Kawhi Leonard Rumors: Lakers Landing Spurs Star Would ‘Clinch’ LeBron James

The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly upped their aggression in trade talks for Kawhi Leonard because acquiring the two-time Defensive Player of the Year would “likely clinch” signing LeBron James as a free agent.

Ramona Shelburne, Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported the latest intel on negotiations Wednesday, which have ramped up over the last 24 hours. The Lakers are under pressure to get a deal done quickly because LeBron has until 11:59 p.m. ET Friday to decide whether to decline his player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers to become an unrestricted free agent.

James’ timetable has sped everything up since he reportedly wants to make his free-agency decision by early July. In 2010 and 2014, LeBron kept the nfl discount jerseys entire NBA waiting for more than a week before making his announcements.

Acquiring Leonard has become increasingly imperative for the Lakers, as Paul George has seemingly warmed to the idea of staying in Oklahoma City. George has been borderline Sharpied into the Lakers’ plans for more than a year at this point—a notion the All-Star swingman has done little to refute. However, the Thunder made a strong pitch to George during the 2017-18 season and seemed to be coalescing before nfl jerseys discount Andre Roberson went down with a season-ending ruptured patellar tendon.

It’s hard to see James leaving Cleveland for Los Angeles without another star in place. The Lakers can offer San Antonio a package that includes Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and picks. It’s unclear if that will be enough—or even if the Lakers are willing to sink that deep into their war chest.discount nfl jersey

A core of James and Leonard alone won’t be enough to beat the Golden State Warriors. It’s a good start, but James would be facing a similar uphill battle to the one he has in Cleveland. The Lakers would quickly have to round out their roster with capable role players if George does not come along.nfl jersey discount

But if the Lakers can make the LeBron-Kawhi-George fever dream happen, the 2018-19 season could get mighty interesting.

DeAndre Jordan Trade Rumors: Mavericks Hope to Land Clippers C This Week

The Dallas Mavericks thought they had DeAndre Jordan back in the summer of 2015, and now, three years later, they are looking to finally make it happen.

Marc Stein where can i buy nfl jerseys cheap of the New York Times reported on Wednesday that the Mavericks are actively in trade talks with the Los Angeles Clippers to try to land Jordan this week before free agency begins on July 1. The All-Star center has to make a decision on his $24.1 million player option by Friday, and opting in could help facilitate a trade to Dallas.

If no agreement on a trade can be reached, he could still join Dallas by opting out of his deal and signing in free agency.

Stein notes that the where can i buy cheap nfl jerseys Clippers have given Jordan and his agent permission to explore the trade market.

Jordan had verbally agreed to sign with the Mavericks during the moratorium period in 2015, but after giving Mark Cuban and Co. his word, he had a change of heart. That set off one of the most bizarre free-agent fiascos, as ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne and Tim MacMahon detailed, in the history of sports.buy cheap nfl jerseys china  After all, who could forget the Emoji War of 2015?

In the end, Jordan re-signed with the Clippers, spurning Cuban and the Mavs. That led to a public apology from the big man:

That apology didn’t land with Cuban, via MacMahon and  Kevin Arnovitz: “When is an apology not an apology? When you didn’t write it yourself. Next.”buy cheap authentic nfl jerseys

The Mavericks owner would also go on to make it clear that business isn’t always easy: “Look, guys, s–t happens, right? This is business. This is the real world. You move on. There’s lots of guys that haven’t played for the Mavericks that are in the NBA.”

Cuban has apparently moved on and once again wants to get Jordan in a Mavs uniform.

When Jordan re-signed with Los Angeles, discount nfl jerseys the Clippers were legitimate contenders. However, both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have been traded in the last year, leaving Jordan as the lone cornerstone remaining. Now, it might be time for the two sides to go their separate ways.

There’s what the Major League Baseball All-Star teams will probably look like, and then there’s what they should look like.

We’ve already covered the former. Now it’s time for the latter.authentic nfl jerseys cheap

Our goal is to determine which players the American League and National League would bring to Nationals Park on July 17 if the statistics were in charge. And by “the statistics,” we mean the average of players’ wins above replacement at Baseball Reference and FanGraphs plus other metrics to help break ties.

