NHL Draft 2016 Results: Re-Ranking Every Team’s Prospect Pool

June 26th, 2016 by Jonathan Willis No comments »
The 2016 NHL draft will shape the fortunes of many teams in the years to come.Between trades and selections, no club comes away unchanged from the event. Some of the repercussions will be major and immediate, felt as soon as 2016-17; others will take years to reveal themselves.While most of the reaction in the immediate aftermath focuses on those changes we'll see right away, it's worth taking the time to look at long-term ramifications. That's the purpose of this piece, which will integrate what we know about each team's existing prospect pipeline with our knowledge of the players selected on Friday and Saturday. We'll use that combined approach to rank each NHL team's prospect pool.For our purposes here, a prospect is defined by eligibility for the NHL's Calder Memorial Trophy. That means we will ignore those players who have accrued 25 or more career NHL games or who have played two consecutive seasons ...

Sidney Crosby Sees a Lot of Himself in Oilers Phenom Connor McDavid

June 26th, 2016 by Adrian Dater No comments »
LAS VEGAS — Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid left Las Vegas last week without any new hardware for their trophy shelves, an unfamiliar experience. Missing out on individual awards is as rare as snowfall in this town. Thing is, Crosby and McDavid still drew the most attention, from media and autograph hounds alike, at the NHL Awards ceremonies. Crosby is not this year's Hart Trophy winner, and McDavid is not the Rookie of the Year. But Crosby remains the biggest star in the league, and McDavid is widely regarded as his heir apparent. There is so much in common between the two, starting with the fact they had the biggest media buildups of any players over the last 30 years entering the league as rookies. After the awards were handed out to others Wednesday night, Crosby and McDavid shared a warm handshake and several minutes of private conversation away from the crowd. When it ...

College Basketball Teams with Most Players in NBA Today

June 26th, 2016 by Kerry Miller No comments »
Kentucky and Duke have been dominating college basketball—especially recruiting—for the past decade and boast the most alumni in the NBA as a result. Between the draft and the beginning of free agency, NBA rosters are both as full and as fluid as they can be. By the time the 2016-17 season begins, many of the players currently listed on NBA rosters will either be sent to the D-League or out of North America altogether, pursuing career opportunities internationally. Others will simply decide enough is enough and retire. But as things currently stand, there are eight college basketball programs with at least 10 players listed on NBA rosters, as well as a pair of titans with more than 20. For the coaches at the top of the list, this is one heck of a bragging right on the recruiting trail. It probably goes something like this: "Sure, you could take your chances at a ...

Cavs GM David Griffin Comments on Status of Cavaliers Heading into Free Agency

June 26th, 2016 by Joseph Zucker No comments »
Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin offered a brief look at the team's plans for the summer on ESPN's NBA Lockdown podcast on Sunday. "We intend to keep this group together and see what we're capable of," he said (via ESPN.com's Marc Stein). The Cavs core is likely to remain intact. Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert are locked up through 2019, while Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love are signed through 2020, and it's doubtful the team will look to move Love after winning the NBA title. Finals MVP LeBron James told ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin he has no plans to leave, either.  The Cavaliers have a few players hitting free agency, but none—with the possible exception of J.R. Smith—would leave a major hole in the squad if he signed elsewhere. Smith will be a major wild card. During his emotional press conference after Game 7 of the Finals, he made it clear he's comfortable in Cleveland: Still, it won't be surprising if another ...

Taj Gibson Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation on Bulls Star

June 26th, 2016 by Joseph Zucker No comments »
Having already traded Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks, the Chicago Bulls may not be done reshuffling their roster this offseason. Taj Gibson could be the next veteran out the door. Continue for updates. Bulls Reportedly Looking to Move Gibson Sunday, June 26 The Chicago Sun-Times' Joe Cowley reported Sunday the Bulls have talked to other teams about trading Gibson.   Trading Gibson makes sense for Chicago, even if the team is resigned to losing one or both of Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol in free agency. Robin Lopez's arrival in the Rose trade will help bolster the frontcourt, and the Bulls have plenty of depth at power forward. Head coach Fred Hoiberg will likely want to give Bobby Portis more playing time in 2016-17, and the same goes for Nikola Mirotic. Offloading Gibson will make it easier for Hoiberg to focus on the franchise's younger players. Trading Gibson by itself shouldn't be an issue. The question ...

Would Kevin Durant Signing with Golden State Warriors Ruin the NBA? Hardly.

