All posts by phnseo

Lakers agree to trade with Pistons for Reggie Bullock

The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to trade guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and a draft pick to Detroit in exchange for guard Reggie Bullock, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The deal gives LeBron James & Co. a much-needed 3-point threat. 

Bullock, 27, is in his fourth season with the Pistons, averaging 12 points and shooting 38 percent on 6.6 3-point attempts per game. 

According to Second Spectrum, Bullock is shooting 39.8 percent on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers this season. That would rank first among Lakers players with at least 50 catch-and-shoot 3s. 

Detroit will create a $2.5 million trade exception with the deal. Bullock is in the final year of his contract, and the Lakers will inherit his Bird rights this summer.  Mykhailiuk, 21, was drafted by the Lakers with the 47th pick last year, and he is in the first year of a three-year, $4.6 million contract. The Pistons have until July 5 to guarantee his $1.4 million contract for the 2019-20 season. The former Kansas star is averaging 3 points in 10.7 minutes per game this season. 

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The Lakers are 20th in the league in 3-point attempts, and 29th in percentage, shooting just 33.4 percent from downtown. 

The NBA’s trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

The Lakers have been in talks with the New Orleans Pelicans about Davis, the All-Star center. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday that Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson wants the Pelicans to start making counterproposals to offers on Davis, threatening to end talks unless New Orleans shows a willingness to engage in a back-and-forth on reaching a deal. From the Pistons’ perspective. They’re just one game behind the Heat for the eighth playoff spot in the East, and have been clear in their goal to get back to the playoffs after swinging a blockbuster trade for Blake Griffin last season. While it’s been a disappointing season so far, the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture is in no way inspiring, and the Pistons could easily push their way into the postseason. 

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Nick Foles tells Eagles he’s opting out, paving way for franchise tag

Quarterback Nick Foles has informed the Eagles he is voiding his $20 million option for 2019, after the team notified him it would be picking up the option, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Foles must pay the Eagles $2 million to opt out.
The move paves the way for the Eagles to place the franchise tag on Foles. They are expected to do so in an effort to then try to trade him, sources from other NFL teams who have been in touch with Philadelphia previously told Schefter.
The franchise tag number for quarterbacks is expected to be around $25 million for next season. The Eagles have publicly committed to Carson Wentz as their starting QB moving forward. By placing the franchise tag on Foles, they would have an opportunity to receive compensation for Foles via trade while having a say on where he ends up. The price for Foles is expected to be around a third-round pick, according to Schefter.

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Foles, the MVP of Super Bowl LII, stepped in again for the injured Wentz at the end of this past season and helped the Eagles to three straight regular-season wins and a playoff victory at the Chicago Bears in the wild-card round.

If he voids the contract, Foles, 30, can enter free agency unless the Eagles block him by using the franchise tag on the backup quarterback. On Saturday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Eagles were expected to use their franchise tag on Foles and then have the ability to trade him. Other teams reportedly inquired about Foles’s “price,” which is expected to possibly be a third-round pick. Last year, Foles led the Eagles to the franchise’s first Super Bowl win after starter Carson Wentz tore his left ACL in December. This season, Foles threw for 1,413 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions.

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Lakers competing with Pelicans’ desire to wait on Anthony Davis

The New Orleans Pelicans are partaking with the Los Angeles Lakers in talks on a commerce for All-NBA star Anthony Davis, however president Magic Johnson should nonetheless overcome a major need throughout the Pelicans group to let Thursday’s deadline expire with Davis remaining on the roster, league sources instructed ESPN.

The Lakers are presently providing the Pelicans a bundle that features forwards Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, guard Lonzo Ball and two first-round picks — in addition to a willingness to soak up the remaining $12.7M on Solomon Hill’s contract within the 2019-20 season, league sources instructed ESPN. Paul seems to have made some inroads into tightening the trade market on the Pelicans, limiting what some rivals might be willing to offer based on the fear of losing Davis as a rental in 2020 free agency. Paul has worked to keep the process moving toward a perception of inevitability on Davis’ preferred future destination, the Lakers, where he could join another Klutch client, LeBron James.

