Sportige http://sportige.com The Sports Know-It-All Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:13:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Jeremy Lin, Free Agency and Making the Right Choice http://sportige.com/81039-jeremy-lin-free-agency-and-making-the-right-choice/ http://sportige.com/81039-jeremy-lin-free-agency-and-making-the-right-choice/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:13:14 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=81039 More ]]> As the beginning of free agency approaches, it’s a good opportunity to review the Jeremy Lin situation. Not the teams he might sign for, we’ve done that, but go over the motives that drive him and free agents in general as they head into that crucial period of choosing the right team and contract.

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Money: The biggest incentive and driving force in most cases. Not just in the NBA, but in every job market in the world. For Lin, however, it’s a different situation. He’s probably going to be paid slightly less than his previous deal ($8.3 million per year), but it might not be the team that offers him the most money that lands him. Playing time and being given the right role is more important to him.

Championship: Usually applies more to veterans who haven’t been able to win or make a run at the title, taking a smaller piece of the pie in order to be part of a contender, while also playing a smaller role than usual. Lin isn’t in that stage yet. While playing on a good team is always nice, it’s probably not the first or even second thing guiding him towards the decision he’ll be making.

Playing Time: The most important thing for Lin, who was downgraded over the last two seasons to a bench player for mostly not being a favorite of the head coaches he played under. Playing time doesn’t actually mean starting role, although that’s always nice, but more about the actual fit he’ll have in a team, and whether or not they’re counting on him to be a point guard, and not just a player who hangs around, watching others do a worse job than him.

There’s no clear prime candidate at the moment. Quite a few teams have been rumored to be interested, but some of that interest depends on those teams moving other players via trades. In most free agency periods, as in this one, most teams wait for the big moves to be made and then start filling the other spots.

A lot of NBA teams are going after LaMarcus Aldridge. Some of them, like the Dallas Mavericks, are very interested in Lin as well. Once the Aldridge saga (and other free agent deals) are over, teams will probably make way for other slots they see as less important and in need of filling out.

From the Golden State Warriors who don’t offer a big role and lots of minutes but do bring the chance to play for a championship and in front of an ultra-supportive crowd, to a team like the Denver Nuggets that’s not going to be aiming very high next season but might be offering Lin the best chance for him to play a lot of minutes without anyone disturbing him, there’s a wide variety of options out there for him to choose from.

Lin has a lot of responsibility resting on his shoulders. Not just because he needs to get it right for himself and avoid another bad scenario. Lin is one of the most fun to watch players in the league when he’s hot, and it’s a shame his ability will go to waste (not completely, but mostly) for another season just because he landed on another team that doesn’t know how to make the best use of him.

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NFL Rumors – Carolina Panthers Can’t Rely Just on Jonathan Stewart http://sportige.com/81035-nfl-rumors-carolina-panthers-cant-rely-just-on-jonathan-stewart/ http://sportige.com/81035-nfl-rumors-carolina-panthers-cant-rely-just-on-jonathan-stewart/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:04:22 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=81035 More ]]> It was a very promising finish last season for Jonathan Stewart, but the Carolina Panthers know how easily he can get injured, and are trying to figure out who’ll be the running back that helps Stewart share the load or fill his place when he eventually goes down.

Last season Stewart played in 13 games after missing 17 in the two previous seasons combined. He rushed for 809 yards and scored three touchdowns, his best since rushing for 1133 yards in 2009. Still, at 27, the Panthers know it might not get any better than that.

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So who is there to help him out? Fifth-round pick Cameron Artis-Payne seems to be the favorite to help Stewart out and get the most carries next to him. He rushed for 1608 yards last season with Auburn, and while he is behind both Fozzy Whittaker (145 yards last season) and Darrin Reaves (78 yards last season) in terms of training camp reps, he has a much better shot of filling in for Stewart when it’s about finding an every-down back.

Artis-Payne led the SEC last season in rushing and has no problem carrying a “workhorse” kind of load. Last season the Panthers had only two players, Stewart and Cam Newton, rushing for more than 500 yards. As Newton attempts to become more and more of a pocket passer and not someone who takes off on every down, there’s more room for others besides the leading rusher to carry the ball.

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NFL Rumors – Washington Redskins Don’t Have a Big Role Waiting for DeAngelo Hall http://sportige.com/81032-nfl-rumors-washington-redskins-dont-have-a-big-role-waiting-for-deangelo-hall/ http://sportige.com/81032-nfl-rumors-washington-redskins-dont-have-a-big-role-waiting-for-deangelo-hall/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:51:54 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=81032 More ]]> After two major Achilles injuries last year, DeAngelo Hall is ready to start another NFL season (his 12th), but he might not have a very big role waiting for him with the Washington Redskins.

