The Portland Trail Blazers extended the contract of Clyde Drexler by one year, an agreement that reportedly will pay the star guard more than $8 million for the 1995-96 season.

The salary is believed to be the highest ever for one season for an athlete in a team sport.

The Trail Blazers did not reveal terms of the agreement, but Drexler said Thursday the deal would add a sixth year to his contract and would pay him more than $8 million for that year.

Drexler, the Trail Blazers' all-time leading scorer and a third-team NBA all-star last season, will earn about $1.2 million this season.


Dave Cowens, player-coach of the Boston Celtics more than a decade ago and the NBA's most valuable player in 1973, was appointed a special assignment scout by the team.

Cowens, a center during his career, is expected to work with incoming big men and the team's younger players. He has been working with Stojko Vrankovic, a Yugoslavian center recently signed, in the team's training camp.


The Hawks trimmed their training camp roster to 17 players by releasing two free agents, G Lanard Copeland and F Henry Turner.

Also, G Alexander Volkov, a second-year player from the Soviet Union, will miss tonight's exhibition opener against Minnesota in Canada because of visa problems. . . .

Ron Harper, whose 1989-90 NBA season ended with a knee injury in January, reached agreement with the Clippers on a four-year, $11 million contract. . . .

In case you missed it, the Suns defeated the Nuggets, 186-123, Thursday night in Tempe, Ariz. Seven Phoenix players scored in double figures and three others had nine points each.