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The Pelicans did study on Monday of a brand new prolonged checklist of groups Davis is prepared to stick with long run upon getting traded, together with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers, league sources stated. These groups have but to make provides for Davis and sure haven’t got the belongings to make a deal occur, league sources stated.  Davis, who requested a trade a week ago through Paul, can’t become a free agent until July 2020. He has no plans to sign an extension with any team this summer, expecting to do so when he becomes a free agent. Davis informed the Pelicans that he wouldn’t sign a five-year, $239 million supermax contract this summer or next.

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Dolphins make Patriots asistant Brian Flores their next head coach

The Dolphins finally made the official announcement Monday, less than 24 hours after Flores helped the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 to win Super Bowl LIII. Flores spent the past three season as the Patriots linebackers coach and took over playcalling duties last year, although he didn’t receive the title of defensive coordinator.

To go with the announcement of Flores’ hire, Miami general manager Chris Grier gave his first public explanation as to why the former New England assistant coach was the pick. “Two things that stand out immediately when you meet Brian are his football intelligence and leadership skills,” Grier said in a press release. “Brian is widely respected throughout the NFL. He paid his dues in New England working in personnel, on offense, defense and special teams, which helped him build a great understanding of what it takes to win. If you talk with anyone who has played for him or worked with him, you will hear about his ability to lead and get the most out of people. Brian sets a high standard for his players and coaches and we are completely aligned with our vision on how to build a successful organization.”

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It had been reported in early January that the Dolphins were expected to pick him as their new coach. Miami couldn’t make his hiring official until the Patriots’ postseason was over.

“To be a head coach in this league is a dream come true, to be head coach of the Miami Dolphins is a dream come true. This is a great organization with a great history, with a great fan base and I’m excited to be here,” Flores said. Flores, 37, spent 15 seasons with Patriots, helping them to four Super Bowl titles, including Sunday’s 13-3 victory over the Rams in which his defense became only the second in Super Bowl history to hold its opponent without a touchdown. He has been serving as the Patriots’ de facto defensive coordinator this season.

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Kansas City Chiefs early favorites to win Super Bowl LIV next season

Minutes after the final seconds ticked off the clock in the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl victory on Sunday, oddsmakers installed the Kansas City Chiefs and NFL MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the favorite to win it all next season.

According to ESPN.com’s Ben Fawkes, at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook the Rams are 8-1 to win Super Bowl LIV, the same odds as the Patriots and New Orleans Saints. At 6-1, the Kansas City Chiefs own the best odds.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears make up the next group (14-1).

“One word: Mahomes,” said John Murray, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook director, when asked why the Chiefs were at the top of the heap.

In his first year as a starting quarterback in the NFL, Mahomes threw for 5,097 yards, 50 touchdowns and 12 interceptions en route to winning the NFL MVP award. Kansas City was also one game away from the Super Bowl, losing in overtime to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

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Especially after Tom Brady attempted to put the Patriots in an underdog role earlier in the playoffs, some fans in New England are bound to question why Las Vegas doesn’t view the team as the clear No. 1 threat to win the AFC for a fourth straight season.

The Patriots do have some lingering questions, though.

Brady turns 42 in August, and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Rob Gronkowski, Devin McCourty and Jason McCourty could all consider retiring this offseason. New England may also lose one of its best defensive players, Trey Flowers, who’s an unrestricted free agent.

Gronkowski’s retirement in particular could have a big domino effect given his role in the passing game and relationship with Brady. At least until all of the Patriots’ unresolved issues are addressed, oddsmakers will likely remain somewhat skeptical about their Super Bowl chances. 

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Tom Brady makes history with sixth Super Bowl win

Tom Brady, again, made Super Bowl history. And he did it without even throwing a touchdown.

