Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers

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Age: 23

Free-Agent Status: Restricted

2017-18 Per-Game Stats: 14.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.4 blocks, 50.5 percent shooting

Advanced Stats: 19.2 PER, 8.40 TPA, 1.91 RPM

Jusuf Nurkic’s future with the Blazers is foggier than ever following their first-round dispatch at the hands of the Pelicans.

Bigs with finite pick-and-pop range and face-up chops must be elite stoppers to carry real cachet. As the rim-protection anchor for the NBA’s eighth-best regular-season defense, Nurkic appeared to have just that. Opponents shot 54.8 nike nfl jerseys cheap percent against him at the hoop—the ninth-best mark among 98 players to challenge at least 200 point-blank looks—and Portland defended like a top-four outfit with him on the floor.

Squaring off with New Orleans did a number on Nurkic’s stands. He was no match for the frontcourt combination of Anthony Davis and Nikola Mirotic. While no one is well-equipped to handle Davis, Nurkic has limitations beyond the restricted area that hamstring the Blazers’ ability to react.

Sticking Al-Farouq Aminu on Davis—or a fellow unicorn—leaves Nurkic to chase around power forwards and glorified wings. And he struggles against explosive rim-runners or anyone with a semblance of outside-in handles. He would have been better off facing a fully healthy Pelicans squad that had DeMarcus Cousins jumping center.

Investing in Nurkic for his rim protection alone toes a dangerous line. As Cleaning The Glass’ Ben Falk nfl jerseys cheap nike wrote, his stinginess around the iron is more systemic than developed:

“Jusuf Nurkic patrols the paint for Portland with a unique mix of oafishness and grace that has produced a consistent track record as a strong rim protector. But it’s about more than personnel: with only a partial season of Nurkic, nfl nike jerseys cheap Terry Stotts’ outfit ranked first in this stat last year (though not by the same margin) and this season is their fourth top-three finish in the last five years in this stat, despite a changing roster.”

Portland’s salary-cap situation doesn’t help matters. Carrying Nurkic’s $8.8 million hold alone drags the ledger into luxury-tax territory ($123 million)—and that doesn’t include potential new deals for fellow restricted free agents Pat Connaughton or Shabazz Napier.nike nfl jersey cheap

Soldiering onward with Zach Collins and Ed Davis offers genuine temptation. The Blazers outscored opponents by 6.4 points per 100 possessions with them playing together in the regular season, and the two gave them more defensive maneuverability versus the Pelicans.

But Davis is a free agent himself, and Collins only started seeing a lion’s share of his time at the 5 in the playoffs. Exploring the alternative guarantees Portland nothing—infinitely so if Stotts and his defensive scheme are shown the door.cheap nfl jerseys nike

Zach LaVine Chicago Bulls

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Age: 23

Free-Agent Status: Restricted

2017-18 Per-Game Stats: 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.2 blocks, 38.3 percent shooting

Advanced Stats: 14.6 PER, minus-34.93 TPA, minus-3.41 RPM

Bringing back Zach LaVine shouldn’t be too expensive for the Chicago Bulls. Rival teams aren’t bankrolling over-the-top offers for someone who appeared in just 24 games after an ACL injury and then finished the season on the shelf with tendinitis in that same left knee.

Chicago’s predicament is more about principle.

LaVine was originally the crown jewel of last summer’s Jimmy Butler trade. Putting a hard cap on his value is akin to admitting Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen are more important to the future and that the Bulls flubbed at least part of said deal.

Functional stubbornness could prevent general manager Gar Forman and vice president of basketball operations John Paxson from making that call. After all, who punts on the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade barely one year later? nfl custom jerseys cheap And LaVine was injured when they acquired him, suggesting the Bulls have always intended to play the long game.

Taking that can’t-go-back-now stance has more than financial repercussions. Overpaying LaVine would be a hindrance, but keeping him at all becomes problematic no matter the cost if it crimps the development of those around him.