Here are the ground rules for players:

Position players must have made at least 150 plate appearances (see AL and NL qualifiers)
Starting pitchers must have made at least 10 starts (AL and NL) nfl jerseys for cheap
Relief pitchers must have made at least 20 appearances (AL and NL)
Players must be healthy or expected to be healthy by the All-Star break
There need not be a representative for every MLB team

And here’s how the rosters are comprised:

32 players per side
20 position players: a starting nine (including a handpicked DH for the NL) with a backup for each position (except designated hitter) and three wild cards
12 pitchers: eight starters and four relievers

Let’s take it away.

If the stats had their druthers, the AL starting lineup would look like this:

C: Yan Gomes, CLE (1.3 WAR)
1B: Matt Olson, OAK (2.0 WAR)
2B: Jose Altuve, HOU (3.8 WAR)
3B: Jose Ramirez, CLE (5.2 WAR)
SS: Francisco Lindor, CLE (4.5 WAR)
LF: Aaron Judge, NYY (3.7 WAR)
CF: Mike Trout, LAA (6.4 WAR)
RF: Mookie Betts, BOS (4.4 WAR)
DH: J.D. Martinez, BOS (3.1 WAR)

This starting nine mostly resembles the one that the fans want to see, save for a few exceptions.cheap nfl jerseys

One is at shortstop, where Manny Machado is notably absent. He has star power and big offensive numbers (.929 OPS and 19 home runs), but he’s been slumping, and his value is hurt by his well-below-average defense.

Another notable absence is Jose Abreu at first base. Like Machado, he’s also been slumping and doesn’t have much to offer in the field.

The only other disparity is at catcher, where fans have been pulling for Wilson Ramos. To their credit, Ramos’ .780 OPS is the best among qualified AL catchers. The catch is that Ramos is being held back by FanGraphs’ low valuations of his baserunning and defense.nfl jersey cheap

In place of Machado, it’s hard to argue against Francisco Lindor, who’s having yet another spectacular season both at the plate and in the field. For their parts, Matt Olson is rocking a solid .842 OPS since May 1, and Yan Gomes’ offense (.777 OPS) is all the way out of the pit it fell into in 2016.

Otherwise, nobody should need convincing that Jose Altuve, Jose Ramirez, Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez deserve their spots.

American League Bench

Backing up the AL’s starting nine, meanwhile, should be these 11 guys:

C: Wilson Ramos, TB (1.1 WAR)
1B: Mitch Moreland, BOS (1.8 WAR)
2B: Jed Lowrie, OAK (2.3 WAR)cheap nfl jerseys from china
3B: Matt Chapman, OAK (3.4 WAR)
SS: Andrelton Simmons, LAA (3.1 WAR)
SS: Jean Segura, SEA (2.8 WAR)
SS: Carlos Correa, HOU (2.6 WAR)
OF: Eddie Rosario, MIN (3.6 WAR)
OF: Mitch Haniger, SEA (2.5 WAR)
OF: Andrew Benintendi, BOS (2.5 WAR)
OF: George Springer, HOU (2.5 WAR)

The one inclusion that might raise some eyebrows is Matt Chapman at third base. That won’t be possible unless he recovers from a hand injury.nfl cheap jerseys

That may be more doable than it first appeared. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, doctors believe they’ve identified where Chapman’s hand is injured. He may be back as soon as this weekend.

In any event, there’s no question Chapman deserves to be an All-Star. He has a solid .793 OPS and 10 homers, and he’s arguably the single best defender in MLB.nfl jerseys cheap china

Chapman would join an infield comprised of two other first-time All-Stars (Mitch Moreland and Jed Lowrie) and the rest of the AL’s best shortstops: Andrelton Simmons, Jean Segura and Carlos Correa. Machado is once again a notable omission, which gives an idea of how loaded the AL is at the position.nfl jerseys

Elsewhere, Eddie Rosario, Mitch Haniger, Andrew Benintendi and George Springer are not to be lost in the shadows of Trout, Betts and Judge. They’re all fine athletes and have a collective .874 OPS.nfl jersey
To round things out, Gary Sanchez actually has an edge on Ramos in WAR: 1.2 to 1.1. But Sanchez will be out three to four weeks with a groin injury, so it’s not a given he’ll be healthy by July 17.

