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    The moves in the NBA right now are big and bold. That's what it takes now to win championships. It took Golden State about $340 million to win this past season's championship between payroll and luxury tax. And other teams now are getting in on the spending. Rudy Gobert getting traded to Minnesota is the latest example. The Timberwolves have nearly a half-billion dollars now committed to just Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns. But if such moves lead to a championship, they'll all obviously have been a bargain.

      The Golden State Warriors were determined to keep their winning roster together to chase another championship — to make a run at a repeat.As the NBA’s free agency period began, Golden State retained center Kevon Looney when he agreed to a $25.5 million, three-year contract, but lost several other key faces.The reigning champs lost guard Gary Payton II to the Portland Trail Blazers on a $28 million, three-year contract and saw Otto Porter Jr.’s departure to the Toronto Raptors.

        Gary Payton II is returning to his Pacific Northwest roots, agreeing to a $28 million, three-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers.A person with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed that Payton would depart the NBA champion Golden State Warriors to join a backcourt alongside Damian Lillard and lottery pick Shaedon Sharpe, selected with the seventh overall pick in last Thursday’s draft.When the season ended, longtime journeyman Payton acknowledged he couldn’t wait to finally get his opportunity in free agency. A G Leaguer for so long, Golden State cut Payton before the season began then he was re-signed.

          A person familiar with the negotiations tells the AP that point guard Ricky Rubio has agreed to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on a multiyear contract. Rubio, who was instrumental in Cleveland’s turnaround last season before injuring his knee, agreed to a 3-year, $18.4 million deal, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not yet announced the deal. The 31-year-old Rubio was having one of his best NBA seasons before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament against New Orleans in December. Rubio averaged 13.1 points and 6.6 assists in 34 games.

            The Boston Celtics have improved their backcourt depth by trading for Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon. The Associated Press has confirmed that the Celtics are sending five backup forwards and a 2023 first-round pick to Indiana in exchange. Brogdon became available after Indiana acquired Tyrese Haliburton from Sacramento during a flurry of midseason trades. The Pacers also now have about $31 million in salary cap space.

              Rudy Gobert has been traded by the Utah Jazz to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a massive package of players and draft picks, a person with knowledge of the blockbuster deal said. Utah is getting four first-round picks between 2023 and 2029, along with Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley and a first-round pick this year in Walker Kessler, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the NBA had not approved the deal and neither team could announce it publicly. ESPN, which first reported the trade, also said Jarred Vanderbilt was going from Minnesota to Utah as part of the deal for Gobert.

                The Los Angeles Police Department says Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges has been charged with felony domestic violence. Bridges was arrested Wednesday for “intimate partner violence with injury,” which is a felony. The incident occurred two days earlier in West Los Angeles. He was released on $130,000 bond. He has a July 20 court date. The 24-year-old Bridges is a restricted free agent who had been expected to command big money in the free agent market this summer. His agent has not returned calls seeking comment.

                Zach LaVine is staying in Chicago. Same goes for Jusuf Nurkic in Portland. Day 2 of NBA free agency brought another max deal — this time, going to LaVine, who secured the richest contract in Bulls history when he agreed to a $215 million, five-year contract. Nurkic got by far the biggest payday of his career, agreeing to a four-year, $70 million contract with Portland. The center just completed his eighth NBA season, the last six of those coming with the Trail Blazers, for whom he averaged 15 points and 11.1 rebounds this past season.

                The NBA has sent another strong indicator that the penalty for transition take fouls is about to change. Such fouls will result in a penalty of one free throw, plus retention of the ball, at all three summer leagues this season — first the two smaller ones in San Francisco and Salt Lake City that start this weekend, then the 30-team one in Las Vegas that opens next week. Changing the rule at the NBA level has been mulled for several years, with momentum moving toward finally making something happen in recent months. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told The Associated Press last month that he expects the oft-maligned foul to come with stiffer penalties next season.

                The Atlanta Hawks are trading Kevin Huerter to the Sacramento Kings for Justin Holiday, Mo Harkless and a future conditional draft pick, according to a person with direct knowledge of the agreement. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been formally approved by the NBA and announced by either club. ESPN first reported the trade.

