LAS VEGAS — Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are officially members of the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers completed their blockbuster trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, acquiring George for guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, forward Danilo Gallinari and five first-round draft picks.
The Clippers surrendered their first-rounders in 2022, 2024 and 2026, plus sent ones for 2021 and 2023 that were obtained through Miami, to Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City also has the right to swap first-round picks with the Clippers in 2023 and 2025.
“When you have the opportunity to acquire a contributor of his caliber, you do what it takes to bring him home,” Clippers President Lawrence Frank said.
George is a Los Angeles native. Leonard is also a Southern California native and a person with knowledge of the situation said he signed a three-year max contract that could be worth nearly $110 million — although the last year is at his option, meaning he and George could both be free agents in 2021. They both will have options that summer.
Wolves don’t match offer sheet for Jones
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Minnesota Timberwolves are declining to match an offer sheet to guard Tyus Jones, clearing the way for him to join the Memphis Grizzlies.
ESPN had reported that Jones and the Grizzlies had agreed to a three-year offer sheet worth $28 million. The 23-year-old Jones averaged 6.9 points, 4.8 assists and 22.9 minutes for the Timberwolves this past season.
DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks have signed Seth Curry to complete the guard’s return after a year away and re-signed one of their restricted free agents in forward Maxi Kleber. Curry signed a $32 million, four-year contract after spending one season with Portland. Kleber is returning on a $35 million, four-year deal.
CHICAGO — Work crews have begun extending the protective netting to the foul poles at Guaranteed Rate Field, a step the Chicago White Sox are taking following a couple of high-profile injuries this season.
The White Sox say the majority of the work should be completed Wednesday and the netting will be in place when the team returns home July 22 to host the Miami Marlins.
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Jim Bouton, the former New York Yankees pitcher who shocked and angered the conservative baseball world with the tell-all book “Ball Four,” has died. He was 80. Bouton’s family said he died Wednesday at the home he shared with wife Paula Kurman. He fought a brain disease linked to dementia and was in hospice care. Bouton also had two strokes in 2012.
Former Preds captain Johnson dies at 48
Former Nashville Predators captain Greg Johnson has died. He was 48. Tom Laidlaw, his former agent, told USA Today Johnson died Monday at his home in Michigan. No other details were provided. Johnson also played for Detroit, Pittsburgh and Chicago during his 12 years in the NHL, finishing with 145 goals and 224 assists in 785 games.
Former Tennessee Titans All-Pro defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth said on social media that he needs a kidney transplant.
The 38-year-old Haynesworth posted on Instagram that he’s been battling kidney disease for a few years. He shared a photo of himself in a hospital bed and wrote that his kidneys failed him Sunday and he’s looking for a donor.
Haynesworth played 10 seasons in the NFL. He spent his first seven seasons with the Titans, who selected him No. 15 overall in the 2002 draft out of the University of Tennessee. Haynesworth also played for Washington (2009-10), New England (2011) and Tampa Bay (2011).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ryan Smith has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancers. Smith is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. He will be allowed to return to the team Sept. 30, after Tampa Bay’s Week 4 game at the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams.
MIAMI — CONCACAF is limiting direct qualifying for the World Cup to only its six highest-ranked nations.
The regional governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean announced a new qualifying format on Wednesday and scrapped the early stages that led to the six-nation final round in place since the 1998 tournament, known as the hexagonal. Instead, the six highest-ranked nations as of next June will go directly to the hexagonal. The decision reduces the number of qualifying matches for the United States to 10, instead of 16 to 18.
NEW YORK— A former Caribbean soccer official has been ordered to pay a $79 million penalty stemming from the FIFA bribery scandal. A federal judge in New York City imposed the judgment against Jack Warner in a lawsuit brought by the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. The 2017 suit accused Warner of embezzling millions of dollars from the soccer association. It said he arranged kickbacks in connection with broadcasting rights for regional tournaments.
New York expands pay equity law
ALBANY, N.Y. — New York state has expanded a state law prohibiting gender pay discrimination, making it illegal to pay someone less based on factors such as their race, religion or gender identity.
The new law also changes a legal standard for pay equity to make it easier for employees to prove discrimination in court. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the changes into law Wednesday in Manhattan, just before joining the U.S. women’s soccer team for a parade honoring their World Cup victory. Cuomo said he supports female players in their quest for pay equal to that of male players.
Longtime Nebraska coach placed on leave
LINCOLN, Neb. — The longtime coach of the Nebraska softball team has been placed on administrative leave while administrators address concerns raised by or about players.
The athletic department declined to detail what led to the action against Rhonda Revelle, saying it was a personnel matter. It said in a statement released Tuesday that administrators “take seriously any concerns raised regarding our student athletes.”
Revelle just completed her 27th season with the program. The team has missed the NCAA Tournament the past three seasons and went 21-31 this past spring. Her 997 career wins rank 12th among all active Division I softball coaches.