The New Orleans Pelicans and star guard CJ McCollum have agreed to a two-year, $64million contract extension, according to reports.

The deal, as reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, keeps McCollum signed through the 2025-26 season, tying him to fellow stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, who are signed through at least the next three seasons.

McCollum – who was acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers in February – was a scoring machine down the stretch for the Pelicans and helped lift New Orleans into the play-in tournament and, eventually, a compelling six-game series against the top-seeded Phoenix Suns.

The 31-year-old guard averaged 24.3 points in 26 games with the Pelicans last season, shooting 49.3 per cent from the field and 39.4 per cent from three-point range.

With one offseason priority completed, the Pelicans can now turn their focus towards getting Williamson back on the court after he missed the entire 2021-22 season with a broken right foot.

New Orleans fans spent much of last season waiting for Williamson's return, which never came.

Williamson averaged 27 points over 61 games in 2020-21.

With their stars now fully healthy, the Pelicans carry elevated expectations into this season, despite playing in a loaded Western Conference.

New Orleans' high-scoring trio of stars is accompanied by veterans like Jonas Valanciunas, Larry Nance Jr. and Devonte' Graham, while second-year defensive ace Herbert Jones is expected to take a step forward.

So much of the Pelicans' potential success, however, relies on health.

Williamson has played 85 career games since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2019. McCollum has missed a total of 45 games over the past two seasons, and Ingram has never played more than 62 games in a season as a starter.

Andre Iguodala will be putting off retirement for another year after announcing he will return to the Golden State Warriors for a 19th NBA season.

Iguodala, who will turn 39 in January, revealed his decision on Friday on the Point Forward podcast he hosts with former player Evan Turner, adding that the 2022-23 season will be his final one.

Iguodala won the fourth NBA championship of his career when the Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in six games in the NBA Finals in June.

He admitted he was leaning towards retirement during the summer before being convinced by Stephen Curry and several other members of the Golden State organisation to return for one more season.

"I'm letting you know, Steph, this is the last one," Iguodala stated in reference to Warriors superstar Curry.

"I'm gonna blame a few people," he also joked. "Steph Curry is one person I'm gonna blame. As a group I'm blaming Draymond [Green], Steph and Klay [Thompson], [head coach] Steve Kerr a little bit and [general manager] Bob Myers.

"They just really showed me a lot of love. They really helped me see my presence outside of physically playing basketball, but also Steve was a big culprit in terms of 'listen, we really need you on the court'."

Iguodala, a 2011-12 All-Star and the MVP of the 2015 NBA Finals, played in just 31 games last season while averaging 4.0 points and 3.7 rebounds, and was used sparingly during Golden State's postseason run to the franchise's fourth title in eight years.

The Warriors still value the two-time NBA All-Defensive Team member for his contributions on that side of the ball, however, as well as his leadership and influence on the team's younger players.

Iguodala returned for a second stint with the Warriors by signing a one-year contract in August 2021. He previously spent six seasons with the franchise from 2013-19 before a two-year run with the Miami Heat.

"I came back last year to make sure we got this right, like 'we not gonna waste Steph's years'," Iguodala remarked. "We won the [championship] and I was like, 'alright.' And [Curry] was like, 'nope, I need you back for another one'."

Iguodala broke into the NBA as a first-round pick of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2004 and has averaged 11.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists over 1,223 regular-season games.

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka has officially been suspended by the franchise for the entire 2022-23 season for an "improper" consensual relationship with a female staff member.

Udoka, who in his first year as a head coach guided the Celtics to their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010, will be replaced by assistant Joe Mazzulla as interim head coach, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Mazzulla was considered a finalist for the Utah Jazz head coaching role that ended up going to fellow Celtics assistant Will Hardy, after former Celtics general manager Danny Ainge took the top role in Utah.

In a 46-word statement on Thursday night, the Celtics confirmed reports from ESPN and The Athletic that they have opted to sideline Udoka for the full season for what they call "violations of team policies".

Udoka also released a brief apology, saying: "I want to apologise to our players, fans the entire Celtics organisation, and my family for letting them down. I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team's decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment."

Kawhi Leonard appears to be well on his way back to an NBA court after missing the entire 2021-22 season as a result of suffering a torn ACL during the 2021 playoffs.

More than a year since his last competitive game, Leonard has been cleared to participate in five-on-five drills when the Los Angeles Clippers begin training camp next week, president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank announced Thursday.  

The team, however, will ease Leonard back into the fold as he recovers from his knee reconstruction, taking a "cautious" approach.  

"He feels great," Frank said. "His plan is, look, he wants to participate in everything. And I think organisationally, we're going to be cautious. So it will be a step-by-step approach.” 

