a close relationship with Carmelo Anthony, who will officially become a member of the Thunder on Monday.

      Wade averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 60 games with the Bulls last season.

  • Reports: Wade gets buyout from Bulls, could join Cavs
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, September 25, 2017

    Veteran shooting guard Dwyane Wade reached a buyout agreement with the Chicago Bulls after one season, according to multiple reports Sunday.

    • The Cleveland Cavaliers are believed to be the front-runner to sign Wade.

      Wade, 35, was slated to make $23.8 million with the Bulls in 2017-18. Once he clears waivers, he can listen to offers and decide which team is a good fit for him.

      According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Wade gave up approximately $8 million in salary in order to obtain the buyout.

      Other than the Cavaliers, among the teams speculated to be potential destinations are the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs. A return to the Miami Heat is also considered a possibility.

      The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Heat and Spurs could pay $1 million to $2 million more than the Cavaliers, whose offer would be limited to $2.55 million per their salary-cap situation.

      Wade played for the Heat during the first 13 seasons of his career, winning three NBA championships. He spent last season with his hometown Bulls after leaving Miami as a free agent in 2016.

      The eight-time All-Star averaged 18.2 points and shot 43.4 percent from the field with the Bulls last season.

      Wade recently worked out with LeBron James, his former teammate in Miami who left for Cleveland in 2014.

      James posted on Instagram after working out with Wade recently: "To say we had a great week of work would be an understatement. We both helped push each other to go outside of our comfort zones. #Itjusfeelsdifferent #Year15 #Brotherhood."

      With NBA preseason camps opening soon, Wade is expected to work out a deal quickly. He likely would have to accept a limited role with an NBA title contender.

  • Durant endorses NFL protests
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, September 25, 2017

    NBA superstar Kevin Durant watched the NFL demonstrations play out across the nation on Sunday and was pleased with what he witnessed.

    • The Golden State Warriors forward, the reigning NBA Finals MVP, became part of the conflict between sports stars and President Donald Trump last month when he said he did not want to celebrate the team's title at the White House with Trump.

      On Saturday, Trump declined to offer the NBA champions an invitation to the White House after seeing comments from star guard Stephen Curry.

      And Trump's decision to direct a derogatory term at NFL players who protest during the national anthem on Friday resonated with athletes of multiple sports. On Sunday, more NFL players than ever did not stand for the anthem, and the league and individual teams issued statements backing the players' right to do so.

      Durant said, "Sports is what brings us all together," and he felt Sunday was an opportunity to deliver a message.

      "We have a huge platform, and people watch us on TV. We want to spread a great message, a message of equality," Durant said after the Warriors' practice Sunday. "We want to do this thing together, man. It's simple. It's not about parties or anything. People just want to be treated equally and fair. And not by the color of their skin or what they worship or who they are, just for them being people, we want everybody to be together and equal.

      "It's great that our NFL players and NBA players are standing together and using our platforms for good."

      Tensions among NFL players rose after Trump strongly criticized players who protest during the national anthem while he was speaking at a rally.

      "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired! He's fired!'" Trump said.

      Veteran Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala was pleased with the response of the NFL players. He sees the situation as a moment where those who typically don't have a voice can now exercise their rights.

      "I think you see people uniting and coming together," Iguodala said. "And before, those have been afraid to take a stand because they didn't want it to affect their brand or affect their family. They felt like it would have some type of effect on their compensation or their image.

      "I think what it's shown is that we're not going to accept the issue that has been ignored for so long and that's been done in our face so many times. So, I think it's good to see them uniting and in one accord. There's a lot of power in that, when everyone is on the same page."

      The Warriors were on the receiving end of Trump's Twitter comments after Curry expressed reservations about visiting the White House.

      Trump tweeted the following: "Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating; therefore invitation is withdrawn."

      The Warriors' organization responded with a statement that read, in part, "(We) accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited. We believe there is nothing more American than our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them. We're disappointed that we did not have an opportunity during this process to share our views or have open dialogue on issues impacting our communities that we felt would be important to raise."

      Still, Durant didn't appreciate the president's tone in his tweet and asserts he is fully in support of Curry.

      "My reaction was we stand behind Steph, obviously," Durant said. "That's our brother, our teammate, and he's our leader. We follow behind him, and we stand behind him. We support him in this time. It's a crazy, crazy world we're living in, especially when our president just goes at people on Twitter. But that's just the nature of the beast right now.

