Monthly Archives: August 2017

It appears as close to a sure thing as we’ve seen with Melo to this point.

The Cavaliers had a massive $121 million payroll in 2016-17 and face a $45 million luxury tax bill on top of that. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love aren’t cheap, and re-signing Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, and J.R. Smith in recent years got quite expensive. Cleveland will begin triggering the oppressive repeater tax in 2017-18, which will increase its inevitable luxury tax bill an additional 44 percent.

(The repeater tax enters the picture when a team has triggered the tax in three of the four previous seasons. This is Year 3 of the tax for Cleveland, so it has not yet been triggered. If the Cavaliers go one dollar over the tax next year — and they will — the repeater will be triggered for both 2017-18 and 2018-19.)

So Gilbert paid $166 million for a roster that made the NBA Finals. We don’t know how much revenue such a good team pulled in, but chances are the Cavaliers lost money this season. Forbes reported that the Cavaliers lost $40 million in 2016-17 despite winning the championship. Those reported 2015-16 losses came with the same total payroll as Cleveland carried this season. Odds are there were significant losses.

It appears as close to a sure thing as we’ve seen with Melo to this point. We even had Nene making (and deleting) Instagram posts with Anthony photoshopped in full Rockets gear.

This is real. It’s probably in the works right now. Anthony’s window in New York is closed, and it’s seems he’s ready to move on if it means competing.

Anthony averaged 22.4 points with 5.9 rebounds per game last season. He also put up the second lowest player efficiency rating of his career at 17.9 — the worst since his rookie season.

It’s time to start anew for Anthony. He hasn’t been to a Conference Finals since 2009 and hasn’t really come close despite playing in a weak Eastern Conference. He’s only won more than 50 games once since coming to New York and that 2013 season feels like a lifetime ago now.


Joel Embiid fined $10,000 for ‘inappropriate language on social media’

The NBA announced Saturday it has fined Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid for using inappropriate language on social media. The league did not specify for which post it fined Embiid, but the 23-year-old Cameroonian big man recently delivered a three-word, expletive-laced statement at LaVar Ball, the father to Lakers’ draft pick Lonzo Ball, during a livestream from his Instagram account.

Ten-thousand dollars isn’t much to a player who’ll haul in more than $6 million this season. But maybe Embiid should watch his mouth when he talks about other players’ families on social media from now on.

Ginobili may very well retire. We thought that could be the case a year ago as well … and he ended up with a nice eight-figure contract. So long as Ginobili wants to play in the NBA, he should be paid handsomely to do so. The world needs Manu more than ever.

Daniel Sedin Authentic Jersey Hayward is one of the biggest prizes of free agency, and it’s easy to see why. Hayward’s an ascendant highly efficient scorer who moves the ball well and is just 27 years old. He may not be an All-NBA caliber player, but he’s quite possibly a regular all-star over the length of his next contract. You dream about landing players like this in free agency. Kevin Durant was the only better player to switch teams in free agency a year ago.
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Utah has home-court advantage both in terms of total guaranteed salary and comfort level. But Hayward will look around, and he could make a massive difference for a new team like Boston or Miami.

3 winners from Sunday’s WNBA showcase

The WNBA was at its best on Sunday with a three-game slate delivering tons of action for basketball fans. The Minnesota Lynx faced off against the Indiana Fever in a matchup of two perennial All-Stars in Candice Dupree and Maya Moore. The Dallas Wings and Los Angeles Sparks went head to head, and Kristi Toliver took over as the Washington Mystics survived the Phoenix Mercury.

Here are a few winners from Sunday’s action in case you missed it:

Lowry’s payday, while substantial, wasn’t as large as he hoped because Toronto wasn’t willing to give him that fifth year and he couldn’t find an offer as lucrative as he wanted elsewhere. The market may get even worse for Thomas next year with only a handful of teams able to dish out money for maximum level salaries as the cap tightens. Even many of those teams are already set at point guard and don’t need to sign Thomas.

By virtue of circumstance, Thomas, despite vastly outperforming his current contract, may not get the full reward he so transparently desires.

The good news for Thomas is the Celtics’ moves to this point suggest they’re willing to commit to him. They traded away a chance to snag elite point guard prospect Markelle Fultz in the draft and were willing to deal Avery Bradley to Detroit to save money for next offseason.
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Limited Kids Blake Bortles Jersey The question is for how much. For his sake, he should hope Ainge is willing to buy him more slides and then some.

The Cavs’ new jersey promo lives in a world where everything’s cool with Kyrie Irving

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The Cavaliers used the hashtag #AllForOne in a jersey commercial that included Irving, who requested a trade from Cleveland in July citing his desire to play away from LeBron James next season. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and new general manager Koby Altman have been in no rush to deal Irving, who has two years remaining on his contract after the upcoming season.

