They’ll have to sign point guard Jeff Teague

Let’s assume George stays put in Indiana next season, and that the Pacers continue to ask him to be the best player on both ends and the team leader. We can grouse about whether George ought to stay put and try to build his own Indiana legacy rather than hunting for a better roster, but that’s pointless. If competitiveness is what George is seeking, the Pacers will have a lot to get done in the next year to persuade him to stay.
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They’ll have to sign point guard Jeff Teague, who has been a key to reconfiguring the team around offense. Teague is a free agent this summer, and a league source estimated he would seek a contract near the max, or similar to the five-year, $150 million deal signed by Mike Conley in Memphis last year. Teague grew up in Indianapolis, though, and would like to stay with the Pacers, leaving open the possibility of a hometown discount.

Kids Zaza Pachulia Jersey But if the Pacers want to keep George, they’ll have to keep Teague. If Teague gets away, Indiana is likely looking at a full-scale rebuild, and George does not want to be part of that.

They’ll also need a remake of the bench, which has been one of the worst in the league this season. They’ll be limited, because they owe $28 million to Monta Ellis, Al Jefferson and Rodney Stuckey (unless Stuckey opts out), and this year’s bench gambles, like Kevin Seraphin and Aaron Brooks, did not work out particularly well.

Barnes: That’s what has kept me around for 15 years. My job is to protect guys like Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson). But I also have goons like David West, Zaza (Pachulia) and Draymond (Green). Now we need to keep Dray on the court. So I’ll be handling things. But we aren’t a team you want to try.

NBA upholds DeMarcus Cousins’ one-game suspension

DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t need to worry about a Mardi Gras hangover.

The Pelicans center had been having fun Tuesday down in New Orleans, and he’ll get Wednesday off after the NBA upheld his one-game suspension for receiving his 18th technical foul this season.

He’ll sit out the Pelicans’ home game Wednesday against the Pistons.

Cousins received the 18th technical Sunday. He appealed the decision, but it was upheld Tuesday, the league announced.

I don’t feel I did anything wrong to receive it, Cousins said after Sunday’s game. Hopefully the league handles it the right way, and hopefully I get the benefit of the doubt. So we’ll see.

Every year, the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament leads to overreactions from people seeing players around the country for the first time. It’s understandable 鈥?fans and spectators want to see players perform on the biggest stage. The NCAA Tournament can absolutely help players get their names out there for that reason.
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Limited Kids Zane Gonzalez Jersey However, the reality is that for good NBA scouts who have been doing their research all season, the tournament is more of just a final exam rather than a referendum on their abilities. For people who have been watching these players, it’s an important piece of the puzzle, but it’s not the be-all, end-all where you’re making drastic decisions based on these games. Anyone who is moving players way up or way down their board based on a two-game sample is either being far too reactionary based on a limited set of games, or doing it because they haven’t been paying enough attention to what’s happening around the country.

With that being said, the tournament is an important set of high-leverage games for potential NBA players to show their stuff. Here are the players who helped themselves this weekend, as well as a few that hurt themselves with poor performances.

Kyrie Irving gets up shots after Cavs routed by Spurs

Kyrie Irving did some extra work Monday night after the Cavaliers were blown out by the Spurs in San Antonio.

Whether Irving was trying to correct a flaw in his jumper or just blowing off steam after a bad loss, we don’t yet know. But it’s difficult to ignore a star getting up shots right after a game.

Irving’s Cavs are feeling some angst as the NBA playoffs near. They fell out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference with their 103-74 loss Monday, and LeBron James left the game late in the third quarter after being elbowed in the neck by the Spurs’ David Lee.

I consult with NBA executives throughout the year on this in terms of where they have players, but the rankings here are largely my own and not an aggregated view of where the NBA sees these players.

The top 30 here have comments, followed by a listing of No. 31 through 50.

Fultz’s season may be over with Washington, but he is still the number one player on this board, along with most NBA teams executives’ boards. Fultz is a complete, elite offensive talent who is equally capable as a scorer or distributor. He has prototypical size for the lead guard position at 6-foot-4 with a 6-10 wingspan, is an elite athlete and plays with remarkable tempo for the position.

He’s not the surefire No. 1 pick when it comes down to it in June, but he tops the board at this stage.

You would think missing a free throw would be easy. Andre Drummond does it all the time. But Ginobili found the most insane way to make a free throw, and as you might have guessed, the Spurs ended up losing.
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Todd Frazier traded to Yankees as White Sox get top prospects

Elite Mens Gregory Polanco Jersey Todd Frazier is on the move, but has not been shipped up to Boston as many believed he would.

Instead the rival Yankees have acquired the All-Star third baseman from the White Sox, who are also sending pitchers Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson to New York. Bruce Levine of Chicago radio station 670 The Score was the first to report the pending deal, which was announced after the White Sox and Yankees completed their respective games on Tuesday.

