PICKING EACH MLB TEAM’S MOUNT RUSHMORE, NBA, NHL, NFL NEWS

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NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE

Zion Williamson is the biggest name in college basketball and LeBron James is the biggest name in the NBA. When the two stars are associated in any way, news is sure to follow and that is what transpired on Saturday when James made a quick trip to Charlottesville, Virginia to see Williamson and his Duke teammates face off against the Virginia Cavaliers in an intriguing battle of a top-five teams. Continue Reading By 

The New Orleans Pelicans parted ways with general manager Dell Demps on Friday morning (Feb. 15), according to an ESPN report. ESPN said the Pelicans are considering director of player personnel David Booth and special advisor Danny Ferry for the interim role.

Demps had been the general manager of the team since July 2010 when the team was still the New Orleans Hornets. In Demps’ first eight seasons, the Pelicans went to the playoffs just three times – 2011, 2015 and 2018. New Orleans was bounced in the first round the first two times and made it to the Western Conference semifinals last season. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Anthony Davis was spotted leaving the Smoothie King Arena on Thursday night after he suffered a shoulder injury in the team’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, and that may have indirectly contributed to general manager Dell Demps losing his job. Continue Reading By  Steve DelVecchio

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Kawhi Leonard is embracing his time in Toronto, but the NBA All-Star will show off his latest signature shoe in Charlotte this weekend. Leonard has hooked up with New Balance to create a brand new basketball shoe, the OMN1S.

New Balance showed off a sneak preview of the show and a whopping six colorways, though they say it’s up to Kawhi to decide which version of the OMN1S we see on the floor first. Continue Reading By 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lakers, NBA

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If NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were the commissioner of the league, the landscape would be very different.

Abdul-Jabbar told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that he does not think any player under 21 should be allowed to play in the NBA and that they should first have to go through the G-League: Continue Reading By 

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Colin Kaepernick

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The collusion grievances filed by Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid against the NFL have been resolved.

Attorney Mark Geragos and the NFL released a joint statement announcing the development on Friday afternoon. Due to a confidentiality agreement, there’s no word on the terms of a settlement that comes after several months of discussions between the league and counsel for the two players.

“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL. As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”

The case was moving toward final appearances in front of an arbitrator in the near future. One would imagine that there was a financial piece to the settlement to keep that from happening, but the confidentiality agreement means neither side will be revealing what it took to bring the case to an end. Continue Reading By Zach Braziller

The NFL has two years remaining before the current collective bargaining agreement is up, and it appears the league could be headed for a sticking point.

Players have had rumblings of the idea this season, particularly with how markets have expanded in other sports. And now, the NFL Players Association president is preparing those players for a potential lockout for the 2021 season. Continue Reading By Nate Atkins 

Le'Veon Bell

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The Steelers don’t have to let Le’Veon Bell walk without getting anything for him.

There is a complicated avenue they can take with the disgruntled running back that will add yet another chapter to this saga. Continue Reading By Zach Braziller

Antonio Brown may have given a sign on Friday that he is open to smoothing things over with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but his social media activity still says otherwise.

When Brown essentially abandoned the Steelers during the final week of the regular season, a report claimed he had an ugly altercation with Ben Roethlisberger before he left the team. If that wasn’t evidence enough that the relationship between Brown and Roethlisberger is strained, perhaps Brown “liking” two tweets about the sexual assault allegations against Big Ben will be. Continue Reading By Steve DelVecchio

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

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There can only be four.

Them’s the rules when it comes to faces of United States presidents carved into Mount Rushmore. Likewise, it was our rule for choosing the four faces that would best represent each of Major League Baseball’s 30 franchises.

An undertaking as large as this required some ground rules:

      • Players Only: With respect to the dozens upon dozens of influential owners, executives, scouts and broadcasters who have left their mark, there are no baseball legends quite like baseball players.
      • Franchise, Not City: A player need not have played in an organization’s current home in order to be counted among said organization’s all-time greats.
      • Statistics Matter: This should probably go without saying, but the more a player produced for a given team, the better.
      • So Does Legacy: We also considered players’ championships, accolades and other achievements. Good guys were also welcome, though not at the expense of important historical significance.
      • And Era: Special commendations for post-integration (1947) for post-expansion (starting in 1961) players, and virtually no commendations to the stars of the 1800s.
      • One Player, One Team: A single player can’t be on more than one team’s Mount Rushmore.

