A GRIP ON SPORTS • Let’s see if we have this right. The Seahawks traded Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs for a couple draft picks, including a No. 1 that became L.J. Collier. The Chiefs signed Clark to a $105.5-million five-year contract. Now the Hawks have agreed on a one-year contract with free agent Ziggy Ansah for around $8 million. Seems like a good deal for Seattle.
• If Ansah, the former Lion, can contribute to the Hawks’ pass rush as he did in his best years in Detroit (he had 14.5 sacks in 2015), then Seattle has filled a hole it created by trading Clark.
And has a second-round draft pick next year to boot.
The big question with Ansah, who has 48 sacks in his six years, is health. He has rarely played an entire season. And he’s coming off labrum surgery, fixing an injured shoulder that limited him to seven games last season.
But by letting Clark go, the Hawks were able to rebuild its draft stock a bit, draft and sign a younger defensive lineman, free up cap space for crucial extensions for Bobby Wagner and Jarran Reed, and still have, in Ansah, a pass rusher for whom teams have to game plan.
One player for all that? That’s a pretty good deal.
• The official list of attendees for the NBA draft combine surfaced yesterday and though three Zags were on it, one of them wasn’t Rui Hachimura.
Brandon Clarke, Zach Norvell Jr. and Killian Tillie, yes. Hachimura, no.
What the heck?
After further review, it seems Hachimura is following a game-plan blazed by former Zag Domantas Sabonis and turning down the opportunity to showcase his talents in Chicago next weekend. It’s a strategy that’s also been used by last year’s top pick, Deandre Ayton.
But it was still a bit jarring yesterday to read the 66 names and realize Hachimura’s wasn’t among them.
We will find out June 20, when the NBA holds its draft, if the strategy was the correct one.
• The NCAA released its Academic Progress Rate scores yesterday and none of the local schools were in danger of penalties for low scores.
Nationally, schools seem to have gotten a handle on how to deal with the APR, as the scores remained steady, though there were more schools dealing with possible NCAA penalties than the year before.
• There will be nearly 500 gymnasts in Spokane this weekend for the USA Gymnastics’ Level 9 Western Championships. Jason Shoot has a preview of the meet, which will be at the Spokane Convention Center.
WSU: The basketball roster revamp continues for coach Kyle Smith, with point guard Isaac Bonton sending in his letter of intent yesterday. Theo Lawson has that story, as well as one on another coveted recruit who will announce his decision today. … Elsewhere in the Pac-12, there were some surprises in the conference’s APR scores. … The two defendants were convicted of some charges in the college basketball corruption trial yesterday. And one of them had some things to say about Sean Miller. So did UA’s president. … There is football news from Colorado and Washington.
Idaho: Sophie Hausmann bounced back at the NCAA golf regional but her college career is over.
Indians: Longtime Rangers’ minor league instructor Kenny Hook will manage Spokane this season. Dave Nichols has more in this story.
Chiefs: Larry Weir talked with Spokane’s play-by-play voice Mike Boyle for the latest Press Box pod.
Preps: Gonzaga Prep and Mead won the boys and girls GSL golf titles, respectively, Wednesday. Jim Meehan was at the Deer Park Golf Club and has this story. … Ryan Collingwood has a preview of the GSL’s district-qualifying track meet this week. … Ryan also has this story on a veteran local track coach's newest endeavor.
Seahawks: Ansah is expected to step right in to the pass-rush role – as soon as he’s healthy.
• There is nothing to complain about these days. Just step outside (if you live in Spokane or close by). It is perfect. Sunny and 72. Or at least it will be soon. Whatever you want to do outside, you can do. Perfect. Which is why I’m done with this. Time to get going. Until later …
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