Timberwolves sign ex-Bull Deng to one-year deal

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Timberwolves have signed free agent forward Luol Deng, the latest former Chicago Bulls player to reunite with coach Tom Thibodeau.

Deng's one-year deal is for the minimum salary of $2.4 million for a player with his experience, according to a person with knowledge of the contract who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team does not release terms.

Deng will join former Bulls teammates Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose in Minnesota. They all played for Thibodeau with Chicago, too.

Just two seasons into a four-year, $72 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, Deng was waived on Sept. 1 in a buyout move that allowed them to spread the final season of that albatross deal over a three-year span of the salary cap limit.

The contract was a remnant of the administration of former Lakers basketball boss Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak, the duo that was dismissed seven months after handing out hefty deals to Deng and center Timofey Mozgov that didn't pan out.

Deng appeared in 56 games during his first season with the Lakers, but he played in just one game in 2017-18 with Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka in charge of the front office. He appeared in the opener before dropping out of the rotation and eventually spending long stretches away from the team, an awkward fit for coach Luke Walton's fast-paced system. Deng requested a buyout or a trade, but the Lakers found no takers for the 33-year-old and didn't want to absorb the salary-cap constraint of waiving him during the season.

SOCCER

CULIACAN, Mexico (AP) - Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona said he has left his off-the-pitch issues behind as he was formally introduced as the new coach of Mexican second-tier club Dorados de Sinaloa.

Visibly jovial during a news conference at a luxury hotel in the Sinaloa state capital, Culiacan, Maradona assured Dorados fans that he didn't come to Mexico for a vacation.

"We are all judged and we think we have the word of truth, but how many people are there here who do worse things than us and don't end up in any newspaper?" Maradona said. "I came here to work, and I came to give my heart."

HOCKEY

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The Golden Knights wasted little time in making sure Max Pacioretty will be around for the long haul after pulling off the trade that is bringing the former Montreal Canadiens captain to Las Vegas.

The team announced it had signed Pacioretty to a $28 million, four-year contract extension that runs through the 2022-23 season. The 29-year-old Pacioretty was entering the final season of a six-year deal.

The Stanley Cup runner-up Golden Knights acquired the All-Star forward Sunday night from the Canadiens for Tomas Tatar, prospect Nick Suzuki and a 2019 second-round pick.

TENNIS

LONDON (AP) - The International Tennis Federation is defending the chair umpire who gave Serena Williams three code violations during the U.S. Open final, saying his "decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules."

Williams was cited by Carlos Ramos three times Saturday during her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka: for getting coaching signals; for breaking her racket, which cost her a point; and for calling Ramos a thief, which cost her a game.

On Sunday, the tournament referee docked Williams $10,000 for "verbal abuse" of the chair umpire, $4,000 for being warned for coaching and $3,000 for breaking her racket.

The ITF said in a statement Ramos' citations were "reaffirmed by the U.S. Open's decision to fine Serena Williams for the three offenses."

BASEBALL

DETROIT (AP) - Justin Verlander made it seem like old times at Comerica Park, drawing several big cheers and pitching seven sharp innings in his return to his former home while leading the Houston Astros over the Detroit Tigers 3-2.

Verlander struck out 10 in his first game in Detroit since being traded to Houston in August 2017. The World Series champion Astros opened a three-game lead over Oakland atop the AL West.

Verlander made his major league debut with Detroit in 2005 and ranks among the top 10 on several of the team's career pitching lists.

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