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Signed Houston Rockets guard James Harden agreed to a five-year, $80 million contract with the team. The Rockets acquired the reigning Sixth Man of the Year in a stunning trade with Oklahoma City on Saturday night. Harden averaged 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists for the Thunder last season.

Exercised The Memphis Grizzlies picked up the fourth-year option on Quincy Pondexter, keeping the former Washington Husky under contract through the 2013-14 season.

Agreed Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry signed a $44 million, four-year contract extension that will keep him with the club through the 2016-17 season. Curry missed 40 of 66 games last season and sprained his twice-surgically repaired right ankle again in the preseason.

Sidelined Minnesota freshman Wally Ellenson has a broken left hand and will miss six to eight weeks. Coach Tubby Smith said after Wednesday’s practice that Ellenson hurt his shooting hand when it caught in a teammate’s jersey during a rebounding drill the day before.

Suspended Los Angeles Clippers swingman Matt Barnes missed the season opener on Wednesday night while serving a one-game suspension issued by the NBA after he pleaded no contest last month to a misdemeanor for resisting, delaying or obstructing a police officer.

Cleared UCLA Bruins freshman Kyle Anderson has been cleared by the NCAA to play basketball this season. UCLA was told that Anderson can play after the NCAA “found no evidence to substantiate claims of violations in his case.” Anderson was being investigated for potential recruiting violations.

Denied Driver Nur Ali was not approved by NASCAR to run the Nationwide Series race this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Ali struggled in his Oct. 20 NASCAR debut where he crashed and finished 33rd during the Nationwide race.

Extended Bulls forward Taj Gibson agreed to a four-year, $38 million contract extension with Chicago just before the NBA deadline.


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