NBA free agents 2021: Top players available, start date for free agency, salary cap

NBA 夜网论坛 Basketball The 2020-21 NBA season is complete, and that means free agency is right around the corner.After signing with the Clippers just two years ago, Kawhi Leonard could once again become an unrestricted free agent and send NBA Twitter into a frenzy. He has a player option for the 2021-22 season, but he could decline that option in order to sign a new contract. The most likely scenario is Leonard reaching some sort of agreement with Los Angeles as he continues to recover from an ACL injury he suffered during the 2021 playoffs, though no one truly knows what he will do. Beyond Leonard, this year's class of free agents is filled with talented point guards who should earn big paydays, including Chris Paul, Kyle Lowry and Mike Conley. There are a few general managers with cap space that will be trying to pry those guys away from their current teams and elevate their franchises.And don't forget that trade rumors will be lingering in the background. Will the 76ers move Ben Simmons? Will Bradley Beal or Damian Lillard request a trade? As Kevin Garnett once said, "Anything is possible." Here's everything you need to know ahead of NBA free agency, including the top available players and teams with the most cap space.NBA DRAFT: SN's latest mock draft | Top 60 big boardWhen does NBA free agency start?NBA free agency will kick[......]

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Bryce Harper: 'We're the team to beat, everybody knows that'

In case the last month has made you forget, Bryce Harper wants to remind you of something. The Nationals are a pretty good baseball team.Harper hit three home runs in Washington's 7-5 win over the Marlins Wednesday afternoon, and he argued afterward that his club is better than good. They're (still) the team to beat in the National League.  Bryce Harper after three-homer game: “We’re the team to beat, everybody knows that. And we’re going to get hot. Everybody knows that too."— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) May 6, 2015The Nats are now 14-15, four games behind the first-place Mets entering Wednesday night. They won 96 games in 2014 and entered the season as a big favorite to win the National League夜网论坛 East. Now, we just wait for them to get hot.[......]

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Draft 2015: Cubs select Ian Happ with No. 9 pick

The Chicago Cubs have selected outfielder Ian Happ of the University of Cincinnati with the ninth overall pick of the 2015 draft. Happ had an outstanding ca夜网论坛reer with the Bearcats. Where he winds up, position-wise, is a bit of a question. He can play the outfield, though some scouts have said they could see him as a second baseman, too. He has the type of hands/feet to handle the position.  MORE: Five worst Draft misses for each franchise | Best picks, 1-50Happ hit .369 with 14 homers, 18 doubles and 12 stolen bases for the Bearcats this year. OK. Not surprised to see Cubs grab Ian Happ. He's the most advanced hitter available, and versatile fielder. Switch hitter fits model.— Phil Rogers (@philgrogers) June 9, 2015[......]

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19 things that've happened in sports since the Braves' Shelby Miller got a win

Braves pitcher Shelby Miller has become the unwitting personification of why pitcher wins might not be the best way to evaluate talent.Since coming within one out of a no-hitter May 17 in a win against the Marlins in Miami, Miller has had 19 straight winless starts. MORE: 10 greatest Braves of all time  When he takes the mound Saturday against the Nationals hoping to end the team's 10-game losing streak, he’ll also seek to end the second-longest winless stretch for a pitcher in Atlanta history, despite having posted an ERA of 3.13 during that time. His overall 2.56 ERA ranks fifth in the NL, while he’s sixth in pitcher WAR, fifth in ERA+ and tied for first in shutouts (2). He even took another no-hitter into the eighth inning last month. Point is, he's been good, regardless of the win tally. Meanwhile, the Braves have scored two or fewer runs for him in 14 of those past 19 starts and have gone 3-16 as part of season that’s spun out of control and could ultimately see them lose 100 games.#Braves have scored a total of 14 runs while Shelby Miller has been on the mound in his last 14 starts, including none in 8 of them— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) September 1, 2015Miller’s streak has become so outrageous that it requires proper perspective. So here are 19 things that have happened in baseball, the greater sports universe and the world during Miller's 19-game winless streak, in no particular order.19. Entering Saturday, 141 players made their major-league debuts. On[......]

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Stunning Aroldis Chapman trade creates interesting dynamic in Dodgers' bullpen

Zack Greinke didn’t want the Dodgers’ money. Neither did David Price.  MORE: Worst December baseball trades of all timeSo what does a World Series-or-bust franchise do when it misses on its two biggest free-agent targets? It makes a splash elsewhere. A massive, cannonball splash.  The Dodgers made a relatively stunning trade for Cincinnati closer Aroldis Chapman on Monday morning, sending a pair of prospects — though not uber-prospects Corey Seager or Julio Urias — to the Reds. Why is that stunning? The Dodgers already have a closer. An ex夜网论坛cellent closer. One of the most reliable closers in baseball, actually. In the four years since Kenley Jansen became L.A.’s primary ninth-inning guy, he’s produced a 2.33 ERA, 2.10 FIP, 13.6 K/9, 0.910 WHIP and saved 133 games. In 2015, he blew only two saves all season. And now he’s paired with Chapman at the back of the bullpen. This all feels very much like the Royals’ theory of postseason success, where a pitching staff is built around dominance in the late innings. Comebacks should cease to exist for Dodgers’ opponents in 2015 — remember, Chapman is a free agent after the 2016 season, unless the Dodgers sign him to a rich long-term deal. Let’s take a second and look at Chapman. In the four years since he became Cincinnati’s closer, his numbers are just ridiculous: 1.90 ERA, 1.74 FIP, 16.1 K/9, 4.8 K/9 and 145 saves. He’s blown a total of five saves the past two seasons. And he throws the baseball ridiculously hard. Since 201[......]

