Metrics 101: Ranking the Biggest NBA Offseason Moves so Far

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Get excited about any additions your favorite NBA team has made during the 2018 offseason. Seriously. Do it, already!

This is the time of year for optimism. All incoming rookies are blank slates. New free-agency signings haven’t yet done anything wrong in new jerseys. Upside reigns supreme, nfl jerseys from china if only because no hard evidence points in other directions.

But after diving into the numbers and using them to inform our subjective order, we can safely say some offseason moves still project as more valuable than others.

As was the case in last year’s edition of this countdown, we’re only interested in the impact on the upcoming season; long-term aid isn’t relevant here, which makes it harder for rookies to rank among the top 10. To be clear, that’s “harder” but not impossible, which you’ll see when two first-year contributors make appearances. official nfl jerseys cheap

These 10 biggest moves are ranked by nfl authentic jerseys cheap the on-court rises or falls expected from their teams as a direct result of the decisions.

Departing from a team isn’t quite as impactful as joining a new one, since the organization left behind is typically either already operating at a low level, able to replace the production with a subsequent acquisition or ready to enter into a rebuilding period.

Plus, remaining positive this time of year is just more fun. nfl jersey wholesale

Nerlens Noel’s brief tenure with the Dallas Mavericks with filled with drama, relative ineffectiveness and plenty of time spent watching the action in warmups or street clothes. But a fresh start with the Oklahoma City Thunder, which comes on nothing more than the veteran’s minimum, per NBA.com’s David Aldridge, should allow him to regain his former luster. nfl jersey for cheap

This big man isn’t going to slot into the starting five. He won’t displace Steven Adams anytime soon (or ever), and his shooting limitations should prevent head coach Billy Donovan from deploying him at the 4 in a dual-center lineup. But the Thunder desperately needed a reliable rim-protector off the pine, and that’s exactly what Noel gives them—along with wide-ranging defensive skills that allowed him to post a career-best 4.5 defensive box plus/minus in 2017-18 even while struggling to find a rhythm in his minimal run.

ESPN.com’s defensive real plus/minus told a similar story.

Noel’s 2.36 DRPM allowed him to slot in at nfl jerseys cheap authentic No. 29 throughout the league, leaving him behind only Andre Roberson (4.34) on the Oklahoma City roster. Up next from last year’s crew? Dakari Johnson (2.1 in minimal time), Nick Collison (1.59 in 75 minutes) and Russell Westbrook (1.2).

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

An Early Look at Scouts’ Top 10 Players in the 2019 NFL Draft

There might not be college football on your television every Saturday, but that doesn’t mean NFL scouts aren’t hitting the road to learn about the top players for the 2019 draft. They’re building profiles, researching backgrounds and character and talking to college coaches about top players.

We took that information to give it to you in an early look at the top 10 players in the 2019 draft class.

Scout’s Quote: “I liked [Shaq] Lawson and [Kevin Dodd] when they were coming out, but this one is on a different level. Strength, length, burst, instincts. He has it all.”

Clelin Ferrell would have been considered a first-round talent had he declared for the 2018 draft. Instead, he decided to return to Clemson, where he’ll round out a defensive line with unfair talent across the board. With Ferrell anchoring one edge, Austin Bryant on the other and Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins on the interior, the Tigers line might be unstoppable.

Offensive lines will have to focus on someone, which could mean plenty of one-on-one looks for the No. 10 player in the class to wreak havoc.real nike nfl jerseys

Scout’s Quote: “He’s a big, mean, nasty SOB who probably projects best to the right side. But he’s better than any of the guys from the 2018 draft.”

Greg Little is a mean blocker with the finishing mentality to be great in the running game. The 6’6″, 325-pound junior will also be only 21 years old when the 2019 draft rolls around, which points to his potential.

