Tagged in: talks

Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, responding to Kevin Durant trade speculation, says ‘I love our team,’ doesn’t wear GM hat

As speculation surrounding Kevin Durant’s future continues to hover over the NBA, Boston Celtics star swingman Jayson Tatum made it clear that as much as he respects Durant’s game, he is happy with how his team stands now.

“I played with [Durant] during the Olympics,” Tatum stated Tuesday night prior to the premiere of the Showtime documentary “Point Gods.” “Obviously, he’s a great player, but that’s not my decision. I love our team. I love the guys that we got.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported early Monday that the Celtics were among the teams to engage in talks with the Nets regarding Durant’s availability, after the two-time Finals MVP requested a trade from Brooklyn last month.

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Regarding the discussions surrounding Durant and the Celtics, Tatum stated he doesn’t “make anything of it” and emphasized several times during a brief question-and-answer session with a small group of reporters that he is happy with Boston’s roster as currently constructed.

“We got two new pieces [in Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari],” Tatum said. “I love our team. I just go out there and play with my teammates. I don’t put that [general manager] hat on to make decisions.”

Durant, who is an executive producer on the documentary, did not stop to speak to reporters.

He took a few photos on the carpet prior to the premiere, but quickly walked into the theater.

Durant’s manager and business partner, Rich Kleiman, also an executive producer on the documentary, declined to discuss the star’s request to be traded.

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Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels says contract talks with QB Derek Carr yet to begin but could start anytime

While Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is primed to enter the final year of the then-record five-year, $125 million contract extension he signed in 2017, new head coach Josh McDaniels acknowledged Wednesday at the combine that no new extension talks have taken place.

“But that doesn’t mean that’s not going to change,” McDaniels stated. “We are aware of where we’re at on that, in that process.”

Rather, McDaniels said, he has been focusing on getting his new staff assembled since being hired by owner Mark Davis on Jan. 31. “I’ve met and spoken to Derek a number of times now,” McDaniels said.

“Just trying to begin our relationship. I think it’s really an important one — the head coach, the playcaller, the quarterback, getting to know one another as people. Kind of how we think. How we work. The football part of that will come later, which I think is also an important part of the puzzle.”

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Carr, who turns 31 on March 28, is coming off a career-high 4,804 passing yards, though his 23 touchdown passes were only nine more than his career-high 14 interceptions, and he was sacked 40 times, the second-highest total of his eight-year career.

Despite the inordinate amount of turmoil the Raiders experienced both on and off the field last season, Las Vegas went 10-7 and Carr played in the postseason for the first time in his career.

Carr, who last summer said he would “probably quit football if I had to play for somebody else” and would “rather go down with the ship,” insisted after the wild-card round loss at the eventual AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals that he was not a “face-to-face guy” when it came to negotiations and that his “message will be talked about” when it came time.

The Raiders seemingly have three options when it comes to Carr and the 2022 season: 1) Simply guarantee the $19.8-plus million remaining on his deal and see if he would honor the final year of the contract, with the potential of a bigger payday or $35 million or so franchise tag on the other end; 2) Sign him to an extension before seeing if Carr and McDaniels truly mesh, basically sight unseen; 3) Entertain trade offers and start fresh.

Backup Marcus Mariota is scheduled to be a free agent. “[I’m] really happy with the opportunity that I’ve had to get to know him,” McDaniels said of Carr.

“He’s there in Nevada. He stays there in Nevada, so we’re aware of where things are and, again, as I said when I was introduced [as coach], I’m really looking forward to working with him. He’s won a lot of games. I feel good about what we can do with Derek as our quarterback.”

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Hamilton ready for new contract talks with Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton is ready to start new contract negotiations with Mercedes, meaning he would stay in Formula One beyond the end of 2021, and is hoping to have a new deal in place by August.

After eight years at Mercedes, the seven-time world champion signed a one-year deal over the winter, meaning he will be out of contract again at the end of 2021.

The one-year deal came as a surprise following a rushed negotiation period at the end of the year, which resulted in team and driver agreeing to start their next contract talks earlier this year.

“We never want to be in the position that we were in in January, in February [this year],” Hamilton said. “It ruined my whole winter and I’m sure it wasn’t helpful for Toto’s, in terms of being out to be off and relaxed, so it felt like we didn’t really have much of a break.

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“I think we have to be sensible. Naturally we don’t have to rush anything, but I think we have to be sensible and start conversations.

“They’re very complex, it’s never a super simple procedure and so hopefully soon we can start, as long as it doesn’t interfere the actual job.

