On Wednesday I mentioned the Cleveland Cavaliers looking for a big man and talking with the Denver Nuggets about Timofey Mozgov. Well the two teams finally came to an agreement on a deal. Cleveland sent 2 protected 2015 1st round draft picks to Denver for Mozgov. That sounds like it was a lot to give up for a player who’s averaged 8.6 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game, but the Cavaliers needed some size and at 7 feet 1 inch tall and listed at 250 pounds Mozgov has that. With Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and of course LeBron James the Cavaliers weren’t looking for scoring, but someone to try to replace the void created by Anderson Varejao’s season ending Achilles injury.
Is it full rebuild mode for the Boston Celtics? After sending who many considered their best player Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks the Celtics announced one deal and have been rumored to be making another deal. Brandan Wright who Boston got in the Rondo deal was sent to the Phoenix Suns for a conditional first round draft pick and created a $5 million trade exception in the process. The other deal being reported, but I haven’t heard if it’s official yet has the Memphis Grizziles trading veteran Tayshaun Prince’s expiring $7.7 million contract and future first round draft pick to Boston for forward Jeff Green. After Rondo was dealt many experts looked at Green as the Celtics best player and now it looks like he’s on his way out of Boston. The Celtics lost 107-103 last night (Friday) in overtime to the Indiana Pacers. Green was pulled from the Celtics starting line up because of the trade rumors and Wright was already on his way to join his new team. Avery Bradley led Boston in scoring with 23 points while Brandon Bass added 17 points. If you’re a Celtics fan who are you looking to step up and lead this team; is Marcus Smart that guy?
Jimmy Butler bet on himself in the off-season and it looks like the Chicago Bulls guard made the right choice. The Bulls tried to sign Butler to a contract extension in the off-season, but Butler turned them down choosing to enter free agency after this season. Butler is off to a career year averaging 21.4 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists per game and 1.7 steals per game. Butler has always been a good defender, but with his offensive skills coming around this season the Bulls are ready to offer him a “Max deal” this off-season. That would mean a max salary just under $16 million next season and the Bulls would be able to pay him more than $91 million over five years, compared to $67 million over four years by any other team. You’d have to say that Butler made the right choice.
The NHL is at or in some teams cases just a little past the halfway point of the season. Who had the Tampa Bay Lighting or the Nashville Predators leading their divisions with 58 points, The Anaheim Ducks also lead their division with 58 points, but going into the season they looked like contenders. Tampa Bay is led by Tyler Johnson (Center) with 46 points. Steven Stamkos (Center) leads the Lighting in goals with 22 while Johnson’s 28 assists lead in that category. In goal Ben Bishop is 21-6 in 31 starts with two overtime losses and one shutout. In Nashville Filip Forsberg (Center) is leading the Predators in points with 38; he also leads the team in goals with 14. Mike Ribero (Center) leads the team in assists with 27. Pekka Rinne has made 35 starts in-goal going 27-6 with two overtime losses and a 2.00 goals against average and Rinne also has three shutouts this season. Rinne has started in-goal 35 of the Predators 40 games this season. Neither team is running away with their division by any means. Tampa Bay has a four point lead over the Montréal Canadiens in the Atlantic division of the Eastern conference while Nashville’s lead is even smaller. The Predators have a two point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks in the Central division of the Western conference. Will we see a Tampa Bay vs. Nashville Stanley Cup finals; probably not. The NHL playoff road is always has it’s share of upsets; so will these teams be the ones being upset or doing the upsetting.
It’s the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs with two of the game being played (Saturday) today. In the first game it’s the Baltimore Ravens vs. the New England Patriots. The second game has the Carolina Panthers vs. the Seattle Seahawks. We went into quite a bit of detail on these games during last nights podcast, and you can get our thoughts on these games. For the record Mr. Fantasy, Schaumburg Stu, Dan the Man and I picked the same winners in these games, We all have New England winning the first game and Seattle winning the second game. You can also listen to from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. as we preview Sunday’s playoff games and review what happen in Saturday’s games.
It’s being reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates are reportedly close to officially signing Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang to a four year deal. Terms of any deal haven’t been reported yet, but it’s being said that Kang was looking for $5 million a season. While Kang played shortstop for Nexen Heroes in the Korean Baseball Organization it is unclear what position he’d play for the Pirates. He could back up Josh Harrison at third base, Jordy Mercer at shortstop and Neil Walker at second, and he could be a part of the mix at first base. The 27-year-old Kang hit 40 homers and drove in 117 runs in 117 games while batting .356 with a 1.198 OPS last season while playing shortstop.
So how was your week?