Lonzo Ball, UCLA: Any agent he hires is going to have to navigate the tight waters between NBA teams and his outspoken dad, LaVar Ball. The consensus among agents, and pretty much as expressed by LaVar Ball, is that Ball will hire an attorney — a source said that would be Harrison Gaines of SLASH Sports — strictly for contracts and let his father do the negotiating otherwise. There’s some risk to that, and Ball would be wise to ensure he has an NBA-level pre-draft program in place.
Josh Jackson, Kansas: Jackson has been getting a lot of buzz as a potential No. 1 lately, especially if a team that doesn’t need a point guard lands with the top pick. Darren Matsubara of Wasserman Sports is a candidate, as well as LeBron James’ agent, Klutch Sports’ Rich Paul.
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After losing five of their first seven games since Kevin Durant went down with a knee injury Feb. 28, the Warriors have now ripped off five straight wins following a 112-87 win over the Mavericks, the second game of a back-to-back. Golden State used a well-balanced approach and strong defense in the win. Brother of Stephen Curry, Mavs guard Seth, made just four field goals in the loss as Dallas shot just 35 percent from the field.
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After punches were thrown in the Bulls-Raptors game, Chicago proceeded to blow a 14-point fourth quarter lead as the Raptors forced overtime and eventually walked away with a home win. Rajon Rondo had 19 points at halftime but scored just five in the second quarter while registering a minus-7. Toronto ended a streak of 11 straight losses to the Bulls dating back to Dec. 31, 2013.
Brook Lopez drained a game-winning jumper at the buzzer to give the Nets a win over the Pistons.
While expressed simply, that question involves multiple pieces of analysis. The first is player evaluation. This includes both objective and subjective components, particularly for Dallas. While Philadelphia has had time to figure out how Noel fits in with their other pieces — even though Noel and presumptive Rookie of the Year Joel Embiid played just eight minutes together — the Mavericks have to use the information in front of them to ascertain both his ability as a player now and fit in coach Rick Carlisle’s system.
Dallas could see untapped offensive potential playing with Dirk Nowitzki and attacking guards, or simply feel that his defensive upside is high enough to justify giving up resources to acquire him now. Of course, they also receive the benefit of generating substantially more information for themselves between now and when Noel hits restricted free agency on July 1. Getting first-hand experience concerning a player’s work ethic, skills and fit with existing talent can be incredibly valuable, and that applies even more strongly to a player who has missed significant time and played in situations that challenge talent evaluators.
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But Lue has reason to maintain his calm. The Cavs are the defending champs, coming off back-to-back Finals appearances, and are the favorites to again win the Eastern Conference. Sure, they’re 7-9 in their last 16 games heading into Monday’s tiff with San Antonio, but the Cavs have been wracked with injury all season and weathered some rough times in past years before strong postseason showings.
Authentic Youth Garrett Celek Jersey There’s something bigger at play here, though, something working against the Cavaliers as they sputter through March. It’s something a bit bigger than the bumps and bruises of this season. It’s history.
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Ever since Steve Kerr was named head coach of the Warriors, his teams have been almost unbeatable. He took over at the start of the 2014-15 season and went 67-15 in his first year. He then made NBA history with a 73-9 record the following season, and is 60-14 in the current campaign.
The team’s 60th win, which was recorded Tuesday night against the Rockets, marked Kerr’s 200th as a head coach. What makes that stat amazing is that he only needed 238 tries to win 200 games, which made pro sports history as the quickest ever to reach that milestone (previous was Phil Jackson, 270).
Lopez will serve is suspension Wednesday night when the Pistons come to Chicago, while Ibaka will sit out when the Raptors travel to play the Heat on Thursday.
Ndamukong Suh Authentic Jersey The fight erupted with less than four minutes left in the third quarter, when Ibaka elbowed Lopez in his lower back trying to get a rebound.
Lopez smacked the ball out of Ibaka’s hands and shoved him, and the two exchanged punches. Both players were ejected from the game.
Toronto went on to win 122-120 in overtime.
Johnson also grasps the main problems with Randle, going nowhere fast unless he gets a right hand. Ingram, without an NBA body or a superstar’s take-charge disposition, hasn’t exactly lived up to the Kevin Durant comparisons. Both entered the NBA at 19 years of age, with only one season of college experience. Yet Durant showed right away that he would become a premier scorer, averaging 20 points per game for a bad Seattle team as a rookie. Ingram hasn’t come close. When it comes to great players, usually you know right away, with Kawhi Leonard being the notable outlier.
Dwyane Wade really surprised an Uber driver who picked him up from a Waffle House in Orlando on Tuesday.
The driver thought he’d be picking up “ordinary people” and couldn’t believe his luck when the NBA star got into his car.
The ACC’s Player of the Year, Jackson has done a great job of making strides with his game in order to bring himself back into the first-round conversation. He’s become a knock-down shooter from the outside to pair with tremendous feel for the game in terms of passing and midrange shot creation.
