The Chicago Bears remained busy with the NFL trade deadline approaching on Tuesday, acquiring wide receiver Chase Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

The move comes after Chicago traded two-time All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday and pass-rusher Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles last Wednesday. 

The Bears (3-5) are sending a 2023 second-round draft pick to Pittsburgh (2-6) in exchange for Claypool, who has 32 catches for 311 yards and a touchdown reception in eight games this season. 

The Steelers selected Claypool in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, and he has totalled 153 catches for 2,044 yards and 12 TD grabs in 39 games. 

Claypool has run the ball 32 times for 167 yards and two touchdowns in his career, and he threw a one-yard TD pass to Pittsburgh running back Derek Watt in last week's 35-13 loss to the Eagles. 

The Philadelphia Eagles have bolstered their defense by acquiring pass-rusher Robert Quinn from the Chicago Bears on Wednesday.

Quinn, who set a Bears franchise record for sacks in a single season last year with 18.5, leaves a rebuilding Chicago team and joins an Eagles team who are 6-0 with Super Bowl aspirations.

Philadelphia have the NFL's fourth-ranked scoring defence at 17.5 points per game and sent a fourth-round pick to Chicago for Quinn, whose 102 career sacks are tied with three-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald for the sixth-most by an active player.

Quinn has one sack, three quarterback hurries and two tackles for loss in seven games this year, and although the 12-year veteran is not stuffing the stat sheet like he did in 2021, his inspired play on Monday helped the Bears upset the New England Patriots in a stunning 33-14 victory.

Despite the encouraging win, the 3-4 Bears have their eye on the future.

A first-round pick by the St. Louis Rams in 2011, the 32-year-old Quinn is under contract through 2024, with a base salary of $12.8million this year.

Quinn was in his third season with the Bears, and the Eagles will be his fifth team after spending 2018 with the Miami Dolphins and 2019 with the Dallas Cowboys.

The San Francisco 49ers have won the Christian McCaffrey sweepstakes, acquiring the All-Pro running back from the Carolina Panthers on Thursday for four draft picks, according to multiple reports.

Off to an ugly 1-5 start, the Panthers had been considering trading McCaffrey, and they found a partner in the 49ers. Carolina will receive picks in the second, third and fourth round in the 2023 draft, and a fifth-round selection in 2024.

The 26-year-old McCaffrey ranks fourth in the NFL with 670 scrimmage yards, amassing 393 on the ground and another 277 through the air.

He joins a 49ers team that lost starting running back Elijah Mitchell to a sprained MCL in the season opener and quarterback Trey Lance to a season-ending broken ankle the next week.

Despite the significant injuries, the 49ers are 3-3 and in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC West with the Seattle Seahawks and defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

The versatile McCaffrey gives quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo another weapon to an offense that features receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk and tight end George Kittle.

The eighth overall pick of the 2017 draft, McCaffrey’s best season came in 2019, when he became the third player in NFL history to reach 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season. He finished with 1,387 rushing yards and 1,005 receiving yards and 19 total touchdowns to tie for the league lead.

Injuries, however, limited him to just 10 total games in 2020 and ‘21, but he’s suited up for all six games this year.

McCaffrey becomes the second Carolina player traded to an NFC West team this week after the Arizona Cardinals acquired wide receiver Robbie Anderson on Monday.

The Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder have negotiated an eight-player trade, according to reports.

The deal will see center Derrick Favors head to the Rockets, along with Ty Jerome, Theo Maledon, Moe Harkless and a 2025 second-round draft pick.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Thunder will in turn receive David Nwaba, Sterling Brown, Trey Burke and Marquese Chriss from Houston.

It would mean the Thunder will have dropped roughly $10million below the luxury tax threshold, and both teams will have 18 guaranteed contracts on their rosters, which need to be reduced to 15 by October 17.

OKC only acquired Harkless and the 2025 draft pick in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks for Vit Krejci earlier this week, presumably with this deal in mind.