Someone like Markkanen, who depends on others to get him the ball, is specifically at risk of suffering inadvertent reversion. LaVine averaged 19.5 field-goal attempts per 36 minutes in Chicago—ninth-most among every player cheap custom nfl jerseys to appear in more than 20 games this season. That volume begets an awkward pecking in which the Bulls are almost marking him their closest thing to a cornerstone.

As Blog A Bull’s Easy Eis wrote:

“In 12 of the 19 games that Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen have played together this season, the former has taken more shots than the latter. For a team trying to develop their top ten first round pick into a franchise cornerstone, cheap customized nfl jerseys that simply cannot happen. The Bulls have the luxury right now of very little pressure to play winning basketball, so the focus should clearly be on getting their stars of tomorrow comfortable with a consistent leader’s workload.

“By this point, most would acknowledge Markkanen’s progress is directly tied to the Bulls’ future, and Dunn at the very least looks like a quality two-way NBA point guard. There’s no questioning LaVine’s present talent and his potential upside, but is waiting to find out if he can fulfill such promise worth jeopardizing the ceilings of two players that—at this point—bring far more immediate and long-term value to the team as a whole?”

Figuring out what to do next is not an enviable position. Maybe the market is so cold it won’t matter. cheap nfl custom jerseys And it would be unreasonable to declare LaVine irrelevant to the Bulls’ future. He needs more than 24 games of rust-ridden availability.

Likewise, though, it would be irrational and intractable of Chicago to view him as indispensable. Good luck determining how much that player is worth.

Sean Couturier Reveals He Played with Torn MCL After Hat Trick vs. Penguins

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Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier battled through a significant injury for his team nfl jersey online shop during Games 5 and 6 of its first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

According to Adam Gretz of NBC Sports, Couturier revealed he tallied a hat trick in Sunday’s 8-5 loss—shop cheap nfl jerseys which gave Pittsburgh the 4-2 series win—all while playing with a torn MCL. John Boruk of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported the injury would have kept Couturier out for at least four weeks had it been the regular season.

Gretz noted Couturier missed Philadelphia’s 5-0 loss in Game 4 with the injury after he collided with teammate Radko Gudas during practice.

Couturier also had two assists in Sunday’s loss, meaning he was a direct factor in each of Philadelphia’s wholesale nfl jerseys china five goals after he tallied the winning goal in the third period of Game 5.

During the regular season, the NHL named Couturier as one of the three finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy,nfl jerseys china wholesale  which is given to the forward who is best on the defensive side of the ice. Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings were also finalists.

Couturier was durable throughout the season and played all 82 games. He tallied career-best marks nearly across the board with 76 points on 31

Jake Guentzel’s 4 Goals Propel Penguins to 2nd Round with Win vs. Flyers

The Pittsburgh Penguins advanced to the second round of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs with an 8-5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series Sunday at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.cheap nfl jerseys online

Jake Guentzel was credited with four goals, including three in the third period. His offensive explosion couldn’t have come at a better time for Pittsburgh, which was without Evgeni Malkin.

According to the Penguins’ official Twitter account, entering Sunday only two other players in franchise history had scored four goals in one playoff game: Mario Lemieux and Kevin Stevens. Guentzel joined that group.nfl gear for kids

Sportsnet’s Dimitri Filipovic contrasted Guentzel’s unremarkable regular-season scoring record to his impressive postseason numbers:

Philadelphia owes the defeat largely to its meltdown in the final six-and-a-half minutes of the second period. Sean Couturier (who finished with three goals and two assists) and Scott Laughton scored to give the Flyers a 4-2 lead 12:14 into the period, with Matt Murray looking shaky between the pipes for Pittsburgh.nfl gear cheap

Then, a pair of Radko Gudas giveaways led to two goals for the Penguins, who tied the game at four.

First, a misplaced pass from Gudas found Brian Dumoulin, who quickly got Pittsburgh on the counterattack. Guentzel, who entered Sunday with a team-high six assists, left Patric Hornqvist with an easy finish nfl gear for men to register the Penguins’ third goal of the game at the 13:35 mark of the second period.

