Kyle Korver staying with Cavs on three-year deal

The Cavaliers began shopping Iman Shumpert with the intent of re-signing fellow guard Kyle Korver.

The latter was accomplished Sunday when Korver and the Cavs agreed to a three-year deal worth $22 million, according to The Vertical.

Korver, 36, was traded to the Cavs by the Hawks in January and averaged 10.7 points in 35 games with the Cavaliers. He shot nearly 49 percent from 3-point range, though that dipped to 39 percent in the playoffs.

Still, the 6-7 swingman gives the Cavs a legitimate sniper from behind the arc and a veteran presence to back up starting guards Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith.

The Cavs, who also added Korver’s former Atlanta teammate Jose Calderon this weekend, are now free to continue their plan to send Shumpert — and his four-year, $40 million contract — to the Rockets to clear up cap room for possible future deals.

Signing period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.

Signing period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents to whom a “May 9 Tender” was made by prior club. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights. (* or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.)
lightning_291

This isn’t to say it was all bad news for Wilson.

With so much uncertainty on defense, 2017 might be defined by how much Wilson can carry the team. Bringing in Lacy and overhauling the offensive line is a start, but the Seahawks offense will go as far as Wilson can take them.

Wilson played through ankle and knee injuries last year and it clearly affected him: He had just 21 touchdown passes, down from 34 in 2015. He set a career high with 11 interceptions. His QB Rating was 92.6, a career low. And the lower-body injuries completely took away Wilson’s running threat — he managed just 259 rushing yards, by far the lowest of his five-year career.

This isn’t to say it was all bad news for Wilson. His receiving weapons were also done in by injury — Tyler Lockett’s broken leg was a huge loss late in the season — but Doug Baldwin had a career-best year with 94 catches and 1,128 yards. Jimmy Graham stayed healthy and became a bigger part of the offense, finishing with 65 catches for 923 yards. And Paul Richardson stepped up big in Lockett’s place, making huge plays down the stretch as Seattle solidified a playoff spot.

When Wilson is healthy and able to run, he adds a unique dimension to the offense that not many teams can match. And his weapons, aside from mistake-prone Jermaine Kearse, are reliable more often than not. However, the Seahawks must do a better job protecting him, and the running game needs to step up, as well. Wilson is a great quarterback, but he can’t do it all by himself.
yankees_1093_abde32b67baa971d-180x180

It’s been 11 years since there was drama over the No. 1 NFL draft pick

In the weeks leading up to the draft, Myles Garrett seemed like the clear choice for the Browns with the No. 1 pick despite the team’s need at quarterback. In the final days before the draft, though, rumors started circulating that Cleveland may go with Mitchell Trubisky instead. For the first time since 2006, we have no idea who the first overall pick will actually be.

Last year, there was no intrigue with the top pick. The Rams traded up to take Jared Goff first overall, and we knew well before Goff’s name was called on draft night. It was the same in 2015, when the Buccaneers landed Jameis Winston.

After a 1-15 finish in 2016, it’s easy to look at the Browns and say there’s nowhere for the team to go but up. However, it’s hard for fans to give Cleveland the benefit of the doubt.

“I think every year there’s less and less confidence that they’re going to do something that will actually turn the franchise around,” Ryan Born, a Browns fan from Springfield, Ohio, said. “You look at how many first-round draft picks they’ve had since 1999, you look at how many No. 1 overall picks they’ve had. How many quarterbacks can you possibly draft in the first round that never pan out?

The Falcons have blown out the Panthers the past few times, but watching Julio Jones make plays against Carolina’s secondary never gets old. Even in the games where he’s not racking up 300 yards receiving, Jones always seems to make a jaw-dropping catch.

Over the last 10 drafts, 43 quarterbacks have been picked in the first two rounds. Of those 43, two were among the NFL’s top 10 in Football Outsiders’ DVOA rating this past season: Matt Ryan and Derek Carr. The other eight were either top picks selected before 2007 (Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers) or players picked further down (Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, Kirk Cousins, Dak Prescott).

Fifteen quarterbacks were drafted in 2016. One played really well, and one played at a level slightly worse than the average QB. The others either struggled or never saw the field.

dodgers_353

The Indianapolis Colts will be without Erik Walden in Week 12 against the Arizona Cardinals.

The NFL has protocol in place to prevent players from returning to the field after suffering a concussion, but it wasn’t effective in Denver on Sunday. Wes Welker returned to the field, despite being concussed. Welker suffered a head injury early in the fourth quarter. He was evaluated for a neck injury and the concussion was not initially apparent. He returned to the field on the next drive, before being pulled after concussion symptoms became more noticeable.

The second half was a lot more of the same, with the US struggling against Panama’s physicality, and with the Bradley-Jones midfield duo becoming more and more absent throughout the match, to the point of being an active liability to the team at times. Make no mistake, their leadership in this team is valuable, but not so valuable as to outweigh how poor the pair were for long, long stretches of the game against Panama.

