Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers have an easier path than the Rockets or Spurs. They can either trade or waive and “stretch” Jerryd Bayless to have nearly enough cap room to hand James a max contract in free agency.

Bayless, owed only $8.6 million for next season, has a far less onerous contract than Deng and Anderson. If the Sixers clear his salary entirely, they’d have the room for James but might need to clear others like Furkan Korkmaz, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and/or Justin Anderson to keep others like T.J. McConnell.

Stretching Bayless would require dumping a number of the aforementioned players since he would earn $2.9 million from Philadelphia over the next three seasons.

The bigger challenge would be finding a way to keep JJ Redick. If he wants to stay, he might be looking at a paycut from $23 million to the Sixers’ $4.4 million exception.

Bigger picture, the 76ers can offer James a home in the East, far away from the rival Golden State Warriors. That could be a significant deciding factor.

Boston Celtics

Could James pair back up with Kyrie Irving?nfl jerseys nike cheap

The Celtics are already one of the best teams in the East. With James, they’d be a true powerhouse.

However, Boston is well over the salary cap, so an opt-in-and-trade would be the logical route for James.

Would Gordon Hayward for James make sense for both organizations? Would it make sense for James?

Boston could be an interesting under-the-radar destination.      cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Family could keep James right where he is in Cleveland. If so, the Cavaliers would need to bolster their roster to give James more support.

Unsigned or opted into the final year of his deal, James would take up roughly $35 million of Cleveland’s cap space. The Cavs would have to offload an unrealistic amount of salary to have any spending power.

Instead, Cleveland would need to think about trades. But can the Cavs improve in the short term if they deal players like Kevin Love or George Hill?new nike nfl jerseys cheap

How about a do-over, sending Love back to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Andrew Wiggins?

Cleveland will draft eighth overall on June 21. Perhaps a young player can change the complexion of the franchise, like Jayson Tatum with the Celtics.

Cleveland could also look to trade that pick, but that’s a lot to ask without a long-term commitment from James.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

Chicago Bears: Roquan Smith, Linebacker

Over the last three seasons, the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers both ranked in the NFL’s top 10 in passing plays. The Minnesota Vikings just signed Kirk Cousins to go with receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. This is to say: The Chicago Bears are going to need to be able to stop the pass.

In the pass-heavy NFC North, one Minnesota has been able to do is use double-A-gap pressure from linebackers to influence a quarterback to throw to his hot route, just for one of those linebackers to make the tackle after bailing nfl china jersey out from a blitz look. That can work if you have an all-world athlete like Anthony Barr or Eric Kendricks.

Chicago found its super athletic linebacker in Roquan Smith, a first-round pick out of Georgia who ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash at the combine. While linebacker may not be a valued position in today’s NFL, an athletic linebacker like Smith will go a long way in a division like the NFC North.

William Jackson spent his entire rookie season in 2016 on the injured reserve list, but he quickly made up for missed time with an elite 2017 season. The first-round pick out of Houston was able to register 697 snaps, the seventh-most among Cincinnati defenders.

Per Pro Football Focus, Jackson is 42nd-ranked NFL player going into 2018. Bleacher Report’s NFL 1000 puts him as the No. 11 cornerback, just one spot behind Kyle Fuller, who signed a four-year, $56 million contract with an $18 million signing bonus this offseason.nfl women jersey

If Jackson continues to play at this level, he’s due for Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors. And a lot of money.nike nfl jerseys differences

Any quarterback taken first overall in the draft is expected to be the face of his franchise. No matter if Baker Mayfield or Tyrod Taylor starts the 2018 season, Mayfield is the future of the team.

