Posts Tagged ‘chicago’

 

He’s the reigning NBA MVP. He’s the first player in Association history to average a triple-double in consecutive seasons. Russell Westbrook’s personal accomplishments stand among the game’s greatest.

The Oklahoma City Thunder should still seriously consider trading the guard this summer after yet another postseason letdown for the squad. You read that right. An organization that Russ helped put on the NBA map following its move from Seattle should relieve itself of the future Hall of Famer.

 

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It seems pretty ridiculous on the surface. Relevance in the NBA is an important thing, especially for those in a small market. Just ask Milwaukee before Giannis or this year’s version of the Memphis Grizzlies. Having star power is needed to lift up a small market.

That’s the economic situation here. On the court, Russ and his Thunder have failed to do anything of substance during the most important time of the season: The NBA Playoffs.

This year saw OKC go down in six games to a much less-talented Utah Jazz team in the first round. That series was only extended beyond a fifth game due to Westbrook’s own performance. And thus tells us a story of the Thunder under his watch.

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It appears to be the end of the road once again for former Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Cutler is expected to retire soon. Rapoport notes Cutler will be appearing on wife Kristin Cavallari’s reality show. He also did not rule out Cutler going into the broadcast booth with FOX, something he was expected to do last year before an opportunity to join the Miami Dolphins arose. He was set to be part of the network’s No. 2 team along with Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis on NFL

All of those hoping to hear Cutler talk about his former team had their dreams dashed when an injury occurred to Miami Dolphins signal-caller Ryan Tannehill during the summer. Dolphins head coach Adam Gase worked with Cutler in 2015 in Chicago and called upon his former QB for some help. On August 3, Cutler signed with the Dolphins, casting aside his television booth dreams. He signed a one-year deal and was named the team’s starter for Week 1. In 14 starts for the Dolphins he completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,666 yards with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. As a starter he went 6-8.

The 11th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft out of Vanderbilt by the Broncos, Cutler showed signs of improvement in each of his first handful of seasons in the league. As a rookie in 2006 he started five games, throwing for 1,001 yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions. The following year he took over as the team’s starter and threw for 3,497 yards with 20 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. In his Pro Bowl year with the Broncos in 2008, Cutler once again started all 16 games, throwing for 4,526 yards with 25 touchdowns and 18 interceptions

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The Bulls tanked so hard this year, the NBA warned them to cut it out. It was a rare instance of the league responding to actual tanking measures rather than just talk of preferring to lose.

Bulls executive John Paxson, via Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago:

“We did this year what we felt was in the longterm best interests of the Bulls,” Paxson said. “It’s not a situation that any of us want to ever be in again; it goes against everything as a competitive person that you believe in; but it’s the way the system is set up.”

Chicago could try to turn around quickly. The Bulls project to have about $25 million in cap space this summer – enough to land a good player or two.

The assumption in league circles is the Bulls will wait until 2019 to make their big move when players like Klay ThompsonKawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving could be on the market, and might consider signing with the Bulls after watching another year of development from LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn.

This is the wise course. It’s unlikely Chicago can lure anyone good enough to lift such a young core quickly. The Bulls are better off remaining patient – and bad, which will net another high draft pick as Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn develop.

This is also probably the course thrust upon Chicago. Even if they wanted to, the Bulls probably can’t land a premier free agent this summer. Star free agents can see the same problems with Chicago trying for a quick fix and will likely avoid the situation.

There’d be no harm in trying for top free agents like LeBron James or even Paul George. But the Bulls will probably be relegated to 2019 if they want to sign someone meaningful. Better they realize that than make a desperate attempt for relevance this year.

Phil Jackson might not be running the ship in New York anymore, but that doesn’t mean the downtrodden New York Knicks won’t look to move star forward Kristaps Porzingis.

Obviously, said deal would have to bring in an equal star for a Knicks squad that has not earned a playoff spot since the 2012-13 season.

According to Frank Isola of the NY Daily News, said trade could potentially include Kawhi Leonard making his way from San Antonio to the Big Apple for Porzingis.

“ONE PLAUSIBLE OPTION IS TO TRADE LEONARD, WHICH SHOULD BE OF INTEREST TO THE KNICKS,” ISOLA NOTED. “ANY DEAL FOR LEONARD WOULD HAVE TO INCLUDE KRISTAPS PORZINGIS, WHOM THE SPURS ARE SAID TO BE HEAD OVER HEELS WITH, AS WELL AS A FIRST-ROUND PICK. IT’S A STEEP PRICE, BUT THE ADDITION OF LEONARD PLUS AVAILABLE CAP SPACE IN THE SUMMER OF 2019 COULD DRAMATICALLY ALTER THE COURSE OF HISTORY FOR THE STAR-CROSSED FRANCHISE.”

Why would the Knicks even consider trading the face of their franchise for an injured star that just so happens to be years older? First off, Porzingis is coming off a torn ACL himself and has had multiple injury issues in his first three seasons with the Knicks.

Despite missing all but a couple handfuls of games this past regular season, Leonard has a more proven track record. He’s a former MVP candidate.

Discussions surrounding a potential Leonard trade from the Spurs have heated up in recent weeks. There seems to be a rift between the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year and his organization. If Leonard is indeed put on the block, Porzingis would have to be seen as the best possible option in a trade for the Spurs.

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The Rockets may have had to deal with the Timberwolves for one more game than originally anticipated, which means Chris Paul had one more opportunity to get under Minnesota’s skin.

Paul, despite being dwarf-sized compared to some of these behemoths he goes head to head with, is ​no stranger to confrontation. He always seems to be in the middle of any sort of animosity an opponent may have with his team. Wednesday night was no different, as a former teammate decided to have words with the superstar point guard following the series finale.

CP3 and Jamal Crawford were seen, and heard, screaming at each other in the tunnel following Game 5.

Considering the fact that Paul won’t go head-to-head with Crawford until next season, he made sure his words were heard.

Paul is normally the instigator but had every right to be pissed off at the veteran shooting guard. Not only did Crawford barge through Paul like he’d seen those ridiculous State Farm commercials one too many times, but he hovered over him too where apparently he crossed the

This isn’t the first time that Paul has gotten into it with a former Clippers teammate. Just remember when he exchanged words with Blake Griffin before the Rockets tried to tunnel into the Clippers locker room.

It’s a shame we won’t see if this takes a step further, but it’s time for Paul to focus on how he’s going to bother Russell Westbrook or Ricky Rubio in the next round.

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On the eve on the NFL draft, offensive tweets from a potential No. 1 pick, Josh Allen, surfaced on social media.

The former Wyoming quarterback acknowledged the tweets to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith late Wednesday night and apologized, saying he was young and dumb.

The tweets no longer appear on Allen’s account. However, they contained racial slurs and other offensive language, according to Yahoo! Sports.

The tweets cited by Yahoo! Sports were sent in 2012 and 2013, when Allen was in high school.

Allen told Smith that some of the tweets made reference to rap lyrics and television, including a saying that was part of an episode from the sitcom “Modern Family.”

On ESPN’s First Take on Thursday, NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that his sources indicated Allen’s Twitter account was vetted in January and that the offensive tweets were removed then.

Allen is ranked as the top quarterback in the draft, according to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., and is projected by many to be selected by the Cleveland Browns with the first overall pick.

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A team with a top-five draft pick told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that it knew nothing about the tweets and that it had “never heard anything but positives” about Allen.