Orlando Magic: Center

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The following sentence, submitted by the Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks, should thrill Orlando Magic fans since he’s discussing one of their own:

“He could develop into one of the best centers official nfl jerseys cheap in the NBA by the time he reaches his prime.”

Sounds incredible, right? There’s only one catch—Tjarks wasn’t talking about No. 6 pick Mohamed Bamba or $12.7 million man Nikola Vucevic. To cover all bases, he wasn’t referring to fellow Magic centers Timofey Mozgov or Khem Birch, either.hi-res-a6d9962a437f0b8236b63919aed8ce3b_crop_exact

No, Tjarks poured that praise onto last summer’s sixth pick, Jonathan Isaac, who might have his brightest future at a position occupied by four other players on the roster. Further muddling this mix, his current home is at the 4, where Aaron Gordon just orchestrated a breakout season so convincing that Orlando nfl authentic jerseys spent $84 million to secure his next four seasons.

Stockpiling young talent is generally fine for rebuilders, but how are the Magic ever going to align these puzzle pieces? It’s not like they can expect their floor generals to figure it out when D.J. Augustin, Jerian Grant and Isaiah Briscoe comprise one of the Association’s worst point guard groups.nfl authentic jerseys cheap

Vucevic needs to go, whether in a trade now or when his contract expires next summer. Mozgov and Birch are placeholders who should battle each other for mop-up duties. But Orlando must assess the long-term viability of the Gordon-Isaac-Bamba nfl jersey wholesale trio. Maybe there’s a minutes mix that keeps all three satisfied and effective, but there’s a decent chance the Magic will be forced to choose two keepers sooner rather than later.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder have become the NBA’s go-to luxury-tax punchline. That’s fine. Let the James Harden trade jokes flow. Some of them are funny. All of them are fair game.

But the Thunder’s steep operating costs have nothing to do with their proximity to title contention. They’re closer to the championship clique than people who’ve nike nfl jerseys for cheap forgotten about Andre Roberson think. As ESPN.com’s Zach Lowe wrote:

“They have a chance to be really good. The Thunder hit a winter groove after a rocky start and might have continued apace had Andre Roberson not ruptured his left patellar tendon. The [Russell] Westbrook/[Paul] George/Roberson/Steven Adams foursome was among the nastiest and best four-man groups in the league, per NBA.com. They get more time to jell now. They are short on shooting, but that’s not a new problem.nfl jerseys nike cheap

“This core won’t touch Golden State as long as all four incumbent Warriors stars stay healthy, but they can compete in the upper tier of the conference. Get there, and you are one big break away from something interesting.”

Cutting ties with Carmelo Anthony will amount to addition by subtraction. His divorce from the Thunder has been deemed an inevitability, according to cheap nike nfl jerseys china Adrian Wojnarowski. Their pecking-order concerns go out the window once he skips town.

George and Westbrook are more natural complements to one another and extra compatible when they don’t have to account for Anthony. Oklahoma City posted a plus-9.7 net rating in the time George and Westbrook played without him compared to a plus-6.1 when all three took the court together, according to Cleaning The Glass.

Replacing Anthony’s minutes may still be hard. The Thunder enjoyed limited success when subbing him out for Jerami Grant or Patrick Patterson, per Cleaning The Glass. But that says more about the teensy-tiny sample sizes than anything else.new nike nfl jerseys cheap

Grant and Patterson are both superior defensive options at power forward. Grant only needs to shoot something like 33 percent from deep to be a primo asset, and Patterson will look better after an offseason that doesn’t include left knee surgery. Oklahoma City could hit on some Alex Abrines and Terrance Ferguson lineup iterations as well.

Bake in the Nerlens Noel addition, and a fully healthy Thunder squad has the defensive switchability to make life hell on the NBA’s elite. If it turns out the Rockets really, really (really)cheap nfl nike jerseys china  miss Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, you could be looking at the West’s No. 2 seed. Seriously.

American League Bench

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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.

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

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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.

