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Reports: Cavs, Celtics complete trade involving Irving, Thomas

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics have reportedly agreed to a blockbuster trade that will see them swap All-Star point guards.According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports and several other NBA reporters, the Celtics will send Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowde
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Reports: Cavs, Celtics complete trade involving Irving, Thomas

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics have reportedly agreed to a blockbuster trade that will see them swap All-Star point guards.According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports and several other NBA reporters, the Celtics will send Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick to Cleveland in exchange for Kyrie Irving. In addition to being the biggest trade of the offseason, the deal is incredibly unique in that the Celtics and Cavs still remain the two best teams in the Eastern Conference. Both should be the favorites to return to the Conference Finals.While Boston gave up a lot, the important thing for president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was keeping rookie Jayson Tatum and second-year guard Jaylen Brown. It’s also possible that the Celtics did not want to give Thomas a max contract, but they will have no problem offering one to Irving, who is three years younger.

Report: Cavaliers, Celtics discussing Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics are reportedly discussing what would be the biggest NBA trade of the entire summer.According to Shams Charania of the Vertical, the Cavaliers and Celtics are in “active discussions” regarding a trade that would s
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Report: Cavaliers, Celtics discussing Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics are reportedly discussing what would be the biggest NBA trade of the entire summer.According to Shams Charania of the Vertical, the Cavaliers and Celtics are in “active discussions” regarding a trade that would see the teams swap point guards Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas. This would be a stunner. It had been reported that the Celtics would be interested in Irving, but it seemed tough to believe they’d be willing to swap Thomas for him. For the moment, though, it seems Danny Ainge is at least willing to strongly consider a trade that would have a major impact on the courses of both franchises.

Report: Cavs, Celtics engaged in Kyrie Irving trade talks

The two best teams in the Eastern Conference from a season ago might very well shake up the entire foundation of the NBA heading into training camp. According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently in trade talks that would
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Report: Cavs, Celtics engaged in Kyrie Irving trade talks

The two best teams in the Eastern Conference from a season ago might very well shake up the entire foundation of the NBA heading into training camp. According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently in trade talks that would send Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics for fellow All-Star Isaiah Thomas. It’s been known for some time that Boston was attempting to get into the bidding for Irving after the Cavaliers’ point guard requested a trade earlier in the summer. But these specifics lead us to believe something could actually happen on this front.It remains to be seen who else might be included in said deal, but Thomas and Irving seem to be pretty even when it comes to value.

VIDEO: 13-year old little leaguer hits massive homer at Braves stadium

His little league team might now have qualified for the annual World Series in Williamsport, but 13-year old Jayce Blalock is becoming extremely popular in his own right. Here, the slugger hits an absurd homer off the upper deck at the Atlanta Braves’ SunTr
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

VIDEO: 13-year old little leaguer hits massive homer at Braves stadium

His little league team might now have qualified for the annual World Series in Williamsport, but 13-year old Jayce Blalock is becoming extremely popular in his own right. Here, the slugger hits an absurd homer off the upper deck at the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park on Tuesday. It really is something to behold. This comes after Blalock himself hit a 375-foot homer during during the Little League Southeast Regionals. If this were football, Jim Harbaugh and Nick Saban would already be on the phone trying to recruit Blalock. Heck, maybe his home state Georgia Bulldogs are already trying to recruit him for their baseball team. What an amazing display of power from such a young man.

VIDEO: Watch Ben Simmons absolutely dominate a pickup game in Australia

Ben Simmons appears to be returning to form after sitting out the entire 2016-17 season with an ankle injury.It looks like the Sixers were smart to rest the former No. 1 pick in his rookie season, and that “trusting the process” was the right move.Simmon
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

VIDEO: Watch Ben Simmons absolutely dominate a pickup game in Australia

Ben Simmons appears to be returning to form after sitting out the entire 2016-17 season with an ankle injury.It looks like the Sixers were smart to rest the former No. 1 pick in his rookie season, and that “trusting the process” was the right move.Simmons played in a pickup game in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia this week, and yeah, the highlights really tell the tale of what happened.Watch Simmons destroy these poor guys, who were just stuck witnessing flashes of greatness. Can’t wait for the upcoming season to start.

