NBA NEWS: HARDEN, LEBRON, WARRIORS, DONAGHY

James Harden - cropped

Photo: Sporting News

James Harden is chasing the NBA record book, but he’s only doing it to help his team chase a championship.

The Rockets star is in the midst of a 31-game stretch in which he’s scored at least 30 points in each contest, providing extra offense as Chris Paul and Clint Capela have dealt with injuries. Continue Reading By Kirstie Chiappelli

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Warriors

Photo: Clutch Points

The Golden State Warriors are bracing for the departure of Kevin Durant in the summer, a move that could range from possible to inevitable, depending on one’s sense of pessimism. If he does, it won’t be long before the Warriors reload, though, as they could well target Giannis Antetokounmpo in the summer 2021, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Continue Reading By 

 

Stephen-Curry-Getty-021919-ftr.jpg

Photo: Sporting News

Jimmy Fallon issued a hilarious challenge to Stephen Curry during the 2019 NBA All-Star weekend.

The TV host asked the NBA star to secretly drop three weird phrases (“Energizer Bunny,” “Flipping Pancakes” and “Wham, Bam, Can of Ham”) into his interviews over the three-day event. Continue Reading By Sara Jane Harris

 

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are just two members of Team LeBron who interest the Knicks.

Photo: (Streeter Lecka / Getty Images)

It would take a professional lip-reader to truly find out, but Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were definitely cooking up some kind of scheme at the All-Star game Sunday night. Whether they were actually talking about the Knicks is up for fans to believe…or pray for. Continue Reading By 

 

Khris Middleton goes up for a dunk during the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.

Photo: Khris Middleton goes up for a dunk during the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday. Getty Images

As the Knicks attempt to best use their $74 million in cap space, they could do worse than unsung Bucks swingman and free-agent-to-be Khris Middleton, who is coming off a breakout All-Star Game on Sunday in Charlotte.

While the 27-year-old is not regarded in most circles as a max-contract player, he is coming close. In becoming the first G-League graduate to play in the All-Star Game, Middleton racked up 20 points, hitting four straight 3-pointers in the first half. He was 6-of-10 for the night for Team Giannis as he continues to raise his free-agent profile. Continue Reading By Marc Berman

 

Photo: GETTY IMAGE

Rudy Gay is calm. Dribbling, waiting, readying himself. The clock continues to dwindle down. Eight, seven, six …

With 5.5 seconds left, LaMarcus Aldridge sprints towards half court as Gay switches hands with his dribble. Josh Jackson, fresh off a game-tying tomahawk slam, concedes a switch to his partner, Kelly Oubre, as Aldridge sets the screen. Continue Reading By 

 

Anthony Davis and Lebron James

Photo: Anthony Davis and Lebron James Getty Images

Eyebrows were raised this weekend when LeBron James and Anthony Davis were spotted hanging out together in the midst of Davis’ fraught trade drama. Continue Reading By Page Six Team

 

Sacramento Kings v Dallas Mavericks

ACT 1: A CONVENIENT HALF-TRUTH

James “Jimmy” “Bah-Bah” “The Sheep” Battista was a stressed-out, overweight, Oxy-addicted 41-year-old, in the hole to some underground gamblers for sums he’d sort of lost track of, when he settled in to watch an NBA game for which he believed he’d just put in the fix. It was January 2007. A month or so back, not long before Christmas, he’d done something audacious: He’d sat down and cut a deal with an NBA referee. Now he feared the scheme had become too obvious. Continue reading By Scott Eden

 

 

NBA ALL STAR WEEKEND, NBA ALL STAR MEDIA DAY NEWS

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis spent more than 10 minutes of his All-Star Game media day news conference Saturday being remarkably candid about his decision to request a trade away from New Orleans and about the destinations he would like to eventually wind up in. Continue Reading By Tim Bontemps

With Michael Jordan hosting All-Star Weekend as the only former player to serve as the principal owner of an NBA team, LeBron James said that while team ownership is a goal for when he is finished playing, it’s not his singular focus.