Frank would not say if Leonard will participate in preseason games.  

"When you're dealing with a major injury, you can't predict," Frank said. "I know with him, he wants to do everything, but we'll just kind of see how he feels each day. We have an outstanding medical team, and we're playing the long game with it. So we're not going to get into predictions, what he will do or he won't do. 

"We'll figure out, is that best for his body? One day it may be. The next day, we'll have to reassess. We'll rely on the feedback we get from Kawhi, obviously from the medical team. It's too early to predict. We have time before we need to get there." 

Regarded as one of the early title favourites, the Clippers’ ultimate goal is to have Leonard at full strength next spring for a postseason run. Los Angeles is tied with the Golden State Warriors for the shortest title odds in the Western Conference at 7-to-1, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.  

The other crucial piece to a potential playoff run for the Clippers is Paul George, who has been recovering from a torn ligament in his shooting elbow, but is ready to go, according to Frank.

"His elbow is 100 percent healthy," Frank said. "Paul has had an extremely purposeful, driven, and very productive off-season, in that his consistency of training has been off the charts. Plus, he continues to take more and more of an ownership and leadership role." 

Ben Simmons has criticised the Philadelphia 76ers for not giving him the mental health help he required.

The point guard sat out the entirety of last season while dealing with mental health struggles and his time with the Sixers, who drafted him as the first overall pick in 2016, came to an end in February.

A trade with the Brooklyn Nets was completed at the February trade deadline, with James Harden moving in the opposite direction.

Simmons has now claimed he did not get the support he needed from his former team when speaking on JJ Redick's 'Old Man and the Three' podcast.

"I was in such a bad place where I was like, f***, I'm trying to get here and you guys are, like, throwing all these other things at me to where you're not helping. And that's all I wanted, was help," he said.

"I didn't feel like I got (help) from coaches, team-mates, I won't say all team-mates, because there are great guys on that team that did reach out and are still my friends. But I didn't feel like I got that, and it was just a tough place for me."

Simmons also believes the team did not handle things correctly, though he admits he must shoulder some responsibility, and cited Doc Rivers' approach that ultimately led to Simmons' suspension.

"I actually spoke to Doc before practice. I was like, 'Doc, I'm not ready. Mentally, I'm not ready. Please just understand that,'" he added.

"I tried to let him know prior, and he was like, 'Well, I'm going to put you in anyway.' I'm like, 'All right.' He told me to get in. I looked at him. It was like one minute into practice, like, 'Ben, get in.'

"I'm like, first of all, no one's doing that. You're doing this on purpose. And that's how I felt, too. It seems like everyone's trying to f*** with me now. I'm getting fined for not lifting weights, but physically I'm one of the strongest guys on the team.

"So now they're fining me for little things. It was just a build-up. Obviously, I didn't handle things the right way, but, also, the team didn't either, and the people who had that power."

Currently carrying an injury, Simmons is expected to be ready for the start of training camp and is excited to join his new team-mates, sharing his belief they can go all the way.

"It's going to be sick. I can't wait. I'm so excited. Got a new number, new jersey. I'm just looking forward to it," he declared.

"I think we have a special team. I think if we get it all together, we're going to be the champions. That's the end goal."

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is reportedly facing "a significant suspension" for violating "organisational guidelines", according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The report is incredibly vague and lacking in any detail about what exactly Udoka did to warrant a significant internal response from his Celtics bosses, however it does say it is believed he is not in danger of getting fired.

Hours later, The Athletic's Shams Charania added that Udoka had "an improper intimate and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff", which has been deemed a violation of the Celtics' code of conduct.

After Udoka's top assistant, Will Hardy, was hired as the new head coach of the Utah Jazz, Boston's Joe Mazzulla is the favourite to take over in the interim role.

Udoka, 45, became the fifth rookie head coach in the past 25 years to take his team to the NBA Finals this past season when his Celtics emerged as the best defensive team in the league. 

He is also the first rookie head coach to win multiple Game 7s in his first playoff run, taking out both the Miami Heat and the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks.

Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball will be sidelined for the next four-to-six weeks after undergoing an arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, the team announced on Wednesday.

Ball, 24, last played in January before he tore his meniscus, and at the time he was given a six-to-eight week recovery time, but the pain persisted and kept him out of the final months of the season.

The former second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft was in the midst of a career-best shooting season with the Bulls, with his 42.3 per cent shooting from beyond the arc on 7.4 attempts per game marking the first time he has ever posted a three-point percentage above 37.8.

He was also averaging 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and was one of the best defensive guards in the league, tallying 1.8 steals per game.

