Every NBA Team’s Biggest Hole After Free-Agency Madness

Another hectic round of NBA free agency has come and gone, and with the dust now settling, teams are left to grapple with the roster holes that went unfilled.

Nothing, of course, is set in stone so far from training camps. But barring any more blockbuster trades, depth charts and rotations are beginning to take shape. Squads have better than a general idea of what they’re working with and what they still need. youth nfl jerseys

And make no bones about it: Every team needs something.e596478f668a19fb6ffe789b688a5d88_crop_exact

Some voids are more concerning than others. Certain holes are newly created by departures. Select needs are holdover issues from previous seasons. Big or small, though, each team has at least one.nfl youth jerseys

For instances in which a squad has numerous holes, we’ll default to the most pressing. These selections are not meant to be debilitating blows in every case. Some squads have potential, albeit unproven, solutions in-house. This is more so a look at which player types a team could still use most.nfl youth jerseys cheap
Losing Dewayne Dedmon is a huge deal for the Atlanta Hawks—much bigger than most realize. Floor-spacing rim protectors are hardly a dime a dozen, and he was a stabilizing defensive force in the middle.cheap nfl youth jerseys

Atlanta doesn’t have a clear-cut replacement for him. That might speak to the team’s plan for John Collins. He’s a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses at the 5. But the Hawks have yet to tread water with him in the middle. They gave up 120.6 points per 100 possessions when he played center last season.

Extending his time at the 5 would be a big bet on his defensive development, both as a decision-maker and physical presence. That’s not an unreasonable gamble given the Hawks’ gradual timeline. It is still a risk.replica nfl jerseys

Jabari Parker’s arrival doesn’t help the cause. Alex Len can. He doesn’t have the mobility of Dedmon, but he’s a good enough rim protector, and Atlanta gave him the green light last year to shoot threes, which he buried at 36.3 percent clip. nfl youth jersey

Maintaining that value in a larger role won’t be easy. Len has barely cracked 20 minutes per game over the past three seasons. If he can’t take on more responsibility and Collins doesn’t improve on defense, a heavier-than-expected burden figures to fall upon rookie Bruno Fernando.nfl replica jerseys cheap

Rebound King: Zion Williamson

Runner-up: PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets

There aren’t many rookie big men set up for full-time roles. Two who are were poor rebounders in college, specifically the Atlanta Hawks’ De’Andre Hunter (9.8 rebounding percentage last season) and the Washington Wizards’ Rui Hachimura (12.1 rebounding percentage). wholesale jerseys cheap nfl

With starter minutes, a 285-pound frame, explosiveness and motor, Williamson is poised to win the rookie rebounding crown, albeit with limited competition. cheap wholesale nfl jerseys from china80592ac4b2a7c7f3871e69445b684ca9_crop_exact

At 18 years old, he finished second in the country in points per game off putbacks (3.9), and there isn’t a reason why he can’t continue using the offensive glass as a source for scoring. cheap wholesale nfl jerseys china

The Pelicans’ No. 8 pick, center Jaxson Hayes, was also a weak rebounder at Texas (12.5 rebounding percentage), which could lead to the need for Williamson to spend more time and energy under the boards.wholesale cheap nfl jersey china

The Charlotte Hornets’ PJ Washington and the Memphis Grizzlies’ Brandon Clarke will be the challengers to monitor. But neither has Williamson’s cheap nfl jersey wholesale rebounding tools or role. New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett is the sleeper to finish second behind Williamson based on his projected minutes and urges to hunt grab-and-go opportunities.

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.