“It’s not that it’s intoxicating to me, and I don’t think about it on a day-to day basis,” James said when asked about NBA ownership at Saturday’s All-Star media availability session. Continue Reading By Dave McMenamin

Sixers, Joel Embiid

Photo: Clutch Points

Philadelphia 76ers star big man Joel Embiid says the Sixers have a talented roster and a good chance at winning the championship this season. The Sixers enter the All-Star break at 37-21, good for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Continue Reading By 

Denver Nuggets v Phoenix Suns

Photo: si.com

An alarm sounds at 7:30 a.m., and Deandre Ayton—all 7’1” and 250 pounds of him—lumbers out of bed. Approximately 20 minutes later, the rookie center arrives at the Phoenix Suns’ practice facility. By 10 a.m., he’s eaten breakfast and downed a bottle of his favorite Rockin’ Protein drink ahead of a treatment session. Around 11 a.m., he lifts weights before watching film with teammates at noon. By 12:30 p.m., Ayton and the Suns hit the court for practice. Continue Reading By KAELEN JONES

Indiana Pacers v Brooklyn Nets

Photo: NATHANIEL S. BUTLER/NBAE VIA GETTY IMAGES

Kyle O’Quinn went from having limited scholarship offers to becoming a star at Norfolk State. One of only two HBCU alums on an NBA roster, his unconventional road to the league is anomaly. Continue Reading By JOSIAH TURNER

Kevin Durant

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant was once again presented with Kristaps Porzingis questions on Saturday, and he wasn’t happy about it. Continue Reading By  Grey Papke

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Photo: sporting news

Toronto fans need no reminder. The playoffs have been a bit of a sore subject for them.

The Raptors have earned a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs in each of the last five seasons, yet they have failed to reach the NBA Finals. A LeBron James-led Cleveland team ended their runs the past three postseasons, including an embarrassing 4-0 sweep with Toronto as the No. 1 seed in the East. The Raptors were stuck in perpetual purgatory. Continue Reading By Thomas Schlarp

Zach-Collins-021419-Getty-FTR.jpg

Photo: sporting news

Before Wednesday night, Zach Collins was a mostly anonymous second-year center for the Trail Blazers. After Wednesday, he’s the archenemy of the champion Warriors and a Twitter star.

Slight exaggeration, but Collins did make a few gold-clad All-Stars mad with his play and his talking, not necessarily in that order, in Portland’s 129-107 victory. Continue Reading By Tom Gatto

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and FIBA officials announced Saturday they will collaborate on a new 12-team African pro basketball league that begins in January 2020

Photo:  (AFP Photo/Glyn KIRK )

A new professional basketball league is coming to Africa. On Saturday at NBA All-Star weekend in Charlotte, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that the league and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) are teaming up to launch what will be called the Basketball Africa League (BAL); a 12-franchise league that is set to begin play in January of 2020. Continue Reading By 

Photo: Mark Wilson (Getty Images)

Considering the NBA’s global popularity and penchant for staying ahead of the curve, Saturday’s announcement that the league is officially expanding outside of North America comes as no surprise. Continue Reading By Jay Connor

Photo: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

For a moment imagine that the Dallas Chaparrals had never made the trip down I-35 to the Alamo City. Perhaps they would have floundered around the ABA a few more seasons until the NBA incorporated the Denver NuggetsIndiana Pacers, New Jersey Nets, and Virginia Squires.

It’s quite possible San Antonio would not have gotten a major franchise in any sport. Who would San Antonians root for? Continue Reading By 

The 2019 NBA Rising Stars Challenge on Friday saw Team USA defeat Team World 161-144 in a game was about as half-assed defensively as one would expect with that scoreline. But despite this crop of young NBA talent getting some of the best looks they’ve gotten all season, it didn’t prevent some of the worst misses from standing out amongst the highlight dunks—especially down the stretch. Continue Reading By Gabe Fernandez

Before Adam Silver could deliver his annual state of the NBA address at All-Star Weekend, Charles Barkley beat the commissioner to the punch.

The outspoken TNT commentator and Hall of Famer didn’t mince words in a blistering critique of the league’s lack of competitive balance, slamming agents for their role in steering players to Superteams and even predicting future labor strife. Continue Reading By Ben Golliver

No one would have been able to argue, with a straight face, that the cast of characters shooting around during warmups for the 2019 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday night was a who’s who of household names.

During a red-carpet arrival event a few hours earlier, in fact, members of the media could be observed discreetly gesturing at the various smartly dressed folks on the other side of the ropes while muttering the same question over and over to each other: “Hey, do you know who that is?” Continue Reading By THÉODEN JANES

More than bragging rights will be at stake when Stephen Curry and Seth Curry compete Saturday night in the 3-point shooting contest during the NBA’s All-Star Game weekend festivities. The brothers have wagered on the outcome. Continue Reading By 

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gave the world a peek at the future of jerseys during this week’s NBA All-Start Technology Summit, an event dedicated to illustrating how technology might advance the sport by 2038. Continue Reading By 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Photo: GETTY IMAGE

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

Photo: New Balance

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

Photo From Clutch Points

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

Photo: Getty Images

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

Photo: Getty Images

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

Photo: ABE FOX/Associated Press

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

SPORTS NEWS ROUND-UP

Minnesota Timberwolves v New Orleans Pelicans

Photo: ESPN.com

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Oklahoma City Thunder overcame a 26-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 117-112.

