Paul George attempts to clear the air about ditching Pacers

Paul George put the Pacers in an odd position this offseason. They were essentially forced to trade him after he had his agent tell the front office he wasn’t going to play in Indiana past the upcoming season. With their hands forced, the Pacers traded George in a deal with the Thunder.

Indiana could have moved its All-Star forward at the trade deadline and received a much larger haul, but instead the team ended up with Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. No matter which way you look at it, this was a poor deal for a player of George’s caliber.

But it was about the best Indy could get, because not only did George deliver what Pacers president Kevin Pritchard described as a “gut punch,” but there were also a number of reports saying George was going to bail after the next season to play for the Lakers.

Jimmy Butler to Timberwolves — The Timberwolves have been collecting young players, biding their time for a big move. They decided to pull the trigger this offseason by adding Butler to team with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, two of the game’s brightest Knicks Cheap Jerseys young stars.

Not only does Butler give Minnesota another proven scorer, he provides them with a much-needed veteran who has won playoff games (and a gold medal). Butler’s move to Minnesota won’t instantly make the Timberwolves contenders in the loaded Western Conference, but it should get them Free Shipping Cheap Jerseys into the postseason with a chance to surprise.

Chris Paul to Rockets — As good as the Rockets were at times last season, they always appeared to be missing a key piece. Paul is a great organizer and shooter. His addition allows James Harden to play off the ball, which could equate to better ball movement.indians_005

Justin Bour hit 22 home runs in his first round and didn’t advance

Look, there’s no doubt this was a special night, a thoroughly unforgettable Home Run Derby by any measure. This is an example of an idea — the timed format — that was the ideal tweak to make an already great event even better. It’s not perfect yet, though.

Justin Bour hit 22 home runs in his first round and didn’t advance, which seems just silly considering Miguel Sano advanced with only 11. The head-to-head is fun in theory, but it’s probably best to let the guys who hit the most home runs advance, y’know?

But that’s a tweak for another year. It won’t be a painful one.

When he was done speaking with shareholders, Murphy said reports that he or Packers coach Mike McCarthy have a strained relationship with Thompson are untrue. Murphy, who has been the team’s president and CEO since 2007, said he and McCarthy each have “a great relationship” with Thompson, whose only time away from the Packers since 1992 was five-year stint as the Seahawks vice president of football operations from 2000-2004.

While Thompson used a first-round pick on Rodgers in 2005 and drafted players like Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, T.J. Lang and signed free agents Charles Woodson Football Cheap Jerseys and Tramon Williams in 2006, all of whom helped lead the Packers to a Super Bowl title in 2010, Thompson has also used first- and second-round picks on draft busts like Justin Harrell, Derek Sherrod, Pat Lee, Brian Brohm and Jerel Worthy. He also upset many when he allowed popular players like Kids Cheap Jerseys China Lang, Casey Hayward and Josh Sitton to leave via free agency.

Thompson has historically not been active in free agency, though the Packers did add tight ends Lance Kendricks and Martellus Bennett and guard Jahri Evans, and brought back cornerback Davon House this offseason.indians_001

The Pacers were planning to give George help.

Now, after the trade has been made, George tells Sports Illustrated the rumors of him signing with the Lakers has “definitely been overstated.” Sure. But perhaps the most perplexing quote was when he told SI’s Lee Jenkins, “All I was asking for was a little help in Indy. Now I’m getting a lot of help in Oklahoma.”

The Pacers were planning to give George help. As the Indy Star’s Nate Taylor reported, “The Pacers were fully planning to build their roster for next season around George to compete in the Eastern Conference and to convince him to re-sign.”

Pritchard even admitted in May that the team would be willing to pay the luxury tax in order to bring in big name free agents, under the assumption they would keep George. The team was clearly willing to make moves in order to compete for a title. But with George gone, their plans have changed dramatically.

The way everything went down left a bad taste in the mouth of Pacers fans, and the front office. George acknowledges it wasn’t pretty, but said there wasn’t a lot he could do under the circumstances. He noted Larry Bird’s departure as a turning point and felt the team was planning to rebuild instead of compete.

Golden, a St. Louis native and former high school Kids Basketball Jerseys Cheap running back who wanted to be Marshall Faulk growing up, also attributed his improved play to some things he learned as a rookie from former Cardinals teammate Dwight Freeney, whom Golden called a mentor and big brother.

Golden also cited a friendly rivalry with teammate Chandler Jones, who had 11 sacks last season.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Golden was a “force” for the Arizona defense last season, “light years” ahead of his rookie year.

