Blazers extend qualifying offer to Layman — As expected, the Portland Trail Blazers have extended forward Jake Layman a qualifying offer, making the third-year forward a restricted free agent and allowing the team to match any offers he may field when free agency opens Sunday. The 25-year-old former second-round draft pick just completed his best pro season yet in his third year out of Maryland, seeing a significant increase in playing time and setting career highs for points (7.6 per game), rebounds (3.1), field-goal percentage (50.9), 3-point percentage (32.6) and minutes (18.7) in 71 appearances (33 starts) during the 2018-19 campaign. Layman’s qualifying offer is for $1.93 million, according to contract website Spotrac. Portland has the Bird Rights to Layman, meaning the team can exceed the salary cap to re-sign him. The Blazers now have 13 players under contract with the addition of rookie forward Nassir Little and two-way signee Jaylen Hoard. The 2019 free-agency period begins Sunday at 3 p.m. Pacific time.
Ex-Duck Wooten to play for Knicks’ summer squad — Kenny Wooten Jr.’s NBA career will begin in the summer league. The former Oregon forward, who went undrafted, has agreed to terms to play for the New York Knicks’ summer league team. The New York Post confirmed that Wooten is joining the Knicks in the Las Vegas-based league. Wooten, who averaged 6.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks for the Ducks last season, made a somewhat surprising decision to remain in the draft rather than return for his junior season. “Kenny is a tremendous athlete and as his game continues to develop,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “He’ll have opportunities at the next level.”
Blues sign coach to 3-year contract extension — The Blues made official Tuesday what everyone had expected the moment Craig Berube led St. Louis to a remarkable turnaround capped by the first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history. They stripped the interim tag from his title and signed him to three-year contract. Berube had been the interim coach since taking over for Mike Yeo on Nov. 19, but general manager Doug Armstrong acknowledged during the playoffs an extension was a foregone conclusion. And that was before the Blues beat the Boston Bruins in seven games to hoist the Stanley Cup. The Blues were in last place at the start of the year, but Berube led them on an 11-game win streak in January and February to position them for the playoffs. They wound up going 38-19-6 in the regular season, then beat the Jets, Stars and Sharks in the playoffs to reach the Stanley Cup Final. In a dramatic, bruising series, the Blues emerged to win the first title in their 52-year history, helping to give a city still smarting from the loss of the St. Louis Rams a reason to celebrate. An estimated 500,000 fans showed up in a downpour for the championship parade 10 days ago.
Orpik retires after 15 seasons, 2 Stanley Cup titles — Brooks Orpik called it a career Tuesday after 15 bruising NHL seasons in which he established himself as a big-hitting, shutdown defenseman and won the Stanley Cup twice. The 38-year-old played 1,171 regular-season and playoff games for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. He won the Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009 and Washington in 2018. Orpik was more known for his physicality and defense than his offense. He put up 194 regular-season and 26 playoff points but also scored the Game 2-winning goal for Washington in the 2018 final on the way to the franchise’s first title. Orpik became a respected alternate captain and leader during his five seasons in Washington. Teammates nicknamed him “Batya” — Russian for “Dad.” Orpik implied throughout this season it could be his last in the NHL. He had surgery in November to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Bengals lose rookie OT for season — Cincinnati Bengals rookie offensive tackle Jonah Williams is expected to miss the season after surgery for a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The team said in a statement that Williams is expected to make a full recovery. He was injured at a practice earlier this month. The Bengals drafted Williams at No. 11 overall in April, looking to upgrade an offensive line that has been a longstanding problem. “We look forward to Jonah being a major contributor in the future, and know that he won’t let this injury deter him from still being an important part of this team,” coach Zac Taylor said in a statement.
— From wire reports