James Harden extended his own historic run, dropping 42 points against the Thunder, eclipsing 30 points for the 29th straight game — two shy of Chamberlain for the second-longest streak in NBA history, but far behind Chamberlain’s record run of 65 games.

Kyrie Irving underwent an MRI this morning at New England Baptist Hospital and has been diagnosed with a strained right knee. His status is day-to-day.

The Indiana Pacers announced Sunday they have signed free agent guard Wesley Matthews to a contract. Matthews appeared in 45 games and made 44 starts for the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks this season while averaging 12.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Salah Mejri has re-signed with the Mavericks, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Mejri was waived Thursday to open a roster spot so the team could complete a deal that sent Harrison Barnes to the Kings.

Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson said the New Orleans Pelicans operated in bad faith during negotiations with his team over a deal for superstar Anthony Davis. However, he said he isn’t dwelling on the trade deadline failure and wants his players to shift their focus forward as well.

Magic Johnson plans to hug it out with the Los Angeles Lakers to help them cope with the fallout from the NBA trade deadline. “It’s a part of business, it’s a part of being a professional athlete,” he said Saturday. “I’m going to hug ’em and tell them that we got to come together and our goal is still in reach, which is to make the playoffs.”

After 10 days of team-wide uncertainty during their widely reported pursuit of disgruntled New Orleans superstar Anthony Davis, Rob Pelinka said he believes the Lakers will bounce back strongly. Pelinka already saw signs of it Thursday night, when Los Angeles beat Boston on Rajon Rondo’s dramatic winning basket just a few hours after the deadline passed and Davis remained with the Pelicans.

Kyle Kuzma dropped an impressive 23 points in the first quarter on Sunday afternoon at Philadelphia. The performance was most points scored in a single quarter by any Lakers player since Kobe Bryant dropped 23 in the fourth quarter against the Jazz back in 2016 — which was also Bryant’s final NBA game.

Anthony Davis is showing he can still produce great numbers. He only needed 25 minutes to score 32 points in his first game for New Orleans since requesting a trade nearly two weeks ago. Davis also had nine rebounds and three blocks in a 122-117 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

The Philadelphia 76ers made several moves prior to Thursday’s trade deadline. In the biggest deal, they sent Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and four draft picks to the Los Angeles Clippers for Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott.

Sunday afternoon report from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Hornets have claimed veteran point guard Shelvin Mack off waivers from the Atlanta Hawks.

The Knicks interest in Kevin Durant is obvious. Their intent to go after him this offseason was solidified when they rid themselves of Kristaps Porzingis’ contract at the trade deadline. The rumors are certainly alive and well. Per Brad Rowland of Uproxx, the team ‘coincidentally’ used a picture where he is defending Mitchell Robinson in a season-ticket renewal promotion.

Otto Porter said Wizards management held a private meeting with him before the trade deadline and assured him that he would remain with the team, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic.

The Raptors have agreed to a new multi-year contract with Chris Boucher, promoting him from his current two-way deal with the team, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. 

 

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

During an appearance on Good Morning America, host and one-time Brady Super Bowl antagonist Michael Strahan said that he is in the camp that sees Brady as the “G.O.A.T.,” but Brady said it’s not a moniker he’ll be embracing anytime soon.

Brian Flores officially hired 16 assistant coaches to join him in his mission to turn around the Miami Dolphins, including Jim Caldwell as his assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach.

The NFL combine ahead of the 2019 draft is only three weeks away. In the meantime here is Mel Kiper Jr. first mock draft, which came out on Jan. 17.

Adam Gase’s new coaching staff with the New York Jets contains enough potential family drama. he full staff, announced Friday by the Jets, includes longtime NFL assistant Joe Vitt, Gase’s father-in-law, and Blake Williams, the son of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

NBC Sports veteran Bob Costas revealed he was removed from the network’s coverage due to comments he made about the NFL’s concussion problems.

The Raiders are negotiating with Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum officials to allow the NFL franchise to play its home games at the venue during the 2019 season.

