Monthly Archives: July 2018

NBA Draft 2018: Hawks GM says he didn’t trade up from No. 19 because of leaked draft picks

The Hawks had a potential trade in place to move up in the 2018 NBA Draft. But that was before Atlanta general manager Travis Schlenk discovered through the media who other teams were planning to pick.

Schlenk said in an interview Friday he was hoping to acquire the 17th pick from the Bucks to select Maryland guard Kevin Huerter.

Schlenk, however, said he saw various reports indicating Huerter would be available at No. 19, where the Hawks were set to make their second first-round pick of the draft. So he elected to nix the trade with Milwaukee.

The Hawks selected Real Madrid’s Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick. They traded the European star to the Mavericks for Oklahoma guard Trae Young, who was picked fifth overall, and a future first-rounder.

This is a positive pickup for Minnesota. Bates-Diop has an opportunity to help modernize the Timberwolves frontcourt by providing length and shooting at the power forward position. His lengthy wingspan allows him to shoot over the top of opponents. His defensive acumen remains a concern. Nice value here.

Metu is an athletic big who can theoretically block a few shots and space the floor out into the midrange. His ability to function as a lob threat is likely his best single skill. Despite being a junior, Metu still needs significant development.

Johnson was an impressively productive player at Missouri State where he averaged 19.3 points and 14.9 rebounds per 40 minutes. Johnson was also an active 3-point shooter. His ability to consistently connect on those shots could help him stick in the NBA. He was the No. 59 ranked prospect in our top 60.

New Orleans is betting on Carr’s volume scoring here. The 6-5 guard is comfortable creating his own offense off the bounce, but he doesn’t always do so efficiently. He finished with a 52.7 true shooting percentage.

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The Houston Rockets might have seen that coming given that he also had issues in high school and college.

Fizer had an outstanding junior season at Iowa State, but at 6-8 he lacked the height to excel at power forward, and he couldn’t cover for that with explosive athletic ability or perimeter shooting skill. He managed two double-figure scoring seasons on dreadful Chicago teams that lost a combined 113 games. But after a short stay in New Orleans he eventually played in Spain, Israel and Argentina, among other countries.

Tskitishvili was chosen at the height of the European contagion, when NBA teams were so hungry to get into business with Euros that shooter Jason Kapono was quoted as saying, I should have left UCLA after my freshman year, moved to Yugoslavia and changed my name to Jason Kaponovich. I’d have been a first-round pick. Kapono wound up playing nine years and hitting 457 3-pointers.Tskitishvili was out of the league by the time he was 22.

When the Villanova wing was selected at No. 10 by the 76ers, it seemed like the perfect marriage between prospect and team. Bridges played his college ball at the same arena as the Sixers, his mom is the vice president of human resources for the team’s ownership group and his 3-and-D skill set fit the roster’s needs flawlessly.

Bridges and his mother were rightly ecstatic on the broadcast of the event following the selection. There was only one problem: Bridges’ time as a Sixers wasn’t going to last.

While the 21-year-old was conducting a press conference about his excitement, news broke that he’d been traded to the Suns in exchange for Zhaire Smith and a future first-round pick. The cliched line it’s a business was uttered by more than one person following the deal.

There’s certainly no problem with Bridges’ fit in Phoenix — his malleability is one of his best strengths — but it’s not the fairytale ending everybody expected when the Sixers selected him at No. It’s easy to understand why that would be a bit of a bummer for the prospect and his family.

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2018 NBA free agency rumors: Lakers warn entire staff not to tamper

The Lakers don’t want to get into any trouble during this year’s free agency period.

Los Angeles co-owner and governor Jeanie Buss called a meeting, which was led by president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, to warn employees not to tamper ahead of the free agent signing period, according to ESPN.

The Lakers are expected to be a big player in the free agency market and it’s been speculated the franchise will target LeBron James and Paul George.