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Marlins fire GM, interim manager Dan Jennings

夜网论坛 Baseball The Dan Jennings experiment is over in Miami. The Marlins announced they have dismissed Jennings, who served as the team's general manager and interim manager this season. MORE: Sporting News' 2015 NL All-Star team | SN names Alex Anthopoulos Executive of the YearJennings began the year as Marlins general manager but was later named the team's manager after Mike Redmond was fired in May. Jennings went just 55-69 at the helm to finish the season.  Dan Jennings has been relieved of his duties as General Manager.— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) October 29, 2015According to the Miami Herald, Jennings was offered to return as the team's general manager and accepted. But as he was set to return to work Oct. 19, Jennings was told not to return to the Marlins offices — a decision made by team president David Samson, according to the report.The move is another step in Miami's continued overhaul in the organization.The Marlins reportedly hired former Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on Thursday and reassigned Marty Scott, vice president of player development, and Craig Weissmann, vice president of player personnel, in September.[......]

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Braves just keep Bravin': After stock falls 50 percent, team calls up ineligible player

null 夜网论坛 null Baseball The Braves' season is less than a month old, and already they're plumbing new depths — not just of the NL East standings, mind you.Sure, the team was 5-18 (.217) entering Sunday's game against the Cubs. MORE: The Braves won a lot in the '90s, but they should've won moreBut, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out, the price of the team’s stock has fallen by more than half in the two weeks it has been trading on the Nasdaq exchange. In short: The Braves aren't half as good as they used to be.“This has been off-the-charts crazy,” New York-based stock analyst Robert Routh told the Journal-Constitution. “I never thought this would get as low as it has.”The Braves’ Series A shares (symbol: BATRA) closed Friday at $15.64, down 56.5 percent from the opening price April 18. Series C shares (symbol: BATRK) closed Friday at $14.92, down 44.7 percent from the opening price.But wait. There's more.Because of a front-office mistake, the Braves faced Sunday's game a player shy of a 25-man roster, The Associated Press reported.The team announced Sunday morning that it had selected the contract of veteran utility player Emilio Bonifacio from Triple-A Gwinnett.Braves call up Emilio Bonifacio, option Chris Withrow to Gwinnett[......]

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Dodgers' top pitching prospect Julio Urias, 19 to make debut Friday

null Baseball null Baseball's top pitching prospect is coming to the majors at age 19.Julio Urias will start for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday in New York against the Mets, the team announced Thursday morning. He'll take Alex Wood's spot in the rotation and face off against Jacob deGrom at Citi Field. MORE: prospect rankings for 2016The left-hander has been dominant against much older players at Triple-A this season, going 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) while striking out 44 in 41 innings. That's merely a continuation of the remarkable numbers he has put up since making his minor league debut as a 16-year-old shortly after signing out of Culiacan, Mexico. Urias was rated Baseball America's No. 4 overall prospect entering 2016 and the top pitcher, just ahead of the Nationals' Lucas Giolito.His debut at 19 for the Dodgers will bring inevitable comparisons to another lefty from Mexico, Fernando Valenzuela, who did the same as a relieve夜网论坛r in 1980 before moving into the rotation the following season and winning NL Cy Young and Rookie of the Year honors. But Valenzuela was 20 before he made his first start.[......]

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Baseball and Brexit: everything you need to know

NEW YORK — The world's big news of the day on Friday, the vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, would appear to have little connection to the world of Major League Baseball, which currently has zero British players. Chris Reed, the London-born pitcher who appeared in two games with the Marlins last season, currently is in Triple-A.Friday night at Yankee Stadium, though, there was a rarity, as there were European players on both teams. Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius was born in Amsterdam before moving to Curacao when he was 5, while Twins outfielder Max Kepler was born in Berlin and grew up there. MORE: SN50 ranks baseball's best"I don't really follow the news," Gregorius said, lending credence to the notion of there being no connection between Brexit and baseball. His fellow EU citizen, though, did have some thoughts on the matter.MORE: Donald Trump at Turnberry: Golf, politics collide in Scotland"They're a world of their own," Kepler said of the UK. "I like to see Europe as Europe, as a whole big union, a big family. They obviously think they're a kingdom of their own. I don't have much of an opinion. I love England. I love visiting London, when I do, England, in general — I have some family there. Politically, I don't really know. They can do whatever they like."Britain's political decisions with regard to Europe seem unlikely to have a direct impact on 's hopes to bring the game abroad in the future, but there was some ancillary relevance to[......]

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Aroldis Chapman appearance followed by awful choice of song at Wrigley Field

Tone deaf. Out of touch. Clueless. Use whatever phrase you want — the Cubs' public address people showed a startling lack of judgment Sunday.After reliever Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless ninth, the Wrigley Field public address system blared the song "Smack My Bitch Up." MORE: Most infamous moment for every teamAside from being a bad song to play at a family-oriented event, this is especially ridiculous because Chapman served a 30-game suspension to start the 夜网论坛season after an October incident in which he was accused of choking his girlfriend and firing eight gunshots.  Chapman closes out the inning & at the inning break the Cubs play "Smack My Bitch Up." You gotta know better. C'mon.— Sarah Spain (@SarahSpain) August 15, 2016Bad, bad, bad, Cubs. Really bad.Somebody's likely to get in trouble Monday, if they're not already. UPDATE: The Cubs have apologized and have "terminated our relationship" with the person responsible.[......]

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