76ers get rebounder Evans from Nuggets

The Philadelphia 76ers took steps to improve their rebounding by acquiring Reggie Evans in a trade with Denver on Wednesday. The 76ers also acquired the rights to forward Ricky Sanchez from the Nuggets for forward-center Steven Hunter and forward Bobby Jones.

The 6-foot-8-inch Evans led the NBA when he averaged 7.2 rebounds in just 17.1 minutes per game last season, but he didn’t play during Denver’s first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs.

Philadelphia finished 24th of 30 teams in rebounding last season. In each of the last four seasons, Evans has ranked in the top 10 in rebounds per minute.

The 76ers also announced the signing of free-agent center Calvin Booth.

Also: Gonzaga center Josh Heytvelt could be returning to the team after being suspended for possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Heytvelt, 21, has done almost 300 hours of community service, far more than required, and is meeting other obligations.

The 6-11 junior averaged more than 15 points a game and led the team with 7.7 rebounds a game until he and teammate Theo Davis were arrested Feb. 9 after police said they spotted a bag of hallucinogenic mushrooms protruding from a bag in Heytvelt’s vehicle during a traffic stop. Police said they also found a partial marijuana cigarette in Davis’ pocket.

Both players entered court-supervised diversion programs in which the charges against them would be dismissed if they performed specific actions. They were suspended indefinitely from the team.


Maple Leafs forward suspended 15 games

The NHL suspended Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mark Bell for 15 games without pay after his plea last month of no contest to drunken driving and hit-and-run charges.

Bell is in Stage 2 of the NHL’s substance abuse program. He was suspended indefinitely Sept. 4, and the suspension will start once he is cleared to return by the program’s doctors. The doctors also will determine what activities Bell can participate in when Toronto opens training camp today.

Bell was arrested in September 2006 after his sedan rear-ended a pickup truck in Milpitas, Calif., in the San Jose foothills.

The Maple Leafs acquired Bell in June with goalie Vesa Toskala from the San Jose Sharks.

Also: Three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten might retire if he doesn’t play competitive tennis next year.

The 31-year-old Brazilian was ranked No. 1 in 2000 but is now 662nd. He has a 2-7 singles record this season, his first playing regularly on the ATP Tour since hip surgery in September 2004.

Kuerten won the last of his 20 titles in February 2004 and won the French Open in 1997, 2000 and 2001. He will be a reserve on Brazil’s Davis Cup squad that will face Austria from Sept. 21 to 23.

Former pole vault world champion Giuseppe Gibilisco’s two-year doping ban was lifted by the Italian athletics federation.

Gibilisco had asked for the ban to be overturned, and the federation’s appeals commission ruled in his favor, FIDAL said on its Web site. It gave no reasons for the decision, saying it would do so next week.

Sports agent Dwight Manley has resigned as national manager of the Jockeys’ Guild after a year on the job. He was replaced by Terry Meyocks, a former official with the New York Racing Association and National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

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