Of the players traded, only Maledon and Nwaba are under contract for the 2023-24 season, both with team options.

The Rockets get their pre-season under way on Sunday with a game against the San Antonio Spurs, while the Thunder face the Denver Nuggets on Monday.

Russell Westbrook's first season with the Los Angeles Lakers was anything but a success and he has been linked with a trade elsewhere, yet he maintains he is all-in ahead of the 2022-23 season.

The 2017 NBA MVP, who turns 34 in November, averaged 18.5 points per game last season – his worst scoring return since his second NBA year – after moving from the Washington Wizards to the Lakers, who missed the playoffs.

The nine-time All-Star also averaged 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists, despite the Lakers bringing together Westbrook alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

There was criticism that Westbrook was not the right fit in that team, although the trio only played together 21 times in their 33-49 season. That has led to suggestions Westbrook could be traded or transitioned into a role that would see him come off the bench.

"I'm all-in on whatever it takes for this team to win," Westbrook told reporters. "I'm prepared for whatever comes my way.

"There's so much optimism on how we can be great, how AD, LeBron, myself – can be unstoppable in my opinion."

The 33-year-old point guard reiterated that he still had plenty to offer, despite the downward trajectory of his 2021-22 statistics.

"I'm not even close to being done," Westbrook said. "I'm super grateful and blessed to be able to go compete year after year, and that's all I can do is prepare myself, my mind, my body for as long as I play.

"I'm going to make mistakes. I'm [occasionally] not going to have good games. There will be times and stretches when I don't play well.

"I've owned that, and there were times last year that I could've played better, and I own that part of it. Moving into this year, I feel even more prepared than I was in years past. That's what I'm looking forward to the most. That, right there, will get me past any struggles that come my way."

Westbrook's tough season also included copping boos and jeers from fans, although he insisted he had no scars from that and was more concerned about its impact on those close to him.

"I had to fight my response on how it affects the people close to me," he said. "To me, that was the important part. Confidence is not something I lack.

"Yes, there were times last season that I wanted to play better – that I should've played better – but my confidence never wavers. Having bad games is part of the NBA, and I understand that.

"The only thing it affected, for me, was the impact that it had on the people closest to me – my mom, dad, wife, brother, close friends.

"We've never had to deal with that as a family. That was the most difficult thing – being booed in the arena and having my kids there. I'd look over at my wife, my parents, and try to get them to know that it's okay. Having played so long in the league, I'm more accustomed to it."

Utah Jazz CEO Danny Ainge says the side lacked resolve and did not believe in each other last season leading to their first-round playoffs exit.

Former Phoenix Suns player and head coach Ainge stepped into the Jazz role in January, after the side had the best record (52-20) in the Western Conference in 2020-21.

But the Jazz bowed out of the 2021-22 playoffs at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, after a 49-33 season.

Key players including Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have since left, along with head coach Quin Snyder who resigned in June, marking a period of change for Utah.

"What I saw during the season was a group of players that really didn't believe in each other," Ainge told reporters on Monday. "Like the whole group, I think they liked each other even more than what was reported, but I'm not sure there was a belief.

"When we got to the playoffs I thought, well this is a team that has had some disappointing playoffs so I thought maybe they're just waiting for the playoffs. I gave them that benefit of the doubt, but it was clear the team didn't perform well in the playoffs again.

"I believe every one of these guys went into every game believing they were going to win, don't get me wrong on that. I'm just saying when adversity hit, the resolve, you could see in a team that has a true belief in having each other's back or one another.

"I think individually they have resolve, but I just don't believe collectively they did. So you see a lot of players trying to do it on their own as the believe in one another wasn't as great as teams I've been on and around that I've seen."

Jazz general manager Justin Zanik claimed that the side's offseason changes, trading out All-Stars Gobert and Mitchell, was about opening up another window to challenge for an NBA title. Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton and Ochai Agbaji all joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of the Mitchell trade.

