PHOENIX (AP)The Phoenix Suns pulled a midnight blockbuster, acquiring 13-time All-Star Kevin Durant from the Brooklyn Nets, according to multiple reports.
The outlets, citing unnamed sources, said the Suns added Durant to a starting lineup that already includes an All-Star backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker, along with center Deandre Ayton.
Phoenix sent Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and additional draft compensation to the Nets. The Suns also receive forward T.J. Warren in the deal.
The 34-year-old Durant is still playing at an elite level, averaging nearly 30 points per game this season. Durant and the Suns were linked to trade rumors over the past summer, but nothing materialized until Wednesday.
The trade comes just hours after new Suns majority owner Mat Ishbia was introduced in Phoenix.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Los Angeles Lakers are trading Russell Westbrook to Utah and reacquiring guard D’Angelo Russell from Minnesota in a three-team, eight-player deal, a person with knowledge of the trade told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the teams hadn’t announced the major deal made ahead of the NBA’s trade deadline Thursday.
Los Angeles is also getting guard Malik Beasley and forward Jarred Vanderbilt from the Jazz, bolstering its core around LeBron James in a bid to jump-start its sputtering season. The Lakers fell to 25-30 on Tuesday while James set the NBA’s career scoring record, and they sit in 13th place in the 15-team Western Conference.
The Lakers are sending Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones and their first-round pick in 2027 to Utah with Westbrook.
ESPN and The Athletic first reported the trade. Those outlets also said Minnesota is getting Mike Conley and Nickeil Alexander-Walker from Utah, along with three second-round picks.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Kyrie Irving scored 24 points in his Dallas debut and the Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 110-104.
The eight-time All-Star was traded to the Mavs on Sunday from the Brooklyn Nets. He was part of a 13-0 spurt early in the game, scoring eight points on a jumper and back-to-back 3-pointers.
Irving had four rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes of what amounted to a dress rehearsal before injured Luka Doncic returns to give the Mavs a powerhouse backcourt. Irving was greeted with cheers and a boy holding a sign welcoming him to the team when he was introduced as part of the starting lineup.
LAS VEGAS (AP) – The WNBA is investigating former Las Vegas player Dearica Hamby’s allegations that the Aces bullied and manipulated her for being pregnant, the league said in a statement.
It was the first time the league acknowledged publicly it was looking into the situation. The players’ union had pushed for an inquiry into whether Hamby’s rights under the league’s 2020 labor agreement were violated, as well as state and federal laws.
The Aces released a statement Wednesday evening that read, in part: ”As an organization whose mission is to support and celebrate the tremendously talented women in our league, we take seriously our responsibility to hold ourselves to the highest professional standards. We have been in contact with league investigators to assist with all information requested, and will continue to do so throughout the investigation.” The statement added the organization wouldn’t comment further ”at this time.”
The investigation also includes looking into allegations that the Aces circumvented the salary cap by making under-the-table payments to players, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made.
The salary cap allegations were first reported by the website The Next, which covers women’s basketball.
PHOENIX (AP) – From diversity to concussions, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated the league is still looking for improvement.
As for officiating, he says: ”it’s never been better.”
Goodell addressed those topics and more, including the Washington Commanders’ investigation, flex scheduling and international play in his annual Super Bowl news conference Wednesday.
Player safety is always a hot topic in the NFL. Concussions were magnified and the league revised its protocols during the season after criticism for the way Tua Tagovailoa’s head injuries were handled. The NFL announced last week concussions had increased by 18 percent during the regular season. Goodell attributed the rise to the updated diagnostic measures.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Patrick Mahomes says he’s ”definitely in a better spot” when it comes to his ailing right ankle than he was for the AFC championship game, and the All-Pro quarterback doesn’t expect to be limited by it when he leads the Kansas City Chiefs against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl.
Mahomes said before practice at Arizona State’s facility that he continues to get treatment on the ankle, which he hurt in the divisional round against Jacksonville, and that it will probably continue up until Sunday’s kickoff.
PHOENIX (AP) – Damar Hamlin made a brief appearance in Phoenix during Super Bowl week to receive the NFLPA’s Alan Page Community Award.
The Buffalo Bills safety received the award at the Phoenix Convention Center a little over a month after he went into cardiac arrest and needed to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati.
Hamlin was one of five finalists for the Alan Page Award, which annually recognizes one player who goes above and beyond to perform community service in his team city and/or hometown. His foundation received $100,000 with the award.
Hamlin’s toy drive fundraiser received unexpected GoFundMe donations in the days and weeks after he collapsed. Chasing M’s has since raised more than $9 million.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy will undergo surgery on his injured elbow later this month and should be fully recovered by training camp.
A person familiar with the decision said Purdy will undergo the surgery on Feb. 22 to repair the torn ligament in his right elbow. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t announce the decision.
NFL Network first reported the decision on surgery that will be performed by Dr. Keith Meister, the team physician for the Texas Rangers.
Purdy tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on the first drive of a 31-7 loss in the NFC title game to Philadelphia on Jan. 29.
MILWAUKEE (AP) – UConn lost back-to-back games for the first time in three decades after the fourth-ranked Huskies were beaten 59-52 by Marquette.
The Huskies, who were playing three nights after an 81-77 home loss to No. 1 South Carolina, lost consecutive games for the first time since March 1993.
Chloe Marotta had 19 points and Jordan King added 18 for Marquette (16-8, 9-6 Big East), which beat UConn (21-4, 13-1) for the first time in 17 meetings.
Marquette had led UConn early in the fourth quarter at home last season before fading down the stretch and losing 72-58. This time, the Golden Eagles closed the deal, holding the Huskies to their lowest point total of the season.
Forward Alex Morgan says the U.S. national team should have internal discussions about playing games in states that restrict transgender kids from participating in sports.
The team is currently preparing for the SheBelieves Cup, a round-robin tournament with Canada, Brazil and Japan that starts next week. Matches are scheduled in Florida and Texas, two states that have enacted laws aimed at transgender athletes.
The U.S. women have previously criticized efforts to limit transgender kids from playing organized sports. Last year during a game in Texas, several players wore wristbands that said ”Protect Trans Kids.”
The team has often used its platform to call attention to social justice, most notably the successful fight for equal pay with the men’s team. More recently, players have been vocal about reproductive rights.