LeBron James reportedly not recruiting free agents for Cavaliers

LeBron James has helped entice several players to join the Cavaliers in recent years, but he’s apparently keeping quiet this offseason.

ESPN reports an unidentified source says James is “not actively recruiting free agents” as the team pursues the players on its wish list. The NBA’s free-agent signing period opened Saturday.

It’s interesting Calipari potentially desires a return to the NBA. After failing at that level as a head coach (72-112), he would presumably have more “recruiting” power as a team president.

While it appears the Knicks are not interested in Calipari at this time, there is abundant history suggesting Calipari often gets what he wants.

I’ve written before that as a long-term solution, this is unlikely to work. The only player in 50 years to transition from first base to third base at the major league level without having played third base before was Enos Cabell. The Braves, however, are 40-42 after losing 16-4 to the Houston Astros, so there’s nothing for them to lose with this experiment. FanGraphs estimates their playoff odds at about 3 percent, so why not try it and keep Matt Adams’ bat in the lineup.

The hope is that maybe Freeman can play third as well as Cabrera did for the Tigers in 2012-13, when he won back-to-back MVP awards. Cabrera, of course, had played third earlier in his career before moving to first for three seasons. His range wasn’t great, but he had good hands and made just 25 errors over those two seasons. He was credited with minus-4 Defensive Runs Saved in 2012 and minus-18 in 2013. If Freeman can be a minus-18 defender, his bat makes up for that and Adams will produce more offense than whoever the Braves were going to play at third.

Are Braves really putting Freddie Freeman at third? Or is it a Costanza-esque ruse?

The Braves seem serious about moving Freddie Freeman to third base. Or maybe that’s just what they want you to believe.

Video surfaced Wednesday of the injured first baseman taking grounders at third, seeming to indicate the team is moving forward with this drastic switch that manager Brian Snitker legitimized to reporters Tuesday in the context of exploring all options to keep slugger Matt Adams in the lineup once Freeman returns from a broken left wrist.

Who knows what’s next? Will the Braves take it up a notch? Announce that Freeman will begin a minor league rehab to focus on third base? Have him hold a news conference in which he unboxes a fresh shipment of third baseman gloves? Leak video of Freeman and Chipper Jones deep in conversation at the hot corner?

Assuming this is just a clever ploy, one also would assume that the team is willing to push the ruse to its furthest level of insanity to get what it wants, George Costanza style. With each advancement of the rumor comes the hope that teams will bite. If those bites don’t come, well …

It’s all a big puzzler. Or is it? Maybe things are just as they seem and Freeman will take to third base for the good of the team. Or maybe it’s all mind games. Either way, it’s fascinating to watch.
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We’ll see whether the Braves, like Costanza, keep taking it up a notch. And we’ll watch Braves fans try not to freak out amid the mystery.

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Michael Vick’s father charged in heroin-dealing operation

Michael Vick’s father has been charged in a federal indictment for his alleged role in a large-scale heroin distribution operation, the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia said Wednesday (via The Washington Post).

Michael Boddie, 55, is one of 12 persons indicted in connection with an alleged drug ring operating the past 3 1/2 years in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.

They cancelled a workout on us when we flew out to Sacramento, and they just decided to cancel it as we flew, Ainge said. So there was something that he didn’t want to play for the Celtics. In spite of that, we’ve watched Josh for two years and we’re fans. He’s a terrific kid and a good player. So we tried not to overreact to those kinds of things and make a big deal of it.

Limited Womens A.J. Bouye Jersey Ainge was also quick to say the cancelled workout didn’t keep the Celtics from drafting Jackson but he certainly was mad about the situation the former Jayhawk put him and his fellow personnel in.

No. No. no. Well, there were thoughts, yeah, I was mad, Ainge said. We flew cross-country. Are you kidding me? I had to get up at 4 o’clock and fly back home.
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The GM was specifically upset because Jackson forced them to fly to Sacramento and just chill out for a night. And considering the fact Ainge played in Sacramento, he knew that was a waste of time.

There’s nothing to do in Sacramento, he joked. After the laughter died down in the press room he went on. That could get me in trouble there.

It won’t happen this year, but what about the future?

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Here, for example, Curry draws both Andre Roberson and Victor Oladipo when he comes off Durant’s screen on the wing due to his ability to shoot off the dribble. It prevents Curry from getting a pull-up 3-pointer, but it leaves them scrambling when Durant pops to the 3-point line. Durant wisely gets Roberson out of position on the closeout with a pump fake and then puts the ball on the floor for a strong finish at the basket over Steven Adams.

Kids Tony Twist Jersey In addition to being a great post-up scorer, Durant ranked in the 89.2 percentile with 1.05 points per isolation possession this season. Curry was slightly better than Durant in that regard — 1.09 points per isolation possession to rank in the 93.2 percentile — giving the Warriors two of the best isolation scorers in the league when faced with an opportunity to exploit a mismatch.