LeBron James’ camp reportedly confident Dwyane Wade will end up on Cavs

LeBron James seems to believe that a reunion with his ex-Heatles bandmate will be happening sooner rather than later.In an appearance Monday on “The Wine and Gold Talk Podcast,” Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com commented on the possibility of James and Dwyane
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

LeBron James’ camp reportedly confident Dwyane Wade will end up on Cavs

LeBron James seems to believe that a reunion with his ex-Heatles bandmate will be happening sooner rather than later.In an appearance Monday on “The Wine and Gold Talk Podcast,” Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com commented on the possibility of James and Dwyane Wade joining forces again, this time on the Cleveland Cavaliers.“As of right now, people close to James are fairly confident that, at some point this year, Dwyane Wade is going to end up on the Cavs,” said Vardon, according to Ryne Nelson of SLAM Online.“If Dwyane is healthy and he and LeBron are playing great together and they go on this crazy playoff run. That matters [in LeBron’s 2018 free agency],” he went on. “The bottom line is that there’s no decision that has been made.”James and Wade were teammates on the Miami Heat from 2010 to 2014, making four straight NBA Finals together and winning two championships. They also famously have one of the closer brotherhoods in the league.Rumors of Wade potentially being bought out by the Chicago

Report: Smaller-market teams support Pacers in tampering case against Lakers

The Indiana Pacers are embarking on a noble crusade for the little guy — at least in the eyes of their peers on the NBA totem pole.According to a report by Bob Kravitz of WTHR on Monday, smaller-market teams are supporting the Pacers in their case against t
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Report: Smaller-market teams support Pacers in tampering case against Lakers

The Indiana Pacers are embarking on a noble crusade for the little guy — at least in the eyes of their peers on the NBA totem pole.According to a report by Bob Kravitz of WTHR on Monday, smaller-market teams are supporting the Pacers in their case against the Los Angeles Lakers for allegedly tampering with Paul George.Per Kravitz:There’s word that other small- and mid-market team officials have reached out to the Pacers and told them, “Good for you. Fight the good fight.”It’s hard enough for these lesser teams to retain their superstar players or to at least to receive a fair return for them in a trade. If the Lakers did indeed have impermissible contact with George’s camp this offseason (something that the NBA has confirmed they are investigating), it sets a worrisome precedent for mega-market giants to further undermine the league’s working class. Thus, it’s no wonder the Pacers are getting a good amount of sympathy for their cause.

Report: Smaller-market teams support Pacers in tampering case

The Indiana Pacers are embarking on a noble crusade for the little guy — at least in the eyes of their peers on the NBA totem pole.According to a report by Bob Kravitz of WTHR on Monday, smaller-market teams are supporting the Pacers in their case against t
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Report: Smaller-market teams support Pacers in tampering case

The Indiana Pacers are embarking on a noble crusade for the little guy — at least in the eyes of their peers on the NBA totem pole.According to a report by Bob Kravitz of WTHR on Monday, smaller-market teams are supporting the Pacers in their case against the Los Angeles Lakers for allegedly tampering with Paul George.Per Kravitz:There’s word that other small- and mid-market team officials have reached out to the Pacers and told them, “Good for you. Fight the good fight.”It’s hard enough for these lesser teams to retain their superstar players or to at least to receive a fair return for them in a trade. If the Lakers did indeed have impermissible contact with George’s camp this offseason (something that the NBA has confirmed they are investigating), it sets a worrisome precedent for mega-market giants to further undermine the league’s working class. Thus, it’s no wonder the Pacers are getting a good amount of sympathy for their cause.