"You have these conversations and there's a return and you start balancing what you can acquire on the market for perennial All-Star players, and we traded two of them this summer, that necessitates us to make a decision for the organisation that is hard," Zanik said.

"We've got really good players, but you have a timeline you want to open up with a maximum window.

"Previous results kind of told us who we were. It wasn't just a one-year thing. This was a good three-year period where we won a lot of games and had a lot of success, but we were tapped out from a potential stand point and we needed to reset that."

The Cleveland Cavaliers are set to pull off arguably the biggest trade of the offseason by landing three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz, according to reports.

Mitchell, 25, was one of the most desirable stars on the market after it became clear the Jazz were entering a rebuild following their trade of three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.

In return, the Jazz will receive three unprotected first-round picks. They include two future first-round pick swaps in guard Collin Sexton and stretch forward Lauri Markkanen, as well as Ochai Agbaji, who was the 14th selection from this year's NBA Draft.

It is a sizeable haul for the Jazz, who also received four future first-round picks, plus three rotation-level players from the Minnesota Timberwolves for Gobert, putting them in one of the most favourable rebuilding situations in the NBA.

For the Cavaliers, the move affirms their position as a true contender in the Eastern Conference for years to come, after emerging from this past season with a long-term core of Darius Garland, Rookie of the Year runner-up Evan Mobley and All-Star centre Jarrett Allen.

Cleveland will have one of the league's strongest six-man rotations when factoring in fifth pick from the 2020 draft Isaac Okoro – who will likely start at small forward – and potential Sixth Man of the Year Caris Levert.

All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith loves the Chicago Bears, but he does not believe the feeling is mutual.

Smith issued a statement requesting a trade on Tuesday, writing "the new front office regime doesn't value me here".

Set to make $9.735million in the final year of his rookie contract, Smith, who represents himself, had been holding out during training camp while working towards a new deal.

The 25-year-old, however, has become infuriated with negotiating with first-year general manager Ryan Poles and now wants out.

"The new front office regime doesn't value me here," Smith wrote in a statement posted by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

"They've refused to negotiate in good faith, every step of this journey has been 'take it or leave it'.

"The deal sent to me is one that would be bad for myself, and for the entire LB market if I signed it. I've been trying to get something done that's fair since April, but their focus has been on trying to take advantage of me.

"I wanted to be a Bear for my entire career, help this team bring a Super Bowl back to our city.

"However, they have left me no choice than to request a trade that allows me to play for an organisation that truly values what I bring to the table."

Selected eighth overall in the 2018 draft, Smith has been one of the league's top linebackers and was looking to be paid like one.

Smith was reportedly offended by Chicago's backloaded offer that included de-escalators that are not in the contract of any of the other 94 non-quarterbacks making at least $15m per year.

Smith ranked fifth in the NFL in total tackles last season with 163 to go with 12 tackles for loss to earn second-team All-Pro honours for the second straight year.

In 61 career games, he has 538 total tackles, 43 tackles for loss and five interceptions, making him one of just three defensive players with at least 300 tackles, 30 tackles for loss and five interceptions since 2018, along with Darius Leonard and Jamie Collins Sr.

Smith apologised to Chicago fans and implied he could possibly withdraw the trade request if team ownership can restore the fragmented relationship but said it is unlikely he will ever put on a Bears uniform again.

"I haven't had the chance to talk to the McCaskey family, and maybe they can salvage this," he wrote, "but as of right now I don't see a path back to the organisation I truly love."

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has made it abundantly clear that Trey Lance is their man and they are moving on from Jimmy Garoppolo.

Garoppolo, who underwent shoulder surgery in March, led the 49ers to the NFC Championship game, losing 20-17 to eventual Super Bowl LVI champions Los Angeles Rams.

The 30-year-old quarterback is widely expected to depart the 49ers in the off-season, with Shanahan effectively confirming the assumption that 2021 NFL Draft's third pick in Lance will take over.

"We have moved on to Trey," Shanahan told reporters ahead of the 49ers training camp. "This is Trey's team.