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The Baltimore Ravens are apparently tinkering with some sort of two-quarterback, Joe Flacco-and-Lamar Jackson-on-the-same-field, Wildcat-option-gadget-wrinkle-trickeration package for this season.

Sounds exciting! It will baffle some opponents. It will get Jackson on the field quickly. It will make the Ravens offense more interesting, though showing commercials instead of the game would also make the Ravens offense more interesting.

It’s also a terrible mistake. A specialized Jackson package likely will trade a few highlights for clubhouse discord and a wasted opportunity for the rookie to quickly develop into Flacco’s not-too-eventual replacement. It could even slap Jackson with a label the Ravens’ first-round pick may cheap nike jerseys nfl never be able to peel off.

John Harbaugh and his offensive assistants have a long history with package quarterback experiments. So they should know better. Unfortunately, many of their past mistakes have been retconned into successes, making the Ravens eager to try again.

Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was former Philadelphia coach Andy Reid’s assistant in 2009, when the Eagles signed Michael Vick. Fresh from prison and two years removed  cheap nfl jerseys from china nike from the NFL, Vick was used strictly as a trick-play specialist behind Donovan McNabb that year. He then reached the Pro Bowl and earned the Comeback Player of the Year award after McNabb was traded in 2010.

So everyone lived happily ever after, and the Vick package experiment was a great idea, right?

Wrong. The Eagles had groomed Kevin Kolb, not Vick, as McNabb’s replacement. Had Kolb not gotten injured in the 2010 season opener, the Eagles likely would have noodled with him as their starter all year. Vick’s comeback story happened almost by accident.cheap new nike nfl jerseys

That’s one of the biggest problems with the package role. It’s sticky. Once NFL coaches see a package quarterback, they have a hard time seeing a “real” cheap nfl jerseys nike china quarterback, even if Vick is the package guy and someone like Kolb is the traditional guy.

Mornhinweg and Vick reunited with the Jets in 2014, when Vick became a package quarterback behind Geno Smith. Vick typically entered the game for just one play, where he rushed for a few yards, threw an incomplete pass or took a sack. It did nothing for the Jets offense or Smith’s nike jersey nfl cheap forever-battered confidence.

‘A Smart Son of a Bitch’: Can Nick Nurse Out-Think Raptors’ Biggest Rivals?

Nick Nurse was a 40-year-old former mid-major point guard and longtime British Basketball League coach when he found the idea that would change his life.

He heard the NBA was in the midst of expanding its developmental league.

This, Nurse thought, was his chance.

He approached Jerry Crawford, a fellow Iowa native he had known for nearly two decades. Nurse met Crawford in his Des Moines office one day in the summer of 2006 and shared what he had cheap nike nfl jerseys from china heard, knowing that Crawford, a prominent lawyer and bigwig lobbyist for the Democratic Party, was a basketball fanatic and also the kind of guy who knew the right people in the right places.

“We should bring a team to Iowa,” Crawford recently recalled Nurse telling him.

Crawford agreed. That February, the NBA D-League awarded an expansion team to Des Moines, the Iowa Energy. Nurse was named head coach. cheap official nike nfl jerseys

“He had to create a team in order to coach,” Crawford said this week in a phone interview, “to lead to what has happened today.”

Crawford was speaking a few hours after learning that his old friend had been named the new head coach of the Toronto Raptors. ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported that Nurse reached a three-year, $10 million deal with Toronto, and Raptors team president Masai Ujiri has since nfl cheap nike jerseys confirmed the hiring to The Athletic’s Mike Scotto.

The team will officially announce the hire during a press conference Thursday.

Nurse, who has been a Raptors assistant since 2013, now inherits a team standing on shaky new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap ground. The Raptors are coming off a franchise-record 59-win  cheap wholesale nike nfl jerseys season, one in which they were the only team to rank in the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency. cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping But a humiliating playoff loss to the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers for the third straight year cost Nurse’s predecessor, Dwane Casey, his job.

The Raptors have since turned to Nurse, who players and executives credited with overhauling the team’s offense last season, transforming it into a ball-moving, three-point-heavy attack.

