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Steelers' Ta'amu apologizes for Pittsburgh arrest

Steelers' Ta'amu apologizes for Pittsburgh arrest

PITTSBURGH (AP) Pittsburgh Steelers rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu apologized after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing on charges stemming from an alleged drunken-driving rampage.

The 22-year-old fourth-round draft pick was arrested last month after police said he crashed into several other cars, then ran away from officers on the city's South Side, a neighborhood known for bars and night clubs.

After his brief appearance Thursday in Pittsburgh Municipal Court, Ta'amu told reporters, ``If there was any other word I would say it, but `sorry' is the only word I can say right now.''

Ta'amu, of Kent, Wash., was driving an SUV the wrong way at about 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 14 when he fled from officers and crashed into four parked cars, injuring a woman, police said. He then tried to run away before he was restrained by four officers and arrested, authorities said.

He'll be formally arraigned Dec. 31 on felony charges of aggravated assault by vehicle and fleeing and eluding police, as well as misdemeanor charges including resisting arrest, escape and DUI. By waiving the hearing, Ta'amu acknowledged there was enough evidence for him to stand trial, although he could seek to resolve them through a plea bargain.

Three charges of felony aggravated assault - all for allegedly fighting with police - were withdrawn, but 18 other felony, misdemeanor and summary citations are now headed to Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

Defense attorney Robert Del Greco said Ta'amu is trying to negotiate financial settlements to pay for the damage and injuries he caused.

``He is contrite. He has accepted responsibility and is in counseling'' for alcoholism, Del Greco told reporters.

Police have said that a breath test showed Ta'amu's blood-alcohol content was 0.196 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

The Steelers suspended him for two games immediately after his arrest. He's back on the roster, though he has yet to play this season.

Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

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Former Hoya Marcus Derrickson signs a two-way contract with Golden State Warriors

Leaving the Georgetown Hoyas a season early is initially paying off for Marcus Derrickson. 

Less than a month before what would have been his senior season at Georgetown, the 6-7 forward has signed a two-way contract with the Golden State Warriors. 

Derrickson nabbed the second two-way position on the Warriors after an outstanding Summer League translated to a solid preseason.

Fitting right into the Warriors deep-ball oriented scheme, Derrickson was 6-16 from three point range during the five-game preseason. He's a versatile stretch-four that continues to develop and improve on his outside game. 

By signing a two-way contract, the former All-Big East Second teamer will have a chance to get called up to the two-time defending NBA champions at any point this season for up to 45 days. The remaining time will be with the Warriors' G-league affiliate the Santa Cruz Warriors

This arrangement will earn Derrickson a contract of $75,000 and a prorated amount for however much time he is practicing/ playing with Golden State. 

If he is called up to the NBA for more than the allotted 45 days, then the Warriors are obligated to give him a minimum rookie contract. 

Derrickson continues to prove himself as the list of aspiring players dwindles. As each contract begins to near its end, the Warriors time after time offer another opportunity.

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Trading Jodie Meeks gives Washington Wizards much-needed salary cap relief

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Trading Jodie Meeks gives Washington Wizards much-needed salary cap relief

With a luxury tax bill of approximately $19 million on the way, the Washington Wizards gave themselves some salary relief on Monday by trading veteran guard Jodie Meeks to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Wizards attached a future second round pick and cash to the deal and in exchange received a future second round pick of their own, NBC Sports Washington has confirmed. ESPN first reported the news.

Though Meeks, 31, was due to make $3.45 million this season, his departure saves the Wizards about $7 million because of projected tax penalties. That's a lot of savings in a deal that got rid of a player who had become expendable.

Meeks had fallen out of favor with the Wizards for a variety of reasons. He was due to serve a 19-game suspension to begin the season due to performance-enhancing drugs. The ban was announced the day before their first round playoff series against the Raptors was set to begin in April.

Meeks also underperformed last season in the first year of his contract with the Wizards and requested a trade in February. This summer, Meeks exercised his player option to remain with the team.

The Wizards were not likely to count on Meeks much at all this season because they traded for Austin Rivers in June to add depth at the shooting guard position. Meeks' role was made clear by the fact he did not appear in any of the Wizards' four preseason games against NBA opponents.

Meeks' tenure in Washington was a significant disappointment. The Wizards signed him last summer in hopes he could shore up the shooting guard spot on their bench. 

Though he stayed healthy for the first time in years, he never earned the trust of his coaching staff. The Wizards opted to rely more heavily on starter Bradley Beal, who logged the fourth-most minutes of any NBA player last season.

Now, they are moving on.

Meeks leaving the organization should have little effect on the Wizards, though it does leave them with a hole on their roster that needs to be filled. They currently have 13 players, one below the league minimum. The Wizards now have 14 days to add a 14th player.

They could sign a free agent, convert one of their players on two-way contracts (Devin Robinson and Jordan McRae) or make a trade. The Meeks deal gives them a $3.45 million trade exception.

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