The MMQB’s Albert Breer broke down the key dates on Murray’s calendar in Thursday’s Game Plan, with key benchmarks arriving soon in both his budding MLB and NFL careers. So what does Murray’s near future hold? Check out his schedule via Breer below.

February 15: A’s position players are due to report for spring training in Mesa, Ariz. Oakland gave Murray a $4.66 million signing bonus under an agreement that would allow him to play one last season of college football, then report to spring training for 2019. So if he doesn’t report next week, that’s a pretty big deal.

February 27-March 2: Quarterbacks go through their four days at the scouting combine in Indianapolis. Murray has been invited. Will he be there?

March 13: Oklahoma pro day. Like the combine and everything else, this one is in direct conflict with spring training.

March 14-April 19: In-house visits with teams, and private workouts. The workouts can actually spill into draft week, while the deadline for NFL teams to fly prospects into their facilities is a week before the draft.

March 20: A’s open their season in Tokyo against Seattle. As for their affiliates, the Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators, Double-A Midland RockHounds and Single-A Stockton Ports and Beloit Snappers all open up on April 4.

April 26-28: The NFL draft takes place Nashville.

Murray declared for the NFL draft on Jan. 14. He was the No. 9 pick in the MLB draft in June 2018.

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

The Giants have emerged as a serious contender for Bryce Harper in the past week, but USA Today’s Bob Nightengale writes that the club has “no desire” to make Harper an offer approaching the 10-year, $300 million deal he reportedly rejected from the Nationals in September.

Chicago White Sox reportedly made a $175 million offer to Machado earlier this offseason. The offer is still on the table.

Free-agent left-hander Dallas Keuchel asked for a six- to seven-year contract worth $25MM to $30MM per annum at the beginning of the offseason but has yet to sign a contract. Entering the offseason, MLBTR predicted an $82MM guarantee for the 32-year-old Keuchel.

A’s star third baseman Matt Chapman will be slowed by ongoing rehab this spring, but don’t count him out from the club’s March 20 regular-season opener against the Mariners in Tokyo.

Athletics righty James Kaprielian suffered a setback in his shoulder and will undergo an MRI.

Reliever Alex Wilson had interest from 10 or 11 different clubs, different minor league options Before the Indians signed him.

Any of the following Wil MyersManuel MargotHunter RenfroeFranchy CorderoFranmil Reyes and Travis Jankowski are all in the mix for a spot in the Padres outfield.

Brett Lawrie is mounting a comeback with the organization that got him started. The former first-round Draft pick announced via Instagram on Saturday that he’d signed with the Brewers. Lawrie, 29, hasn’t played organized baseball since the White Sox released him in March 2017.

The Royals announced on Saturday that they signed veteran right-hander Homer Bailey to a Minor League contract. Bailey, the seventh-overall pick in the 2004 MLB Draft, pitched his entire career with the Reds before Cincinnati dealt him to the Dodgers in December for salary relief as part of a seven-player deal.

The Nationals signed free-agent starter Jeremy Hellickson to a one-year deal on Friday. Hellickson will earn $1.3 million in 2019, with up to $4 million in incentives.

One of the opening day questions for the DBacks will be if they can carry three catchers which they have in each of the past two seasons under this regime. Right now it would look like Carson KellyAlex Avila, and  John Ryan Murphy.

 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

The Anaheim Ducks fired coach Randy Carlyle. Bob Murray, the team’s general manager, will serve as interim coach for the remainder of the season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed their young superstar to a huge contract, inking a five-year extension with Auston Matthews. The deal will carry an annual average value of $11.634MM, and be paid almost entirely in signing bonuses. Leafs have acquired defenseman Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings. Going the other way is a package of forward prospect Carl Grundstrom, defense prospect Sean Durzi, and the Leafs’ 2019 first-round pick.

Pittsburgh Penguins sent Brassard, Riley Sheahan, a 2019 second-round pick (PIT), and two 2019 fourth-round picks (PIT & MIN) to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann.

The Chicago Blackhawks have put defenseman Luc Snuggerud on unconditional waivers for the purpose of contract termination.

 

NCAA FOOTBALL

JENNA WEST from Sports Illustrated reports Clemson still doesn’t know how three players failed drug tests ahead of the Cotton Bowl in late December, according to The Post and Courier.

The program is continuing to appeal the suspensions of defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, offensive lineman Zach Giella and tight end Brandon Galloway, who tested positive for the banned substance ostarine before Clemson’s CFP semifinal game win over Notre Dame. The three Tigers players also missed Clemson’s 44–16 national championship victory over Alabama.