Hall will turn 32 in November. The three-time Pro Bowl selection played just three times as he had to endure two Achilles tears, separated nine months since his most recent surgery. He’s been a starter for the Redskins his entire time with the team (joining them in 2008) but no one is counting on him anymore to help cover receivers.

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In fact, he might not be even the third guy on the depth chart. According to Rich Tandler of RealRedskins.com, David Amerson (entering his third season in the league) is the one most likely to be used in Nickel packages and back up Bashaud Breeland and Chris Culliver.

Hall? He’s number four on that list, and only if Amerson proves to be unworthy of the trust or an injury happens to those above him on the rotation will Hall actually get a chance to play more than sporadic snaps here there.

All this is assuming that he’s actually healed up well from his injuries. It won’t be surprising to see Hall struggle and fall out of favor very quickly.

Hall is signed through the 2017 season, making $4 million next season in base salary, rising to $4.25 million in 2016 and 2017.

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NBA Rumors – San Antonio Spurs Still Trying to Trade Tiago Splitter http://sportige.com/81029-nba-rumors-san-antonio-spurs-still-trying-to-trade-tiago-splitter/ http://sportige.com/81029-nba-rumors-san-antonio-spurs-still-trying-to-trade-tiago-splitter/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:42:37 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=81029 More ]]> While Tiago Splitter has been important for the San Antonio Spurs over the last few years, he hasn’t been living up to the price they’ve been paying for him, which makes him an obvious trading block candidate in any deal the Spurs try to get in on.

Splitter has two more years left on his contract worth $16.25 million, and with the Spurs re-signing Tim Duncan while giving Kawhi Leonard a maximum contract and hoping to sign LaMarcus Aldridge, Splitter’s deal isn’t something that’s really helping them in being competitive, especially when there’s also Danny Green to consider.

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Splitter has been useful defensively while putting up 8.2 points per game last season. However, he has been playing less and less minutes (down to 19.8 last season) and playing less games, struggling with injury problems.

He missed 23 games in 2013-2014 and 30 games last season. He did come back for the Spurs late run in the season, but overall, there have been too many times when he wasn’t there, and although his net rating and efficiency numbers on both ends of the floor are fantastic, the Spurs prefer that the $8 million a season go to a player who is a little bit more dependable.

Right now there are no trades the Spurs are involved in, but once free agency begins and we’ll see the team trying to keep all the players that are hitting free agency and adding a big name like Aldridge, Splitter’s name might be coming up in potential deals with teams that he might be more useful or at least more productive with more minutes at.

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NBA Rumors: New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors & New Orleans Pelicans Interested in Signing Al-Farouq Aminu http://sportige.com/81026-nba-rumors-new-york-knicks-boston-celtics-dallas-mavericks-portland-trail-blazers-toronto-raptors-new-orleans-pelicans-interested-in-signing-al-farouq-aminu/ http://sportige.com/81026-nba-rumors-new-york-knicks-boston-celtics-dallas-mavericks-portland-trail-blazers-toronto-raptors-new-orleans-pelicans-interested-in-signing-al-farouq-aminu/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:40:06 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=81026 More ]]> He’s not much of a scoring or shooting threat, but Al-Farouq Aminu did enough last season to impress his own team, the Dallas Mavericks, and others to gain himself a nice, long list of suitors: The New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Pelicans.

Aminu, 24, averaged 5.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game. However, the American-Nigerian small forward does more than just put up numbers. His defense (can guard three positions) and athleticism make him quite a useful addition off the bench which Carlisle made more and more use of later in the season.

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Aminu played for the Pelicans in the past (two seasons), even starting 71 games for them in 2012-2013. They are the only team on his list of suitors that isn’t going after one of the big name free agents, which might give them and edge.

The rest are all hoping to sign LaMarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love, making them focus their attention on the big move which might give time for the Pelicans to seal the move quickly.

Aminu has expressed his desire to stick around in Dallas a while longer, but words said to the media don’t mean much during this time of year, so it won’t be surprising to see him play for someone else next season.

