The Philadelphia 76ers suspended 19-year-old rookie center Jahlil Okafor two games for recent behavior that included a fight outside a Boston nightclub following an 84-80 loss to the Celtics Nov. 25. Okafor was also cited Oct. 19 in Philadelphia for reckless driving and speeding on the Ben Franklin Bridge. Sixers officials said in a statement Wednesday night before the team’s game against the Knicks in New York they intended to provide resources and support to help Okafor succeed on and off the court. “We have faith in him as a valued member of the Sixers,’’ the statement read. Sixers coach Brett Brown said Tuesday night the team would likely provide security for the 6-foot-11-inch Okafor, Philadelphia’s first-round draft pick (third overall) out of Duke, during public outings . . . Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov and real estate developer Bruce Ratner have reached an agreement that will give Prokhorov sole ownership of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, assets reportedly worth $2 billion. The NBA is reviewing the deal, which would give Prokhorov, who owns 80 percent of the NBA team and building, full ownership of both properties, thus making it easier to sell all or part of either asset, including minority partnerships in the team, arena or both.
Orioles acquire Trumbo in deal with the Mariners
The Orioles completed a two-for-one deal with the Mariners, acquiring first baseman Mark Trumbo and lefthander C.J. Riefenhauser from Seattle for catcher Steve Clevenger. The 29-year-old Trumbo, who is eligible for arbitration, hit .262 with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs in 142 games this past season with the Diamondbacks and Mariners. Clevenger batted .287 in 30 games with the Orioles in 2015. Riefenhauser, dealt by Tampa Bay to Seattle in a six-player trade last month, was 1-0 with a 6.30 ERA in 24 games with the Rays over the last two seasons. Baltimore also avoided arbitration Wednesday by signing righthander Vance Worley to a one-year, $2.6 million contract . . . The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Justin Smoak by signing the 29-year-old first baseman to a one-year, $3.9 million contract. Smoak hit .236 with 18 homers and a career-best 59 RBIs with Toronto this past season . . . The Athletics obtained first baseman Yonder Alonso and lefthander Marc Rzepczynski from the Padres for lefthanders Drew Pomeranz and Jose Torres, plus a player to be named later. Oakland also avoided arbitration by signing former Red Sox lefthander Felix Doubront to a one-year, $2 million deal . . . Former home run king Mark McGwire, whose 2010 admission to steroid abuse tainted his 16-year career and record 70-home run season in 1998, was hired by Padres rookie manager Andy Green as a bench coach and right-hand man. McGwire served as the Cardinals’ hitting coach for three seasons following a hiatus after the end of his career in 2001 . . . Marlins minor leaguer Robert Llera was suspended 60 games effective at the start of the 2016 season under baseball’s minor league drug program. The 22-year-old catcher, who tested positive for a metabolite of Stanozolol, was the 100th minor leaguer suspended this year by the Major League Baseball commissioner’s office under the minor league program.
Maryland hires Michigan def. coordinator Durkin
Maryland hired Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin to be its head coach, taking a key assistant away from one of its Big Ten East rivals. Durkin, 37, in his first season at Michigan under Jim Harbaugh, led a defense that ranked fourth in the nation in yards allowed per game. Durkin worked as Florida’s defensive coordinator for two seasons before joining Harbaugh’s Michigan staff. “He has had success at some of the nation’s preemiment football programs, is recognized as one of the top recruiters in the country, and is widely respected as one of the top young coaches across the college football landscape,’’ Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson said in a statement. Durkin succeeds Randy Edsall, who was dismissed in the middle of a 3-9 season . . . Former Georgia coach Mark Richt appears to be headed back to where his college career began as a player after the former Miami quarterback reached a tentative agreement to become the Hurricanes’ next head coach . . . Junior guard Kris Dunn recorded the second triple-double of his career with 16 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds to lead No. 23 Providence (7-1) past Hartford, 89-69. Dunn achieved the feat with his 10th rebound with 6:32 left . . . Quincy Ford scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds, both game highs, to lead Northeastern (6-1) to an 80-71 victory over Harvard at Matthews Arena . . . Kuran Iverson had game highs with 19 points and 10 rebounds as Rhode Island (5-2) defeated Holy Cross, 74-56, in Kingston, R.I. . . . Jabarie Hinds and Trey Davis scored 20 points each to lead UMass (5-1) to a 99-69 victory over Boston University in Amherst. Justin Alston scored 13 points to lead the Terriers (3-4) . . . Cierra Dillard scored 22 points and Alyssa Lawrence added a career-best 20 as the UMass women (2-4) defeated host Bryant, 86-69.