The Miami Heat are probably one piece away from true championship contention, and they are on the hunt ahead of the Feb. 6 trade deadline.
Shandel Richardson of Sports Illustrated reported on Monday that the Heat have shown interest in the San Antonio Spurs’ star duo of DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. Richardson also notes Miami’s interest in New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, which had previously been reported.
The Heat have been one of the biggest surprises in the league this season. They sit at 29-13 (second in the Eastern Conference) despite giving heavy rotation minutes to two rookies (Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro) as well as three other players age 25 or younger (Bam Adebayo, Derrick Jones Jr, and Duncan Robinson).
Richardson adds that the Heat would almost certainly have to give up one of their other young players such as Justise Winslow in addition to a veteran like Kelly Olynyk or Dion Waiters. But with the aforementioned Spurs expanding their respective games this season, it may be a price worth paying for Miami.
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After a very brief initial retirement, Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees is saying farewell for good.
Pees, a longtime NFL defensive coordinator, announced Monday that he would retire from coaching.
#Titans DC Dean Pees announces that he’s retiring from coaching in NFL. He planned to retire once, only to be lured back. Bet this one sticks.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 20, 2020
The 70-year-old Pees initially retired after the 2017 season before being lured out of that brief retirement weeks later after Mike Vrabel was named the Titans’ head coach. In both of Pees’ seasons as Titans defensive coordinator, his unit ranked in the top half of the league in points allowed, finishing third in that category in 2018. That unit was a key part of the team’s run to the AFC Championship game.
Pees had some health issues in 2018, and had already been ready to retire before the Titans lured him back to the sport. This one looks to be more permanent.
- Dean Pees
Guaranteeing a victory almost always has the potential to make a player look bad, but Joe Montana has found a way around that ahead of Super Bowl LIV.
Montana, who won four Super Bowls during his Hall of Fame career, sent a great tweet on Monday guaranteeing his team is going to win it all this year.
You heard from me first. I GUARANTEE my team will win the SUPER BOWL!! pic.twitter.com/WAndTV2hBN
— Joseph Montana (@JoeMontana) January 20, 2020
As soon as the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers won their respective conferences, Montana was guaranteed a victory. For a guy that did a whole lot of winning during his career, it’s safe to say this will be his easiest win yet.
Montana spent just two seasons with the Chiefs at the end of his career, and all four titles he won were with the 49ers. He may feel a bit more allegiance to San Francisco given his history with the franchise, but the big game really is a no-lose situation for Joe Cool this year.
- Joe Montana
The Houston Astros are continuing their search for a new manager, but they’re not just looking at experienced veterans.
According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Astros have interest in ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez for their managerial position.
The Astros are interested in Eduardo Perez for their managerial vacancy, sources tell SNY.
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) January 20, 2020
There’s no indication an interview is set yet, but it’s clear that Perez is on the shortlist. The Mets are reportedly taking a second look at him as well after he was a serious candidate for the initial job opening earlier in the offseason.
Perez played 13 MLB seasons and has managerial experience in the Puerto Rican league. He also has some ties with the Astros, having spent the 2013 season as the team’s bench coach under then-manager Bo Porter, ensuring at least some sense of familiarity.
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Philip Rivers confirmed over the weekend that he has moved his family to Florida from San Diego, and he said the decision was made so he could be closer to home. Of course, many are wondering if it could have to do with where he plans on playing in 2020.
Rivers is set to become a free agent in less than two months, and there has been a lot of talk about the Los Angeles Chargers going in a different direction. If that happens, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be a team to watch.
Hearing a lot of buzz about Tampa as a possible landing spot for Philip Rivers. As reported back in late November, he and the Chargers were likely headed to a parting of the ways
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 20, 2020
Rivers has said he wants to play in 2020 and is open to doing so for a new team. The 38-year-old threw for an impressive 4,615 yards this season, but his 23 touchdowns were his lowest total since 2007 and his 20 interceptions matched a career high. Only two quarterbacks threw more picks than Rivers this season, and one of them was Jameis Winston.
Winston’s 30 interceptions were the most in the NFL, and Bucs head coach Bruce Arians has hinted that he may have lost his patience with the former Florida State star. Between that, Rivers’ contract situation and Rivers moving to Florida, the stage could be set for Arians and Rivers to work together next season.
