Top 10 Storylines 1 Week Before 2019 NBA Free Agency

A large section of the NBA fanbase swears up and down that the offseason drama is every bit as compelling—if not more so—as the on-court action.

Those folks are closing in on a banner summer.authentic nfl jerseys cheap wholesale

It’s not even July, and two massive dominoes have already dropped. The Los Angeles Lakers joined the championship chase with the Anthony Davis addition. The Utah Jazz jumped up the contending ranks with Mike Conley.

If those deals weren’t enough, the draft doused most corners of the hoops world with the sweet nectar of unbridled optimism.cheap wholesale nfl jerseys

Somehow, things could get a lot more hectic from here. We’re just scratching the surface when it comes to potential plot twists, so we have assembled the 10 best storylines ahead of free agency and ranked them based on their possible impact on the league at large. nfl jersey cheap wholesale china
d0ef8bf2236cd7ba55aec99bd5a683c2_crop_exact
With Anthony Davis and Mike Conley off the market, Bradley Beal is by far the most interesting trade candidate—even if the Washington Wizards say he’s no trade candidate at all.

Despite the District’s posturing, a Beal deal seems the most helpful strategy for everyone involved. With John Wall sidelined by an Achilles tear and untradeable given his supermax salary, the Wizards are going nowhere fast. They need a reset, and Beal, a two-time All-Star at the peak of his powers, should be in a situation where he can impact winning.cheap nfl wholesale jerseys

He can hit the open market in 2021, which sounds far away but is close enough to start analyzing the risk of losing him for nothing. Had he made an All-NBA team, he would’ve been supermax-eligible this offseason. Even then, he wasn’t sure if would re-up.wholesale jerseys cheap nfl

Beal told The Athletic’s Fred Katz: “My biggest concern, just like I tell everybody else, is just making sure that we’re going in the right direction. … What are we gonna do here moving forward? It starts with getting a new GM and building up our team this summer.”wholesale cheap nfl jersey china

The Wizards haven’t settled on a new front-office head, and whoever takes the gig inherits a bloated payroll and underwhelming prospect collection. cheap wholesale nfl jerseys from china Is there any reason to believe things will be dramatically different in the next year or two? At the very least, Washington should be open to hearing what the market might bear for Beal, especially as clubs with cap space miss out on their top free-agent targets.

Every NBA Team’s Realistic Dream Signing in 2019 Free Agency

We are on the cusp of the most eventful NBA offseason since the summer of 2010 when LeBron James and Chris Bosh teamed up to join Dwyane Wade in Miami. Things got started when the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to trade for Anthony Davis to team him with James.buy nfl jerseys cheap

There’s a whole bunch of money out there to be spent. According to Keith Smith’s meticulously maintained spreadsheet, there is just shy of $450 million in cap space out there. If you factor in exceptions, it’s likely more than half a billion dollars will be doled out this summer.where to buy cheap nfl jerseys85780d3cec424735cc509c3df9f1eb67_crop_exact

Additionally, 40 percent of players could be free agents this year, according to Adam Silver (via Joe Vardon of The Athletic).

A team’s best target depends on at least two things: how much money the team can spend and its status in regards to contending. For instance, the Sacramento Kings might have enough money to afford Kawhi Leonard, but that doesn’t mean they should pursue him because it’s unlikely he would leave the reigning champs for a team early in the rebuilding process.where to buy nfl jerseys cheap

For this article, teams were grouped based on their cap statuses. Some of those numbers are deceptive, however, and those instances were noted.where can i buy nfl jerseys cheap

“The apron” is a threshold roughly $6 million over the luxury-tax limit. While there are several restrictions involved, according to Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ, the main one that applies to free agency is that those teams have smaller mid-level exceptions and no biannual exceptions.

Other than that, all that is available to a team are minimum contracts. Even with those, the cost to the team can greatly exceed the cost of the contract because of the massive tax bill that can come with it.

In other words, if you’re over the apron, there’s not a whole lot you can do, especially if you’re not expected to contend for a title

nfl discount jerseys
Golden State Warriors (Minus-$70.2 million): Kevin Durant where can i buy cheap nfl jerseys

Check out this fun factoid tweeted by Beau Estes, which points out that if the Golden State Warriors retain Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant on max contracts, they’ll be the first team ever to have four players under max deals.buy cheap nfl jerseys china

If they also retain Kevon Looney at about $15 million annually, their four-year tax bill would come to about $1.6 billion.

