• Deron Williams takes Nets’ $98 million deal: NEW YORK (AP) — Deron Williams is moving to Brooklyn with the Nets, instead of back home to Dallas.
The All-Star point guard said on his Twitter page Tuesday night that he “made a very tough decision today” and posted a picture of the Nets’ new team logo that accompanies their move from New Jersey to Brooklyn.
A person with knowledge of the decision said Williams told the team he was accepting their five-year contract worth $98 million. The person confirmed the agreement on condition of anonymity because contracts can’t be signed until July 11.
Williams, the top free agent available, chose to stay with the Nets over signing with the Mavericks, who hoped they could convince him to come back to the area where he grew up.
It’s a huge triumph for the Nets as they prepare to move into the new Barclays Center to start the 2012-13 season. They gave up an enormous package to get Williams in a surprising February 2011 trade, sending promising forward Derrick Favors, point guard Devin Harris, two first-round draft picks and cash to the Utah Jazz.
• AP source: Allen to visit Heat on Thursday: MIAMI (AP) — The NBA champion Miami Heat will get to make their sales pitch to Ray Allen.
A person familiar with Allen’s plans told The Associated Press that the free-agent shooting guard will visit with Heat officials Thursday. Allen also is scheduled to visit Friday with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans were not announced.
Allen is one of Miami’s top offseason targets, so much so that even NBA MVP LeBron James tweeted last week that he hopes to play alongside him next season. For that to happen, Allen would have to take less money than he almost certainly could make elsewhere.
Miami can offer Allen only the mini mid-level exception worth just more than $3 million for next season, or roughly half what the Boston Celtics are willing to pay to keep the NBA’s leading 3-point shooter. Still, Allen’s willingness to even listen to Heat President Pat Riley suggests that Miami’s financial limits may not be a deterrent to a deal.
• NFL denies appeals of bounty suspensions: NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The NFL has denied the appeals of four players suspended in connection with the league’s bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints.
In his latest ruling handed down on Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell tells Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita that each of them is still welcome to meet with him to give their side of the story, and that he reserves the right to reduce the suspensions should new information be brought forth.
Goodell says he did not take his initial decision lightly. He also points out that although players have said they were wrongly accused based on insufficient evidence, they chose not to participate fully in their appeal hearings.
Vilma is suspended for the entire 2012 season, while Smith will miss four games. Hargrove, now with Green Bay, was suspended eight games, while Fujita, now with Cleveland, suspended three games.
• Arbitrator rules for Brees in franchise tag matter: NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An arbitrator in Philadelphia has ruled with Drew Brees in a dispute over how much the Saints would have to pay him if they applied the franchise tag to the star quarterback again in 2013.
The Saints have already used the tag on Brees for 2012, meaning he can’t negotiate with another team and could be forced to settle for a one-year, $16.3 million deal if he cannot reach a new long-term deal by July 16.
Arbitrator Stephen Burbank’s ruling Tuesday says if New Orleans tries to tag Brees a second year in a row, he would be entitled to a 44 percent raise to more than $23 million because it would be his third-career franchise tag. The NFL had argued he’d be due a 20 percent raise.
• Braves’ Chipper Jones added to NL All-Star roster: ATLANTA (AP) — Braves third baseman Chipper Jones is replacing Dodgers third baseman Matt Kemp on the NL All-Star roster.
Jones had been a candidate to be voted onto the team by fans in baseball’s Final Vote campaign. Instead, the 40-year-old Jones is replacing Kemp, who is on the disabled list with a hamstring injury but plans to participate in the All-Star home run derby.
The Braves announced Jones’ addition to the NL roster on Tuesday.
Jones will be making his eighth All-Star appearance in his final season. He has announced plans to retire after the season.
Jones is hitting .291 with six homers and 29 RBIs.
TRACK & FIELD
• Tarmoh makes US Olympic squad in relay pool: INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jeneba Tarmoh has made the U.S. track and field team for the London Olympics, joining Allyson Felix, Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin on the 127-athlete squad.
Tarmoh was selected as a member of the relay pool after withdrawing from a runoff Monday for the final Olympic spot in the 100 meters. She conceded her position rather than meet Felix at the starting line to break a third-place tie.
Jeremy Wariner, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist, also made the squad as part of the relay pool. Wariner didn’t qualify for a spot in the 400 at U.S. track trials.
The roster announced Tuesday includes four reigning Olympic champions: Lashawn Merritt (400), Angelo Taylor (400 hurdles), Dawn Harper (100 hurdles) and Galt resident Stephanie Brown-Trafton (discus).
• Nev. AG: Nothing criminal in Pacquiao-Bradley bout: LAS VEGAS (AP) — The state attorney general in Nevada says she found no illegalities and no criminal wrongdoing in boxer Manny Pacquiao’s controversial split-decision loss to Timothy Bradley in a welterweight title fight last month in Las Vegas.
An aide to Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto on Tuesday called the matter closed.
Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum manages both fighters. He didn’t immediately respond to a message.
Bradley won 115-113 on two scorecards, while losing by the same margin on the third.
The decision was booed by the June 9 crowd at the MGM Grand arena, and drew a review by the World Boxing Organization.
Arum said in a June 11 letter calling for an inquiry by Masto that he hoped it would “show the world that there were no improprieties.”