      "I'm very proud of how our organization handled everything, all the players handled everything. At the end of the day, we want our voices to be heard, and we want to play basketball and inspire people to be better. And I think playing for the Warriors, playing at the highest level of basketball, it allows us to impact people on another level. So if we focus on that and also using our voice for good, it makes me proud to be a part of this organization."

  • Bucks add Anthony, Green to training camp roster
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, September 24, 2017

    The Milwaukee Bucks added a pair of veterans Sunday, signing free agent center Joel Anthony and swingman Gerald Green to training camp contracts.

    • The moves were announced a day before NBA training camps begin.

      Anthony, 35, appeared in 19 games last season with the San Antonio Spurs and averaged 1.3 points and 1.6 rebounds. He owns NBA championships with the 2012 and 2013 Miami Heat. During a 10-year career, Anthony has averages of 2.2 points, 2.8 rebounds in 490 games.

      Green, 31, appeared in 47 games last season with the Boston Celtics and averaged 5.6 points. Green was the 18th overall pick in the 2005 draft by Boston and has averaged 9.6 points in 544 games for eight teams.

  • Knicks trade Anthony to Thunder
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, September 23, 2017

    The New York Knicks agreed to trade 10-time All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to multiple reports Saturday.

    • The Thunder will send center Enes Kanter, forward Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick via the Chicago Bulls to the Knicks, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

      The 33-year-old Anthony will waive his no-trade clause and his $8.1 trade kicker to accommodate the deal, according to ESPN.

      A trade call is scheduled for Monday to finalize the deal with the league office, sources told The Vertical.

      Anthony previously told the Knicks he would only waive his no-trade clause for the Thunder, Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

      Anthony joins MVP Russell Westbrook and newly acquired All-Star forward Paul George in a reshaped and Western Conference contender. Both players reportedly played a significant role in recruiting Anthony to waive his no-trade clause for Oklahoma City.

      The Thunder are making a major commitment with the Anthony deal, incurring $27 million in luxury tax for the 2017-18 season. He has two years and $54 million left on his contract, including a player option for $27.9 million on the 2018-19 season.

      Talks between Thunder general manager Sam Presti and Knicks GM Scott Perry intensified in 24 hours before Saturday's agreement, league sources told ESPN.

      Anthony could take part in the start of Thunder training camp on Tuesday in Oklahoma City.

      The Knicks stated publicly on Friday that Anthony would return to the team for the start of training camp, but an increased level of urgency began over the weekend, The Vertical reported.

      Anthony had a no-trade clause as part of the maximum contract he signed in 2014 and declined a trade from the Knicks throughout the turmoil of Phil Jackson's tenure as president of basketball operations.

      Anthony averaged 22.4 points on 43.3 percent shooting along with 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 74 games with the Knicks last season, his seventh in New York and 14th in the NBA.

  • Trump: Warriors not welcome at White House
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, September 23, 2017

    President Donald Trump says the Golden State Warriors are not welcome to the White House to celebrate their 2017 NBA championship.

    • Following his criticism of the NFL at a political rally on Friday night for allowing players to protest during the national anthem, Trump rescinded any invitation coming to the Warriors to visit the White House.

      "Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!" Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

      The Warriors put out an official statement in response to Trump's position.

      "While we intended to meet as a team at the first opportunity we had this morning to collaboratively discuss a potential visit to the White House, we accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited," the Warriors said in a statement Saturday afternoon. "We believe there is nothing more American than our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them. We're disappointed that we did not have an opportunity during this process to share our views or have open dialogue on issues impacting our communities that we felt would be important to raise.

      "In lieu of a visit to the White House, we have decided that we'll constructively use our trip to the nation's capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion -- the values that we embrace as an organization."

      NBA commissioner Adam Silver also released a statement on the Warriors decision.

      "I was in favor of the team visiting the White House and thought it was a rare opportunity for these players to share their views directly with the President. I am disappointed that that will not happen. More importantly, I am proud of our players for taking an active role in their communities and continuing to speak out on critically important issues."

      Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James took to social media to denounce the president.

      "U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!" James tweeted.

      The Warriors beat the Cavaliers in five games to win their second championship in three seasons. There was no previous indication of an official White House invitation for the Warriors, and ESPN reported Thursday night that the NBA had been in communication with the Trump administration on the matter. An invitation was expected to be extended if the team decided as a group to attend.

