Lakers, Mavs maneuvering for Love


Kevin Love, a free agent in 2015, has made it identified he needs to play in a serious market. (USATSI)


The Lakers and Mavericks are attempting to assemble trade offers for potential free agent Kevin Love, but so far the Timberwolves have given no indication they're going to take into account moving the All-Star ahead by Thursday's deadline, league sources told

Love will probably be a free agent in 2015, and it's broadly identified around the league that he and his agent, New York-primarily based Jeff Schwartz, are determined to get him to a major market. The Lakers, Love's first selection, "have the perfect shot" of landing the Southern California native, one individual acquainted with the participant's thinking said. There is no such thing as a incentive within the CBA for Like to signal an extension with Minnesota before he has an opportunity to say no his player option and hit the open market in July 2015.

Giving up vital belongings for Love would be problematic for any team that is not assured it is going to be capable of signal him when he turns into a free agent. That's clearly not an issue for the Lakers.

Nonetheless, different teams are mentioned to be feverishly pursuing a premium first-round decide that may very well be included in a bundle for Love, a three-time All-Star who is fourth in the league in scoring (25.eight factors per sport) and second in rebounding (13.2).

In the long run, it will fall on Timberwolves president Flip Saunders to pull the set off on a Love deal or wait him out and hope he's capable of turn the franchise's fortunes around in time to persuade him to stay. Minnesota has but to make the playoffs in Love's 5 seasons and is probably going headed to the lottery again this year.

In line with a person accustomed to Saunders' strategy, he has indicated there's "no approach" he'll commerce Love by Thursday's three p.m. ET deadline.

Any Lakers supply would have to embrace Pau Gasol, whose $19.3 million contract comes off the books this summer time. Rival executives consider the Lakers' finest likelihood of shifting Gasol is to a staff that views him as worthy re-signing to a more cheap deal this summer time – not as a rental. With Kobe Bryant out indefinitely and the Lakers tied for the fourth-worst report within the league, their 2014 first-spherical choose can have value – but can only be traded if LA can purchase one other first-round choose first. Their 2015 first-spherical pick has been conditionally traded to Phoenix.

During All-Star weekend, Bryant stated the Lakers having cap house this summer time is "right in their wheelhouse" and mentioned he's assured GM Mitch Kupchak would make the strikes obligatory for a "quick turnaround." LA at present has room to signal a max free agent this summer time, however could choose to amass one by way of commerce after which make extra moves in 2015-sixteen, Bryant's final season below contract.

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Potential free agent Decker: Family is my priority


Eric Decker might not be wearing a Broncos uniform in 2014. (USATSI)
Eric Decker won't be wearing a Broncos uniform in 2014. (USATSI)


Denver Broncos broad receiver Eric Decker won't be a Denver Broncos broad receiver much longer. Decker will hit the free-agent market on March eleven except the Broncos lock him up earlier than then, but that doesn't sound like one thing that is going to happen.

In an interview with SiriusXM NFL radio on Tuesday, Decker said he wants to stay in Denver, however taking good care of his family comes first. "I wish to determine something out and stay here," Decker mentioned. "However on the same time, my precedence is taking care of my household. Me and my wife are having a child mid-March and it's even more tough as a result of I need to have her be snug. Those are kind of the added stresses to this process."

Decker understands the importance of enjoying with Peyton Manning, however he isn't going to let that be the figuring out think about his determination.

"Is it simpler to play with Peyton Manning? Yes, 100 percent," Decker stated. "But you continue to need to be in the appropriate spot, you continue to must discover a option to get open, you still should discover a way to make a play. I do really feel I am a reasonably good ball participant."

Decker ranked within the high 15 in every major receiving category in 2013, catching 87 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns, but a variety of that had to do with Manning. Earlier than Manning came to Denver in 2012, the fourth-12 months receiver totaled 50 catches for 718 yards and nine touchdowns in two seasons mixed.

If Decker wants No. 1 receiver money for those statistics, he isn't admitting it – a minimum of not publicly, "It isn't all concerning the cash for me. It is about going to work on daily basis and having enjoyable and enjoying my job," Decker said. "For me it is 'am I going to have enjoyable going to work every day' that doesn't add as much as any greenback amount. That's priceless."

Decker did admit that he is trying around although. "It is pure to look at other teams, what their conditions are receiver smart, what are their large moves? How a lot salary cap do they have left? What are some potential organizations that might be good to go to?"

If the Broncos do resolve to throw money at Decker, they should be careful because each Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas will likely be free agents after the 2014 season.

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Potential free agent Decker: Family is my priority


Eric Decker might not be wearing a Broncos uniform in 2014. (USATSI)
Eric Decker won't be wearing a Broncos uniform in 2014. (USATSI)


Denver Broncos broad receiver Eric Decker won't be a Denver Broncos broad receiver much longer. Decker will hit the free-agent market on March eleven except the Broncos lock him up earlier than then, but that doesn't sound like one thing that is going to happen.

In an interview with SiriusXM NFL radio on Tuesday, Decker said he wants to stay in Denver, however taking good care of his family comes first. "I wish to determine something out and stay here," Decker mentioned. "However on the same time, my precedence is taking care of my household. Me and my wife are having a child mid-March and it's even more tough as a result of I need to have her be snug. Those are kind of the added stresses to this process."

Decker understands the importance of enjoying with Peyton Manning, however he isn't going to let that be the figuring out think about his determination.

"Is it simpler to play with Peyton Manning? Yes, 100 percent," Decker stated. "But you continue to need to be in the appropriate spot, you continue to must discover a option to get open, you still should discover a way to make a play. I do really feel I am a reasonably good ball participant."

Decker ranked within the high 15 in every major receiving category in 2013, catching 87 passes for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns, but a variety of that had to do with Manning. Earlier than Manning came to Denver in 2012, the fourth-12 months receiver totaled 50 catches for 718 yards and nine touchdowns in two seasons mixed.

If Decker wants No. 1 receiver money for those statistics, he isn't admitting it – a minimum of not publicly, "It isn't all concerning the cash for me. It is about going to work on daily basis and having enjoyable and enjoying my job," Decker said. "For me it is 'am I going to have enjoyable going to work every day' that doesn't add as much as any greenback amount. That's priceless."

Decker did admit that he is trying around although. "It is pure to look at other teams, what their conditions are receiver smart, what are their large moves? How a lot salary cap do they have left? What are some potential organizations that might be good to go to?"

If the Broncos do resolve to throw money at Decker, they should be careful because each Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas will likely be free agents after the 2014 season.

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Agent: Rodman wasn’t paid by N. Koreans

Darren Prince said the North Korean government did not finance any part of the trip, adding that Irish betting company Paddy Power PLC covered expenses for Rodman and his team of former NBA players that included Charles D. Smith, Kenny Anderson and Cliff Robinson.

NBA commissioner David Stern told CNN this week that Rodman was influenced by "a flash of North Korean money" to stage an exhibition game in Pyongyang.

Rodman apologized Thursday for comments he made while in North Korea about detained American missionary Kenneth Bae, saying he had been drinking and was under pressure as he organized the game. He also sang "Happy Birthday" to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the start of Wednesday's exhibition.

Rodman dedicated the game to his "best friend" Kim, who along with his wife and other senior officials and their wives watched from a special seating area. The capacity crowd of about 14, 000 at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium clapped loudly as Rodman sang a verse from the birthday song.

Rodman said he was honored to play the game in the North Korean capital and called the event "historic. " Some members of the U. S. Congress, the NBA and human rights groups, however, say he has become a public relations tool for North Korea's government.

Prince said an England-based production company, Chief Productions, filmed the North Korea trip for a documentary, and another outfit, Koryo Tours, sold VIP packages to the game and will make a donation to a children's charity in North Korea this month with a portion of the proceeds.