Regardless of the cost, Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported they plan to do just that.discount nfl jerseys

Raptors Summer Planning: Making the Free Agent Decisions

Last time out, we took stock of what the Raptors’ current salary situation looks like, as well as how their cap sheet is trending for summer 2020 and 2021, to get an idea of the big picture before diving into the decisions to be made this summer.

So now having done that, let’s dive into some of the upcoming calls to make.authentic nfl jerseys cheap wholesale
Patrick McCaw

Patrick McCaw is a restricted free agent. To maintain his rights, the Raptors will need to extend him his qualifying offer (QO), which is a one year contract offer for $1.9M. He can accept that, or negotiate another deal with the Raptors or another team. The Raptors don’t have his Bird or Early Bird rights, so offering him a contract above that salary (or matching such an offer made by another team) requires them to use an exception.cheap wholesale nfl jerseys212

The minimum salary they can offer a free agent is about $0.9M, but for tax purposes (which will be crucial, as we will see momentarily), will count as $1.6M. So the $1.9M QO for McCaw is very low risk and provides the team a level of control over a player they might want to hold onto.nfl jersey cheap wholesale china
Danny Green

Moving along from least to most important, Danny Green is the next free agent in line. It’s hard to say what salary the market will peg for him, but a continuation of his $10 million this year would probably be in the right ball park. The term will be a question, at his age I imagine he’ll want as much term as possible, and I suspect the Raptors won’t want to give him five years.cheap nfl wholesale jerseys

Suffice to say the Raptors have his Bird Rights and can offer Green pretty much whatever it would take to sign him. Whether they will or not (or, more specifically, can afford to), we’ll dive into later.
Kawhi Leonard wholesale jerseys cheap nfl

Now the big one: Kawhi Leonard. If he wants to stay, the Raptors will offer him a maximum contract for whatever length best suits him, with a player option in the final year. The starting salary for this summer, assuming the above projection is correct, would be $32.7M. The Raptors have his full Bird Rights, cheap wholesale nfl jerseys from china meaning they can offer him a deal up to five years in length, and can offer him eight percent of that first year salary as an annual raise, while other teams are limited to four years and five percent raises. So the maximum offer from the Raptors works out to $190M over five years ($37.9M/year). While any other team can only offer $141M over 4 years ($35.2M/year). This is true even if the other team acquires Leonard in a sign-and-trade transaction: the only path to the higher raises and longer deal is re-signing with the Raptors to play with the Raptors.wholesale cheap nfl jersey china

Now, the long term might not be what Leonard wants. He is approaching 10 years experience in the NBA, and maximum salaries in the NBA jump up for players at key experience milestones. A player with six or fewer NBA seasons under their belt can sign for a starting salary up to 25 percent of the cap. Once the player hits seven years experience, that goes up to 30 percent. At 10 years, it goes up to 35 percent.cheap wholesale nfl jerseys china

So, Leonard needs to play two more seasons to hit his 10 year experience mark. Ideally, he would be a free agent as soon as he hit that mark, so that he could immediately sign a long term contract at his new higher maximum salary.cheap nfl jersey wholesale

Toronto Raptors: How Every Player Helped Win The NBA Championship

It takes a whole team to win the NBA Finals. The Toronto Raptors had contributions from each and every player in their rotation to help them win.wholesale nfl jerseys cheap

One of the more cliche sayings in sports is that it takes an entire team to win a championship. Obviously, it helps when you have the best player but, when you get contributions from the rest of your team, that’s when it becomes scary. This year, the Toronto Raptors had that.nike replica nfl jerseys

That strength carried over into the playoffs and it seemed like everyone had their very own signature moment at least once. Looking back on this in 20, 30 years no one is going to forget any of the players from this rotation to go along with those moments.nfl jersey replica
21
Comparing this rendition of the Raptors to past NBA Champs, the top end talent isn’t the same. The Warriors in their past few championship years had Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. Then there are the Cleveland Cavaliers who had LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love when they won their title in 2016. Even the pre-Durant Warriors had their fair share of elite talent at the top of their roster.nfl jerseys replica

This Raptors group wasn’t on the same level as those guys in terms of their primary players but obviously, that wasn’t a huge deal. The roster was full of misfits and outsiders but showed that with the right personalities and chemistry, they were the perfect fit.replica nike nfl jerseys

