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The reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year has been traded away from the reigning Western Conference Champions 72 hours prior to the start of the 2012-13 NBA regular season.
The Thunder are sending SG James Harden, along with SG Daequan Cook, C Cole Aldrich and SF Lazar Hayward are en route to Houston, with the Rockets sending SGs Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb back to Oklahoma City, along with two first round picks and a second round selection.
Harden won the 2012 Sixth Man of the Year award after playing in all 62 games of the lockout-shortened season (with only two starts), averaging 16.8 points per game and nearly two three-pointers a game, while also holding down a stat line of 4.1 RPG, 3.7 APG and 1 SPG. His field-goal percentage (.491) and free-throw percentage (.846) certainly didn’t hurt, either.
Reportedly, Harden balked at the Thunder’s 4-year, $52 million extension proposal earlier in the day, leading to the Thunder becoming more aggressive in trade talks. Harden is in the final year of his rookie contract and will make just short of $6 million this year. ESPN’s Chris Broussard is reporting that Houston has already committed to giving Harden a max extension of four years and $60 million.
The Thunder stay fully stocked with guards in taking back Martin and Lamb. Martin is also in the last year of his contract and earning about $12.5 million, while Lamb is fresh out of the University of Connecticut, drafted just four months ago with the Rockets’ 12th overall selection.
Tomorrow, we’ll discuss the virtues and mishaps of this trade for both sides, but we as a staff at WaiverWireBlog.com generally agree that both sides benefit quite a bit from this deal. We shall see what some rest and rethinking do to those opinions.
Check back tomorrow for more.
We are under the one month window before the 2012 NFL season, which has all of our writers here at The Waiver Wire gearing up for another year of debates, poorly made bets and trash-talking. This year, we’ve decided to break down the season-to-be division by division. We will preview all eight divisions and pick our division winners, likely wild cards for both the AFC and NFC, and even which teams will be lining up for the Matt Barkley 2013 Draft Sweepstakes.
Today, Zak Lansing and Steve Sabato take on what might be the most competitive division in the NFL; the NFC North.
ZL: The Packers were last year’s presumptive Super Bowl favorite before we even made it out of September. Despite having possibly the most efficient passing offense in the game courtesy of Aaron Rodgers 45-to-6 passing touchdown-to-interception ration, they too fell to the eventual champion New York Giants, and now enter the 2012 campaign with a humungous chip on their shoulder. Despite having a dismal passing defense (299.8 yards per game allowed last year – worst in the league), Gunslinger 2.0 and the Packers had the 2nd highest point differential in the league (+201, 2nd only to New Orleans’ +208). That defense needs to find a bit of the identity of past Packer squads to support the most dangerous quarterback in the game and his deep receiving corps if the Packers hope to have any chance of taking home this season’s Lombardi Trophy.
When you go 15-1 in the regular season, it’s hard to restock your team through the draft, but the Packers did manage to find some quality defensive help. DE/OLB Nick Perry from USC is likely to get the nod at left outside linebacker in the Green Bay system, reinvigorating a pass rush that already included the always-scary Clay Matthews. DT Jerel Worthy from Michigan State will give depth on the defensive line and spell NT B.J. Raji, and if Worthy can improve his workrate, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with. The Packers spent their first six draft picks on defense, showing their dedication to righting the wrongs of last year. Read more…
We are under the one month window before the 2012 NFL season, which has all of our writers here at The Waiver Wire gearing up for another year of debates, poorly made bets and trash-talking. This year, we’ve decided to break down the season-to-be division by division. We will preview all eight divisions, pick our division winners and the likely wild card teams for both the AFC and NFC, and even which teams will be lining up for the Matt Barkley 2013 Draft Sweepstakes.
First up… Zak Lansing and Matt McCarthy tackle the AFC East (because somebody needs to learn how to wrap up in this division).