“We still have 19 races to do, but it would be great to get something in place before the break so then we could, again, be in that break and have a clear picture of the future.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is confident Hamilton will commit to F1 for more than a single year under his next contract.

“Yes, it should be [more than a year],” Wolff said. “We don’t want to be in a stressful situation every single year where we are absolutely flat-out trying to win races and needing to negotiate. I would rather that doesn’t happen every year.

“We just need to spend a day or two together, put it out there and decide which are the difficult components.

“We will then lock the door and won’t walk out until it is sorted. That works best for us, and it has worked best for us in the past.”

At 36 years old, Hamilton stated he still feels fit enough to continue in F1 over the coming years.

“There’s still some life in this old dog!” he joked. “I would say I’m more conscious than ever about my body, about my training regime.

“I’ve been training myself for a long time now but constantly growing and learning how to look after, naturally, the vessel that I’m given and feeling great.”

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Tom Brady open to new home in free agency

Tom Brady is not likely to return to the New England Patriots, the team he has led to six Super Bowl titles over 20 seasons, according to multiple reports.

The 42-year-old can leave the Patriots as a free agent in the coming months, and ESPN and The Athletic both stated that Brady will not return to New England.

Under NFL rules Brady would not be able to enter talks with other teams until 16 March. According to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, Brady is also open to talking to the Patriots about extending his career in New England, but that does not ensure he will stay.

One reason why the Patriots and Brady haven’t had any contract discussions is the uncertainty surrounding the collective bargaining agreement, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

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Once that is known, Belichick and Brady can discuss everything, including how a contract could be structured.

“Without knowing about the CBA, that talk can’t happen,” one source told Schefter.

Brady endured a disappointing season by his high standards in 2019.

He threw for 24 touchdowns, his lowest total in a full campaign since 2006, although he was hampered by a lack of support from his receiving corps and offensive line. The Patriots lost to the Tennessee Titans in the wildcard round of the playoffs.

Brady, who turns 43 in August, is a three-time NFL MVP and four-time Super Bowl MVP. He has led the league in touchdown passes four times and is one of only four quarterbacks to throw for more than 70,000 yards.

A number of teams have been linked with Brady, if he does leave the Patriots. They include the Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers and Carolina Panthers.

He has said in the past that he is capable of playing well into his mid-40s and beyond.

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Red Sox talk Mookie Betts trade with Dodgers

The Red Sox and Dodgers are “deep into talks” about a deal involving 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Olney reports that the two sides have talked about possible trade options for Betts with and without also including former Cy Young Award winner David Price.

The 27-year-old Betts will be eligible for free agency after the 2020 season and the Red Sox have yet to sign their star outfielder to a long-term deal. 

On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci reported the difficulty some teams are having in evaluating the long term value of Betts, “whose historical uniqueness is astonishing.”

“At least one team recently undertook just such an internal study of Betts,” Verducci reported. “Nothing relevant came back. Betts is a terrific baserunner, a defensive wizard and a rock of dependability… At this age, Betts is the greatest small power hitter since Mel Ott, who was born in 1909.”

Betts’ projected performance at his $27 million salary for 2020 is one of the primary reasons why teams would be willing to part ways with prospects in exchange for just one year of Betts, according to Verducci.

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“Mookie Betts is one of the five best players in the game,” an assistant GM told Verducci . “When you have an opportunity to add a star player for one year, any team could use that kind of player… This is the kind of player you rarely get to acquire. He’s why you consider trading prospects.”

The Dodgers feature an attractive range of young players, including outfielder Alex Verdugo, infielder Gavin Lux and pitcher Dustin May.

Los Angeles, however, isn’t the only NL West team that seems interested in acquiring Betts.

Earlier this week, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Padres are “willing to send two young major leaguers and at least one prospect” to Boston with outfielder Wil Myers in exchange for Betts.

In order for the Friars to take on Betts’ $27 million salary for a one-year rental, the club wants the Red Sox to “come up significantly in the portion of Myers’ contract they are willing to pay.”

Multiple people within the Padres organization told the Union-Tribune’s Kevin Acee that getting Betts is “only marginally possible” due to the Dodgers’ interest in the outfielder and the struggles over Myers’s contract with the Red Sox.

While Betts could walk away after one season, he would drastically improve the Padres’ options of making their first postseason since 2006. The Dodgers, however, seem as if they in a better position to take on Betts’s salary and have a deep farm system of high-level prospects to possibly trade.

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