Yasiel Puig, David Bell Ejected After Benches Clear in Pirates vs. Reds

The culture of retaliation in baseball remains a controversial topic, as many position players don’t like pitchers throwing at them simply because they flip their bats, pause in the batter’s box to admire a moonshot or simply show some emotion in the moment. nfl jerseys china nike

While many pitchers contend they don’t like being shown up, the counterargument remains that pitchers shouldn’t give up homers in the first place if they don’t want to see opposing players have a passionate response to the most exciting play in baseball—the home run.hi-res-be9c094a8b0b7e4aa414cb26ead3d680_crop_north

Philadelphia Phillies superstar Bryce Harper brought the growing divide on the topic to light in 2016, telling Tim Keown of ESPN The Magazine that he had no issue with emotion in the game and felt it was important to cultivate, nfl jersey for sale rather than stifle, that passion, using the late Jose Fernandez as an example:

“Jose Fernandez will strike you out and stare you down into the dugout and pump his fist. And if you hit a homer and pimp it? He doesn’t care. Because you got him. That’s part of the game. It’s not the old feeling—hoorah …nike nfl jerseys on sale  if you pimp a homer, I’m going to hit you right in the teeth. No. If a guy pimps a homer for a game-winning shot … I mean—sorry.”

“If a guy pumps his fist at me on the mound where to buy nfl jersey , I’m going to go, ‘Yeah, you got me. Good for you. Hopefully I get you next time,'” Harper added. “That’s what makes the game fun.”

Major League Baseball even promoted the sport with a china nfl jerseys nike “Let the Kids Play”women nfl jersey  campaign, which highlighted moments of passion and took aim at the game’s antiquated unwritten rules.

But some players aren’t keen to see the unwritten rules go by the wayside. Archer is apparently among them.women’s authentic nfl jerseys

March Madness in April? These NBA Playoff Teams Could Be Cinderellas

In a seven-game NBA series, hot shooting or some other unforeseen anomaly has far less impact than in a single-elimination tournament. That’s largely why we’ve only seen four No. 7 or No. 8 seeds advance since the league went to a seven-game first-round format in 2003.nike nfl jerseys from china

But that’s a coward’s way to think. Who needs to hedge at this time of year?c8f3eed25385e4a51aafc3528d9d23f0_crop_exact

The search for an NBA Cinderella has to start with the possibility of a first-round upset. That’s the threshold requirement for such a team. There’s also got to be an underdog element that extends beyond the seeding disadvantage. Any true Cinderella best price nfl jerseys has to overcome a serious talent discrepancy, creating the storybook feel we associate with success against long odds.

If a team is missing a star (or never had one in the first place), that’s a good start. If there’s reason to believe regular-season success, such as it was, came via smoke and mirrors, even better. These teams have to seem overmatched. But they also need to have a narrow avenue—favorable matchups, experience advantages or strategic edges—that could lead to an upset.

We’re supposed to doubt them…until they stun us into belief. nfl jerseys women

The second half of the season hasn’t been kind to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

A defense that ranked first in mid-January is tied for 14th since then, and OKC’s offense has been suspect all year. With field-goal accuracy rates that rank 19th at the rim, 30th from mid-range and 23rd from deep, the Thunder enter the postseason as one of the most vulnerable teams in the league.official nfl nike jerseys

They’re slated to draw the untested Denver Nuggets in the first round. And that, folks, raises the possibility of an upset.the authentic nfl jerseys

Please appreciate how ridiculous that statement should look in light of OKC’s 0-4 record against the Nuggets this year. Those four losses came by an average of nine points per game, and both Paul George and Russell Westbrook played in every meeting. There’s no mistaking the Nuggets’ regular-season ownership of the Thunder.where to get nfl jerseys

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

Ex-Raiders TE Jared Cook Nearing Contract with New Orleans

The New Orleans Saints are “nearing” a deal with free-agent tight end Jared Cook, according to Pro Football Talk on Wednesday.

NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero new nfl jerseys reported Thursday morning that “the Saints are expected” to sign Cook.

The 31-year-old veteran is coming off the first Pro Bowl selection of his career.new nfl jerseys nikehi-res-f3485266d4b0fbea0cb2e897b5737622_crop_north

Cook recorded career highs in receptions (68), yards (896) and touchdowns (six) with the Oakland Raiders in 2018. He led the team in all three categories, although running back Jalen Richard tied him in 68 catches.new nfl jerseys 2019

Per Pro Football Focus, Cook recorded the fifth-highest receiving grade (81.5) among tight ends a season ago.

