NBA free agency 2017: Paul Millsap could join the Timberwolves and create the next Western Conference powerhouse

After shaking up their roster to make a push for the playoffs, the Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t finished yet.

The Timberwolves are scheduled to meet with free agent forward Paul Millsap on Saturday, according to Basketball Insiders’ Michael Scotto. Signing the All-Star power forward could round out a significantly upgraded Minnesota starting five.

The Wolves have been the most active team since the NBA Draft. They traded Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the pick that became Lauri Markkanen to the Bulls for Jimmy Butler and the No. 16 pick, Justin Patton. They then traded Ricky Rubio to the Jazz in a cap dump for a protected first-round pick before signing point guard Jeff Teague to a three-year, $57 million deal.

Horford was a free agent, and Teague, Korver, and Millsap were each one year away. Kent Bazemore, Carroll’s in-house budget replacement, was set to hit the market, too. In one of the weirdest offseasons in memory, Wilcox and Budenholzer decided to trade Teague (the youngest member of that 60-win core) to make way for Dennis Schroder. They lowballed Horford in free agency, paid big for Bazemore, and inexplicably signed Dwight Howard to pair with Millsap.

Horford joined the Celtics, who were in a similar spot in the Eastern hierarchy as the Hawks at the time, but on a much different arc. Bazemore and Schroder were disappointments after their paydays. Howard was as good as could be expected, but still ended up getting flipped for Marco Belinelli and the Plumlee brother on a horrible contract. Korver was traded midseason for that Cavs pick. In the process, Wilcox was Cheap Jerseys Online Free Shipping booted out and Travis Schlenk, long of the Warriors, has Cheap Jerseys Soccer China taken over the front office.

All the best moments from recent ‘Game of Thrones’ theme nights around baseball

This week, a handful of MLB teams celebrated the start of the new season of Game of Thrones with themed nights at the ballpark. Of course this isn’t the first time professional teams, even outside of baseball, have used the show as a fun tie-in to market their team and it certainly won’t be the last.

A few teams had Thrones nights earlier this year and a few are set to celebrate the show during the dog days of August in the middle of its 7th season. But the teams this week that got to time their nights perfectly to the much-anticipated premiere were the Giants, Red Sox, Marlins, White Sox, and Royals.

Since Game of Thrones is consuming our lives for only two more seasons before it goes away forever, here are some of the best moments that occurred over the past few days.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy got comfortable on his own “Iron” Throne and Hunter Pence showed off his posing skills.

The National League participants, as announced by MLB on Monday night: Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon, LA’s Cody Bellinger, and Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton and Bour.

It’s hard to argue with the first three names on the list. Bellinger is a breakout star this year, and the NL’s answer to Aaron Judge. Blackmon is a darkhorse MVP candidate, leading baseball with 198 total bases thanks to 18 home runs, 17 doubles and 10 triples. Stanton should be invited to compete Wholesale Jerseys NFL in every Home Run Derby for the rest of time because it’s fun to watch him kill baseballs.

The Rangers made Colon work for it, but not like they could have. Colon could go out Raiders Cheap Jerseys next time and give up four runs in one inning.

Jose Ramirez helps Indians maintain winning streak with latest hit barrage

Jose Ramirez is putting up eye-popping numbers this season.

That trend continued Friday, when the breakout star led the Indians to a 9-3 win against the White Sox. Ramirez collected four hits with four runs scored, a home run (18) and three RBIs (55).

Ramirez’s latest hit barrage bumped his average to a cool .322 this season, while helping the Indians win their eighth-straight game.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi could have taken Gray out when Gomes came up, as he had Chad Green warming up in the bullpen. But again, Gray had fought out of trouble all night long; this was just the one time he didn’t.

Gray is a bulldog who doesn’t let a walk or an error get him down. He could have packed it in after giving up two unearned runs on three first inning errors, but he didn’t. Instead he gave the Yankees a chance to win and kept them in the game when their lineup wasn’t at its best and with Aaron Judge on the bench.

Gray was not perfect Thursday, but apart from one pitch, his start boosted the Yankees’ hope of winning a pennant. He put the Yankees in striking distance, gave them a quality six innings, fought out of trouble and put the bullpen in a position to hold a lead. Had it not been for one US Cheap Jerseys hanging curveball, the narrative would have been different in this one.

As it stands, Gray’s Yankees debut was a good one even Wholesale Jerseys China if he’d like that one pitch back.

Tippett was the second-longest tenured coach in the NHL and one of its most respected minds.

Hired in 2009, His ouster came three days after the Coyotes said they would not extend a contract offer to fan favorite and captain Shane Doan, who had been with the franchise since it arrived in Arizona in 1997.

The controversial decisions to part with Tippett and Doan are among the first made under Andrew Barroway, who became the Coyotes’ sole owner June 12.

In Tippett’s case, Barroway cited “philosophical differences” as a reason for change on the bench.

“On behalf of the entire Coyotes organization, I would like to sincerely thank Tip for all of his hard work and the many contributions he made to our organization,” Barroway said in a statement late Thursday, the eve of the NHL Draft. “Tip is a man of high character and we are very grateful for his leadership during his tenure as our head coach.

