NY Knicks: Should NY finally trade for Buddy Hield this offseason?


Daily Knicks 31 July, 2021 - 03:00pm 16 views

Did the Lakers sign Russell Westbrook?

The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to a deal with the Washington Wizards to acquire Russell Westbrook in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the No. 22 pick in Thursday night's NBA draft, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. ESPNSources - Los Angeles Lakers reach deal to acquire Russell Westbrook, sending 3-player package and pick to Washington Wizards

Is Kyle Kuzma traded?

Kuzma -- along with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and the Lakers' No. 22 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft -- have been traded to the Wizards in exchange for Russell Westbrook and a pair of second-round picks, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. cbssports.comWizards' Kyle Kuzma: Traded to Washington

When is the start of NBA free agency?

When does NBA free agency period begin this offseason? The NBA will open up free agency on August 2nd at 6 p.m. ET and deals can become official at the end of the week. DraftKings NationNBA free agency 2021 start date: When will players begin negotiating, signing contracts this offseason?

Lakers Trade For Russell Westbrook On Draft Night, What's Next?

Lakers Nation 01 August, 2021 - 08:20am

Are The Washington Wizards Still Better Than The Indiana Pacers After The Russell Westbrook Trade To The Lakers?

Sports Illustrated 31 July, 2021 - 11:17pm

In a winner take all, the Wizards came away victorious and advanced to the NBA Playoffs, while the Indiana Pacers were sent home, and later fired their head coach Nate Bjorkgren. 

On Thursday night, during the NBA Draft, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the the Washington Wizards traded their star point guard Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for a package of Kyle Kuzma and others. 

Westbrook torched the Pacers all season long averaging 27.3 points, 18.0 rebounds and 20.0 assists against the Pacers via (StatMuse).

However, the case could also be made the Wizards as a whole could be a more complete team with Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell surrounding All-Star Bradley Beal (who was second to only Steph Curry at 31.3 PPG). 

They also missed Thomas Bryant the former Indiana Hoosier for most of the season (only played ten games due to injury). 

Therefore, there is good reason to believe the Wizards will be more complete next year without as much ball domination from only two players. 

However, Westbrook averaged a triple-double last season, and was still the best player on the team, so it is likely they will have a worse record and be a worse team. 

The Pacers also get Myles Turner and T.J. Warren back from injury, and a full season of Caris LeVert. 

This trade likely makes the Wizards several games worse than the Pacers next season. 

Three veterans reportedly willing to take less money to sign with Lakers

Yardbarker 31 July, 2021 - 12:08pm

The Los Angeles Lakers made a huge splash this past week when the team acquired Russell Westbrook. And while the prospect of L.A. getting a third superstar is appealing for obvious reasons, it also comes with a bit of concern.

Westbrook, though an incredible talent, does not fill the Lakers’ biggest need: shooting. In fact, he’ll clog the team’s spacing up even more.

There is still a path for Rob Pelinka to acquire Buddy Hield from the Sacramento Kings, but it remains to be seen how feasible it truly is. If Hield proves unattainable, the Lakers still find themselves in a decent position. Why? Because a number of star veterans have expressed interest in taking a pay cut to come to LA.

This past week Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report did a Q&A during which he divulged that Rudy Gay and Carmelo Anthony are two big names to watch.

Fischer reiterated that point, and added another interesting name into the mix, during his most recent article.

“With Westbrook now headed to Los Angeles, multiple league personnel contacted by B/R expect there to be significant interest from several veterans, including DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay and Carmelo Anthony, to forgo higher salary opportunities elsewhere and join the Lakers in pursuit of a championship,” he wrote.

Anthony is coming off a season where he shot a career-best 40.9% from beyond the arc. He is reportedly moving closer to inking a deal with LA.

Although DeRozan he has never been a standout three-point shooter, he is an extremely efficient long-two guy. They’re a dying breed in the NBA, but DeRozan is excellent at it. His 49.5% shooting from the field speaks for itself.

Gay is another intriguing option. He averaged 11.4 points per game for the San Antonio Spurs last season while shooting 38.1% from beyond the arc.

Any one of these guys would be a great pick-up for the Lakers. 

This article first appeared on Game 7 and was syndicated with permission.

