Did the Raptors already win the NBA trade deadline?

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The Raptors traded Terrence Ross and a low first for Serge Ibaka on Tuesday. This fulfills years of rumors that Toronto was after Ibaka ¡ª he fills a persistent need ¡ª and does so for a relatively low price, given how good Ibaka can be. (We were reminded of how good he can be in the Western Conference Finals last year, when his defense fully disrupted Golden State’s flow and his offense stretched the Warriors’ defense out.) The real cost here isn’t Ross or a pick: it’s salary. The Raptors are paying a price to challenge Cleveland.

Bill Simmons indicated that the Raptors taking their shot on Ibaka puts Boston in the NBA trade deadline driver’s seat now. I think that’s a hasty assessment for two reasons. The first is that with Paul Millsap off the market and essentially no All-Stars available, there is no obvious target asset for the Celtics. The teams actually in control of the deadline are those teams with very good players they need to decide whether to trade. The second point is that the Raptors still have several assets to swing another deal. Masai Ujiri might not be done. Given Danny Ainge’s hesitance to pull the trigger over the past year also factors in.

The other story here is the aimlessness of the Orlando Magic, but that is a story too sad for this early in the morning. Kristian Winfield explains how the Ibaka trades ended up shaking out for them.

The Cardinals will now turn their hopes for the back of the rotation to Michael Wacha or, as general manager John Mozeliak was quick to point out, perhaps Luke Weaver, the team’s second-best pitching prospect, the one whose high ranking didn’t prove as predictive in 2016 as Reyes’ did.

Austin Pasztor Jersey The team has better starting pitching depth than it did a year ago, but that’s not to say it has anyone with Reyes’ ability — or even close — ready to step in. Few teams do, which is why anybody who roots for those teams dreads news like what the Cardinals received Tuesday. Reyes didn’t even get a chance to put on his uniform before learning he might not have to bother with one this season.

Mr. Walter J. Sommerfelt was pointing at Bienna, and I realized he was awarding her “Best in Breed!” For the fifth time!

“It’s a lot of needing Klonopin and Xanaz,” Murray continued. “I’m gonna go to the hotel, and have a early dinner, and take a couple drinks, and go to sleep. I gotta get up early, I have to go to Pittsburgh to pick something up, then I have to drive to North Carolina and pick up two clients before we go back to Alabama.”

I asked if the clients were dogs. Murray said they were. I pet Michael one last time, and then he and Murray left the ring. He smiled, blissfully unaware that he hadn’t won, because he is a dog.

Then I turned my attention back to Bienna, who Mclaughlin had already paraded around. Mr. Walter J. Sommerfelt was pointing at Bienna, and I realized he was awarding her “Best in Breed!” For the fifth time!

The accepted maxim is that tour golfers don’t retire; they show up at fewer and fewer events, struggling more and more, until it’s time to move to the Champions Tour. Longtime Woods watchers cannot imagine Tiger, whose mantra since “Hello world” has been “in it to win it,” willing to join the over-50 gang or become more of a rubbernecker attraction than he’s already become, almost to the point where fans and media show up to see how much of a car wreck his next outing will be.

Whether Woods makes a statement announcing his retirement, or continues shuffling and grimacing around golf courses in depressing, failed attempts to make cuts for the next however many weeks, months, years, it’s pretty clear to those watching him try to recapture the long-gone glory days of the playing career of the greatest golfer of his generation, if not all time, is over.

“He might play another 10 years, but I just don’t see it if he doesn’t change his golf swing.” Brandel Chamblee on Tiger Woods injuries

Report: Marc Bergevin meets with team leaders, without Therrien

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He also met with Michel Therrien in private, after or before the players.

My first reaction is pure cynicism. Why did Marc Bergevin allow a reporter to witness a leaders-only meeting that didn’t include the coach? Bergevin knows that type of scenario is bound to create endless rumours among Habs fans and media.

