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.

Do we have a winner of the Winston-Mariota debate?

The Buccaneers have never given a quarterback they drafted a second contract.

Winston could break that streak, but remember something as we discuss his future: He was picked first overall, and the Titans took Marcus Mariota second. There was intense debate before that draft about which player was better, and that argument continues to this day.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Since the NFL draft began in 1967, quarterbacks have been drafted first and second overall only seven times:

In 1971, it was Jim Plunkett and Archie Manning.

In 1993, it was Drew Bledsoe and Rick Mirer.

In 1998, it was Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf.nfl nike jersey cheap

In 1999, it was Tim Couch and Donovan McNabb.

In 2012, it was Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.

In 2015, it was Winston and Mariota.

In 2016, it was Jared Goff and Carson Wentz.cheap nike nfl jersey

One of the quarterbacks often ended up being pretty good, while the other…not so much. (Goff and Wentz might break this trend.)

We may already have a winner of the Winston-Mariota debate. We’re closing in on one, at least.

Winston is coming off the better year statistically, but he also went 3-10 and is now potentially out for the beginning of the season. His future could go either way. Mariota, meanwhile, is coming off a 9-6 season, has the better career record and passer rating and has been drama-free. cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Steve Young on Terrell Owens Skipping HOF Ceremony: ‘I Beg Him to Reconsider’

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young urged former Niners teammate Terrell Owens to reconsider his decision to skip the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony in August.

On Thursday, Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group provided comments Young, who was inducted in 2005, made on ESPN about Owens potentially burning bridges with the Hall of Fame and its members.authentic nfl jerseys cheap

“The damage to the relationship could be permanent. You don’t want that,” he said. “So I beg him to reconsider because the longevity of all the people that want to respect him and that he should respect as well. Forget about, ‘I’m mad at the voters, I’m mad at the system.’ The damage that could be done by not going could overwhelm him over a period of time.”

Owens released a statement Thursday confirming his intention to skip the proceedings and said he’ll announce his plans for a celebration of his career at a later date.nfl jerseys for cheap

“While I am incredibly appreciative of this opportunity, I have made the decision to publicly decline my invitation to attend the induction ceremony in Canton,”cheap nfl jerseys  he said. “… After visiting Canton earlier this year, I came to the realization that I wish to celebrate what will be one of the most memorable days of my life, elsewhere.”nfl jersey cheap

The 44-year-old former standout wide receiver had previously voiced his displeasure about the voting process that led him to fall short of induction in his first two tries.

Hall of Fame president David Baker also released a statement after Owens’ decision became public.

“We are disappointed [but] will respect Terrell’s decision not to participate in the Enshrinement,” he said. “While unprecedented, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the nearly 5,000 volunteers and the entire community are committed to celebrating the excellence of the Class of 2018 that will kick off the NFL’s 99th season.”cheap nfl jersey

Antics aside, Owens is one of the greatest receivers in NFL history.

He ranks second all-time in receiving yards (15,934), third in touchdown catches (153) and eighth in receptions (1,078). He earned six Pro Bowl selections and was named First Team All-Pro five times.

There Are No Losers in the Capitals’ Stanley Cup Victory over the Golden Knights

hi-res-e1188c08dcb79bfee9ef1819af2568f7_crop_north

For so many years, the Washington Capitals seemed to hold the winning hand. So many years, they had dominant teams, Presidents’ Trophy teams, teams holding a 20 at the blackjack table, only to see the house win at the last second.nfl jerseys authentic

It all changed in Las Vegas on Thursday night against the franchise playing with the ultimate house money. The Capitals—the Capitals—who still hold the dubious distinction of having one of the worst squads in pro sports history, in their expansion season, are the Stanley Cup champions after defeating the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in Game 5. The Caps beat an expansion team in the Cup Final in its inaugural season.nfl jerseys cheap collection

You can’t make this stuff up.cheap womens nfl jerseys

Forty-four years after entering the NHL and compiling an 8-67-5 record in that 1974-75 season, the Caps are champions of the world. The Vegas fans? Well, there’s always next year and plenty more to come after that.

Vegas couldn’t lose, no matter what happened in this series. It remains one of pro sports’ most unbelievable stories, starting the year with 500-1 odds from the Las Vegas Superbook to win the title. It was preposterous enough for an expansion team to make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. It was another thing entirely that a team from Las Vegas did it. The most far-fetched fantasy show on The Strip couldn’t compete with that.official nfl jersey

The city of Las Vegas is still considering throwing a parade for its Golden Knights. And, it should. They might not get the Hollywood movie made about them now, but they’re still big winners and were an inspiration to the community after tragedy struck the city early in the season.nfl womens jerseys cheap

The biggest winners, of course, are those hardcore Capitals fans who stayed with them all the way through that first year. And, there are plenty of them.