There was no pass rusher more in a zone through the first five weeks of the 2016 season than Golden, who had a sack in every game and dropped current teammate Flyers Cheap Jerseys Blaine Gabbert twice in a Week 5 win over the 49ers. indians_004

we’re not here to trash the bad decision, but to celebrate the new All-Star Game reality.

Hill dominated as a rookie at 5.1 yards per carry, but with near-exact workloads (222, 223 and 233 carries), he’s maintained only his TDs since, as that number has plummeted to 3.7. Beyond being banged up, Hill hasn’t been able to find the same mojo as a strong downhill runner. He’s played through injuries to his chest, shoulder and knee, missing his first NFL game in Week 17 of 2017 with the knee injury.

Unfortunately, Bernard, after a great rebound season in 2015 with a new contract to match, suffered a much worse knee injury last season — a torn ACL that kept him out of the team’s final six games. He’s still on the mend, with only limited non-practice work at OTAs and an uncertain timetable to return.

Although most of the NFL could afford to take Mixon off its boards with more settled veteran backfields, Cincinnati’s pick was more of a necessity than luxury. The Bengals are such a dedicated rushing team that the inefficiency of the past two years — despite high volume — was a big reason for the team’s fade from the playoffs.

Anyway, we’re not here to trash the bad decision, but to celebrate Kids Cheap Jerseys the new All-Star Game reality. It’s a showcase for the talents of MLB’s best players, and hopefully it’s a continuation of Monday night’s thrilling Home Run Derby, which cemented Aaron Judge’s status as a legit superstar.

It’s not like the players are suddenly going to stop trying in the game.

“I think there’s still going to be an incredible atmosphere, and that’s going to drive the players to perform,” Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon said. “I don’t think the players are Find Cheap Jerseys Online going to approach the game any differently.

“I think the game is something to be enjoyed by players, whether it counts or not. I think it’s a celebration of a good first half of baseball by most of the players, so I don’t think the outcome of the game is going to affect the game itself.”indians_003

Ted Thompson to remain Packers GM ‘as long as he wants’

Ask a group of Packers fans to give their opinion on Ted Thompson and you will get a wide range of answers.

To some, the Packers general manager deserves praise for having the foresight to draft Aaron Rodgers in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft as the heir apparent to Brett Favre. To others, Thompson is responsible for the bitter divorce from Favre, who was traded to the Jets before finishing his Hall of Fame career with the rival Vikings.

Golden is looking for the team to have a bounce-back year and being dominant.

“If you’re not making the playoffs and competing for the Super Bowl, all that [other] stuff doesn’t matter,” Golden said.

Golden is entering the third year of his four-year rookie contract that pays him $3.9 million. He could be headed for a big payday if he continues to play at a high level — though he’s not in this for the money, he says.

“I don’t really worry about stuff like that,” said Golden, who has a goal of Find Cheap Jerseys retiring with more than 100 sacks. “I know it’s going to happen. I know what I Houston Texans Cheap Jerseys have to do to make it happen.

“I’m more worried about being a legend and working on my craft every day to become a legendary player. Everything else will then play out how it’s supposed to.

“I just want to keep getting better and, as long as I put in the work, I know the sky’s the limit for me.”indians_002

George Springer proves he’s the real deal with two more home runs

All aboard the George Springer Express; it’s about to leave the park.

Remember the annual fun to be had with way-too-early mock drafts? The ones compiled right after this year’s draft, for next year, were almost in lockstep. Out of 10 2018 mock drafts by nine outlets (including Sporting News) posted within days of the end of the 2017 draft, seven had Darnold as the first overall pick. One had him second, another third, another eighth.

Darnold is the target, much the way Andrew Luck was five years ago. This, with everybody knowing he hasn’t started a full season in college yet, and that he just turned 20 last month.

Anything can happen during the course of a season. (You’ll recall that last year’s too-early mocks had Deshaun Watson overwhelmingly as the top prize.) The deadline to declare is early Cheap NBA Basketball Jerseys January, after the college playoff championship game. That’s a long time for teams to ponder how to approach a draft that looks a lot different than it did a week ago.

It’s also a long time for Darnold to ponder his own future. In the Cheap NCAA Jerseys meantime, the present has given his future NFL employers a lot to think about.

The reward for the season full of hot garbage might not be the pot of Southern California gold these teams thought there would be. Not mentioning any names of any green-clad teams in north Jersey, of course.indians_001