Mayfield broke the FBS’ passing efficiency record with a 196.39 season in 2016, just to break it again a year later with a 198.90 effort in 2017. The Power Five’s other top seasons ever in passing efficiency were posted by Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, Jameis Winston, Cam Newton and Marcus Mariota.nfl china jerseys nike

Collectively, those five quarterbacks had rookie seasons with a 6.29 ANY/A, in the ballpark of what Kirk Cousins posted last year. At the same time, all other rookie passers since 2011 have combined for an ANY/A of 4.89, a number close to Brian Hoyer and Joe Flacco’s 2017 seasons.nfl teams jerseys  That is to say, if you’re as efficient as Mayfield, Wilson, Girffin, Winston, Newton or Mariota in a major college football conference, you’re likely to be significantly more efficient than your peers as a rookie.cheap women nfl jerseys

Hopes are high in Cleveland.

LB Tremaine Edmunds, Buffalo Bills

We’ll circle back to the Bills. Unlike Allen, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds has a clear path to a starting position.cheap womens nfl jerseys china

Preston Brown started 62 games at linebacker over the last four years but signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in the offseason, leaving a vacant spot for the rookie in the middle. Cornerback Tre’Davious White, an impact first-year starter in 2017, raved about Edmunds on Good Morning Football (h/t Dominic LoVallo of the team’s official website):

“This is an alpha-male here. The guy goes sideline to sideline, he’s a 4.4 guy. He has tremendous range, athleticism and his knowledge of the game is next to none. I feel like by training camp, he’s going to be probably one of the best young linebackers in this league. This guy, since the first day he got here, he’s commanded the huddle on the defensive side of the ball. And you can tell by OTAs and the offseason that he’s been getting tremendously comfortable in the playbook.”

Just last year,nfl womens jersey  White was in Edmunds’ shoes, a first-round pick with high expectations.cheap nfl jerseys for women

Based on White’s assessment, Edmunds has already shown traits coaches want in their quarterback of the defense, which include leadership skills and a strong understanding of schemes. McDermott may utilize Edmunds to strengthen the pass rush if Shaq Lawson and Jerry Hughes struggle to apply pressure up front.

The Detroit Lions didn’t make a fantasy football-friendly pick at No. 20. However, offensive lineman Frank Ragnow should help balance the team’s offensive attack.buy nfl jerseys in bulk

The front office signed nfl jersey online running back LeGarrette Blount and drafted ball-carrier Kerryon Johnson in the second round, which shows a concerted effort to elevate the ground game.

The Lions backfield may not yield a clear-cut workhorse, but Ragnow, who will play guard or center, will have to clear lanes either way.

Detroit finished 28th or worse in rushing yards in each of the past four seasons. The added talent at running back and a fortified interior offensive line could serve as much-needed complements to quarterback Matthew Stafford. For Ragnow, it’s a matter of where he’ll start in Week 1. For now, it looks like that may be left guard.nike nfl womens jerseys

Golden State Warriors: Marco Belinelli

It feels weird to say the Golden State Warriors need more three-point shooters. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are two of the best-ever snipers, and Kevin Durant is a deadly marksman himself—his postseason brick-laying spectacle notwithstanding.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Isn’t that, like, good enough?

Not particularly. The Warriors aren’t about to stop ruining basketball for people outside the Bay Area, but they need to solidify their dynastic presence with more efficient chucksters.

Yank Curry, Durant and Thompson from the equation, and Golden State canned 33.4 percent of its triples—akin to the Phoenix Suns’ league-worst mark. Zoom in on the bench specifically, and the Warriors are a tick worse. Their reserves splashed in 33.3 cheap nfl nike jersey  percent of their treys, the third-lowest rate among second units.

If this doesn’t pique your concern, Nick Young’s logging important minutes in the playoffs should.