Even if he’s viewed as a right tackle, there’s this: The San Francisco 49ers just used the No. 9 overall pick on right tackle Mike McGlinchey. The position has more value now than in years past because of the number of teams running talented pass-rushers off the right side of the line.cheap nfl jersey store

Ole Miss is in a state of flux, but Little and teammate A.J. Brown will give fans something to cheer for.

Scout’s Quote: “He’s Taylor Lewan all over again. People will overthink it and wonder if he’s a left or right [tackle], but just draft him and don’t worry about the left side for five years.”nike nfl jerseys sale

Trey Adams is a dominant presence on the offensive line for Chris Petersen’s powerhouse program at Washington. Scouts will flock to the Pacific Northwest to watch a left tackle with prototypical size (6’8”, 331 lbs), excellent length and the tape to show he can handle a pro-style passing set.nfl authentic jerseys china

When compared with the top tackles in the 2018 draft—McGlinchey and Kolton Miller—Adams shows better athleticism than McGlinchey to handle the left side and better technique and power than Miller. It will depend on team needs in the draft order, but Adams looks like a lock top-10 selection.

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

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Age: 33

2017-18 Per-Game Stats: 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 9.1 assists, 1.4 steals, 54.2 percent shooting, 36.7 percent three-point shooting

Advanced Stats: 28.6 PER, 593.09 TPA, 4.58 RPM

Contract Details: 1 year, $35.6 million (player option)

Impending free agents typically wouldn’t make an appearance on this list. Superstars aren’t known for deferring long-term windfalls by picking up player options, nfl authentic jerseys while sign-and-trade scenarios have devolved into meaningless pipe dreams reserved for whimsical fanbases prone to irrational exceptionalism or seeking refuge from bleak outlooks.

LeBron James’ situation is different. The usual rules don’t apply to him. He has prioritized control over his own destiny since leaving the Miami Heat in 2014. He’ll do what he wants entering his 16th season.

It just so happens the free-agency landscape aligns with that. James’ player option is worth slightly more than his projected max salary on the open market ($35.35 million), and sign-and-trade proposals carry more weight with around two-thirds of the league projected to operate over the cap.nfl authentic jerseys cheap

Even though they aren’t likely to have meaningful cap space this summer, the Houston Rockets fancied themselves a viable landing spot for James as of December, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick. And they were still around in March when The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor identified four teams James has apparently zeroed in on, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers.

Pulling a Chris Paul and opting into the final year of his deal is the most efficient way for James to join the Rockets. They do not have a path to bankroll his max with cap space, and a sign-and-trade would shoehorn them to the hard cap.

The Rockets likely need to find third- and fourth-team facilitators to make the opt-in scenario work. Houston doesn’t have the picks to make absorbing Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon nfl jersey wholesale a worthwhile stomachache for Cleveland. Granted, if James wants to join Paul and James Harden, he has the leverage to will the Cavaliers into action. But his trade candidacy isn’t for the Rockets alone.

The Sixers have a stake in this race. They need to clear around $10.2 million to fund James’ max salary next season. Greasing the wheels of a Jerryd Bayless dump won’t take much, best nfl jerseys but cutting out the middle part of the process and going straight to the supplier has its advantages.

Building an offer around salary filler, picks and any one of their many promising prospects ensures the Cavaliers are adequately compensated for James’ exit. Depending on the package nfl jersey for cheap, it may also keep the Sixers in play for other free agents. And although that doesn’t make an opt-in-and-trade (or sign-and-trade) especially likely, this route is a genuine enough option to warrant discussion.

DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors

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Age: 28

2017-18 Per-Game Stats: 23.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 45.6 percent shooting, 31.2 percent three-point shooting

Advanced Stats: 21.0 PER, 99.02 TPA, 1.67 RPM

Contract Details: 3 years, $82.8 million (player option in 2020-21)

Disclaimer: Cleaning The Glass has DeMar DeRozan spending more possessions as the de facto 3, but he started at the 2 and his stans tend to get more bent out of shape by his designation than most. He logged enough of his time at shooting guard (42 percent) to make this exception.