Matt McCarthy: The AFC East is always an interesting division in the NFL. Whether it is the New England Patriots’ domination through the Tom Brady Era, the New York Jets and Rex Ryan’s antics or the ever present question of when the Buffalo Bills or Miami Dolphins will contend again, the AFC East always provides us with something to talk about week in and week out. Last year was no different: the Patriots had another impressive season finishing 13-3, only to be beaten out in the Super Bowl by the New York Giants. The Jets had a collapse at the end of the season and found themselves on the outside looking into the playoffs after losing a must win game against the Eagles in Week 17. The Bills cooled off after their red-hot start only to finish at 6-10 and the Dolphins continued to disappoint, also finishing at 6-10.
Zak Lansing: Despite having a sub-par defense, the Patriots did what they do with the Belichick/Brady two-headed monster: win consistently. Even during the two year run of Rex Ryan’s Jets making the AFC title game, the Pats have run the East. However, last year proved that Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker alone do not a champion make. The supposed best defense in the division, the Jets, hit the skids after reaching 8 wins and the team completely collapsed from within. The Bills seemingly killed their own hot streak by signing Ryan Fitzpatrick to a long-term deal, while the Dolphins started the season with an underpeforming signal-caller (Chad Henne) before ending the year with an enigma (Matt Moore) at the position.
New England Patriots (13-3 last year, Lost in Super Bowl to the New York Giants) Read more…
The NFL announced on Wednesday that four current and former New Orleans Saints players alleged to participate in the Saints’ defensive bounty system have incurred suspensions for the 2013 season, with current Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma shockingly getting the same penalty as his head coach, Sean Payton: one year, without pay, without offseason contact.
Other players suffering the wrath of Fidel Goodell include Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove, Saints defensive end Will Smith and Cleveland Browns’ linebacker Scott Fujita. Hargrove’s sentence is of the eight-game variety, while Smith and Fujita were handed four and three game penalties, respectively. All three will be able to participate in offseason activity, but all suspensions are without pay.
According to ESPN.com, the NFL claims to have evidence proving Vilma and Smith each helped create and fund former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ bounty program, while Fujita gave the program “a significant amount of money.” In addition, the NFL claims to have a written admission from Hargrove admitting the program existed AND that he was an active participant.
Meanwhile, the NFL Players Association claims it has still yet to receive ANY information from the NFL about evidence for any player involvement or punishment on the matter.
CLUS. TER. EFF.
The players are already vowing to appeal, as they should. No evidence has actually been provided, and the NFL is being its super-dictatorial self in its “right” to throw penalties against the wall and hope they stick.
For all I know, sure, the reasoning for these penalties could be valid. We all readily accept the assumption that this bounty program existed and is a violation of both unwritten and written rules. Not many people argued against Payton getting his year suspension, or any other suspension handed out in the first wave of response.
But… there is a due process in assigning any sort of punishment, and while the NFL might have actually gone through that behind closed doors, the fact that no one else was involved or aware of what was going on is pretty fishy.
Vilma found out about his suspension from watching SportsCenter. I mean, come on.
There’s a whole other argument as to whether the punishment fits the crime, but man, I just heard Junior Seau died in what could possibly be a suicide, and I’m having a difficult time finding this as important as it once was. Blah blah, players trying to hurt players for 1/3 of a game check, obviously there are other issues that need more time addressed to them.
TMZ reports that Seau, 43, was found dead in his Oceanside, CA home by his housekeeper this morning. When the story was first being reported, police were said to have been seen talking with a man from inside the house who appeared “distraught.”
Police are now currently operating under the belief that Seau died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. The media has already made the disturbing connection to the 2011 death of Dave Duerson, who shot himself in the chest after writing in his suicide note that he wanted his brain donated and researched for connections between football collisions and concussions to mental impairment later in life.
Seau, a linebacker by trade, plied his craft for 20 years in the NFL after being drafted 5th overall in 1990 out of USC by the San Diego Chargers. Also playing for the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, Seau was a 12-time Pro Bowler, 10-time All-Pro, and a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. He also won the 1994 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award, as well 1992 AFC Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Seau is survived by his three children and ex-wife.
Join the WaiverWireBlog.com staff tonight in a live blog/chat/more efficient format of our Careless Whispers series for tonight’s 1st round of the NFL Draft! We’ll be looking to start at 7:30 PM EST.
