Rockets to acquire

Russell Westbrook

The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, a shake up of top point guards and a move that reunites Westbrook with James Harden.

The Thunder also are getting first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, plus the right to swap first-rounders in two other seasons, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the trade has not been announced.

ESPN first reported the agreement.

It is part of a massive shake up by Oklahoma City, which traded Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers and now sends Westbrook – its franchise player – to another West rival while adding to an enormous stockpiling of draft picks. The Thunder got five first-rounders in the trade with the Clippers for George.

And it splits up the pairing of Paul and Harden in Houston, a team with title aspirations. Westbrook and Harden were Thunder teammates, part of a team along with Kevin Durant that went to the 2012 NBA Finals and lost to LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.

Chargers’ Gordon makes demands

Running back Melvin Gordon has informed the Chargers he won’t show up without a new deal.

Fletcher Smith, Gordon’s agent, said he and Gordon did not want to go this route, but because of the lack of progress in negotiations and the offers the Chargers made this offseason, they felt it necessary to voice their displeasure in an effort to reach a more satisfying outcome, whether with a new contract or a trade.

Gordon’s agents remain hopeful of working out a deal with the Chargers, who had no comment on Gordon’s holdout threat. Gordon has not demanded a trade, and the Chargers have not given Gordon’s agents permission to seek one, Smith said.

Gordon would prefer to stay with the Chargers, but he’s willing to go wherever for more money.

Gordon, who is scheduled to make $5.605 million this year, became eligible for a second contract after the 2017 season. He would lose $330,000 for each week of the regular season missed in a holdout. He has been voted to two Pro Bowls and rushed for an average of 5.1 yards per carry and recorded 14 total touchdowns in 2018. He also averaged 114.6 scrimmage yards per game last season

Other top running backs – Todd Gurley, David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell – recently have received new deals, and Gordon wants to be the next one added to that illustrious list.

Marisnick suspended

for collision

Houston Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick has been suspended for two games by Major League Baseball after his violent home plate collision with Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

The suspension was announced Thursday before the AL West-leading Astros played a series opener at Texas in their first game after the All-Star break. Marisnick also was fined.

Lucroy was carted off the field last Sunday after the collision at the end of the eighth inning of a game at Houston the Astros won 11-10 in 10 innings. The Angels catcher sustained a concussion and broken nose. Marisnick was called out for colliding with Lucroy and the call was upheld after a crew chief review.

Marisnick said afterward that it was a “bad play” and that he hoped Lucroy was OK. He also posted on his Twitter later that he “made a split second decision at full speed” and he felt awful that another player got hurt.

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