No Ter Stegen Barca deal yet, says agent

By Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Ter Stegen one step closer to Barcelona

Ter Stegen one step closer to Barcelona

The Germany under-21 international goalkeeper has long been linked with a switch to Barcelona, where he could replace current No. 1 Victor Valdes, who is set to leave when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Ter Stegen’s current deal runs out in 2015, and Moenchengladbach will look to cash in on a player who has spent all his career at the club.
On Tuesday, WAZ reported that he and Barcelona had agreed personal terms for a contract until 2018. The paper, however, said the deal would only be announced once Valdes had made up his mind about where he will continue his career.

It claimed that destination would be Manchester City, and that, with both sides meeting in the Champions League last 16, a deal could only be announced after their games in February and March.

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Agent: Benteke won’t leave in January

By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Christian Benteke’s agent has mentioned it’s “ridiculous” to assume the Belgium worldwide striker will leave Aston Villa in January.

Christian Benteke

PA PicturesChristian Benteke has been linked with Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur.

Kozak suffers broken leg

Both Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly chasing Benteke, 23, and are prepared to pay significantly greater than the estimated seven million pounds Villa gave Genk for the ahead’s providers in summer 2012.

Nonetheless, chatting with, the previous Standard Liege participant’s representative, Kismet Eris, mentioned: “You need to be lifelike. He performed on New 12 months’s Day, so to speak of him leaving is ridiculous. There is no query of him leaving in the intervening time. It wasn’t deliberate at first of the season, it’s not deliberate now.”

Benteke enjoyed a shocking start to life within the Premier League scoring 19 times in 34 video games, however he has struck only four times in 15 high-flight outings this season.

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Berger: Worth it


Peavy (USATSI)

Kobe Bryant remains the highest-paid participant in the league, however he additionally remains underpaid. (USATSI)


Kobe Bryant is 35, has logged the second-most minutes amongst all lively NBA gamers and has but to return to game action after his Achilles’ tendon snapped this previous April. So of course, the Lakers signed him to a two-12 months, $48.5 million extension on Monday.

Uh, what?

Perceive a couple of issues. At this stage of Bryant’s career, as one of the best gamers ever, he has earned a certain stature and pay grade in the NBA. He has received 5 championships for the Lakers and made the organization numerous hundreds of tens of millions of dollars during his 17-year career.


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Magic Johnson: If anyone can beat damage, it is Kobe


So a portion of what Bryant shall be paid over the subsequent two seasons quantities to a form of lifetime achievement award. Having entered the NBA simply before the league efficiently put a cap on maximum individual participant salaries, it can be argued that if Bryant were paid what he was truly value over the previous decade-plus, the Lakers would owe him one other $250 million – at the least.

I am not an accountant or economist, in order that’s simply a guess. But simply to provide you an idea, Forbes estimated earlier this year that the Miami Warmth had been worth $364 million before LeBron James arrived and at the moment are value $625 million. The publication estimates that the Lakers are one in every of two groups in the NBA (the opposite being the New York Knicks) price $1 billion. When you do not assume a good portion of that is because of Kobe Bryant, I’ve obtained a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. (For a few knishes, a cheesecake and a marble rye, I am going to throw in the basketball workforce that performs there.)

So whereas Bryant stays the very best-paid player within the league, he additionally remains something else within the era of compressed participant salaries and artificially limited individual maxes: underpaid.

Whether or not Bryant is overpaid when his wage is seen by means of the prism of the 2011 collective bargaining settlement and its massive luxury-tax penalties is a distinct form of debate. What’s indeniable, though, is that Bryant is taking a pay minimize from the utmost the Lakers may have paid him. Underneath the rules, Bryant was entitled to 107.5 % of his earlier yr’s wage on this extension. Since he makes $30.5 million this season, Bryant’s wage ceiling (topic to negotiation, after all) was $32.eight million for the 2014-15 season.

By agreeing to a ’14-’15 salary of $23.5 million and a ’15-‘sixteen wage of $25 million (the collectively bargained 7.5 percent increase), Bryant is accounting for the anticipated decline in production for a participant his age whereas also opening up cap room for the Lakers to spend over the next two free-agent summers. With only Bryant and Steve Nash ($9.7 million) on the books subsequent season, the Lakers will have room for a max free-agent with about $12 million to spare. (More room would open up if the Lakers have been to waive Nash and “stretch” his remaining obligation over the following three seasons).

As of now, only Bryant is on the Lakers’ books for the ’15-‘sixteen season.

Here’s one other level that’s related to the dialogue of whether or not Bryant is value all this cash at this stage of his profession. As soon as it was revealed that Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka, and the Lakers were discussing a contract extension, you would have gone to Las Vegas (after which to the bank) with the next prediction: that extension was going to be signed before Bryant logged a single minute of sport action in his return from Achilles rehab. Bryant returned to apply just lately and proved that, if nothing else, his leg is sound. However there was no way a five-time champion and franchise cash-maker corresponding to Bryant was going to danger coming back from a severe harm with out assurances past this season.

Kobe would not do lame duck, in different phrases, nor should he.

As the Lakers lick their wounds from Dwight Howard’s departure and put together for the inevitable put up-Bryant era, Bryant himself remains the workforce’s largest draw. In truth, there’s only one manner Bryant won’t stay the Lakers’ greatest draw after they’ve completed their free-agent shopping next summer time, and that might be if they signed LeBron.

That is a farfetched concept, but the Lakers could have large amounts of cap room next summer time even with Bryant’s extension on the books. (Even if they hadn’t re-signed Bryant now, their space would’ve been clogged up by the cap maintain associated with Bryant’s free-agent standing. His new salary really limits that burden.) And when it comes time to go shopping for a max player to fill the void that Howard left behind, the concept of chasing a championship with Bryant and then taking the keys to the dominion from him might be high on the record of what the Lakers can be selling.

So in the grand scheme of issues, the Lakers did not pay Bryant what he is value – not even shut. A severe argument might be made that he’s actually been value much more.

In the event you’ve realized something about Bryant, you understand he is still chasing greatness, still chasing that sixth championship. He’ll give the Lakers all the things he has, even when that the whole lot is diminished – and even if the salary determine next to his identify appears outlandish when considered within the context of a much more restrictive wage construction than the one which was in place when Bryant got here into the league.

Kobe Bryant has made lots of people some huge cash, and he’ll continue to make some extra for himself. Debating whether he is price $48.5 million over the following two seasons misses the purpose that he is been price a lot greater than that for thus lengthy.

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Ian Kinsler’s agent learned about trade via ESPN app alert

Sep 23, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler (5) follows through on a single in opposition to the Houston Astros throughout the first inning of a baseball recreation at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit score: Jim Cowsert-USA AS WE SPEAK Sports

The Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers pulled off a surprising and shocking commerce swapping second baseman Ian Kinsler and first baseman Prince Fielder. The commerce got here as such a surprise that Kinsler’s agent realized by way of a push notification from ESPN on his cellphone.

“I got an ESPN alert and then everybody beginning texting,” Kinsler’s agent Jay Franklin mentioned, by way of ESPN Dallas. “Ian is in Hawaii. He texted me and mentioned, ‘I believe I’ve simply been traded. Can you examine?’ We didn’t see it coming.”

Since Kinsler requested his agent to verify, you may assume that he discovered in an identical method. Had the entrance office known as him to tell him he had been traded, there would’ve been no reason to ask your agent to look into it. The Rangers acknowledged that the commerce story leaked earlier than they may inform everyone involved and they weren’t happy with that.

In Kinsler’s contract he submitted a listing of 10 groups he’d be prepared to accept a trade to, and the Tigers had been on that listing.

