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NBA Notebook: Nash signs with Suns

Associated Press
The NBA notebook …
PHOENIX ó Steve Nash said Monday that it would be a pleasure to finish his career as a member of the Phoenix Suns.
Nash thought about leaving the Suns after this season. After mulling other options, Nash realized there were no guarantees of winning an NBA championship elsewhere.
So he agreed to a two-year, $22 million contract extension that will keep the two-time MVP point guard under contract with the Suns through the 2011-2012 season.
The 35-year-old Nash, entering his 13th NBA season, had one year left on his contract that would pay him $13 million next season.
DENG DINGED
LONDON ó However desperate Luol Deng is to play at the Olympics, the Chicago Bulls forward won’t jeopardize his fitness to help Britain ensure it clinches a spot at London 2012.
The rehabilitation from a right-leg stress fracture that has kept Deng off the court since February is taking longer than expected.While hopeful about returning for the Bulls’ fall training camp and the preseason game against the Utah Jazz on Oct. 6 in London, Deng is not risking playing for Britain before then.
“It’s a very tough decision not being able to play but it was just a tough year last year with my injury,” Deng said in a conference call Monday. “The fracture of my leg was such a serious injury that I need all summer in order to go full speed and I’m not full speed yet, but I’m almost there.
“Right now it’s the right decision, hopefully it will come out as a small sacrifice for my future with the Bulls and my future playing with Britain.”It is the 24-year-old Deng’s first major injury.
TRADEOKLAHOMA CITY ó The Minnesota Timberwolves have picked up another point guard in a swap of veteran backups that will send Etan Thomas to Oklahoma City.
Along with Thomas, Minnesota is sending two of its four second-round picks in the 2010 draft to Oklahoma City in exchange for guards Damien Wilkins and Chucky Atkins.
GOODEN TO MAVS
DALLAS ó A source close to the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the Dallas Mavericks have reached an agreement with free agent big man Drew Gooden.
The source, who did not wish to be identified because a contract hasn’t been signed yet, said Monday that the deal is “verbally done.”
Gooden said on his Twitter page Monday that he had three deciding factors in his decision to join the Mavs: winning, playing time and money. He wrote: “Dallas is the team!”
Owner Mark Cuban did not return an email seeking confirmation of the deal, but did post “Welcome Drew” on his Twitter page.

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