In 80 games for Charlotte this year, Moncada hit 12 home runs, stole 17 bases and hit .282. He struck out too much (102 times) but had an on-base percentage nearly 100 points higher than his average (.377), which is solid.

Moncada, who just turned 22 in May, is the No. 1 prospect in the sport, according to Baseball America’s midseason update. He’s No. 1 on Baseball Prospectus’ list, too. He’s 13th on Keith Law’s list at ESPN.com.

Sporting News prospect scout Frank Neville wrote this about Moncada at the end of May.

Limited George Iloka Jersey The switch-hitting Moncada will need to improve his pitch recognition to succeed in the majors, but he’s shown the ability to make adjustments and should eventually adapt to the quality and sequencing of big league pitching. More fundamental are the flaws in his right-handed swing, which will require either significant mechanical changes or a decision to only bat left-handed. In any case, he remains an electric talent with plus speed and tantalizing power potential.

White Sox fans have to be happy they’ll get a chance to watch that combo of plus speed and tantalizing power potential develop at the big-league level.

We have this discussion in the clubhouse quite a bit

Limited Tim Williams Jersey The rich get richer here, as the Warriors pick up a perfect fit for their system in Casspi. He’s a multipositional forward who can knock down shots from the outside and defend a few different player types.

Casspi has hit 40 percent of his 3s over the course of the last three seasons while averaging 14 points, seven rebounds and two assists per 36 minutes. As long as he stays healthy, it’s easy to see how he can be useful for them.

We have this discussion in the clubhouse quite a bit, Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg said. It’s kind of funny. Some guys say it’s climate change and some guys say the ball is juiced and some guys say they’re attacking the ball differently, trying to get the ball in the air more. Who knows?

Darn fine question, Mr. Strasburg. It’s a question that was asked many times during the media session at Marlins Park on Monday, hours before the Home Run Derby showed exactly why fans love the type of power they’re seeing on a nightly basis this season. I asked some of the questions, and some were asked by other reporters in the group.

First, though, a response from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred about the possibility that baseballs are somehow juiced this season.
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Manfred: Baseballs have been tested repeatedly and I know with absolute certainty that baseballs are within specified limits.

The same goes in the offseason, when Tucker uses his phone to videotape kicks during sessions at the University of North Texas and Southlake Carroll High School in the Dallas area. Tucker said he feels like a storm chaser when heading out to practice during inclement weather.

NBA playoff predictions: Picking winners in Eastern Conference first round

The 2016-17 NBA regular season ended Wednesday night and we have playoff predictions for each Eastern Conference series.

Parity is the name of the game in the East. LeBron James and the Cavaliers lost their No. 1 seed, but the defending champs are still considered favorites.

Let’s take a look at our predictions for each Eastern Conference first-round matchup in the NBA playoffs.

How can you not want to see where this goes, how it plays out, how the story ends? Maybe somewhere along the way we’ll find out why we all kept running to him, giving him attention, giving him a platform, while screaming, “Shut up and go away and stop making us watch and listen to you!”

It all might end up with his son, Lonzo, a talented, potential-laden NBA prospect, becoming both a star and a multi-millionaire, the center of a conglomerate of his own making, a brand beholden to no company and no other mogul, his own product instead of one handcuffed to Phil Knight or Kevin Plank and their brands.

Or … it might end up with Lonzo becoming the biggest star to never shine off the court, because his father bit off more than he could chew and flew too close to the sun. Who thought he was a Bigger Baller than he actually was, in the one area that actually counted — not sound bites, ratings points or online clicks, but in the actual bank.

It’s hard not to have an extreme opinion of LaVar or Lonzo or the two younger basketball-playing brothers coming along soon. But its easier than you think to look at what LaVar is trying to do — control something that has been reflexively handed over to companies like Nike and Under Armour for decades.

In the most blunt terms, to not auction off his son to the highest shoe-company bidder and have him make them richer.falcons_060

NBA playoffs 2017: Cavaliers’ All-Star trio too much for Pacers

Cleveland’s Big Three came up huge Monday.
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Authentic Kids James Patrick Jersey For the first time in the three years they’ve played together, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love each scored more than 25 points in a playoff game as the Cavaliers took a 2-0 series lead on the Pacers with a 117-111 victory.

Beverley, raised by a single mother in Chicago, called his grandfather his biggest fan who could be counted on for constant encouragement, especially while playing for Olympiakos in Greece and Spartak of the Russian League before breaking into the NBA in 2012.

It’s just tough, man. It’s so tough, he said. Everybody knows I work so extremely hard to prove myself each and every night. To have somebody who was right there to support me the whole way. He wore my jerseys every single day of his life. He wore my Russian jerseys. To have a person like that taken from you is so hard, but, you know, there’s a bigger plan and I’m going to keep my faith and I’m going to be there for my family. Anybody who’s had grandparents or parents, whoever, taken away from you, it’s super hard.