8. Oklahoma City Thunder: 40-1

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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

Defensive Player of the Playoffs: Draymond Green

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During the regular season, Draymond Green eased into his top gear on the defensive end. But he sprinted into the playoffs and never slowed.

His first-round work included rebounding totals of 18 and 19 (10 and 14 on the defensive end alone), a four-block performance and three games with multiple steals against the San Antonio Spurs. By postseason’s end, he’d grabbed the most defensive boards (180), snared the most steals authentic nfl jerseys wholesale (41) and blocked the second-most shots (31). His 99.5 defensive rating tied for second-lowest among all players who averaged 30-plus minutes.

His ability to defend any position at any area on the floor is the backbone of this defense, which easily paced playoff participants with a 100.5 defensive rating.nfl jersey china  The eye test captures his full importance, but the stat sheet does a good job of summing things up, too—the Warriors surrendered 5.1 fewer points per 100 possessions when he played.

The 99.5 mark with Green was two points lower per 100 possessions than the regular season’s best defense (Boston). And that’s with Golden State’s nike nfl jerseys playoff road featuring two top-five offenses and a third in the top 10.

“Draymond is a catalyst and the anchor for their defense. Very, very smart defensively,” James said, per Fred Kerber of the New York Post. “He knows pretty much every set.china nfl jerseys  He kind of flies around and dictates their defense, either on the perimeter or protecting the rim as well.”

Green proved to be an elite, equal-opportunity stopper. He not only allowed one of the lowest shooting percentages at the rim among high-volume defenders (53.3), but he also sliced 9.8 points off his opponents’ conversion rate from 15-plus feet.nfl jerseys for cheap authentic

Runner-Up: Anthony Davis

Traditional stats would’ve given Davis the nod. He averaged more defensive rebounds than anyone (10.8), tied for the most blocks among players with four or more appearances nfl jersey supply (2.3) and even tied for fifth in steals (2.0). But New Orleans’ second-round exit and sixth-placed finish in defensive efficiency somewhat muted Davis’ impact.

Giants GM Dave Gettleman Announces He Has Lymphoma, Will Undergo Treatment

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman announced on Tuesday he will begin treatment for lymphoma:

“Recently, I underwent an nfl jerseys china annual physical, during which it was discovered I have lymphoma. Over the past week, I have undergone more testing to determine the course of treatment, which is scheduled to start in the very near future. The doctor’s outlook for the treatment and the prognosis is positive, and so am I.

“I will continue to work as much as the treatment process will allow, and as they know, when I am not in the office, I will be in constant communication with Pat (Shurmur),nfl wholesale jerseys  Kevin (Abrams) and the rest of our staff.”

Gettleman, 67, was named the Giants general manager in December. He previously served as the Carolina Panthers GM from 2013 to 2016 after more than a decade in the Giants front office.

The Giants have not said who will handle the day-to-day football operations when Gettleman is undergoing treatment. His statement said he plans to continue working, nfl jerseys from china but it’s almost certain he will have to delegate more. Abrams is the team’s longtime assistant GM.

Gettleman oversaw an offseason that saw the Giants hire Shurmur as their head coach and take running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in April’s draft. official nfl jerseys cheap

QB Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams

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Quarterback Jared Goff made a noteworthy jump between the 2016 and 2017 campaigns.

As a rookie, the No. 1 nfl jerseys kids overall pick from the 2016 draft didn’t complete 55 percent of his passes. In 2017, he resembled a skilled maestro leading a symphony. Goff tossed 28 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions. The California product moved the ball downfield in chunks, leading the league with 12.9 yards per completion.

If not for running back Todd Gurley II’s stellar season, for which he earned Offensive Player of the Year, Goff would have more hype as an MVP candidate. He lost wideout Sammy Watkins, who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, but welcomed Brandin Cooks—a speedy receiver capable of stretching the field. nfl jersey kids The fifth-year pass-catcher has three consecutive campaigns with 1,000 yards.