Gudas was at fault again for Pittsburgh’s fourth goal. He failed to clear the puck, which allowed the Penguins to gain the advantage. Guentzel was credited with the tally, but it appeared Olli Maatta’s wrist shot eluded Michal Neuvirth nfl gear for women without any help from Guentzel.

Each MLB Team’s Prospect Who Could Help Right Away

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We spend a lot of time talking about a team’s top prospects, but what about the next prospect?

Sometimes those are one in the same, as highly regarded youngsters such as Ronald Acuna Jr. and Gleyber Torres are knocking on the door for a big league promotion.

Other times, it’s a largely unheralded middle reliever or a second-tier position player who winds up providing in-house support.

Ahead we’ve taken a closer look at the one prospect from each team who is ready to help in the majors.

Players were chosen based on a combination of their individual development and production as well as their path to MLB playing time based on current or expected team needs.

Baltimore Orioles: RF Austin Hays

Hays rocketed through the minors after being selected in the third round of the 2016 draft, posting a .958 OPS with 32 home runs and 95 RBI between High-A and Double-A last year to earn a late call-up.

The 22-year-old entered camp as the front-runner to win the starting right field job but hit just .243 with 12 strikeouts in 40 plate appearances before being optioned to Double-A.where to buy nfl jerseys online

With Anthony Santander, Colby Rasmus and Craig Gentry combining for a .167/.214/.273 line while manning right field, Hays will get his chance soon.

Boston Red Sox: RP Williams Jerez

Sam Travis is Boston’s most MLB-ready prospect, but the first baseman doesn’t have a clear path to playing time over Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland.

Instead, look for reliever Williams Jerez to be the next prospect to carve out a role in the majors.nfl china jersey

Using a heavy mid-90s fastball and plus slider, he held left-handed hitters to a .485 OPS while posting a 26.1 percent strikeout rate last year. His ability to be more than a specialist will hinge on his splitter’s development.

New York Yankees: 2B/3B Gleyber Torres

The late-offseason additions of Neil Walker and Brandon Drury meant the Yankees did not nfl women jersey start Torres’ arbitration clock by putting him on the Opening Day roster. He’ll push his way into the picture soon, though.

The 21-year-old underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery last June or he likely would have already nike nfl jerseys differences made his MLB debut.

With a hot start in Triple-A (16-for-43, 5 XBH) he could be promoted in short order.nfl china jerseys nike

Matt Harvey Sent to Mets Bullpen 2 Days After Saying He Is a Starting Pitcher

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Matt Harvey may consider himself a starting pitcher, but the New York Mets are making him a reliever.

Per James Wagner of the New York Times, Mets manager Mickey Callaway authentic nfl jerseys sale announced Saturday that Harvey will move to the bullpen as Jason Vargas nears a return from his rehab assignment.

On Thursday, Harvey said that, even despite his struggles, he believes he is best suited for the rotation, via the New York Daily News’ Kristie Ackert: “I am a starting pitcher. I’ve always been a starting pitcher. I think I showed in the fifth and sixth inning I can get people out still when my pitch count gets up, so I am a starting pitcher.”

Less than three years ago, Harvey helped lead the Mets to the World Series. nike jersey nfl But ever since he stayed in to pitch to two batters in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 Fall Classic, he has not been the same pitcher.

The right-hander went 4-10 with a 4.86 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 2016 and followed that up with a 6.70 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in 19 appearances, including 18 starts, last year. In 2018, he is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings across four starts.

The 2010 No. 7 overall pick—who once finished fourth in National League Cy Young jersey nfl wholesale award voting—showed signs of getting back on track at the beginning of this season, throwing five innings of one-hit baseball with five strikeouts in his first start. However, he has been roughed up for 14 earned runs in 16 innings over his past three games.

Those struggles have made him the odd man out of the rotation.

Harvey was looking to rebuild his value in 2018, as he is set to become a free agent in the offseason.nfl nike jerseys for sale  Perhaps a move to the bullpen will help him right the ship and show teams he can still get major league hitters out.