Beverley drained his first shot of the game, a 3-pointer, to open the scoring for Houston as it went on to tie the second-round series at two games apiece.

The Cavaliers made history last week by overcoming a 25-point halftime lead to stun the Pacers; Toronto appeared on the verge of blowing a 24-point lead in the final 15 minutes.

But the Raptors snapped out of their stupor in the final few minutes, with DeMar DeRozan taking charge. The guard hit a layup to tie the score, then exploded into the lane for a dunk.

The refs did all that they could.

Elite Youth T.J. Carrie Jersey That’s where these become really difficult plays to call. Pachulia is right — he was doing exactly what he was assigned to do, which is to help a teammate recover from a screen and challenge a shot on the perimeter. A hard close-out is what we want of all defenders. Pachulia delivered that.

But he is also a 275-pound man playing in a defensive system that is switch-heavy. That’s going to call for him to throw his body around on the perimeter in a way he hasn’t done for much of his 14-year career. The fact that his foot came down in the same place, at the same time, as Leonard’s foot is not surprising.

The refs did all that they could. And the league should do nothing further, because Pachulia did nothing that is demonstrably worthy of suspension.

There is no way to tell whether there was intent on Pachulia’s part. NBA rules call for what happened on the Pachulia-Leonard play to be a foul, and no more. The reason? Because there is no way to tell whether Pachulia intended to hurt Leonard. Durant is right — folks on Twitter will register their opinions but certainty is impossible. Expect irrationality.
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With about five minutes to play in the third quarter, Brown — defending center Marcin Gortat — swatted away an entry pass in the paint, turned and ran the floor, beating the defense on the wing. He took an underthrown pass, reached to grab it as he began his leap, and finished the kind of Stretch Armstrong layup that has the organization so confident in his future. Or, heck, his present.

This is Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, Brown said, slightly miscalculating his postseason timing. Two years ago I was just in high school. It’s an amazing feeling just being here.

It’s not uncommon for NFL players to link up during the offseason and work together

Beasley edged Miller for the league lead in sacks during the 2016 season with 15.5 — two more than Miller. But the Broncos pass rusher has reached double-digit sacks in five of his six NFL seasons and Beasley knows he still has a lot to learn.

Oh, it will help me out a lot, Beasley said of the summit in May, via ESPN. The attention that Von gets year in and year out is unbelievable. They respect him as a pass-rusher, and I’m headed in that direction. So I can learn a lot from him in that case.

It’s not uncommon for NFL players to link up during the offseason and work together, even if they’re not on the same team. But so many of the league’s best players converging to train is rare. And if it makes those players any better than they already are, the quarterbacks of the NFL should be worried.

And so the Bucks will enter the summer with only a handful of options. They’d hoped to boost the backcourt, and there were indications they had interest in Cavs guard Kyle Korver as well as Pacers guard C.J. Miles. Keeping Snell, though, will push them close to the tax. A deal involving Parker might have allowed them to clear out some cap room by attaching another big contract — Mirza Teletovic, for example — but instead, the Bucks will work within a thin margin.
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Meanwhile, Parker will continue to build on his rehab. If he comes back healthy, the Bucks may have options — but those are distant options now.

Elite Kids Kyle Rudolph Jersey Green Bay’s receiver rotation features Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb, and Montgomery could fit in that mix. Depth at the position is not an issue. Green Bay’s flashiest offseason addition was veteran tight end Martellus Bennett, who won a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots last season.

Yankees rookie Dustin Fowler suffers devastating knee injury in 1st inning of MLB debut

Yankees outfielder Dustin Fowler was carted off the field after colliding with the right field wall on Thursday night.

Fowler, playing in his first career major league game, couldn’t put any weight on his right leg after the collision.

The Yankees later said that Fowler suffered a ruptured patella tendon, and was sent off to surgery in Chicago.

Dustin Fowler has an open rupture of right patella tendon in right knee. Will have surgery tonight at Rush U Med Center in Chicago.

Fowler, 22, was hitting .293 with Yankees Triple A affiliate Scranton-Wilkes Barre, with 13 home runs. He got called up on Thursday and was less than six outs into his major league debut before the injury occurred.

The Clippers have been in contact with several teams, including the Suns, while exploring the market for center DeAndre Jordan, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes.

Phoenix reportedly shot down discussions with LA regarding a potential trade of Tyson Chandler and the Suns’ No. 4 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft in exchange for Jordan.

The Hawks are sending Dwight Howard and the 31st pick in the 2017 NBA Draft to the Hornets, in exchange for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli and the 41st pick in this year’s draft, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Bulls All-Star forward Jimmy Butler reportedly told the Cavaliers he would rather stay in Chicago than be traded to Cleveland, according to TNT’s David Aldridge.
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