Entries in Center (44)


Star Prospect, 7-Footer Stephen Zimmerman, Commits to UNLV

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Five-star recruit Stephen Zimmerman committed to UNLV via Twitter.

The 7-foot Zimmerman, who played high school ball at Las Vegas' Bishop Gorman High, chose to stay close to home despite being recruited by Kansas, Arizona, Kentucky, and UCLA.

Zimmerman is the No. 10-ranked prospect in the ESPN 100.

UNLV has the chance to have one of the best frontcourts in the NCAA next season if forward Christian Wood decides to return to school instead of entering the NBA Draft. UNLV also brought in Oregon transfer Ben Carter and the No. 27-ranked prospect, forward Derrick Jones.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


ESPN: Dolphins Agree to 5-Year Extension with Mike Pouncey

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey agreed to a five-year, $52.15 contract extension with the Miami Dolphins, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

According to Schefter, Pouncey will receive $22 million guaranteed and an $11 million signing bonus.

The 25-year-old Pouncey has made the Pro Bowl the past two seasons.

Last season, the 6-foot-5, 311-pound Pouncey missed the first four games with a hip injury. He started the final 12 games of the season at guard, but is expected to play this season at his natural position of center.

Pouncey is now the highest-paid center in the NFL.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Jahlil Okafor Will Enter Draft 

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor will leave school and enter the 2015 NBA Draft, Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a release Thursday.

The 6-foot-11, 270-pound Okafor averaged 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game, while helping Duke win its fifth national championship this season.

"Obviously, he has done an incredible job here at Duke and he will always be a part of our Duke basketball family," Krzyzewski said. "We could not be happier for he and his family."

Okafor becomes just the fifth Duke player to enter the draft after his freshman season joining Cory Maggette, Luol Deng, Kyrie Irving, Austin Rivers, and Jabari Parker.

"As early as I can remember, I've fantasized and dreamed of the day that I could play professional basketball," Okafor said in the statement. "I recall at the age of 6, promising my mom and dad that when I made it to the NBA I would buy them both different colored trucks. They would laugh with me in support and encouraged me to dream big and work hard.

"With that being said and now at the age of 19, my dream is still alive."

Okafor is currently ranked as the second best prospect on ESPN NBA Draft Expert Chad Ford's Big Board.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Panthers Agree with Bjugstad on Six-Year Deal

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Florida Panthers agreed on a six-year contract with center Nick Bjugstad Wednesday. 

According to's Pierre LeBrun, Bjugstad will earn $2.85 million for the 2015-16 season, $3.35 million in 2016-17, $3.85 million in 2017-18, $4.3 million in 2018-19, $5 million in 2019-20 and $5.25 million in 2020-21.

“We are very pleased to have agreed to a long-term contract with Nick,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon. “He is a big, strong and skilled forward who will play an important role on our club for the next several seasons. Nick, along with Alexsander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad, Erik Gudbranson and Johnathan Huberdeau are all part of our club’s growing nucleus of young and talented players that will lead our team to future success.”

The 22-year-old Bjugstad leads the Panthers in goals (13), points (21), and game-winning goals (3) this season. 

Bjugstad was selected by Florida with the 19th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Since then he's played in 121 games for the big club compiling 30 goals and 30 assists. 

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


ESPN: Cavs Close To Signing Varejao to 3-Year Extension

NBA Via Cleveland Cavaliers (CLEVELAND) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers are close to signing center Anderson Varejao to a three-year, $30 million extension that would begin at the start of the 2015-16 season, according to

The 32-year-old Varejao has played all of his 10 NBA seasons in Cleveland and is said to be one of LeBron James' "most beloved teammates," according to ESPN NBA Insider Marc Stein.

Varejao will earn $9.7 million this season, the final of his previous six-year, $49 million deal.

For his career, Varejao has averaged 7.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


ESPN: Magic Agree to 4-Year Extension with Vucevic

Ingrim Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Center Nikola Vucevic and the Orlando Magic agreed on a four-year, $53 million contract extension that will begin this season, according to

The 6-foot-10, 240 pound Vucevic joined the Magic in August 2012 when he was acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers in a four-team deal.

The soon-to-be 24-year-old averaged 14.2 points, 11 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game last season.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Center Saku Koivu Calls It a Career 

A.J. Messier/NHLI via Getty Images(ANAHEIM, Calif.) -- Center Saku Koivu has announced his retirement through the NHL Players' Association Wednesday.

The 39-year-old Koivu played 18 NHL seasons, the first 13 with the Montreal Canadiens and the last five with the Anaheim Ducks.

"Looking back at my 22 years of pro hockey, first in Finland and then in the NHL, I feel truly blessed and fulfilled," he said in a statement released by the NHL Players' Association. "I have been contemplating retirement for quite some time and am very confident in my decision at this time and place."

Koivu spent from 1999-2009 as the Canadiens captain. That ties Jean Beliveau for the longest-serving captain in Habs history. "I feel I was truly lucky to have a chance to play for the legendary Canadiens for so many years and serve as captain and share that great honor with many truly legendary captains from before my time," the former All-Star said.

Koivu played in 792 regular season games, recording 191 goals -- 35 of which were game-winners -- and 450 assists.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


ESPN: Bruins Sign Krejci to 6-Year Extension

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Boston Bruins signed center David Krejci to a six-year, $43.5 million extension that will keep him with the team through the 2020-21 season, according to's Pierre LeBrun.

Krejci's has one-year left on his three-year, $15.75 million contract before the new deal kicks in during the 2015-16 season.


The 28-year-old Krejci led the Presidents' Trophy winning Bruins with 69 points last season, while also leading the NHL with a plus-39 rating.

Krejci was selected by the Bruins with the 63rd pick of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Since he started playing on a regular basis in the 2007-08 season, Krejci has tallied 110 goals and 268 assists.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Brandon Sutter Inks 2-Year Deal with Penguins

Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) -- Center Brandon Sutter signed a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday that is worth an average of $3.3 million per season.

“It’s nice to get it done with and over with,” Sutter told the team website. “It’s nice to get signed to a couple years and I’m obviously returning to a team that has a chance to win. I’m exited to be back and glad I can go through the changes that have happened with the coaching staff and new players. I’m just excited to get back (to Pittsburgh) and back to work.”

The 25-year-old Sutter has been with the Penguins since 2012, when he was acquired in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Sutter has played 129 games for Pittsburgh, scoring 24 goals while dishing out 21 assists.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Red Wings Agree to 3-Year Deal with Tatar

Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(DETROIT) -- The Detroit Red Wings agreed to a three-year deal with center Tomas Tatar on Monday.'s Pierre LeBrun reports the deal is worth an average of 2.75 million per season.

The 23-year-old Tatar played his first full season in 2013-14, scoring 19 goals and racking up 39 points in 73 games. He also represented Slovakia in at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Tatar was taken by the Red Wings with the 60th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Since then, he has played 100 games for the Wings, recording 24 goals and dishing out 23 assists.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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