The Indianapolis Colts will be without Erik Walden in Week 12 against the Arizona Cardinals. The NFL upheld Walden’s one-game suspension, handed down for his headbutt on Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker. Walden used his helmet as a weapon when he smashed his head into Walker, who had his helmet ripped off by Walden at the end of a play.

Richie Incognito was the subject of more allegations on Tuesday, with a report that suggested he harassed a Miami Dolphins staffer. Incognito allegedly mocked the staffer’s ethnic background, according to the report. Incognito is currently suspended for his alleged mistreatment of teammate Jonathan Martin, who also has not returned to the team after leaving of his own volition.
cardinals_1192-115x115

Roddy White is expected to remain with the team that drafted him.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is expected to sign a long-term deal to remain with the organization, according to the NFL Network.

In a brace covering his left leg, Bridgewater seems to move pretty well before firing off a pass to a receiver.

In late February, Vikings GM Rick Spielman told reporters that there was no timetable for Bridgewater’s return, and would also not say that he was certain Bridgewater could make it back.

Spielman also wouldn’t commit to an extension with Bridgewater’s replacement, Sam Bradford. Bradford set an NFL single-season record for a starting quarterback, completing 71.6 percent of his passes in 15 starts. He had a career-best 3,877 passing yards and 20 touchdowns, against just five interceptions. It led head coach Mike Zimmer to say that Bradford had earned the right to be the starting quarterback.

Just a month ago, Spielman wouldn’t even say he was certain Bridgewater would return. Hopefully this video means he’ll be back sooner rather than later.

Mike Glennon was perfect, maybe not statistically — but practically. Against the Falcons he completed 87 percent of his passes, finding seven different receivers and leading the team’s win. Two straight wins might not be enough to save Greg Schiano his job, but the Buccaneers offense has a lot of build on with Glennon under center and Bobby Rainey, who broke out with three touchdowns on Sunday.

Atlanta is a disaster, it’s that simple. Years of neglecting the team’s defense is coming back to haunt them, paired with injury struggles. There are simply too many holes to be patched and not enough talent to do it. It’s unclear whether these issues can be solved in one year, and it might be time for a full rebuild on defense.
1

Dolphins considered releasing Richie Incognito before season, per report

The Miami Dolphins were considering releasing offensive guard Richie Incognito prior to the 2017 season and before the issues with Jonathan Martin went public, according to a report from Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald.

Foster had been seeing a number of specialists in regards to an issue with a disc in his back and had been hoping to find a way to avoid season-ending surgery. Foster was already listed as “out” for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals after injuring his back against the Indianapolis Colts before even touching the ball.

The veteran running back has been dealing with a hamstring injury for the last several weeks and had only four carries for 11 yards on Oct. 20 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Foster enjoyed a monster game against the Rams the week prior, racking up 141 yards on 20 touches, but for the majority of the season has struggled relative to expectations alongside the rest of the Texans team.

Foster has 121 carries for 542 yards and one touchdown on the season. The Texans are set to take on the Cardinals on Sunday in the first game with Wade Phillips as the interim coach, with Gary Kubiak still recovering from a mini-stroke suffered during last week’s game.

The Bears have been swept by the Lions and are now essentially two games back of the NFC North lead with seven games left. Winning a wild card could be difficult with the way that the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers are playing. There isn’t much wiggle room for Trestman and he’s going to have to go with whoever gives him the best chance to win. There also isn’t much for Cutler, an impending free agent. He will miss this week’s game against the Ravens with an ankle injury, and McCown will get another chance to show what he can do.

12

Rhode Island wins 2017 Atlantic 10 basketball tournament

The Rhode Island Rams are dancing after beating VCU, 70-63, in a game they never trailed. They take the Atlantic 10 tournament title and the NCAA tournament’s automatic bid that comes with it.

Get to know guard E.C. Matthews as the sentimental star of this team, recovering from a torn ACL last year to have a nice comeback campaign. Hassan Martin is great in the middle as an enforcer, and URI blocked seven VCU shots during the win.

It was not the first time that Tatum and Giles have shared a stage.

The two teammates have known each other since eighth grade, and they quickly became close friends. The duo competed against each other on the AAU circuit and with each other for USA Basketball. As the recruiting process heated up, so did the talk of the two of them potentially committing to the same school.

“We always knew we could play together,” Giles said. “Our games complement each other. We knew we could make it work, so why not?”

One of their more memorable meetings before arriving in Durham came when the two squared off 20 months ago in the Nike Peach Jam semifinals, the summer before they began their senior years of high school. Tatum’s St. Louis Eagles slipped past Giles and Team CP3 that day en route to the most prestigious championship of the summer.