An 80 overall ranking is a pretty high rating for a rookie in 2K. Last season, the top two picks overall, Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram, were ranked 79 and 78 overall respectively. This rookie class is coming in with quite possibly twice the hype, though. Everyone will be itching to test the pair of elite athletes right away, especially Fultz, whose team may be a competitive one to play with for the first time in a while.

The video game updates throughout the season, so Fultz’s and Ball’s ratings will change. But from the very beginning, they should be fun to use when the game comes out in September.
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Two weeks ago, it was announced that cover athlete in America, Kyrie Irving, would be a 90 overall, cover of the Canadian edition, DeMar DeRozan, an 89, Karl-Anthony Towns 90, Joel Embiid 86 and Devin Booker also 86.

We’re still waiting to see who will be the game’s highest-rated player.

Elhassan lumps players Rivers has acquired into three main categories: Players who played for Rivers previously, players who went off against Rivers in the playoffs and players who are literally Doc Rivers’ son. It highlights the seemingly uncreative and lackluster job Rivers has done as the Clippers’ final say on all basketball decisions, a tendency which might be hampering a talented core that’s earned a reputation for falling short in the postseason.

Joe Horn’s son, Jaycee, is a 4-star cornerback with hands like his dad’s

College football’s 2018 recruiting class has a couple of star defensive backs who are the sons of recent NFL stars. LSU lean Patrick Surtain Jr. is arguably the most hyped cornerback recruit of all time. Asante Samuel Jr. is committed to Florida State. And there’s Jaycee Horn, the four-star Alpharetta (Ga.) corner and son of Joe.

Joe Horn played 12 NFL seasons with the Chiefs, Saints, and Falcons, though he’s remembered mostly for his time in New Orleans. Horn had 58 touchdowns and nearly 9,000 receiving yards in his career. He made four Pro Bowls. He sits 188th on the league’s all-purpose yardage list, with 9,212.

Aguayo’s performance was up and down throughout training camp, and his missed opportunities against the Bengals convinced the team to move forward with Folk instead.

“That’s something that will definitely be talked about,” Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter said after the game. “You’re a kicker, you gotta make your kicks.

“He kicked off well but … that was a good situation for our competition (at the end).”

In Chicago, Aguayo will compete with veteran Connor Barth for a chance to win that role with the Bears. Barth hasn’t missed a field goal or extra point in preseason action so far.

Last season, Aguayo led the league for missed field goals with nine. He also missed two extra point attempts.

Aguayo was one of the best kickers in college football history, but his transition to the NFL hasn’t been impressive. Now he’ll get a fresh start in Chicago with the Bears.redskins_103_0fcebec1621a3e75-180x180

Islanders fans remind sports world what trade deadlines are all about

Michael Strahan Game Jersey The NHL trade deadline usually brings massive amounts of stress to thousands of hockey fans across the nation. This year, one fan base took it to the next level.

Leave it to Islanders fans and the hashtag #IslesTwitter to remind us just what the trade deadline is all about: a collective group of living, breathing, trade-starved maniacs (in a good way), impatiently waiting to see how the roster is shaped for the stretch run of the season.

Jarred Tinordi Game Jersey Islanders fans took it as far as to track the team plane — which was bound for Dallas as the Isles prep to take on the Stars on Thursday — to see who, if anyone, would be getting off and redirected elsewhere.

It was like watching a beautifully executed two-on-one late in the third period.

The 28-year-old is one of the best puck-moving defensemen in the NHL enjoying a career-best season by offensive production standards. The right-handed shot is fourth among blue-liners with 42 points in 61 games; his 11 goals are second to the 27 scored by Brent Burns, who’s having an MVP-caliber year.

Recent injury scares to defensemen Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik exposed a potential chink in Washington’s armor. The team acquired Tom Gilbert from the Kings last week to play on the right side as veteran insurance, but Shattenkirk is an all-in move.

That’s not yet true of Pastrnak, per agent J.P. Barry, who insists negotiations with the Bruins are ongoing with the sides hopefully coming to an agreement within the month.

This isn’t to suggest that Sandoval was remotely comparable to Gwynn or David Ortiz.

Elite Bobby Portis Jersey I don’t know when that picture was taken, and I don’t care. Tony Gwynn used to have the lithe body of a college basketball player, and then he didn’t. At no point did he stop hitting baseballs hard. He was a marvel, an absolute marvel, and nobody cared what he looked like.

I’m not sure if there’s a great example in recent Red Sox history of a hitter who might have been a little round above the belt but still performed at an All-Star level until he was 40. If I think of one, I’ll let you know.

Just that the argument Hitters need to have abs of steel to hit is patently false. If you didn’t like Sandoval’s chances to succeed, you would have to offer up reasons other than not muscly, because hitters need to have muscles until they don’t. If your argument is that Sandoval was specifically ill-equipped to carry that much extra weight — I would listen to the evidence for that argument! — that’s one thing. But the blanket statement doesn’t teach us anything.