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We’ve heard a lot about a potential Nick Chubb extension this offseason, and now it’s officially happening. The Browns and the running back have agreed to terms on an extension, a source told Mike Jones of USA Today. Jones said four years, but it’s actually a three-year extension worth $36M with $20M guaranteed, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson was first to announce that a deal was close. It had always been up in the air whether something would get done before the season started, but they managed to complete it with plenty of time to spare. As a second-round pick in 2018, Chubb was previously set to enter the final year of his rookie deal. He’s been one of the best running backs in the NFL since entering the league, and he has made the Pro Bowl each of the last two seasons. The Georgia product led the league in rushing in 2019 and led the league in rushing touchdowns last year with 12 despite playing in only 12 games. Impressively, Chubb has averaged at least five yards per carry in each of his three pro seasons. Chubb is now one of the league’s highest-paid running backs, and he should have at least another opportunity to break the bank. As a result of this relatively short-term deal, Chubb will get to re-enter free agency in the spring of 2025 when he’ll still only be 29. Head coach Kevin Stefanski loves to run the ball, and he wasn’t about to let the engine of his offense go anywhere. The deal will keep Chubb tied to the Browns through the 2024 campaign. The Browns also have Kareem Hunt in their backfield, but that didn’t appear to make them at all hesitant about paying Chubb.

It's unclear who the Denver Broncos will start at quarterback in 2021, and, at this point, there is "no front-runner" in the battle between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater, according to NFL Network's James Palmer. The Broncos acquired Bridgewater this offseason from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a sixth-round pick. Head coach Vic Fangio said earlier this summer that Bridgewater and Lock would have an equal opportunity to win the starting job in 2021. At one point, it looked like Lock was going to be Denver's quarterback of the future. He went 4-1 in his first five starts, completing 64.1% of his passes for 1,020 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions. Then 2020 came, and the young quarterback struggled mightily in his sophomore season, going 4-9, completing 57.3% of his passes for 2,933 yards with 16 touchdowns against 15 interceptions in 13 games. Bridgewater didn't have a much better 2020 season with the Panthers, going 4-11. However, he did complete 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Palmer reported last week Fangio might not make a final decision on who will start the 2021 season until after Denver plays all three of its preseason games. If neither signal-caller succeeds in 2021, the Broncos will likely be searching for yet another quarterback since Peyton Manning announced his retirement in 2016.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly has tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced (MLB.com’s Christina De Nicola was among those to report the news). Mattingly is experiencing some mild symptoms but has been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Bench coach James Rowson will serve as acting manager while Mattingly is absent for the mandatory quarantine period. Tests of other Marlins personnel revealed no other positive cases. Brewers right-handers Hunter Strickland and Jake Cousins both tested positive for COVID-19, manager Craig Counsell told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt (Twitter links) and other reporters. Righty Jandel Gustave is also not available due to contact tracing. No official moves have been made in regards to the COVID-related injured list or roster replacements, though newly-acquired relievers John Curtiss and Daniel Norris are both on hand and could be activated for tonight’s game. Counsell said that Strickland and Cousins both reported mild symptoms, and both relievers have been vaccinated.

Joey Gallo is the latest in a long line of players who have had to change their appearance after being acquired by the New York Yankees, but the slugger is taking the transition in stride. Gallo, who once had a beard, was traded to the Yankees from the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night. The Yankees have had a no-facial hair policy for years now, which meant Gallo’s beard had to go. He told reporters on Thursday that he had gone to the barber shop for a haircut hours before the trade, so he had to shave the beard himself at home. It sounds like Gallo will have no problem adjusting to Yankees culture. And get this — he’s the first player to wear No. 13 in pinstripes since Alex Rodriguez retired. That’s ironic considering A-Rod recently said in no uncertain terms that he doesn’t feel Gallo is a good fit for the Yankees. Gallo’s Yankees career is really off to a perfect start.

Troy Polamalu’s ability to attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony is in question after the legendary safety tested positive for COVID-19. Polamalu announced his positive test on social media, adding that he is working with the Hall of Fame and remains hopeful of taking part in the festivities in Canton. In a statement, Hall of Fame president David Baker stated that he was committed to finding a way to honor Polamalu properly no matter what. “We are disappointed for Troy right now and pray for his quick recovery with no complications,” Baker said, via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk. “We’ll work with him to make sure he’s honored as an enshrinee the way he should be — and that’s mindful of others in the Centennial Class, fans and everyone else in attendance. He had an incredible football career and will have an equally incredible career as a Hall of Famer.” Polamalu is scheduled to be inducted on Aug. 7 with the rest of the 2020 Hall of Fame class, as the ceremony was pushed back a year due to the pandemic. The Class of 2021 will be enshrined one night later in a separate ceremony.