Golden State is emaciated on the wings and could be left even thinner by summer’s end. Both Young and Patrick McCaw (restricted) are set to hit free agency. Young needs to be escorted out of town if he costs more than the minimum. McCaw is a potentially vital defensive piece, but he remains a non-shooter.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Convincing Marco Belinelli to chase another title is the Warriors’ first step to shielding their offense from any weakness. He cleared a 38 percent success rate on catch-and-fire threes and finished in the 85th percentile of efficiency when coming around screens.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Adding him to this group would be unfair—and also right up the Warriors’ alley.china nike nfl jerseys cheap  They had eyes for him when he was a buyout candidate. Their interest is unlikely to have subsided over the past few months. They need him and should consider paying whatever it takes to get him—even if it costs them most or all of their taxpayer’s mid-level exception.

Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets

Age: 28

2017-18 Per-Game Stats: 5.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.4 blocks, 51.4 percent shooting

Advanced Stats: 17.4 PER, minus-20.46 TPA, minus-1.46 RPM

Contract Details: 1 year, $13.8 million  cheap wholesale nfl jerseys china

It feels like Kenneth Faried has been up for grabs since he first signed a four-year, $50 million extension with the Denver Nuggets in 2014. That he’s still on the roster entering the final season of his deal is equal parts surprising, impressive and telltale of the NBA’s shifting priorities.

Tweener bigs who don’t protect the rim, hold their own when defending in space or shoot threes are something worse than afterthoughts. Faried has seen the league pass him by, and splitting time at center hasn’t helped him catch up or remain part of the Nuggets rotation. He made his last appearance on Feb. 1 and received spin in just seven total games after Dec. 15.

That trend isn’t tracking toward change in 2018-19. cheap nfl jersey wholesale Denver’s frontcourt carousel remains over max capacity, and Faried is still the same niche contributor—a high-motor floor-runner with at-times explosive finishing and plus rebounding.

Mason Plumlee draws the line on what type of non-shooter the Nuggets can play. And he at least creates space with his screens and passing. Faried won’t ever supersede him, so a return to the chopping block seems imminent.cheap nfl jerseys wholesale china

The Nuggets tried moving him to no avail at the February deadline, per Altitude Sports’ Chris Dempsey. They’ll redouble those efforts over the offseason. They may have no choice.

Carrying Will Barton’s cap hold will leave Denver with a tick more than $118 million in commitments if Darrell Arthur and Wilson Chandler exercise their player options. That net cost will then explode if, as expected, Nikola Jokic (team option) receives a max deal.cheap authentic nfl jerseys from china wholesale

Tack on a $25.3 million starting salary for him, and the Nuggets are looking at a payroll north of $140 million—well past the $123 million luxury-tax threshold. Paying that much to float the status quo of a lottery team doesn’t look great, even though a base nucleus of Barton, Jokic, Gary Harris, cheap nfl authentic jerseys wholesale Paul Millsap and Jamal Murray could wind up being worth the trouble.

Dangling another pick or prospect should be enough to lop off Faried’s expiring salary and gives the Nuggets an outside hope of ducking the tax without making other moves. And should they resign themselves to financing an enormous payroll, his contract becomes great salary filler for a needle-nudging trade.

(Arthur, Faried and a second-rounder for Kent Bazemore anyone?)

New York Congressman Blasts Jets Owner’s Pledge to Pay Fines for Anthem Protests

United States House of Representatives member Pete King blasted New York Jets chairman Christopher Johnson on Saturday for his stance on protests by players during the national anthem.

King—a Republican who represents New York’s second congressional district—said the following regarding the organization:

On Wednesday, Johnson told Bob Glauber of Newsday that he won’t fine or suspend his players if they decide to protest this season:cheap wholesale nfl jerseys

“I do not like imposing any club-specific rules. If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big, complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.”

Last week, the NFL passed a policy nfl jersey cheap wholesale china   hat will result in fines for teams if their players or personnel protest during the anthem on the field before games.

The NFL won’t discipline players, but it will allow individual organizations to do so if players are perceived to have disrespected the national anthem and the flag.

In an effort to prevent protests, the NFL will permit players to remain in the locker room during the anthem if they so choose.

The NFL Players Association released the following statement regarding the new rule:
Kneeling during the anthem began during the 2016 cheap nfl wholesale jerseys preseason when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the first to do so as a means of protesting racial injustice and police brutality.