"That's nothing against Jimmy. We made that decision a year ago and we're going with that. We're not going to mess around with that anymore.

"Jimmy understands that fully. That's a business decision and that's what makes it not awkward. Jimmy knows we're going with Trey.

"Trey knows we're going with Trey and our team does, and everyone likes both of those guys."

Shanahan along with 49ers general manager John Lynch sat down for a meeting with Garoppolo on Tuesday morning to discuss his future.

Garoppolo has only just been cleared to practice having resumed throwing after his shoulder surgery, meaning opposition teams were reluctant to make trade plans for him until now.

"As soon as we can," Shanahan said about a Garoppolo move.

"Hopefully with everyone being on the same page, hopefully that will happen sooner than later. I think that would be good for him and for us."

Garoppolo threw 20 touchdowns - with his 1.33 per game was ranked 19th in the NFL among quarterbacks - with a 68.3 per cent completion rate for 3,810 yards across the 2021 season.

Meanwhile, Lynch was positive about the future of wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who had requested a trade in April.

"We've had really productive and substantive talks," Lynch said.

"I don't want to get everyone all excited that something is imminent because we're not there yet, but really hopeful that in the near future we'll be able to announce something that is exciting for everyone involved.

"Deebo is here today and we're excited about moving forward with him as part of this team."

Russell Westbrook has split from long-time agent Thad Foucher due to "irreconcilable differences" over "his best pathway forward".

Foucher, who has represented the former MVP for his entire NBA career, revealed the news in a statement released to ESPN.

The development comes as Westbrook's future remains unclear, with his huge contract and underwhelming performances hampering the Los Angeles Lakers.

Trade rumours have circled Westbrook, even as new Lakers coach Darvin Ham described himself as "excited as hell to have Russell Westbrook on our team".

Foucher also feels Westbrook and the Lakers should continue together, although he did not make clear whether this opinion had contributed to their parting.

"I represented Russell Westbrook for 14 years and am proud of our partnership, which included a highly successful 2008 draft, a super-max contract and the only renegotiation-and-extend max contract in history," Foucher's statement read.

"I also supported Russell throughout his rise into a prominent fashion industry figure and recently orchestrated three successive trades on Russell's behalf – culminating with the trade to his hometown Los Angeles Lakers.

"Each time, teams gave up valuable players and assets to acquire Russell – and each time, a new organisation embraced his arrival. We did it together with grace and class.

"Now, with a possibility of a fourth trade in four years, the marketplace is telling the Lakers they must add additional value with Russell in any trade scenario. And even then, such a trade may require Russell to immediately move on from the new team via buyout.

"My belief is that this type of transaction only serves to diminish Russell's value and his best option is to stay with the Lakers, embrace the starting role and support that Darvin Ham publicly offered.

"Russell is a first-ballot Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame player and will prove that again before he is retired.

"Unfortunately, irreconcilable differences exist as to his best pathway forward and we are no longer working together. I wish Russell and his family the very best."

The Carolina Hurricanes have completed a trade with the San Jose Sharks for defenseman Brent Burns.

The six-time All-Star was expected to be moved this week, with both the Hurricanes and the Dallas Stars said to be interested.

And the Canes soon confirmed Burns was dealt on a busy Wednesday in the NHL as free agency opened.

Former Norris Trophy winner Burns is heading to Carolina, along with AHL forward Lane Pederson, while the Sharks receive forward Steven Lorentz, AHL goalie Eetu Makiniemi and a conditional 2023 third-round pick.

Burns has three years left on his contract with an average annual value of $8million, although the Sharks have retained a third of his cap hit.

"Brent has been an elite offensive defenseman in the NHL for a long time," said Canes president and general manager Don Waddell.

"He has produced at a consistent level throughout his career, and we believe adding him brings us closer to our goal of winning the Stanley Cup."

The Portland Trail Blazers are nearing a two-year max extension with Damian Lillard worth $120million.

According to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the extension – which will take his contract through the 2026-27 NBA season – will see the point guard paid $270m over the five years on his current contract.