But while he has shored up the shot question, concerns still remain among NBA scouts about his overall athleticism and defense. We’ll see what happens with Jackson if he decides to declare. The overall range of opinions on him will be wide.
Nothing new to talk about here with Anunoby, really. He’s missed the last few months of the year with a knee injury, but he’s still an interesting defensive flier for someone to take as a 6-foot-8, long athlete.
There are reasons to question Irving’s ability to be the go-to point of a team. The Cavaliers struggled mightily before James returned to Cleveland, and they still struggle when he’s not on the court. With James and Irving in the lineup this season, Irving’s net rating stands at +10.2 points per 100 possessions. When James is off the court, however, Irving goes into the negative at -7.9 points per 100 possessions. It was a similar but far less extreme case last season: +7.7 net rating with James and Irving on the court compared to +1.1 without James and just Irving.
There’s some noise in those numbers — the Cavaliers are built more around James than Irving and they didn’t have much talent around Irving before James returned — but there’s enough there to wonder how Irving would fare in Harden’s situation. It’s basically the difference between him being an All-Star and a superstar.
Zach Britton’s name has been tossed about on the trade market the past few days, which can’t make Orioles fans too happy.
Would the Orioles really trade their dominating closer? They’re four games under .500 entering the second half of the season (42-46), which puts them 7.5 back in the AL East but only four games out of the second wild-card spot.
We’re looking to make sure we have the nucleus of a competitive team going into year, he said. While we wouldn’t completely discount any possibility of a trade of that type, because who knows what may be presented, I don’t think enough would be presented for us to bite on that. Again, a lot of it has to do with how we view this team as we start thinking about next year as well.
Suffice to say deGrom isn’t completely untouchable, but he’s close to it. So teams are going to continue to pursue him until the Mets stick the trade equivalent of a chastity belt on him.
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Elite Womens Nellie Fox Jersey The Cubs, who are fortunate Kris Bryant’s injured finger is not serious, are off Thursday as the Pirates will try to complete a four-game sweep of the Brewers and inch even closer to the top two teams in the division.
If the Cubs can win the series against the Cardinals and Brewers, with a four-game set against the White Sox sandwiched in between, the Cubs could find themselves atop the division as the calendar flips to August.
As NBA free agency begins to slow down, basketball fans have on-court action to look forward to thanks to the NBA Summer League.
The Orlando Summer League and Utah Summer League ended last week, but the Las Vegas Summer League is in full swing, with 24 NBA teams competing for the NBA Summer League championship.
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Here’s a look at the top performers, game-winners and other highlights from the first week of summer league play.
The participants in this year’s All-Star Game will surely have fond memories 30 years from now. But they are likely to lack the wonder and the unique camaraderie that existed in the pre-interleague days, when the All-Star Game stood as the highlight of the season even for players who racked up eye-popping numbers.
(The) ’87 (highlight), for me, is the All-Star Game, said Langston, who set career-highs with 19 wins, an AL-leading 262 strikeouts, 14 complete games and 272 innings pitched. It was cool to sit in the locker room and look around and see the guys that you compete against (and) are now on the same side.
It was one of those things where you just 鈥?you never really (picture) yourself in that position, you’re sort of (freaking out), said McGwire, who won the AL Rookie of the Year after hitting a rookie-record 49 homers. You’re like, 鈥極h my gosh, I’m here with all these guys.’ And you just look at the names back there. Oh my gosh, yes.
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Darnold’s possible reasons are worth a separate deep dig entirely, especially if he has a chance to go first overall no matter how he plays this season, or even how much. (See Mitchell Trubisky, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Sam Bradford and plenty of others.)
Those declining NFL TV ratings last season are apparently still being felt this year, as a recent report indicates advance TV commercial sales for the 2017 season may be the worst they’ve been since 2008.
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Womens D. J. Swearinger Jersey Ad Age reports that several other factors may also be at play in the weak advance market. Some traditional advertisers have slashed their budget, and others are eyeing cuts. For example, Yahoo Sports reports that both Viagra and Cialis will end their advertising in NFL games this year (both erectile-dysfunction drugs lose their patent exclusivity protection in 2017).
One of the 14 teams to pass on the Greek Freak was the Mavericks. Considering the fact Dallas hasn’t won a playoff series since winning the NBA Finals in 2011, the Greek Freak could very well have had them in a better spot over those years. Especially this past season where they finished 33-49 and missed the playoffs altogether.
It’s a tough pill to swallow for any team that passed on Antetokounmpo but it’s even more difficult to swallow for owner Mark Cuban, who said on Sirius XM NBA radio Wednesday it was his decision to pass on him.