      Warriors coach Steve Kerr told ESPN earlier this week that the team was planning to meet to discuss a potential White House visit.

      Kerr and several Warriors players, including stars Kevin Durant and Curry, have criticized Trump's actions during the campaign and in office. The Warriors visited President Barack Obama in early 2016 after winning the 2015 Finals.

      Curry said Friday he would vote no if the team were invited to the White House. Durant previously said he would not go either.

      Curry, a two-time MVP, was forceful in his stance at Warriors media day in Oakland on Friday.

      "I don't want to go," Curry told reporters. "That's kind of the nucleus of my belief. ... (But) it's not just me going to the White House. If it was, this would be a pretty short conversation."

      Curry elaborated when asked what his intended message would be to skip the event.

      "That we don't stand for basically what our President has -- the things that he's said and the things that he hasn't said in the right times, that we won't stand for it," Curry said. "And by acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to. It's not just the act of not going there. There are things you have to do on the back end to actually push that message into motion.

      "(Athletes are) all trying to do what we can. We're using our platforms, using our opportunities to shed light on that, so that's kind of where I stand on it. I don't think us not going to the White House is going to miraculously make everything better, but this is my opportunity to voice that."

      Durant, the Finals MVP, said last month he does not want to celebrate the team's title at the White House with Trump.

      "Nah, I won't do that," Durant told ESPN. "I don't respect who's in office right now. I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that. That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."

      Since taking office in January, Trump has hosted the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and members of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs to honor their titles.

  • Blazers F Vonleh suffers shoulder injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, September 22, 2017

    Portland Trail Blazers forward Noah Vonleh will miss all of preseason camp and is likely to miss the first two weeks of the regular season after suffering a right shoulder strain, multiple media outlets reported Friday.

    • Vonleh sustained the injury while playing a pick-up game at the team's practice facility.

      The injury will not require surgery, but he is expected to be sidelined for several weeks.

      Vonleh, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, started 41 of the 74 games he played for Portland last season, and he was a bigger factor late in the season. He averaged 4.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 2016-17.

      Any one of a number of players could fill Vonleh's spot in the starting lineup. Al-Farouq Aminu, Ed Davis, Meyers Leonard, Caleb Swanigan and Evan Turner are among the candidates.

  • Suns acquire G Daniels from Grizzlies
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, September 22, 2017

    The Phoenix Suns acquired guard Troy Daniels and a second-round pick in the 2018 draft from the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday in exchange for a second-round pick in the same draft.

    • The deal saves the Grizzlies $6.7 million and clears a roster spot. The Suns have 14 guaranteed contracts and $10.8 million remaining in cap space.

      Daniels averaged 8.2 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 67 games last season. He recorded averages of 6.2 points and 1.2 rebounds in his career with the Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Charlotte Hornets and Grizzlies.

      Phoenix also signed forward Anthony Bennett and swingman Peter Jok.

      Bennett, who was the top overall pick of the 2013 draft, averaged 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in 151 career games with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets.

      Jok joins the Suns following a successful four-year career at Iowa. He led the Big Ten in scoring with 19.9 points per game last season and earned All-Big Ten First Team honors while setting a Hawkeyes' single-season record by shooting 91.1 percent from the free throw line.

  • NBA notebook: Warriors to discuss White House visit
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, September 22, 2017

    The Golden State Warriors plan to meet as a team this fall to decide whether to make a visit to the White House to celebrate their 2017 NBA championship.

    • Head coach Steve Kerr told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, "We will meet as a team to discuss it and make a decision."

      The Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games to win their second championship in three seasons. The team has not yet been invited to visit the White House nor has the organization decided whether it would accept an invitation if it were offered, sources told ESPN.

      Several members of the team, including stars Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, have criticized President Donald Trump's actions during the campaign and in office. The Warriors visited President Barack Obama in early 2016 after winning the 2015 Finals.

      --Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris underwent sports hernia surgery and is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks, the team announced.

      The timetable means Morris will miss at least the first six games of the 2017-18 season and perhaps up to month.

      The Wizards said in a statement that the surgery "went as expected."

      --The Charlotte Hornets promoted Stephen Silas to associate head coach and hired Eddie Jordan as an assistant coach, the team announced.

      Silas, 44, is in his eighth season on the Charlotte bench and 17th in the NBA, coming to the Hornets after spending the previous 4 1/2 seasons as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors.