Jason Garrett indicates Ezekiel Elliott could play this week

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has not played in the team’s first three preseason games. It has nothing to do with him being suspended for the first six games of the regular season. Instead, Dallas has just decided the injury risk isn’t wort
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Jason Garrett indicates Ezekiel Elliott could play this week

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has not played in the team’s first three preseason games. It has nothing to do with him being suspended for the first six games of the regular season. Instead, Dallas has just decided the injury risk isn’t worth him playing in meaningless games.That might end this week. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett indicated on Tuesday that Elliott might play a little bit against the Oakland Raiders.“I haven’t made that decision. I just haven’t had those discussions with him,” Garrett said of Elliott, via NFL.com. “I do think Zeke playing in the game last year against Seattle (in Week 3 of the preseason) was good for him and good for our team. I think he played eight, 10, 12 plays in the game. If he plays, he’ll play in a similar fashion.”Elliott has appealed the six-game ban the NFL handed him for his alleged involvement in a domestic violence situation with ex-girlfriend Tiffany Thompson.If Elliott’s appeal is successful, he will be on the field Week 1 agai

Chuck Pagano: Still no timeline for Andrew Luck’s return

With just over two weeks to go until the official start of the 2017 season, the Indianapolis Colts still insist they have no idea when their starting quarterback will be able to return. On Tuesday, Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star asked Chuck Pagano i
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Chuck Pagano: Still no timeline for Andrew Luck’s return

With just over two weeks to go until the official start of the 2017 season, the Indianapolis Colts still insist they have no idea when their starting quarterback will be able to return. On Tuesday, Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star asked Chuck Pagano if Luck is running out of time to be ready for Week 1. The Colts head coach said there is still no timeline for Luck’s return. As Holder notes, the Colts are scheduled to have just two practices next week and four the week after. No one from the team has given any indication that Luck is all that close to returning from the PUP list, so it is starting to look like a longshot that he will get enough reps under his belt to face the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1. Luck underwent shoulder surgery in January to repair a torn labrum. The recovery time was projected as 6-9 months. A report about Luck’s status on Monday sounded promising, but it’s hard to know anything until he returns to the field.

49ers assistant becomes first openly LGBTQ coach in NFL

The San Francisco 49ers hired former Atlanta Falcons intern Katie Sowers as a full-time assistant coach earlier this offseason. It was an historical hire, as Sowers became just the second full-time female assistant in NFL history (more on that here).Now, Sowe
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

49ers assistant becomes first openly LGBTQ coach in NFL

The San Francisco 49ers hired former Atlanta Falcons intern Katie Sowers as a full-time assistant coach earlier this offseason. It was an historical hire, as Sowers became just the second full-time female assistant in NFL history (more on that here).Now, Sowers is making even more history.Sowers opened up to SB Nation’s Out Sports on Tuesday to become the first outwardly LGBTQ assistant, male or female, in league history.“My orientation first came up with Scott Pioli who is the assistant GM for the Atlanta Falcons prior to my internship,” she said. “At first, I was nervous to tell him as many are in new environments, but it came up in an everyday conversation about my family and life back home in Kansas City,” Sowers said. “I could not have asked for a more open minded and accepting group of people to work with. I never once felt judged and I was treated just like anyone would want to be treated: as a typical person working to build a career."To be just the second full-time female coach is what we

Ex-Rams coach on Sean McVay hiring: ‘Wait a minute while I puke’

Former St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Martz has not been in the NFL since 2011. Since he left the Rams over a decade ago, Martz’s NFL career has gone downhill. He struggled in stops as an offensive coordinator in San Francisco, Detroit and Chicago. This ha
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Ex-Rams coach on Sean McVay hiring: ‘Wait a minute while I puke’

Former St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Martz has not been in the NFL since 2011. Since he left the Rams over a decade ago, Martz’s NFL career has gone downhill. He struggled in stops as an offensive coordinator in San Francisco, Detroit and Chicago. This has not stopped Martz from speaking out about his former Rams team and how, at least in his mind, the team dropped the ball by hiring Sean McVay to be its new head coach. “What is he (McVay), a couple of months older than Jared (Goff)? They hired a buddy for Jared,” Martz said in a new book published recently. “The NFL has nothing to do with being the friend or the buddy of the quarterback. You’ve got to coach them and work them hard with respect. But buddy? And this guy is a quarterback expert? An offensive expert? Wait a minute while I puke.” Martz was specifically talking about how Goff was put in a horrible situation with the now Los Angeles Rams as a rookie last season. As head coach for the “Greatest Show on Turf” years back, Martz seems