Firing head coach Dwane Casey cheap new nike nfl jerseys could be the extent of the Raptors’ offseason overhaul. None of their best trade assets are guaranteed to yield an assortment of high-end spare parts, and they don’t have any cap space.

Five rotation players will also begin next season on the right side of 25: OG Anunoby, Norman Powell, Jakob Poeltl, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet (restricted). Throw Delon Wright into this gaggle as well. He’s 26, but he has just three years of experience to his resume. Toronto’s depth chart is not without prospective in-house leaps.

Still, standing relatively pat without working the phones would indicate the Raptors believe their youth coupled with a new coach amounts to a stronger crusade against LeBron James. (Unless, of course, he leaves the East.) That doesn’t sit right.

Casey made some off-putting choices during the Raptors’ second-round implosion against the Cleveland Cavaliers: playing Lucas Nogueira to close the first half in Game 4, electing not to try pressuring James on his buzzer-beater in Game 3, keeping an Anunoby-Siakam 4-5 partnership under wraps, etc. cheap nfl jerseys nike china But getting rid of him alone doesn’t noticeably elevate their ceiling. They’re not the Milwaukee Bucks. They didn’t underachieve this year.

Jettisoning DeRozan might. He’s working off a career year, but he still isn’t the ideal guard for how the Raptors want to play. A willingness to launch more threes has not translated to league-average efficiency. nike jersey nfl cheap He canned 31.2 percent of his treys during the regular season and shot 21.4 percent on triples in which he wasn’t completely wide-open for the playoffs.

Tapping DeRozan for scapegoat duty is unfair. But Casey’s decision to bench him down the stretch of a pivotal Game 3 says a lot. Kyle Lowry can have an impact playing off the ball or when he’s not hitting shots. DeRozan is less likely to do so. cheap youth nfl jerseys

Moving him could be tough. Shelling out almost $83 million for him over the next three years is steep, and other teams will encounter the same problems with his offensive game. youth nfl jerseys cheap But he’ll work for a squad that’s more open to accentuating his one-on-one stylings. The Raptors have to least see what he’s worth.

Kobe Bryant Talks the Evolution of LeBron James, How to Stop Him

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LeBron James has taken his game to another level this postseason, and you can count Kobe Bryant as one of the many impressed by his performance.

“He is able to control the tempo of the game,” Bryant said Sunday on Chris and Caron, via Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports. “The game, especially in the playoffs, china nike nfl jerseys is all built on momentum shifts. What he has been able to do in these playoffs is control the momentum.”

James is averaging 34.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game to put the Cleveland Cavaliers one game away from the Eastern Conference Finals.

He is averaging 35.7 points and 11.3 assists per game against the Toronto Raptors this series, including a buzzer-beater in Game 3 to give his team a 3-0 lead in the second round.

Bryant sees an evolution in his game to nfl jersey wholesaler conserve energy, which is important for a player who has played at least 40 minutes in nine of 10 postseason games.

“In the past they ran a lot of screen and rolls for him, a lot of angles, he’s out 35-40 feet from the hoop, penetrating into the paint,” the former Lakers star explained. “You don’t really see that too much now. You see him operate at the elbows, you see him operating below the free-throw line, deep corner. From those positions, he can take one or two dribbles, raise up and shoot.”womens nfl jersey

Despite his success, Bryant still sees a way to defend the Cavaliers star.nike nfl jerseys from china

“For one thing, you have to stop letting him go left,” he added. “Every big shot that he makes is going left. He’s remarkable about getting to that left hand, raise up and shoot. That’s the first thing I would do—disrupt his ability to go left.”

Considering he is shooting 54.7 percent from the field this postseason, no one has been too successful at slowing down James. Bryant—who was named to an All-Defensive team 12 times in his career—believes it will take a different strategy from opponents.best price nfl jerseys

If the Raptors want to keep their season alive, they might want to listen to this advice before Game 4 on Monday.

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

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.