“Ian is excited about Detroit,” Franklin mentioned. “He wants to win, and he works onerous. I believe Detroit followers, much like the Texas fans, will respect that he gives you every thing he’s got day-after-day. He leaves all of it out on the sphere.”

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Agent says Jay Z ‘intimately involved’ in Cano talks


Robinson Cano eyes hundreds of millions of dollars this offseason in free agency.Robinson Cano eyes hundreds of tens of millions of dollars this offseason in free company. (USATSI)


Cano leaves Boras | Jay Z takes swipe at Boras | Jay Z investigated by MLBPA

The highest free agent out there in this offseason’s free agency spree is superstar second baseman Robinson Cano. There’s some added drama to the Cano negotiations, too, since he dumped uber-agent Scott Boras in favor of Roc Nation Sports activities, a new sports activities company run by rap mogul Jay Z.

A person named Brodie Van Wagenen is the man primarily engaged on the Cano dealings for Roc Nation Sports, although Jay Z is far from a figurehead.

Van Wagenen noted that Jay Z has been “intimately involved in all areas” of the negotiations on MLB Community Radio Sunday.

“That has been true for the last six months,” he stated. “It’s certainly true now. Jay is a really, very successful businessman, who has a eager understanding of value, a eager understanding of manufacturers, and a keen perceive of what this participant, Robinson Cano, desires to accomplish in his profession.”

Extra, through CBS New York:

“He is been on the table each in strategy classes and in preparation,” Van Wagenen mentioned of Jay Z. “And he completely has, and will proceed to be, involved within the precise negotiations with potential suitors.”

“What I believe persons are starting to acknowledge as nicely is that players of this magnitude don’t come alongside fairly often,” Van Wagenen mentioned. “And the opportunity to amass them is limited. And whenever you need to try to purchase impact, middle-of-the-order, dynamic gamers, uncommon expertise, you possibly can only do it in a couple of areas.”

Cano, 31, hit314/.383/.516 with 41 doubles, 27 homers and 107 RBI final season for the Yankees. He’s completed in the high six of AL MVP voting in each of the previous four seasons.

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Jim Buss: Lakers won’t let Kobe be free agent

Kobe Bryant is not going anywhere.

Los Angeles Lakers govt vice chairman of basketball operations Jim Buss said Friday that the workforce has began talks with Bryant’s representative on a contract extension for the 5-time NBA champion and totally expects a new deal to be completed earlier than the star guard can grow to be a free agent July 1.

I wish to put an finish to any hypothesis that we might enable Kobe to develop into a free agent. That’s not going to occur. Kobe is a high precedence for us. He is a Laker legend and all the time shall be. I don’t think we’re executed winning championships with him yet.

- Jim Buss

“I wish to put an finish to any speculation that we’d enable Kobe to turn into a free agent,” Buss informed on Friday night time. “That is not going to occur. Kobe is a top priority for us. He is a Laker legend and all the time will likely be. I don’t assume we’re finished winning championships with him but.

“[Lakers basic supervisor] Mitch Kupchak and [Bryant’s agent] Rob Pelinka have been speaking, but with him being hurt, it has slowed the process some. I don’t know when it will get done, however I place confidence in Rob and Mitch to work things out.”

Bryant, 35, is within the last 12 months of a present deal that may pay him $30.5 million this season, the very best wage within the NBA.

He is recovering from surgical procedure on his left Achilles tendon and hasn’t set a return date yet.

In July, Bryant told that he totally intends to retire as a Laker and does not believe there might be any drawback securing an extension for as long as he can play at an elite level.

The query for both sides is how a lot he’ll be keen to play for in the future, with the Lakers positioned to pursue two high free brokers in the summertime of 2014.

“As a businessman, the goal is at all times to not take a pay lower,” Bryant mentioned in July. “However.. ”

The Orange County Register reported Thursday that Buss had talked to Bryant and believed that they had an understanding that the Lakers would allow him to grow to be a free agent so the staff may first spend on other free agents to upgrade its roster.

The Lakers presently have simply three players (Steve Nash, Nick Young and Robert Sacre) under contract for next season.

Bryant confirmed to the Register that he had spoken to Buss in regards to the situation, saying, “We have probably talked. But I am putting off any thought of that.”

As a substitute, Bryant is targeted on coming back from what could have been a career-threatening injury.

“I’ve additionally heard from so many people who have handled something like this, and it’s like they’re anticipating me to beat it, so I’ve to do it for them, too,” Bryant instructed the Register.
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Agent: Pot not why Texans released client

The agent for former Houston Texans defensive end Sam Montgomery on Tuesday denied an report that his client was released by the workforce after using marijuana.

“It’s our position that the story written about Sam Montgomery by ESPN, which units forth that he was dismissed from the Houston Texans for using marijuana, is completely inaccurate,” Jeff Guerriero said in a statement sent by text message to “Mr. Montgomery was dismissed from the team for allegedly violating a crew rule. This can be confirmed by the Houston Texan personnel.”

 Sam MontgomerySam Montgomery was a 3rd-round draft choice this yr however didn’t appear in a sport for the Texans.

Requested for an official statement concerning the launch of Montgomery, working again Cierre Wood and outdoors linebacker Willie Jefferson, the Texans declined to broaden past coach Gary Kubiak’s comments at a Monday information convention.

“I will not discuss staff guidelines and those type of issues,” Kubiak mentioned Monday. “I’ll make decisions primarily based on a physique of labor in all the things I do. I’ve got 5 months of work invested in those three younger men and decided right this moment to move forward.”

On Monday morning, the Houston Chronicle and Fox 26 Houston reported that Jefferson, Montgomery and Wooden have been launched for violating crew rules within the workforce lodge in Kansas City, Mo.

Three sources told on Monday that the violation stemmed from marijuana use.

Montgomery spoke with Comcast SportsNet Houston and denied unlawful medication have been concerned. He stated Wood and Jefferson were smoking a cigar of their room when Montgomery entered it. Jefferson’s agent also instructed that the players have been smoking a cigar and stated he and his companions had been considering submitting a grievance.

The league’s collective bargaining settlement forbids self-discipline solely on the idea of violating the league’s policy on anabolic steroids and related substances or substances of abuse or failing any drug take a look at – except it is specifically written right into a participant’s contract.
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Tiger’s agent threatens lawsuit against analyst

A story in which analyst Brandel Chamblee insinuates that Tiger Woods’ high-profile guidelines violations this 12 months constituted dishonest has the golfer’s agent considering a lawsuit.

Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports activities Administration launched an announcement to and later was clearly angry during a cellphone interview about Chamblee’s evaluation for a function originally published Tuesday during which he gave prime gamers grades and labeled Woods’ season an “F.”

Brandel Chamblee’s comments are shameful, baseless and utterly out of line. In his rulings, Tiger voiced his place, accepted his penalty and moved on. There was no intention to deceive anyone. Chamblee’s uninformed and malicious opinions, handed on as information, and his desperate attempt to garner attention is deplorable.

- Mark Steinberg

“There’s nothing you’ll be able to name a golfer worse than a cheater,” Steinberg said. “That is probably the most deplorable thing I’ve seen. I am not one for hyperbole, but that is completely disgusting. Calling him a cheater? I’ll be shocked, surprised if one thing is just not done about this. Something needs to be accomplished.

“There are definitely things that just do not go without response. It’s atrocious. I am unsure if there isn’t legal motion to be taken. I’ve to give some thought to legal action.”

Woods gained 5 times this 12 months on the PGA Tour, captured the Vardon Trophy for low scoring common, led the money list and was voted PGA Tour Participant of the 12 months for the eleventh time. However he was also involved in 4 excessive-profile rules issues, three of which resulted in two-stroke penalties.

