NBA Free Agency & Trades

NBA free agency and the trades this week have been on a full swing. With hundreds of millions of dollars being currently spent, there’s still a lot more to come with moving parts to board. FanPicks (click to play) breakdowns this week’s madness in Free Agency signings and Trades in the NBA!

Kevin Durant joins the Golden State Warriors

One of the biggest off season and trade frenzy question was answered Monday morning when Kevin Durant announced that he was leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to arch Western Conference rivals Golden State Warriors. Durant’s formal introduction at Oracle Arena Thursday confirmed OKC’s fans’ nightmare as the face of their franchise moved on.

The MVP of the 2013-2014 season and 4 time NBA scoring leader joined the team of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. This is a gigantic earthquake that has shaken the NBA this week! A few weeks after losing in seven games against the Warriors, Kevin Durant decided to join them!

NBA Free Agency

Dwayne Wade joins the Chicago Bulls

A leap in the salary cap has caused teams to hand out record amounts of money for players this time of the year in the NBA Free Agency Frenzy.

Dwyane Wade chose to leave the Miami Heat to join the Chicago Bulls. Wade, 34, was upset the lack of consideration of the Heat’s management. With this deal worth $47.5 million for 2 years, it will be interesting how the Bulls will cope with Wade’s experience and leadership after losing stars Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.

He has been with the team since 2003 and won 3 NBA Championships during his amazing run.

Joakim Noah joins the New York Knicks

The French-American became officially a player of the New York Knicks after serving 9 seasons with the Chicago Bulls.

Noah, 31, signed a four-year contract with the famous New York franchise, valued at $70 million. He was apparently on the list of players that they’ve been wanting to recruit for a long time.

He will be alongside his former teammate Derrick Rose and close friend Carmelo Anthony.

 

With Pau Gasol leaving the Bulls for the San Antonio Spurs  last week, many other top free agents are up for grabs.

Don’t forget to check our blog for the latest news on this NBA Free Agent Frenzy with the market still hot after this frantic week in the NBA.

Posted in NBA

NFL Draft

LA Rams acquire first overall pick from Titans

Talk about respect.

Making a trade for the first overall pick in the NFL Draft is usually the biggest news in the sports world. But, the Rams even held off announcing the move until they deemed fit.

What could possibly be more important than announcing Los Angeles had just acquired the first overall pick?

Well, Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher was quoted as saying “the night belonged to Kobe”.

Respect.

Now that the cat’s out of the bag, let’s break down the momentous move.

laramstrade

The Titans received picks number 15 (1st), 43 (2nd), 45 (2nd), 76 (3rd), and 2017 1st and 3rd rounders. They already hold the 33rd overall pick (second pick in 2nd round), and 64th (first in 3rd round). The Rams received the first overall pick, pick 113 (4th), and 177 (6th).

The Titans now own six of the first 76 picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, enough ammo to rebuild any franchise let alone one with a few solid building blocks already in place. Namely, a (potential) franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota.

We knew Tennessee wasn’t in love with consensus top pick OT Laremy Tunsil, but that wasn’t enough to pull the trigger just yet. New GM Jon Robinson played his cards just right, and optimized the return for a position he didn’t need to be in. Word is they like the next set of best available OL, and taking Tunsil at number one didn’t necessarily optimize their needs. The Titans and Jack Conklin apparently have mutual admiration, news that surfaced yesterday sparking trade talk among fans and media alike.

When asked if any NFL Head Coaches have made an impact on him through the draft process he responded with “One [NFL head coach] that’s really stood out to me is Mike Mularkey. I really liked him because I see a lot of similarities between him and [Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio]. That really intrigues me because that is somebody that I trust and thrived under.”

While there it’s no sure thing that the Titans draft an offensive-lineman, their strategy was spot on. More importantly than the 15th overall pick, is perhaps the three second-rounders they now own. The 2016 draft is the kind you want to own a plethora of early to mid-round picks. A number of potential stars will be plucked between numbers 32 and 98.

A young running back to groom behind Demarco Murray, a talented wide receiver to pair with the developing Dorial Green-Beckham, and an athletic tight-end are all needs on the offensive side of the ball. While a youth infusion is needed on defense, as their linebacking core and secondary could use a serious upgrade after letting a few veterans go via free agency.

The Rams logic was simple. Get a franchise quarterback, now!

I’ve heard whispers that projected number two overall pick Carson Wentz will now go one, but I think Cal’s Jeff Goff will be the man.

Goff was the consensus top QB all season long, and the only reason Wentz name has been glued to the Browns is because new Head Coach Hue Jackson is enamored by the North Dakota State QB. He’s a great fit in Cleveland, as the more steady, blue-collar type. If in fact, the Browns opt to select him at number two, he would become the highest-drafted non-FBS quarterback in NFL history.

In my opinion the hometown Goff is a perfect fit for the Rams, as his gunslinger style is made for the lovely people of California. The fans will be able to deal with his growing pains, and by handing the ball off to Todd Gurley the team can limit his responsibilities early-on.  A luxury the Cleveland Browns certainly do not possess.

No matter who goes where, the draft process has been especially exciting this year and it can only get better the closer we inch to draft day.

Posted in NFL

Chandler Jones Trade Review

On March 15 2016, the New England Patriots traded defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals for Jonathan Cooper and the Cardinals’ second-round pick (61).

Jones, who led the Patriots with 30 sacks over the past three years was assumed to be a big piece of the puzzle moving forward in New England. While Cooper, who has been a major bust at guard since being drafted 7th overall in 2013 was slated to move to center for 2016 in hopes of saving his NFL career.

When the trade first broke, everyone freaked out and said “Wow, Chandler Jones to the Cardinals!? Did the Pats get duped in a deal for once!?” That quickly turned into, “well Jones has off-field issues and they lost a top pick due to deflate gate so it’s actually a smart move by the Pats”.

A typical reaction when the subject is a organization with such a tremendous track record of success. It’s hard to ever fault the Pats for any moves they make because even when they don’t look good at first, they often end up turning out quite well. I think we’ve all learned to shut our mouths on that front.

But I must speak up on this trade. I will not be another “yes-man”, one of the fellow “another solid move for the Pats” guys. We subliminally wear rose coloured glasses at anything Belichick or the Pats do, but I had a moment of clarity and managed to shed them for a second and immediately realized…Cards fans must be ecstatic about this move.

Think of the Cardinals defense swarming all around in a sea of red. All they were missing was a pass rush. That’s pretty much all anyone has talked about this off-season regarding the Cardinals. Tyrann Mathieu’s health, and getting a pass-rush. They didn’t land any rushers in free agency, so the draft was all that was left. But, how much could a rookie pass-rusher really help them? Four to eight sacks is a successful year for a rookie. Jones had 12.5 last season, including 4 forced fumbles.

Arizona got as far as they did this season with the late addition of Dwight Freeney as their sack specialist. He did well with 8 sacks of his own in just 11 games, but he is now another year older (36) and cannot anchor a team like he once did. Freeney still remains a free agent.

The Pats signed Chris Long in hopes of replacing some of Jones’ production, and will surely address the position in the draft. The Cardinals signed Evan Mathis. At this point in their careers Long is hoping he can still play in the NFL, while Mathis graded out 2015 as one of the best run-blockers in the league and won a Super Bowl starting for the Denver Broncos.

Arizona wins again.

Posted in NFL