Hat Tip: David Aldridge
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NBA Rumors – Phoenix Suns & Sacramento Kings Interested in Eric Bledsoe Trade? http://sportige.com/81023-nba-rumors-phoenix-suns-sacramento-kings-interested-in-eric-bledsoe-trade/ http://sportige.com/81023-nba-rumors-phoenix-suns-sacramento-kings-interested-in-eric-bledsoe-trade/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:30:53 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=81023 More ]]> Despite being the team’s best player, the Phoenix Suns aren’t against the idea of trading Eric Bledsoe. A point guard hungry team like the Sacramento Kings won’t be against adding him to their roster.

Bledsoe averaged 17 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game in his second season with the Suns, this time not missing almost half of it due to injury. The Suns still missed the playoffs but the 25-year old guard was exciting to watch more often than not and was able to keep the Suns, in the playoff picture for most of the season before falling out of the race in the final stretch.

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The Kings, despite the heaps of rumors about DeMarcus Cousins leaving, seem to be focused on adding a point guard. They’ve been linked to almost every free agent PG out there, from Rajon Rondo to Jeremy Lin in particular. And Bledsoe? If the Suns are actually trading him, the Kings are in contention, especially with Bledsoe and Cousins being ex-Kentucky teammates.

It’s not quite clear what the Suns are planning. After two years of narrowly missing out on a playoff spot, there’s a chance that they’ll begin the tanking process they were meant to start two years ago. Brandon Knight is the guard they’re going to give a max deal according to all indications, which might make it redundant to keep both him and Bledsoe on the team.

Bledsoe has a pretty workable contract for the production he gives, with four more seasons and $58 million on it. It might seemed like a lot last summer, but the salary cap keeps going up, and will get a significant boost a year from now, making Bledsoe’s contract one of the best-valued in the NBA for someone who can put up these kind of numbers.

Hat Tip: Sporting News
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NBA Rumors – Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, New Orleans Pelicans & Sacramento Kings Interested in Signing Quincy Acy http://sportige.com/81020-nba-rumors-denver-nuggets-orlando-magic-new-orleans-pelicans-sacramento-kings-interested-in-signing-quincy-acy/ http://sportige.com/81020-nba-rumors-denver-nuggets-orlando-magic-new-orleans-pelicans-sacramento-kings-interested-in-signing-quincy-acy/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:20:18 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=81020 More ]]> NBA free agency isn’t just about big names and superstars. Sometimes guys on the edge of the bench are in demand as well. Like forward Quincy Acy who played for the New York Knicks last season, getting to be courted by the Sacramento Kings, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic and New Orleans Pelicans.

The former Baylor Bear averaged 5.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 18.9 minutes per game last season for the Knicks. It’s hard to actually tell something about a player after a season with such a terrible team, but it seems Acy’s ability to put up points in a relatively short time and his rebounding ability is enough to draw some attention.

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He’ll probably play a similar role (15-to-25 minutes a night) on the other teams as well. Three of them: Magic, Nuggets and Kings, didn’t make the playoffs last season. The Pelicans were knocked out in the first round, and fired their head coach (Monty Williams), replacing him with the Warriors assistant, Anthony Davis.

Acy has been in the league since 2012, moving around a lot. He’s played for the Raptors, Kings and Kings in three seasons, averaging 4.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

Hat Tip: Spears
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NBA Rumors – Brooklyn Nets & Memphis Grizzlies Interested in Joe Johnson Trade? http://sportige.com/81017-nba-rumors-brooklyn-nets-memphis-grizzlies-interested-in-joe-johnson-trade/ http://sportige.com/81017-nba-rumors-brooklyn-nets-memphis-grizzlies-interested-in-joe-johnson-trade/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:10:44 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=81017 More ]]> Just when you thought the Brooklyn Nets weren’t going to be able to get rid of Joe Johnson and his awful contract, come the Memphis Grizzlies in what might turn out to be a pretty big and surprising trade.

Marc Stein, during the busiest time of his year, is suggesting there have been talks between the two teams regarding Johnson, who has one more year left on his deal worth $24.89 million. Now that it’s a final year, it might be a bit more feasible to move him, although that still is one massive cap hit to take.

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The Grizzlies have about $17 million in cap space. They’ll be re-signing Marc Gasol if nothing surprising happens, which eats up all of their cap space. Who do they move to help out the Nets, who might also follow that up by trading Brook Lopez and officially begin their tanking season, which might last for more than one season.

The prime candidates are Jeff Green (owed $9.44 million next season) and Vince Carter, a former Nets player, who is owed $8.2 million over the next two seasons. That might not be enough to complete the deal, and we could see a third party enter these discussions to make the deal possible.