Serbia

15. Serbia (+1)

There’s no guarantee it all clicks for Serbia, but if it does watch out. They’re a massive side who will dominate set pieces and have key difference-makers Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Aleksandar Mitrovic in great form.

They’re the second of our three dark-horse contenders.

14. Mexico (-1)

The 2018 World Cup will act as a sort of strange pathway from one generation to the next for Mexico. Thirty-nine-year-old Rafa Marquez will anchor the defence in his last tournament, while Hirving Lozano will spearhead the attack in his first.

They look good value to get out of their group, with the number of goals they’re capable of netting giving them the edge over Sweden, and from there who knows?

13. Denmark (+1)

Denmark hop above Mexico in our rankings after beating them 2-0 on Saturday, but there’s little to choose between the two. That Yussuf Poulsen found his goalscoring groove in the game is potentially important; it’s crucial the attacking onus does not solely fall on Christian Eriksen’s shoulders.authentic nfl jerseys

12. Poland (-1)

The news that Kamil Glik will miss the finals after sustaining an injury during training is a massive blow. Of all the pre-tournament ailments suffered across the 32 competing nations—and there’ve been too many, sadly—this is arguably the most impactful.

The White and Reds may still ride Robert Lewandowski’s coattails to success, but they’ll be far less resolute without their central-defensive man mountain.wholesale nfl jerseys

11. Colombia (-1)

Colombia opted to play just one tune-up game ahead of the World Cup finals, taking on Egypt on June 1 and drawing 0-0.nfl jerseys wholesale

That hardly seems like the ideal preparation—particularly given some teams have jammed in three friendlies during this period, for comparison—nfl jerseys china and things were made worse on Saturday by the ACL injury sustained by starting left-back Frank Fabra.

Los Cafeteros have depth in plenty of positions, but not that one. It’s a serious knock to their chances of upsetting the odds this summer.nfl wholesale jerseys

Sweden

20. Sweden (+2)

Sweden won’t wow anyone this tournament, but they’re capable of getting results—as evidenced by the play-off win over Italy, and their solid, if unspectacular, build-up to the finals.

They look third-strongest in Group F, but qualification isn’t out of the question. They’ll need to make an effort to score a few more goals than usual if they’re to usurp Mexico, though.

19. Morocco (+9)

If you’re looking for a potential group-stage upset, Morocco to qualify ahead of Portugal should be on your radar. They’re defensively excellent, have a coach in Herve Renard who knows how to eke out victories, and are close to a year unbeaten.

The Atlas Lions rarely concede, mix defensive quality (Medhi Benatia) with attacking zip (Hakim Ziyech) and are our first of three dark-horse candidates.cheap nfl jerseys china

18. Senegal (+5)

Perhaps results didn’t go their way during this preparation period, but what Senegal offered on the counter-attack against Croatia in their 2-1 defeat on Friday should scare anyone preparing to play them.nfl cheap jerseys

They defend crosses well and launch attacks quickly, feeding the ball to Sadio Mane and asking him to create. It’s a good strategy!

17. Switzerland (+7)

For Switzerland, see Sweden (20): They won’t blow you away with their football, but they can be solid when required and boast a couple of genuine difference-makers—Xherdan Shaqiri and Breel Embolo—in attack.nfl jerseys cheap china

The group they’ve landed in, alongside Serbia and Costa Rica, will be a gritty one, but that almost plays to their strengths.

16. Peru (+5)

Things are looking pretty rosy for Peru right now. They haven’t lost a game in over a year, have won five of their last six and have welcomed talismanic striker Paolo Guerrero back into the fold nfl jersey after his doping ban was temporarily lifted.nfl jerseys

8. Oklahoma City Thunder: 40-1

Year one of the superteam(ish) Thunder will be remembered as a disappointment. Slotting Paul George and Carmelo Anthony alongside Russell Westbrook only increased OKC’s win total by one and couldn’t prevent another first-round playoff exit.

But there were enough elite women nfl jersey moments before Andre Roberson’s season-ending injury to make one wonder what might be possible if George sticks around.

The Thunder had a 4-3 record against the Western Conference finalists, Golden State and Houston. OKC also posted an eye-popping plus-14.2 net rating in the 539 minutes china nfl jerseys nike George shared with Westbrook, Anthony, Andre Roberson and Steven Adams.