Let’s look past the skepticism and give this report the benefit of the doubt. If Bergevin did indeed hold this meeting, I’m not convinced it was for any nefarious reasons. Yes, Claude Julien is currently on the market, but the fact of the matter is that Bergevin has hitched his cart to the Therrien horse, and I sincerely doubt he’ll make a change at this point, especially since the Canadiens are still sitting in first place in the division.

Mario Lemieux Mens Jersey What is more plausible, is that Bergevin simply wanted to speak to some of his leaders. A general manager has the right, and the frankly the responsibility, to speak to his players at least a few times a year. Especially during times like these, when the waters are starting to get choppy.

Dwyane Wade is listed as doubtful for Tuesday’s game against Toronto due to a wrist injury

It’s not often that we have the opportunity to throw the Magic into the same Committee sentence as San Antonio, so permit us this rare indulgence when we make a (ridiculously) bigger deal than we probably should of the fact that the Magic are right there with San Antonio on the short list of teams sporting a better record on the road than they have at home. In real life, of course, this is nothing for Orlando to celebrate, given its status as a team well under .500 wherever it plays; 9-17 in Orlando and 11-19 on its travels. With Magic down to the 14th in the East, it’s probably wisest to focus on what they might do deal-wise, amid increasing evidence that Serge Ibaka will be moved before the Feb. 23 trade deadline.

Chicago Bulls: Dwyane Wade is listed as doubtful for Tuesday’s game against Toronto due to a wrist injury, and we are still waiting for the MRI results. If Wade doesn’t play against the Raptors, rookie Denzel Valentine could see a longer look. You know what Tuesday is, right? It’s Valentine’s Day.

Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavs announced Monday that veteran 3-point specialist Channing Frye will start in place of Kevin Love on Tuesday in Minnesota. If Love’s knee isn’t better for Wednesday against Indiana, there’s a chance that Frye could take his place in the lineup for a second straight game.

Jermaine Gresham Kids Jersey Given that the Knicks own their 2017 first-round draft pick, the better play for the long-term health of the franchise would probably be to lose games and improve their chances of landing a top pick in a guard-heavy draft.

But this is a team of veterans that isn’t concerned with how the roster is going to look in 2021. They want to make a playoff run.
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“I still feel optimistic,” Brandon Jennings said earlier this week.

Kevin Durant talks OKC return and ‘fake drama’ involving Russell Westbrook

Golden State Warriors star forward Kevin Durant said in a Tuesday interview with SportsCenter that he? has “been thinking” about Saturday night’s highly anticipated return to Oklahoma City “for the last month” and just wants “to experience it [and] see how I feel once that moment comes.”

Jonas Siegenthaler Elite Jersey In a SportsCenter sit-down with ESPN’s Marc Stein, Durant also insisted that ?he is prepared for whatever reaction greets him at Chesapeake Energy Arena, saying: “I know what’s important [to Thunder fans] and their team is way more important than just one player. … I’m not going in there acting like I’m going to be praised, I know how it’s going to be.”

Draymond Green said his verbal altercation with Kevin Durant during Saturday’s game was nothing more than “a tactic.”

“I know they’re going to be rowdy in there, man,” Durant told Stein. “I’ve been a part of some of the loudest nights in that arena. So I know it’s not going to be the friendliest welcome, but, like I said, I can’t wait to see the people that I really built relationships with over my time there and, you know, I’m sure fans that I got to know throughout my time playing there, even though they might not cheer for me out loud, I’ll give ’em a wink and they know what we had deep down inside.”

In excerpts of the interview that aired Tuesday night on SportsCenter, Durant also addressed what he refers to as the “fake drama” of the season-long storyline pitting him against former All-Star teammate Russell Westbrook.

“I realized that earlier on in the season,” Durant said, explaining his contention that it’s “fake drama.”
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The Pelicans will be without guard Tyreke Evans on Wednesday night. Evans is sidelined due to a sprained left ankle.

No glance at the Cardinals can begin without noting the dramatic weakening of their explosive passing game

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According to player-tracking data provided to ESPN.com by STATS LLC, Curry received only 18.5 screens per game through the first 32 games of the season, down slightly from last season’s rate of 18.8. On the season, he has seen 19.6 screens per game; 25 starting point guards have seen more. The team has scored only 1.09 points per play, which is 20th in the league. Hence, Curry’s public and private frustration.