2018 NFL Draft Rumors: Browns Have Considered Drafting 2 QBs in 1st Round

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The Cleveland Browns have considered selecting two quarterbacks in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft, according to Kevin Clark of The Ringer.

Cleveland holds picks No. 1 and No. 4, and Clark said he asked “multiple members” nfl jersey for cheap of the organization if they have “considered ignoring all norms and drafting two quarterbacks high in the draft.”

“The answer is yes. The people I asked have thought about it, discussed it and investigated it,” Clark wrote. “This is not to say it will happen, but the Browns have considered it. In fact, one person I spoke with could immediately rattle off every previous instance of teams drafting two passers high because he’d done the prep work on the idea.”

f the Browns selected a quarterback with their first-round picks at No. 1 and No. 4, it would be nfl jerseys cheap authentic unprecedented. It’s also fair to question if it would actually be logical.

The obvious benefit is that it would double the team’s odds of landing a franchise quarterback, a position that has been the realm of failed draft picks, washed-up veterans and journeymen placeholders since Bernie Kosar hung up his cleats.

On the other hand, Clark outlined the reasons it wouldn’t necessarily make sense:

“The people I spoke with, however, were quick to outline the downsides—not enough practice reps to develop two quarterbacks and the inability to trade a rookie midseason because of a clause in the CBA. One person I custom nfl jerseys cheap spoke with mentioned how many unintended consequences you’d face if you upended the draft in such a way (specifically in the far-fetched scenario in which they took two passers in the top four), but that he’d still thought about it plenty.”

Remember, the Browns have Tyrod Taylor on the roster, and he’s expected to be the starter in 2018. There are only so many reps to go around.

And what if the Browns whiffed on both quarterbacks they selected? What if they wasted not one,customized nfl jerseys cheap  but two draft picks on a position and neither player became a long-term solution? The organization would never live it down. General manager John Dorsey’s reputation would forever be stained, and the team’s rebuilding strategy would be set back years.

Baker Mayfield Launches ‘Behind Baker’ Documentary Ahead of 2018 NFL Draft

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With less than one week before the 2018 NFL draft begins at AT&T Stadium in Arlington,nfl authentic jerseys cheap  Texas, quarterback Baker Mayfield is giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at his life.

On Friday, Mayfield announced the launch of a new documentary series titled Behind Baker on Facebook Watch, and the first episode shows him taking part in various fan and media events and discussing the Oklahoma Sooners’ 54-48 overtime loss to the Georgia Bulldogs in the Rose Bowl:

Speaking to his competitive nature, Mayfield also touched on a discussion he had with Kirk Cousins nfl jersey wholesale before the veteran quarterback signed a three-year, $84 million fully guaranteed deal with the Minnesota Vikings.

“I wanted to look at Kirk Cousins and say, you know, ‘I have a few places that I don’t want you to go so best nfl jerseys you don’t take my spot,'” Mayfield said.

The 23-year-old is expected to be a first-round pick when the draft begins Thursday. nfl jersey for cheap B/R’s Matt Miller projects the Denver Broncos will select Mayfield at No. 5 overall.

Mayfield won the 2017 Heisman Trophy after throwing for 4,627 yards and 43 touchdowns. He also led the Sooners to a 12-2 record and their second appearance in the College Football Playoff in the past three years.

NFC East

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Dallas Cowboys

As currently constructed, the Cowboys are closer to 2017’s 9-7 campaign than 2016’s 13-3 breakout performance. Having Ezekiel Elliott back in the lineup after he missed six games last season should work wonders,cheap custom nfl jerseys  but the offense lacks a true playmaker in the passing game after Dez Bryant’s release. A hole at linebacker still exists with Anthony Hitchens’ free-agent departure, too. Elliott’s maturation and a rebound performance from Dak Prescott can keep the Cowboys competitive, but they’re far from the NFC East’s best team. They’ll also have to wait until Week 10 to test their mettle against the rival Eagles. cheap customized nfl jerseys

Prediction: 9-7

New York Giants

The New York Giants may not admit it, but they’re in the midst of a rebuild, especially if they trade Odell Beckham Jr. between now and the draft. However, they seem to believe they can win now with Eli Manning and no long-term answer at quarterback. Manning’s quarterback rating decreased in each of the last two seasons, and the addition of left tackle Nate Solder isn’t enough to put the offense over the top. The defense also took a hit when general manager Dave Gettleman decided to trade New York’s best pass-rusher, Jason Pierre-Paul. Where the Giants stand will be on display Week 1 when the Jacksonville Jaguars visit MetLife Stadium.

