Heat deny Irving offer

July 29, 2017 GMT

Taking the rare step of commenting on trade speculation, the Miami Heat denied an ESPN report yesterday that the team offered point guard Goran Dragic and forward Justise Winslow to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a package for disgruntled guard Kyrie Irving.

ESPN listed the Heat among at least six teams that have made trade pitches, along with the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks.

Heat president Pat Riley denied that any offer, of any sort, had been made for Irving. According to a party familiar with the situation, the Cavaliers’ current demands exceed what the Heat, and apparently several other teams, believe is feasible.

The 25-year-old Irving has three years remaining on a contract that pays $18.9 million this coming season, but he can become a free agent in the 2019 offseason.

This week, the Cavaliers downplayed urgency on the Irving front. . . .

The Knicks and veteran point guard Ramon Sessions agreed to a deal worth $2.3 million, according to a source. New York opted not to re-sign Derrick Rose, who joined the Cavaliers. That left the Knicks without a veteran point guard ahead of Frank Ntilikina, their first-round pick in June.

Sessions played last season in Charlotte and also has played for Milwaukee, Minnesota, Cleveland, the Lakers, Sacramento and Washington. Sessions has averaged 10.6 points in 663 career games.

NHL: Preds sign star center

The Nashville Predators signed top center Ryan Johansen to an eight-year, $64 million contract, the largest deal the franchise has ever handed out.

General manager David Poile said he believes Johansen is poised to become an elite player in the NHL. Now the Predators will pay him an average of $8 million a year through the 2024-25 season. Johansen, 24, tied for the team lead in scoring with 61 points in 82 games last season.

Soccer: No MLS for Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo, the reigning FIFA player of the year and the world’s highest-paid athlete, will not be in Chicago with Real Madrid on Wednesday when the La Liga superpower faces the MLS All-Stars at Soldier Field. Ronaldo is on an extended summer break and will not be rejoining the team until Aug. 5.

Further complicating Ronaldo’s schedule is that he’s expected to be in a Madrid courtroom Monday to testify in a tax-evasion case. Ronaldo has been accused of four counts of tax fraud from 2011-14 totaling $16.5 million. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Tennis: Venus crash update

Video shows a police officer told tennis star Venus Williams she likely caused a crash that fatally injured an elderly man but didn’t cite her, saying it appeared the actions of a third driver left her in a bad spot.

The Palm Beach Gardens police body camera video released shows Williams walking uninjured after the crash and speaking calmly to officers. Williams was initially held at fault but that was later rescinded. . . .

Second-seeded American John Isner beat Lukas Lacko 7-5, 6-4 to reach the BB&T Atlanta Open semifinals. Isner faces third-seeded Gilles Muller. Ryan Harrison and Kyle Edmund are in the other semifinal.

Misc.: U.S. wins water polo

The United States women’s water polo team claimed a record fifth world championship with a 13-6 win over Spain in Budapest, Hungary. Kiley Neushul scored four goals to help the two-time Olympic champions win back-to-back world titles. The U.S. also won worlds in 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2015. . . .

Simone Manuel backed up her historic victory at the Olympics with a world championship in the 100-meter freestyle in Budapest. Last summer in Rio, Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympics swimming gold.