With the 13-3 victory against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII Sunday night, the New England Patriots quarterback set the record for most Super Bowl victories by any player in league history with six.

Brady’s record in Super Bowls is now 6-3, and he avoided breaking the dubious record belonging to former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly for most Super Bowl losses by a quarterback with four. He also avoided becoming the fourth quarterback in NFL history to lose consecutive Super Bowls.

Brady had been tied with former Cowboys and 49ers pass rusher Charles Haley with five victories in Super Bowls. Against the Rams, Brady completed 21 of 35 passes for 262 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

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Similarly, Patriots coach Bill Belichick tightened his grip on NFL history, extending his hold on the most Super Bowl victories. He now has six, which is two more than former Steelers coach Chuck Noll. He also became the oldest head coach in history – at 66 years old – to win the big game, taking the mark from former Giants coach and current Jaguars executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin, who won the game at 65 years old when New York toppled the Patriots, 21-17, in Super Bowl XLVI.

Many consider Michael Jordan superior to LeBron James as the greatest basketball player ever simply because the former won six championships and the latter has won just three. Many place Jack Nicklaus over Tiger Woods as the greatest golfer because the former won 18 major championships and the latter has won just 14. Nick Saban was not considered equal to Bear Bryant in Alabama and college football coaching lore until Saban tied Bryant with his sixth national title. So with every stat the Patriots pad, every new record they set or old one they extend, their standing in athletic mythology legitimately rises.

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Knicks trade Kristaps Porzingis to Mavericks

The New York Knicks are entering a new era as they have traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks in a blockbuster deal on Thursday afternoon. New York will bring back Dennis Smith Jr. and clear a bunch of salary in the deal, receiving the expiring contracts of DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews and sending Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to the Mavericks. The Knicks will also get two future first-round picks from the Mavericks. 

For the Mavs, this is about giving Luka Doncic a co-star to build around for, ideally, the next decade-plus. For the Knicks, this is about creating the cap room to chase two maximum-salary free agents this summer, and severing ties with a player who has reportedly been dissatisfied with the direction of the organization. Dallas will be praised for being bold, just as it was when it acquired Doncic on draft night, and it will be impossible to judge New York’s decision without seeing if the front office can actually convince superstars to come play at Madison Square Garden. Porzingis hasn’t played a game this season, but he was reportedly due for another evaluation in mid-February. Porzingis has been dealing with an ACL injury all season, and he was traded the same day he reportedly voiced dissatisfaction with the team on Thursday.

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According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, this deal doesn’t come without strings for the Mavericks. Porzingis reportedly plans on signing the team’s qualifying offer of $4.5 million, allowing him to be an unrestricted free agent a year ahead of schedule.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, however, no decisions have been made on that front just yet. Porzingis wants to get to know the team and rehab his ACL, so his status is up in the air. Porzingis has career averages of 17.8 points and 7.1 rebounds, while shooting 36 percent from 3-point range. He could be a terrific component for the Mavericks if he’s able to fully recover. First, however, he needs to recover. The Mavericks have a bright future one way or another with Doncic. If Porzingis comes back at 100 percent — even if it’s next season — they could be a team to keep an eye on in the vaunted Western Conference for years to come.

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Panthers’ Julius Peppers announces his retirement

The Hall of Fame career of Julius Peppers is over.

The dynamic defensive end has decided to retire after 17 seasons, including 10 with the Panthers. Peppers ranks fourth in NFL history with 159.5 sacks, including a franchise-record 97 in Carolina. With 11 interceptions, he is the only player in league history to record both 150 sacks and 10 interceptions.