At least for the moment, the NFL has a new king of retail sales among players.
The NFLPA released its annual list of top-selling players by total retail sales, and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is No. 1 for the first time, passing New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has moved into the No. 1 position on the NFLPA's official list of top-selling players for retail sales.
Tom Brady has been No. 1 the last two years, but he's currently No. 2 — followed by Zeke Elliott, Baker Mayfield and OBJ.
— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) January 20, 2020
It’s hard to imagine we won’t see Mahomes topping this list again. He’s only 24, plays the quarterback position like no one else does, and makes plays like this one on a national stage. This isn’t even taking into account the fact that he just led the Chiefs to the Super Bowl, which will only increase his profile.
Andy Reid is headed to the second Super Bowl of his career, and it sounds like he celebrated in a suitable manner after his Kansas City Chiefs took care of business Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
On Monday, Reid described how he celebrated the Chiefs’ return to the Super Bowl.
“I had a cheeseburger and went to bed.”
– (Classic) Andy Reid on how he celebrated last night.
— BJ Kissel (@ChiefsReporter) January 20, 2020
If only things could be that simple for all of us.
It’s hard to think of a more suitable celebration for Reid, one of the more successful yet understated coaches in the NFL. It was well-deserved, too, as he and his staff have done an impeccable job with this Chiefs team.
We’re assuming that the cheeseburger was the last thing Reid treated himself to before he embarks on that diet he promised.
Houston Astros players struck a defiant tone in their first public comments over the weekend, apparently to the shock of some around baseball.
Several Astros spoke at the team’s fanfest over the weekend, but none offered any apologies or contrition for the sign stealing scheme that they employed in 2017. Most comments were similar to those of Alex Bregman, who denied some of the unproven allegations, refused to comment on the punishments handed down by the league office, and said the Astros would do their talking on the field.
This apparently came as a surprise to some rival executives, who were expecting at least some level of regret from the players.
There is a ton of surprise around the game about how the Astros players answered questions over the weekend about the sign-stealing episode and suspensions. Rival officials thought the players would've been well-served by at least some expressions of regret, contrition.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 20, 2020
This may be a consequence of the players essentially going unpunished for the scheme while executives take the fall. The majority of the baseball community has already lost respect for these players, but many would have certainly liked an apology. Until that apology comes, expect these players to keep getting trashed on social media.
Chandler Parsons was involved in a serious car accident last week that left him with injuries that could threaten his NBA career.
Morgan & Morgan, the legal team hired by Parsons, revealed in a statement on Monday that Parsons was involved in a car crash on Jan. 15 that left him with “multiple severe and permanent injuries including a traumatic brain injury, disc herniation and torn labrum.” The at-fault driver of the three-car crash admitted he was drinking before the accident and is facing DUI charges.
Chandler Parsons hires Morgan & Morgan after being struck by individual who’s charged with DUI, according to attorney. Parsons suffered “multiple severe and permanent injuries including a traumatic brain injury, disc herniation and torn labrum.” His return to play is unclear. pic.twitter.com/GxvuNByzh5
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 20, 2020
The statement said Parsons is currently working with doctors and his “ability to return to play is unclear.”
Parsons was traded to the Atlanta Hawks from the Memphis Grizzlies over the summer. He has appeared in five games this season and is averaging 2.8 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. He and the Grizzlies agreed to part ways after Parsons said he was fully recovered from a knee injury but the team still was not playing him. Memphis could not find a trade partner last year when Parsons wanted out, so the 31-year-old had to awkwardly return to the team for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.
Hopefully Parsons is able to make a full recovery, as that would be a tragic way to end his playing career.
- Chandler Parsons
The Carolina Panthers continue to fill out their coaching staff, and their latest hire is a familiar name to new coach Matt Rhule.
The Panthers officially announced on Monday that Phil Snow is the team’s new defensive coordinator, moving to the NFL from the same position on Rhule’s staff at Baylor.
Snow has had a long career as a collegiate defensive coordinator, but has limited NFL experience. He served as the linebackers coach for the Detroit Lions from 2005-2008.
Snow joins a staff loaded with college coaching talent. In addition to Rhule himself, the Panthers have brought in the top offensive coach in the country last season to run that side of the ball. They’ve invested a lot in making that happen, and it’s going to be very interesting to see how it works out.