      Jordan, 62, played seven seasons in the NBA from 1977-84 with four different teams, helping the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA championship during the 1981-82 season.

      --The Philadelphia 76ers agreed to terms with guard Jacob Pullen.

      Pullen, 27, most recently played for BC Khimki of the VTB United League in Russia. Across VTB and Eurocup play, he appeared in 40 games and averaged 9.5 points and 1.9 assists.

      Since 2011, Pullen played professionally in Italy, Israel, Spain and Croatia in addition to his most recent season in Russia.

  • Wizards' Morris to miss 6-8 weeks after sports hernia surgery
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, September 22, 2017

    Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris underwent sports hernia surgery and is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks, the team announced Friday.

    • The timetable means Morris will miss at least the first six games of the 2017-18 season and perhaps up to month.

      The Wizards said in a statement that the surgery "went as expected."

      Morris was slated to begin rehabbing the injury immediately.

      The 28-year-old Morris averaged a career-best 14.0 points to go with 6.5 rebounds for Washington last season.

      Morris is also facing felony charges -- along with twin brother Marcus of the Boston Celtics -- for a 2015 incident in Phoenix involving former family acquaintance Erik Hood. The Morris brothers are each facing two counts of aggravated assault.

  • 76ers sign G Pullen
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, September 22, 2017

    The Philadelphia 76ers agreed to terms with guard Jacob Pullen on Friday.

    • Pullen, 27, most recently played for BC Khimki of the VTB United League in Russia. Across VTB and Eurocup play, he appeared in 40 games and averaged 9.5 points and 1.9 assists.

      Since 2011, Pullen played professionally in Italy, Israel, Spain and Croatia in addition to his most recent season in Russia.

      The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Pullen starred at Kansas State from 2007-11, averaging 15.8 points and 3.4 assists in 135 games (67 starts).

  • Hornets promote Silas to associate head coach
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, September 22, 2017

    The Charlotte Hornets promoted Stephen Silas to associate head coach and hired Eddie Jordan as an assistant coach, the team announced Friday.

    • Head coach Steve Clifford made the changes on his staff after lead assistant Patrick Ewing left in April to coach his alma mater at Georgetown and Bob Weiss moved to the Denver Nuggets last month.

      Silas, 44, is in his eighth season on the Charlotte bench and 17th in the NBA, coming to the Hornets after spending the previous 4 1/2 seasons as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors.

      Silas also spent five seasons as an assistant coach under his father, Paul Silas, with the original Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets (2000-03) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2003-05).

      Stephen Silas, who joined the original Hornets in the summer of 1999 as an advance and college scout, was promoted to assistant coach on June 5, 2000, making him the youngest assistant in the NBA at that time at 27 years old.

      Jordan, 62, played seven seasons in the NBA from 1977-84 with four different teams, helping the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA championship during the 1981-82 season. He began his coaching career as an assistant in the college ranks with Boston College (1986-88) and Rutgers (1988-91), before returning to the NBA as an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings from 1992-97.

      Jordan has been a head coach with three NBA teams: the Kings (1997-98), the Washington Wizards (2003-08) and Philadelphia 76ers (2009-10). Most recently, he was head coach at his alma mater, Rutgers (2013-16).

      The Hornets also promoted Rick Higgins to coaching assistant/video coordinator, Cam Twiss to general manager of the team's G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, and David Kaplan to manager of basketball analytics.

  • Warriors will meet to decide on White House visit
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, September 22, 2017

    The Golden State Warriors plan to meet as a team this fall to decide whether to make a visit to the White House to celebrate their 2017 NBA championship.

    • Head coach Steve Kerr told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, "We will meet as a team to discuss it and make a decision."

      The Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games to win their second championship in three seasons. The team has not yet been invited to visit the White House nor has the organization decided whether it would accept an invitation if it were offered, sources told ESPN.

      Several members of the team, including stars Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, have criticized President Donald Trump's actions during the campaign and in office. The Warriors visited President Barack Obama in early 2016 after winning the 2015 Finals.

      The NBA has stayed in communication with the White House on the matter and it is believed an invitation would be extended if the team decided as a group to attend, according to ESPN. The league office acts as a liaison with the White House to help schedule the visit.

      Kerr confirmed that an invitation has not been extended by the Trump administration. He said he had several conversations with Durant, Curry and other team leaders about the situation throughout the summer.