Chamblee, a former PGA Tour participant, current analyst on the Golf Channel and frequent critic of Woods’ sport and golf swing, rated a number of gamers on their years, saving Woods for last.

He wrote: “After I was in the fourth grade, I cheated on a math test and when I got the paper back it had ‘one hundred’ written at the top and just under the grade, was this quote: ‘Oh, what a tangled net we weave when first we follow to deceive!’ It was an oft-quoted line from the epic poem ‘Marmion’ by Sir Walter Scott, and my instructor’s message was clear. Written once more beneath that quote was my grade of ‘one hundred,’ but this time with a line drawn via it and beneath that an F. I by no means did ask my trainer how she knew I cheated and I certainly did not protest the grade. I knew I had accomplished the flawed thing and my instructor the best, however I by no means forgot the way I felt when I learn that quote.

“I keep in mind after we only talked about Tiger’s golf. I miss these days. He gained five occasions and contended in majors and received the Vardon Trophy and.. how shall we embrace this.. was a little cavalier with the principles.”

Under the abstract was “a hundred” with a line through it and “F” beneath it.

Tiger Woods

Michael Madrid/USA RIGHT THIS MOMENT Sports activitiesTiger Woods’ drop on the fifteenth gap on the Masters was one among a number of controversial moments for the world’s high-ranked golfer this season.

Although Chamblee never straight said Woods cheated, Steinberg said the story of his dishonest on a grade school take a look at and comparing it to Woods was clear.

Steinberg mentioned Woods was unaware of the report till he brought it to his consideration.

Woods is just not scheduled to play again until a European Tour event in Turkey subsequent month.

“That is, ‘Hey, look at me,’ in its lowest kind,” Steinberg said in his statement. “Brandel Chamblee’s comments are shameful, baseless and fully out of line. In his rulings, Tiger voiced his position, accepted his penalty and moved on. There was no intention to deceive anyone. Chamblee’s uninformed and malicious opinions, handed on as facts, and his desperate try to garner attention is deplorable.”

Chamblee summarized Woods’ guidelines infractions without context.

The first occurred at the Abu Dhabi Championship in January. Woods had taken relief from an embedded lie on the fifth hole of the second spherical after consulting with another player in the group, Martin Kaymer. It was later determined that the bottom was sandy based mostly – from which a free drop is not allowed. Woods would have needed to play the ball as it lay or take a one-stroke penalty for an unplayable. He was given a two-stroke penalty and missed the 36-gap reduce by a stroke.

At the Masters in April, Woods’ third shot to the par-5 fifteenth hole through the second round hit the flagstick and bounced into the water fronting the inexperienced. He had several options for taking part in his fifth shot, after a penalty, and chose to play from the unique spot. The rules name for a player to drop as close to as attainable to the unique spot. Woods, in publish-round interviews, stated he dropped 2 yards back. He hit the subsequent shot within inches and took a bogey 6 on the hole.

A tv viewer – David Eger, a former PGA Tour guidelines official, no much less – known as event officers questioning the drop. Masters officers by no means discussed it with Woods and let him sign for a 6 on the outlet. Only later did they come to understand there may need been a problem, and the following morning they added two strokes to Woods’ rating, meaning he took an eight on the outlet.

An argument ensued as a result of Woods was not disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. Masters officials maintained they erred by not discussing the possibility of an infraction earlier than letting him signal.

At the Players Championship in May, Woods was questioned about his ultimate-round drop on the par-4 14th hole, which curves round a water hazard. Woods had hit his drive into the water and requested playing associate Casey Wittenberg the place the ball final crossed the hazard. In interviews afterward, Wittenberg was emphatic about where the ball crossed the hazard and stated he instructed Woods the place to drop. Nevertheless, many felt after viewing videotape that Woods gave himself a break by dropping farther ahead than he ought to have been allowed. He made a double-bogey 6 on the hole however went on to win the tournament.

And last month at the BMW Championship, Woods was assessed a two-stroke penalty as a result of his ball moved whereas he attempted to take away a twig from behind it. Woods argued to rules officials afterward that his ball did not change position, however high-definition video confirmed the ball moved, even if slightly. Because he did not change it to its original position, Woods was hit with a two-stroke penalty. The double-bogey 6 he made turned into an 8.

“Brandel has a right to kind his opinion,” Steinberg mentioned. “If he desires to provide him an ‘F’ for his yr? It’s foolish. However this goes up to now above that and is out of bounds. It’s gorgeous.”

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Knicks star Anthony: ‘I want to be a free agent’

With Anthony wanting to test the free agent market, does it mean he wants to leave New York? (USATSI)
With Carmelo Anthony wanting to check the free-agent market, does it imply he needs to leave New York? (USATSI)

Again in 2011, Carmelo Anthony was on the Denver Nuggets and set to check the free agent waters to attempt to find his method to the New York Knicks. It prompted the “Melo Drama” heard round publications and websites everywhere. Earlier than having to find a inventive solution to get himself onto the Knicks once he hit free agency, the Nuggets traded him to his most well-liked destination in a three-staff deal that included 13 players, four draft picks, and money.

Anthony has two years left on his contract, together with the 2013-14 season, that may net roughly $forty four.7 million. He additionally has an early termination clause for the summer season of 2014 if he desires to test the free company waters and attempt to tack on an extra huge cash yr onto his profession earnings. In an interview with the New York Observer, Carmelo says he desires to be a free agent and have the experience of being evaluated as a free agent goal. From ESPN New York:

New York Knicks ahead Carmelo Anthony said in a current interview that he wants to choose out of the ultimate year of his contract this summer season and check free agency.

“I wish to be a free agent,” Anthony informed the New York Observer. “I believe all people in the NBA desires to be a free agent no less than one time of their career. It is like you’ve gotten an analysis period, you already know. It is like if I am within the gymnasium and I’ve all of the coaches, all of the house owners, all of the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate the whole lot I do. So sure, I would like that have.”

In response to the ESPN New York submit, Anthony is eligible for a five-yr, $129 million deal if he decides to re-signal with the Knicks if he opts out this summer. He may leave to play for an additional staff and signal a most deal of 4 years and $ninety five million.

Eager to be a free agent is not essentially a big deal for Anthony and Knicks followers. He’s going to take a look at the free-company waters in 2014 or 2015. If he and his agent are tactical, he’ll opt out in 2014, signal a max cope with either the Knicks or a new crew, and embrace an early choose-out choice in that deal as properly so he can maximize the number of big money years he has in his profession. It will also shield him financially early within the new Collective Bargaining Settlement if the gamers get hit arduous in 2017, assuming one of the negotiating events decides to choose out of the CBA.

Testing the waters of free company does not imply he’ll depart both. For Anthony, New York was his vacation spot for each basketball and private reasons. It allowed him to play for one of the crucial standard sports activities franchises on the earth and gave his spouse ample alternatives to additional her career in a gigantic market. There would be threat in leaving the Knicks and he can sign for probably the most money there. Nevertheless, if it appears to be like like the team can’t compete for the Eastern Conference title as at present constructed after this season, there are fairly a number of groups that might afford to throw a max deal his approach if he decides he needs to depart.

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Texas Regent talked with Nick Saban’s agent about coaching Longhorns in January

(Getty Photos)

This will hearth up the rumor mill, will not it?

A member of the Texas Board of Regents stated that he met with Jimmy Sexton, the agent for Alabama coach Nick Saban, in January after the Crimson Tide’s victory over Notre Dame within the BCS Championship.

From the AP:

Regent Wallace Hall says he spoke by telephone with Saban’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, a few days after the Jan. 7 BCS championship game. Tom Hicks, a former regent, additionally was on the decision with Sexton.

