NBA free agency 2017: Clippers’ Chris Paul reportedly opts out of contract

The hits keep coming for the Clippers; now two of their top players reportedly are about to become unrestricted free agents.

First it was reported that Blake Griffin decided not to exercise his player option for next season; then came word that Chris Paul had done the same. Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported Paul’s decision Friday evening.

Paul, 32, has a player option worth more than $24 million for the 2017-18 season, according to Hoops Hype.

He averaged 18.1 points, 9.2 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game last season for the Clippers, who were the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference before losing to the Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.

The Jazz joined the list of possible suitors for Timberwovles point guard Ricky Rubuio on Tuesday.

Follow-up to yesterday’s Ricky Rubio story: League sources say Utah is among the teams to express trade interest in the veteran point guard.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that Utah have expressed interest Rubio and that Minnesota is still trying to trade the veteran guard to acquire more shooting.

“I noticed then, and had noticed earlier, that wherever the Cowboys played, you saw people in the stands with Cowboys jerseys and hats and pennants,” Ryan said. “Plus, they were always the national game on television.”

Under legendary coach Tom Landry, the Cowboys had 20 consecutive Cheap Ice Hockey Jerseys winning seasons, from 1966 through 1985. Over that span, Dallas Cheap Ireland Rugby Jerseys went to five Super Bowls, winning two.

But Dallas hasn’t gotten past the divisional round since 1995, the last year the Cowboys won a Super Bowl. As Dallas descended into mediocrity, it’s only natural that casual fans’ feelings toward the team became lukewarm.

Game 3 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals was headed for another blowout

Boston rallied from a 21-point third-quarter deficit to beat Cleveland 111-108 on Sunday night in Cleveland. Avery Bradley’s 3-pointer with a tenth of a second to play was the difference.

The Celtics were without point guard Isaiah Thomas, which made everyone assume the game (and the series) was over. Thomas is out for the remainder of the postseason with a hip injury that will be examined Monday . Marcus Smart took Thomas’ place in the starting lineup and had a huge game (27 points, seven assists).

Since then, he has not been able to work out for teams — he subsequently had surgery to address a stress fracture in his foot — but he has been continuing to draw interest from teams in the second half of the first round.

Jackson has been traveling to visit various teams with picks (or the potential to acquire picks) in the high teens and 20s, a source told Sporting News. Atlanta, with the No. 19 pick, had Jackson in for an interview, as did the Knicks, who are in the market to obtain picks later in the first round.

Also of note: Utah brought in Jackson, who went to high school at Lone Peak, situated between Salt Lake City and Provo. The Jazz have picks No. 24 and 30, and will be seeking guard depth.

We may see something similar to Durant happen this offseason if Chris Paul leaves Cheap Heat Jerseys the Clippers to join the Spurs, which is being speculated. San Antonio was one of the few teams that could have competed with Golden State, and adding Paul would dramatically Cheap Hockey Jerseys Custom change the landscape. Not only would the Spurs be stronger, but the Clippers, talented in their own right, would be weaker.

Chris Sale posts 10-plus strikeouts in seven straight games for second time in career

It’s something of a parlor game, because it’s bound to continue happening every season for the next several. Trout’s only 24 and already better than numerous Hall of Famers for their entire careers. This season, he’ll pass at least a few more marginal enshrinees. Keep a list going with all but the inner circle greats and see whether Trout can pick them all off by his 30th birthday. He might.

Through the early part of his career, Trout has excelled with almost robotic efficiency and has been a joy to watch play. He’s Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays for the 21st century. But who knows what can happen from this point. Again, Trout’s only 24.

Many assumed Chris Sale’s numbers would suffer a bit moving from a pitcher’s ballpark in Chicago to one of the friendliest hitter’s ballparks in all of baseball, Fenway Park.

It remains to be seen if they’re right, but the move to Boston sure hasn’t affected his strikeout totals.

Sale struck out 12 batters in the Red Sox’s matchup with the Rays on Saturday afternoon, which marked the seventh straight game he has struck out at least 10 batters.

It’s the second time Sale has put together such a streak. He had eight-straight games with double-digit strikeouts in 2015.

Only two other pitchers have ever had seven games in a row of 10-plus strikeouts.

Sale finished Saturday’s game going seven innings and allowing three runs, while Cheap Custom Baseball Jerseys giving up two hits and two walks. He now has an MLB-leading 85 strikeouts on the season.

John Ross accepts Billy Hamilton’s challenge, kinda

Who’s faster, Billy Hamilton or John Ross? We may soon get a chance to find out.

Yesterday, the Reds center fielder somewhat jokingly said he would race the Bengals rookie to see who is the fastest athlete in Cincinnati, and apparently Ross is open to the competition.

“It would be awesome to do that and we could probably work out something later,” Ross said Friday. “Right now I’m just focused on being a Bengal. I don’t know what the future holds, but if he wants to do something for the community later or for charity, that would be awesome. Right now I’m just focused on being a football player.”

But according to Kaaya, he didn’t realize how popular the line was until he left Los Angeles — where he grew up — to play football at the University of Miami.