That about does it, so let’s get to work carving 120 different faces into 30 different mountains. Continue Reading By ZACHARY D. RYMER

The Red Sox are all Xander Bogaerts knows. And it’s not just his near six years of Major League service time.

Bogaerts has been under the employ of the franchise since Aug. 23, 2009, when he signed as an international free agent out of Aruba at the age of 16. He went from a boy to a man with the Red Sox, and from a prospect to a star who will soon collect his second World Series ring. It’s hard for him to picture putting on another uniform. Continue Reading By Ian Browne

It is Feb. 15, which means we’re 105 days into the baseball free agency period. Superstar sluggers Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain free agents.

As teams report for spring training, the hot stove remains relatively cold but in the meantime, we’ll be here to round up all the notable rumors and news around baseball. As always, our free-agent tracker is a great way to catch up on what’s already happened on that front.

Let’s round up the activity for Friday here. Continue Reading By 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Jack Hughes.

Photo: Detroit Free Press

With the Detroit Red Wings on the verge of missing the postseason for the third straight season, it’s time to devote our attention to June’s 2019 NHL draft, and more specifically the draft lottery.

Center Jack Hughes, the younger brother of Michigan’s Quinn Hughes, is widely projected to be the No. 1 pick. He plays for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. Finland forward Kaapo Kakko is the No. 2 prospect. Continue Reading By 

Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are 10 days remaining until the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. ET, and the buzz is picking up. Will Micheal Ferland be moved as a potential rental or will Carolina Hurricanes keep the forward to help their push to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs? With defenseman Andrej Sekera close to returning from a conditioning assignment, what will the Edmonton Oilers do to make room for him?

Here’s a look around the League at the latest deadline doings: Continue Reading By Tom Gulitti

The Anaheim Ducks may want four-years on Jakob Silfverberg, he wants at least five.

Photo: NHL Rumors

Scouting the Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday

John Hoven: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas was at the Ducks-Canucks game on Wednesday.

Michael Augello: Elliotte Friedman said on Sportsnet that Dubas could have been looking at Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour who has another year left on his deal at $3.38 million. He’ll be an RFA who has arbitration rights.

Silfverberg could be looking around five years and $6 million per
Jonathan Davis: Sense from talking to sources at the Ducks-Canucks game, the Ducks may not want to go more than four years for on a Jakob Silfverberg extension. Silfverberg is looking for at least a five-year deal.

Jonathan Davis: A five-year deal would take Silfverberg till he’s 34-years old. It would also be in the $6 million per year range. Wouldn’t be a surprise if Ducks traded him at the deadline, but that could change if they are able to move out some extra salary cap space.

A High asking price for Puljujarvi

Chris Nichols of Nichols on Hockey: Darren Dreger was on TSN 1260 talking about Edmonton Oilers Jesse Puljujarvi playing a limited role in the NHL while the Oilers farm team is on a roll.

Management needs to trust their coaching staff to find out what they have long-term with Puljujarvi. They still don’t know what they have him. If the coaching staff comes back and says he may not be more than a third liner, then it may be time to move him.

“There is a trade market for Jesse Puljujarvi, but my understanding is that the Oilers just want too much – the ask on him is way too high. I don’t even know what that is. I can take a guess at it when you start talking about either a top prospect or a first-round pick obviously plus something given where he was drafted.

“But I don’t get the sense that Puljujarvi has much, if any, interest in going to Bakersfield and playing in the American Hockey League. Doesn’t have a choice organizationally, so if the Oilers want to take a tough stand on him then so be it.

“But I think it’s time that they actually seriously consider their trade options.” By Mark Easson

Auston Matthews knows about contract hell, and his negotiation with the Toronto Maple Leafs wasn’t it.

“I went through a contract thing when I was going to Switzerland that was a debacle. Much more stressful than this,” he said.