The Bulls are scheduled to kick off their season on October 19 against the Miami Heat, so his current injury timeline makes it incredibly unlikely that he will be ready for the start of the season, with November a more realistic target.

Ball is entering the second year of a four-year, $80million contract, with the fourth year being a player option that Ball can decide to void if he feels he can secure a larger long-term deal.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver says Robert Sarver's decision to sell the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury is "right next step for the organisation and community."

Sarver on Wednesday announced that he intends to sell up after an investigation found him to have engaged in racist and sexist conduct.

The 60-year-old was suspended for one year and fined $10million by the NBA last week after an investigation questioned 320 people over allegations about Sarver's behaviour during his 18 years with the Suns.

Silver believes it is the right move from Sarver to seek buyers for the Suns and Mercury.

He said: "I fully support the decision by Robert Sarver to sell the Phoenix Suns and Mercury. This is the right next step for the organisation and community."

Sarver earlier declared: "Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organisations that brought people together – and strengthened the Phoenix area – through the unifying power of professional men's and women's basketball. 

"I expected that the commissioner's one-year suspension would provide the time for me to focus, make amends and remove my personal controversy from the teams that I and so many fans love.

"But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible – that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past.

"For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury.

"I do not want to be a distraction to these two teams and the fine people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement of basketball to fans around the world.

"I want what's best for these two organisations, the players, the employees, the fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone.

"In the meantime, I will continue to work on becoming a better person, and continuing to support the community in meaningful ways. Thank you for continuing to root for the Suns and the Mercury, embracing the power that sports has to bring us together."

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will miss the start of Oklahoma City Thunder's preseason training camp due to a knee injury.

The guard has sustained a grade two MCL sprain in his left knee just under a month before the Thunder start their NBA campaign with a road game at the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 19.

Gilgeous-Alexander will be assessed again in a fortnight to discover when he may be able to return.

The Canadian will play no part in the preseason games against the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks on October 3 and 5 respectively.

Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 56 games last season before being sidelined by an ankle injury.

Robert Sarver has announced his intention to sell the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury after an investigation found him to have engaged in racist and sexist conduct at the workplace.

Sarver was suspended for one year and fined $10million by the NBA last week after an investigation questioned 320 people on allegations of Sarver's behaviour over his 18 years spent with the Suns.

The investigation prompted widespread criticism of both Sarver and the NBA's response, including four-time MVP LeBron James saying: "Our league definitely got this wrong."

In a statement, Sarver declared: "Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organisations that brought people together – and strengthened the Phoenix area – through the unifying power of professional men's and women's basketball. 

"I expected that the commissioner's one-year suspension would provide the time for me to focus, make amends and remove my personal controversy from the teams that I and so many fans love.

"But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible – that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past.

"For those reasons, I am beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and Mercury.

"I do not want to be a distraction to these two teams and the fine people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement of basketball to fans around the world.

"I want what's best for these two organizations, the players, the employees, the fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone.

"In the meantime, I will continue to work on becoming a better person, and continuing to support the community in meaningful ways. Thank you for continuing to root for the Suns and the Mercury, embracing the power that sports has to bring us together."

Anthony Edwards has been fined by the NBA after the Minnesota Timberwolves guard used homophobic language in a social media post.

The 21-year-old shared a video on his Instagram account in which he could be heard passing comment on a group of men gathered near the car he was sat in.

Edwards deleted the video in question and issued an apology on Twitter, saying: "What I said was immature, hurtful, and disrespectful, and I'm incredibly sorry.

"It's unacceptable for me or anyone to use that language in such a hurtful way, there's no excuse for it, at all. I was raised better than that!"

He has now been hit with a $40,000 fine by the NBA for using "offensive and derogatory language".

A statement issued by the NBA added Edwards has "acknowledged that his actions were inappropriate".

The Timberwolves previously issued an apology last week, attributed to president of basketball operations Tim Connelly.

"We are disappointed in the language and actions Anthony Edwards displayed on social media," it read.

"The Timberwolves are committed to being an inclusive and welcoming organisation for all and apologise for the offense this has caused to so many."

Boston Celtics centre Robert Williams III reportedly will miss between 4-to-6 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic left knee surgery this week, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

It is the second surgery on the same knee in six months for Williams, who had a meniscus procedure performed March 30. That specific surgery enabled Williams to recover quicker and return to the court for Boston’s run to the NBA Finals.

The 24-year-old Williams injured the knee in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 27, forcing him to miss the final seven regular-season games and Boston's first two playoff contests.