It was not clear who initiated the assembly. Sexton did not return a call looking for comment.

After talking to Saban, Hall approached present Texas coach Mack Brown about retiring in line with the AP. Brown declined, and the matter “was dropped.” Also in on the call, in accordance with Hall, was former Texas Rangers proprietor Tom Hicks, who was on the board when Brown was employed in 1997.

Brown’s future has been on the center of much dialogue with the Longhorns’ dismal 1-2 start and porous run defense. Brown fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz after the Longhorns gave up 550 yards on the bottom against BYU in a forty-21 loss. Towards Ole Miss below new defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, Texas gave up 278 yards on the ground whereas shedding 44-23 at home.

Saban, the winner of three of the last 4 BCS title video games at Alabama, will surely be Texas’ dream rent. Earlier than the Texas A&M game, a sure well-known SEC radio host tweeted a joke linking Saban to Texas. Are we previous the joke phase? Would Saban think about leaving Alabama?

Who knows. Texas would certainly need to pony up a considerable quantity higher than his present $5.3 million dollar wage. They might do it, though this may be extra of a situation of wishful thinking rather than certainly one of realism.

And is it the wishful considering of 1 man? Texas booster Joe Jamail advised the AP in reference to people wanting Brown out of a job that, “If there are any more, get ready for a lawsuit. Mack has publicly said he needs to coach.”

You can even expect a hasty “no remark” when this comes up at Saban’s next press availability. The bet here is there’s rather more smoke than fireplace, too.


Brian Wilson tells agent that his beard is ‘going with him to the grave’

(USA In the present day)

No matter how a lot somebody tries to pay pitcher Brian Wilson to shave his terrible beard, he will not do it. One day after a razor blade company supplied him $1 million dollars to erase his notorious facial hair, Wilson’s agency told TMZ (as a result of, yeah) that he by no means took the provide earnestly.

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How close of a shave was it? Wilson’s Beard even launched an announcement:


He should let the Beard speak all the time. And the best way Wilson pitched in his return to Main League Baseball on Thursday, changing something proper now would seem a misstep — particularly considering ballplayer superstitions.

In his first outing since recovering from a second Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery and signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he tossed a scoreless inning against the Miami Marlins. He allowed a double, but also struck out slugger Giancarlo Stanton, acing him on an 88-mph cutter — so to speak — after zipping a 94-mph heater previous him. Wilson received the ultimate three outs in a 6-zero Dodgers victory. They’re 77-52 this season and rolling.

So, no, Wilson can’t shave the beard. Not right now. But not ever?

Brian refuses to even trim his trademark, and, in reality.. he’s told them the beard is “going with him to the grave.”

Just as we all thought. It’s bought a loss of life grip on his face.

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Agent for Terrell Owens has talked to a ‘bunch of teams’ about a return in 2013

Terrell Owens is hoping for an NFL tryout (USA Right this moment Sports Pictures)

The agent for 39-year-old free agent huge receiver Terrell Owens tells’s Adam Schefter that he has talked with “a bunch of teams” a few doable return in the 2013 season.

“I do know if he goes out there and will get a shot, he’ll make a workforce,” Dallas-based mostly agent Jordan Woy stated. “We have talked to a whole lot of teams which have said he’s a great talent, we’re set as of right now, but when we have injuries, we might attain back out.”

Of course, brokers talk to teams on a regular basis about their purchasers, notably once they’re trying to create an opportunity. It is what brokers are paid to do and simply because conversations have taken place, it does not mean that there is precise, real interest in Owens from these groups.

Owens, a six-time Pro Bowler, has 1,078 receptions for 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns throughout his 15-year career with the San Francisco 49ers (1996-2003), Philadelphia Eagles (2004-05), Dallas Cowboys (2006-08), Buffalo Payments (2009) and Cincinnati Bengals (2010). Owens last appeared in an NFL common season recreation on Dec. 19, 2010 as a member of the Bengals. Based mostly on his manufacturing that season, he possible would have continued his career in 2011, however he tore an ACL throughout the lockout and was not signed by a team once he was cleared to return midway through the season.

Owens went to coaching camp with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012. In three video games, Owens was targeted eight occasions, catching two passes for forty one yards before he was released in late August.

Earlier this offseason, Owens advised Mike Freeman of that if a return would not occur in 2013, he’ll doubtless retire.


Green Bay Packers will work out free agent quarterback Vince Young

(USA Right now Sports activities Photos)

As you watch preseason games, you will notice that Vince Young is best than many quarterbacks presently on NFL rosters. However he has been unable to get a job.

Young will get a shot to impress the Green Bay Packers on Monday, and possibly get another job at age 30. The Inexperienced Bay Press-Gazette reported that the Packers will work out Younger.

Young’s NFL career definitely had its dangerous moments, such as the acrimonious break up with the Tennessee Titans, but he has plenty of uncooked talent.

Young has an important mixture of size, velocity and arm energy, even when he never developed as a NFL passer. He has 46 touchdowns, 51 interceptions and a 57.9 completion share in his profession.

But the thought of him getting an opportunity with the Packers (who may use a diversion given the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report that left deal with Bryan Bulaga may need a serious knee injury) is fascinating. Being with an offensive-minded coach like Mike McCarthy could help Young. So might having Green Bay’s deep receiving corps to throw to. The Packers have Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman backing up Aaron Rodgers, so it is not like they could not use an improve.

Perhaps that is just the widespread observe of NFL groups bringing in numerous players for workouts, in order that they have a well timed report on obtainable free brokers ought to an emergency come up. A workout definitely does not imply the Packers are concerned with signing Younger proper now, even when he seems to be good. However hopefully the Packers take the plunge with Young, as a result of it would make the preseason much more fascinating.


49ers CB Tarell Brown hires a new agent

Tarell Brown has a new agent (USA Right this moment Sports Photos)

Late last week, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown fired his previous agent when, unbeknownst to him, a $2 million base wage escalator in his contract was voided when he didn’t take part in the team’s voluntary workout program this offseason.

Six days later, Brown has a brand new agent. In accordance with Liz Mullen of the SportsBusiness Journal, the seventh-yr cornerback has hired Joel Segal of Lagardere Unlimited.

Brown is at present scheduled to earn $925,000 in base salary, but 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has hinted that the team goes to work with Brown and his new agent to resolve the situation.

“He bought hit by, that’s an actual torpedo,” Harbaugh stated of Brown on Sunday. “But, he’s been very professional. And the thing I feel for all of us is finding the solution. There’s an answer there. And soon that all of us put our minds together and provide you with the fitting plan, it will hopefully get to the point the place you giggle about that and chuckle about that. That’s the way I’d wish to see it go.”

After enjoying in a reserve function for the first 4 seasons of his profession, Brown, a 2007 fifth-round select of Texas, has emerged as a starter over the past two seasons. Brown has ninety seven tackles, six interceptions and 29 passes defensed whereas enjoying in 98.three percent of the 49ers’ 2,074 defensive snaps between the 2011 and 2012 regular seasons. In 5 playoff games, Brown has a pair of interceptions and will probably be one of the crew’s two beginning cornerbacks this season and beyond, offered an extension may be labored out.

Another potential long-time period starter at cornerback for the 49ers is Chris Culliver, which creates a moderately interesting state of affairs in the workforce’s defensive backfield as Culliver employed Segal to characterize him earlier this offseason.


Puck Daddy’s 2013 NHL Free Agent Frenzy Report Card

AP The NHL’s 2013 Free Agent Frenzy began at noon on Friday, July 5. Teams spent well over $400 million on contracts that they’ll either celebrate or regret for years to come.

Here are our hasty, myopic grade assessments for free-agent feast, which began roughly five days ago.