Texas and Oklahoma didn't have to think about it for long. Less than 24 hours after the SEC formally extended membership offers to Texas and Oklahoma regarding their requests to defect from the Big 12, both institutions accepted the invitations and announced their intentions to leave the Big 12 when that conference's media rights deal expires at the end of June 2025. "This is the right decision at the right time for the future of our UT athletics programs," Texas president Jay Hartzell explained in a statement. Texas vice president and athletics director Chris Del Conte added that "we feel great about our future" and vowed to "continue to compete proudly as members of the Big 12 as we prepare for our future in the SEC in 2025." Oklahoma president Joseph Harroz Jr. and athletic director Joe Castiglione also said OU will remain in the Big 12 through June 2025. "We believe that joining the Southeastern Conference will sustain our tradition of national-caliber athletics excellence, strengthen our flagship university as a whole and serve the wider interests of the state of Oklahoma," Harroz said. "The entire Sooner Nation and Oklahomans throughout the state stand to benefit from this move, and we're thrilled for a new platform to tell the OU story all across the country." As ESPN's Heather Dinich and Mark Schlabach noted, both Texas and Oklahoma could attempt to leave the Big 12 before the summer of 2025 even if doing so means paying "at least $75 million to $80 million" to break the media rights agreement. That deal would become null and void if the conference dissolves due to additional defections at any point before June 2025.

Veteran Washington Nationals infielder Starlin Castro won't play another game for the club and may be done through at least the end of the season. Per Jessica Camerato of the Nationals website, MLB suspended Castro 30 games without pay and handed him an undisclosed fine for violating the league's joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy. Castro first went on paid administrative leave July 16 and had that leave extended last week following an unspecified alleged domestic incident involving the 31-year-old. "Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Castro violated our policy and that discipline is appropriate," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement shared by The Athletic. The Nationals announced via their own statement they plan to release Castro: "We take all allegations of abuse and harassment very seriously. We fully support the Commissioner’s decision and will be releasing Starlin Castro upon the completion of his suspension. Per the terms of the policy, we will have no further comment on this matter." Washington first placed Castro on the restricted list back on June 16 because of "a family matter," but he returned a couple of days later. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo previously told reporters Castro's leave wasn't related to that situation, but Rizzo suggested earlier this month that Castro wouldn't be welcomed back to the club regardless of his league status. Castro has slashed .283/.333/.375 with three home runs and 38 RBI this season. He is ineligible for the playoffs this fall per the terms of his punishment.

As noted by The Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona was recently sent home with a head cold and has a lengthy history of illnesses and ailments. With Cleveland trading valuable pieces and seemingly punting on the remainder of the season, those left in the clubhouse will have to move forward without their boss through the end of September. Cleveland confirmed Thursday night that Francona will step away for the rest of the 2021 campaign to focus on his health. Bench coach DeMarlo Hale had filled in for Francona and will become interim manager: The two-time American League Manager of the Year, who previously won a pair of World Series titles managing the Boston Red Sox, did not travel with the team for its weekend series at the Chicago White Sox, according to Zack Meisel of The Athletic. As Mandy Bell of the league's website explained, Francona was absent for the majority of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season as he battled gastrointestinal issues and, later, multiple blood clots that sent him to the ICU. Bell wrote Thursday that Francona dealt with a staph infection in his foot ahead of spring training this year and was hoping to make it to the upcoming offseason before having surgery to address the issue. In corresponding moves, Cleveland is shifting third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh to Hale's bench-coach role, and outfield coach Kyle Hudson is becoming the third-base coach. Per Baseball-Reference, Francona passed Cleveland icon Mike Hargrove last weekend to become second all-time in franchise managerial wins with 723. Lou Boudreau is atop that list with 728 victories. Francona, 62, is under contract through 2022, but one wonders if he's managed his last game at the highest level, in general:

Canadian swimmer Sydney Pickrem offered a fairly unfiltered assessment of her thoughts while swimming her leg of the team 4X100m medley relay. Pickrem was part of the Canadian team that ultimately won bronze at the event on Sunday. Pickrem, who came into the event without any Olympic medals, swam the breaststroke in the relay. To say she was nervous was an understatement. Asked about handling the pressure during her breaststroke leg during a live interview on CBC in Canada, Pickrem offered an epic sound bite, although it wasn't exactly family-friendly. “I was absolutely s—ing myself, I’m not going to try and sugarcoat it,” Pickrem said. After winning an Olympic medal of any kind, you should be forgiven for swearing on live television. This one can be forgiven. The Canadian team clocked in at 3:52.60, a second behind gold medal winner Australia.