June 26th, 2016 by Grant Hughes No comments »
With the obvious exception of Oklahoma City Thunder fans, everyone in their right mind ought to be rooting for Kevin Durant to join the Golden State Warriors. Not everybody will, of course. That's not how things like this usually work. When marquee free agents flirt with established powers and put superteam construction on the table, we don't see anything close to the unanimous, "Do it, it'd be so cool!" encouragement we should. Instead, we see the same handwringing and self-serious moralizing we always do. Competitive balance is kaput! Superstar X is giving up on his team! He's a ring-chasing coward! Forget about anyone respecting his legacy! You know, the usual. Durant is aware of the barbs potentially headed his way, according to Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman: Durant is concerned with image and perception. He reads articles, watches shows and checks tweets that discuss him. If he left for Golden State, even though the Finals loss would soften the noise, ...

Tony Wroten to Grizzlies: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

June 26th, 2016 by Matt Fitzgerald No comments »
The Memphis Grizzlies bolstered their backcourt depth Sunday by claiming guard Tony Wroten off of waivers. Ian Begley of ESPN.com reported the news on Wroten, whom the New York Knicks released this past Wednesday.   Injuries ravaged the Grizzlies down the stretch of last season, and they had no proven lead guards to turn to. With longtime floor general Mike Conley hitting free agency this summer, Wroten is a sound insurance option for the time being. Wroten has at least flashed potential, and Memphis was the team that selected him 25th overall in the 2012 NBA draft. Although the Grizzlies traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers after only one season, there's a familiarity factor between Wroten and the organization. Memphis evidently saw something in him when it drafted him. Chris Herrington of the Memphis Commercial Appeal provided some interesting context regarding Wroten's history with the Grizzlies' front office: Wroten, 23, played 30 games for the Sixers during ...

NBA Free Agency 2016: Latest Rumors and Signing Predictions for Top Stars

June 26th, 2016 by Chris Roling No comments »
It seems there won't be a happy medium with 2016 NBA free agency. Those who built expectations for the 2016 NBA draft can relate. Either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram was going to come off the board first, and no team was going to make a major trade, or something crazy would happen. This summer the Association offers a similar dilemma. It seems either Kevin Durant ditches the Oklahoma City Thunder and major rebuilders such as the Los Angeles Lakes and New York Knicks strike it big, or it's a ho-hum affair setting the table for Part 3 between Golden State and Cleveland. The ever-present rumor mill suggests the market could swing either way, so let's take a look at the latest whispers.   DeMar DeRozan DeMar DeRozan didn't shock anyone when he opted out of his contract with the Toronto Raptors. Guys who are 26 years old and averaged 23.5 points have to do what's ...

2016 NHL Draft Results: Full Review, Grade for Each Franchise

June 26th, 2016 by Joe Pantorno No comments »
While the second day of the 2016 NHL draft from First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York, might have not provided the star power or grandeur of Friday night's first round, 181 players heard their names called in Rounds 2 through 7 on Saturday. Given the sheer number of players taken, it's unlikely all of them will play in the NHL, but the possibility of what lies ahead is what makes this event special for the numerous prospects.  For the teams, though, the business of winning is priority No. 1, and the draft is a great way to acquire players who could make a big impact one day. Here's a look at how each team fared over the two days in Buffalo: Which Teams Had the Best Draft Nights? Calgary Flames The Calgary Flames' stellar night began when left winger Matthew Tkachuk, arguably a top-four talent in this draft, fell into their laps at No. 6. ...

NBA Draft Grades 2016: Scores for Overall Results, Trades and Team Decisions

June 26th, 2016 by Chris Roling No comments »
In one sense, NBA draft grades can fall into the same classification as mock drafts as an unnecessary feature going into or out of an event. But we know the usefulness of mock drafts, which at least offer a one-stop shop of information pertaining to every team's need and the prospect stock market. Sure, it can't predict Guerschon Yabusele will be a lottery pick, but nothing can.  It's the same theme for grades—a tool that examines every selection made and assigns value to give folks an idea if a team hit its needs and at a good value. Sure, letter grades will change over time, but what doesn't? Below, let's review the NBA draft and provide some necessary context to the league before things get downright wild in NBA free agency.  Best Move: Oklahoma City Dishes Serge Ibaka  Tired of hearing about this yet?  Don't be. The Oklahoma City Thunder have to do whatever it takes ...