Matthews and his family made the decision to have him bring his talents to the Zurich Lions in 2015. It would be a year of professional seasoning for the consensus choice for first overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft. But the hoops he had to jump through to play there would have intimidated a Westminster show dog: earning “specialist status” to enter and work in the country, and then needing to take his GED exam to have graduated high school and be eligible for the season. Continue Reading By Greg Wyshynski

The Bruins are perpetually seeking solutions for their secondary scoring issues behind the Patrice Bergeron line. Last season they took a swing with a pending unrestricted free agent in Rick Nash … and whiffed, as Nash had 3 goals and 2 assists in 12 playoff games with a minus-7 in what would be his last NHL season due to concussion complications. Continue Reading By Greg Wyshynski

NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL NEWS & NOTES

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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

The New York Yankees have offered Manny Machado $220 million over seven-to-eight years, according to former MLB general manager Jim Duquette.

Via Astros beat writer Chandler Rome, Houston GM Jeff Luhnow confirmed that the team had an agreement in principle to trade for Bryce Harper at last season’s deadline. 12 Up

“Jacob deGrom isn’t ruling out putting a restriction on his innings if he enters the season without a new contract. New York Post

“The Mets are “on the verge of blowing up their stadium renovation deal” with St. Lucie and looking for a new Spring Training home, reports Keona Gardner of the TC Palm.

“In one of the least surprising moves of the offseason, the Toronto Blue Jays have, more or less, announced they plan to keep top prospect Vlad Guerrero Jr. at Triple-A to start the season. Hardball Talk

“Gary Sanchez appreciates the support. Fans in the Bronx may have been calling for the 26-year-old catcher to be dealt all winter, but he returns to Yankee spring training knowing that his manager believes in him. New York Daily News

“The Twins are nearing the completion of a new contract with right fielder Max Kepler, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. MLB Trade Rumors

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer won his arbitration case against the team this week for the second consecutive year, but the hearing apparently got a lot more personal this time around. Larry Brown Sports

Shortstop Jorge Polanco and the Minnesota Twins are finalizing a contract extension that will cover seven years and guarantee around $25 million. ESPN

The Cubs wasted little time filling an open spot on their 40-man roster Wednesday by agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with left-handed reliever Xavier Cedeno. Cedeno, 32, posted a 2.43 ERA in 48 appearances with the White Sox and Brewers last season. Chicago Tribune

Canadian reliever John Axford is close to signing a minor-league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. Sportsnet

The Royals signed left-handed reliever Jake Diekman on Wednesday to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2020 worth a guaranteed $2.75 million. Diekman, 32, will make $2.25 million in base salary this season and could earn performance bonuses for games and games finished. Kansas City Star

 

NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE

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Houston Rockets star James Harden put himself in rare company on Wednesday night, scoring at least 30 points in his 31st consecutive game. He is now tied with Wilt Chamberlain (1962) for the second-longest such streak in NBA history.

“Ethan Strauss of The Athletic — who Durant called out by name during his recent tense presser with reporters — said during his podcast Thursday that “There is infrastructure being laid down in New York, for him to go to New York — if we’re just completely real about.” SNY TV

After two tumultuous seasons in Philadelphia, Markelle Fultz, once thought to be the final piece of The Process alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, was shipped off to Orlando at the trade deadline. Dime Magazine

Carmelo Anthony may be a backup plan for the backup plan. As the Lakers wade through the buyout market, they already have whiffed on Enes Kanter and now may be hoping to land Markieff Morris, according to ESPN.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver isn’t considering a switch to the NFL to become that league’s commissioner, according to ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne, Bleacher Report

Agent Zero is back. Former Washington Wizards star guard Gilbert Arenas is taking his talents to the BIG3 league this summer. The Score

New Balance has been out of the basketball kicks game for a while but has landed a big fish as it relaunches its hardcourt division. Kawhi Leonard will be the new face of New Balance Hoops. Sportsnaut

Celtics reportedly accuse Rich Paul of creating a story that Kyrie Irving was leaving to impact Anthony Davis trade. BroBible

 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

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The Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers have been in talks about a potential trade involving goaltender Cam Talbot, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. The Score

