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CLEVELAND (AP) - The NBA champion Cavaliers have made a qualifying offer to popular backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova, making him a restricted free agent.
Dellavedova is expected to draw interest from other teams once free agency begins, and depending on how much he's offered, the Cavs could face a tough decision on whether to re-sign the Australian. The 25-year-old had a solid third season with Cleveland, averaging 7.5 points and 4.4 assists in 24.6 minutes per game.
However, his playing time dwindled during the NBA Finals as coach Tyronn Lue gave minutes to Mo Williams.
Dellavedova was vital for Cleveland during the finals a year ago when Kyrie Irving shattered his kneecap. The 6-foot-4 guard is a relentless defender, and star LeBron James joked during a rally last week that if Dellavedova was battling a bear for a loose ball that "Delly would tear that damn bear up."
CLEVELAND (AP) - The Browns have waived quarterback Connor Shaw, who started Cleveland's 2014 season finale.
Signed as an undrafted free agent after a stellar career at South Carolina, Shaw missed last season with a right thumb injury sustained in the team's exhibition opener. He underwent surgery and was placed on injured reserve in September.
Because of injuries to Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel, the 24-year-old Shaw was forced to start the Browns' last game in 2014 against Baltimore. Despite limited practice time, the third-stringer showed poise while playing with a bruised kidney in a 20-10 loss to the playoff-bound Ravens.
With Shaw gone, the Browns have four quarterbacks on their roster: Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, Austin Davis and rookie Cody Kessler. Griffin, released this winter by Washington, is expected to be named the team's starter by new coach Hue Jackson during training camp.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Danny Espinosa hit a grand slam and a three-run homer to finish with a career-high seven RBIs, and the Washington Nationals cruised past the Cincinnati Reds 13-4 Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.
Espinosa's second career slam put Washington up 8-1 in the third inning, and his next drive made it 13-1 in the fourth. Espinosa ranks second on the team with 15 homers despite usually batting eighth.
The switch-hitting shortstop connected off Brandon Finnegan (3-7) batting right-handed, then went deep from the left side against Josh Smith.
Espinosa's previous career high for RBIs was six, and his only other grand slam came in his fifth major league game on September 6th, 2010.
Gio Gonzalez (4-7) gave up four runs and struck out nine over six innings for the NL East-leading Nationals, whose current winning streak comes on the heels of a seven-game skid. Gonzalez was 0-6 with an 8.44 ERA in his previous seven starts.
CLEVELAND (AP) - A federal court judge has delayed the sentencing of a former NFL wide receiver who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $100,000 from his charities to finance his gambling debts and personal expenses.
Cleveland DOT com reports that attorneys for 68-year-old Reggie Rucker argued that they needed more time to produce medical records that might prove that the former Cleveland Browns player's history of concussions spurred the thefts.
The judge had a conference call Wednesday with prosecutors and the defense team and agreed to an Aug. 3 sentencing date. The Warrensville Heights man faces about two years in prison.
Defense attorneys say they believe repeated hits to the head that Rucker sustained during his 13-year National Football League career could explain why he took the money from his nonviolence nonprofits.