The Caps enjoyed periods of success in the ’80s and ’90s, even making it to their only previous Stanley Cup Final in 1998, only to be swept by the Detroit Red Wings. Then, after a few mediocre seasons, they got Alexander Ovechkin with the first pick of the 2004 NHL draft, and by 2008-09, the Caps were a 50-win team.

Boston Celtics: Ersan Ilyasova

hi-res-5efc42cd57adb3402e0758e0ef8aa58c_crop_exact

Adding bodies to the Boston Celtics’ depth chart could end up being a no-no.

Eight of their players are under cheap nfl authentic jerseys guaranteed contract for next season. They’ll jump to 11 if, as expected, they hold on to deals for Semi Ojeleye, Abdel Nader and Daniel Theis. From there, they have key free agents in Aron Baynes, Shane Larkin, Greg Monroe and Marcus Smart (restricted). They may need to select a draft-and-stash prospect at No. 27 to make room for everyone.cheap authentic nfl jerseys

Boston should find itself with at least one roster spot to go around. Larkin and Monroe are expendable with Kyrie Irving and Theis in the rotation, while Baynes or Smart could price himself out of town.

Isolating a target for the Celtics is difficult no matter what assumptions are made about their personnel. They’ll be up against the luxury tax unless they let Smart walk. Even if he signs his $6.1 million qualifying offer, they’d need to cut Baynes loose to wield the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception ($8.6 million). Otherwise, the mini MLE ($5.3 million) is their friend.

Ersan Ilyasova should fall within Boston’s cheap nfl jerseys from china  range so long as it’s willing to shell out more than minimum contracts. Thirty-one-year-olds aren’t prime ring-chasing candidates, but he’ll be hard-pressed to get more than $5.3 million annually in a cap-starved market.nfl jerseys cheap china

Signing him gives the Celtics a nice go-between in the frontcourt. He shoots threes (36.6 percent for his career), draws charges and can play the 4 or 5. He’ll be especially useful if Boston punts on traditional bigs altogether and shows Baynes the door.nfl jerseys

Ilyasova isn’t a brute force, but he props up floor balance without sacrificing too much size. He’s also a sneaky-hard worker on the glass when manning the middle. The Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers rated in the 77th percentile of the offensive boards during the time he spent at center this past season.

Aaron Rodgers Reportedly Wants Player Options in New Packers Contract

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is reportedly seeking additional control in order to sign a long-term extension.

On Thursday, Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reported Rodgers is pushing for contract options that would give him an opportunity to renegotiate if QB salaries continue to skyrocket:

Every extension signed by a prominent quarterback sets the standard for the next high-profile deal.nfl jerseys women

For example, the five-year, $110 million contract signed by Rodgers in 2013 no longer appears so massive compared to the five-year, $150 million deal inked by the Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan in early May. Rodgers received $54 million guaranteed, Ryan got $94.5 million guaranteed.

The problem for the 34-year-old former Brett Favre protege is limited leverage. Not only is he under contract for two more years under the terms of the previous agreement, Green Bay could also use the franchise tag after that deal runs out,official nfl nike jerseys  if necessary.

So it could be difficult for Rodgers to set the new high watermark for quarterback contracts while also receiving unprecedented control to opt out in the future and get even more guaranteed cash.

Both sides have expressed optimism about coming to terms, though.the authentic nfl jerseys

“Obviously, we’d like to lock something in at some point,” Rodgers told reporters in April. “The team has made that public knowledge, they’d love to do that. I’ve said many times I’d love to finish my career here. There’s more than mutual interest on both sides.”where to get nfl jerseys

“Both sides are working towards it and we’re confident we’ll come to an agreement soon,” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said on PFT Live in May.nfl jerseys china nike

Jamal Lewis Making Most of Post-NFL Life—but Preparing for Darker Days to Come

9e22dab7edc3b3e352370f7a7d0df8f7_crop_north

BUCKHEAD, Ga. — The emptiness is inevitable, inescapable and, sometimes, fatal. Once pro football is through with you, count on it spitting you back out into society a concussed and confused man, searching for purpose.discount nfl jerseys

Jamal Lewis remembers the feeling well.