He came off the bench in Games 3 and 4 of the Celtics' first-round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets, and started the first three games of the Eastern Conference semi-final series with the Milwaukee Bucks before suffering a bone bruise in the same knee in Game 3.

He missed the remainder of the seven-game series with the Bucks before returning to start Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat.

Another knee injury sent him back to the bench for Game 3, but he then played the rest of Boston's seven-game series with the Heat and every game of Finals with the Golden State Warriors.

Williams has battled injuries throughout his four-year career and wasn't as effective in last season's playoffs compared to the regular season, averaging 7.7 points on 67.9% shooting, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 17 playoff games.

In 61 regular-season games last season, he averaged 10 points on 73.6% shooting, 9.6 boards and 2.2 blocks.

The Celtics went 40-21 in the regular season when he played and 11-10 when he didn't suit up.

Without one of the league's premier rim protectors, veteran Al Horford will be tasked with playing more minutes until Williams returns early in the regular season.

Boston tips off the 2022-23 season on October 18 against the rival Philadelphia 76ers.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving thinks his team "needed" their 4-0 loss to the Boston Celtics in last season's NBA playoffs.

That chastening first-round exit to Irving's former team brought to an end a frustrating campaign for the much-fancied Nets.

With Irving being teamed with Kevin Durant and James Harden, many felt Brooklyn were the favourites to go all the way.

However, Irving only made 29 appearances in all for the Nets, mainly due to his unvaccinated status meaning he could not play any home games until late in the season when the ban in New York on unvaccinated players was lifted.

Durant also missed some games through injury, while Harden struggled for form before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Ben Simmons, who is yet to make his Nets debut.

Speaking on Twitch for streamer KaiCenat, Irving said: "We got 4-0'd my G, we got 4-0'd. It was meant to happen like that. Motivation, bro.

"We needed that humbling experience, especially going against the Celtics. It was already built to be that match-up.

"We're going to see them again, we're going to have to. They're going to be where they're going to be. But those young'uns over there in Boston, bro, I got to see them grow up.

"So to see them do what they did last year on the Finals stage, making it that far, I'm glad they had to go through us."

Irving – who exercised his $37million player option with the Nets for next season in June – still managed to average 27.4 points per game last year, as well as 4.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists.

Becky Hammon was rewarded for leaving Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs as she led the Las Vegas Aces to the WNBA title on Sunday.

Hammon was Popovich's long-time assistant before being hired by the Aces last year, having been passed over for senior NBA roles.

But the six-time WNBA All-Star responded by delivering the Aces their first championship courtesy of a 3-1 Finals win over the Connecticut Sun.

In doing so, Hammon became the first first-time head coach to win the WNBA title since the league's debut season in 1997.

This success came as no surprise to Popovich, however, who said: "We are all thrilled for coach Hammon.

"Winning a championship is a remarkable achievement for a first-time head coach in her first year with a team, yet I'm not at all surprised by her success.

"Becky has proven over and over that she has a unique understanding and passion for the game of basketball.

"Congratulations to Becky, her players and the entire Aces organisation. They played the right way the entire season and were a true joy to watch."

Aces owner Mark Davis added: "She's been absolutely unbelievable, and I guess this legitimises the way we went after her."

But Hammon sought to direct the praise back onto her players, telling ESPN: "Just getting to know them on a day-to-day basis, who they were as people, they're unbelievable on the court, but they're unbelievable humans, first and foremost.

"They care about each other, they invest into each other. It's been an absolute honour to be their coach.

"I saw excellence and I wanted to be a part of it. I'm just super thankful – one through 12, I love you all. It's been so much fun, so much fun."

The Los Angeles Lakers have added some experience to their roster ahead of the new season in the form of Dennis Schroder.

Schroder returns to L.A. after spending the 2020-21 season with the Lakers, before moving to the Boston Celtics and then the Houston Rockets.

The free agent point guard has signed a one-year deal worth a reported $2.64million.

Schroder – who was born in Germany – made 61 appearances in his first spell with the Lakers, averaging 15.4 points per game, as well as 5.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds.

Lakers' vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said the player will provide a "mentality of toughness".

"We are extremely pleased to welcome Dennis Schroder back to the Lakers," Pelinka said. "Not only do Dennis and Coach [Darvin] Ham share a player-coach history together, but they also reflect one another's mentality of toughness with an extremely competitive edge.

"Dennis will add both depth and an on-ball defensive presence to our core at the guard position. He is also a proven scorer and playmaker.

"We are really excited for Dennis to get to camp and get back to work in L.A. after his highly successful run with his national team this offseason."

Schroder played a total of 64 games for the Celtics and Rockets last season, averaging 13.5 PPG, 4.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds.

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