Although the Penguins lead the playoffs in goals scored, they won the Ottawa series with forward Patrick Hornqvist (21 goals, 44 points in regular season) missing all but one game and defenseman Justin Schultz (10 playoff points and 51 in the regular season) missing four games. Schultz returned against Cheap Bike Jerseys Ottawa but returned to play with some discomfort in Game 7. Defenseman Chad Ruhwedel also has been Cheap Basketball Jerseys UK unavailable, and forward Bryan Rust was out for two of the Ottawa games.

Hornqvist is an important force in the Pittsburgh attack and power play, and his absence has affected the ability to generate offense. Same for Shultz, who has been the best puck-carrier on the Cheap College Jerseys team in star Kris Letang’s absence.

Whether the weekend is enough time to sort out any of that may be less important than avoiding aggravation to current injuries — or any new ones — in the seven (or fewer) games that remain.

Timberwolves rookie literally dribbled around Portland’s Shabazz Napier before dishing an assist

Luol Deng was supposed to be the wily, productive veteran on a young Lakers roster. But Sunday night he was nothing more than dead weight. In 30 minutes, Deng shot 1 of 6 from the floor and finished with two points in a 123-114 loss to the Raptors.

Timberwolves rookie literally dribbled around Portland’s Shabazz Napier before dishing an assist. However, the Trail Blazers won the game behind C.J. McCollum’s 43 points.

On one bench we have Russell Westbrook, the triple-double, highlight machine. And on the other there’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, the 6-11 “Greek Freak” capable of scoring 40 points and blocking 10 shots on the same night. Both teams are coming off losses, so expect these two young stars to put on a show and give NBA fans a glimpse of showdowns to come for the next decade.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here. It’s been a learning experience, it’s been challenging and it’s been cool all in the same,” Wade said. “I feel — for my career, for me — I needed this. I needed to see what the other side was like, too. … But I’m definitely very open and honest that Jimmy is one of the reasons I’m here from a basketball standpoint and, as we sit here right now, he’s here, I’m here, we’re happy. You don’t know what’s to go from there.”

Added Wade: “You kind of sit back and — being 35 — you kind of evaluate your years. What do you want to do? How many more years you thinking about playing? What’s the best thing to do? Is it to sign a contract, or is it to opt out and try to get a longer [deal]?”

The Bulls would be better off trading Rajon Rondo and Robin Lopez but are going to have Nike NFL Jerseys Supply a hard time doing so. Butler is turning into one of the league’s best but if the Bulls want a team Raiders Cheap Jerseys for the future it may be best to sell high.

I’ve picked up a few terms here and there

The notion that foreign born players can, and should, easily pick up the language of the country they’re playing in has become somewhat prevalent with fans and those around MLB. Proponents of the idea claim that it’s not that difficult to learn a second language while simultaneously spending six to eight hours a day at the ballpark, and that if a big-league club has the resources to provide a player with an interpreter, they should have the resources to provide the player with an English teacher. Whether it’s a majority opinion or not, that pressure to learn English is being felt by international players across MLB.

Asked whether he has felt any pressure from the fans in South Korea to learn the language, Dean said that he had not, though, he said that he has made a point to try to learn as much of the language as possible.

“I learned the alphabet, so I’m able to read Hangul, which is helpful, and I’ve picked up a few terms here and there. It’s definitely not easy, though,” he said.

He also recalled how, whether he is with his Korean-born teammates or interacting with fans, anytime he has used “one of the few Korean phrases [he] knows” correctly, everyone around him lights up, appreciative of the effort he made to learn their language.

While he acknowledges the difficulties he encounters daily, Dean knows it could be worse and considers himself lucky to be playing a game for a living, albeit far from home. He also notes that his pitching coach with the Tigers spent a little time in America and knows a few English Good Quality Cheap Jerseys phrases, making mound visits, with the help of the interpreter, easier than expected.

it gets even better with another new weapon for the seam.

Although Evans will keep drawing the most attention as the No. 1, Jackson puts defenses a lot more in “pick their poison” mode. That also allows Adam Humphries to slide into more reasonable No. 3 wideout duties from the slot. When the Bucs spread the field and go four wide for Winston, rookie fourth-rounder Chris Godwin will provide some extra explosiveness.

Winston will be much improved not trying to force-feed Evans, and it gets even better with another new weapon for the seam.

The drafting of former Alabama tight end O.J. Howard in the first round was a monstrous boon to both Martin and Winston. He’ll dominate as a blocker, and as he’s eased in a little more as a receiver, he has the size and athleticism to play well off Evans and Jackson downfield. He poses another tall matchup nightmare, one that Austin Seferian-Jenkins could never provide despite his upside. Howard’s immediate floor is high, and his ceiling is elite All-Pro.

He told ESPN 98.7 radio in New York last month, “Really, the way I want to be judged this year, hopefully, from the fans’ standpoint, is just watch how we improve during the year, and look at each individual on the team and see how they’re getting better. And if they’re getting better, that’s Cheap Essendon Jerseys a mark of progress, and that’s what we’re looking for.

