Solving NBA’s Worst Position Logjams: How Will Whiteside, Fultz Get Minutes?

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Ask anyone who’s been through an all-you-can-eat buffet two too many times—it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

That life lesson holds true in the NBA.cheap nfl jerseys from china

As important as it is to have depth, overloading players at the same position can hurt more than it helps. It might mean there are a ton of acceptable answers without an obviously correct one. Or it could be the sign teams are worried more about talent than fit, which works for rebuilders, but only as a temporary strategy.

Even in an increasingly positionless Association, there are only so many ways to complete roster puzzles. Having a glut in one area can distort the entire image, potentially dragging down the players trapped in it and failing to balance the rest of the roster.nfl cheap jerseys77456403db0fb11f32b7cc003c73c871_crop_exact

Let’s examine the most crowded position groups left over from the draft and free agency, then analyze the best way to manage them.

The primary selling point of Indiana Pacers rookie nfl jerseys cheap china Aaron Holiday is his ability to make an early impact.

“Coaches can count on Holiday to give them minutes right away,” Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman wrote. “He’ll be 22 years old in September, ready to come in and make shots, handle the ball for a second unit and apply defensive pressure.”nfl jerseys

Considering the Pacers are coming off a 48-win campaign, it seems easy to see the appeal of an early contributor. The problem is they might not have anywhere to put Holiday yet. He’s stuck at No. 3 on the depth chart, per J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star,cheap nfl jerseys china behind Darren Collison and Cory Joseph—Nos. 4 and 6 among Indy’s minutes leaders from last season, respectively.

Playing two of them together is a possible workaround, but it might only work in certain matchups. Joseph is the tallest at 6’3”, so oversized wings will be an issue defensively. Not to mention, the Pacers may not have many wing minutes available behind Victor Oladipo, Tyreke Evans, Bojan Bogdanovic and Doug McDermott.

The good news is this is only a temporary issue. authentic nfl jerseys Both Collison and Joseph come off the books at season’s end, meaning there’s a simple way to move forward with only one and Holiday. The not-so-great news is the best short-term solution might be burying Holiday on the bench or letting him get some G League run until the congestion clears up in front of him.

How J.D. Martinez Rose from Division II Obscurity, MLB Reject to Elite Superstar

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MINNEAPOLIS — Descending the stairway into Hell’s Kitchen, hungry souls walk past a brick wall seared with stern warnings: “No Whining.” “No Complaining.” “No Surly Attitudes.”

When Boston slugger J.D. Martinez is in town, nfl wholesale jerseys this trendy, Goth-y Twin Cities eatery boasting “Damn Fine Food” and an edgy attitude is his go-to place. As Martinez settles into a back table for a late-morning brunch on this June day, flames from his hot bat lick the MLB leaderboards: He leads the majors in RBI (55) and ranks second in both homers (22) and total bases (167).

Martinez comes for the food—the lemon ricotta hotcakes are “the bomb” (he’s correct)—and he’s also come on this day to talk about his career, which has had its own delicious twists.

In the four seasons from 2014 to ’17, Martinez ranked second in the majors in slugging percentage (.574), seventh in OPS (.936) and eighth in at-bat/home run ratio (15.1).

And yet…he attracted zero interest from any Division nfl jerseys from china  I schools out of high school, was drafted 611th overall in 2009 and was outright released by the Houston Astros in 2014.

From there, though, he has hit as well as almost anyone in the majors.

Though he played in the shadow of Miguel Cabrera official nfl jerseys cheap  in Detroit and Paul Goldschmidt in Arizona, in the first four seasons after his release, only five players in the majors recorded an OPS of at least .900 against both right-handed pitchers and lefties: Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Kris Bryant, Goldschmidt and, yes, Martinez.

And yet…when he stepped into a frigid free-agent market this past winter, Martinez, 30, was iced out until after spring training had already started, signing with the Red Sox on Feb. 26. And the $200 million that many in the industry figured he would earn melted away into a five-year, $110 million deal that places him behind, among others, Jason Heyward (Cubs), Chris Davis (Orioles) and Robinson Cano (Mariners) in average annual salary.nfl authentic jerseys

“When it was all happening, my mom said it: ‘Did you expect anything else?'” Martinez says. “I was like, ‘Nope.'”nfl authentic jerseys cheap

So she asked, what are you worried about then, J.D.? Her son took a breath, surveyed the landscape and told her, nope, not only did he not expect anything else, but he wasn’t worried, either.

