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Clippers next season

The Chicago Blackhawks are not making changes behind the bench after missing the playoffs for the first time in a decade.

Team President John McDonough told reporters Thursday that he plans to bring back both coach Joel Quenneville and general manager Stan Bowman after a dismal season for a team that has won three Stanley Cup championships since 2010 but stumbled to a last-place finish in the Central Division this season.

”I believe in continuity [url=http://www.bengalscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-alex-erickson-jersey]Alex Erickson Jersey[/url] , they’ve had an incredible body of success,” McDonough told reporters. ”We’re not tethered to the past. This has been a very disappointing year and our expectations are incredibly high. We’re not going to deviate from those expectations. But I believe both Stan and Joel are the guys that are going to bring this back.”

Chicago had reached the playoffs every year since Quenneville took over four games into the 2008-09 season, winning it all in 2010, 2013 and 2015. But the Blackhawks lost in the first round each of the past two years and this year was a nightmare.

Corey Crawford’s upper-body injury in December eventually sidelined the two-time All-Star goaltender for the season, and there was inconsistent play from some of the team’s aging stars and young defensemen.

Still, Chicago has a highly regarded support system and the team has plenty of talent, including star forward Patrick Kane. The Blackhawks have started a youth movement as veterans like Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook have shown some signs of wear and tear. The team’s leading goal scorer, Alex DeBrincat, is 20.

”Joel’s done a very good job with the young players,” McDonough told reporters. ”And I think it’s inspiring to see that there are a lot of good young players on the way. I know at one point, that was kind of a knock on Joel, that he wasn’t proficient at coaching young players. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The 59-year-old Quenneville, a former NHL defenseman and the NHL’s second-winningest coach in history, received a three-year contract extension in January 2016 that runs through the 2019-20 season. He and Bowman will now get a chance to turn things around.

”There were a lot of circumstances that happened this year that were out of our control [url=http://www.coltscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-jack-doyle-jersey]Jack Doyle Jersey[/url] ,” McDonough said. ”And I’m not assessing blame, but I believe in both of them. I want both of them to succeed and I think we’re going to be headed in the right direction, after a lot of reflection and assessment.”

More NHL hockey:

The Latest on the start of NBA free agency (all times EDT):

9:50 a.m.

Aron Baynes, who started virtually every game last season with Boston, is staying with the Celtics.

A person familiar with the negotiations says Baynes has agreed to a two-year deal worth $11 million. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized.

The second year is at Baynes’ option, meaning he could be a free agent again next summer.

Baynes had 19 double-figure scoring games last season for Boston, including playoffs – and the Celtics went 17-2 in those games.

The 6-foot-10 center averaged 6.0 points and 5.4 rebounds last season.

– AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds

3 a.m.

A person familiar with the discussion says LeBron James was in contact with the Cleveland Cavaliers when NBA free agency opened.

Shortly after the 12:01 EDT a.m. start on Sunday, Cavs general manager Koby Altman spoke on the phone to both James and his agent Rich Paul, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussion.

James is an unrestricted free agent and the Cavs are hoping to re-sign the three-time champion, who is weighing whether to change teams for the third time in eight years. James was in Los Angeles and is also being pursued by the Lakers, who have enough salary-cap space to sign him and another star player.

There was a flurry of big-name signings in the first hours of free agency, but James remained noncommittal. The 33-year-old is not expected to drag out a decision that could reshape the league’s landscape.

– Tom Withers in Cleveland.

1:50 a.m.

Trevor Ariza is moving to Arizona.

The Phoenix Suns have lured Ariza in with a $15 million, one-year contract offer, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot yet be signed.

Ariza averaged 11.7 points last season for Houston, and the 33-year-old will likely be looked upon as a veteran presence in a young Phoenix locker room.

Ariza was 0 for 12 from the field in Houston’s Game 7 loss to Golden State in the Western Conference finals [url=http://www.packerscheapstore.com/aaron-jones-jersey-cheap]Aaron Jones Jersey[/url] , missing all nine of his 3-point tries.

– AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds

1:10 a.m.

Gerald Green and his hometown Houston Rockets are staying together.

The Houston native has agreed to a one-year deal at the $2.4 million minimum, a person familiar with the terms tells The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be signed until the NBA’s moratorium ends on Friday.

Green averaged 12.1 points last season for the Rockets, who finished with the NBA’s best regular-season record. He had five games of 20-plus points off the bench last season.

– AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds

1:20 a.m.

Derrick Rose and the Minnesota Timberwolves will be counting on one another next season.

The 2011 NBA MVP has agreed to a one-year deal worth nearly $2.4 million to stay with Minnesota, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said early Sunday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because nothing can be signed until Friday.

Rose appeared in 25 games last season – 16 with Cleveland, then nine off the bench with Minnesota. Rose averaged 5.8 points in those games with the Timberwolves, who went to the first round of the Western Conference playoffs and lost to Houston.

It was Minnesota’s first playoff berth since 2004.

– AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds

1 a.m.

Thunder forward Jerami Grant has agreed to a three-year, $27 million deal with a player option the third year.

Grant’s agent, Happy Walters, confirmed Grant’s decision in a text message to The Associated Press.

Grant averaged 8.4 points per game last season and shot a career-high 53.5 percent from the field. He became more of a factor after the All-Star break playing behind Carmelo Anthony.

Grant again will join the Thunder’s Big Three of Anthony, Paul George and Russell Westbrook.

Walters said Grant ”is psyched to come back to play with Russ and PG.”

12:50 a.m.

Rudy Gay is returning to the San Antonio Spurs.

A person familiar with the terms says Gay has agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal to be back in silver and black next season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be finalized until later in the week.

Gay opted out of the final year of his deal with San Antonio, and wound up re-signing for a raise of about $1.6 million over what he would have made.

Gay was primarily a reserve for the first time last season, his first with the Spurs. He averaged 11.5 points on 47 percent shooting.

– AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds

12:25 a.m.

Two people with knowledge of the deal say the Dallas Mavericks and DeAndre Jordan have agreed on a one-year contract at roughly the $24.1 million the center was set to make with the Clippers next season.

The agreement comes three years after Jordan agreed to join Dallas as an unrestricted free agent but changed his mind before a contract could be signed and stayed in Los Angeles.

The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because deals can’t be signed until Friday. Jordan opted out of the final year of the contract he signed when he jilted the Mavericks in 2015.

The one-year deal gives both sides flexibil

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