It seems likely that Kareem Hunt will be welcomed back into the NFL by someone at some point, and two teams are reportedly sniffing around.
According to NFL reporter Benjamin Allbright, the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills have considered signing Hunt, though neither has taken any steps to do so at this point.
No. Chicago and Buffalo were considering sniffing around was what I had heard. https://t.co/E8hriYAGwO
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) February 11, 2019
The Bears’ interest has been openly discussed by members of the organization, and coach Matt Nagy was Hunt’s offensive coordinator for a year in Kansas City. The Bills, however, have not been linked before.
Hunt was released by the Chiefs after video emerged of him attacking a woman. He still faces NFL discipline, which is a factor any team that acquires him must consider.
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Kawhi Leonard is averaging 17.3 points per game in his last four games, a modest total by the Toronto Raptors star’s standards. His coach suggests that there’s a pretty amusing reason why.
Raptors coach Nick Nurse suggested that Leonard, averaging a career-best 26.9 points per game this season, has just gotten a little bit bored being so dominant as we move through the latter stages of the regular season.
I asked Nick Nurse about Kawhi’s ‘mini-slump’ ; he said:
“He needs to get a little more engaged; find some motivation”
So, he’s getting bored destroying people?
“A little bit, yeah.” https://t.co/ZVje0yS3N6
— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) February 11, 2019
We are in that part of the season after the trade deadline but before the playoffs when things can start to drag a bit. Maybe Leonard can appreciate the same things that his new teammate is and pull himself out of it, even though it isn’t that much of a slump to begin with.
The Boston Celtics are clearly having some locker room tension, and it’s apparently not a shock to many NBA insiders.
According to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, many inside the league are not shocked that the Celtics are having chemistry issues. The locker room is not considered to be toxic, but it is characterized as the players simply not being that close.
The #Celtics locker room issues aren't that big of a surprise to some NBA folks I talked to today. The consensus is that the players aren't necessarily beefing but they aren't that close. It's like they are trying to coexist politely, and it's not working.
— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) February 10, 2019
Marcus Morris essentially blew the issues out into the open after the Celtics blew a huge lead against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. It doesn’t sound like things are at a breaking point, but the players clearly aren’t having fun right now.
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Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard was less than enthusiastic after missing a shot on a drive to the basket in which he pretty clearly felt he got fouled.
Lillard said immediately after the game that he had been fouled twice on the final possession of Portland’s 102-101 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Damian Lillard said he "got fouled two times" on his drive to the basket on the final possession. "But like I said, it should have never came to that. When you score nine points in the fourth quarter, you're going to have a hard time winning the game."
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 10, 2019
Lillard doubled down on Twitter, retweeting a screenshot of one of the perceived fouls with a pretty blunt criticism.
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) February 10, 2019
This is the sort of thing that may show up in the NBA’s L2M reports, which players generally hate. Lillard probably won’t feel any better about it even if the league acknowledges an error.
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Former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg is back in action playing for The Alliance of American Football’s Memphis Express, and it’s not going well.
Hackenberg showed a lot of the things that made him a failure with the New York Jets, making a lot of bad throws and taking sacks. Twitter was happy to take aim at the former second-round NFL draft pick as he floundered in the AAF.
— Max Wildstein (@MaxWildstein) February 10, 2019
Checking in on Christian Hackenberg pic.twitter.com/EKlYJLhWHL
— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) February 10, 2019
Reminder: most awards are overrated
Current Jets GM Mike Maccagnan was named NFL Executive of the Year in January 2016.
He promptly drafted Christian Hackenberg in the 2nd round.
The Jets went 5-11, 5-11 & 4-12 the next 3 years, finishing last in the AFC East each year.
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) February 10, 2019
Christian Hackenberg sucks even in the AAF and the Jets drafted him in the second round lololol
— KFC (@KFCBarstool) February 10, 2019
If it throws like a duck, it’s probably Christian Hackenberg. https://t.co/KUOzTGcDWU
— Alex Hickey (@bigahickey) February 10, 2019
Christian Hackenberg is bad in this league too! Who would have thought?
— Kevin Harrish (@Kevinish) February 10, 2019
Somebody needs to tell Christian Hackenberg that "throwing with anticipation" does not mean "waiting until the defenders converge upon your receiver."
— Doug Farrar (@NFL_DougFarrar) February 10, 2019
On the early evidence, Hackenberg won’t be getting back into the NFL anytime soon. Maybe Jon Gruden, his biggest fan, is paying attention.
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National treasure Bill Walton made headlines for biting into a cupcake with the candle on it still lit Saturday night, and his son Luke is apparently relaxed about it.
Luke Walton, head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, confirmed that his father’s behavior didn’t really have precedent from his childhood. However, he was also thoroughly unsurprised that it happened.
Luke just confirmed that his father did not do this at his or his brother’s birthday parties when they were growing up … but it also does not surprise him. https://t.co/GYPfaMsenG
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 10, 2019
Walton is a bit odd, but it makes for great TV. Luke probably has some great stories that he hasn’t told or are simply not fit for public consumption. This is probably just the tip of the iceberg.
The New York Knicks seemingly went into the trade process expecting to get more for forward Kristaps Porzingis.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks were “surprised” that Porzingis’s stock had dropped so much since the 2017 NBA Draft, when they last received offers for him. At that time, the Knicks had turned down the opportunity to acquire Devin Booker and a draft pick from the Phoenix Suns for Porzingis, and had also rejected a large offer from the Boston Celtics.
Berman reports that the Knicks did get 8-10 offers for Porzingis, but the Dallas Mavericks were the only team to offer up the right combination of a young player, expiring contracts, and two first-round draft choices.
Earlier reports indicated that Porzingis’s availability was something of a secret to some teams, but if up to a third of the league had offers on the table, it would seem it wasn’t that classified. The Knicks couldn’t expect Porzingis, who hasn’t played all season, to have retained all his trade value from when he was regarded as one of the league’s brightest young stars. He still is, but the injury concerns are real.
The Boston Celtics have all sorts of issues right now, but point guard Kyrie Irving’s health does not appear to be a serious one.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Irving is considered day-to-day with a right knee sprain. The injury is not considered serious.
Kyrie Irving’s right knee sprain isn’t serious and expected to be day-to-day on a return, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 10, 2019
Irving left Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers late in the second quarter and did not return. In his absence, the Celtics collapsed and blew a 28-point lead, with the Clippers outscoring them 70-38 in the second half with no Irving on the floor. If it’s any solace to Boston, it sounds like they won’t be without their star point guard for very long.