      "I've talked to a couple of them about it," Kerr told ESPN. "There are a lot of different dynamics to this and different viewpoints. We've got players from all over the world and all over the country, and they're going to have different perspectives, so I think it's important for us all to get in a room and hash it out and decide what we want to do.

      "The league isn't going to tell us what to do. They know it's our decision and that, for me, really, it's the players' decision. I will put my two cents in, but the players, they're the ones who won the championship, they're the ones who did all the work, and they're the ones who will be very responsible for everything that we do. As a staff, we try to guide them on the floor. But in the end, to me, it's all about the players. Everything we do is about the players."

      Durant, the Finals MVP, said last month he does not want to celebrate the team's title at the White House with Trump.

      "Nah, I won't do that," Durant told ESPN. "I don't respect who's in office right now. I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that. That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."

      Since taking office in January, Trump has hosted the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and members of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs to honor their titles.

  • Grizzlies sign C Rabb
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, September 21, 2017

    The Memphis Grizzlies signed second-round draft pick Ivan Rabb to a contract, the team announced on Thursday.

    • Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the Grizzlies, who acquired the 6-foot-10 forward in a 2017 draft-day trade with the Orlando Magic.

      Rabb initially was selected with the 35th overall pick by the Magic after averaging 14.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 31 games last season as a sophomore at the University of California.

      The 20-year-old was named to the All-Pac-12 first team after leading the conference in rebounding both overall and in conference play (11.4 rebounds). He also was one of 10 finalists for the Karl Malone Award, given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation's top collegiate power forward.

  • 76ers' Embiid not yet cleared for 5-on-5 drills
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, September 20, 2017

    Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has yet to be cleared for 5-on-5 drills as he works his way back from an injured left knee, the team announced Wednesday.

    • Embiid played in only 31 games last season and had surgery in March to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.

      Team president Bryan Colangelo and coach Brett Brown said Wednesday that the club will soon decide the best way to proceed with Embiid's playing time when training camp opens next week.

      "To be able to specifically tell you what I'm about to get out of him next week, I'm not able to do that now," Brown said, per the Philadelphia Daily News. "But in regards to playing 5-on-5 basketball and when that can actually happen, right now, we can't give you a direct answer."

      "It's been very important to us to make it criteria-based where he checks off certain boxes (and) can move to the next step," Colangelo said.

      Embiid missed his first two NBA seasons while recovering from two surgeries to repair a broken bone in his foot. He declared for the 2014 NBA draft after just one season at Kansas and was selected third overall.

      The 23-year-old was having a breakout year before the knee injury, averaging 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, making him a candidate for NBA Rookie of the Year.

  • Wizards F Morris to undergo surgery
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, September 20, 2017

    Washington Wizards starting power forward Markieff Morris will miss the start of training camp because he is scheduled to have surgery to repair a sports hernia on Friday, multiple media outlets reported Wednesday.

    • The Wizards begin training camp on Tuesday in Richmond, Va., and their first preseason game is on Oct. 2. Their first regular-season game is Oct. 18, and Morris might be available for that contest. This type of surgery typically requires a few weeks of recovery time.

      Morris, 28, is entering his third season with the Wizards. He averaged 14.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in 76 games, all as a starter, during the 2016-17 season.

      Jason Smith and Mike Scott are the likely replacements for Morris if he misses any time during the regular season.

      Morris also is involved in a felony assault trial in Arizona. He and twin brother Marcus are accused of helping three other people beat a man outside a Phoenix recreation center in January 2015.

  • Nuggets officially re-sign C Plumlee
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, September 20, 2017

    The Denver Nuggets officially re-signed restricted free agent center Mason Plumlee to a three-year contract Wednesday.

    • Terms were not disclosed by the team, but the deal is worth $41 million, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday.

      Acquired in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers on Feb. 13, the 6-foot-11, 255-pound Plumlee appeared in 27 games (10 starts) for Denver last season, averaging 9.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 blocks in 23.4 minutes per contest.

      Over four NBA seasons, the 27-year-old Plumlee appeared in 315 career games (213 starts) for Brooklyn, Portland and Denver, averaging 9.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 23.0 minutes.

      Plumlee, who was the 22nd overall pick of the Brooklyn Nets in the 2013 draft out of Duke, won a Gold Medal alongside Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried at the FIBA World Cup with Team USA in 2014.