Who won? Who lost? Enjoy the hair-trigger reactions!

Anaheim Ducks

The Bobby Ryan trade was going to happen at some point – signing Perry and Getzlaf guaranteed that.

Maybe your expectations for an eventual Ryan trade where more than what the Ottawa Senators sent back to Anaheim; if so, they likely didn’t take the Ducks’ salary structure or the marketplace into account. Fact is that Jakob Silfverberg could be the fantasy darling of 2013-14 if he’s moved onto the Perry/Getzlaf line; Stefan Noesen is a former first-rounder and a tenacious player; and the Ducks get a first-rounder in 2014 as well.

Meanwhile, Ryan has two years left on his deal before a UFA bonanza. And if you think he’s going to re-sign there, allow me to point out he has an American girlfriend who has been living in California and thought Ottawa was a suburb of Detroit.

The Ducks also re-signed Saku Koivu (1 year, $2.5 million) after other alternatives at center didn’t pan out, as well as Ben Lovejoy for three years and $3.3 million on defense.

GRADE: B-plus

Boston Bruins

After a few years of consistency of roster, the Bruins saw dramatic changes around the Frenzy.

The biggest move was the seven-player deal with the Dallas Stars that saw the Bruins trade forward/former second overall pick/hater of moderation Tyler Seguin, center Rich Peverley and defensive prospect Ryan Button for left wing Loui Eriksson, young forwards Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser and defense prospect Joe Morrow.

In the short term, the Bruins win the deal. They cleared $4.75 million in cap space and acquired the best player in the trade in Eriksson, who averages around 30 goals a season. He’s a perfect fit for the Bruins’ system.

In the long term, Morrow projects to be a top four defenseman in the NHL. But the long-term success or failure of the deal rests with Seguin, who either becomes yet another cautionary tale of talent wasted on a misguided young player or the next Patrick Kane reclamation project. In the meantime, where guaranteed at least a few more months of photos depicting him sloshed at BBQs, so we all win.

The Bruins let Jaromir Jagr walk – slowly, and never at the pace of his linemates – and saw Nathan Horton leave for the “quieter” environs of Columbus, and decided to replace him with the most surreal choice possible: Jarome Iginla, who infamously chose the Penguins at the trade deadline last season over a deal to the Bruins.

He has a one year deal, an incentive-laden $6 million contract. He moves back to his natural position on the right with the Bruins, but one wonders how he’ll fit in Boston – and how much he has left as a top line player. But the sheer joy that is Bostonian sports fan brains exploding at the notion of Iginla signing with “The Second Choice” is priceless.

The loss of Andrew Ference on defense was expected but could hurt in the room and on the ice, despite the Bruins having some quality young defensive depth. Goalie Anton Khudobin left for Carolina, while the Bruins signed goalie Chad Johnson (Phoenix) and defenseman Aaron Johnson (Rangers).

They might regret it down the line, but in the short term the Bruins get …

GRADE: A-minus

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres believe Henrik Tallinder is going to help Tyler Myers figure out what the hell happened to Tyler Myers. He was his mentor before leaving for the Devils, who wanted to shed his salary. Their loss is Buffalo’s gain. Otherwise, it was quiet for the Sabres, which is a nice change of pace for Pegulaville (Population: All On 10-Year Free-Agent Contracts) Still, their inability to trade Ryan Miller as the rest of the goalie market started to settle is a little frustrating.


Calgary Flames

The Flames made two small moves that have some upside. TJ Galiardi was plucked from the San Jose Sharks, and has a 1 year deal worthier $1.25 million. Defenseman Kris Russell was jettisoned from the Blues after he turned down a 1-year deal. He was a spare part there; maybe he gets his ice time in Calgary. Brian “Big Ern” McGrattan re-signed for 2 years and $1.5 million, and he’s always good for punches.


Carolina Hurricanes

That Mike Komisarek is an upgrade to the Carolina defense should speak volumes, but he is: At the very least, he’s doesn’t seem like a redundancy, which has been that group’s problem for the last few years. Maybe without that contract and the Toronto media asking when he’ll be bought out, he thrives. The Anton Khodobin/Dan Ellis swap saved the Canes $100,000 and gained them someone who can push Cam Ward. GM Jim Rutherford has other irons in the fire, but for now …


Chicago Blackhawks

All of the exoduses were expected for the champs, as Viktor Stalberg (Nashville), Ray Emery (Philly) and Rostislav Olesz (Jersey) all departed. That opened up salary space to re-sign Bryan Bickell and Michal Handzus, so that’s a fair tradeoff. Nikolai Khabibulin as a $2 million backup goalie isn’t as risky as it sounds, especially if Corey Crawford’s ready to carry more of the freight next season in starts. They could have probably found a cheaper alternative, but we imagine Stan Bowman’s still buzzed from the parade.


Colorado Avalanche

Nick Holden! Andre Benoit! J.T. Wyman! Guillaume Desbiens! Nate Guenin! If any of these names mean something to you, you’re probably an Avalanche fan. Our only surprise: That with Patrick Roy’s Ego now in player personnel, only two of these players are French-sounding. Bottom line: The Avs weren’t looking to be players in free agency, and weren’t.

GRADE: C-minus

Columbus Blue Jackets

How anyone can view the Nathan Horton contract as anything but a win for this team is baffling. Yes, he’s going to undergo shoulder surgery. Yes, he has a concussion history – funny how that’s an issue for a free agent signing but never for, say, Patrice Bergeron re-signing.

Horton is a power forward the Jackets need. The $5.3 million cap hit is actually lower than you’d expect a desperate team to hand out. The seven years are about two too long, but who cares? The Blue Jackets won a free agent derby because a guy wanted to play in Columbus and they didn’t pay significantly over market value. Two summers ago, they had to trade for Jeff Carter because no one wanted to play there; now, Horton picked them.


Dallas Stars

Well, Jim Nill certainly didn’t waste any time, did he?

The Tyler Seguin/Loui Eriksson seven-player swap puts his mark on this team in dramatic fashion. Seguin’s maturation as a star player will determine its success, because the Stars sent significant assets back to Boston. Rich Peverley adds much needed depth to the middle. So does Shawn Horcoff, acquired for Phillip Larson and a 2014 seventh-rounder. He has a relationship with Lindy Ruff and Nill, and desperately needed a change in scenery – his points per game were down to 0.39 in Edmonton, as he fell down the depth chart.

So three additions down the middle, which will allow Jamie Benn to move back to the wing, which is a good thing. Lindy Ruff said he expects Seguin to play with Benn from the start, which is either a way to further fuel his sense of entitlement or to give him a ball he shan’t drop.

Dan Ellis is a nice backup to Kari Lehtonen without being threatening.

It’s tough to judge this one, because if Seguin stops pretending he’s auditioning for an E! reality show (tentative title: “Ty One On”) and fulfills his potential, this could be a banner day for the Stars franchise. As of now, a lot of needs filled by Nill.

GRADE: A-minus

Detroit Red Wings

The Wings missed on Ryan Suter last summer, then entered into a “transition year” that saw them transition right into the conference semifinal. So GM Ken Holland went into the off-season ready to spend – little did he know what opportunity would arise.

Daniel Alfredsson at $5.5 million for one season is a classic “hired gun wants to win Cup” scenario, but this gun has more than a few bullets left. He’s a perfect addition to the top six for this team. So is Stephen Weiss (5 years, $4.9 million) who costs less and might even be a shade better than Valtteri Filppula. Much like Nathan Horton when he left Florida, Weiss has been waiting years for this chance.

The Wings are losing Damien Brunner (bummer) and potentially Dan Cleary.