Every player had a role and every player impacted this run in some way or another. Maybe it was providing some shooting, maybe it was a clutch play or maybe it was pure dominance.cheap nfl jerseys wholesale

Kawhi Leonard, Raptors Take 2-1 Series Lead over Magic with 98-93 Game 3 Win

The Toronto Raptors grabbed a 2-1 series lead over the Orlando Magic with a 98-93 victory in Game 3 on Friday in Orlando.jerseys nfl wholesale

Pascal Siakam led the way for the Raptors with 30 points and 11 rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard contributed 16 points and 10 boards.cheap womens nfl jerseys china

Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 14 rebounds in a losing effort for the Magic.nfl women jersey

Siakam Much More Than NBA’s Most Improved Player hi-res-5923fad3d0af51c21e408358cf09fb83_crop_north

Third-year forward Pascal Siakam appears to be the favorite for the 2018-19 Most Improved Player award following a breakout regular season. Now that the postseason has arrived, he is showing his true value.

Siakam entered 2018-19 with career averages of 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. He took a big step forward by establishing new career highs in scoring (16.9), rebounds (6.9) and assists (3.1).nike nfl jerseys differences

John Schuhmann of NBA.com noted that Siakam had the third-biggest increase in points plus rebounds plus assists per game this season at 13.1.

Even those numbers don’t show how valuable he is to the Raptors. Game 3 did, though.cheap women nfl jerseys

Siakam has been one of Toronto’s most consistent players this postseason, entering play Friday averaging 21.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. As Leonard struggled with his shot most of the night, Siakam guided the Raptors to victory.

The 6’9″, 230-pound big man made 13 of 20 shots (3-of-4 from beyond the arc) in recording a game-high 30 points in 42 minutes. He scored 12 in the opening quarter.

When the Raptors needed a big play late, Siakam helped to hold off an Orlando rally on both ends of the court. His floater with 93 seconds to play ended a 4-0 Magic spurt and pushed the lead back up to six.

He also played a part in forcing a turnover on the ensuing Orlando possession, which helped close out the victory.nfl china jerseys nike

Before Game 3, first-year Toronto coach Nick Nurse made it clear to reporters that he viewed Siakam as the team’s second option, not third. Thus far, the Magic have had no answer for him.nfl jersey factory

FiveThirtyEight’s Jared Dubin wrote this week that Siakam—who is making $1.5 million this season—has provided the NBA’s best bang for buck, giving the Raptors a surplus value in excess of $35.8 million.nfl jersey wholesale authentic

Brooklyn Nets: Caris LeVert

D’Angelo Russell gives the Brooklyn Nets a genuine star through which to run everything. It gets a little touch-and-go after him. Brooklyn is deep—not to mention tireless—but wants for higher-end talent.women’s authentic nfl jerseys

Caris LeVert is best suited to begin bridging that talent deficit the Nets will face every game. He emerged as their top gun early in the season before a dislocated right foot halted his progress in November and opened the door for Russell to bust out. The variance in his play is real, but he’s the closest Brooklyn can come to a conventional second option.

Head coach Kenny Atkinson shares this position, per the New York Post’s Brian Lewis: women nfl jerseyhi-res-a5028e775ceddbb776fba8a8ab4c7dc6_crop_exact

“The good thing, we haven’t seen any regression. You’re afraid it’s just a one-game thing or a two-game thing; now he’s stringing three, four, five games together. It changes the conversation. He’s an X factor in these playoffs. If he can continue to play at the level he’s playing—even raise it one more level—that gives us more confidence going into the playoffs.”
china nfl jerseys nike
LeVert went kaboom in the final two weeks of the regular season. He averaged 16.0 points and 4.3 assists over his final eight games while putting down 47.6 percent of his pull-up triples and posting a true shooting percentage of 59.1.

Teensy-tiny end-of-the-year samples are not reliable telltales. But this isn’t about the (nonexistent) merits of momentum. LeVert was scoring at a similar clip, albeit with frostier shooting from distance, before his Nov. 12 injury. His most recent progress is more of a return to normal than temporary transformation. nike nfl jerseys on sale

Second-Biggest X-factor: Jared Dudley-at-the-5 lineups!women nfl jersey

Every NBA Playoff Team’s Biggest X-Factor

Stars drive the outcome of every NBA playoff series. Titles are not won without them. The list of Finals MVPs wouldn’t be dominated by Hall of Famers, both present and future, if they didn’t have the most control over postseason fates.nike nfl jerseys on saled49145a3aeb3a763b55ccba7290fe4b0_crop_exact

Still, playoff basketball isn’t only about the most obvious players. Teams are more than their tippy-top talent. They have sidekicks, role players, unsung heroes and, yes, higher-profile wild cards.

