PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers are under investigation by the NBA for possible tampering with offseason free agency moves involving James Harden, PJ Tucker and Danuel House, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press Friday night.
The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the team is cooperating with the investigation.
Harden signed a deal worth just over $68 million, paying him around $33 million this season with a $35 million player option for the 2023-24 season. Harden, however, will earn approximately $14.5 million less this coming season than he could have earned under his previous contract. Harden had a $47.4 million option for the upcoming season which he declined last month, saying he wanted to give the 76ers the chance to improve their roster and compete for a championship.
ESPN reported on Friday that there are questions involving Harden and the Sixers having “a handshake agreement in place over a future contract.”
Tucker signed a three-year, $30 million deal and House signed for two-year, $8.4 million. The Sixers were able to sign Tucker for the full mid-level exception and sign House for the semi-annual exception because Harden declined his option.
The wait for a decision on the potential discipline of Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson following accusations of sexual misconduct will continue for another week.
Two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that retired Judge Sue L. Robinson will not issue a decision Friday on Watson’s disciplinary hearing that ended a month ago. They spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the discussions are private.
Watson has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by 24 massage therapists in Texas and has settled 20 of the civil lawsuits filed against him. Four lawsuits are still pending and the lawyer representing the women said he hopes to bring them to trial next spring.
Two separate Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson on criminal charges arising from the allegations.
Watson, who played four seasons with Houston before being traded to Cleveland in March, trained with the Browns while Robinson spent weeks trying to figure out if the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback had violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy and whether to impose discipline. .
HOUSTON (AP) — Before the Houston Texans started camp this week, they received a special message from a team member who couldn’t be there.
Rookie receiver John Metchie III, who earlier announced he would likely miss the season after being diagnosed with leukemia, addressed the Texans in a video before they began preparations for the season.
Coach Lovie Smith, who was promoted to defensive coordinator this offseason after David Culley was fired, said he normally opens camp with a speech to the team. But this year, he thought it was more important for the guys to hear from Metchie first.
Metchie said Sunday he was recently diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. Alabama’s second-round pick said he’s taking time off from football to focus on his health and recovery.
Smith did not provide details of what Metchie, 22, shared with the team, but said his teammates and coaches were moved by his words.
NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge became the first major leaguer with 40 home runs this season, hit a grand slam for No. 41 and stole a home run to right field as the New York Yankees got away. rallied to beat the Kansas City Royals 11-5.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa doubled a game-breaking single in the eighth inning as New York earned its 29th major league-leading victory.
A free agent at the end of the season, Judge is on pace with 66 home runs, which would surpass Roger Maris’ club record of 61 in 1961. Judge, Maris and Babe Ruth in 1928 are the only Yankees with at least 40 home runs by late July, per MLB.com.
The judge was lavished with “MVP!” chants throughout the night, none louder than after his slam in the eighth cemented yet another Yankees rally. He also had a single and finished with six RBIs.
Judge and Anthony Rizzo homered early on a rainy night in the Bronx, but Kansas City came back against Gerrit Cole, with Whit Merrifield’s two-run single in the fifth ending a 31 2/3 scoreless drought innings for the Royals. Salvador Perez followed Merrifield with a three-run home run when he returned from the injured list for a 5-3 lead.
New York erased it by battling in a messy eighth inning that followed a 23-minute rain delay.
HOUSTON (AP) — Justin Verlander threw a one-run fly in the eighth inning and won his 14th MLB leading game, Aledmys Díaz hit two homers and Yordan Alvarez hit his 30th homer of the season as the Houston Astros defeated the Seattle Mariners 11-1.
Verlander (14-3) allowed a run in 7 2/3 innings and allowed five hits with five strikeouts and beat Seattle’s Robbie Ray, winner of last year’s AL Cy Young Award.
Verlander held Seattle scoreless until Jesse Winker and Julio Rodríguez doubled up in the seventh inning.
Verlander allowed just three earned runs in four starts and 26 2/3 innings in July. The 39-year-old right-hander, in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, has allowed one earned run or less in six straight starts.
HOUSTON (AP) — The Seattle Mariners have acquired the top starting pitcher on the trade market, securing All-Star Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds who pay for four minor league prospects.
Seattle has not made the playoffs since 2001, the longest playoff drought in the four major North American professional sports.
At 54-46, the Mariners are in the second of three AL wildcard spots, a half game ahead of Tampa Bay (53-46) and three games ahead of Cleveland (50-48).
Seattle has won its last 14 games before the All-Star break, short of the longest winning streak in team history and the best run by any club before the break since 1933. But the Mariners have a record 3-5 since, after an 11-1 loss at Houston on Friday night.
Cincinnati got infielders Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo, along with right-handers Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore. Marte was the Mariners’ top prospect, Arroyo was third and Stoudt fifth.
DETROIT (AP) — Canada’s Taylor Pendrith shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-shot lead over Tony Finau in the weekend in the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Pendrith and Finau shared the first-round lead at 8 under and will be in the final group on Saturday, pairing a 31-year-old PGA Tour rookie with a 32-year-old veteran who is coming off his third career victory.
Rookie Lee Hodges (66) was three strokes behind.
PGA Tour rookie of the year Cameron Young tied a Detroit Golf Club record with a 63 for a share of fourth place — five strokes back — with Russell Henley (65) and Stewart Cink (66).
Rookie Sahith Theegala (67) was another throwback in a field that includes defending FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay, who rebounded from a first-round 70 with a 65.
BEDMINSTER, NJ (AP) — Henrik Stenson had a happy return to golf after being stripped as European Ryder Cup captain, birding eight on his debut at the LIV Golf Invitational in Bedminster for a 7-under 64 years old to share the 18-hole lead with Patrick Roseau.
Phil Mickelson’s return to the region has not been entirely happy. While playing at the Trump National Bedminster, an onlooker shouted, “Do it for the Saudi Royal Family!”
The rest of his day didn’t improve much, especially the end. He missed a 12-foot birdie putt on his last hole, then ran the 3-footer for a par of about 6 feet per hole. His bogey-bogey finish gave him a 75.
Former President Donald Trump, who played the pro-am Thursday on his home course, returned to watch the first round.