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Monday, June 18, 2018

Stories by Darryn Albert:

Clippers’ Milos Teodosic reportedly may be returning to Europe

Milos Teodosic Clippers

The Milos Teodosic NBA Experience could be over after just one season.

According to a report by Orazio Cauchi of Sportnado on Monday, the LA Clippers are not planning to keep the Serbian point guard for the 2018-19 campaign. Cauchi also says that there is a “growing feeling” that Teodosic could return to Europe for the right offer, though interest from other NBA teams cannot be ruled out for the time being.

As a 30-year-old rookie, Teodosic averaged 9.5 points and 4.6 assists a game for the Clippers last season. However, he missed 37 games due to a nagging foot injury. Cauchi adds that Teodosic’s health is one of the primary concerns behind the Clippers’ leaning towards parting ways with him. That stands to reason, as they do, of course, have two prime opportunities to land a dynamic young point guard with the No. 12 and 13 overall picks in this year’s draft.

Teodosic does have a $6.3 million player option for next season. But his deal does not become fully guaranteed until July 15, meaning that the Clippers would only be on the hook for roughly $2 million if they waive him before then. If his Clipper career is indeed over, we know of at least one other NBA team that previously came close to signing Teodosic.

Report: Mets more open to trading Syndergaard than deGrom

Noah Syndergaard

The New York Mets could be busy at this year’s trade deadline, but it sounds like they would prefer to move one of their star righties over the other.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Monday that the Mets are ready to listen to trade offers for virtually everyone on the roster. However, Rosenthal says they would be more open on Noah Syndergaard than on Jacob deGrom.

Syndergaard, 25, is younger than deGrom, 29, and is also under contract for longer (through 2021 as opposed to through 2020 for deGrom). But he has not pitched in nearly a month due to a right finger injury, which comes after a 2017 season where he made just seven starts thanks to a lat issue.

Rosenthal does add though that the Mets would ultimately prefer to keep their best, controllable players. Syndergaard and deGrom obviously both fall into that category, but the former seems more likely to be pried away than the latter, his one-of-a-kind sense of humor and all.

Report: Nathan Peterman is serious contender to start for Bills

Despite being comically bad during his short tenure as Buffalo’s starting quarterback last season, Nathan Peterman may be getting a second chance.

ESPN’s Mike Rodak recently reported that Peterman should be considered a “serious contender” to start under center for the Bills this season. Rodak adds that Peterman has been rotating daily first-team reps with AJ McCarron, while rookie Josh Allen has seen periodic time with that group in minicamp.

The 24-year-old Peterman got two starts for Buffalo last season during Tyrod Taylor’s brief absence due to benching and injury. However, he proved to be a colossal disaster, as evidenced by a five-interception performance in one half against the Los Angeles Chargers that almost had to be seen to be believed.

This year though, Taylor is no longer on the team, having signed with the Cleveland Browns. Meanwhile, Peterman has had some extra time to develop — Rodak also notes that he looked especially sharp this past Tuesday when he completed 10 of 13 pass attempts in 11-on-11 drills and threw a touchdown to end practice. With McCarron an underwhelming option and Allen obviously inexperienced, Peterman might actually be the best man for the job right now.

H/T Rotoworld

Suns open to taking on worst contract in the NBA?

Phoenix Suns logo

The Phoenix Suns will not be trading their No. 1 overall pick for Kawhi Leonard, but they may still be finding a way to factor into the proceedings.

Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic said this weekend that the Suns could get involved in a potential Leonard trade as a third team facilitator. Bordow goes on to add that a move they could make would be taking Luol Deng’s contract off the Los Angeles Lakers’ hands, provided that the Lakers attach one of their young players to the deal as well.

Deng, 33, holds what is widely viewed as the worst contract in the NBA right now: a four-year, $72 million albatross that is only halfway complete. Making matters worse is that Deng was basically a healthy scratch last season (playing in just one game all year), despite his entire salary being fully guaranteed.