Last season wasn’t a fluke, though. new nike nfl jerseys He has been a productive pass-catcher throughout his career.

The South Carolina Gamecock has averaged 48 receptions for 629 yards and three scores since establishing himself in 2011 with Tennessee. The Georgia native has put those numbers up even while moving from team to team nike new nfl jerseys , as he has also suited up for St. Louis and Green Bay.new nfl jersey

New Orleans, meanwhile, needed to address the tight end position following the retirement of Benjamin Watson. Earlier this offseason, the Saints signed Garrett Griffin from the practice squad and Nate Wozniak to a reserve/futures contract.new nike nfl jersey  That provided the team with options at the position, but neither has Cook’s track record.new nfl nike jerseys

The addition of Cook should help a passing attack that ranked 12th last year. More importantly, it gives the team another playmaker to utilize as it looks to avenge last season’s controversial NFC new nike nfl jerseys wholesale  title game loss.

Report: Mike D’Antoni ‘Would Be Fine’ with Carmelo Anthony Joining Rockets

The Houston Rockets are reportedly one of the teams in the running for veteran forward Carmelo Anthony, according to Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post, despite the issues Anthony and head coach Mike D’Antoni had when paired together with the New York Knicks.

Per that report, D’Antoni is willing to give it another try with Anthony:

“For Houston, Anthony would likely come off the bench as a scoring power forward. Ironically, that’s exactly what Rockets Coach Mike D’Antoni wanted him to do when the two clashed while together with the New York Knicks.discount authentic nfl jerseys  D’Antoni’s presence was expected to be a roadblock to Anthony’s arrival, but multiple sources said D’Antoni would be fine with Anthony coming to Houston.” discount nike nfl jerseys

Bontemps added that the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat will join the Rockets in pursuit of Anthony. He noted that, “The guess here, after speaking to people this weekend, is that the decision is between Houston or Los Angeles.”

Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports reported that Rockets point guard Chris Paul is pushing for the organization to add Anthony, while The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor said he was hearing the Philadelphia 76ers may also be in the fray.

Regardless, Anthony’s stay in Oklahoma City is over, with Adrian Wojnarowski and Royce Young of ESPN.com reporting last week that “Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose of CAA Sports, has a strong relationship and history with Thunder general manager Sam Presti, and they’ll work together on Anthony’s exit through a trade, the NBA’s stretch provision or a combined buyout and stretch, league sources said.”discount nfl gear

It’s hard to imagine any team seeking to trade for Anthony and his $27.9 million cap hit without getting assets and some salary relief in return. Any interested suitors can simply wait for Anthony to hit free agency.

And the 34-year-old Anthony can still get buckets. Even in a diminished role with the Thunder last season, where he shifted into a stretch-4 role he hasn’t played throughout his career, he averaged 16.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. cheap nfl jerseys discount

While Anthony’s iso ball may not seem like the ideal fit in D’Antoni’s system—which generally relegates Houston’s role players to the corners while Paul or James Harden operate either in isolation or the pick-and-roll—it’s possible that he could play a solid role off the bench. While Anthony would have to be willing to sacrifice some of his touches in Houston, the Rockets could also run isolation for Anthony when Harden and Paul are getting a breather. discount nfl jerseys nike

Should NFL Teams Finally Give Up on Jay Cutler?

On April 27, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported veteran quarterback Jay Cutler was likely to retire. It was an expected outcome given Cutler’s mediocre results in 2016 and 2017. But as has happened with many quarterbacks wavering between retirement and continuing their careers, it appears Cutler may not be done.