                Zach LaVine is staying with the Chicago Bulls. The two-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist says he has agreed to a new deal with the Bulls. LaVine will be signing a five-year max contract worth about $215 million, according to a person with direct knowledge of the terms who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the pact cannot be signed until next week by league rule. And with that, another top free agent came off the market — settling the biggest roster issue hanging over the Bulls this summer.

                Devin Booker helped Phoenix to the NBA Finals in 2021, then played a huge role in helping the Suns to the league’s best record this past season. They can’t wait to see what he does next. To no surprise, the Suns gave Booker a four-year extension early Friday that will begin with the 2024-25 season and pay him an additional $224 million over that span. Combined with what he’s already made, and what he’ll make over the next two seasons, the extension guarantees that Booker will be up to nearly $400 million in on-court earnings alone by the time that deal expires.

                The Memphis Grizzlies are making sure All-Star point guard Ja Morant is going nowhere anytime soon. Morant agreed to a five-year supermax rookie extension with Tandem, the company home to Morant’s agent Jim Tanner, congratulating the guard on social media minutes after NBA free agency started. Morant wrote on Twitter minutes after midnight that Memphis is his home. This extension was merely a formality for the point guard named the NBA’s Most Improved Player in his third season and who also finished seventh in voting for league MVP. Morant helped the Grizzlies to the second-best record in the NBA this season.

                The NBA generated more basketball related income than ever this past season, the total number coming up just short of $9 billion. Business is good. The first night of free agency underscored how good. Nikola Jokic, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns and Ja Morant agreed to extensions worth more than $1 billion by the time they expire, highlighting the moves made Thursday when the NBA’s annual free-agent negotiating window opened.

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                Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

                Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

                A person with direct knowledge of the decision says Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. The decision revealed just before the start of NBA free agency undoubtedly will have teams scrambling to put together enormous offers for the perennial All-Star. The Nets have been working with Durant to find a trade partner, and he has multiple teams on his preferred list. That's according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the player nor Brooklyn revealed any details publicly. ESPN first reported Durant’s trade request and cited Phoenix and Miami as two of his preferred destinations. Durant is a 12-time All-Star, four-time scoring champion, three-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time NBA champion.

                Memphis Grizzlies forward-center Jaren Jackson Jr. will be sidelined up to six months after having surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot. The Grizzlies announced Thursday that Jackson had the procedure Wednesday and is expected to make a full recovery. The fourth overall pick in the 2018 draft is coming off his best season yet. He played a career-high 78 games after being limited to 11 games in his third NBA season. Jackson signed a multi-year extension last October. Jackson was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive first team after leading the league in total blocks with a franchise-record 177 blocks.

                Nikola Jokic went from No. 41 draft pick, to two-time MVP, and now the holder of the largest contract in NBA history. Jokic and the Denver Nuggets agreed Thursday to a $264 supermax extension, according to a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the player nor team announced the agreement.

                The Brooklyn Nets have acquired forward Royce O’Neale from the Utah Jazz in exchange for a conditional 2023 first-round draft pick. The Nets announced the deal Thursday, noting the Jazz will receive the least favorable of the Brooklyn/Houston first-round pick swap and Philadelphia’s first-round pick that was previously acquired by Brooklyn. O’Neale has appeared in 370 NBA games in five seasons in Utah, averaging 6.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He has shot 44.8% from the field in his career. The 29-year-old appeared in and started 77 games this past season, averaging a career-high 7.4 points and 31.2 minutes.

                Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards have agreed on a five-year contract that could pay him as much as $251 million -- one of the largest contracts in NBA history. Beal’s announcement was made by his agent, Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports. The decision came almost immediately after this season’s NBA free agent negotiating window opened Thursday, and is a max-value deal.

                Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges has been arrested in Los Angeles on the eve of NBA free agency after a warrant was issued, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Details of the arrest first reported by TMZ were not immediately available. Bridges was the Hornets’ leading scorer last season and is set to become a restricted free agent and could command a max contract. NBA free agency begins Thursday night. The 24-year-old Bridges averaged career highs with 20.2 points and seven rebounds last season for the Hornets in what amounted to a breakout season while playing alongside All-Star LaMelo Ball. Bridges is also a rapper, who goes by the name RTB MB.

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