Kaepernick went unsigned last season as a free agent, but players across the league continued to protest.wholesale jerseys cheap nfl

Toronto Raptors…Maybe

Now that Toronto Raptors president LeBron James Masai Ujiri has reacted to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ devastating sweep of the Canadian representatives by firing head coach Dwane Casey, the organization should go one of two ways. Anything in between would be potentially disastrous. cheap nike nfl jerseys china

The first option is realizing the system worked. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry were brilliant throughout the regular season, while the bench mob torched one foe after another en route to the most successful campaign in franchise history. It was only a lack of adherence to the system in moments of adversity that prevented the Raptors from continuing to function as a juggernaut in the playoffs, despite what you might hear about the declining postseason habits of Toronto’s marquee figures. new nike nfl jerseys cheap

Realizing as much, the Raptors could look to promote an internal candidate and continue to hone the system that served them well—one that Lowry and DeRozan bought into throughout the year, even though it meant sacrificing touches and enjoying a more egalitarian offense. This is my preferred direction for the team, and Toronto seems to be at least considering it by granting interviews to assistants Nick Nurse and Rex Kalamian, as well as G League coach Jerry Stackhouse, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

But if they bring in a new signal-caller who wants to shake things up, that’s when they can consider a full-on rebuild. buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

Trade DeRozan, who’s sure to bring back a substantial return. Doing so also makes sense from a personnel standpoint, as Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale wrote:

“Jettisoning DeRozan might [improve the organizational ceiling]. He’s working off a career year, but he still isn’t the ideal guard for how the Raptors want to play.cheap nfl nike jerseys china  A willingness to launch more threes has not translated to league-average efficiency. He canned 31.2 percent of his treys during the cheap nike nfl jersey regular season and shot 21.4 percent on triples in which he wasn’t completely wide-open for the playoffs.”

Moving the talented wing opens the door for further trades of Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas and anyone else who might suddenly be deemed expendable. So long as the Raptors change things up and extend their window to avoid running into the James juggernaut every year of their prime, they can justify anything. nfl nike jersey cheap

Calvin Ridley, D.J. Moore and the Analytics of Playmaking

Successful NFL receivers almost always start out as successful college receivers. They catch a high percentage of their college team’s passes, score a lot of touchdowns, rack up high yards-per-catch rates and run fast and jump high in their predraft workouts.
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Boy, Moneyball sounds more like plain-old common sense with every new header, doesn’t it? But college production can be tricky to interpret because of all of the different systems, levels, calibers of quarterback and other variables.4b3677cadc41934f836633fb4ff59fc3_crop_exact

Calvin Ridley’s raw stats look pretty good—224 career catches, 2,781 yards and 19 touchdowns in three seasons—especially factoring in Alabama’s run-heavy offense and option-style quarterbacking. But for someone touted as a DeSean Jackson-level deep threat, Ridley caught a relatively low percentage of his team’s touchdown passes, cheap custom nfl jerseys and his vertical leap at the combine (just 31″) suggests that he may not be as explosive or capable of hauling in a contested pass as the NFL’s elite receivers.

By contrast, D.J. Moore’s raw numbers in three seasons at Maryland are less impressive than Ridley’s (146-2,027-17), cheap customized nfl jerseys but his career yards-per-catch rate is higher (13.9 to 12.4) and his production came in a Maryland scheme that’s even more run-oriented than the Alabama offense. Throw in a 39.5-inch vertical leap, and there are many reasons to believe Moore will outperform Ridley at the start of his NFL career.

Football Outsiders’ Playmaker Score takes the variables mentioned above, and others, and turns them into projection cheap nfl custom jerseys ratings for all of the top wide receiver prospects. You can read more about the method and find this year’s ratings here.