Jay Cutler admits losing in Chicago wore him down

Jay Cutler suffered through some miserable seasons toward the end of his career in Chicago, which is probably the main reason it took a starting quarterback going down for him to find work this offseason. And despite what Internet memes may tell you, all the
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Jay Cutler admits losing in Chicago wore him down

Jay Cutler suffered through some miserable seasons toward the end of his career in Chicago, which is probably the main reason it took a starting quarterback going down for him to find work this offseason. And despite what Internet memes may tell you, all the losing took its toll on the man they call “Smokin’ Jay.”After he went 12-23 in his last 35 starts with the Bears, Cutler admitted he felt worn down.“I think you can talk about anybody in the league, no one likes to lose, no one likes going through those situations,” he said Monday, via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. “Those are tough. They wear you down. But that wasn’t the sole reason … I mean, they released me, so it was kind of end of the road at that point.”Even if the Bears hadn’t released Cutler, it sounds like he would have been ready to move on. Despite that, he insists he never lost his passion for the game.“Just kind of channeled it in a different direction,” Cutler added. “I still wanted to be in football, still want

AFC West preview: Who’s going to stop the Raiders?

Over the next few weeks as part of our NFL preview series, we’ll be taking a good look at each division in the league. We started with the AFC East, then moved on to the AFC North and AFC South. Here’s a look at the AFC West. The AFC West has a very goo
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

AFC West preview: Who’s going to stop the Raiders?

Over the next few weeks as part of our NFL preview series, we’ll be taking a good look at each division in the league. We started with the AFC East, then moved on to the AFC North and AFC South. Here’s a look at the AFC West. The AFC West has a very good chance at being the best all-around division in football this season. It had a pair of 12-win teams last year in Oakland and Kansas City. And, every team from top to bottom has plenty of reason to hope for a playoff berth. So who will come out on top in 2017? 1. Oakland Raiders The soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders have a large majority of their roster coming back after a breakout season. That makes them a legitimate contender in the AFC. That has a lot to do with fourth-year starter Derek Carr, who just became the highest paid player in the NFL and is fully healthy after breaking his fibula in December.Receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree will continue to see heavy workloads, which will likely be balanced with a physical running game. Marshawn Lynch i

Browns players explain motivation behind anthem protest

More than a dozen Cleveland Browns players decided to organize a group protest of the national anthem before Monday night’s preseason game, and one player who took a knee explained the motivation behind the demonstration.Veteran linebacker Christian Kirkse
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Browns players explain motivation behind anthem protest

More than a dozen Cleveland Browns players decided to organize a group protest of the national anthem before Monday night’s preseason game, and one player who took a knee explained the motivation behind the demonstration.Veteran linebacker Christian Kirksey says he and his teammates were praying.“If anyone was wondering what was going on in that circle … we were praying over the country, praying over things that are going on and we tried to do it as respectfully as possible,” Kirksey said, per Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal. “We respect everything that happens with people in the military, we respect all of that. We felt it was the right time to do that.”Kirksey was among 12 Browns players who kneeled during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” while five other players stood beside the group in support. Tight end Seth DeValve became the first white player to take a knee since Colin Kaepernick began his protest last season.“I will be raising children that don’t look like me

Ezekiel Elliott spotted hanging out on luxury boat at Texas lake

Ezekiel Elliott may end up having to miss nearly half of the 2017 NFL regular season, but the star running back is not going to sit around and mope about it.Elliott, who recently filed an appeal of his six-game suspension, spent some time on the water at a Te
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Ezekiel Elliott spotted hanging out on luxury boat at Texas lake

