Lakers expected to sign veteran guard J.R. Smith for NBA’s restart, per report — Press Telegram

A longtime LeBron James teammate is expected to join the Lakers for the NBA’s restart in Orlando next month. According to an ESPN report, the Lakers are finalizing a deal for J.R. Smith, the 34-year-old free-wheeling guard who has not played an NBA game since November of 2018. NBA teams have until July 1 to…

Lakers expected to sign veteran guard J.R. Smith for NBA’s restart, per report — Press Telegram

Report: D-Backs’ Mike Leake to opt out of 2020 season — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake is the first player to elect to sit out the 2020 season amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Report: D-Backs’ Mike Leake to opt out of 2020 season — HardballTalk | NBC Sports’s Steve Gilbert is reporting that Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake will opt out of the 2020 season. He is, at the present moment, the only MLB player to have opted out of the season, but it is highly unlikely he will be the only one.

Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Leake’s agent Dan Horwits said, “During this global pandemic, Mike and his family had many discussions about playing this season. They took countless factors into consideration, many of which are personal to him and his family. After thorough consideration, he has chosen to opt out of playing in 2020. This was not an easy decision for Mike. He wishes the best of luck and health for his Diamondback teammates this season and he’s looking forward to 2021.”

Leake, 32, is in the final guaranteed year of his contract. Both sides can agree on a mutual option worth $18 million for the 2021 season, otherwise Leake will be bought out for $5 million. In 2019, between the Mariners and D-Backs, the right-hander posted a 4.29 ERA with 127 strikeouts and 27 walks across 197 innings of work.

Leake’s absence will likely mean that Alex Young and Merrill Kelly will duke it out for the fifth spot in the D-Backs’ rotation.

On Friday, Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman wrote for the Associated Press that he was “still deciding whether to play” this season amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Unless the player opting out is considered “high risk,” he will forfeit both pay and service time in doing so.

Last year, Nationals reliever Daniel Hudson received criticism when he left his team during the NLCS for the birth of his child. There will, no doubt, be critics of players who choose to sit out the season because of COVID-19. It will be completely undeserved, just as Hudson’s criticism was undeserved. Players should receive full support from their teams, from their peers, from the media, and from fans for sitting out the season for any reason.

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Soccer-MLS says 20 players, six club staff test positive for COVID-19 — National Post

Major League Soccer (MLS) has said 20 players and six club staff have tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the ‘MLS is Back Tournament’ set to begin on July 8. A total of 668 players had been tested since the resumption of full team training on June 4, with 18 testing positive ahead of traveling […]


n a week remaining before it returns to action, MLS announced Sunday that the league has 26 positive COVID-19 tests out of 668 taken among players and staff.

There were 24 positive tests prior to teams heading to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla., for the MLS is Back Tournament, with two more positives once teams started arriving for the World Cup-style tournament.

Tests began among players and staff when teams returned to full training on June 4. The numbers equate to a 2.7 percent positivity rate, compared to the 5.3 percent rate for NBA players ahead of that league’s return in late July.

The two positive results in Orlando were out of 329 tests among five teams in the city thus far: Columbus Crew, FC Dallas, Minnesota United, Orlando City SC and the San Jose Earthquakes. None of the players or staff who tested positive were identified.

WATCH | Details of MLS’ resumption plan:All 26 teams will take part in a tournament to be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in the Orlando area beginning July 8. 1:37

Anybody who tests positive will be moved to a hotel isolation area to receive medical care and follow-up testing until receiving a clean bill of health.

MLS has no plans, as of yet, to cancel or postpone the tournament, which will be played among the league’s 26 teams. Group play will be followed by a knockout stage.

The tournament is set to kick off July 8, with Orlando City facing expansion Inter Miami FC. The semifinals will take place Aug. 5-6, followed by the final on Aug. 11.

Each MLS team had played just two games when the season was suspended in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Clippers sign Joakim Noah for restart with an option for next season — Press Telegram

The Clippers have signed on Joakim Noah for the NBA’s restart to the season beginning next month. The 6-foot-11 center was signed to a 10-day contract shortly before the season went on hiatus on March 11. A source confirmed to Southern California News Group that Noah had signed a contract for the rest of the…

Clippers sign Joakim Noah for restart with an option for next season — Press Telegram

LeBron James is 2020 BET Awards’ Sportsman of the Year — CONAN Daily

LeBron James, 35, of the Los Angeles Lakers was one of the winners at the 20th Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards on June 28, 2020. The Sportsman of the Year award was given to the professional basketball player who has been competing in the National Basketball Association since 2003. Aside from James, three more NBA […]

LeBron James is 2020 BET Awards’ Sportsman of the Year — CONAN Daily

Report: Wilson Chandler ‘opting out of playing’ at Disney — Nets Wire

The Brooklyn Nets will be down yet another player when the NBA resumes the 2019-20 season at Disney World in Florida.

Report: Wilson Chandler ‘opting out of playing’ at Disney — Nets Wire

Another member of the Brooklyn Nets’ roster will not be with the team when they take part in the league’s resumption of the 2019-20 season in late July.

Heading into Sunday, the Nets were already set to play without Kevin Durant (right Achilles), Kyrie Irving (right shoulder) and Nic Claxton (left shoulder) with Brooklyn’s two stars still in the middle of rehab and the Nets rookie fresh off of surgery.

Wilson Chandler is the latest member of Brooklyn to decide to sit out the NBA’s restart at Disney World in Florida, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN.

Andrews is reporting Chandler is “opting out of playing,” and he has informed the organization. Chandler also told Andrews:

As difficult as it will be to not be with my teammates, the health and well-being of my family has to come first. Thank you to the Nets organization for understanding and supporting me in this decision, and I will be watching and rooting for our team in Orlando.

Wilson Chandler has informed the Nets that he is opting out of playing in Orlando, the forward tells ESPN.

NFL Rumors: Patriots Sign Cam Newton To One-Year ‘Incentive-Laden’ Deal —

There apparently is another quarterback competing to become the New England Patriots’ top quarterback. The Patriots reportedly have agreed to sign Cam Newton to a one-year, “incentive-laden” deal, sources tell ESPN’s Adams Schefter and Chris Mortenson. Newton now joins Jarratt Stidham and Brian Hoyer in the race to replace Tom Brady as New England’s No.…

NFL Rumors: Patriots Sign Cam Newton To One-Year ‘Incentive-Laden’ Deal —