It won’t happen this year, but what about the future? Woods, 41, is coming off a fourth back surgery and has a long road back to recovery. Woods, however, said his back feels better. Could this be the start of one more run for the 14-time major winner? Woods hasn’t won a major since 2007.

Better than C-W III? Maybe? Jack Nicklaus won his last Masters at age 46 in 1986. With each passing year, does this scenario lose momentum?

Toronto will balk at giving Lowry a full five-year deal, which surely will rankle him. But any other team can offer only four years, and given his age, he doesn’t have much room to argue the point. The Raptors will give Lowry the best offer he’ll get on the market, and as free agency approaches, he seems more and more acutely aware of that.

Whatever Lowry or folks in his camp might have been saying a month ago about his intentions to remain in Toronto, shrug all of that off. He’s no dummy. He’s going to need the Raptors just as much as they’ll need him this summer.

the effect on non-white coaches is more extreme than on the whole candidate class.

For every baseball aficionado who can easily name all members of the 600 Home Run Club, there are legions more who forget about Thome’s offensive prowess.

Oh, yeah. Jim Thome. Duh.

This is probably because, for many years, Thome wasn’t even the best player on his team. His early big years with the Indians were often overshadowed by players with bigger numbers (Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez) and/or by those with more swagger or attitude (Belle, Ramirez, David Justice). So Thome’s contributions, while noticed and appreciated by Cleveland’s fans, quickly evaporated from the minds of many other fans.

Not shockingly, the effect on non-white coaches is more extreme than on the whole candidate class.

That’s why there is genuine worry that while a handful of non-white candidates are getting attention now, teams might be more interested in the attention than in seriously considering hiring them.

Austin, for example, the Lionsdefensive coordinator, was on everybodys radar the past two offseasons, as a coach recommended by the leagues hiring advisory committee. This is his third year of reportedly being a hot commodity. After last year’s round of hires, Austin himself wondered whether all of his interviews were serious.

The first time, it was considered a win that he was on teams’ lists. It wont be considered such a win if hes still a coordinator next season. The Browns’ Hue Jackson, for another example, likely got his head-coaching job a year later than he should have.sharks_484

Look: Cavaliers unveil new logos for 2017-18 season

Ahead of Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Cavaliers are already preparing their look for next season.
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The Cavs announced Wednesday an updated logo collection for the 2017-18 season that simplifies and modernizes the look of the Cavaliers brand. Of course, one of the five new-look logos will pay homage to the Cavs overcoming a 3-1 deficit en route to winning the NBA title last year.

The Cavs worked with Nike on the new logos which will carry both the popular C-Sword and C logos from previous years, with navy and gold remaining the primary colors.

New for next season, black will be officially introduced as a new and permanent addition to the team’s color palette. The color is a nod to the historic turning point in the 2016 Finals when the Cavs wore their black-sleeved uniforms in Games 5 and 7 when they beat the Warriors.

OG Anunoby, SF/PF, Indiana. The Bulls need depth at just about every spot, and their offseason remains murky. Anunoby is a bit of a risk, a defensive-minded guy who needs to improve his shooting and is coming off knee surgery. But, if healthy, he could be a rotation player quickly.

Game Youth David Backes USA Jersey Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky. Diallo was the talk of the Combine with his 44.5-inch vertical leap that had NBA types bumping him into first-round consideration. There is still a chance he could play at Kentucky, but he has enough raw ability to be worth a late first-round pick.

Steve Kerr could be nearing return to Warriors bench, report says

The Warriors are set to embark on their journey to reclaim the NBA title against the current defending champs, starting with Thursday’s Game 1, and Golden State might get a familiar face back on the sidelines very soon.

According to ESPN.com, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr could return to coach the team sometime during the NBA Finals. Acting head coach Mike Brown even believes he could return as soon as Thursday.

He’s talked about possibly coaching Game 1… and I even tried to tell him, ‘Steve, you should do it, and if you don’t feel like you’re OK, halfway through the game, just go back in the back,’ Brown said Wednesday.

Elite Mens Derrick Johnson Jersey THIS PAST SEASON: Fox has handled himself well in interviews with scouts and teams as he transitions to professional basketball. According to NBA Media, he is mature, smart and handled the spotlight well during and after his freshman year at Kentucky. Under coach John Calipari, Fox averaged 16.7 points, 4.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds in the regular season.
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OUR TAKE: Fox, a 6-3, 170-pound guard is getting a lot of comparisons to fellow Kentucky product John Wall, and for good reason. Fox is a stellar lead guard in transition and uses his elite quickness to find an open shot or hit his streaking teammates. He rebounds well for a guard and plays great defense, a perfect fit for the Kings. But trading two top-10 picks for him seems a bit much.