Everyone’s interpretation of X-factors is different. Some will argue that superstars can act as undersold turning points. They’re not wrong. Others see this designation as an opportunity to celebrate a roster’s deepest cuts. They’re not wrong, either.

Our search for this year’s top X-factors exists somewhere in the middle. Marquee talent isn’t off-limits, but we’re not singling out megastars. Their importance is assumed.china nfl jerseys nike

This is an ode to the postseason’s biggest swing pieces—unheralded No. 2s, fourth and fifth wheels and the occasional household name who fills a lesser role.

Jaylen Brown is a tempting selection. Marcus Smart’s absence will impact him more than anyone. Many of the toughest defensive assignments, beginning with Bojan Bogdanovic, will fall to him.

That curveball isn’t enough to overtake Gordon Hayward, though. He has been the Boston Celtics’ ultimate X-factor since the start of the season—their championship swing piece. Boston is a different team if he is even 75 percent of the player it signed in 2017.women nfl jersey

It has taken time. Hayward still doesn’t look like himself after he suffered a dislocated ankle and fractured left tibia on opening night last season. Rival offenses continue to target him in the half court.women’s authentic nfl jerseys

More and more, though, Hayward is getting closer to all the way back. As The Athletic’s Jay King wrote:where can i buy authentic nfl jerseys

“He has escaped from his post-injury funk with the battering, slashing style that made him an All-Star in Utah. Hayward is finishing at the rim with power and balance once again. He’s drawing free throws at approximately double his rate versus earlier in the season. He always seems in control, whether he’s spinning into a fadeaway jumper or firing a cross-court pass into a teammate’s shooting pocket.”buy nfl jerseys from china

Houston Rockets’ Dominant Start to Playoffs Is Worse for Utah Jazz Than It Seems

From the first time James Harden had the ball in Sunday’s 122-90 win over the Utah Jazz, it was clear he’d face the gimmicky defense the Milwaukee Bucks threw at him in the regular season.nike nfl jerseys from china

Ricky Rubio basically sat on his left shoulder. He wasn’t just trying to take that direction away from Harden. He was all but begging him to go right, as seen in this tweet from NBC’s Brody Logan:

Even in a 32-point drubbing, several things went right for the Jazz.womens nfl jersey

They more than doubled Houston’s attempts from the line (27 to 12).best price nfl jerseys
They had Harden somewhat contained.hi-res-456a6e27becfb7f564abbac73092b47a_crop_north
Ricky Rubio went 5-of-11 for 15 points.
Rudy Gobert had 22 points and 12 rebounds on 8-of-10 shooting.

That first bullet point could become a trend—the Jazz actually topped the Rockets in both free-throw attempts and free-throw-attempt rate this season—but it’s not likely to be that lopsided.

The huge disparity had a lot to do with Harden only getting to the line three times. In Houston’s gentlemen’s sweep of Utah last season, he took 8.6 free throws per game. Good luck keeping him off the stripe.

As for Rubio, his numbers are encouraging but maybe a bit of a mirage. He was more efficient than usual and scored a few more points than his season average. But Houston will live with Rubio jumpers all series.nfl jerseys women

The Rockets will stay home on Gobert’s rolls to the rim and hug up on Donovan Mitchell whenever Rubio has the ball. Letting either of them get loose would be far more damaging than a solid game from the pass-first point guard.

And then there’s Gobert. Individually, he was great. Last year, he was fine, too. In the five-game series against Houston, he averaged 12.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks while shooting 71.4 percent from the field.

But Utah was minus-19.0 points per 100 possessions when Gobert was on the floor in that series—the worst net rating of any player on the team, according to NBA.com. Sunday, he was a team-worst minus-23.the authentic nfl jerseys

Houston may have figured out the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.official nfl nike jerseys

Playing Derrick Favors more at the 5 might help. His net rating against Houston last postseason was still comfortably in the red, but minus-9.3 is better than minus-19.0. On Sunday, he was the only Jazz player with a positive plus-minus.where to get nfl jerseys

He’s a bit more switchable on the perimeter than Gobert, but this honestly might just be grasping at straws. The Rockets will still funnel him plenty of the same pick-your-poison scenarios as the one seen above.nfl jerseys china nike

And again, this all happened on a night during which Harden was relatively contained. Things can go better for the Rockets than they did Sunday, especially when he clicks.clearance nfl jerseys

“I’ve literally seen every strategy defensively teams can possibly do,” Harden said during the postgame press conference.nfl jersey for sale

This is likely more of an off night than any sort of solution Utah has discovered. And that’s terrifying for anyone in Houston’s path.