  • NBA notebook: Durant apologizes for "childish" Tweet
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, September 19, 2017

    Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant apologized and labeled his recent actions on Twitter as "childish" and "idiotic" on Tuesday while on a Tech Crunch panel in San Francisco.

    • Durant claims he accidentally used his main Twitter account while defending his decision to leave Oklahoma City.

      When asked by a fan to give him "one legitimate reason for leaving okc other than getting a championship," the 2017 NBA Finals MVP responded in the third person with the following: "he didn't like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan. His roster wasn't that good, it was just him and Russ (Russell Westbrook)."

      While the words weren't supposed to be released from his primary count, they were ... prompting Durant to take ownership of his mistake on Tuesday.

      Durant said he will continue to use Twitter to talk with basketball fans.

      --Doug Collins was named as the Chicago Bulls' senior advisor of basketball operations, the team announced.

      Collins will report to John Paxson, the executive vice president of basketball operations.

      Collins, who coached the Bulls from 1986-89, has more than 40 years of experience in the NBA.

      --Forward Dante Cunningham agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. The 30-year-old Cunningham reportedly received a contract worth $2.3 million.

      Cunningham became a free agent when he declined a $3.1 million player option with the Pelicans for the 2017-18 campaign. He was unable to obtain a multiyear deal and considered one-year offers from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors before agreeing to return to the Pelicans.

      Cunningham averaged 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 66 games for New Orleans last season.

      --The Miami Heat exercised their fourth-year option on forward Justise Winslow, the team announced.

      The Heat had until Oct. 16 to exercise that option for Winslow, who is guaranteed $3.44 million for the 2018-19 season. Had Miami elected against the move, Winslow would have become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

      Winslow was limited to just 18 games last season because of multiple injuries, including a shoulder ailment that required surgery.

  • Bucks sign swingman Rush
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, September 19, 2017

    The Milwaukee Bucks added a veteran presence to the perimeter by signing swingman Brandon Rush to a training camp contract on Tuesday.

    • Rush spent last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves and averaged 4.2 points and 2.1 rebounds in 21.9 minutes over 47 games while shooting 38.6 percent from 3-point range. The 32-year-old is a career 40.2 percent 3-point shooter over nine seasons with Indiana, Golden State, Utah and Minnesota.

      Rush, who won a championship as a member of the Golden State Warriors in 2015, owns career averages of 6.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in 481 games.

      The Kansas product joins a small forward/shooting guard rotation in Milwaukee that also includes Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker, Tony Snell Rashad Vaughn, James Young and Sterling Brown.

  • Pelicans, F Cunningham agree to one-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, September 19, 2017

    Forward Dante Cunningham agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.

    • The 30-year-old Cunningham reportedly received a contract worth $2.3 million.

      Cunningham became a free agent when he declined a $3.1 million player option with the Pelicans for the 2017-18 campaign. He was unable to obtain a multiyear deal and considered one-year offers from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors before agreeing to return to the Pelicans.

      Cunningham averaged 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 66 games for New Orleans last season.

      He owns career averages of 6.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in eight seasons with Portland, Charlotte, Memphis, Minnesota and New Orleans.

  • Warriors' Durant apologizes for 'idiotic' OKC comments
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, September 19, 2017

    Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant apologized and labeled his recent actions on Twitter as "childish" and "idiotic" on Tuesday while on a Tech Crunch panel in San Francisco.

    • Durant claims he accidentally used his main Twitter account while defending his decision to leave Oklahoma City.

      When asked by a fan to give him "one legitimate reason for leaving okc other than getting a championship," the 2017 NBA Finals MVP responded in the third person with the following: "he didn't like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan. His roster wasn't that good, it was just him and Russ (Russell Westbrook)."

      While the words weren't supposed to be released from his primary count, they were ... prompting Durant to take ownership of his mistake on Tuesday.

      "I use Twitter to engage with fans," Durant said. "I happened to take it a little too far. That's what happens sometimes when I get into these basketball debates about what I really love, to play basketball. I don't regret clapping back at anybody or talking to my fans on Twitter. I do regret using my former coach's name and the former organization I played for. That was childish. That was idiotic, all those types of words. I apologize for that."

      Durant said he will continue to use Twitter to talk with basketball fans.

      "I don't think I'll stop engaging with fans," Durant continued. "I really enjoy it, and it's a good way to connect us all, but I'll scale back a little bit right now and just focus on playing basketball. I'll move on from that, it was tough to deal with yesterday."