Indiana Pacers

Coming out of the Eastern Conference will be a whole lot easier without LeBron James lording over the rest of its peasants, and the Indiana Pacers have positioned themselves to be the conference’s foremost dark horse.customized nfl jerseys

Only two other teams have added more wins above replacement over the offseason, according to an analysis run by Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey: the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers. And they’ve each reached the pinnacle of summertime improvement through one massive move.

Golden State ruined the already ruined NBA (it isn’t actually ruined) by lucking into DeMarcus Cousins. Los Angeles happened upon a greatest-of-all-time candidate whose life is no longer dictated by trying to win championships. nfl custom jerseys cheap Indiana’s activity has been more subtle and comprehensive.

Tyreke Evans gives the Pacers another primary ball-handler who has the spot-up chops to coexist with Victor Oladipo. He shot 40.8 percent on pull-up threes last season—third-best mark among 96 players to make at least 10 appearances and average more than one attempt per game. He also canned 38.9 percent of his catch-and-fire treys.

Doug McDermott is a quality plug-and-play sniper. He drilled nearly 46 percent of his standstill threes while splitting time with the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks. Along with Evans, he buoys the spacing of an offense that led the league in long-two frequency, according to Cleaning The Glass.

Kyle O’Quinn has a similar effect up front. He has three-point range the Knicks chose to ignore and is more nimble-footed, and thus playable, compared to the departed Al Jefferson. He offers a nice alternative if the Pacers cheap custom nfl jerseys are committed to dabbling in dual-big lineups. cheap customized nfl jerseys TJ Leaf is TJ Leaf, and the Myles Turner-Domantas Sabonis partnership was mostly a disaster.

Indiana is not without its red flags. Head coach Nate McMillan is making sure of that. As he said when asked about what James’ departure from the conference means, per 8 Points, 9 Seconds’ Tony East: “I think you’ll see less spread lineups and more grinding and more post players.”cheap nfl custom jerseys

Um, yeah. This can’t happen. Having O’Quinn is nice, but McDermott and Thaddeus Young should be soaking up time at the 4. The Pacers have enough concerns on defense looking at their wing rotation without hamstringing an offense that finished 23rd in efficiency after the All-Star break.

In a nutshell, though, Indiana’s 48-win upstart is deeper and more talented. That’ll give way to unique nike nfl jerseys cheap  opportunities in the East’s impending LeBron-less free-for-all.

Jimmy Butler Rejects Timberwolves’ 4-Year, $110M Contract Extension Offer

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Amid reports of his frustration with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jimmy Butler has rejected a long-term deal with the team.

According to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said Butler turned down a four-year extension in the $110 million range.cheap youth nfl jerseys

Wolfson added that Butler appreciated the offer but knew it made more sense financially to wait until next summer when he can cash in even more—barring serious injury.

This comes less than two weeks after Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported Butler has no intentions of signing an extension with the organization because he “has been frustrated with the nonchalant attitudes of younger teammates—specifically Karl-Anthony Towns.”

On Thursday, Cycle’s Thomas Duffy pointed out that the Minnesota guard liked an Instagram comment that suggested he and Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving team up with the New York Knicks next summer.youth nfl jerseys cheap

Butler is under contract for $18.7 million next season and holds a $19.8 million player option for the 2019-20 season, per Spotrac. When asked about his star’s reported unhappiness, Minnesota head coach Tom Thibodeau sidestepped the question.youth nfl jerseys

“We know how important Jimmy is to the team,” Thibodeau said Monday, per Nick Friedell. “But we don’t talk about contract negotiations or anything like that, so just get ready for the season.”

Butler had another solid performance in his first year in Minnesota, averaging 22.2 points on career-high 47.4 percent shooting while adding 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. His strong play earned him a fourth consecutive All-Star nod.nfl youth jerseys

Teaming Butler with former No. 1 overall picks Towns and Andrew Wiggins figured to make the Timberwolves a force in the Western Conference. However, the T-Wolves had to fight to the wire to make the playoffs as the No. 8 seed, and the Houston Rockets eliminated them in the first round.nfl youth jerseys cheap

Now, Minnesota will have to determine how it will handle Butler as he enters his walk year. The team can hope that he turned down this offer strictly for financial purposes and try to re-sign him next summer, or it can explore his trade market over the next few months so it doesn’t risk losing him for nothing in free agency.