“For me, she basically just made a 15-minute cameo in a movie that happened to be a famous movie, but in Los Angeles, there are a lot of other things going on and there’s a lot of different types of people you see,” Kaaya said, via ESPN. “So, it wasn’t really a big deal until I pretty much left California for Florida.”

For Kaaya, the famous line Ice Cube’s character said simply wasn’t part of his lexicon. The movie premiered several months before he was born, so it didn’t have the same impact on him that it did for people from their late 20s and upward.

He said he has only seen the movie a couple of times, and that he views Means Kaaya as a “team mom and a vegan chef.”

“It’s just really been about football. I’ve never really seen her in NFL Jerseys Free Shipping that kind of light,” Kaaya said. “She was more so my team mom growing up.”

Means Kaaya also had several small roles and appeared in “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper,” “In Living Color,” “House Party 3,” “The Cherokee Kid” and “Cousin Skeeter,” but she will always be the inspiration behind on the the best ’90s lines.

The Minnesota Wild should want to keep Martin Hanzal. But can they?

Martin Hanzal is a very good hockey player.

But he is quite an unremarkable player.

He doesn’t wow you with a powerful shot or sublime puck skills. He doesn’t take over games with his speed. He doesn’t say things to the media that draw attention to himself or rock the boat.

Based on those things, you wouldn’t think that Hanzal managed to be incredibly polarizing in his 7 weeks in a Minnesota Wild uniform.

In the post-game press conference after Oklahoma City’s tense Game 4 loss to Houston, Westbrook swatted away a question to Steven Adams about the Thunder’s performance when he was on the bench. Westbrook was trying to save his teammate from embarrassment, yet it was also a performance to signal to his teammates that he didn’t see himself as above them. He wanted to relay that they won and lost the same way: as a team working together.

But the team’s strengths and weaknesses were clear as day all season. Westbrook is its best player by a comically large distance. If he is not scoring or creating, the Thunder are lost. Westbrook’s demonstration couldn’t disguise that. Against the Rockets, this disability was put in the harshest light.

The Thunder built big leads with Westbrook in early and relinquished them in the few minutes he sat. When Westbrook tried to clean up his teammates’ mess, he’d spotlight the worst of his game. Playing from behind, with no one else to initiate the offense or get buckets on their Best Place To Buy Cheap Jerseys own, he took matters into his own hands in the worst ways, shooting as much as possible. For three quarters, he was at his best. But eventually, exhausted by the burden of being his team’s only scoring source and tormented by the Rockets triple-teaming him, everything went to hell.

Kucherov had a great offensive season

Follow the action with our 2017 NFL draft tracker with pick-by-pick results and analysis updating in real-time for all seven rounds.

Most of the prospects that made their way to Philly are now headed to new cities, but with only 32 names called, the draft action heats up Friday. The first round of picks can dramatically change teams’ draft boards, meaning phones will be ringing the rest of the weekend with trade offers from those who need to move up to get their guy.

This year’s draft class is loaded with talent at cornerback, and even though some of the best are no longer available, there are still plenty of skilled options like Sidney Jones, Teez Tabor and Kevin King.

While Kucherov had a great season, and it would painful to see where the Lightning would have finished without his production, it is unthinkable to think how bad things would have been if a certain Swedish god of hockey hadn’t also elevated his play in 2016-17. No, it isn’t Anton Stralman (although he played much better after a certain writer argued that it would be a good idea to trade him). It’s the other Swede, the one with the long flowing locks and the smooth stride on the ice — Victor Hedman.

Kucherov had a great offensive season, but Hedman had the greatest offensive season ever put together by a defensive member of the Tampa Bay Lightning. His 72 points were a franchise record. So were his 56 assists. Twelve even strength goals — yup, franchise record. As were Nike NFL Jerseys 2014 his points-per-game (0.91) and assists per game (0.71). He 16 goals were only tied for third best in franchise history, so he does have room for improvement next season.

Finland’s Miro Heiskanen has recently cemented himself as the top blueliner in this year’s draft class.

Gabriel Vilardi is a big, strong forward that can play both center and wing, and is an absolute beast when he has the puck below the offensive zone faceoff dots. His Windsor Spitfires team will be hosting the 2017 Memorial Cup later in May and he’s their best forward, so that should be a nice boost for his development.

If Dallas wants to go the defenseman route, Finland’s Miro Heiskanen has recently cemented himself as the top blueliner in this year’s draft class. At 17 years-old he played among men all season long over in Finland’s top league and fit right in, and then was dominant at the IIHF U18s in April. He’s smart, poised, and mobile, and could be a #1 NHL defenseman in the future.

As we do every year, we here at Defending Big D will be profiling all of these prospects (and others) much closer in the coming months as the draft nears closer.

Until the team makes their final decision, one thing is for certain: this is a huge opportunity for the Stars, one that could significantly alter the future of the entire organization. And we all have four numbered lottery balls to thank for that.

The Preds rank 3rd in shots on goal allowed in the playoffs, with only 28.4 shots allowed per game, and they lead in that category among teams who are still in the hunt for the Cup.

