Let’s Call it Wednesday

Posted: July 1, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, hockey
Tags: , , , ,

NBA free agency has started and before it got going all I heard was that everyone was signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now the Lakers are a storied franchise, but with the shape the team is in right now why would a high profile free agent want to sign with the Lakers instead of a team that is contending for the title. The 3 big names that I heard come up on signing with the Lakers were Chicago Bulls guard, Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade and Portland Trailblazers center LaMarcus AldridgeButler is a restricted free agent; so the Bulls can and plan to match any offer he receives. Butler has already pushed back some meetings with teams as he negotiates with Chicago. I’m not sure what the reasoning was the Butler was going to the Lakers, but maybe his agent leaked that story to try to get some leverage with the Bulls. The theory behind Wade signing with the Lakers was that his wife (Gabrielle Union) is an actress and she’d like to live in California. This rumor has never been addressed

. Wade is looking to get back some of the money he gave up when the Heat brought in Chris Bosh and LeBron James. If Wade did sign with the Lakers would he and Kobe Bryant ever play a game together with their injury history. Aldridge may be the guy who ends up in a Lakers uniform. Aldridge is one of if not the top big man on the free agent market; so there will be many teams interested including the San Antonio Spurs. While I’m sure Los Angeles is a fantastic city to live in; is that reason enough to sign with the Lakers or do you go to San Antonio and contend for an NBA title?

There were 6 signings as free agency got underway.  Al Jefferson signed with the Charlotte Hornets for 1 year at $13.5 million. Roy Hibbert signed with the Indiana Pacers for 1 year at $15.5 million. Brook Lopez signed with the Brooklyn Nets for 3 years at $60 million. Al-Farouq Aminu signed with the Portland Trailblazers for 4 years at $30 million. Thaddeus Young also signed with Brooklyn for 4 years at $50 million and  Kawhi Leonard signed a 5 year $90 million dollar deal to stay with the San Antonio Spurs. Luol Deng also used his player option to stay with the Miami Heat for next season at $10.1 million. 

Besides Butler, Wade and Aldridge there are a couple of other big men who are free agents that should draw some attention. Kevin Love has said that he’d like to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but will LeBron James want him back. Yes I know James is a free agent as well, but he’s looking for the kind of money in a contract that only the Cavaliers can give him. James will pretty much be able to act as the Cavaliers general manager and get them to sign the players he wants until he resigns with them. Then there’s DeAndre Jordan the Los Angeles Clippers have said they’d like him back and have enlisted the help of actor Jamie Foxx to get Jordan to resign there. While the Clippers can give Jordan that extra year and more money than anyone else it still looks like he’ll leave as he wants to be a bigger part of a teams offense. Early in the free agenxy period it looks like the Dallas Mavericks are the front runner to sign Jordan. I don’t know why his name doesn’t come up as much as some of the other free agents is Marc Gasol. Gasol is a true NBA center who can score which is becoming rare in the newer NBA style. You have to think that the Memphis Grizzlies will do everything they can to resign him. You’ll have to keep an eye on the wire as some more free agents will probably come off the board today and we’ll have to see if and when the bigger names sign.

As soon as the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup the talk started on who would be back with the team next season. It started with the minor move of trading back up goaltender Antti Raanta to the New York Rangers for  Ryan Haggerty. The Blackhawks then signed defenseman David Runblad to a 2 year contract. Yesterday the Blackhawks finally made a bigger trade, but the main player dealt might not of been the player people thought it would be. Brandon Saad was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets along with Alex Broadhurst and Michael Paliotta. In return the Blackhawks received  Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp plus a 2016 fourth-round draft pick. This may be the first of a few moves the Blackhawks may make to work with the NHL’s salary cap. There has been a lot of talk that Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell may be dealt this off season as the Stanley Cup champions get set to defend their title.

The Philadelphia Phillies have hired Andy MacPhail as team President. MacPhail will take over the job next season when current team President Pat Gillick retires. Until that happens MacPhail will serve as a special assistant to Gillick. Obviously with Gillick retiring, the Phillies had to hire someone to take his place, but shouldn’t MacPhail’s first move be to relieve general manager Ruben Amaro of his duties. Ryne Sandberg resigned and  Pete Mackanin will manage the team the rest of the season. Who in their right mind would want this job. You have to think that the Phillies will end up with a first time manager in 2016. There have been a few names mentioned and they would all be first time managers; no surprise there. I wonder how the Philadelphia fans would react to Raul Ibanez, Jim Thome or Pat Burrell being named Phillies manager. Ibanez was a finalist to manage the Tampa Bay Rays last year. Thome joined the Chicago White Sox organization in 2013 as a special assistant to the manager and expressed interest in one day becoming a manager. Burrell hasn’t expressed any interest in managing or this job, but he’s a former Phillies player; so you never know. Maybe the best choice would be David Bell. Bell is currently the bench coach for the St. Louis Cardinals and was formerly the manager for the Triple-A Louisville Bats and the former Double-A Carolina Mudcats in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Philadelphia is currently 27-52 and 17 games behind N.L. East leading Washington Nationals. 

@Burketime

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