But since that Christmas Day loss, the story has changed. Per SportVU data, the Warriors have bumped up the screens that the reigning MVP sees to 23.4 per game, and the team’s scoring average has ballooned to 1.16 points per play, which would rank fourth best over a full season. Curry has nearly doubled his scoring average out of the pick-and-roll, from 4.9 through Christmas Day to 8.4 since.

Adding the 2014 MVP into the mix was supposed to launch the Warriors’ offense into another stratosphere. But that wasn’t the case in the early going. Some important context: With Curry on the floor last season, the Warriors torched opponents to the tune of 116.7 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com data.

No glance at the Cardinals can begin without noting the dramatic weakening of their explosive passing game. Their team average of yards per attempt dropped from No. 1 in the NFL in 2015 (8.5 yards) to No. 23 in 2016 (6.85). That’s the meat of coach Bruce Arians’ offense. As quarterback Carson Palmer approaches his 38th birthday — or possibly retirement — it’s fair to wonder if personnel and schematic tweaks alone can produce a bounce-back year in 2017. Also, can the Cardinals really count on much more than they got from tailback David Johnson, who led the NFL in yards from scrimmage (2,118)?

Game Mens Wilt Chamberlain Jersey The Cardinals could inspire longer-term confidence by demonstrating a plan beyond the Palmer-Larry Fitzgerald duo. Fitzgerald, who turns 34 in August, caught 107 passes in 2016 but ranked 84th among receivers with an average of 9.6 yards per catch. Adding a big, downfield target will help the Cardinals re-establish their schematic roots.

2015 NFL training camp preview: Andrew Luck, Colts favored to win AFC South crown again

In recent years, the Indianapolis Colts haven’t had to worry about much when it comes to their AFC South competition. But the Colts are still looking to make improvements to overtake the other giants in the conference — especially the New England Patriots, who knocked them out of the playoffs last season and went on to win the Super Bowl.

Few have discussed whether the Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars can make things tough for them within the division. But that’s for good reason. All three of those teams are deeply flawed, even if they’ve all appeared to get better this offseason.

The Titans have a new quarterback in Marcus Mariota, the Jaguars were plenty active in free agency once again and brought in some big names like Julius Thomas and the Texans have weapons on both sides of the ball as they aim to return to the playoffs. Still, they’re going to have to make a big jump to unseat Andrew Luck and the Colts, a young and talented team that once again has the Super Bowl on their mind.

Player you’ll be buzzing about: WR Donte Moncrief – Things look much different for the Colts at wide receiver, but the coaches are raving about Moncrief. Chuck Pagano told reporters in March that “the sky is the limit” for the second-year receiver, who caught 32 passes for 444 yards and three touchdowns last season.

What to watch: Receiver isn’t the only position on offense with a lot of turnover for the Colts. At running back, Frank Gore is the presumed starter, but the rest of the depth chart will be fun to watch itself shake out with Dan Herron, Zurlon Tipton, Vick Ballard and rookie sixth-round pick Josh Robinson all battling for position.

Tom Brady leads NFL merchandise sales as DeflateGate suspension appeal drags on

Limited Mens Kenny Lofton Jersey New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is currently in a drawn-out battle with the league over his four-game suspension, but that hasn’t done anything to hurt his merchandise sales. In fact, the whole thing may have helped him. Brady led the league in player merchandise sales from March 1 through May 31, according to figures released by the NFL Players Association.

That merchandise doesn’t just include jersey sales. It represents all officially licensed merchandise concerning the player, including figures and more. Brady actually trailed San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in head-to-head jersey sales, and Kaepernick was tops when it came to women’s apparel, but Brady holds the top spot across all forms of swag.

NFL, CFL and Division I players are unavailable for the tournament, so the USA roster consists of recently graduated college players hoping to impress professional coaches with their play in the tournament. The team was coached by former Colorado and Boise State coach Dan Hawkins.