NBA Free-Agency Roundup: Isaiah Thomas Signing Comes with No Risk, High Reward

Feel free to stop and take a breath, especially now that another domino has fallen.

As reported by Adrian Wojnarowski, Isaiah Thomas has agreed to a one-year minimum contract with the Denver Nuggets, for whom he’ll attempt to rebound from his disappointing 2017-18 campaign before hitting 2019’s free-agency period in better standing. The diminutive point guard couldn’t get anything going with either the Cleveland Cavaliers or Los Angeles Lakers after the surprise trade centered around Kyrie Irving moved him outside his established comfort zone with the Boston Celtics, but he’s now landing in a situation that represents the perfect balance of risk and reward.

Though the early portion of the 2018 NBA offseason featured fast-and-furious action as LeBron James donned a Los Angeles Lakers uniform, DeMarcus Cousins joined the Golden State Warriors and so many other big-name players decided on their immediate futures, the rumor mill had slowed down considerably prior to the Thomas news. But that’s largely due to a lack of money, not a talent void on what remains of the open market. nfl cheap jerseys

So journey with us as we first break down the Thomas signing, then, based on some combination of informed speculation, external reports and that good-old gut feeling, help tell you where the top five remaining free agents will end up when the dust firmly settles.

Every quality signing blends together risk and reward in sterling fashion, and this one is no different.

If Thomas is unable to rekindle the magic that made him one of the league’s most devastating offensive threats in 2016-17, the Nuggets can cut ties with him for only a minimal cost, instead turning to up-and-comers such as nfl jerseys cheap china Monte Morris while attempting to plug the gap behind Jamal Murray on the projected depth chart. Thomas, meanwhile, would just be back where he started—searching for a long-term home and attempting to prove his hip injury isn’t going to wreck what was once such a promising career. nfl jersey

But what if it does work? nfl jerseys

The Nuggets have prided themselves on their offensive prowess for a few years running, to the point that head coach Mike Malone has entirely switched philosophies. Though he entered Colorado as a signal-caller who focused first and foremost on defense, he’s now embraced the high-scoring habits and attempted to maximize the team’s production around the promising young core comprised of Murray, Will Barton, Gary Harris and Nikola Jokic. cheap nfl jerseys china

Thomas only adds to that identity.

In peak form, he can settle in as a high-scoring sixth man functioning as a change of pace whenever he enters the proceedings. That he has chemistry with Malone from their mutual time with the Sacramento Kings only adds to the upside, since it should presumably authentic nfl jerseys  take him less time to build a synergistic relationship with both the coaching staff and his new teammates. His potential in the Mile High City may still be capped by his role—he’s not displacing the Murray/Harris backcourt anytime soon—but small-ball lineups do allow for even more opportunities.

The Rockets’ Backup Plans Are Good

The Rockets got themselves one of the best three-and-D options left on the market in James Ennis, who agreed to a two-year deal with the team Wednesday.

This doesn’t force a re-evaluation of how much they’ll miss Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. Their departures are still borderline catastrophic for a Rockets team that built its defensive identity on switchable wings. But perhaps we can ease off Houston for its decision not to overpay role-fillers, even when those roles seemed so important.wholesale nfl jerseys

There’s a parallel here to the Rockets’ unwillingness to match the poison-pill offer sheet Chandler Parsons signed with the Dallas Mavericks in 2014. Parsons wasn’t a star, and Houston refused to pay him like one, even if it meant losing him for nothing.

The Rockets replaced Parsons with Ariza then,nfl jerseys wholesale  and it seems as though they’re doing something similar now by slotting Ennis into a key role.

