Today signifies the start of free agency in the NBA. A number of big-time players have already been rumored to be on the move, but nothing could be made official until the league’s moratorium period ended at 11:01 p.m. Tuesday, allowing teams to make trades and begin signing free agent players. Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul became the first marquee player to ink a new deal when he finalized his contract just after the NBA’s signing period got underway. Paul posted a picture on Instagram signing his deal, which will run through the 2017-18 season. He’ll reportedly receive the maximum five-year, $107 million contract extension.
The Detroit Pistons have officially agreed to terms on a four-year deal with free agent forward Josh Smith. His contract is worth a reported $56 million. Smith was selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by Atlanta, where he spent the first nine seasons of his career. The Hawks made a move to replace Smith by signing former Utah power forward Paul Millsap to a reported two-year deal.
The Indiana Pacers officially announced the re-signing of two-time All-Star forward David West during a press conference Wednesday. Previous reports indicated that the 10-year-veteran’s new contract is for three years and worth $36 million.
The Detroit Lions like what they see in quarterback Matthew Stafford. They’ve signed him to a $53 million, three-year contract extension. The deal binds Stafford to the Lions for at least the next five seasons. The first overall pick of the 2009 draft out of Georgia, Stafford is coming off a 2012 campaign that saw him pass for 4,967 yards with 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
The Marlins beat the Braves 6-2 this afternoon. There are several games being contested in Major League Baseball Wednesday night. Tampa Bay looks to win their seventh straight outing. This evening the Rays, who are 3 1/2 games back of first-place Boston in the American League East, entertain the Twins.
The resurgent Dodgers have won three straight and eight of their last 10, including two straight from Arizona, to move to within 2 1/2 games of the Diamondbacks in the National League West. They’ll square off in the series finale tonight in Phoenix.
The Pirates and Athletics put an end to their three-game set Wednesday in Pittsburgh with the A’s having won the first two games by the same score, 2-1. The losses have dropped the Pirates to second place in the National League Central, 1 1/2 games back of the Cardinals. The A’s lead the American League West by a half game over Texas.
Speaking of Texas, the Rangers are in Baltimore to take on the Orioles tonight. Game time is 6:05. The Royals and Yankees play the third of their four-game series in the Bronx tonight. Toronto is at Cleveland, the Tigers are at home against the White Sox, and rounding out the American League. Boston plays the Mariners at 9:10 p.m.
In a National League East game worth nothing, Washington plays at Philadelphia with Cliff Lee of the Phillies going for his eleventh win of the season against just two defeats.