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Chandler Parsons and James Harden Exchange Words


Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks may have a rivalry brewing between then after Rockets guard James Harden said the team will be just fine without forward Chandler Parsons, who's heading to the Mavericks.

"Dwight [Howard] and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets," Harden told The Philippine Star. "The rest of the guys are role players or pieces that complete our team. We've lost some pieces and added some pieces."

"I think we'll be fine next season," he added.

Parsons spent the first three seasons of his career with the Rockets and was one of the team's best players. Still, he wound up signing a three-year, $46 million contract with the Mavericks that the Rockets decided not to match.

In responding to Harden's comments, Parsons proclaimed that Harden's attitude was one of the reasons why he left the team, adding that he wants to be considered an important member of a winning team.

This past season, Parsons averaged 16.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

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Jeremy Lin Putting 'Linsanity' Behind Him


NBA via New York Knicks(EL SEGUNDO, Calif.) -- Even though he'll always be associated with Linsanity, new Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin is moving on from what made him one of the most recognized basketball players in the world.

"I'm not trying to relive that banner season," Lin said during his introductory news conference with the Lakers on Thursday. "I think that's been a big weight off my shoulders and I think that's very important for me as a player. I'm not trying to recreate a Linsanity. I'm not trying to be that phenomenon that happened in New York. I think I just want to be myself more than ever."

In his lone season with the New York Knicks from 2011-2012, Lin set the basketball world on fire as he consistently put up big numbers on a nightly basis. Lin was never a highly-touted prospect, and was recalled from the D-League, so his success took many by surprise.

Lin spent the past two seasons with the Houston Rockets and averaged 13.0 points during that time. Even though he may never match his production during the height of Linsanity, the Lakers traded for him in hopes of stabilizing the team's point guard position.

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Athletics Designate Closer Jim Johnson for Assignment


Sarah Glenn/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- The Jim Johnson experiment is over in Oakland as the Athletics have designated the former All-Star for assignment.

Johnson was the team's big offseason addition this past offseason in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles.

Johnson, who was paid $10 million this season, had been one of the best closers in baseball the past two seasons. He saved 101 games from 2012-2013 in Baltimore.

This season was entirely different for the 31-year-old Johnson. In 38 games with the Athletics, Johnson was 4-2 with a 7.14 ERA and a WHIP of 2.06.

His last appearance with the team came on Wednesday when he gave up four earned runs without recording an out. His allowed eight earned runs total his last three appearances in just 2.0 innings of work.

Despite the struggles of Johnson, the Athletics are one of the best teams in all of baseball. At 63-38, they hold the best record in baseball.

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Mavericks Sign Jameer Nelson


Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- The Dallas Mavericks signed Jameer Nelson Thursday.

ESPN's Marc Stein reports it's a two-year deal with a player option to return to free agency next summer.

The 32-year-old Nelson was selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets, but his draft rights were traded to the Orlando Magic, where he spent his entire 10 year career.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Nelson was waived by Orlando on June 30. The Magic will still pay Nelson $2 million this season, money due to Nelson from the final year of his contract with Orlando.

For his career, Nelson has averaged 12.6 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game.

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Lars Eller Agrees to 4-Year Contract with Canadiens


Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(MONTREAL) -- Center Lars Eller agreed to a four-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens Thursday that keeps him in Montreal through the 2017-18 season.

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports the deal is worth an average of $3.5 million a year.

“We are very pleased to have agreed upon a long term agreement with Lars Eller. He is an important part of our group of young veterans. He has a tremendous work ethic and a great attitude. He is the type of player you can rely on for his play at both ends of the rink,” Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said. “Lars can play big minutes against the opponents’ top players and still be an offensive threat. We are confident he will reach his full potential and become an impact player who will compete at a high level for many years to come.”

The 25-year-old Eller was the 13th overall pick of the 2007 NHL Draft by the St. Louis Blues.

Eller has played the last four seasons in Montreal, scoring 43 goals while tallying 101 points.

The deal cancels Eller's salary arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Friday.

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Mariners Trade for Kendrys Morales


Ed Zurga/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- Kendrys Morales is headed back to Seattle.