Ennis projects as a starter, and he’s a decent facsimile of the guys Houston let go. A career 35.9 percent shooter from deep, Ennis can guard several positions and gets most of his offense on the catch. B/R’s Dan Favale noted that his standstill game will play well in Houston’s attack, as Ennis took over 63 percent of his shots without a dribble last season.nfl jerseys china

“Obviously, losing Trevor and losing Luc, it’s going to hurt,” head coach Mike D’Antoni told ESPN.com’s Tim McMahon. “You don’t replace that, but we’ll figure it out. … There’s different ways to go. We’re going to be good. Like Chris is saying, we’re going to run it back at Golden State. We’ll see. We’ll be ready.”nfl wholesale jerseys

It’s likely wrong to say this is how the Rockets wanted free agency to play out all along, but it’s still fair to trust general manager Daryl Morey and his contingency plans. They’ve worked out well in the past.

NBA Free Agency Roundup: Rockets Facing $100 Million Question with Clint Capela

The Houston Rockets are tightening their purse strings in the second week of NBA free agency, which is producing mixed results.

On the one hand, they added James Ennis on a two-year deal, according to Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, patiently waiting out the market and landing a three-and-D wing to offset the losses of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. On the other, they’re playing a dangerous game with restricted free agent Clint Capela, who remains unsigned and may be inching closer to signing his qualifying offer as the parties remain far apart on contract terms.authentic nfl jerseys cheap

Spending big isn’t an issue for the Mi nfl jerseys for cheap nnesota Timberwolves, who might soon lock up their franchise cornerstone in Karl-Anthony Towns—a year after foolishly dumping heaps of cash on Andrew Wiggins.

Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin are linked again for the first time since Linsanity, and Isaiah Thomas still needs a home.

Never a dull moment.

It should come as no surprise that the Houston Rockets, a team committed to the cold math of basketball, are making a percentage play with Clint Capela.cheap nfl jerseys

The 24-year-old restricted free agent remains unsigned, and according to ESPN.com’s Tim McMahon, Capela and the Rockets have been as much as $40 million apart in their negotiations. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle relayed one rejected offer, noting Capela turned down a five-year, $85 million deal.nfl jersey cheap

If we invoke comparisons, Capela is right to hold out for at least $100 million. Steven Adams, then 23, inked a four-year, $100 million extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder just before the 2016-17 season started. He got that money after putting up 8.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Andre Drummond signed his own five-year, $127 million contract just a month before his 23rd birthday in 2016.

The way NBA basketball is played today, Capela is likely more valuable than both Adams and Drummond.

At 24, Capela is coming off a season in which he averaged 13.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while leading the league in field-goal percentage. His defensive versatility—you won’t find many bigs better equipped to defend guards on switches and protect the rim—made him an integral component to Houston’s sixth-ranked defense. When factoring in how Capela fits into (and perhaps enables) Houston’s scheme, he’s worth even more to the Rockets than he would be to the rest of the market.

But the market is the problem.cheap nfl jersey

Few teams have the available cap space to make Capela a significant offer, and because the Rockets have matching rights on any deal he signs, they have no urgency to fork over a hefty contract preemptively.

This is rotten timing for Capela, and Houston is exploiting it.

Rushing Yards: Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a new offensive coordinator in Randy Fichtner, but the switch from Todd Haley to the former quarterbacks and wide receivers coach bodes well for Le’Veon Bell.

Fichtner isn’t a stranger to maximizing NFL talent at running back. As an offensive coordinator at Memphis, the program ranked 32nd, 18th and fifth in rushing yards per game between the 2003 and ’05 seasons—the final three years of DeAngelo Williams’ collegiate career.nfl authentic jerseys china

Former Memphis assistant coach Pete Roussel praised Fichtner for speeding up Memphis’ offensive tempo at the collegiate level, per ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler. “As a play-caller, Randy never got credit for this publicly, but he was one of the pioneers of tempo and the one-word play calls.”

Under Fichtner, the Steelers offense could run more efficiently and at a faster pace, which would create more opportunities for Bell, who has eclipsed 1,200 rushing yards in three of the last four seasons. At this point, Bell doesn’t have a long-term deal in place, and he’s set to play under the cheap personalized nfl jerseys  franchise tag for consecutive seasons. Look for him to show his best through a contract year.

The Dallas Cowboys parted ways with wideout Dez Bryant, and tight end Jason Witten retired and took a job in the Monday Night Football booth. Both pass-catchers served as big-bodied targets in the red zone in recent seasons. They combined for 11 of the team’s 22 receiving touchdowns last year.nfl jerseys official

Nonetheless, the Cowboys offensive line, which featured three Pro Bowlers in 2017, should help maintain a strong ground attack.