Taylor Rogers is hoping to avoid a season-ending surgery in the wake of his recent finger injury, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli told The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Phil Miller and other reporters. Baldelli initially thought that Rogers’ injury would indeed keep the left-hander out of action for the rest of the 2021 season, although Rogers received a second opinion that could allow him to heal his tendon problem without surgery. Rogers seems to be considering that second option for now, but it isn’t clear whether or not this non-surgical rehab route might take too long for the southpaw to get back on the mound before the season is through. The other factor could be the Twins themselves perhaps stepping in to shut Rogers down for the season, considering Minnesota is out of the pennant race and might not want to risk Rogers coming back for meaningless games in late September. The injury was officially termed a left middle finger sprain, although Miller notes that the injury specifically involved the pulley tendon within Rogers’ finger. While the extent of the tendon damage isn’t known, the fact that surgery appears to be a consideration isn’t a good sign, and there could possibly even be some uncertainty about Rogers’ readiness for the start of the 2022 season. Considering how finger surgeries can often carry unclear timelines, it isn’t surprising that Rogers would prefer to explore any possible avenues to avoid going under the knife. Were it not for this finger issue, it is quite possible Rogers might no longer be a Minnesota Twin, as the southpaw was drawing a lot of attention before the trade deadline. Considering how the Twins are reportedly planning to reload and attempt a return to contention in 2022, it doesn’t seem like Rogers will be shopped this offseason, regardless of his health. Rogers has been generally excellent over his six years with Minnesota, and his performance this season (3.35 ERA, 35.5% strikeout rate, 4.8% walk rate over 40 1/3 innings) earned him his first career All-Star nod. Rogers has one remaining year of arbitration eligibility before hitting free agency in the 2022-23 offseason.

What Russell Westbrook's imperfect fit with the Lakers means for LeBron and AD

ESPN 31 July, 2021 - 07:00am

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SO MUCH OF the NBA's history from the past two decades collides in the Los Angeles Lakers' audacious pairing of Russell Westbrook with LeBron James and Anthony Davis -- yearslong debates swirling together, the most polarizing MVP in recent memory, truisms that have hardened over time to be tested anew.

The first is one of the great James axioms: If he's the best shooter on the floor, you haven't built the right team around him. The Lakers' roster is half-constructed; they have five players, and one of them is Alfonzo McKinnie. They will probably re-sign some or most of their incumbent free agents, only because trading three players for Westbrook leaves them few other choices.

Some of those guys -- Alex Caruso, Wesley Matthews, Markieff Morris -- are solid 3-point shooters at varying volumes. Another -- Talen Horton-Tucker -- is young and fearless enough to expect improvement.

The free agencies of Caruso and Horton-Tucker (a restricted free agent) will be interesting. Both will have multiple suitors, sources said. With limited cap room leaguewide, the full midlevel exception -- worth about $10 million -- will be a powerful tool. Some agents and team executives expect a climate in which teams might offer all or most of the midlevel at the starting gun and demand a quick answer. If some rival does that with Caruso, will the Lakers match or exceed it right away? If they haggle, will it cost them?

The Lakers are heading toward at least testing that James shooting axiom with closing lineups centered around the James/Davis/Westbrook trio. Some of those lineups may even include a rim-tethered center in the mold of Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee, and Andre Drummond -- the latter another incumbent free agent. The Lakers can offer Drummond a little more than the veterans minimum, or dip into their taxpayer midlevel exception -- a chip they should probably use on a shooter instead.

The Lakers leaned on smaller Davis-at-center lineups during their run to the 2020 championship when the Houston Rockets and then the Miami Heat (briefly) threatened them. Some featured a shaky-shooting point guard in Rajon Rondo. This is a familiar, title-winning formula.

But Westbrook is different -- a non-shooting point guard who shoots a lot. His introduction may require the Lakers to lean even further toward the Davis-at-center construct. And so one of those other roiling, decadelong storylines rumbles again: How willing are James and Davis to slide down from their preferred positions?

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