Ford’s mock currently has the Kings using their picks to take Jayson Tatum and Frank Ntilikina, players who have their own potential to be like Allan Houston and Dante Exum, respectively. It’s hard to see the Sixers passing on Josh Jackson at No. 3, so perhaps the Kings won’t have to trade both their top-10 picks to move up to No. 4. Sacramento does have the No. 34 pick it can also as trade bait.

NFL denies credentials to Barstool Sports

Elite Youth Jerome Bettis Jersey As we saw during the NFL’s opening night, the league approves media credentials for some wacky people, but is still only willing to go so far.

The NFL didn’t grant media credentials to Barstool Sports employees, a league spokesman confirmed to Omnisport in an email. ProFootballTalk initially reported the story.

The sports blog, which has strong Patriots ties, caught the attention of the NFL in 2015 when its writers staged a protest at NFL headquarters following Tom Brady’s Deflategate punishment. The bloggers were later arrested on the site.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal , which is owned by Adelson’s family, reported team executives did not include Adelson’s contribution when they were meeting Thursday with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority. The Review-Journal also reported Raiders owner Mark Davis was meeting separately with Adelson while the meeting with the authority was going on.

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Vic Tafur, citing The Associated Press, tweeted that Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office said the Raiders could more than double their financial commitment from their initial $500 million.
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Multiple outlets reported the Raiders will turn to investment broker Goldman Sachs to contribute the $650 million Adelson was pledging. The remaining $750 million is expected to come from an increase in Las Vegas hotel taxes.

The Raiders have applied to the NFL to move to Las Vegas, but they likely will have to stay in Oakland through at least the 2018 season as the domed stadium is being built. NFL owners are expected to vote on the application in late March.

Colts not too late to find the right GM to replace Ryan Grigson

All things considered, it really doesn’t matter how long the Indianapolis Colts waited after the season before firing their general manager so long as they moved him out, period. There weren’t many reasons left to keep Ryan Grigson, as it turned out, even though Jim Irsay tried until the very end to come up with some before giving up last weekend.

Speaking of home runs, Jason Grilli really aided in MLB’s effort to light up scoreboards Saturday. The 40-year-old Blue Jays reliever gave up not one, not two, not three, but four home runs in the eighth inning of Saturday’s 7-0 loss to the Yankees and he didn’t even get through the inning. He was yanked after 2/3 of an inning as his ERA ballooned to 8.15.

While Adams’ grand slam may not have been a game winner, his second homer of the night was, and he went opposite field in the 12th inning to lift the Braves to a 6-5 win over the Reds.

Yankees (32-21) at Blue Jays (27-29), 1:07 p.m. ET: This is the best pitching match-up of the day bar-none. Luis Severino (4-2, 2.93 ERA) against Marcus Stroman (3-2, 3.28). The radar guns will be lighting up all day long and the two pitchers will have to also deal with the wind tunnel that is Rogers Centre.

The 49ers are expected to hire Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as their new head coach, but have to wait until after Super Bowl LI. Lynch wasn’t able to mention Shanahan, who has interviewed with the 49ers twice, by name because of NFL tampering rules. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t compliment Shanahan’s job as the coordinator for the NFL’s highest-scoring offense.vikings_122

Steelers safety Mike Mitchell has hilarious freak out after facemask penalty

Steelers safety Mike Mitchell was called for a facemask during Sunday’s 27-24 win over the Browns, and he was not happy about it. Mitchell tried his best to plead with the referees, but they weren’t having it. He then began to let out some high-pitched squeals.

Elite Kids Mats Sundin Jersey Denver has relied on its tight ends in the past, but the Broncos seemed to get away from the seam-stretching focus in 2016. The addition of Howard would give this team a dominant trio for Paxton Lynch, or whoever the quarterback of the future is for Denver.

As of now, the NFL scouts I’ve spoken with aren’t sold on Watson as a top 10 pick. If he doesn’t go early, it’s tough to find a landing spot for him. He certainly could be this year’s Teddy Bridgewater, the class’ best quarterback who somehow slips to the end of the first round. Watson and Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya are the best fits for the Chiefs if they want to draft their quarterback of the future.

Elite Kids Joe Montana Jersey Demarcus Lawrence hasn’t proved trustworthy enough to be on the field every game, and Randy Gregory can be considered a wasted pick after his most recent suspension. Harris has some fans who feel he might go in the top half of the first round, but I believe this spot is closer to his value. After years of bulking up their offensive line, the Cowboys to invest in the other side of the line of scrimmage.

Williams might be the draft’s best true 3-4 outside linebacker, even if it’s situational to start, but some character red flags may push him down to Day 2 of the draft. New England needs to add new faces to its linebacking corps, and the Patriots haven’t shied away from character concerns in the past.