Butler recovering from knee surgery…Pop backs LeBron…B’s get Nash from Rangers

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves say All-Star guard Jimmy Butler has undergone successful meniscus surgery on his right knee, two days after he was injured in a loss at Houston. Butler will be sidelined indefinitely, and the Wolves say further updates on his progress will be issued as he begins rehabilitation. Butler is averaging 22.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 56 games.

CLEVELAND (AP) — San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich praised Cleveland forward LeBron James for his activism and for being a role model to “millions” of kids. Popovich also defended James’ right to speak after he was recently criticized by Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham, who said the NBA’s most high-profile player should “shut up and dribble” after he criticized President Donald Trump. Popovich made the comments before the Spurs beat the Cavaliers, 110-94.

UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins have acquired left wing Rick Nash from the New York Rangers and added depth up front by signing veteran right wing Brian Gionta (jee-AHN’-tah). New York received forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, defenseman Ryan Lindgren, a first-round pick in this year’s draft and a seventh-rounder in 2019. Nash scored a career-high 42 goals with the 2014-15 Rangers, but he’s managed just 56 goals and 102 points in 188 games over the last three years.

UNDATED (AP) — The Maple Leafs have acquired forwards Tomas Plekanec (pleh-KAN’-ehts) and Kyle Baun from the Canadiens for defenseman Rinat Valiev, forward Kerby Rychel and a 2018 second-round draft pick. Plekanec had six goals and 18 assists in 60 games with Montreal this season, while Baun has spent the year in the AHL. And the Nashville Predators have shipped forward Pontus Aberg to the Edmonton Oilers for forward Mark Letestu, who was then dealt to Columbus for a fourth-round pick.

UNDATED (AP) — A person with knowledge of the negotiations says the Minnesota Twins have worked out a one-year, $6.5 million deal with free-agent slugger Logan Morrison. Morrison hit a career-high 38 home runs and drove in 85 runs while playing a career-best 149 games. His .868 OPS in 2017 would have led the Twins.

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