New move will look like a travel; it’s not

James Harden says he tries to come up with something innovative every offseason, something more creative than his latest move. Two years ago, Harden perfected the step-back. Last summer the Houston Rockets guard then perfected the side step-back. In a Q&A session Friday with young fans at a promotional event attended by local Houston media, Harden said he will be working on an another move this summer and it will “look like it’s a travel. But it’s not.” “You got to find ways to get better every single year,” Harden…

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Nike files countersuit against Kawhi over logo

7:06 PM ET Tim BontempsESPN Nike has filed a countersuit against LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard in response to his lawsuit against the company last month, the latest step in a battle over the “Klaw” logo that was developed and used during Leonard’s time as part of Jordan Brand. “In this action, Kawhi Leonard seeks to re-write history by asserting that he created the ‘Claw Design’ logo, but it was not Leonard who created that logo,” Nike states in its countersuit, which was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for…

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Sources — Suns, Cheick Diallo reach two-year deal

Free-agent forward Cheick Diallo has agreed to a two-year deal with the Phoenix Suns, league sources tell ESPN. Diallo, 22, comes to the Suns with hopes that coach Monty Williams can speed along his development as an active, 6-foot-9 player. The Suns hold a team option on the second year of the deal, a league source said. The Pelicans didn’t tender a qualifying offer to Diallo, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent. New Orleans drafted forward Zion Williamson with the No. 1 overall pick. Diallo played 133 games…

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Bullock has back surgery day after Knicks signing

Newly signed Reggie Bullock underwent successful surgery for a cervical disk herniation Wednesday, the New York Knicks announced. The team said it would provide an update on his rehab and progress around the start of training camp. On Tuesday, Bullock signed a two-year, $8.2 million deal with the Knicks. The sides reworked the deal after his medical issue forced the team to back out of its original two-year, $21 million agreement. The 28-year-old Bullock averaged 11.3 points in 63 games for the Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers last season.…

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Russ-to-Rockets official; Presti gives fond farewell

It’s official: Russell Westbrook is now a member of the Houston Rockets. The long-reported deal that has the Rockets acquiring Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Chris Paul, two future first-round picks (2024 and 2026) and the rights to two first-round swaps (2021 and 2025) was announced by both teams Tuesday evening. 1 Related “Russell Westbrook is the most important player in the brief history of the Oklahoma City Thunder,” OKC general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. “He has left an indelible mark on this…

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Clarke stakes Grizzlies to summer league crown

LAS VEGAS — Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins has yet to lead an official NBA game, but he’s bringing some hardware home to Beale Street. Brandon Clarke had 15 points and 16 rebounds to lead the eighth-seeded Grizzlies to a 95-92 victory Monday over the third-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves in the championship game of the NBA summer league. “It was a lot of fun, this is why I do what I do,” said Jenkins, the only NBA head coach to coach a summer league team. “I love to compete, love to…

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Simmons, 76ers have 5-year, $170M deal

The Philadelphia 76ers and star Ben Simmons have agreed to a five-year, $170 million maximum extension, Simmons’ agent Rich Paul confirmed to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. The sides had until mid-October to finalize the extension of Simmons’ rookie deal, but Paul and Sixers general manager Elton Brand completed the deal significantly sooner. ESPN reported earlier this month that the Sixers had offered the max $170 million extension to Simmons, the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2017-18. The Athletic first reported Monday that the sides had reached an agreement. Simmons, the…

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Lakers to hire Raptors assistant Handy

The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to hire former Toronto Raptors assistant Phil Handy as an assistant coach, a source told ESPN’s The Undefeated. Handy will be a front-of-the-bench assistant under new Lakers head coach Frank Vogel. Handy has been an assistant coach with the Raptors (2018-19) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (2013-18) after working in player development for the Lakers (2011-13). The former Hawai’i star guard has coached as an assistant in the NBA Finals the past five seasons, winning two titles. Handy has worked with the likes of LeBron…

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Lonzo excited for ‘fresh start’ with Zion, Pelicans

LOS ANGELES — Lonzo Ball was in a car on his way to watch his brother LaMelo play in the Drew League when he learned he had been traded to the New Orleans Pelicans from Twitter. After the Los Angeles Lakers drafted the point guard second overall in 2017 amid incredible hype and pressure, Ball’s purple-and-gold tenure ended abruptly a month ago after just two injury-shortened seasons. However, Ball said he had been expecting and bracing for change to come and is ready for a “fresh start” with Zion Williamson…

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Source — LeBron’s No. 6 to wait due to Nike issue

LeBron James won’t be giving up his No. 23 to new teammate Anthony Davis after all. The planned jersey swap for the 2019-20 season has been postponed due to potential production and financial issues with manufacturer Nike, a source told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, confirming a Yahoo Sports report. James wore No. 23 during both of his stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and last season with the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s also the number Davis wore during his seven seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans. 2 Related After the Lakers agreed…

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