Leaning against the back wall at the top of the bleachers, he takes in his 14-year-old son’s AAU basketball practice, while his eight-year-old son (Jazz) and nine-year-old daughter (Ivana) wander off. Both sneak…and sneak…and sneak…down to the court, googly-eyeing Dad with an up-to-no-good smirk. Initially, Lewis shouts for them to stay put, but even he cannot help but laugh as the two inch along the baseline like night crawlers.nfl discount jerseys

Then, with all kids out of earshot, Lewis’ words knife through the sound of squeaking sneakers synchronizing with bouncing basketballs. When the NFL ejected him—when one final undiagnosed concussion sent Lewis spiraling into the abyss—he considered killing himself.

“You think about death,” the former Ravens star says. “I’ve thought about suicide. I’ve thought about ending it all.”

He felt his self-worth disappear because, he says, the “cheerleaders” in his life—the 70,000 screaming fans each Sunday—disappeared. His trucking company collapsed. He filed for bankruptcy. His assets were seized. He felt a distance between himself and his family. He felt lost in the emptiness and couldn’t tell a soul about these demons. Didn’t know how to, really. Where he’s from, Atlanta’s hardscrabble Adamsville nfl jerseys discount neighborhood, expressing feelings was a sign of weakness.

“You just kept it to yourself,” he says, “and you dealt with it. You let it out on the field.”

Without that outlet—without a linebacker to smash into—suicidal thoughts creeped into his mind and spread like a virus.

One by one, he saw three of his former offensive linemen die from health-related issues. Orlando Bobo to heart and liver failure. Orlando Brown to diabetic ketoacidosis. Damion Cook to a massive heart attack. Suicide seemed like a better way to go.discount nfl jersey

“You just have those thoughts about should you end it?” Lewis says. “I can only imagine with sleep apnea and heart attacks and heart disease. Who wants to go out like that? Especially when you have people upset with you—your wife upset with you, pissed off, discount nfl jerseys china you have to file bankruptcy, made bad decisions…”

The Best-Kept Secret on Every NFL Roster

50d4383bb5b56b3bd80a55eb5e47ddd3_crop_exact

Superstars get most of the love, but NFL teams are stitched together by above-average players who may never get their due. This article is an active salute to every franchise’s unheralded anchor.

For some teams, that may be a young player who’s slowly working up the depth chart. For others, it could be a veteran role player. Either way, these athletes help their teams on Sundays and influence offseason decisions, even if they aren’t Aaron Rodgers or Odell Beckham Jr.

They’re the offensive linemen or defensive tackles who aren’t mentioned much by color commentators, the skill players who aren’t picked up in fantasy football leagues and the late-round picks who bloom into starters.cheap nfl authentic jerseys

In his first two seasons in the NFL, undrafted free agent Olsen Pierre was unable to get on the field. Last season, Pierre finished with 11.5 tackles at or behind the line. That number ranked behind only Chandler Jones (29) and Corey Peters (12) for Arizona in 2017.

Under defensive coordinator James Bettcher, the Cardinals had not had a full-time 3-technique role for any defensive tackle for several years. This is one reason why Pierre played just 33 percent of Arizona’s defensive snaps, despite his production.cheap authentic nfl jerseys

New Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks, formerly the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator, will bring a 4-3 defense and a full-time penetrating defensive line role to the desert. That can only mean good things for Pierre, who is one of the brightest young players at the position.

Dan Quinn’s last season as a college defensive coordinator was 2012 with the Florida Gators. That happened to be cornerback Brian Poole’s true freshman season at Florida. When Poole went undrafted in 2016, his former defensive coordinator picked him cheap nfl jerseys from china up as a potential slot cornerback.

Since that signing, the 5’9″ defensive back has played 1,465 defensive snaps for the Atlanta Falcons. Poole’s story is a perfect example of scouting and projection into highly specific roles.

Quinn essentially found a full-time starter in college free agency. nfl cheap jerseys Only six Falcons (Robert Alford, Ricardo Allen, Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, De’Vondre Campbell and Desmond Trufant) have played more defensive snaps over the last two years than Poole.

On the Brink of Elimination, LeBron James Must Be Perfect for Cavs to Survive

hi-res-4fb2a79ab7c2d687859cc31d2838598c_crop_north

LeBron James has shouldered an unreasonably heavy burden for his Cleveland Cavaliers throughout the 2018 NBA playoffs, so what now lies ahead is nothing new.

