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NEWSWIRE

Fisher is expected to clear waivers, sign with Lakers

July 19, 2007|Mike Bresnahan, Eric Stephens | From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Derek Fisher is scheduled to clear waivers this afternoon at 3, meaning the Lakers can sign him as early as today if no other team claims him.

Fisher last week agreed in principle to return to the Lakers on a three-year contract worth about $14 million.

Fisher could be claimed by another team willing to award him the three years and nearly $21 million left on his contract when Utah agreed to release him earlier this month, although that is considered a slim possibility.

Fisher, who turns 33 next month, averaged 10.1 points and 3.3 assists while playing all 82 regular-season games last season for the Jazz. He is expected to be a starter for the Lakers, with whom he spent eight seasons after being drafted out of Arkansas Little Rock in 1996.

-- Mike Bresnahan

MOTOR RACING

Marlin, Nemechek out at Ginn Racing

Ginn Racing replaced Sterling Marlin in its No. 14 Chevrolet with 23-year-old rookie Regan Smith, and released veteran Joe Nemechek.

Jay Frye, Ginn Racing's chief officer and general manager, said that Aric Almirola, 23, signed with Ginn Racing from Joe Gibbs Racing and will become Mark Martin's co-driver in the No. 01 Chevrolet for the remainder of this season.

Terry Labonte will replace Michael Waltrip in next week's NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Labonte, a two-time NASCAR champion, will drive the No. 55 Toyota and be assured of a spot in the field based on his status as a former champion.

Waltrip has struggled this season, his first as a full-time owner and driver. He has qualified for only four of 19 events.

TENNIS

Top-ranked Federer heads field for U.S. Open

Three-time defending champion Roger Federer heads the men's field for the U.S. Open, which includes all of the players ranked in the top 100.

The top-ranked Federer will try to become the first man to win the Grand Slam tournament four consecutive times in the Open era, and the first with that many in a row since Bill Tilden won six U.S. championships from 1920 to 1925. The tournament is Aug. 27 to Sept. 9.

Defending champion David Ferrer was eliminated from the Mercedes Cup at Stuttgart, Germany, losing in the second round to Fernando Verdasco, 7-5, 6-3.

Second-seeded Martina Mueller advanced to the quarterfinals of the Palermo International in Italy with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Conchita Martinez Granados. She will play Flavia Pennetta, who defeated Edina Gallovits, 6-3, 6-1.

JURISPRUDENCE

Nebraska's Purify sentenced to probation

Nebraska wide receiver Maurice Purify pleaded no contest in Lincoln, Neb., to four charges as part of a deal with prosecutors.

A Lancaster County judge sentenced him to a year of probation and fined him $1,250. He awaits word from Coach Bill Callahan about disciplinary action. Purify was found guilty of driving while intoxicated, assault, disturbing the peace and hindering arrest.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Brewster dismisses four players from team

Minnesota Coach Tim Brewster kicked four players off the team for their alleged involvement in the rape of an 18-year-old woman.

Brewster dismissed cornerback Dominic Jones, who was charged Monday with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, and three teammates who have not yet been charged with a crime -- running back E.J. Jones, defensive end Alex Daniels and defensive back Keith Massey.

HOCKEY

Kings agree to terms with first-round pick

The Kings agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract with defenseman Thomas Hickey, the club's first-round selection -- the fourth overall pick -- in the 2007 NHL entry draft.

Hickey, 18, played in 68 regular-season games last season with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League and had 50 points.

The Ducks signed left wings Jason King and Dan LaCouture along with defenseman Brett Skinner to one-year, two-way contracts that allow the club to option them to the minor leagues without the players being exposed to waivers.

King, 25, was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks on June 23 for Ryan Shannon. LaCouture, 30, is a free agent who has played with five teams, most recently with New Jersey.

Skinner, 24, split last season with Omaha and Portland, the Ducks' minor league affiliate, in the American Hockey League.

-- Eric Stephens

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