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AP sources: Covington, Capela on move in 4-team trade
UNDATED (AP) — Twelve players and at least three draft picks are part of a four-team trade that was hammered out on the eve of the NBA trade deadline.
Two people with the situation say Robert Covington is going to the Houston Rockets and Clint Capela is going to the Atlanta Hawks as part of the complicated trade. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade has not received league approval.
Covington and Jordan Bell will join the Rockets from Minnesota, while Capela and Nene are leaving the Rockets for the Hawks. The Timberwolves will add soon-to-be restricted free agents Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez (WAHN’-choh hur-nahn-GOH’-mehz) from Denver, and the Nuggets get Shabazz Napier from Minnesota plus a first-round pick from Houston.
But wait, there’s more.
Jarred Vanderbilt is leaving Denver for Minnesota, and the Nuggets are getting Keita Bates-Diop (DEE’-ahp) and Noah Vonleh (VAHN’-lay) from the Timberwolves as well as Evan Turner from the Hawks. The injured Gerald Green also goes to Denver from Houston to help make the math work and is likely to be waived once the deal is final. Atlanta will also have to make another move to finalize the trade since it must first clear a roster spot. ESPN reported Wednesday that the Hawks would waive Chandler Parsons to clear the necessary space.
Yanks’ Paxton out until at least May
UNDATED (AP) — The New York Yankees have announced some bad news concerning their starting rotation.
Left-hander James Paxton has had back surgery for a herniated disk and is expected to be sidelined until May or June. The Yankees estimated Paxton's approximate timeline to pitch in a major league game as three-to-four months.
The injury weakens a Yankees rotation already missing right-hander Domingo Germán, who must serve the final 63 games of an 81-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. Germán is eligible to return June 5, barring any postponements.
In other baseball news:
— The Braves have defeated Shane Greene in the first salary arbitration case this year. The reliever will be paid $6.25 million instead of his request for $6.75 million. The 31-year-old right-hander was a first-time All-Star last year before finishing the season with a 2.30 ERA, 64 strikeouts and 17 walks over 62 2/3 innings for the Tigers and Atlanta.
— The Reds and right-hander Pedro Strop (strohp) have finalized a one-year package worth $1,825,000, their first offseason move to upgrade the bullpen. A hamstring injury limited him to 50 appearances last season, when he went 2-5 with a 4.97 ERA, 10 saves and six blown saves.
— The Cubs have invited former closer Brandon Morrow to spring training after buying out his contract last November. Morrow hasn’t pitched since July 2018 because of a bone bruise that required surgery. He had 22 saves and a 1.47 ERA in 35 games when he was shut down in the summer of 2018.
— The Phillies have signed infielder Logan Forsythe and right-handers Anthony Swarzak, Blake Parker and Trevor Kelley to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training.
— Major League Baseball is returning to the Dominican Republic for the first time in 20 years. The Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers will play a spring training game in Santo Domingo on March 7. MLB has never played a regular-season game in the Dominican Republic.
NFL-CHIEFS-SUPER BOWL PARADE
Chiefs get warm reception in chilly parade
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of Kansas City Chiefs fans braved sub-freezing wind chills on Wednesday to celebrate the team's first Super Bowl victory in 50 years.
Fans lined the 2-mile parade route to thank their football heroes for bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to Kansas City and ending a Super Bowl drought that began after the Chiefs won Super Bowl IV in 1970.
Quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes (mah-HOHMZ) struggled with a strained voice but said the championship fulfilled two goals he set when he became the team's starter. Óne was to bring the Lamar Hunt Trophy back to Kansas City as AFC champs, and the second was to win a Super Bowl for head coach Andy Reid. The Hunt Trophy is named after the original owner of the Chiefs.
Browns introduce new GM
UNDATED (AP) — The Cleveland Browns have introduced Andrew Berry as their new general manager.
The 32-year-old Berry is believed to be the youngest GM in NFL history, and he’s the second current African-American GM in the NFL. He joked he didn't receive an upgraded parking space upon his return to Cleveland, where he was vice president of player personnel from 2016-18 under GM Sashi Brown.
Berry spent last season in the Philadelphia Eagles’ front office.
Meanwhile, the rival Steelers have given their general manager a contract extension. Kevin Colbert is now signed through the 2021 draft after considering retirement.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-SIGNING DAY
SEC enjoys recruiting bonanza
UNDATED (AP) — The SEC has dominated the recruiting landscape even more than usual this year.
The conference had six of the nation’s top eight classes as the remaining unsigned football prospects finalized their college plans Wednesday. That’s according to composite rankings of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports.
The rankings included No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Alabama, No. 4 LSU, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 7 Auburn and No. 8 Florida. Only Clemson at No. 3 and Ohio State at No. 5 broke things up.
Mickelson says he won't accept US Open exemption
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Phil Mickelson is still not exempt for the U.S. Open and says he won't accept a special invitation.
The U.S. Open is the one major keeping Mickelson from the career Grand Slam and no other major has given him more grief. He has had a record six runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open, most recently at Merion in 2013.
Mickelson is No. 72 in the world. He can avoid qualifying by getting into the top 60 on May 18 following the PGA Championship or once the final ranking before the U.S. Open is held on June 15.
Italian team retires Kobe Bryant's No. 24 in tribute
RIETI, Italy (AP) — The first Italian basketball team that Kobe Bryant’s father played for has retired the Lakers superstar’s jersey to the rafters in a pregame ceremony Wednesday.
NPC Rieti hoisted a gold Lakers’ jersey with Kobe Bryant’s No. 24 to the ceiling of the arena as a recording of his lineup introduction from his NBA playing days was played. Rieti was where Joe Bryant made his Italian basketball debut in 1984, when Kobe was 6 years old.