NBA WEEKEND DOESN’T DISAPPOINT, SPRING TRAINING, NHL NEWS

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

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As usual, the NBA trade deadline provided all kinds of entertainment for both casual and die-hard fans of the league. There was plenty of actual player movement in addition to the (still ongoing) Anthony Davis saga and teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks strengthened their rosters with an eye toward legitimate title contention. In fact, much has been made of the wildly intriguing race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, with four teams jockeying for position and the prospect of an all-out brawl for a Finals spot in May. Continue Reading By 

In Stephen Curry‘s homecoming, Kevin Durant stole the show. Durant scored a team-high 31 points for Team LeBron, helping to lead his team of All-Stars back from a 20-point deficit in a 178-164 win over Team Giannis and winning All-Star MVP for the second time in his career. Continue Reading By Dave McMenamin

Trae Young, Hawks

NBA TV held a discussion with some of the top rookies of this season, but Atlanta Hawks rookie point guard Trae Young wasn’t invited. Continue Reading By  

Jalen Rose, LeBron James, Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers may or may not reach the postseason this 2018-19 season. Despite signing superstar forward LeBron James over the summer, the slumping Western Conference franchise has been forced to play most of this season without “King James” due to a groin injury. Continue Reading By 

60 Pairs Of Sneakers Players Wore During NBA All-Star Weekend Events

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NBA All-Star Weekend is pretty much the mecca for sneakerheads as so many of the league’s superstars break out extra special kicks, many that we’ve never seen before, and in several cases will never see again. Continue Reading By 

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

The hot stove is heating up with rumors of teams making offers to the biggest free agents on the market.

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are still unsigned, and with spring training underway and the regular season beginning in about four weeks, teams are still struggling to set their rosters as there are still quality free agents still waiting to ink deals.

Here are all the latest rumors and news around baseball: Continue Reading By SCOOBY AXSON

Craig Kimbrel

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For Red Sox fans hoping the team will have a change of heart and bring back ace closer Craig Kimbrel, team chairman Tom Werner put some long odds on that Monday.

“I think it’s extremely unlikely,” Werner said (via MLB.com). Continue Reading By Arthur Weinstein

Stars might put fans in the seats, but baseball is a sport that rewards the most complete clubs. That’s what makes Spring Training more than a series of exhibitions; big league jobs are on the line, and they could end up having a major impact on the season-end standings.

The next five weeks will see lots of shuffling on Major League rosters. Here are the most intriguing positional battles on each of the 30 MLB clubs. Continue Reading By MLB.com

Photo: (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

 Even on a day when Commissioner Rob Manfred broke a bit of news — spring training games will soon begin in Florida and Arizona with a 20-second pitch clock, as a possible precursor to implementing the pace-saving devices in the regular season — he could not escape the predominant story line of Major League Baseball’s offseason: the continued unemployment of some of the sport’s highest-profile free agents with the first exhibition games just days away. Continue Reading By Dave Sheinin

 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

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There was only one thing Jake Gardiner wanted to do with the only night his Toronto Maple Leafs would spend in this city all season long. Drop in on old friend Tyler Bozak.

“Check out his house and say hi to his kids,” said Gardiner, of how he intended to cap a busy Monday that included practice in Glendale, Ariz., and a two-plus-hour team flight to St. Louis. Continue Reading By 

Photo: EA Sports

After a 44-year wait for their first Stanley Cup, the Washington Capitals finally hoisted the coveted trophy and celebrated throughout the summer with parties and keg-stands. This season, the Caps have returned with very much the same team, managing to re-sign pivotal defenseman John Carlsson and ready to embark on the franchise’s first ever defense of the Cup. The team is strong in all areas, boasting many of the best players in the game. Continue Reading By Ben Chopping

Photo: Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Ryan Miller is one of the best goaltenders in Buffalo Sabres history; there’s no doubt about that. But on Sunday, Miller also solidified his place in NHL history, become the winningest US-born goaltender in the league’s history as the Anaheim Ducks powered to a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals. Continue Reading By 

Every week, we’ll mine the waiver wire for lesser-owned assets to help your fantasy hockey squad, whether you favor dynasty or the redraft format, and we’ll also toss in some tips for daily fantasy sports players out there. Finally, we will look at some former go-to fantasy assets who might be overvalued — either in the short or long term — for one reason or another. Continue Reading By Victoria Matiash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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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

Slepets-Hughes-Kakko-010719-getty-ftr.jpg

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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

 

 

 

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 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

LATEST NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE NEWS & NOTES – GOLDEN KNIGHTS, RED WINGS, MAPLE LEAFS

There were 44 restricted free agents to officially file for salary arbitration this past week, a pretty significant spike from the number we saw just one year ago. If history is any guide most of those contract situations will be resolved before arbitration is actually needed because neither the team nor the player wants to … Read moreLATEST NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE NEWS & NOTES – GOLDEN KNIGHTS, RED WINGS, MAPLE LEAFS

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE NEWS & NOTES, TAVARES NEW TORONTO MAPLE LEAF

John Tavares gave the Toronto Maple Leafs his word. General manager Kyle Dubas still had his doubts. After all the recruiting, all the speculation, all the contract discussions, Dubas couldn’t fully believe that the Maple Leafs had landed Tavares, the grand prize in the 2018 NHL free agent class. Until he saw the 27-year-old center walk … Read moreNATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE NEWS & NOTES, TAVARES NEW TORONTO MAPLE LEAF

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE MAY 31ST NEWS-STANLEY CUP GAME 2

The Washington Capitals came away with a big road win in Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final last night but a key player Evgeny Kuznetsov, was forced to leave the game early after a hip check into the boards from Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb. Washington Capitals goalie’s Braden Holtby reacted with pure instinct. coaches and teammates weren’t … Read moreNATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE MAY 31ST NEWS-STANLEY CUP GAME 2

NHL-STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS NEWS

SportsPulse: The Vegas Golden Knights were never supposed to be here in the first place, but now their shot at a title is becoming more realistic than ever. Our NHL insider Kevin Allen on how this team has done the unthinkable. USA TODAY Sports Winning the Stanley Cup seemed the perfect next step for the Nashville … Read moreNHL-STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS NEWS