It was me, Cuban said. Donnie [Nelson] was like, ‘OK, I’m putting my you-know-whats on the table.’ He was doing the Sam Cassell, Nick Van Exel dance. … It’s all in. And I’m like, ‘Donnie, we have this plan.’ Because even as good as the Greek Freak has turned out to be, he was still three years away, and we wanted to try to get somebody who could help get us to the top right there and then. Didn’t turn out that way, it is what it is, that happens.
The Bucks of course drafted Antetokounmpo with the 15th pick and the rest is history. This past season he was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive and All-NBA team and was named the league’s most improved player scoring 22.9 points, grabbing 8.8 rebounds and tallying 5.4 assists per game.
Everybody knows by now what LaVar is charging. Everybody knows all the jokes that inspired. The reviews of the shoe itself are pretty good. Some have claimed they would buy it. Others have claimed they can’t wait for the shoe to flop and end up in the discount bin, and for Lonzo, and LaVar and the entire Ball lineage to end up on food stamps. (Which is a wonderful wish to have for a teenager, by the way, on the sole premise that his father gets on your nerves.)
But everybody was, and is, talking about it.
LaVar, as it also has been pointed out, is getting more mileage for himself and his son with less effort and expense than anyone could ever imagine from what was once an anonymous, nondescript dad of a ballplayer.
If this was his viral marketing plan, then amidst all our vein-popping fury, we’re not giving him enough credit for how he played it all … and played us.
You don’t even have to go back that far to see a recent parallel: LeBron James forming a management company and becoming the string-puller instead of the one being pulled … and having his business partners being patronizingly described by Phil Jackson as his “posse.”
Compared to that, what LaVar Ball is trying is even more extreme. He has no history of being a negotiator, manufacturer or CEO. He set an insanely high price for his son’s shoe deal — likely on purpose, in hindsight — saw them reject it, then set out on his own.
This is a tough contract to evaluate. Ingles is one of the best role players in the NBA, a player capable of hitting 44 percent of his 3s in addition to defending up and down the lineup. He can make plays for teammates with his tremendous vision, as well as rebound and get the break going on his own due to his ball-handling ability. Ingles is the kind of player who just helps you win games on the fringes, pure and simple. He can fit with just about any lineup, and he can make a positive impact due to his wide breadth of skills.
Isaiah Thomas wasted no time showing he would be a factor against the Bulls Sunday night despite facing a terrible family tragedy. He finished with 33 points, six assists and five rebounds.
Game 2: Pacers at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. ET, TNT (Cavaliers lead 1-0) — The Pacers almost escaped with a win on the Cavs’ home floor in Game 1 Saturday. They obviously don’t want to return to Indianapolis in a 2-0 hole. After losing the No. 1 seed in the East late in the season to the Celtics, the Cavs are playing with a chip on their shoulder. If the Pacers don’t get a hold Monday this could be a quick series.
Connor Barth Youth Jersey Monday’s win provided far less drama than Saturday’s nail biter, which saw Indiana’s C.J. Miles miss a potential game-winner at the buzzer. Monday’s game was close at halftime, but the Cavs were firmly in control for most of the second half.
Marcedes Lewis Youth Jersey The Cavs pulled away despite starting guard J.R. Smith missing the second half with a hamstring injury.
Monday’s nightcap had even less drama as the Spurs cruised to their second straight win over the Grizzlies with a 96-82 victory at AT&T Center.
Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard was impressive from start to finish in San Antonio’s 96-82 dismantling of the Grizzlies. Leonard scored 37 points on 9-of-14 shooting and yanked down 11 rebounds. He also made all 19 of his free-throw attempts to easily surpass Tim Duncan’s team record (15) of most free throws attempted without a miss. Leonard fell just shy of Paul Pierce’s NBA mark of 21 free throws made without a miss in 2003.
The Boston Celtics are in a great place right now.
Not only are they fighting for a chance to upend the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals, they were also awarded the No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft.
Taking full advantage of the payout stemming from Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett’s move from Boston to the Nets, the Celtics find themselves with yet another draft-day conundrum: keep the pick or package it for a proven star.
Tyler Ennis Womens Jersey Last year, Boston fans were clamoring for president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to package his three first-round picks including No. 3 overall, which the team used to take Jaylen Brown out of California for a top-level player.
The Celtics did not make a move, and ultimately took Brown, Guerschon Yabusele out of France, and Ante Zizic out of Croatia with their three first-round picks.
While Brown made an impact this season with his athleticism and high basketball I.Q., the other two could be far removed from their chance to play on an NBA roster.
Team co-owner Wyc Grousbeck hinted Tuesday night that the Celtics may feel more comfortable keeping the pick again this year for financial reasons.
Melo has every right not to drop the no-trade clause, but Jackson continues to run to the media with hopes the public callout will convince the former Syracuse star to drop the clause and help out the Knicks. Mind you, the Knicks have done very little to help him in his time in New York, other than bring in broken down players like Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah and belittle Melo throughout the process.
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