They still need to address the blue line, but adding two top-six forwards makes Detroit a lot closer to that Cup Alfie’s chasing. Hey, remember when Marian Hossa went to Detroit to chase one? Good times …


Edmonton Oilers

Is it OK to really, really love what the Oilers did here?

Andrew Ference is exactly what the team needed on the back end: Veteran presence, some physicality and leadership from a guy with a ring. Some have complained that Ference hasn’t played against top competition thanks to Zdeno Chara with the Bruins, but Tyler Dellow goes the distance in explaining why that’s a bit of a misnomer. At a $3.25 million cap hit, it’s a great deal, even if four years is perhaps one too many for a player his age.

The Boyd Gordon signing is even better. He’s terrific on draws, kills penalties and isn’t an offensive black hole despite his role. Edmonton might have overpaid a bit at $9 million over 3 years, but you try convincing a guy to leave the golf courses of Glendale for Edmonton in December and see how much it takes. Jason Labarbera, also from the Coyotes, is a serviceable backup at $1 million.

They also found a taker for Shawn Horcoff’s $5.5 million cap hit through 2015.


Florida Panthers

Stephen Weiss wasn’t coming back; not with Detroit and St. Louis in the mix. The Panthers added Washington Capitals fourth liner Joey Crabb for 2 years at $1.2 million and Toronto spare part defenseman Mike Mottau at 1 year and $700,000. Remember when Dale Tallon signed, like, all the free agents? We miss those days. For now, they deserve an incomplete, because other moves have to be made. But for now …


Los Angeles Kings

The Kings lost The Piece, Rob Scuderi, to the Penguins and checking winger Brad Richardson to the Vancouver Canucks. They re-signed Keaton Ellerby for one year and inked Jeff Schultz, who was bought out by the Capitals, for one year. Schultz is, as they say, not good. But hey, they’re still in the “pulling Matt Frattin for Bernier” afterglow, so …


Minnesota Wild

The Wild spent the gross national product of Belize on two free agents last summer, so this was quiet by comparison – but more controversial. Matt Cooke is still considered the scum of the Earth by Western Conference fans who get their news from Mike Milbury and/or morons who think he intentionally Ginzu’d the leg of Erik Karlsson. At 3 years and $7.5 million, he’s a guy who plays on the edge (like the departed Cal Clutterbuck) but is a more-than-serviceable depth player (unlike Cal Clutterbuck).

Keith Ballard gets 2 years with a $1.5 million cap hit and is another player that should thrive without the crushing weight of his cap hit smothering him. Matt Cullen (Nashville) was allowed to leave so Mikael Granlund could slide up the depth chart. Pierre-Marc Bouchard also left, for the Islanders.

GRADE: B-minus

Montreal Canadiens

The Danny Briere signing was expected but nonetheless impressive for the Habs, who get a versatile forward who’s money in the playoffs and can be an insufferable [expletive] to play against, which seems to be the only requirement for Marc Bergevin to give you money and a Montreal sweater.

Gone were Michael Ryder (NJ) and Yannick Weber (Vancouver). But George Parros has arrived to punch people with a funny mustache. Like, he has the funny mustache, we mean. We assume he’d also punch people with one too.

GRADE: B-plus

Nashville Predators

The Predators needed goals. That’s it. That was the mission for GM David Poile this summer. Find goals.

Viktor Stalberg had 22 of them for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011-12, so that’s promising. Matt Cullen had 14 of them that season, which isn’t bad. Eric Nystrom had 16 that season too, which is even better.

The problem is that none of these players can be counted on consistently for offense, and that they eat up $8 million in cap space. These are fine players. These are nice players. But these are not players that you enter next season with wiping your hands and saying “offensive problems solved!” Which, again, was the mission.

The Cullen signing was, I think, the best of the lot. But again: Briere went for $500,000 more. It speaks to Nashville’s inability to attract top line offensive talent, which speaks to either the market or the team’s philosophy.

Also: Matt Hendricks was one of my favorite players to watch and cover with the Washington Capitals, but a 4-year contract (even with a small $1.85 million hit) is truly bizarre for a player the Predators seem to already have five of.

GRADE: C-minus

New Jersey Devils

When Lou is good, he’s very good: Michael Ryder for 2 years and $7 million is very good. Patrik Elias back for three years and a $5.5 million cap hit shows that Lou’s Kool-Aid remains strong. Rusty Olesz for 1 year and $1 million … sure, whatever. Shedding Henrik Tallinder’s salary was a plus as well.

When Lou is bad, it’s usually in reaction to someone leaving the Devils: When Niedermayer left, it was Malakhov and McGillis. When Clarkson left on Friday, it was 5 years and $24.25 million for Ryane Clowe, a player I believe is sliding on the downside of his career like a snowboarder trying to avoid an avalanche.

GRADE: B-minus

Getty Images

New York Islanders

The most significant move for the Islanders was re-signing Travis Hamonic for 7 years at $27 million. In typical fashion, it was a move trashed by uppity Canadian media types that watched the Islanders for the first time in seven years during the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, which ignores the fact that Garth Snow locked up a 23-year-old minutes-eating two-way defenseman at $3.857 million through 2020.

Assuming Evgeni Nabokov gives them exactly what he did in 2012-13, it’s not a bad move to bring him back for another year, even at $3.25 million. But you’d like to see the Islanders add another goalie to that mix.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard has been called “tentative” and “soft” by Minnesota Wild observers that have seen his game diminish in the last few injury-riddled seasons. One year, $2 million, and the chance to resurrect his career with Tavares and Moulson? That’s a better investment than relocating to Brooklyn.


New York Rangers

The Rangers decided not to buy out Brad Richards for some misguided reason, let Ryane Clowe become the Devils problem, re-signed Ryan McDonagh to a great deal, traded for Justin Falk and Danny Syvret and signed both Benoit Pouliot (1 year, $1.3 million) and Aaron Johnson (1 year, $600K). GM Glen Sather has to take care of his own – Derek Stepan needs a contract, too – before bringing in more bodies. As it stands:

GRADE: B-minus

Ottawa Senators

The Daniel Alfredsson controversy overshadows everything else the Senators did, which is a shame, because they’re a better team now than they were on July 3.

Bobby Ryan is an elite goal scorer with size – essential in the East – and one assumes he’ll keep Jason Spezza in girlish giggles for the next two years if the two find chemistry. You have to give to get, and the Sens paid up for Ryan, but he’s a star.

The Clarke MacArthur signing is great because (a) he’s an essential replacement for Silfverberg on that second line and (b) because the next two years of Leafs fans bitching about an overpaid Clarkson while Sens fans celebrate an underpaid MacArthur ($3.25 million cap hit) are going to be glorious.

Joe Corvo is back again as a spare part defenseman, while Peter Regin’s disappointment output is now with the New York Islanders.

Tough losing Alfie, but it might be his loss.

GRADE: A-minus

Philadelphia Flyers

Remember when the Flyers signed Vincent Lecavalier at $4.5 million annually for five years and everyone went apoplectic? Welp, he’s going to earn less than Iginla, Ribeiro, Alfredsson, Horton, Clarkson, Filppula, Weiss and Clowe next season against the cap.

Yeah, horrible signing, Philly, coming in under market value like that.

Oh, and what’s this: Ray Emery is back for just $1.65 million after going 17-1-0 last season with Chicago?

Adam Hall was also signed for $600,000 and one season. Which is obviously why they bought out Bryzgalov and Briere.

For some reason, these signings are being demonized as terrible. Maybe you don’t feel they needed Lecavalier; you weren’t saying the same thing when the lack of a veteran winger, in the wake of Jagr’s departure, helped sink the team during the season.

