New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith was suspended without pay for five regular-season games by the NBA on Friday for violating the anti-drug program. Smith, coming off offseason surgery on his left knee, will sit out the first five games for which he is eligible and physically able to play. Smith won the Sixth Man of the Year award last season and helped shoot the Knicks into the playoffs before struggling in the postseason. He averaged 18.1 points during the regular season . . . The Minnesota Timberwolves hired former Washington Wizards executive Milt Newton as general manager, with new president of basketball operations Flip Saunders tabbing a familiar face to help him reshape the franchise’s front office. Newton spent the previous 10 years with the Wizards, most recently serving as vice president of player personnel. He worked closely with Saunders when Saunders was the head coach for the Wizards . Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
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