All eyes will follow quarterback Dak Prescott’s progression, but running back Ezekiel Elliott clearly projects as the focal point of an offense that now includes receivers Tavon Austin, Allen Hurns, Deonte Thompson, Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson.nfl best jerseys

Expect Elliott to get the majority of the touches at the end of drives. He’s logged 22 scores on the ground in 25 contests. The third-year ball-carrier should lead the category as a reliable option running behind a strong front five.buy nfl jerseys online

Elliott’s Projected Total: 14 rushing touchdowns

Runner-Up: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears

Eric Reid: Seattle Seahawks

Any team that signs Eric Reid will be entering into a complicated situation.

Reid was one of the most active players in the protest movement last year, and he filed a collusion grievance against the NFL in May. However, he’s also a versatile and talented 26-year-old safety who already has a Pro Bowl nod on his NFL resume.

His talent should be far more important to the Seahawks than his activism. Because right now, Seattle needs all the help it can get at safety.

Kam Chancellor recently announced his retirement. nfl wholesale jerseys Earl Thomas is in the midst of a holdout and has been the subject of trade rumors.

That leaves the Seahawks trying to keep their championship window pried open with veteran journeyman Bradley McDougald—and that’s about it.

Between the Seahawks’ need at safety and the progressiveness of the Pacific Northwest, the fit between Reid and Seattle makes almost too much sense. It’s also an opportunity for the Seahawks to pay back the 49ers for snagging Richard Sherman after they released him.

Turnabout is fair play. nfl jerseys from china

ociated Press

The New Orleans Saints would be a logical landing spot for DeMarco Murray, as Mark Ingram will serve out a four-game suspension to start the year. However, Murray declined to work out for them in mid-June, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, as “he preferred not to work out with a large group” of running backs.

That doesn’t mean Murray won’t land in the division, though.official nfl jerseys cheap

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off a miserable 2017 season. Jameis Winston’s season-opening three-game suspension threatens to carry that misery over to this year, especially in a division where every other team made the playoffs in 2017.

A Tampa team with no margin for error now needs a ground game to rely on in September. And with all due respect to rookie Ronald Jones and holdovers Peyton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims, there’s next to no evidence the Buccaneers have one. After all, nfl authentic jerseys they managed only 90.6 yards a game in 2017, which ranked 27th in the NFL.

The Buccaneers can offer Murray a real audition. If he averages 4.5 yards per carry and starts piling up 100-yard games, they won’t be in any rush to push Jones out there. In turn, Murray would provide a measure of experience, stability and depth in the backfield.nfl authentic jerseys cheap

Desperate times call for desperate measures.nfl jersey wholesale

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls

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Wojnarowski reported Zach LaVine is the proud owner of a four-year, $78 million contract. The Sacramento Kings first made the offer, but the Chicago Bulls stepped in and matched it.

It is the one contract of the summer that is emphatically horrible.nike nfl jerseys for sale

The Kings tried to Kangz, but the Bulls front office said, “Hold my Chicago-brewed beer.”

Nick Friedell of ESPN.com pointed to the possible motivation, tweeting: “The Butler deal is a sunk cost. It’s over. Matching the LaVine offer sheet just because you don’t want to lose an asset from a past trade isn’t good business if the price is too high.”nfl cheap jerseys china

Friedell was referring to the fact LaVine was one of the three assets the Bulls got in return for four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton last summer—a trade for which John Paxson and Gar Forman were criticized. Ironically, the other two parts of that trade, cheap official nfl jerseys Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen, have acquitted themselves well and made the swap look better.

Now, though, almost as if to prove they were right, the Bulls gave LaVine almost $20 million per year. Even if LaVine evolves into the playmaker and scorer they hope he can be (he averaged 18.9 points per game on 57.6 percent true shooting in 2016-17 before he tore his ACL), he still has major issues on the other end. His DRPM ranked 490th.

That isn’t just a statistic, either. The eye test backs it up. His inability to stay in front of ball-handlers is rivaled only by his failure to pay attention when he’s not the point of attack. Remember, these are problems even Tom Thibodeau couldn’t fix while LaVine was with the Minnesota Timberwolves.cheap nfl jerseys cheap shipping

LaVine can make incredible plays on offense, but it’s doubtful he’ll live up to this contract.