Johnson averaged 14.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game last season. He’ll be entering his 15th NBA season and despite being 34, has been relatively injury free these last few years. With the Grizzlies constantly looking for someone to upgrade their shooting and give them an extra something beyond their already known quantities, maybe Johnson will provide the unexpected solution. Trading for Green last season didn’t seem to have the desired effect.

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NBA Rumors – Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors & Dallas Mavericks Interested in Signing Wesley Matthews http://sportige.com/81014-nba-rumors-portland-trail-blazers-toronto-raptors-dallas-mavericks-interested-in-signing-wesley-matthews/ http://sportige.com/81014-nba-rumors-portland-trail-blazers-toronto-raptors-dallas-mavericks-interested-in-signing-wesley-matthews/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:00:18 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=81014 More ]]> There’s more to the Portland Trail Blazers in this free agency than just their All-Star power forward. Wesley Matthews, coming back from a torn Achilles which might have cost his team a long stay in the postseason, is ahead of schedule in his rehab, and besides the obvious interest from his own team to re-sign him, he’s getting signals from the Toronto Raptors and Dallas Mavericks.

Matthews was having another very good season for the Blazers before he tore his Achilles tendon, ending his season with 22 games to go. He was averaging 15.9 points while shooting 38.9% from beyond the arc up to that point, and has developed into one of the better two-way shooting guards in the NBA over his five seasons in Portland, joining them after a forgettable rookie year in Utah.

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And while the Blazers would like to keep him, Matthews, making $7.2 million last season, wants something a lot closer to $15 million a season. With the Blazers focusing on re-signing Aldridge and giving Damian Lillard his extension, both maximum deals, it’s hard seeing them give Matthews so much money although the team’s owner, Paul Allen, doesn’t mind spending if he feels there’s a major shot at a title.

If the Blazers drop the ball on this one, the Raptors and Mavericks will be happy to pick it up.

The Mavericks don’t have a shooting guard at the moment; at least not one they’d like to start the season with. Matthews is a risk after his injury but it doesn’t seem to bother him or stop him from asking for a lot of money. While the Mavericks do have other signings on their mind (Aldridge, first and foremost), they’ll be keeping their eye on Matthews.

The Raptors have also entered the Aldridge sweepstakes, but there has been talk about them pulling off a trade which will include DeMar DeRozan. It’s not quite clear if Matthews is the better player, but Masai Ujiri might be making some big moves this offseason, and that might eventually include adding Matthews, although it’ll be a little bit complicated.

Hat Tip: Stein
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NBA Rumors – Los Angeles Clippers or Dallas Mavericks Will Sign DeAndre Jordan http://sportige.com/81011-nba-rumors-los-angeles-clippers-or-dallas-mavericks-will-sign-deandre-jordan/ http://sportige.com/81011-nba-rumors-los-angeles-clippers-or-dallas-mavericks-will-sign-deandre-jordan/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 12:50:29 +0000 http://sportige.com/?p=81011 More ]]> It’s going to come down to two teams for DeAndre Jordan; the Los Angeles Clippers, who he has played for since 2008, or the Dallas Mavericks, the team most interested in signing him and making it very clear all along. The New York Knicks? They want him, but they’re not going to get him.

While the Knicks sit and figure out why they’re a third and fourth option at best for most players, they will probably be satisfied with Greg Monroe and Arron Afflalo, but we’re digressing into subjects beyond this post. Lets focus!

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So Jordan has played and developed with the Clippers. He still is a guy who gets his points (11.5 per game) just near the rim (takes 91.8% of his shots from within three feet of the basket), but he’s a much better defender than in the past, his net rating is fantastic (+11.8 when he’s on the floor) and he led the NBA in rebounds over the last two seasons, grabbing 15 per game in 2014-2015. He also led the league in rebounding percentage and defensive win shares.

The Clippers can’t afford to lose Jordan, who is after a max contract, because they don’t have the cap space to sign someone who is even close to being that influential, not having the cap space necessary, especially as they plan to sign Paul Pierce. Keeping Jordan means a lot of money going to the luxury tax, but Steve Ballmer is more worried about winning a championship than his tax situation.

The Mavericks need a center, badly. They need one because they don’t have any at the moment, and they also need a paint presence who can make a difference on both ends of the floor. Jordan might not create any spacing or stretch the floor, but small ball for an entire season is impossible, and Jordan makes up for his weaknesses in other ways.

So where does he end up? I guess it’ll come down to feeling more wanted and maybe championship prospects, with the latter obviously giving the Clippers the advantage.

Hat Tip: Bleacher Report
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