After the semifinal, Tatum sat in the North Augusta gym in front of a makeshift ESPN set and committed to Duke. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski was seated in the bleachers, maybe 50 feet away, flanked by assistants Jeff Capel and Jon Scheyer.

Westbrook nearly lost his standing averaging a triple-double last week. He responded by blasting the stat sheets on Saturday in a win over Utah.
16

Bracketology 2017: The bubble is in disarray and the top line is taking shape

After the Kansas Jayhawks’ stunning Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal loss to the TCU Horned Frogs, I’ve shuffled the top line of the bracket again.

Thanks to KU’s loss, the Villanova Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels are now first and second overall, with Kansas, No. 1 yesterday, dropping to third. Still, Bill Self’s team is destined for Kansas City and the Midwest Regional. The Gonzaga Bulldogs continue to sit fourth, anchoring the West.

The UCLA Bruins and Duke Blue Devils join the Kentucky Wildcats and Oregon Ducks on the second line, thanks to their close conference tournament victories yesterday. But the Bruins’ Pac-12 Tournament semifinal against the Arizona Wildcats, currently a three seed, and the Blue Devils’ ACC Tournament rubber match with eternal rival North Carolina will help determine their respective eventual fates.

Keep an eye on the top team on the three line, the Florida State Seminoles, who have a great shot at landing on the two line, particularly if they can knock off the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the second ACC semifinal in Brooklyn.

Every game takes place at the T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas. The top four seeds enjoy byes into the quarterfinals, while the bottom eight have first-round games for the right to join them there. It’s a single-elimination event, like all conference tournaments. The winner gets an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Meanwhile, Plumlee is averaging nine and seven for Denver and will be a restricted free agent in July. Nurkic is averaging 16-9-4-2 for Portland and has another year left on his rookie deal. Portland got the best player, best contract, and best pick in this trade. And best of all, the trade looks like it will help the Blazers steal their trade partner’s playoff spot. Unbelievable.
15

The Lakers may have been able to offer a better package

If you’re not drafting Fournette because you don’t need a running back at that point or because the big guy isn’t a fit for your system or whatever, then great. But if you’re passing on him because he didn’t jump very high at the Combine, I think you should review the tasks most running backs have to fulfill on the football field, which rarely include jumping straight up. The vert is meant to measure explosiveness, not just leaping ability, but we’re all friends here.

From MMQB’s Emily Kaplan:

On Friday, he more than quashed weight concerns when he blazed through the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds, the fastest time by a running back weighing more than 240 pounds since 2006. … When I texted a scout I know to ask if he was concerned about Fournette’s vertical numbers, the response was: “Lol. Absolutely not.”
This tweet by the NFL adds slightly more perspective (I’d guess “burst” refers to 10-yard splits in the 40, since Harvin didn’t do any other footwork drills, but Harvin’s split was .2 seconds better than Fournette’s):

Los Angeles did, in fact, discuss a trade for Cousins, but would not include the rookie Ingram in their offer, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Sacramento then shifted its focus to getting a deal done with New Orleans — they received Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, and a 2017 first- and second-round pick.

The Lakers may have been able to offer a better package. But by not involving Magic, they slept while New Orleans made moves.

And if Johnson made one thing clear in his first act as president — dealing Lou Williams to Houston for Corey Brewer and a 2017 first-rounder — it’s that he won’t sleep until the Lakers win again.3

Darren Elkins took two and a half rounds of punishment before pulling an upset off at the death

Making her Octagon debut, Cynthia Calvillo declared she’s here to shake things up. Her grappling was next level. She looked like a veteran on the mat. Pulling off an incredibly difficult transition from an anaconda choke to roll Amanda Cooper onto her back and mount the back was a thing of beauty. So flexible and agile, the finish came three minutes into the fight when a composed Calvillo worked her left arm under the chin and secured the rear-naked choke.

It was a huge win from the Australian with Daniel Kelly pulling out all the stops in Rashad Evans’ middleweight debut. Kelly entered the Octagon with a clear plan. That was to pressure Evans, be busier and make him uncomfortable.

Kelly was consistently grabbing the left hand of Evans with his right and letting rip with the left hand. It scored him several significant strikes. While Evans was busy with the body kicks, Kelly was constantly moving forward, getting in plenty of volume. While Evans lifted gears in the third round, increasing his strike rate and putting together some combinations, it was too little too late. Kelly claimed victory by split decision.

Fight Analysis: Darren Elkins took two and a half rounds of punishment before pulling an upset off at the death. Mirsad Bektic was incredibly dominant with the speed of his strikes causing all sorts of issues for Elkins.

Most of the players who see the field will take part in individual position drills for their respective positions in addition to the vertical jump, broad jump, 40-yard dash and various cone drills.

Before throwing, Trubisky also showed off his exceptional athleticism, officially clocking in at 4.67 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which perhaps appropriately enough was one hundredth of a second behind Watson’s best time.
15