“In getting to know Julius over these past months, I’ve learned that he is a man of few words. When he speaks, everyone listens,” Panthers owner David Tepper said. “With that in mind, I will be brief. He’s one of the best to ever wear a Carolina uniform. He carries himself with dignity, integrity and class, and will always be a Panther.” The North Carolina native and University of North Carolina two-sport standout was selected No. 2 overall by the Panthers in the 2002 NFL Draft and played his first eight seasons and final two seasons in Carolina, in addition to four seasons with the Bears (2010-13) and three with the Packers (2014-16). He was a Pro Bowler nine times and an All-Pro six times.

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“There are very few players that you come across that make you think of the word ‘special’ when you mention their name, but that’s Julius,” said general manager Marty Hurney, who made Peppers his first ever draft pick in 2002. “He’s a special player and a special person. His consistency and the ability to make big plays at big times are what define him on the field. The 38-year-old played in 266 of a possible 272 regular season games, the sixth most games played by a defensive player in NFL history. He played in 176 consecutive games to close his career, the second-longest streak among active players at the close of the season behind Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. Peppers was the oldest active defensive player in the league.

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Lebron James goes through another practice, ruled out for Thursday

LeBron James’ long-awaited return to a Lakers uniform is as close as it’s ever been. And true to form, James is making his return during what is easily the most chaotic and dramatic part of the Los Angeles Lakers season.

According to multiple reports from Wednesday’s Lakers practice, LeBron James went through a full practice with the Lakers. It’s the first time he’s gone through a full practice after ramping up the intensity of his drills for the past five days. Still, Luke Walton did not commit to James suiting up tomorrow night. Soon after Walton spoke with the media, the Lakers ruled James out for Thursday night.

The Lakers are handling this now the way they probably should have handled the injury from the very beginning. James has been teasing his return on social media this week and the Lakers desperately need him to return. The Lakers are 26-25, currently two games out of the West’s 8th and final playoff spot with only 31 games to go. They’re already without Lonzo Ball and now Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart are also dealing with nagging injuries.

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Thursday’s game is the first for the Lakers in a stretch of five consecutive games against teams currently in the playoff picture, all of which will be road games. The only game the Lakers have in the next two weeks that isn’t against a playoff contender is their Feb. 12 visit against the Atlanta Hawks, which will be their last game before the All-Star break.

James suffered the injury Christmas Day at the Golden State Warriors and was initially given a timeline of three to six weeks for recovery, according to his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. The Lakers have gone 6-11 with James sidelined, falling from the No. 4 spot in the Western Conference standings to two games behind the Clippers for No. 8.

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DeSean Jackson would like to play for Rams

While technically still under contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DeSean Jackson is already expressing a desire to suit up for the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams.

During an appearance on The Simms & Lefkoe Podcast, Jackson was lukewarm on the idea of signing with the San Francisco 49ers but much more enthusiastic about a move to Southern California:

“I don’t know about Frisco, man. State tax is crazy, man. That is home too though. I don’t know. … If anything, I would like to kind of end up in L.A., being a Ram. Sean McVay, you know, we got some connection from when I was in D.C., but we’ll see how it plays out, man. Right now, I got another year in Tampa. So we’ll see how it plays out, man.” Although Jackson has one year left on his deal with Tampa Bay, his comments seemingly indicate he already thinks he might be on the way out. He’s due to earn $10 million, per Over the Cap, but none of that is guaranteed. The Bucs could release the 32-year-old and carry no dead money.

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According to ESPN.com’s Jenna Laine, Jackson and former Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter got into an argument this past season over Jackson’s “perceived lack of effort.”

Koetter is no longer Tampa Bay’s coach, though, with Bruce Arians coming aboard as his replacement. Arians worked with Larry Fitzgerald for five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, so he might be able to strike a strong bond with another veteran wideout in Jackson.

Were Jackson to hit the open market, the Rams would be an obvious destination—at least from his perspective. He played under Sean McVay for three years when McVay was the Washington Redskins offensive coordinator. During that time, he caught 142 passes for 2,702 yards and 14 touchdowns. Twice he led the league in yards per reception (2014 and 2016).

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