In a conversation posted July 2 with his wife, reality television personality Kristin Cavallari, Cutler said he can’t be sure he’s 100 percent done and that he wouldn’t know until September. That would imply he could return to the NFL as an injury replacement.wholesale jerseys nfl

If Cutler does come back, he’ll probably want to come back as a starter, and that’s where things get complicated. He retired after the 2016 season, his last with the Chicago Bears, to start a career in broadcasting. But when Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was lost for the 2017 season to an August knee re-injury, the appeal of working with head coach Adam Gase—who had helped Cutler to a career year in Chicago in 2015—was too great to turn down. china jerseys nfl

Cutler was at his best when Gase kept him straight, both in a mechanical sense and by outlining how he needs to read defenses. Gase seemed to have an intrinsic sense of how best to deal with the downsides of Cutler’s skill set.cheap china nfl jerseys

Though he has one of the best arms of his generation and he’s more mobile than he’s given credit for being, Cutler has two major issues that have stood in the way of his development. First, he’s what you call a “see it and throw it” quarterback—he doesn’t throw with anticipation consistently. That means his play-designers need to adapt by focusing on route concepts that result in easy openings for receivers. Otherwise, Cutler will throw the ball into coverage in ways you’d expect a rookie quarterback to get chewed out for.real nfl jerseys for cheap

Cutler’s second issue is he has a supreme belief in his arm and his ability to make throws other quarterbacks can’t. While he’s proved to be correct occasionally, that’s also kept him from dealing with the mechanical issues he needs to fix to throw with consistent placement and velocity. Throughout his career, Cutler has thrown far too many passes flat-footed when he should have driven the ball with his lower body. He also tends to throw with touch with a motion similar to a fadeaway jumper in basketball, which increases the margin for error on such throws, especially in the red zone.

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Tre’Davious White, Buffalo Bills

Tre’Davious White was the fifth cornerback selected in the 2017 draft, after Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore, Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey, USC’s Adoree’ Jackson and Ohio State’s Gareon Conley. Outside of Lattimore, it’s impossible to argue that any rookie corner was more consistently effective than White in 2017.

Taken 27th overall out of LSU, nfl jerseys kids White stepped right into the Buffalo Bills’ starting cornerback role and showed impressive technique, aggressiveness and resilience. The turning point might have come in a win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3, when quarterback Trevor Siemian targeted White unmercifully with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders as his targets.

White was bedeviled by route combinations and deep passes through the game, but he ended his day decisively by crossing in front of receiver Bennie Fowler for a fourth-quarter interception.

As the season went on, White tallied three more picks, and he finished with 18 passes defensed, allowing just 50.6 of the passes in his coverage area to be completed, per Monson. His rookie season was all the more impressive given that he was replacing veteran Ronald Darby, whom Buffalo traded before the start of the campaign. White had to hit the ground running with offensive concepts he’d never seen before.nfl jersey kids

He should be one of the best young cornerbacks in the game through the 2018 season and beyond.

If there’s a young player ready to inherit the title of the next Richard Sherman, it’s Jalen Ramsey.kids authentic nfl jerseys

He has the size, athleticism, mentality and physicality to have a similar career arc to the former “Legion of Boom” pointman.

Ramsey plays bigger than his 6’1″, 208-pound frame because he seeks to establish physical dominance on every play. He doesn’t just want to cover receivers—he wants to eliminate them by any means necessary. Occasionally, he goes over the line and racks up penalties. But it mostly means that if you repeatedly throw the ball in Ramsey’s area, your receivers are going to feel it the next morning.cheap nike nfl kids jerseys

Ramsey isn’t just a mugger on the field—he’s also a technician at outside cornerback, which is impressive for a two-year NFL veteran who played more safety and hybrid cornerback than boundary defender at Florida State. The Jags saw Ram cheap nfl kids jerseys sey as their ideal physical outside cornerback, and for the most part, he’s lived up to that. He allowed no more than 25 receiving yards in eight games last season, per Monson.cheap nfl jerseys kids

Once Ramsey corrals the occasional rogue elements of his physical style, he’ll be a lockdown guy every week, and the toughest matchup for any receiver in the league.