This year’s tournament took place in Canton, Ohio, the first ever rendition of the tournament held in the United States. Japan won the first tournaments in 1999 and 2003, but America hadn’t sent a team to those tournaments. Team USA started sending teams with the 2007 championship, and although Japan took them to double overtime in that year’s gold medal game, the Americans remain undefeated in IFAF play.
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Coming in just behind the United States this year, Japan took silver for the third straight tournament and Mexico took bronze, its first medal since the United States began competing.

The Warriors will leave Oracle Arena for the new Chase Center in 2019

The battle lines now appear to be drawn in Madison Square Garden. On one side: New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. On the other: team president of basketball operations Phil Jackson, whose public comments — and those by Jackson associate Charley Rosen — have led Anthony to consider his future with the Knicks.

Womens Chris Harris Jr Jersey “If they feel my time in New York is over, I guess that’s a conversation we should have,” Anthony said Sunday.

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, that meeting took place Tuesday, and it was described by one source as far more contentious than previous sit-downs between Jackson and Anthony, with Jackson asking whether Anthony wants to stay with the Knicks and Anthony saying yes.

If the Knicks ultimately have to choose between Anthony and Jackson, what should they do? Jackson’s five-year contract has a mutual opt-out at the end of this season, meaning the Knicks can let him go. Does it make sense to keep the legendary coach as team president?

“It was a lot of hard work,” Lacob said. “I challenged the organization. I said, ‘We’re going to have to pay for this privately and it has to be fantastic, because we’re not going to do anything that’s not fantastic. And we’re going to have to figure out a way to pay for it.’

Womens Christian Fischer Jersey “I don’t want to criticize other owners or other teams, in our league or anywhere else. But there is a history of these leagues getting these things publicly financed. Look at Atlanta. Sacramento. Orlando, I think was like 100 percent … I know that wasn’t going to happen here, just because it’s the Bay Area. But I also didn’t want to waste years [trying to get the state to pay]. So I decided, ‘We’re just going to do it and we’re going to figure out a way to pay for it.’

The other challenge to the stadium project was raising money to privately finance it. When Lacob and his business partners purchased the Warriors in 2010, they knew it would be time consuming and costly to ask for public financing of a new stadium, so they quickly pivoted towards an all-privately financed project.

A privately financed stadium is very uncommon in the world of professional sports, but California, and especially Bay Area politics, make it very difficult to secure public financing (as the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers have recently demonstrated.)

Doc Rivers on MLK’s vision: ‘We’re not there yet’

Kids Chuck Foreman Jersey It was suppertime, and his father, Grady Rivers, a longtime Chicago police officer, was there. The father, who was scheduled to be on duty, who patrolled the night shift, never missed a day of work. Yet there he was, slumped in a chair in full uniform, huddled around the small black-and-white television set with Glenn’s aunts and uncles.

As Rivers inched closer, he saw his father was sobbing.
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“I had never seen my dad cry before,” Rivers says. “My grandfather, who was tougher than my dad, was crying too.”

Nowitzki was tricked into raising his hand during an auction that resulted in him making a major donation in exchange for a Rolando Diaz painting. He also agreed to go on two dates for charity. But he was also hoping to get a real date with a beautiful woman he met that night named Jessica Olsson, who was working at a Dallas art gallery.

One was the love of the Dallas Mavericks forward’s life and the reason they were in Nanyuki, Kenya. The others were decoys who if incorrectly chosen could cost the 13-time NBA All-Star a goat as punishment. The 7-foot German nailed tough shots in the NBA Finals and the Olympics, and on this occasion he did the same, correctly picking his bride Jessica Olsson.

“It was awesome,” Nowitzki told The Undefeated. “They took my wife away. They brought five or six girls out and they were all covered. So the first thing I had to do was find my wife. So I’m walking around and looking at how tall they are.

“I guess it’s one of the traditions. If you get it wrong, you got to pay the parents a goat or something. So I was lucky. I smelled her to find the right one. So, I got lucky there. But that was just an experience that I’ll never forget.”