“That definitely changes a lot,” George said in April of Roberson’s injury, per Royce Young. “Andre is a big piece, and him going down, it definitely was a big blow to us. … You’ve got to look at where we can be, imagine what we would be if Andre was here playing with [us] now.”

If the Thunder keep George, they might be closer to contention than most realize.

While Utah finished a perfectly average 15th in offensive efficiency, there were times this attack felt held together by frayed yarn.

Donovan Mitchell was by far the best scorer while also being a 43.7 percent shooting rookie. Rudy Gobert and Ricky Rubio were nominally the second and third point-producers, respectively, but each did his best work on the opposite end.

At full strength, though, this defense is the Association’s most suffocating unit. It finished the season second in efficiency, but it was tops in 2018 and nearly where to get nfl jerseys  five points stingier per 100 possessions than anyone after the All-Star break.

The Jazz are one of the rare teams with both a winning record and spending money for this summer. The key will be shrewd handling of that flexibility. Utah might consider keeping most of its focus in-house, both to retain its most critical free agents (Derrick Favors, Dante Exum) and to potentially realize the value of continuity.nfl jerseys china nike

The Lakers’ success in free agency will determine if these odds are too high or far too low.nfl jersey for sale

LeBron James and Paul George will discuss potentially teaming up on the Lakers, according to ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Brett Dawson of the Oklahoman). Marc Stein of the New York Times mentioned LeBron and Chris Paul as another possible Lakers duo. If the San Antonio Spurs ever field offers on Kawhi Leonard, the Lakers are expected to place a bid, sources told Sporting News’ Sean Deveney.

Even with the Lakers coming off a 47-loss season, there’s too clearance nfl jerseys much superstar smoke to leave them out of the top 10.

James can single-handedly transform teams into contenders. Paul, George or Leonard would all fit the superstar sidekick role that Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving filled on previous champions. That might not make L.A. the favorites, but it would get this organization on a short list of realistic championship hopefuls.nike nfl jerseys on sale

There’s also a chance no one comes, and the Lakers load up on one-year contracts again to roll over their cap space to next summer. That’d make 2018-19 a developmental season, during which they wouldn’t sniff the playoff picture.where to buy nfl jersey

10. Cleveland Cavaliers: 60-1

The offseason will decide the legitimacy of these odds.

If LeBron James stays, that might be enough to lift the Cavaliers to their fifth straight Finals. As bright as the futures might be for the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, the King still wears the crown for a reason. Making his eighth consecutive Finals run at age 33, James was this postseason’s nfl jersey wholesaler  top scorer, the authentic nfl jerseys third-best distributor and No. 14 rebounder per game.

If he leaves, this could immediately become one of the worst teams in basketball. The supporting cast underwhelms in just about everything other than cost. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has no interest paying the luxury tax without LeBron, a source told Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon. Demolition would certainly be considered at that point.

For now, the Cavs are hovering near the middle and probably just as clueless as the rest of us regarding James’ future.

“Something that should be understood when it comes to James this summer: Anything is possible,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wrote. “Repeat: anything. … James believes he’s got a blank check to do what he wants, and perhaps the only thing that’s clear about this free agency is that he’s not afraid to use it.”womens nfl jersey

The Toronto Raptors were incredible last season. They won the second-most games of anyone (59) and were the Association’s only team with top-five efficiency ranks on offense (third) and defense (fifth).

But it was easy to feel skeptical given their past playoff flops. Then, they were swept out of the second round  by Cleveland, which has eliminated them three years in a row. Dwane Casey was axed shortly thereafter, and the Raptors will reportedly “explore all options” with their roster nike nfl jerseys from china  league sources told Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun.

If Toronto wants to make dramatic changes, it might require taking a hatchet to the current roster. This franchise has neither the necessary wiggle room to chase free agents nor a single selection in the upcoming draft. The biggest offseason decision could involve restricted free agent Fred VanVleet, best price nfl jerseys a nice player but also an unlikely difference-maker as a reserve point guard.

Still, all those victories and all that efficiency happened. If this team is trapped, it’s stuck within arm’s reach of the elite. That probably doesn’t mean the Larry O’Brien trophy nfl jerseys women  is headed north of the border, but the Raptors remain better than most.official nfl nike jerseys