Prediction: 5-11

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles finally reached the mountaintop last season, winning the franchise’s first Lombardi Trophy. Philadelphia is well-equipped to handle the barrage of every opponent’s best effort in 2018, as it didn’t hemorrhage custom nfl jerseys  talent this offseason like most champions do. Instead, the Eagles added quality veterans like Haloti Ngata and Mike Wallace to supplement an already talented core. Oh, and rising star quarterback Carson Wentz will return from his knee injury at some point as well. Although, he’s not guaranteed to be on the field for the league’s kickoff game on Sept. 6 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Prediction: 12-4

Washington Redskins

A make-or-break year may be forthcoming for Washington head customized nfl jerseys coach Jay Gruden after the team missed the playoffs each of the last two seasons. While Washington is a solid squad, it lacks the firepower to be a true contender. The trade for Alex Smith can be viewed as an upgrade at quarterback, but the offense still needs a new left guard, a true lead back and an outside presence among the wide receivers. There’s only so much a quarterback can do with an incomplete surrounding cast. Smith’s value will be determined during a three-game stretch between Weeks 3-6 when Washington faces Aaron Rodgers,nfl custom jerseys cheap  Drew Brees and Cam Newton.

Prediction: 6-10

AFC East

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Buffalo Bills

The football gods finally smiled upon the Bills, allowing them to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1999 season. A repeat appearance likely isn’t in the cards this year, though. AJ McCarron is not an upgrade over Tyrod Taylor at quarterback, and the offensive line remains in flux. LeSean McCoy turns 30 in July, while the team’s leading tackler, Preston Brown, signed with the Bengals in free agency. The schedule-makers didn’t do the Bills any favors, either, by placing the Chargers, Vikings, Packers and Titans—all of whom are playoff contenders—in Weeks 2-5.

Prediction: 7-9

Miami Dolphins

Plenty of uncertainty surrounds the Dolphins after head coach Adam Gase decided his team needed a new direction. Landry, Ndamukong Suh and Mike Pouncey—arguably the team’s best three players—are all gone. In their place, Miami targeted veteran free agents with winning experience. However, Frank Gore, Danny Amendola and Josh Sitton nfl jersey for cheap can only do so much, as they’re all on the downside of their careers. Each of the Dolphins’ last five games is against a team that made the playoffs last season.

Prediction: 4-12

New England Patriots

Cracks are starting to show in the Patriots’ once-pristine exterior. Tom Brady veered from his normal preparation this offseason. Rob Gronkowski is still contemplating retirement. The team traded its top receiver, Brandin Cooks, to the Los Angeles Rams. The Patriots no longer seem to be on the same page as an organization. nfl jerseys cheap authentic Even so, they’re still the AFC East’s best squad and a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Once again, a December (Week 15) meeting with the Steelers could determine the AFC’s top seed. The end of the dynasty does appear to be in sight.

Prediction: 11-5

New York Jets

The Jets didn’t tank last season, but their 5-11 record wasn’t good, either. The organization hopes to build on last year’s surprising campaign with the additions of Tremaine Johnson, Avery Williamson, Isaiah Crowell and custom nfl jerseys cheap Teddy Bridgewater. The roster still has a long way to go, but New York is already through the difficult teardown portion of the rebuilding process, and it has some talented young players on its roster. Another should be forthcoming after the Jets traded up to the third overall pick in an attempt to land a customized nfl jerseys cheap quarterback of their choice. Said signal-caller could be in the lineup against the No. 1 overall pick when the Jets face the Browns in Week 3 on Thursday Night Football.