The Minnesota Twins traded the switch-hitting Morales to the Seattle Mariners Thursday in exchange for relief pitcher Stephen Pryor.

Morales played for the Mariners in 2013 hitting .277, 23 home runs and 80 RBIs.

"He's a professional hitter," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He gives us the opportunity to stretch out our lineup, so to speak. He's a nice fit, switch-hitter, hitting behind Robbie (Cano).

"He gives us options, what we want to do with (Kyle) Seager, where we want to hit him. I like it."

Morales was a free agent last offseason and he rejected a $14.1 million qualifying offer from Seattle.

"We had a lot of dialogue over the winter that just didn't work out," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "We're in position now where wanted to add a bat. That was no secret. When the opportunity arose, we moved forward with it. He's a player we like and a player who is familiar with us. He'll be welcomed with open arms."

The 31-year-old Morales has played eight major league seasons. During that time he's compiled a .277 batting average, with 103 home runs and 363 RBIs.

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Cavs Sign Wiggins, Can't Trade Him for 30 Days


Jost West/Getty Images Sport(CLEVELAND, Ohio) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers signed the No. 1 overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins, on Thursday.

ESPN reports the contract is for four years and will pay Wiggins $5.5 million next season.

The Cavaliers have been talking about sending Wiggins as part of a package deal to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love, but because of NBA rules involving rookie contracts, Wiggins can't be traded for 30 days.

The 6-foot-8, 19-year-old Wiggins averaged 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and a block per game last season at Kansas.

The Cavaliers also signed second-round pick Joe Harris Thursday.

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Scoreboard Roundup - 7/24/14


Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: Philadelphia Philles 2 (44-58) - San Francisco Giants 1 (57-45)

Toronto Blue Jays 8 (54-49) - Boston Red Sox 0 (47-55)

New York Yankees 4 (53-48) - Texas Rangers 2 (40-62)

Oakland Athletics 13 (63-38) - Houston Astros 1 (42-60)

Miami Marlins 3 (48-53) - Atlanta Braves 2 (55-47)

Milwaukee Brewers 9 (58-45) - New York Mets 1 (48-54)

Chicago White Sox 5 (49-54) - Minnesota Twins 2 (46-55)

San Diego Padres 13 (45-56) - Chicago Cubs 3 (41-59)

Kansas City Royals 2 (51-50) - Cleveland Indians 1 (51-51) - 14 Innings

Baltimore Orioles 4 (56-45) - Seattle Mariners 0 (53-49)

Detroit Tigers 6 (57-42) - Los Angeles Angels 4 (60-41)

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Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon Arrested for Third Time


Sam Greenwood/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Banned Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been arrested for the third time, as police charged him with possession of marijuana.

Blackmon was arrested in Edmond, Oklahoma, after police stopped him for a traffic violation and could smell the odor of marijuana inside the car. Blackmon posted bail and was released.

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan said Thursday that the team intends to keep the troubled wide receiver.

"We want him to get help he needs," Khan said.

Blackmon is currently serving an indefinite suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He was handed the suspension last November by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

"It's just a difficult situation,'' quarterback Chad Henne said. "It's kind of ongoing. All we can do is pray that he finds a way to get on the right track and save his life.''

Blackmon was the fifth overall pick in 2012 and caught 64 passes for 865 yards and five touchdowns that year.

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Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended for Two Games


Andy Lyons/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NFL has suspended Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for the first two games of the regular season following his offseason arrest.

"It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that's my fault," Rice said in a statement released by the team. "As I said earlier, I failed in many ways."

Rice is able to participate in training camp and the pre-season games, but will miss the first two home games against the Bengals and Steelers. Rice will also be fined $58,000 and will be required to go to counseling, reports ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter.

"There are consequences when you make a mistake like that," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Thursday. "I stand behind Ray. He's a heck of a guy."

"He's done everything right since [the incident]," Harbaugh continued. "He makes a mistake, alright? He's going to have to pay a consequence."

Rice will be back on the field when the Ravens play in Cleveland against the Browns in Week 3.

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