After breaking into NHL as undrafted free agent, Chris Kunitz set to join exclusive 1,000-game club. NBC Sports Chicago

For all the talk of an Artemi Panarin trade, The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun cautions that the Columbus Blue Jackets keeping the star forward as an “own rental” is a very real possibility. Pro Hockey Rumors

A seven-game winning streak and building confidence have center Ryan O’Reilly hoping the Blues don’t mess with their chemistry before the trade deadline. “I don’t expect really anything big to happen here, and that’s good,” O’Reilly told NHL.com

An encouraging note for Ducks fans, especially during a stretch without much good news in Anaheim, is that Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that term is the only thing separating the team and winger Jakob Silfverberg from agreeing to a contract extension.. Yardbarker

The Toronto Maple Leafs will not part ways with defensive prospects Timothy Liljegren or Rasmus Sandin in exchange for a rental player, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

 

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

One Instagram post wasn’t enough for Tom Brady to show his love for Alex Guerrero. After shouting out his personal trainer and business partner in an Instagram story the day after Super Bowl LIII, the New England Patriots quarterback used Instagram on Wednesday. NBC Sports Boston

On the surface, the Antonio Brown contract can easily be traded. He’s due to make less than $39 million over the next three years, an annual average of less than $13 million. In theory, this makes his contract somewhat easier to trade. Pro Football Talk

Latavius Murray has quietly been one of the most reliable running backs in the league and was just that with the Minnesota Vikings the last two seasons, which now sees him on the verge of hitting free agency. 247 Sports

Pete Thamel reports that Florida DC Todd Grantham will stay at the school, despite interest from the Bengals. Harrison Tenzer first reported the news.  Other names recently linked to the Bengals include Rams DBs coach Aubrey.

The Chargers announced that they have elected to not exercise DT Corey Liuget‘s contract option, making him a free agent.  Chargers GM Tom Telesco said in a statement that the “door is certainly not closed” on Liuget possibly. NFL Trade Rumors

The Broncos do not intend to re-work Joe Flacco‘s contract after agreeing to acquire him from the Ravens earlier today, according to Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter link)

A weak wide receiver market will see a veteran join the ranks. NFL Network‘s Mike Garafolo reported Thursday morning on Good Morning Football that the San Francisco 49ers will not pick up the contract option on receiver Pierre Garcon. NFL.com

The Oakland Raiders this past season had a terrible showing. They went 4-12 on the season and had absolutely no depth in their front seven. Their defense allowed 29.2 points every game. Pro-Football Focus had them ranked last in every single defensive ranking. Clutch Points

The Philadelphia Eagles have five days until deciding to put the franchise tag on any one of their players, one of which being quarterback Nick Foles. If the Eagles do franchise Foles, their intent would be to trade him in hopes of getting back a draft pick. 247 Sports

 

 

 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE OFF SEASON NEWS

Trade talk has gone quiet around the league in recent weeks but, in Faulk and Skinner, the Canes are dangling two players who could turn pretenders into contenders. Continue Reading by Matt Larkin The defending Stanley Cup champions have re-signed restricted free agent forward Tom Wilson to a six-year, $31MM contract extension. This salary over this amount of … Read moreNATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE OFF SEASON NEWS

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE NEWS & NOTES FLEURY, RED WINGS, SEATTLE FRANCHISE

The Vegas Golden Knights have locked up their goaltender, signing Marc-Andre Fleury to a three-year contract extension. Fleury still had one year remaining on his current contract, meaning this extension will kick in for the 2019-20 season. The deal will pay Fleury $21MM, and carry a cap hit of $7MM per season. It also includes a no-trade … Read moreNATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE NEWS & NOTES FLEURY, RED WINGS, SEATTLE FRANCHISE

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE OFF-SEASON NEWS & NOTES

There has been speculation around Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty for months, with a trade out of town being the most likely final scenario for the scoring winger. Recently though there had been some who wondered if the Canadiens would re-open talks for an extension, something that now appears completely off the table. Marc Antoine Godin of The … Read moreNATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE OFF-SEASON NEWS & NOTES