Click down below, and the chat will come up in a pop-up widow (damn you, WordPress).
The New York Yankees announced midday Friday that the team had signed former ace Andy Pettitte to a one-year, $2.5 million minor league contract. The lefty from Baton Rouge, Louisiana begins his third stint with the Yankees organization early next week when he joins the team in Tampa, Florida.
When fellow WaiverWireBlog.com writer Vinny Ginardi first relayed this story to the staff, I was amazed. Happy, but amazed. How in the blue pinstriped hell was this Yankees team going to fit in another starting pitcher? They already have six hurlers in competition for five spots: CC Sabathia locked in at SP1, with Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia and Hiroki Kuroda looking to fill out the rotation. Even if this “new” hurler has won 240 regular season games and is the winningest pitcher in postseason history
Then, I noticed a tweet from @YESNetwork; Yankees GM Brian Cashman was about to partake in a booth interview during the third inning of the Yankees’ spring training game with the Washington Nationals, broadcast live on the YES Network.
Per the Twitter feed of ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Randy Moss has returned to the NFL, agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
We’re not sure if Alex Smith is going to be his quarterback or not, but that’ll play out soon, as NFL free agency is just around the corner. Teams can start negotiating and signing deals with ANY free agent starting tomorrow, with the signing period beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
The question we have at this very moment is…
Other rumored free agency snippets:
- The Bears look like the early front-runners to land DE Mario Williams
- Peyton Manning is reportedly starting the very early negotiation of a potential contract with… Denver. The Denver Post reports six teams are likely still in the hunt: the Broncos, the Dolphins, the Cardinals, the 49ers, the Titans and the Texans
- The Raiders are likely to cut TE Kevin Boss, leading the New York media to be overwhelmed slightly intrigued by the idea of Boss and WR Steve Smith returning to the champion Giants just one year after leaving for better deals
- ESPN.com has a source saying the NFL will be taking away 2012 cap space from the Redskins and the Cowboys for front-loading contracts in 2011
What has been your favorite free agency story thusfar? What have we missed that you think is worth discussion! To the comments with you.
There was quite a bit going on Friday afternoon into the late evening, so let’s go over what you most likely cared about when you weren’t watching the Big East Tournament and sighing at it about to be forever ruined. I had hoped to pull a reverse-Lent and start writing more (read: at all) for the site, so let’s kick that into gear and get started with the latest breaking news. Plus, who needs sleep?
Inside: Rubio news, Washington lands a theoretical-franchise quarterback, and someone getting a worse deal than the $15 million per year deal Joe Flacco thinks he should get. Seriously, that’s a thing.
Rubio injured, Wolves fear torn ACL
In what we’ll try out as a weekly feature, we’re going to start up a Sunday poll called the “Story of the Week,” where we give you multiple options to vote on to decide what you think is the… well… Story of the Week. Vote however you want. It could be your favorite story of the week, or it could be what you find to be the most important story of the week. Or however you want to vote. I’m not your mom.
Write-in votes are always welcome in the comments, and might even get added to the poll after the fact.
Your options for the week of December 4th thru 10th:
- Chris Paul walled off, blocking multiple 3-team trade scenarios – David Stern decides that Chris Paul is worth no less than 8 young up-and-coming players, proves he (Stern) should’ve retired 3 years ago
- Ryan Braun, PED-user? – It’s quite possible the newly-crowned NL MVP had an affection for more than Affliction
- Pujols and Wilson win the West – It’s just nice to not have to worry about who’s coming out of the AL this year (obviously the Rangers for the third straight year)
- ConcussionGate, or, What?! The Browns f-ed up something medically?! Neverrr – Word-for-word how I pitched this to the group. As if Colt McCoy weren’t blissfully unaware of his surroundings already
- Dwight Howard requests trade to Nets – Must be the first documented occurrence of someone volunteering to live in New Jersey, if even for only a year
- RGIII strikes the pose – Griffin wins the Heisman over the preseason favorite… but did he beat the #1 pick of the 2012 Draft?
- Ndamukong Suh is an ass – I just wanted to write that
So… who ya got?!