He must be perfect. Twice in a row. authentic nfl jerseys cheap Against a Boston Celtics team that can taste its ahead-of-schedule trip to the NBA Finals.

Boston’s 96-83 win Wednesday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals puts James and the Cavs on the brink of elimination and all that’ll come with it: speculation about the franchise’s future, James’ plans for the final phase of his career and the fate of relevant basketball in Cleveland as we know it.nfl jerseys for cheap

Anything less than James’ best, and the Cavs are finished.

James wasn’t perfect Wednesday, but he was plenty good, certainly better than his teammates. Even if that isn’t saying much.

He put up 26 points on 11-of-22 shooting, 10 rebounds and five assists. His six turnovers hurt, but many of those were the result of Boston’s disruptive length and shrewd double-teams, which shuttered passing windows as soon as they opened. Considering how no other Cavalier had more than six made field goals or two assists, you can excuse James’ mistakes in light of the load he carried.

It was enough to wear anyone down.cheap nfl jerseys

George Hill and JR Smith combined for two made buckets and respective on-court plus-minus figures of minus-21 and minus-19. Head coach Tyronn Lue held Kyle Korver out for the entire first and third quarters, instead riding Smith on the theory that…well…it’s hard to say.

The Celtics have targeted Korver on defense, but the Cavs scored a pitiful 83 points in Game 5. Cleveland needed his gravity and shooting. Lue’s explanation for holding out one of his best offensive weapons was charitably curious:nfl jersey cheap

The contrast in star dynamics between Cleveland and Boston could hardly be more pronounced.

Jayson Tatum led the Celts with 24 points, but he didn’t have to play at a world-beating level for his team to win. Boston had four other scorers in double figures, great defensive effort from all parties involved and brushed off a 3-of-15 dud from Terry Rozier in the easy victory.cheap nfl jersey  These banged-up Celtics don’t have a transcendent star, but that means they don’t have to rely on one for survival. They can win in more than one way.

Helped: Kevin Huerter (Maryland, SF, Sophomore)

hi-res-050f404914b9f97ddede9974f8fdd53b_crop_exact

CHICAGO — Scouts and executives from all 30 teams were present for the 2018 NBA Draft Combine to interview and watch eligible prospects perform drills, athletic testing, measurements and scrimmaging. authentic nfl jerseys cheap

And every year, we see players help or hurt their stock.

Kyle Kuzma was 2017’s big winner after dominating five-on-five play.

Some of this year’s winners are prospects without agents who are testing the waters, trying to make enough of an impression to secure first-round interest. And after the week, it seems like a few will steal spots in the teens or 20s, which could shake up our post-lottery mock draft.

Post-combine projection: No. 15-30 cheap nfl jerseys

After a 31-point performance (that likely influenced his decision to test the waters) in the national title game, Donte DiVincenzo kept it going in Chicago.

With everyone in the gym locked in on the first few minutes of Thursday’s opening scrimmage, DiVincenzo knocked down a pair of catch-and-shoot three-pointers, both contested, a reflection of both his shot-making skills and confidence. nfl jerseys for cheap

He continued to make an impression with his energy and athleticism by pushing the pace, creating turnovers and rising above bigs in traffic to grab rebounds.

Exiting the combine with the highest standing leap (34.5″), tied for the top max vertical (42.0″) and the fifth-fastest lane agility time (10.72), DiVincenzo was an obvious winner.

Thursday afternoon, he hinted at wanting to be a first-round pick to keep his name in the draft. We had already had him No. 25 on lottery night.

Post-combine projection: 2018 fringe first round, 2019 top 20 cheap nfl jersey

Viewed as a shooting specialist out of Maryland, Kevin Huerter backed up his reputation, but also flashed versatility that suggests he’s more than just a spot-up marksman.

He showcased his convincing 41.7 percent three-point stroke, though it was the other skills that popped—particularly during scrimmages.

Huerter, who averaged 3.4 assists as a sophomore, demonstrated both high-IQ passing and the ability to attack closeouts and make plays. “Knows how to play” will be a cliche written on scouting reports.

The eye test may show a skinny, below-the-rim forward, but he measured 6’7 ½” and managed to record the third-fasted shuttle at the combine. And he got up for a respectable 38-inch max vertical. cheap nfl authentic jerseys

It could still make sense for Huerter to return as a junior, when he’d have a better shot to crack the lottery. Either way, he capitalized on his invite to the combine and should now be on every team’s radar, whether it’s for this draft or next.