Keep in mind that variables like the vertical jump weren’t chosen randomly or picked by some Alabama hater who wants to see Ridley fail. They were selected based on years of analysis to determine what variables were true indicators of future success.

That’s analytics in a nutshell: finding useful variables and eliminating meaningless or misleading ones. Often, the results end up sounding a lot like common sense.

Wayne Rooney should be getting into the box more, says Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce has told Wayne Rooney to increase his presence in the opposition penalty area following clear-the-air talks this week with the former England captain.
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Rooney did not disguise his anger at being substituted during the goalless draw with Liverpool last Saturday, when 32-year-old was withdrawn in the 57th minute by Allardyce for the second game in succession. The Everton manager, who insists he has no problem with Rooney’s reaction, explained that he wanted “more legs” in midfield but believes the striker remains better suited to a deeper role. Allardyce, however, also wants Rooney to attack more, with the team’s leading goalscorer having failed to find the target since the defeat of Swansea City on 18 December.
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“With his experience he should be dropping deeper and providing goals but I do think he should get into the box more,” said the Everton manager, whose team travel to Swansea on Saturday. “He hasn’t scored since Swansea and not scored from open play since Newcastle [13 December] and I would like him to get forward a little bit more. Certainly in the games we are controlling more and attacking more I would like him further up the pitch but he is also one of our best passers. I would like that combination to get bigger, certainly from a goalscoring point of view.”cheap customized nfl jerseys

Rooney has scored 11 goals this season – three from the penalty spot – with Oumar Niasse Everton’s second highest scorer with eight.

Allardyce added: “We’ve only got Wayne in double figures and that’s because of penalties.cheap nfl custom jerseys  If you’re going to get into Europe you can’t get there without two players getting into double figures – minimum – so that’s been a massive struggle this year. We haven’t got anyone who has come close to scoring the amount of goals that [Romelu] Lukaku got last year and that’s why our defending has to be so much better. It doesn’t need an experienced manager like me to work that one out.”

Mauricio Pochettino believes tough games bring out the best in Dele Alli

When addressing the subject of Saturday’s fixture with Manchester City, the word most commonly used by Mauricio Pochettino was massive. A massive gap to the top, a massive three points and a massive opportunity. It is also these massive matches, according to the Tottenham manager, that bring out the best in Dele Alli.custom nfl jerseys

The England international turned 22 on Wednesday and celebrated by performing the Floss, a viral dance, on Instagram and attending a Peaky Blinders-themed party. Of greater interest to his coach, and his upcoming opponents, will be the statistics that show Alli has made a greater attacking contribution to his team than Cristiano Ronaldo did at the same age.
Pep Guardiola claims Manchester City could fail to win Premier League
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During a season when Alli has been under constant scrutiny, Pochettino called the midfielder “the best 21-year-old in the world”. Now, as a 22-year-old, his manager explained why Alli’s talent was “not something you can buy at the market”.

“For me it’s a massive challenge to play Manchester City,” he said. “[For Alli] he needs a strong opposition to give his best. It’s his character. He is so competitive that when it’s easy he’s not interested. In training sessions, when you do finishing practice without any opposition, sometimes you have to say: ‘Dele, come on.’ But if you put opposition there, he will score an unbelievable goal.

“He is a bit special. Not just a special talent but a special character. That is why we are talking a lot during the whole season about Dele Alli because he is a special talent with special energy. He needs to feel the competition.”
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Alli elaborated on his manager’s thoughts, explaining why he benefits from playing against the top teams. Alli has scored nine of his 36 league goals for Spurs against the other top-six clubs, five of those in matches with Chelsea, including two at Stamford Bridge last month. His current tally against Manchester City is two.cheap custom nfl jerseys

“When you play in the Premier League against the top six, as opposed to bottom-half teams, the game is always a lot different,” Alli said after last Saturday’s fixture with Stoke. “The top six really go at it with you. Both teams want to win and there’s a lot more space. Both teams are looking to attack.cheap customized nfl jerseys