Sandoval wasn’t coming off his strongest season in 2014; that much I’ll concede. But he still had a 111 OPS+ and 16 homers in one of the most extreme pitcher’s parks in history. His above-average defense (I watched it, it was real, I promise!) made him a three-win player that year, and he was just 27. That’s a player who shouldn’t scare a team away from a five-year deal.
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Or for an example that actually happened, look at the Royals in 2014. It was disappointing for their fans when they lost in the World Series, sure, but it was clearly a net positive for them to claw their way back from the abyss, stun the world just to get past the Wild Card Game and mow through the rest of the American League.

MLB All-Star Game 2017 livestream: How to watch the Midsummer Classic online

Elite Brandon Williams Jersey The 88th MLB All-Star Game is all set for Marlins Park in Miami, with stars from around the game taking their talents to South Beach for the annual midsummer classic.

Fox will televise the game beginning at 8 p.m. ET, with Joe Buck calling the play-by-play along with analyst John Smoltz in the booth. Also on the broadcast are veteran reporters Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci from both dugouts. Online streaming is available through Fox Sports Go.

Elite Deacon Jones Jersey The Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros enter the All-Star break with the two best records in baseball, easily tops in the National League and American League, respectively. Both teams are well represented in Miami, with six players from each making the trip.

The Yankees have been a tough team to get a pulse on this season, looking like a contender at points with a 21-9 record through 30 games and a 38-23 record through 61 games, while also looking lost in stretches like their 7-18 run to end the first half.

Pineda will try to get his game back on track this week after posting an ugly 7.30 ERA and surrendering seven home runs over his last five starts. New York is 4-8 in its last 12 games at Fenway Park.

Friday night’s total is set at nine runs. The UNDER is 3-0 in the last three games between these two rivals in Boston.

This series will continue on Saturday night with Chris Sale slated to start for the Red Sox and then a doubleheader on Sunday that will feature Rick Porcello in the morning game and David Price at night.

Lucky Whitehead out indefinitely with broken foot as unlucky summer continues

Lucky Whitehead hasn’t been so lucky lately, and his summer took a turn for the worst this week.

The Jets receiver sustained a broken foot and is out indefinitely, the team announced Tuesday.

Newton threw to receivers during Tuesday’s workout at camp in Spartanburg, S.C., for the first time since being pulled halfway through a July 30 practice because of what the team described as fatigue and soreness in his right shoulder.

The Panthers have been cautious with Newton since he underwent surgery on his right shoulder in March to repair a partially torn rotator cuff. They still don’t have a definitive timeline for his full return.

Newton didn’t play in Carolina’s preseason opener against the Texans on Wednesday, but he is reportedly expected to get in on the action “at some point” in the preseason ahead of the team’s regular-season opener Sept. 10 at San Francisco.

Kundla was born in Star Junction, Penn., but grew up in Minneapolis. Prior to coaching the Lakers, he spent one season leading the basketball program for the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

Instead of moving with the Lakers to Los Angeles, Kundla stayed in the Twin Cities and took over the University of Minnesota basketball program in 1959. Kundla was a standout basketball player for the Gophers and coached his alma mater for nine seasons, but had just three winning seasons and failed to make the NCAA Tournament.

Remembered as a humble coach with an attention to detail, Kundla was praised for his ability to adjust to the ebb and flow of a game. He coached through the widening of the court and the implementation of the shot clock.
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Record day for Ryan Zimmerman as Justin Verlander shines for Tigers

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After three straight years of playing less than 120 games and declining productivity, many had written off Ryan Zimmerman as a legitimate player, forget an All-Star.

Zimmerman’s career has seen a resurgence this season as he is on his way to career highs in home runs, RBIs and batting average. That continued Wednesday as he went 4 for 4 with two home runs, five RBIs and a new record to boot.

The Nationals first baseman, who went to his second All-Star Game this year, led off the second inning of Washington’s 10-1 win over the Marlins with a solo home run. The home run gave him his 906th career RBI to pass Tim Wallach as the franchise’s all-time RBI leader. Wallach was a five-time All-Star during his time with the Expos from 1980-92.

Astros Dallas Keuchel tossed four innings while giving up 10 hits, eight earned runs and walked three in an 8-5 loss to the White Sox. His two strikeouts matched a season low (from his last start) and is also the lowest total of strikeouts he has had since July 4, 2014.
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Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton may have overrun a fly ball off the bat of San Diego’s Carlos Asuaje, but he at least overran it in style in Cincinnati’s 7-3 loss to the Padres.

Alex Wood vs. Zach Greinke, need we say more? Wood has 13 wins, Greinke has 13 wins. Whoever wins will take over the No. 2 spot in the NL in wins (if one of them gets a win of course.) Add that to the fact that this is No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the NL West and this is going to be a good one yet again.

Thomas and Spieth are part of the self-anointed high school Class of 2011 that includes, among others, Daniel Berger and Emiliano Grillo. One thing is clear: The young guys have no problem rooting for each other when they are not the one coming out on top.