Lillard is a six-time All-Star who has averaged 24.6 points per game since entering the league as the sixth pick in the 2012 draft.

Only four players – James Harden, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Stephen Curry – have averaged more in that span.

However, he played only 29 games last season due to an abdominal injury and averaged 24 points per game, his fewest since his third season in the league in 2014-15 (21).

With Lillard on the sideline and former backcourt partner C.J. McCollum traded to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Blazers missed the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13 –Lillard's rookie year.

Despite the disappointing campaign, Lillard remains the face of the franchise and, by handing him a lucrative extension, the Blazers have made it clear he will continue to be the focal point as they look to get back among the contenders in the Western Conference.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and guard Darius Garland have agreed to a five-year, $193 million contract extension, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday.  

The extension is the maximum a player can have added to his rookie contract and could be worth a reported $231m.  

The deal is the largest in franchise history.  

Garland scored 21.7 points per game last season and averaged 8.6 assists, helping to guide Cleveland to a resurgence.

With a 44-38 record, 2021-22 was the Cavs' first winning season without LeBron James since 1997-98.  

Garland, 22, is now locked into a promising young core that includes 21-year-old Evan Mobley and 24-year-old Jarrett Allen in the frontcourt.

The Cavs drafted Garland fifth overall in 2019, and the point guard was named to his first All-Star team last season.

Kevin Durant has requested a trade away from the Brooklyn Nets, according to widespread reports.

With free agency due to start later on Thursday, the day's biggest story is certain to centre around the former MVP.

Durant is under contract until 2026, but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said Nets general manager Sean Marks was working with the player and his business manager Rich Kleiman to find a trade.

The 12-time All-Star forward is now 33 yet would command a huge trade package.

Wojnarowski described Durant as "one of the most valuable trade assets ever on the market". He added the Nets had taken calls and would expect "a historic return on players and draft picks".

The Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat have been listed among potential destinations.

Murmurings of discontent around Durant, who joined the Nets from the Golden State Warriors in a 2019 sign-and-trade, had emerged in recent weeks.

Durant had sought to turn the Nets into a contender when he and close friend Kyrie Irving went to Brooklyn, where they were later joined by James Harden.

But the 'big three' did not deliver, and Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers last season as Irving spent an extended period on the sideline after refusing a coronavirus vaccine.

Irving eventually returned to play and has opted in to his contract with the Nets, but Durant now appears determined to force his way out.

The two-time champion and two-time Finals MVP would likely make any suitors a major threat in the 2022-23 season.

Another high-profile star has opted in to a lucrative contract as the NBA continues to prepare for free agency.

Hot on the heels of Kyrie Irving committing to the Brooklyn Nets, with potential destinations for a move thin on the ground, Russell Westbrook has picked up his option with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Westbrook will be paid $47.1million for the 2022-23 season, making it little surprise his decision was reported on Tuesday.

The 2017 NBA MVP endured a difficult first year in LA – to say the least – but will hope for a fresh start under new Lakers coach Darvin Ham.

Westbrook's huge contract made him extremely difficult to trade, limiting the Lakers' moves this offseason significantly.

The New York Knicks have worked to ensure they are not in the same position, despite similarly being tied to a highly paid underperforming player in Julius Randle.

The Knicks traded away their 11th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft among transactions that included dumping Kemba Walker's contract with the Detroit Pistons.

And the Knicks have also come to an agreement for the Pistons to take on both Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks.

These moves have cleared around $30m in cap space, and the Knicks appear determined to spend that money on Jalen Brunson, the Dallas Mavericks point guard.

Brunson is set to be a target for the Knicks after the free agency period begins on Thursday, and his departure would deal a blow to the Mavs and superstar Luka Doncic.

Dallas reached the Western Conference Finals in 2021-22 and have boosted their roster with a move for Christian Wood from the Houston Rockets.

But Brunson was the team's second man behind Doncic, leaving work to do just to get back to the level they have reached in recent months.

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