Divac is apparently not so enthralled with Slovenian guard Luka Doncic and has eyes for Michael Porter Jr., though his injury questions might scare off the Kings. That could leave Divac to draft Marvin Bagley III. If he does, and Bagley is just so-so while Doncic goes on to be the kind of star guard who makes other players better, Ranadive’s Kings could be in for another half-decade of playoff-free suffering.

Brandon Belt and Joe Panik drove in two runs each, Hunter Pence had a pinch-hit, two-run double, and the Giants completed a three-game sweep with a 9-6 victory over the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks. It was San Francisco’s seventh win in eight games and their first sweep of the Diamondbacks since September of 2016. San Francisco moved into a second-place tie at 2 1/2 games behind Arizona for the first time since June 10.

A four-run fifth inning highlighted by Pence’s double off reliever Silvino Bracho gave the Giants an 8-3 lead. Cory Gearrin (1-1) got one out in the fourth inning to earn the win in relief of starter Derek Holland.

Afterward, manager Bruce Bochy praised the veteran Pence — who is primarily a bench player at present — for accepting his role.

He is our spiritual leader. I know his role has changed and he has handled it so well. This is a little bit of a change for him and it is not easy, Bochy said. He has a great attitude and just wants to help the club win.

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Warriors’ Nick Young says he was ‘just joking’ about legalizing cocaine

Nick Young’s championship celebration tour took a rather peculiar turn on Wednesday when TMZ posted a video of the Warriors guard advocating for the legality of cocaine.

Young was surprised when informed that Canada had legalized recreational use of marijuana, and he wanted the United States to follow suit. But then he took it a step further.

I want people to pass cocaine, Young told TMZ. Everybody needs to do cocaine. (America’s) next, the white.

After the video was posted, Young explained on his Instagram account that he was joking and asked his followers not to take his comments seriously.

McDonough’s draft record is spotty — successes with T.J. Warren and Devin Booker, uncertainty with Josh Jackson, Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss — but he’s got to get this No. 1 pick right. It would help if he could get useful contributors at No. 16 and 31, too. (No. 59 would be a huge bonus.)

Brewers: RHP Zach Davies had a setback in what was expected to be his final minor league rehab assignment as he recovers from a sore shoulder. He lasted only three innings and gave up 10 runs and three hits for Class A Wisconsin on Friday night, leaving after just 48 pitches because of a sore back.

Reds: RHP Homer Bailey will make his fourth rehab start Tuesday for Triple-A Louisville. He has been sidelined since June 2 because of a sore right knee. Bailey is 1-7 with a 6.68 ERA.

Brewers: Freddy Peralta (3-0) makes his fifth start. The Brewers are 4-0 in his starts. Opponents are batting .093 against the right-hander.

Reds: Matt Harvey (3-5) makes his 10th start for the Reds, who got him from the Mets in a trade for catcher Devin Mesoraco on May 8. Harvey has allowed six runs in his past three starts spanning 17⅔ innings.Markakis’ slam, Fried’s pitching lead Braves past Cardinals

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Richard Jefferson has hilarious response to LeBron James free agency questions

It appears Richard Jefferson has had enough of all the LeBron James free agency talk.

The two were teammates in Cleveland from 2015-17 and even won a championship in 2016, but Jefferson had a pretty hilarious announcement to make about their friendship.

The Pelicans (counting only their history in New Orleans) have had plenty of bad draft selections. But they haven’t ever really missed on a star. We mostly are bringing this up because Wright ended up having such a short-lived NBA career while Afflalo would have been a nice fit on a rising team in the Chris Paul era.

Thurmond recorded 14,050 more career rebounds than Heyman. That’s a lot. The Hall of Famer out of Bowling Green clearly was the best player in his draft class, while Heyman mostly is known as Duke’s first No. 1 pick. But given that the Knicks drafted center Willis Reed the following season, they may be willing to live with this bust.

