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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

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Report: Bryce Harper claimed on revocable trade waivers

Bryce Harper

The Washington Nationals placed several players on revocable trade waivers last week, and Bryce Harper was one of them. Not surprisingly, the star outfielder was claimed by a team.

Chelsea Janes and Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post report that Harper and teammates Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams were claimed. The Nationals were informed of the claims on Sunday, meaning they have until Tuesday afternoon — the standard 48-hour window — to work out a trade with the claiming team.

Simply put, it would be a surprise if Harper went anywhere. Since Harper was claimed, all that means is the Nationals are not free to work out a trade with any team they please. They can only negotiate with the team that claimed the 25-year-old, or they can simply pull Harper back and move on with their season.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic previously speculated that the Nationals were placing Harper on waivers to give themselves options, as they have been fading from playoff contention and chose not to be sellers at the July 31 non-waiver deadline. In theory, they could trade Harper to a team and get something in return for him now and then still try to sign him as a free agent this winter, but that seems unlikely to happen.

Judging by what he recently said about Washington’s place in the standings, Harper is not ready to give up on the 2018 season. The last thing the Nationals want to do is risk irritating him by trading him with less than two months remaining in the season.

Richie Incognito arrested after allegedly threatening employees at funeral home

Richie Incognito

Richie Incognito has had a number of issues in his personal life over the past several months, and the free agent offensive lineman was once again arrested on Monday.

TMZ reports that Incognito was taken into custody after he allegedly lost his temper and began threatening employees of a funeral home in Scottsdale, Arizona. The 35-year-old was at the funeral home making arrangements following the death of his father, who passed away over the weekend.

According to the report, police were called to the scene to deal with an “out of control” Incognito, who allegedly told people he had guns in his car and threatened to use them. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk was told by a source that Incognito made a gun gesture toward one of the employees. The source also said that police found weapons in Incognito’s truck and confiscated them.

Incognito revealed on Twitter Sunday morning that his father had died.

Incognito essentially forced the Buffalo Bills to release him this offseason, and he has expressed a desire to play in 2018. However, teams have stayed away in the wake of him being arrested over an altercation with a man at a gym back in May. Incognito reportedly told police after that incident that he believes he is being tracked by government officials. He was later sent for an involuntary psychiatric evaluation.

Incognito, of course, was at the center of the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal a few years back. That situation found its way back into the news earlier this offseason when Martin was arrested for threatening Incognito and others in a disturbing social media post. A previous report from TMZ claimed Incognito’s friends have been concerned about his mental health and want him to get help.

Rudy Gay not concerned about predictions Spurs will miss playoffs

Rudy Gay

The San Antonio Spurs have not missed the playoffs in more than 20 years, but there are many questions surrounding the team this offseason after Kawhi Leonard was traded. As far as Rudy Gay is concerned, those questions will be answered emphatically.

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas recently listed the Spurs’ win total for next season at 43.5. San Antonio won 47 games last year, and Gay wants to remind everyone that the Spurs hit that mark despite Leonard missing basically the entire season.

“Why were we expected to be so much better last year? Because Kawhi may have come back?” Gay said this week, according to NBA.com. “He didn’t, and we were still a playoff team, really a couple of wins away from being a third or fourth seed in the West.”

Gay, who appeared in 57 games in his first season in San Antonio last year, noted that the Spurs always seem to exceed expectations under Popovich. If they fail to win more than 43 games, that would likely mean missing the playoffs for the first time since Popovich’s first season with the team in 1996.

The addition of DeMar DeRozan should give the Spurs a boost, especially when you consider that Leonard was basically a non-factor last season. Gay praised DeRozan for having a “chip on his shoulder” like the rest of the team, and that’s almost certainly how Popovich wants it.

No one is predicting that the Spurs will contend for a championship in the Western Conference, but the 43.5 win total is probably a bit low.

Report: Jets in no rush to trade Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater has boosted his trade value with a strong showing in the preseason, but the New York Jets may prefer to hang onto him unless a team blows them away with an offer.

Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports reported on Tuesday that the Jets have made it known to teams that Bridgewater is available, but they have no problem keeping the 25-year-old quarterback if their asking price isn’t met.

While all indications have been that the Jets want rookie Sam Darnold to be their Week 1 starter, Bridgewater has been impressive during the preseason. The former first-round pick has completed 17-of-23 passes for 212 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. The Jets also have veteran backup Josh McCown, but QB depth can be extremely important when starting a rookie.

Bridgewater has reportedly generated interest from at least two teams, but most teams aren’t looking for a starting quarterback this close to the season. Unless there’s a significant injury, teams interested in Bridgewater likely view him as a backup. That may keep the price they’re willing to pay too low to entice the Jets.

Nets’ Kenneth Faried arrested for possession of marijuana

Kenneth Faried Denver Nuggets

One of the Brooklyn Nets’ newest additions has found himself in trouble with the law, as big man Kenneth Faried was arrested over the weekend on drug-related charges.

According to a report from TMZ, Faried was found to be in possession of more than two ounces of marijuana when he was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint on Sunday. A spokesperson for Southampton Town Police Dept. in New York said the officer at the scene observed that a “strong odor of marijuana was emanating from the inside of the vehicle.” Faried was arrested for a misdemeanor of fourth-degree unlawful possession of marijuana, while the two other people in his vehicle received citations.

As TMZ notes, Faried could face up to a year in jail if he’s convicted.

Faried, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Denver Nuggets, was traded to the Nets last month as part of a deal for Isaiah Whitehead. The 28-year-old had previously spoken about how he enjoyed being the subject of trade rumors.

Ex-Seahawks punter Jon Ryan will reportedly sign with Bills

Veteran punter Jon Ryan was released by the Seattle Seahawks on Monday after he told the team he wanted to explore other opportunities, and the 36-year-old has already found one.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Ryan will sign a contract with the Buffalo Bills.

Bills punter Cory Carter suffered a torn ACL in a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns last week. He had been competing with Colton Schmidt for the starting job, and Ryan will likely have a solid chance of beating out Schmidt now.

Ryan had many good seasons with the Seahawks and has averaged 44.7 punts per game throughout his career. He averaged 45 yards last year, while Schmidt has averaged 44.1 in his career.

Kawhi Leonard still reportedly prefers to sign with Clippers or Lakers

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard may not be as opposed to playing for the Toronto Raptors as initially believed, but his desires for when he becomes a free agent next summer have apparently not changed.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Leonard still prefers to sign with a Los Angeles team — either the Lakers or the Clippers — following the 2018-19 season. However, Woj has also noted that Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri remains confident he can convince Leonard to re-sign with the team.

On Monday, the Raptors reportedly hired former San Antonio Spurs staffer Jeremy Castleberry, who is a close friend of Leonard. That move was almost certainly designed to give Toronto a better chance at keeping Leonard beyond this season.

The Lakers are still considered the favorite to land Leonard, but the Clippers have also made some moves that appear to be designed to make a run at the star forward.

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