Golden State point guard Baron Davis elected to become a free agent Monday night, opting out of the final year of his contract with the Warriors in a surprise move.
Davis had until Monday night to decide whether to turn down his $17.8 million contract for next season, the final year of a six-year deal. The Warriors didn’t expect him to opt out of the deal despite little progress in the parties’ long-term contract negotiation, but club spokesman Raymond Ridder said they received a letter from Davis’ agent, Todd Ramasar, late Monday indicating his intentions.
Davis still could return to Golden State as a free agent, but his opt-out clause was his only bit of leverage in forcing contract talks with the Warriors before next summer. The former All-Star also is now free to negotiate with other clubs, possibly facilitating a sign-and-trade deal with Golden State.
“Two-time All-Star forward Antawn Jamison has re-signed with the Washington Wizards, agreeing to a four-year, $50 million deal.
The contract clears the way for the team to focus on its other major free agent: three-time All-Star Gilbert Arenas. Arenas has said he would not return unless the team also re-signed Jamison.
“The free-agent season begins today as teams were able to begin negotiating with free agents at 12:01 a.m., but can’t sign anyone to contracts until July 9.
“The Los Angeles Lakers have given qualifying offers to restricted free agents Sasha Vujacic and Ronny Turiaf.
As restricted free agents, Vujacic and Turiaf may sign an offer sheet with any team, but the Lakers would have the right to match.
Lightning sign Malone
The Tampa Bay Lightning signed left wing Ryan Malone to a seven-year contract.
Malone was acquired from Pittsburgh along with Gary Roberts, who signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay, last weekend in exchange for a conditional draft pick in 2009.
Malone played in 77 games with the Penguins last season, scoring 27 goals with 51 points.
The Lightning also signed forward Vinny Prospal to a multiyear deal.
“The Buffalo Sabres rewarded Paul Gaustad for his hard-hitting style, re-signing the blue-collar center to a four-year, $9.2 million contract.
The Sabres announced the signing prior to the start of the NHL’s free agency period, which opened today.
Patriots DB arrested
New England Patriots defensive back Willie Andrews is being held without bail after allegedly pointing a handgun at his girlfriend’s head.
A spokesman for the Bristol County district attorney said Andrews was arrested Monday morning after the alleged incident, which occurred when Andrews returned to his Mansfield, Mass., home at about 1 a.m. and an argument began between him and his girlfriend.
Gregg Miliote said Andrews was charged with illegal possession of a large capacity firearm and assault with a dangerous weapon.
“Georgia Tech cornerback Jerrard Tarrant has been charged with rape and has been suspended from the team.
The alleged victim said she was raped at an on-campus dormitory April 25 and reported the incident to police that morning, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Charles Lea, an attorney representing Tarrant, said his client is innocent of the charges.
“Poker professional Scotty Nguyen won nearly $2 million at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, topping a field of 148 players and emerging from a marathon final table with his fifth gold bracelet.
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