But it’s more than that. The Preds are also denying those shots from even happening, at a rate better than anyone.

Among teams still in the playoffs, the Preds allow the least amount of shot attempts per sixty minutes than anyone. They’ve been stifling the opponent in the neutral zone, usually forcing a dump-in. Then, once the puck is in the defensive zone, they’ve been working hard to Cheap Zach Parise Jerseys force skilled players off the puck and get the puck clear. No puck, no shots.

I’m just being honest with you.

And I’m not talking about whether they think he will go in the first round. I’m talking about where they see his fit in the NFL and the kinds of things they project he will be able to do versus the things USA Basketball Cheap Jerseys they think he will struggle to do.

Somebody who watches this kid play could certainly have a lower opinion of him, but if they don’t mention him being more of an edge guy in the league and how his size doesn’t really fit the mold of most dominant interior players, well …

Look man, even with McDowell lining up in the A gap so much, fighting against double teams and taking on scoop blocks, he was still disruptive as hell! I’m sure he knows that he is better suited to play on the edge, but I damn sure didn’t see him feeling sorry for himself on tape.

McDowell was getting after it. When a guard or a center ended up one-on-one with him, it didn’t usually end so well for that offensive lineman.

He may not have always gotten full extension with those long arms, but he still played strong enough to push whomever was trying to block him, back into the backfield.

Or at the very least not lose much, if any, ground. Sometimes a failed drug test can drive an elite prospect’s draft stock down and turn him into an all-time bargain. Other times, it’s just a harbinger for a career filled with bad choices. Gregory is the latter.

The Colts wanted a free safety with the ability to make plays in space as well as good instincts in single high coverage, and they certainly got one in Hooker. One of Hooker’s greatest strengths is reading the quarterback’s eyes and understanding where the signal caller is going to go with the ball.

He showed off those skills when he picked off Deshaun Watson, which was one bright spot Victor Cruz Cheap Jerseys in the Buckeyes’ terrible shutout loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.

NFL Draft 2017: This is how compensatory picks work

The NFL added 32 compensatory picks in the 2017 NFL draft order. Ever wonder how those work? We have a handy explainer for that. There’s also a change in how those picks work new for this year.

New York Jets – Jamal Adams figures to be an awesome chess piece in Todd Bowles’ ultra-aggressive defense. Safeties aren’t traditionally selected with top-10 picks, but the consensus is that the Jets didn’t reach.

Oakland Raiders – Oakland’s selection of Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley can only partially be judged at this point, considering the rape allegation that surfaced right before the draft. Sports Illustrated gave Conley an incomplete grade because of those allegations.

Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles used the No. 14 pick on DE Derek Barnett, which is a great selection because he fits in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s scheme. Adding him to a Cheap Jerseys Supply line that includes Brandon Graham and Chris Long is downright scary. The Eagles should be able to get pressure with ease.

And they did turn it around, at least at first. Smith and Dimitroff’s first draft pick was Matt Ryan, 2016’s league MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. The Falcons made NBA Cheap Jerseys China it to the playoffs in four out of the first five seasons of the Dimitroff and Smith era, but then things fell apart abruptly. One reason for the collapse was a disparity between the team’s needs and the players drafted to fill them, which gave the Falcons a lack of depth and talent that kept the team from being competitive.

Smith and Dimitroff had different priorities. Dimitroff preferred prospects with over-the-top speed and athleticism. Smith’s old-school approach on both sides of the ball wasn’t a good fit for many of those players. The Falcons plummeted from the NFC Championship Game following the 2012 season to winning only four games in 2013.

NFL schedule release 2017: Time, TV channel, and live stream for announcement show

Despite being deep into the offseason, the NFL never sleeps. One week before the draft, the league will handle some important housekeeping, releasing the 2017 schedule on Thursday.

Because this is the NFL, the schedule release has to be a long, drawn-out affair, with a live special airing on NFL Network. Fans can stream the event online at NFL.com for participating cable providers.

Essentially, the chart attempts to quantify the value of each pick, with the No. 1 pick valued at 3,000 points, the No. 10 pick at 1,300 points and just 100 points for the No. 100 pick.

Want to trade from No. 10 to No. 8? Well, the No. 8 pick is worth 1,400 points and No. 10 is worth 1,300 points so an early fourth-round pick worth about 100 points should do the trick.

The first trade of the 2015 NFL Draft was a move for the San Diego Chargers up just two spots from No. 17 to grab running back Melvin Gordon at No. 15. The trade closely followed Johnson’s chart to make for a fair swap:

Should teams value picks differently? Maybe, but long after Johnson’s retirement, his chart still seems to be the guideline of choice in the NFL.

Others, like Chase Stuart of Football Perspective and even students at Harvard, have adjusted the values of the chart to try to more accurately reflect the value presented Cheap Jerseys NFL Wholesale with each pick, but the king’s ransom recently received by the Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns shows Cheap Jerseys In UK that Johnson’s inflation of the first few picks of the draft still holds true.