Wednesday Sports in Brief

August 18, 2022 GMT

NBA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James has agreed to a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension through the 2024-25 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, his agent announced Wednesday.

Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul said the league-maximum deal makes James the highest-paid player in NBA history. His new deal includes a player option that would keep the second-leading scorer in NBA history with the Lakers past his 40th birthday in December 2024.

The 37-year-old James is headed into the final year of his most recent contract with the Lakers, who signed the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player and four-time league champion in July 2018. The new deal means the 18-time All-Star will make $46.7 million this season.

NFL

Talks between the NFL and NFL Players Association on a discipline settlement for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson have progressed. However, it’s uncertain whether the two sides will reach a deal, two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

The people spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

The sides are seeking a compromise before any punishment is handed down by Peter C. Harvey, a former New Jersey attorney general who was appointed by Commissioner Roger Goodell to rule on the league’s appeal of a six-game suspension already imposed on Watson by an independent disciplinary officer.

— By AP Sports Writers Rob Maaddi and Tom Withers.

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Derwin James signed a four-year, $76.5 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Chargers on Wednesday, making him the NFL’s highest-paid safety.

The deal includes $42 million in guaranteed salary.

James is going into his fifth season. He was on the field Wednesday when the Chargers started two days of joint practices with the Dallas Cowboys. He did not participate in the first three weeks of practice and took part only in walkthroughs as the two sides worked on an extension.

James’ deal eclipses the four-year, $72.98 million extension Pittsburgh’s Minkah Fitzpatrick signed in June. That included $36 million in guaranteed salary.

MLB

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jon Daniels is out as president of baseball operations for the Texas Rangers after two World Series appearances during 17 years leading the club, likely finishing his tenure with a string of losing seasons.

ADVERTISEMENT

Team owner Ray Davis said Wednesday that Daniels was being relieved of his duties immediately after the decision was made not to renew his contract at the end of this year.

Daniels’ departure came two days after manager Chris Woodward was fired in his fourth season. It also occurred less than nine months after the Rangers committed more than a half-billion dollars to sign free agent infielders Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, and starting pitcher Jon Gray.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Three-time AL MVP Mike Trout intends to return to the Los Angeles Angels’ lineup on Friday in Detroit.

Trout hasn’t played since July 12, missing the Angels’ past 30 games with an injury to his upper back and ribcage. He faced live pitching Monday and worked out Wednesday, leaving him confident he will be able to play against the Tigers when the Angels open a 10-game trip.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trout earned an All-Star selection this summer while batting .270 with 24 homers and 51 RBIs in 79 games, but he has missed significant playing time — and the All-Star Game — due to injuries for the second straight season. The center fielder played only 36 games last season before he was sidelined for the year in mid-May by a calf strain.

AUTO RACING

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Team Penske signed Ryan Blaney to a multiyear contract extension ahead of his final push to make NASCAR’s playoffs.

Blaney has been part of the Penske organization since he was 19 and ran three races in 2012 in the Xfinity Series. He’s been part of the three-car Cup lineup at Penske since 2018 and the team said Wednesday his extension is a “long-term agreement” for him to remain in the No. 12 Ford.

The seven-time Cup winner has made the playoffs every season since 2017 but finds himself on the bubble with two regular-season races remaining. Blaney is ranked second in the standings — which in any other year would be good enough for one of the 16 spots in the playoff field.

ADVERTISEMENT

TENNIS

NEW YORK (AP) — Venus Williams will be back in the U.S. Open this year after being given a wild card on Wednesday into what could be younger sister Serena’s final tournament.

Venus Williams won back-to-back U.S. Opens in 2000 and 2001, and this year marks 25 years since she reached the 1997 final in Flushing Meadows as a 17-year-old in her first full season on tour.

Now 42, Williams did not play in the U.S. Open last year because of injury, but the seven-time Grand Slam singles champion recently returned to tour after missing nearly a year.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports