Why Ainge will likely trade a big man 

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
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Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge finally dealt Rajon Rondo on Thursday after two years of rumors and speculation. Ainge landed forward/center Brandan Wright as part of the package from the Dallas Mavericks and his acquisition will likely lead Ainge to send out a big man.

DeMarco Murray set to play Sunday? 

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
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We may not know officially whether DeMarco Murray will be able to play Sunday, less than a week after having hand surgery, until game-time nears. However, we can count former Dallas Cowboys safety, and current ESPN analyst, Darren Woodson amongst those who expect to see Murray on the field against the Indianapolis Colts.

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Rockies again talking trade of Tulo? 

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
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It's a rumor that just won't seem to go away and, while it may still be a longshot to actually take place, talk of Troy Tulowitzki getting dealt by the Colorado Rockies to the New York Mets continues to percolate.

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Could Brewer soon land with Rockets? 

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
9:14
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The Minnesota Timberwolves have put swingman Corey Brewer back in the trade market, per ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst. The Houston Rockets have been hot for Brewer for a while and a deal may get completed soon.


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Will Marc Trestman, Phil Emery survive? 

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
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The Chicago Bears' Thursday press conference was great cinéma vérité, as coach Marc Trestman answered myriad questions about benching Jay Cutler, who followed up Trestman with his own session with reporters. It gave us a chance to read between the lines about the future of each of them with the Bears.

Trestman's seat seems to be as hot as any coach in the NFL -- not just with his front office but with his players, particularly following his handling of offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer's admission that he was the source of anti-Cutler comments made to a reporter.

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Upton heading west? 

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
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The Atlanta Braves are reportedly putting the finishing touches on a deal that would send Justin Upton to an unknown American League West club. Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs tweeted early Friday morning that, according to a source, "a package headlined by young pitching" would be coming back to Atlanta.

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More Melo shut down talk 

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
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Nine days ago Carmelo Anthony mentioned that a few people around him are saying he should sit out some games to help with the sore right knee. Anthony doesn't want to sit out games, but he did on Thursday and more might be coming.

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Orioles interested in Ichiro? 

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
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Ichiro Suzuki's at-bat total has been on a steady decline since 2011, but the veteran is not quite ready to hang it up. The outfielder has been hoping to get signed to a deal that would allow him to be an everyday starter in 2015, and it looks like he may finally have an interested party.

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Stan Van Gundy targets more energy 

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
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The Detroit Pistons are 5-21 after 26 games and to no surprise president of basketball operations/head coach Stan Van Gundy is on the phone talking trades to improve the roster. So, what area is Van Gundy targeting?

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Padres continue to wheel and deal? 

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
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Although trade talks went through a roller coaster ride's worth of ups and downs along the way, when all is said and done it looks like Matt Kemp will indeed be in a San Diego Padres uniform in 2015. However, the Padres are far from finished with their roster makeover.

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Nicolas Batum may miss some games 

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
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Nicolas Batum was in a lot of pain on Thursday thanks to a nasty fall on Wednesday due a Flagrant 2 foul from Milwaukee's Larry Sanders when the Portland Trail Blazers starting small forward was driving towards the basket. Batum's status is uncertain for Friday's game against the San Antonio Spurs as the team is listing him as questionable.

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Lance Stephenson off market, for now 

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
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The Charlotte Hornets have reportedly made calls around the league offering up Lance Stephenson, but they have yet to receive a suitable offer. With that in mind, the team has decided to keep the shooting guard "for now," reports ESPN.com's Chris Broussard and Ramona Shelburne.

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Is Josh Freeman done in the NFL? 

December, 19, 2014
Dec 19
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We haven't seen Josh Freeman on a football field since October of 2013, during his lone appearance for the Minnesota Vikings, following his severance from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was a disastrous performance, as he completed 23 of 50 passes for 190 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT, as the Vikes lost 23-7 to the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.

Despite his obvious struggles on the field and issues off of the field, Freeman is just 26 years old, so he should have more gas left in the tank. It sounds like he doesn't believe he is done in the NFL.

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Fantasy implications of the Rondo trade

December, 18, 2014
Dec 18
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After years of constant trade rumors and speculation, the Boston Celtics finally did it -- they traded Rajon Rondo. The deal became official Thursday evening, sending the four-time All-Star point guard to Dallas for Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson, along with a first-round pick in the 2015 draft and a second-rounder in 2016.

It's a good trade for the 28-year-old Rondo in that it takes him from a rebuilding team in the Celtics to a veteran Mavericks team with championship aspirations. But what will it mean for his numbers? And should we expect Rondo to be better or worse as he switches conferences?

Those questions will ultimately be answered by how quickly Rondo adjusts to his new team and his new surroundings, but there's certainly reason to believe the trade will translate to more assists:
  • Think about this: if Rondo was able to lead the NBA in assists per game (10.8) this season on a young Boston team with unproven and inconsistent shooters, what are his assist numbers going to look like when he is dishing to guys like Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons and Monta Ellis?
  • Also, there's decent chance that the presence of Rondo will speed up the pace at which the Mavs play. They currently rank No. 9 in the league with 96.4 possessions per game on average, but with Rondo leading the charge in Boston the Celtics led the NBA in pace with 100.5 possessions per game.

Yes, more passing and less shooting could have a negative impact on Rondo's scoring, but it's difficult to imagine his points-per-game dropping too much lower than the 8.3 he was averaging in Boston this season.

Here are some of the other fantasy winners and losers in this deal:

Winners
  • Marcus Smart: It was difficult for Smart to carve out meaningful minutes while Rondo was ahead of him on the depth chart, but the rookie lottery pick should see his role and his playing time increase with Rondo gone. At 9-14, the Celtics aren't a serious contender this season and today's trade signifies that they aren't pretending to be contenders. With that in mind, there's little reason for coach Stevens to play Jameer Nelson more than Smart, who could even become the team's starting point guard in the near future.
  • The rest of the Mavericks' starters: A pass-first point guard who can push the pace, make creative passes and put players like Nowitzki, Ellis, Parsons and Tyson Chandler in position to score? That should equate to more production out of all of these players (and based on Rondo's shooting percentage, it also should mean more offensive rebound opportunities for Chandler).
Losers
  • Nelson: It can't be easy for a veteran like Nelson to go from a top team in the Western Conference to a young team that would be lucky to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, and now the 32-year-old could see his minutes diminish to Smart in the not-too-distant future.
  • Wright: He's an athletic big who runs the floor and shoots as efficiently as any power forward or center in the game. And he could potentially provide the Celtics with the rim-protector this team so desperately needs. So why do we list Wright in this column? Because it's going to be difficult for him to play consistent minutes in a frontcourt that already includes the likes of Tyler Zeller, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass. Any way you look at it, it's hard to envision him getting much more playing time than he did in his days in Dallas (18 mpg each of the last three seasons).
  • Boston's other big men: Any time Wright is on the court, it will mean that he's taking minutes that would have previously gone to Zeller, Olynyk, Sullinger or Bass. And less playing time means less opportunity, which is no good in fantasy.

Why have Cowboys been better on road? 

December, 18, 2014
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For all of the success that the Dallas Cowboys have had this season, their 10-4 record doesn't even guarantee them a playoff bid at this stage. On top of that, we have their perplexing records at home and on the road: 3-4 at home, 7-0 away.

While there may be deeper or more subtle issues that have impacted their home woes and road success, there are some seemingly simple explanations, too.

"One factor in the Cowboys’ performance in the four home losses was [Tony] Romo’s iffy status, a contrast to his Most Valuable Player caliber of play in the rest of the games," wrote Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram.

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