- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2009

From combined dispatches

Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns agreed on a two-year, $22 million contract extension, his agent said Monday.

The deal will keep the two-time MVP point guard under contract with the Suns through the 2011-2012 season.

The 35-year-old Nash, entering his 13th NBA season, had one year left on his contract that would pay him $13 million next season.

He will be 38 when the contract expires. He is expected to sign the agreement later this week.

Under the agreement, $6 million of the final two years of the contract will be deferred, with $3 million being paid in each of the two years following the expiration of the contract, Nash’s agent, Bill Duffy said.

TIMBERWOLVES: Forward Mark Madsen said he has been traded along with Sebastian Telfair and Craig Smith to the Los Angeles Clippers for Quentin Richardson.

Timberwolves president David Kahn said the move was not meant to make room for Ricky Rubio’s possible arrival from Spain.

WALKER: Former NBA All-Star Antoine Walker appeared briefly in a Las Vegas court to face criminal charges in a case involving an $822,500 casino gambling debt.

Walker is charged with three felony counts of writing bad checks. Each charge carries a possible one- to four-year prison term.

CONGRESS: The NBA defended its minimum age requirement to Congress, but a critical lawmaker was unmoved and is asking to meet with top league officials to discuss it, according to letters obtained Monday by the Associated Press.

The rule, which is part of the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the players union, requires that players be at least 19 years old and a year out of high school before entering the league.

MAVERICKS: Owner Mark Cuban is accused of wrongfully diverting millions of dollars from the NBA franchise’s home arena to help make up for cash shortfalls incurred by the team, according to a lawsuit filed by a company controlled by the team’s former owner.

The lawsuit says Cuban covered the Mavericks’ financial shortfalls by obtaining more than $29 million in unauthorized loans through a limited partnership designed to distribute profits from the arena, the American Airlines Center. It accuses the Mavericks and three other companies controlled by Cuban of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment.

HAWKS: Atlanta signed its first-round draft choice, guard Jeff Teague. The 6-foot-2 Teague was the 19th choice overall in the 2009 NBA Draft. Terms were not announced.

TV: Shaquille O’Neal will star in “Shaq Vs.,” a TV series in which the All-Star center will challenge top athletes in their respective sports. During one episode, which debuts Aug. 8 on ABC, Shaq will swim against Olympic superstar Michael Phelps.

O’Neal, now with the Cleveland Cavaliers, also will try his football skills against Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, box retired world champion Oscar De La Hoya and trade tennis volleys with Wimbledon champ Serena Williams.

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