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    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.

            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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            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.

            The Minnesota Timberwolves are bringing back reserve forward Taurean Prince. He became a vital part of the second unit in his first season with the club. Prince and the Timberwolves have agreed to a two-year, $16 million contract extension, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because the team has not yet announced the extension. Prince was acquired last summer from Cleveland in a trade for point guard Ricky Rubio. He shot a career-best 45.4% from the floor in his sixth NBA season.

            James Harden is taking less with hopes the Philadelphia 76ers can do more. A person familiar with the situation said Harden chose not to exercise his $47.4 million option for next season and will become a free agent — but with no designs on leaving Philadelphia. Harden made the decision to allow the 76ers the flexibility they need to sign other players this summer, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side confirmed those plans publicly.

            As the Utah Jazz spent time talking to candidates to become their next coach, Will Hardy quickly rose to the top of their list. And that’s where he stayed. Hardy was announced as the coach of the Jazz a day after the sides came to an agreement in principle. He’ll be a head coach in the NBA for the first time and at 34 is currently the league’s youngest coach. Hardy goes to Utah after spending this past season as an assistant in Boston, helping the Celtics make the NBA Finals. His previous 11 seasons were spent with the San Antonio Spurs.

            Let the talking begin. The trading, too, and eventually the signing. Free agency officially opens Thursday in the NBA, with teams able to begin negotiating at 6 p.m. Eastern. James Harden declined his $47 million option for next season with Philadelphia on Wednesday and became a free agent — but told the team he intends to stay on a new deal that will allow the 76ers the flexibility they need to sign other players this summer, according to a person with direct knowledge of that situation. Also, . the San Antonio Spurs are trading All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks for Danilo Gallinari and three first-round picks, according to another person with direct knowledge of the terms of that deal.

            The Los Angeles Lakers exercised their team options for next season on Stanley Johnson and Wenyen Gabriel. Johnson started 27 of his 48 games last season for the Lakers, who signed the Orange County native as a free agent on Christmas Eve. Johnson emerged as a solid rotation defender and capable winger for the disappointing Lakers, averaging 6.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Johnson was the eighth overall pick by Detroit in 2015. Gabriel started five of his 19 games with the Lakers after signing as a free agent March 1. He averaged 6.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

            The NBA is returning to Seattle for a preseason game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers at Climate Pledge Arena on Oct. 3. It will be the first NBA event since the former KeyArena was gutted and reconstructed as the home of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken and WNBA’s Seattle Storm. The final event in the previous version of the building was a NBA preseason game between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings in October 2018. That game was the first NBA event in the arena after the departure of the SuperSonics for Oklahoma City following the 2008 season.

            A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the Denver Nuggets have agreed to a deal that would send guards Will Barton and Monte Morris to the Washington Wizards for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been announced. It would be another trade for the Nuggets under general manager Calvin Booth as he tries to bolster the lineup around two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic. Caldwell-Pope started 77 games for the Wizards and shot 39% from 3-point range. He won an NBA title with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020.

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