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Friday, July 29, 2016

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Report: NBA team hoping to poach Steph Curry if he can’t play with Kevin Durant

stephen-curry-kevin-durant

Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are two of the biggest superstars in the NBA. It would stand to reason that they will be unstoppable as teammates, but at least one team is holding out hope that the exact opposite happens.

According to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, one NBA team is planning on the relationship between Durant and Curry becoming “poisonous.”

“There are 29 teams hoping the chemistry between Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry is poisonous, but there is one team that is planning for it,” Bucher said. “I’ve been told by one of the league’s title contenders that they hope to poach Curry. They see K.D. taking the last-minute shots that were once Curry’s domain. Their pitch will be, ‘Come to us, and you can be the man once more.'”

Curry will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, but the Warriors are obviously planning to re-sign both him and Durant (who can opt out after one season) to max contracts. Curry is one of the main reasons Durant wanted to sign with the Golden State Warriors, and he loves the way they share the ball. If he thought Golden State’s system wouldn’t suit his style of play, he wouldn’t have left OKC.

It goes without saying that NBA teams would line up to convince Curry to leave Golden State if the chemistry between him and Durant isn’t good. That said, some comments he made after the signing became official indicate Curry isn’t concerned at all. Even if the Warriors somehow don’t win the title, it’s not likely that they’ll bail on their long-term plan that quickly.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Ryan Fitzpatrick on contract negotiation: I wouldn’t wish it on anybody

Ryan Fitzpatrick Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick signed a one-year deal with the New York Jets on Wednesday, and the 33-year-old veteran is beyond relieved to be able to get back to work.

In an interview with Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Fitzpatrick opened up about the contract stalemate that lasted six months and at times seemed like it would never end.

“Oh my gosh … it’s been a long six months for sure,” he said. “The biggest feeling was relief. Just relief to have it over and done with. And then when I was driving in (Wednesday night to the team facility) and walking up to the team meeting, it was like the first day of school. I was just all excited to see everybody and to be back in the building.”

Fitzpatrick said it was painful to be so close to his teammates and unable to practice with them. He also said he was confident all along that an agreement would be reached, but the “he said-she said” part of the process was not something he enjoyed.

“I’ll tell you what. This whole process has been so long and hard and something I wouldn’t wish upon anybody, but if there’s a silver lining in it, at least for me, it’s the respect and support that those guys showed for me throughout the process,” Fitzpatrick said of his teammates. “It was huge. That’s why you play the game. You play the game for your teammates, who really want to play with and for you. That was big for me. I felt like I had to get back for those guys.”

It was reported nearly two months ago that Fitzpatrick was willing to sign a one-year deal, but the Jets did not seem pleased about having to give him $12 million guaranteed. Fitzpatrick was actually seeking more than that, so $12 million ended up being the middle ground.

You could argue that it’s a bit dramatic to say you wouldn’t wish something on anyone when it ends in a $12 million pay day, but we understand where Fitzpatrick is coming from. He had to work out on his own while watching his teammates post entertaining videos like this, and that can’t be easy. At the end of the day, both sides realized the standoff had to end.

Geno Smith reportedly ‘intent’ on beating out Ryan Fitzpatrick

Geno-Smith

The New York Jets have finally reached an agreement with Ryan Fitzpatrick on a one-year, $12 million deal, but that does not mean Geno Smith is ready to accept spending another season as a backup.

Smith has been having a good offseason thus far, and NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports that he is “intent” on battling with Fitzpatrick for the starting job.

Fitzpatrick led the Jets to a 10-6 record last season while throwing a franchise-record 31 touchdown passes. He already has the support of his veteran teammates, who are undoubtedly thrilled that the 33-year-old is coming back for another season.

Smith is still young and has plenty of room to improve, but we saw earlier this year how Jets fans feel about him. It would likely take a Fitzpatrick injury for Smith to be named the starter in Week 1.

Astros reportedly surveying market for catcher upgrade

jonathan-lucroy-milwaukee-brewers

For the Houston Astros to take the next step in contending for a title, the answer may ultimately wind up coming from behind the dish.

According to a report by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports on Wednesday, the Astros are surveying the market for an upgrade at the catcher position and have been monitoring Jonathan Lucroy of the Milwaukee Brewers and Derek Norris of the San Diego Padres specifically.

Jason Castro (more of a defensive specialist) and Evan Gattis (more of a power-hitting specialist) have rotated platoon duties at catcher for the Astros this season. Norris, who has improved his previously substandard defense behind the plate but is batting a career-worst .199 in 2016, probably wouldn’t make much of a difference for them, even if the Padres appear intent on moving him. The all-around play of Lucroy, the two-time All-Star, definitely would, but he will come neither cheap nor uncontested.

Rosenthal also notes that the Astros may just opt to keep the status quo for now and wait until next season to pursue another catcher. But it’s at least a positional need to keep tabs on with the Astros currently a mere one game out in the race for the second Wild Card spot in the AL.