The Flyers didn’t solve all of their issues, but these were shrewd financial moves from a team we weren’t sure knew had to make them. So, with the bar set there:

GRADE: B-plus

Phoenix Coyotes

Mike Ribeiro wanted five years, got four years and signed with the Coyotes for $5.5 million against the cap annually. If you expect last year’s numbers, you’re an idiot: No Alex Ovechkin, no Adam Oates’ orchestrated power play, no contract year. Better to expect him in the neighborhood of 60-70 points, most likely playing with Shane Doan. Dave Tippett’s had Ribeiro before, and this is good reunion for the center – even if that’s a mighty high price for what amounts to a second line center.

The Coyotes will miss Boyd Gordon’s defense. Thomas Greiss backs up Mike Smith for $250,000 less than what Jason Labarbera wanted.

The major failing, thus far: The Coyotes still haven’t addressed a lack of veteran scoring on the wing.

GRADE: B-minus

Pittsburgh Penguins

Rob Scuderi is a nice, safe move by the Penguins, at four years and a $3.375 million cap hit. He still has plenty left, and folds right back into the Pittsburgh system with ease.

The Penguins let Iginla and Matt Cooke walk, traded Tyler Kennedy, and made the smart decision to bring back Craig Adams at two years and $1.4 million. Oh, and Pascal Dupuis got paid: Four years and $15 million.


San Jose Sharks

The Sharks were really, really quiet during the Frenzy, dealing away T.J. Galiardi to Calgary and watching Thomas Greiss leave for the Coyotes. They re-signed Scott Hannan for one year and a million dollars, so that’s something. They flirted with Alfredsson, so that’s another thing. Also, they didn’t do anything stupid, which is the important thing.

GRADE: C-minus

St. Louis Blues

Look, Maxim Lapierre is a nice signing for a team that’s at its best when it’s at its most annoying. Re-signing Jordan Leopold is a positive move (2 years, $2.25 million). But the Blues chased Stephen Weiss, Valterri Filppula and Lecavalier and couldn’t convince them to sign in St. Louis. Instead, they spent $4 million on Derek Roy for one season, his third team in two years. GM Doug Armstrong rationalized it: “We’re still bringing back the same centermen that got us home-ice advantage the last two years in the playoffs.” Yeah, that must be why you were desperately seeking an upgrade. For now, a..

GRADE: D-plus

Getty Images Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning buy out Vincent Lecavalier, and everyone celebrates the end of a regrettable contract. Which leads to GM Steve Yzerman … entering into another regrettable contract.

Filppula as a $5-million player annually over five years makes Jiri Hudler seem underpaid. This is another Matt Carle signing, made worse because Yzerman was part of the Red Wings and should know better.

Cardinal rule: If the master signs a better player at $4.9 million annually over five years, best not give his castoff more money if you’re the student.


Toronto Maple Leafs

By now, the Tyler Bozak (5 years, $21 million) and David Clarkson (7 years, $36.75 million) contracts have been picked apart to the cent. Bozak is the overpaid faux first liner who’s actually a drag on his buddy Phil Kessel’s stats. Clarkson’s contract promises value in the first couple of seasons, before what Mirtle believes will be a sharp decline.

The Bozak signing is nepotism; you can almost feel the tap on the shoulder to Kessel saying, “Hey, champ, see what we did for your boys? How about that contract extension?” The Clarkson signing would be a good one at the right price; but at seven years and a cap hit of $5.25 million, he will be afflicted with Chris Drury Disease – player with great intangibles seen as a hapless bust because his numbers don’t sync up with his contract – by Year 3 at the latest.

They won’t miss Komisarek. They will miss MacArthur and, especially, Mikhail Grabovski, inexplicably allowed to walk in order to pay Bozak.


Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks had addition by subtractions, as Derek Roy and Keith Ballard left for St. Louis and Minnesota. Vancouver will miss Max Lapierre’s particular brand of whimsy, but Brad Richardson’s a nice addition to the bottom six. Yannick Weber’s a depth defenseman on the cheap. Now, about that Luongo issue …

GRADE: C-plus

Washington Capitals

Gone are Mike Ribeiro, Matt Hendricks, Jeff Schultz and Joey Crabb. Coming in is … nobody. The Capitals were quiet during the Frenzy, keeping with Adam Oates plan to maintain consistency on the roster from year to year. Which is all well and good but who the [expletive] is playing second-line center next season?

GRADE: C-minus

Winnipeg Jets

The Jets traded for Devin Setoguchi and watched Alex Burmistrov leave for the KHL, so at least their offensive enigma quota remains sufficiently filled.

GRADE: C-minus


The Dallas Mavericks have missed out on a star free agent again, could be forced to move on

The Dallas Mavericks attempt to trap Dwight Howard (Noah Graham/ Getty).

After their title in June 2011 (and the lockout that proceeded it), the Dallas Mavericks opted not to bring back the core of their 2011 championship team with the hope of maximizing their financial flexibility to add a younger star to turn the team into a viable long-term contender. Two years later — after missing out on Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, and Chris Paul — it’s clear that this plan has not been carried out in its ideal form. A lottery team in 2013, the Mavericks now face the reality of their new position. That championship season was a long time ago, given the short windows of NBA contention. Like many teams, they’re now struggling to stay relevant.

According to the plan owner Mark Cuban described in late May, the Mavs’ goal was to add a top-tier free agent (presumably either Paul or Howard) in free agency this summer, grab another in 2014, and ascend to the top of the NBA mountain on a rainbow made of taffy and gumdrops. This outlook was always a little too optimistic, but it was not a terrible idea for a team only two seasons removed from a championship. Although Dirk Nowitzki has seen a dip in his abilities (or maybe just health) over that time, the Mavs still retain much of the image from that title, plus Cuban’s deserved reputation as an owner who treats his players well while they’re in uniform. There was good reason to think those qualities meant something.

What we’ve learned over these offseasons is that Dallas’s advantages didn’t necessarily top the presence of a young star on the roster, the built-in appeal of a huge market like Los Angeles, or the new collective bargaining agreement’s rules that allow a free agent’s current team to give him considerably more money. Cuban’s gambit didn’t work, and the result is that the Mavericks have been forced to try for lesser free agents and short-term solutions. It was fitting that the announcement that Dallas had fallen out of the Howard sweepstakes was followed soon after by Adrian Wojnarowski’s report that the team had agreed to terms with veteran point guard Jose Calderon on a four-year contract. Calderon is a very capable floor leader who could make real magic with Dirk Nowitzki on the pick-and-roll, but he’s also 31 years old and likely best equipped to be a backup at this point in his career. Simply put, he’s not the sort of guy who sets a time up for lasting relevance.

Barring a shocking turn of good fortune, the Mavericks are limited to adding these types of players for the foreseeable future. With their current roster, they’re likely going to compete for one of the West’s final playoff spots or fall to the back-end of the lottery. Effectively, Dallas would be able to base level of success without necessary improving their chances of reaching contender status any time soon.

Staying in the middle of the league isn’t always an attractive option, but it could hold some interest for Cuban and the Mavericks. Since he purchased the team in January 2000, the Mavericks have missed out on the playoffs exactly twice, in 2000 and 2013. In other words, Cuban has not spent much time in charge of a bad NBA team, which could make the idea of a few rebuilding seasons less appealing. (This is just speculation, obviously.) Chasing a high lottery pick can be a useful way to improve, but it’s also somewhat depressing, an admission that winning games — the events your business puts on to draw in fans — does not match up with the goals of the franchise. It’s a logical move, but it also sucks.

Rebuilding is far from the only option for the Mavericks, but its newfound viability represents how things have changed for the franchise since 2011. After losing out on Howard on Friday, Cuban told the Associated Press that his team would move “on to Plan B.” That option might eventually need to become their Plan A.