Tobias Harris Is the NBA’s Swiss Army Knife

Tobias Harris had a gut feeling he would be traded. He didn’t have any information a week before the Feb. 7 trade deadline to suggest the Los Angeles Clippers would ship him out, but after he’d been traded four times before, a move felt imminent.buy nfl jerseys online

“I just felt the vibe,” Harris says. “It’s weird to describe, but it’s all about the situation, time, place and dynamic. I saw where we were as a team, and I just felt something was happening behind the scenes. And the deal happened.”cheap nfl jersey store

He felt so strongly about his intuition that he told forward Mike Scott and later teammates Avery Bradley and Tyrone Wallace his thoughts at dinner after a loss to the Raptors. “A trade is going to happen, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m in it,” Harris said. They didn’t believe anything would happen.
e21c67944489975dab1e008f800c4bb7_crop_exact
Two days later, fresh off hitting a game-winner against the Hornets, Harris was watching Netflix when he got the call. Doc Rivers informed him he had been traded to the 76ers.

The experience wasn’t new to Harris, now on his fifth team in eight seasons. When the Bucks traded him to the Magic in February 2013, Harris was working out and saw the news flash on the gym’s television before he received the call. nike nfl jerseys sale He was taking a nap when the Magic sent him to the Pistons in February 2016. He woke up to missed calls and texts. Harris was in his Detroit home watching film on the next opponent, the Cavaliers, when Stan Van Gundy informed him he was headed to the Clippers in January 2018.authentic nfl jerseys from china

Harris has been a significant trade asset due to his work ethic, yearly improvement and reputation as the consummate teammate. But rarely has he been considered a core piece, which has discouraged him in his quest to find a stable situation.nfl authentic jerseys china

“I go about my game in a different way—a way where I just handle my business,” Harris says. cheap personalized nfl jerseys

“People sleep on me for sure.”nfl jerseys official

He’s found the perfect fit in Philadelphia, among an organization and fanbase that has quickly embraced his unselfish, Swiss Army knife brand of basketball. Though he will become an  cheap baby nfl jerseys unrestricted free agent this summer, Harris will play a nfl best jerseys  significant role in Philadelphia’s title hopes this postseason alongside Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler.

Sam Martin’s ‘inspiring’ trip to the Special Olympics World Games

Sam Martin stepped up to the podium in Abu Dhabi, ribbon in hand. In front of him, the athletes were there, waiting. They had come from all over the world to compete in gymnastics. The Detroit Lions punter, halfway across the world watching athletes who were mostly unfamiliar with the sport he plays, was about to give them their awards.

It sounds like a small thing. discount nfl jerseys free shipping It was anything but. It turned into something that’s going to stick with Martin forever.

Martin walked up to the first girl, a competitor from El Salvador, and gave her the eighth-place ribbon for her work on the floor exercise.i

She didn’t win. It didn’t matter cheap nfl jerseys authentic. With the Special Olympics, it is as much about the journey as the result.

“You could just tell how happy and proud she was,” Martin said. “That, for sure, is something that — and I was lucky enough to put a few ribbons around her neck, and she was just the cutest little girl, and she was just so happy and so proud and didn’t care if she finished first or 100th.

“She just had the best time,authentic nfl jerseys for cheap  you could tell that she was so happy with what she achieved. There’s so much correlation to just life in general that the inspiration that they provide is just incredible.”authentic nfl jerseys wholesale

Martin was one of a group of athletes — mostly former Olympians, including figure skater Michelle Kwan and gymnast Nastia Liukin — in Abu Dhabi as ambassadors for the 2019 Special Olympics World Games. They were there to offer nfl jersey china assistance and be a face for the spirit of inclusion in athletics and in life.nike nfl jerseys

For Martin, who had been training for the 2019 NFL season in Jupiter, Florida, this was a welcome break from his football training, allowing him to work with an organization he first supported in high school.china nfl jerseys