Clemson’s defensive coordinator Brent Venables at that lofty level. Venables earned $2.2 million last season. He received a new contract last July that pays him $11.6 million over six seasons. Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott are now in the million-dollar club.

Miami football is back! As Manny Diaz walked behind one of Miami’s returning players into a recruiting dinner last month, the player spoke up to no one in particular. “I feel like I transferred to a new school,” he said. Behind him, Diaz smiled. “That’s kind of what I wanted to hear,” Miami’s new head coach said.

 

NCAA BASKETBALL

Duke is investigating a sexual assault allegation made against a former player, according to ESPN’s Myron Medcalf. Former Duke student Meredith Watson claimed she was raped by a member of the basketball team in 1999, per her attorney’s statement. Watson also claimed Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax raped her during her time as a student.

On Saturday afternoon, the NCAA tournament selection committee continued its tradition (born way back in 2017) of offering the world an early glimpse at the top 16 seeds in the NCAA tournament if the season ended that day. One of this year’s more intriguing subplots among bracket prognosticators is just how much the NET rankings, which the NCAA introduced this season to replace the widely panned RPI, will impact the committee’s choices.

The Big Ten is ranked as the No. 1 conference on kenpom.com, a far cry from the fifth-place finish it had after a down 2017–18.

The Kansas Jayhawks have won 14 straight Big 12 regular season crowns, but road struggles have them sitting back in fourth with five weeks to go. Kansas State Wildcats cruised to the conference lead, punctuated by Tuesday’s home win over KU.

Indiana Hoosiers with a 13-11 record this season, and 4-9 in the Big Ten, and despite wins over three teams listed in the selection committee’s initial top 16, Indiana’s only realistic path to the field of 68 now probably runs through a Big Ten tournament title the Hoosiers have never won.

 

SKIING

 Lindsey Vonn walked off with her career haul of medals in her right hand, the gold, silver and bronze clinking together almost weighing her down. Whatever it was, the sound was a reminder of what Vonn has come to symbolize an athlete who battled back from one major injury after another throughout her career to win more ski races than any other woman.

 

NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE NEWS & NOTES LEBRON JAMES, STEPH CURRY, JAYSON TATUM

CBS has ordered a competition series from NBA superstar LeBron James, the network announced Tuesday. Million Dollar Mile will be a 10-episode high-stakes series that gives everyday athletes an opportunity to win big money ($1 million every time they run the Million Dollar Mile), according to CBS. James will executive produce. The series comes from Big Brother executive producers Allison … Read moreNATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE NEWS & NOTES LEBRON JAMES, STEPH CURRY, JAYSON TATUM

NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE NEWS & NOTES

This is Boston’s dance, and the rest of the conference is just spectating. A league source close to the situation told the Sun-Times on Tuesday that Kyrie Irving and former Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler are still trying to figure out a way to play together. Whether that means the Celtics try and acquire Butler this … Read moreNATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE NEWS & NOTES

NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE FREE AGENT NEWS & NOTES

Dana Gauruder from Hoops Rumors writes the rich are about to get richer, as free agent center DeMarcus Cousins has agreed to a contract with the Warriors, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets. It’ll be a one-year, $5.3MM deal, with the Dubs using the taxpayer mid-level exception to add Cousins, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It’s … Read moreNATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE FREE AGENT NEWS & NOTES

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS COUNTERPUNCH WITH DEMARCUS COUSINS

Adrian Wojnarowski reports from ESPN that All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, recovering from a torn Achilles injury, has agreed to a one-year, $5.3 million deal with the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors. For the Warriors, already with a staggering lineup of All-NBA talent, the addition of Cousins gives him even more time to comfortably recover … Read moreGOLDEN STATE WARRIORS COUNTERPUNCH WITH DEMARCUS COUSINS

LEBRON JAMES DECLINING OPTION AND WILL BECOME A FREE AGENT

LeBron James will not pick up the player option on the final year of his contract with the Cavaliers and will become an unrestricted free agent, according to ESPN and multiple reports. James had until 11:59 p.m. ET Friday to inform the Cavs of his intentions before the option expired. The decision will make the four-time MVP the … Read moreLEBRON JAMES DECLINING OPTION AND WILL BECOME A FREE AGENT

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION NEWS

The Warriors are set to become only the sixth team in league history to win a championship three times within four years. That’s fantastic and dynastic. But where do the Warriors, led by Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, rank among NBA dynasties? Would they be tough enough to beat Michael Jordan … Read moreNATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION NEWS