Granted, some might argue that the contracts of New York Knicks big man Joakim Noah or Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons are worse. But it wasn’t too long ago that Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson literally laughed off a question about finding a taker for Deng’s deal, so the Suns could just be the Lakers’ manna from heaven here.

H/T RealGM

Report: Nelson Cruz could get David Ortiz-like deal from Mariners for final years

Nelson Cruz

The Seattle Mariners seem to have an idea of how to approach the future with their aging but still productive slugger Nelson Cruz.

According to a report by Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times on Sunday, the Mariners have approached Cruz about the possibility of a contract setup similar to what retired Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz got in his final years with the team. Ortiz essentially played out his career on a one-year contract with vesting options for the next season.

Cruz, who is about to be 38, remains one of Seattle’s better hitters nonetheless with 16 home runs and 38 RBIs through 58 games (albeit on a .248 batting average). His current deal with the team will expire after the season.

Much like Ortiz, Cruz is now playing exclusively as a designated hitter as his career winds down, which will obviously limit his market come the winter. But he has more than demonstrated his worth during his time with the Mariners, and it’s remarkable how far the two sides have come in just the last few years.

Michael Porter reportedly being seriously considered by Grizzlies with No. 4 pick

Michael Porter Jr

Renewed concerns about his health have thrown Michael Porter Jr’s draft stock into question, but he ultimately may not have too much to worry about.

Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports reported this week that the Memphis Grizzlies are seriously considering Porter with the No. 4 overall pick, despite fresh injury questions, including a recent workout cancelled by hip spasms.

Porter, 19, appeared in just three games for Missouri last season due to a nagging back issue that required surgery in November. Those hip spasms also forced him to undergo an MRI this past week, which came back clean.

Regardless though, the 6-foot-11 forward’s combination of athleticism and versatility still make him a can’t-miss prospect, and some indications are that he might not even be on the board anymore when Memphis makes their pick.

Report: Knicks could be strong contender for Kyrie Irving in 2019

Kyrie Irving

The New York Knicks might not make too much noise this summer, but next summer could just be their money-maker.

Appearing Friday on “The Alan Hahn Show,” ESPN’s Ian Begley revealed that the Knicks are expected to be a strong contender for Kyrie Irving in 2019.

“He grew up right outside of the city,” said Begley, in reference to Irving’s upbringing in West Orange, New Jersey. “His family has an affinity for the organization. So you already know that you’re going to be in the conversation. A lot of people around the league because of that list and because of the ties there really think the Knicks will be a strong option for Kyrie next summer.

“Now listen, so much can happen between now and next July,” Begley added. “It’s silly to talk in absolutes at this point. But people around the league do think the Knicks will very much be in the conversation for Kyrie.”

Irving, 26, has made it clear that he is not in any hurry to sign an extension with the Boston Celtics, as it would make more sense for him to decline his player option for the 2019-20 season and test unrestricted free agency.

As for the Knicks, they were indeed on Irving’s radar from the time that he asked for a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers last summer. While things can always change in a hurry, the timing in 2019 could be great for the Knicks, who would have time for Kristaps Porzingis to get healthy and for new head coach David Fizdale to install a culture that would be appealing to Irving.

H/T NBA Reddit

Report: Brewers expected to aggressively pursue starting pitching

In the midst of a heated battle for the NL Central lead, the Milwaukee Brewers may be looking to address arguably their biggest weakness.

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported on Saturday that rival executives expect the Brewers to “aggressively” pursue starting pitching at the trade deadline.

At 42-28, Milwaukee is currently just half a game ahead of the Chicago Cubs for the lead in their division. Their rotation, meanwhile, is mostly a collection of journeyman arms whose depth has suffered with Zach Davies, Jimmy Nelson, and Wade Miley all on the disabled list at the moment.

The Brewers were recently linked to one big-name starter who could be on the trading block, and it seems like a safe bet that they will continue to explore all available options for fortifying their pitching ranks.

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