“I think what you want to do, if you want to go in the promised land, you’ve gotta go in a certain direction, and I think this is a direction we’ve never tried in 17 years that I’ve been involved in the Jets.”

Or similar nonsense, seven months after the team surrendered in the middle of OTAs.

Remember this next January, if and when the Jets have hit Cheap Dream Team Jerseys rock bottom with a threadbare roster — including one quarterback or another who was left with nothing to work with: Bowles’ comments to reporters, after David Harris was released and Eric Decker’s imminent departure was unveiled, indicated that he was not part of the discussion about either veteran.

The Lions are giving Greg Robinson the chance to be more than a ‘draft bust’

The Detroit Lions were a surprise playoff team in 2016. Now, they’re looking to build on that season, and one of the driving forces behind that is general manager Bob Quinn. After spending years in New England, he knew that protecting the No. 1 asset of the team, Matthew Stafford, was the top priority.

In his first draft as the team’s general manager, Quinn, with the 16th overall pick, selected Detroit’s future left tackle, Taylor Decker from Ohio State. Later in the third round, he selected a big physical C/G Graham Glasgow, and after that, another offensive lineman, Joe Dahl.

Decker is exactly the type of college tackle you look to draft. Still, most rookies struggle early on and then catch up to the speed as the season goes on, and Decker’s rookie season followed that path. He struggled early, then played much better starting halfway through the season. His potential is sky high for the left tackle. Unfortunately, last week Decker had shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum, and the rehab is four to six months. It’s a bummer for Decker and the Lions. Where do the Lions turn to find another left tackle?

The left-handed reliever followed up an All-Star nod in 2013 with a few more good seasons and got paid by the Cardinals this past offseason. He hasn’t quite delivered, blowing multiple-run leads multiple times.

I know what you’re thinking, “Sean Doolittle was an All-Star?” Yeah, his quality Cheap Hockey Jerseys From China first half in 2014 merited a spot (and he wasn’t even a mandatory selection; the A’s had several All-Stars that year). He’s been a pretty reliable left-handed reliever throughout his career, but he was actually drafted out of Virginia as a first baseman.

The 2015 A.L. MVP, King of Launch Angle, Donaldson’s season was stunted Cheap High Quality Soccer Jerseys by a calf injury, but he’s making up for lost time now.

O’s Kevin Gausman pays for umpire’s poor read of Red Sox-Manny Machado feud

Leave it to the umpires to take the absurdity of the Red Sox-Orioles feud to ludicrous levels.

O’s pitcher Kevin Gausman was ejected by home plate ump Sam Holbrook in the second inning of Wednesday’s game for hitting Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts with a pitch. In isolation — and only knowing that the teams have exchanged beanballs over the course of a week, mostly aimed at Gausman’s teammate Manny Machado — you might say, “Well, yeah, Gausman deserved to go. Good job, umps.”

People who know baseball’s unwritten rules (and umps should be part of that group) know Cheap Jerseys Hockey that intentional knockdowns/purpose pitches/hit batsmen are done with fastballs.

That has been the case each time Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez, Matt Barnes and Chris Sale have thrown at Machado in response to Machado spiking Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia on a slide last month. It was the case when Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy plunked Boston star Mookie Betts on Monday.

Gausman was incredulous when Holbrook tossed him. He motioned that he threw a curve. TV captured him mouthing, “What the f— are you doing?”

Player celebration became a topic last season when the NFL Cheap Jerseys Good Quality decided to really crack down on what the league deemed inappropriate. Players were penalized and fined and often felt like they were being mistreated with the punishment.

Bennett is just one of several players to voice frustration over the issue and says the underlying factor is that the league wants to promote itself and not the players in it. He then compared the NFL to NBA in terms of marketing.

Prince Fielder to host food show on Netflix, Hulu

Prince Fielder won’t be part of spring training this year. Instead, he’s headed to the kitchen.

In an interview with ESPN, Fielder talks about life after baseball, leaving the game early with health issues and moving forward.

One of the challenges ahead will be in the world of culinary entertainment.

Arizona coach Jay Johnson does his best Lou Brown, freshman outfielder Matt Frazier faithfully(ish) embodies the persona of Willie Mays Hayes, and other players and personnel lend their acting talents to produce a spoof that’s pretty much spot on.

The video was produced and directed by Sawyer Gieseke, a senior film and TV major who also plays infield for the Wildcats and produced last season’s “Family Matters” parody, “Clubhouse Matters.”

Yes, “Major League” is a movie that keeps on giving.

But unless you like feeling old, don’t think about how none of the Arizona players had been born when the movie came out.

“I sense sleep deprivation more than anything,” Maddon said, via ESPN.com. “Sleep Cheap Hockey Jerseys From China deprivation has a lot to do with it. Right from the beginning of the year our schedule has been awkward. No one has had a chance to settle in.”

Maddon made that statement just before Chicago dropped to 17-17 with a 3-0 loss Wednesday to the Rockies. The Cubs got off to a 25-6 start last year, which led to the team snapping its 108-year championship drought.

The Cubs are in fourth place in the NL Central, and backup catcher Miguel Montero doesn’t sugarcoat his disappointment.