Friday Sports in Brief
Zach LaVine is staying in Chicago. Same goes for Jusuf Nurkic in Portland.
Day 2 of NBA free agency on Friday brought another max deal — this time, going to LaVine, who secured the richest contract in Bulls history when he agreed to a $215 million, five-year contract.
Nurkic agreed to a four-year, $70 million contract with Portland.
Mitchell Robinson agreed Friday to a $60 million, four-year contract to remain with the New York Knicks.
There are some players who will be changing addresses. Danilo Gallinari, according to a person familiar with his decision, intends to sign a two-year deal with the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics — once his waiving by the San Antonio Spurs is completed. Gallinari was sent to San Antonio this week in a trade that brought All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to Atlanta.
Also on the move: Bruce Brown Jr., a guard who has decided to leave Brooklyn and sign with Denver on a two-year deal worth just over $13 million.
Another deal that was put into motion earlier in the week was completed, when five-time All-Star John Wall — bought out by the Houston Rockets — announced he had agreed to a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.
— By AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gary Payton II is returning to his Pacific Northwest roots, agreeing to a $28 million, three-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers.
A person with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed on Friday that Payton would depart the NBA champion Golden State Warriors to join a backcourt alongside Damian Lillard and lottery pick Shaedon Sharpe, selected with the seventh overall pick in last Thursday’s draft.
When the season ended, longtime journeyman Payton acknowledged he couldn’t wait to finally get his payday in free agency. A G Leaguer for so long, Payton was cut before the season began and he was ready to take a video job with the organization before being re-signed.
— By AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — For Utah, one era is ending. For Minnesota, one seems to be beginning.
The Jazz have agreed to trade Rudy Gobert — a three-time defensive player of the year — to the Timberwolves for a massive package of players and draft picks, according to a person with knowledge of the blockbuster deal.
Utah will receive four first-round picks between 2023 and 2029, a first-round pick from this year’s draft in Walker Kessler, along with Patrick Beverley and Malik Beasley, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because the NBA had not approved the deal and neither team could announce it publicly.
ESPN, which first reported the trade, also said Jarred Vanderbilt was going from Minnesota to Utah as part of the deal for Gobert — who now gets paired alongside another elite big man in Karl-Anthony Towns.
— By AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds.
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins have hired Jim Montgomery as their new coach, giving the hockey lifer another chance at an NHL head-coaching job less than three years since he lost his first one.
Recently extended general manager Don Sweeney announced the hire Friday, filling one of the league’s final high-profile coaching vacancies hours after the San Jose Sharks created another by firing their staff. Montgomery replaces Bruce Cassidy, who was fired after the team’s loss in the first round of the playoffs.
Montgomery, 53, spent the past two seasons as an assistant with the St. Louis Blues. He was fired from his first NHL head job by the Dallas Stars in December 2019 with the team citing unprofessional conduct.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — San Jose Sharks coach Bob Boughner and his staff were fired two months after the regular season ended, a move the team said it made to clear the decks for the next general manager to pick new leadership behind the bench.
Interim general manager Joe Will informed Boughner, assistants John MacLean and John Madden and video coach Dan Darrow on Thursday night they were being let go. The team announced the changes Friday, with Will linking the decision to the lengthy GM search getting down to a handful of potential candidates.
Boughner, 51, coached the Sharks for the past 2 1/2 seasons after replacing Peter DeBoer in December 2019. They missed out on the playoffs each of the last three years following a run of 14 playoff appearances in 15 seasons, including a trip to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.
MOSCOW (AP) — American basketball star Brittney Griner went on trial Friday, 4 1/2 months after her arrest on charges of possessing cannabis oil while returning to play for a Russian team, in a case that has unfolded amid tense relations between Moscow and Washington.
The initial session of the trial, which was adjourned until July 7, offered the most extensive public interaction between Griner and reporters since the Phoenix Mercury center and two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist was arrested in February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.
Griner, 31, was escorted into the courtroom in the capital’s suburb of Khimki while handcuffed, carrying a water bottle and what appeared to be a magazine, and wearing a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt.
The United States qualified for its first Olympic men’s soccer tournament since 2008 when the Americans beat Honduras 3-0 at San Pedro Sula on Friday night in the semifinals of the Under-20 championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Paxten Aaronson of the Philadelphia Union, an 18-year-old brother of Leeds midfielder Brenden Aaronson, scored in the third minute.
Alejandro Alvarado, who made four appearances last season for Portugal’s Vizela, added a goal in the 23rd, and Quinn Sullivan, Aaronson’s Philadelphia teammate, scored in the 43rd as the U.S. earned a berth in the 16-nation field at the 2024 Olympic tournament in France.
Olympic men’s soccer is limited to players under 23, with each nation allowed three wild cards over the limit. After the U.S. failed in three straight qualifying cycles as many clubs refused to make top players available, CONCACAF altered qualifying from under-23 teams and included it as part of its under-20 championship.
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