Gurley deserves consideration. kids authentic nfl jerseys He’s been a workhorse over the past two seasons, logging the third-most rushing attempts in that span with 557. The Georgia product will continue to produce at a high level, but it’s difficult to tote the ball at that rate for three consecutive terms.kid nfl jerseys  It shouldn’t surprise anyone if backup Malcolm Brown or rookie John Kelly lighten the fourth-year pro’s workload.

And head coach Sean McVay can go full-throttle with a stacked passing offense. Goff has a solid trio of receivers in Cooks, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. He also has two talented young tight ends few people speak about in Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett.

Longer-Shot Trade Candidates Worth Monitoring

Carmelo Anthony, Oklahoma City Thunder (early termination option)

Carmelo Anthony didn’t exactly endear himself to the Thunder’s long-term plans during his exit interview, per ESPN.com’s Royce Young:

“I think the player that they wanted me to be and needed me to be was for the sake of this season. As far as being effective as that type of player, I don’t think I can be effective as that type of player. I think I was willing to accept that challenge in that role, but I think I bring a little bit more to the game as far as being more knowledgeable and what I still can do as a basketball player.”

Neither Anthony nor the Thunder has a clear way out of this marriage. He’s not passing up the $27.9 million he’s owed next season. That would be absurd. It’ll take him three years to recoup that value in this summer’s market.

Finding a trade partner to take on his money is mostly out of the question. Expiring deals can always be rerouted, but no team is swallowing Anthony’s cap hit without sending back dead weight in return. Unless the Thunder are inexplicably interested in longer-team contracts for Ryan Anderson, Serge Ibaka or Evan Turner, they’re better off holding serve and hoping that coaxes Melo into surrendering a few bills during buyout talks.

Tobias Harris, Los Angeles Clippers

Giving head coach Doc Rivers an extension suggests the Clippers are against blowing their core to smithereens and rebuilding from scratch. But they could easily change cheap nfl jerseys wholesale their tune if both Avery Bradley and DeAndre Jordan (player option) bounce in free agency.

Whatever the prompt, steering into a reset would demand Los Angeles gauge Tobias Harris’ value. He turns 26 in July, so he’s young enough to survive the transition. But he enters free agency next summer, and that contract isn’t one a rebuilding squad should want to bankroll.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brooklyn Nets

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will hit restricted free agency in 2019 if he doesn’t hash out an extension with the Nets. Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell (restricted) nfl jerseys cheap wholesale will be up for raises as well. Brooklyn isn’t going to re-sign all three of them. It’ll cost too much.

Dinwiddie and Russell overlap with other skill sets on the roster more than Hollis-Jefferson, but the persisting absence of three-point range caps his offensive ceiling. If the Nets cannot work out a team-friendly extension or don’t see him expanding upon his mid-range game, it makes sense to shop him rather than chance an overpriced offer sheet next July.nfl jersey cheap wholesale

The caveat: They probably won’t kick around this idea until the lead-up to the February deadline, when they’ll have a better hold on Hollis-Jefferson’s development and potential price point.

Serge Ibaka, Toronto Raptors

Moving the two years and $45 million remaining on Ibaka’s contract was always going to be difficult. Trading him now, after he no-showed through his final six playoff tilts, feels impossible without attaching sweeteners the Raptors don’t have. wholesale cheap nfl jerseys

Charlotte Hornets

What’s worse than being stuck in basketball purgatory, as the Charlotte Hornets are by virtue of consistently finishing among the morass of medicore teams in the Eastern Conference? best nfl jerseys That’s a question with a simple answer: being stuck in basketball purgatory while eyeing future luxury-tax payments.

As Tim Bontemps detailed for the Washington Post in early January, financial hope doesn’t sit on the horizon:

“To make matters worse, the financial situation isn’t getting better anytime soon. Next season, the Hornets—as constructed—are guaranteed to be a tax-paying team. They have 10 players with guaranteed contracts making a combined $116.4 million. Add in the cost of their first-round pick—currently the No. 9 selection, which would be about $3.6 million—and three minimum contracts (worth roughly $4.5 million), and the Hornets would already official nfl jerseys cheap be more than a million into the