White Sox: 3B Yolmer Sanchez was back in the lineup after missing the series opener with a bruised left quad sustained when he collided with Minnesota 1B Logan Morrison on Thursday.

Rangers: Choo doesn’t think his quad issue is serious, but said he didn’t want to make anything worse. I know I have the streak going on, but my body and staying healthy is more important, he said. … LHP Martin Perez (right elbow) allowed two singles in six scoreless innings in his second rehab start, throwing 73 pitches for Double-A Frisco.

Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels (4-6, 3.61 ERA), one of the top starters potentially available before the July 31 trade deadline, pitches the series finale. Hamels has a 3.28 ERA over his last nine starts. He is 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA in four career starts against the White Sox.Source: Mavericks decline Dirk Nowitzki’s option, plan to re-sign him

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NBA free agency rumors: Multiple teams interested in signing Knicks center Enes Kanter if he opts out

Enes Kanter could have multiple options if he opts out of his contract with the Knicks.

Kanter has yet to make a decision about his $18.6 million player option for 2018-19, according to a report from ESPN. But, if he does decide to enter free agency, multiple teams, including the Bucks, would be interested in signing him.

Kanter was originally selected with the third overall pick by the Jazz in the 2011 NBA Draft. He spent three and a half seasons in Utah before he was dealt to Oklahoma City in February 2015.

The Knicks finished 2017-18 with a 29-53 and missed the playoffs for a fifth straight season. They fired Jeff Hornacek in mid-April and replaced him with former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale.

I wasn’t sharp, but also I didn’t have luck on my side, Verlander said. I made an adjustment during the third inning that I thought was good, but it was too little too late.

Verlander (9-4) gave up the most runs (5) and hits (9) of any of his 23 starts since his trade to Houston late last summer. He struck out eight in a season-low five innings after coming in with a major league-leading 1.82 ERA — though it was 4.34 in six June starts. The Astros have lost his last three starts.

Matt Duffy finished with three hits, including two in the first two innings, to help the Rays win for the seventh time in eight tames to move to .500 (41-41) for the first time since June 1.

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The Cardinals scored five times in the seventh to rally from a 6-0 deficit.

Foltynewicz matched Julio Teheran and Max Fried to post the Braves third successive scoreless appearance by a starter. Teheran tossed six scoreless innings a 5-1 win on Friday. Fried did not allow a run in 6 2/3 innings of an 11-4 victory on Saturday.

They’ve been awesome, said Atlanta infielder Charlie Culberson, who had two hits and drove in two runs on Sunday, It makes it easier for us (hitters). A little bit more relaxed for us going up there.

A.J. Minter picked up his third save in as many tries by setting the side down in order in the ninth. He has not allowed a run in his last seven appearances.

Freeman’s 16th homer of the season, a two-run drive, pushed the lead to 3-0 in sixth. The blow highlighted a five-run uprising that also included a run-scoring hit from Culberson.

Pham hit a three-run homer off Peter Moylan in the seventh to bring the Cardinals to within 6-5.

What pieces do we need? I think time. I think a little bit of time, he said. I think that’s the main thing for us. We don’t have that much experience with Joel [Embiid] and I and some of the younger people on our team and guys like that. So I think experience plays a big role.

Obviously, some key pieces. Maybe that is a free agent, a big free agent who we can lean on and learn from, so we don’t really have that older, veteran guy who is a star like that.

But we have great veterans in J.J. [Redick], Amir [Johnson], Jerryd Bayless and guys like that who have taught me a lot from my first season.

Stratton allowed five runs on eight hits in four innings. Colorado’s Jon Gray also gave up five runs in four innings but yielded seven hits with seven strikeouts.

Giants catcher Nick Hundley threw out a pair of runners trying to steal second base in consecutive at-bats in the eighth. Story hit a leadoff single but was thrown out. Gerardo Parra then reached on an error but was quickly erased when he tried to take second

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