Image Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Mariners showing interest in Jay Bruce

jay-bruce-cincinnati-reds

Springsteen played a show in Seattle just last March, but apparently the city is still hungry for Bruces.

According to a report by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN on Wednesday, the Seattle Mariners are one of the teams that have recently reached out to the Cincinnati Reds about the availability of outfielder Jay Bruce.

The Mariners are 51-49 on the year, yet are still only 6 games behind the Texas Rangers for the AL West division lead at the moment. Bruce occupies the same right field position as Nelson Cruz, who has been his usual raking self this year. But Bruce is arguably a better all-around hitter than DH Adam Lind, so there is some incentive for Seattle to potentially swing a deal.

The 29-year-old Bruce has drawn interest from at least five other teams in the past week and has clubbed six home runs in just his last five games in a conveniently-timed value boost. As such, the Mariners will likely have to navigate a piping hot market in order to get their man.

Image Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

H/T Baseball Reddit

Nationals have reportedly inquired about Jose Bautista

Jose Bautista

Do the Washington Nationals need even more star power? Ah hell, why not?

According to a report by Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post on Wednesday, the Nationals have inquired about Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista.

Bautista, 35, will be a free agent after the season but, as Svrluga notes, holds 10-and-5 rights (earned by logging at least ten years in the MLB and at least five years with his current team), giving him the right to veto any trade. He is batting just .227/.361/.446 with 12 home runs and 42 RBIs this season, his ninth consecutive one in Toronto.

The six-time All-Star might consider waiving his 10-and-5 rights to facilitate a trade to Washington, given that the Nationals currently have a better record than the Blue Jays and that Bautista has had some measure of conflict in contract negotiations with Toronto in the last several months. But it’s hard to envision this kind of blockbuster deal actually materializing with the Blue Jays still very much in championship contention and Bautista’s trade value looking as low as it has ever been.

H/T theScore

Model Ella Rose says Julian Edelman is her baby’s father

Ella Rose model

A Swedish model named Ella Rose has filed paternity papers in Los Angeles that name New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman as the father of her unborn child.

TMZ Sports reports the story and says Rose is about 5.5 months pregnant. She and Edelman reportedly have had a casual relationship for about two years, but their relationship was never official.

The timing of the report’s publication is very interesting. Earlier this week, reports emerged saying Edelman was spending some time with this Brazilian supermodel.

Edelman may have some interesting questions to answer in the near future as he continues to woo his new woman.

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

warren-sapp-bucs

Warren Sapp recently spent time on an excursion off the coast of Florida in search of lobster. Unfortunately, the trip included an up close encounter with something other than a lobster.

While out on a charter boat, Sapp reached into the water in an attempt to grab a lobster. That’s when a shark bit the Hall of Famer, leaving a gash in his arm. Two Conchs Charters, who hosted Sapp, posted a photo of the aftermath to their Instagram account.

A little shark bite wasn’t going to stop Sapp, though. “We bandaged it up, put some gauze on there, some black electrical tape and hit a couple more spots, then headed in,” the ship’s captain Jack Carlson told the Tampa Bay Times.

Sapp joked about the incident later in the day on his own Instagram account, saying the shark may have won the round but not the war. He also showed off an impressive haul of lobster.

Shark won that round, but we won the War!! #DinnerTimeBaby #SappLobstering

A photo posted by Warren Sapp (@warrensapp) on

Thankfully, the damage of the bite doesn’t appear to be serious and it’s nice to see Sapp was in good spirits after.

H/T For The Win

John Elway: Broncos’ quarterback competition ‘wide open’

Mark Sanchez Eagles

There remains no leader in the Denver Broncos quarterback competition, according to team president John Elway.

Elway called the competition between Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian “wide open” when speaking on Wednesday.

Coach Gary Kubiak backed this up, but interesting, refused to rule rookie Paxton Lynch out of the equation.

It sounds like, while he definitely has some catching up to do, Lynch remains a factor. The team has been pushing Siemian pretty hard, so his chances shouldn’t be understated either. Sanchez, however, remains the most experienced option. Conventional wisdom would seem to favor him, though that could well change.

Nick Foles reportedly requests, receives release from Rams

Nick Foles Rams

The Los Angeles Rams have released quarterback Nick Foles, reportedly on his request.

ESPN reported on Wednesday that Foles asked the Rams to release him, and they honored that request.

Foles immediately becomes an unrestricted free agent. ESPN reported that in exchange for his release, Foles agreed to give up some guaranteed money.

“We have been in contact with Nick and his representation throughout the offseason and we feel that this is the best decision for all parties involved,” coach Jeff Fisher said in a statement. “We appreciate the contributions that Nick has made to our organization in his time as a Ram and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Foles is now free to go to any team. There is one team in particular that could be in the hunt for a veteran quarterback, so keep an eye on that.

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