James Harden Struggles, but Rockets Take 2-0 Series Lead vs. Timberwolves

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After escaping Game 1 against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a narrow three-point win, the Houston Rockets rolled in Wednesday’s Game 2 at Toyota Center and seized control of their first-round playoff series with a 102-82 victory.

James Harden was brilliant in Game 1 with 44 points, but Houston relied nfl jerseys china on Chris Paul and a balanced attack in its second win.

Four Houston players scored in double figures, including Paul, who spearheaded the blowout effort with 27 points, eight assists and three steals. Harden was another one of those players, totaling 12 points, but he was an abysmal 2-of-18 from the field and 1-of-10 from deep. He was far from the reason his team was victorious, even with seven assists.

Houston is so dangerous because it has two future Hall of Fame-caliber players in the backcourt, meaning it can afford a lackluster performance from one and still rely on the other to get it through a contest.nfl wholesale jerseys

That is exactly what has happened in this series against the eighth-seeded Timberwolves, as Harden made up for Paul’s 5-of-14 shooting and six turnovers in Game 1 and Paul compensated for Harden’s showing in Game 2.

It helps that the Rockets are playing a Minnesota team that was a mere 22nd in the league in defensive rating this season, per NBA.com, and doesn’t have much of an answer on that side of the ball outside of three-time All-Defensive selection Jimmy Butler.

With Butler shadowing Harden for stretches, Paul darted into the lane and either finished for himself or forced defenders to collapse before he found perimeter shooters. The nine-time All-Star dazzled the crowd with a nfl jerseys from china  number of head-turning floaters and layups at the rim, many of which came when Minnesota’s big men were left helplessly flailing at his ball-handling and lightning-quick first step.

With the Timberwolves left chasing Paul, Gerald Green was left open a number of times and delivered with 21 points on 5-of-12 shooting from downtown. Trevor Ariza benefited as well with 15 points and three triples, official nfl jerseys cheap and Clint Capela dominated down low with eight points and 16 boards.

The fact Houston handled Minnesota with relative ease even with the potential league MVP struggling sends a message to the rest of the NBA in these playoffs. This team can win in the postseason without Harden dominating, and the ceiling is the Larry O’Brien Trophy when he does play well.

Why the Analytics Love Baker Mayfield

Say it was your job to select a rookie quarterback for your NFL team, but you were forbidden from watching any of the prospects ever throw a single football.authentic nfl jerseys

Given such a ridiculous restriction, you would probably cross your fingers and scan the stat sheets for a quarterback who:

• Started a lot of college games…

• For a major program…

• Which faced a lot of great defenses…

• And who put up impressive totals and rate stats…5d4e13a5e76dd838a87596a2528373f8_crop_exact

• But wasn’t obviously a product of a system full of great supporting talent.

Now, imagine taking all of those common-sense criteria, defining and quantifying wholesale nfl jerseys them precisely, and creating a metric to guide your scouting department when selecting a quarterback.

That method would look a lot like the Football Outsiders’ QBASE system. And like QBASE, that method would love Baker Mayfield.

You probably know Mayfield started for three seasons for Oklahoma (and a fourth for Texas Tech) and threw for precisely 54 zillion yards and infinite touchdowns (14,607 and 131, actually). Mayfield’s rate stats, including his 68.5 nfl jerseys wholesale percent completion rate and 9.8 yards per pass attempt, are exceptional, even by wide-open Big 12 standards.

Mayfield has has been helped along the way by some great playmakers and offensive linemen, but as Aaron Schatz wrote in this year’s QBASE report, his schedule wasn’t as Big 12 playground-tastic as you might think. Mayfield had a big game against Ohio State and held his own in the CFP semifinals against Georgia, after all. Shake the numbers out to nfl jerseys china remove some distortions, and Mayfield still laps this year’s field.

Moneyball is all about providing context and meaning for statistics. Sometimes, that just means confirming what’s obvious. Mayfield is the most productive, experienced quarterback in this draft class. It shows in the numbers. And it shows on the game film, too.