Ezekiel Elliott may end up having to miss nearly half of the 2017 NFL regular season, but the star running back is not going to sit around and mope about it.Elliott, who recently filed an appeal of his six-game suspension, spent some time on the water at a Texas lake Sunday afternoon. TMZ reports that Elliott was not seen drinking alcohol and was just hanging out with friends, but people were definitely partying.While there’s nothing wrong with having a good time on your day off, you can easily see why Dallas Cowboys fans get nervous now anytime Elliott is spotted at a party. The 22-year-old has gotten himself into trouble off the field numerous times, and there are certain situations the team would like him to avoid. Does that mean Elliott put himself in a compromising position? No. Would the Cowboys rather him stay home and play video games than party on a boat? Probably.The NFLPA and Elliott’s legal team will aim to prove Zeke’s innocence by tearing down the credibility of the woman he is accused of

Jon Gruden: Manziel’s chances of returning to NFL are ‘slim’

Will we ever see Johnny Manziel back in the NFL as a player again? Jon Gruden doesn’t think so.Gruden was serving as the analyst for the Monday night preseason football game between the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants. During the game, ESPN showed a gr
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Jon Gruden: Manziel’s chances of returning to NFL are ‘slim’

Will we ever see Johnny Manziel back in the NFL as a player again? Jon Gruden doesn’t think so.Gruden was serving as the analyst for the Monday night preseason football game between the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants. During the game, ESPN showed a graphic of all the quarterbacks who have started for the Browns in the last two decades. Manziel was shown in the graphic, which led to Gruden being asked what the former Heisman Trophy winner’s chances are of playing in the NFL again.“I think it’s slim right now,” Gruden said. “But I’m still not going to give up hope.”Gruden has been a fan of Manziel for a while. He liked the quarterback so much entering the draft that he recommended the Raiders draft him. Then after Manziel had a poor rookie season in Cleveland, the QB worked with Gruden to improve.Gruden tends to have a rosy outlook when providing commentary on Monday Night Football, especially when it comes to the players whom he likes. If he thinks the chances of Manziel playing in the NF

Boldin: NFL offseason programs are for ‘babysitting’ players

Now that Anquan Boldin is no longer looking for a job in the NFL, he can speak more freely about some of the issues he had with the league while he was playing. One of those had to do with offseason training programs.Later in his career, Boldin chose to work
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Boldin: NFL offseason programs are for ‘babysitting’ players

Now that Anquan Boldin is no longer looking for a job in the NFL, he can speak more freely about some of the issues he had with the league while he was playing. One of those had to do with offseason training programs.Later in his career, Boldin chose to work out on his own rather than taking part in organized team activities. In an appearance on Evan Cohen’s ESPN West Palm Radio show Monday, Boldin explained his motivation behind that.“NFL offseason programs aren’t designed to keep people in shape. It’s more of a babysitting factor,” he said. “They want to make sure that guys are there, that guys are visible around the building. They want to make sure that guys aren’t getting in trouble. They want to have guys there physically, that they can keep an eye on them.”With all the rules in place now about what players can and can’t do during team-sponsored training sessions, Boldin said he felt he could push himself harder by working out on his own.“A lot of times players don’t train the same

Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner team up for hilarious rendition of total eclipse

Yasiel Puig was the hero in Monday night’s Dodgers-Pirates game, as he crushed the game-winning home run in the 12th inning to help his team emerge victorious.The celebration continued in the locker room afterward, when he and teammate Justin Turner teamed
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner team up for hilarious rendition of total eclipse

Yasiel Puig was the hero in Monday night’s Dodgers-Pirates game, as he crushed the game-winning home run in the 12th inning to help his team emerge victorious.The celebration continued in the locker room afterward, when he and teammate Justin Turner teamed up to produce a funny video.Obviously, the color of Puig’s skin is black, while Turner is white, so the two Dodgers players decided to produce their own version of a total eclipse. The premise was similar, but the major difference was that it involved them — rather than the sun and the moon. The fun never stops with Puig.

Brad Stevens: Celtics won’t know Isaiah Thomas’ status until September

The Boston Celtics’ big offseason makes it somewhat easy to forget that there are questions about Isaiah Thomas’ status.Thomas missed half of the Celtics’ playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers after aggravating a hip injury. He saw multiple spe
Yardbarker: Rumors and Gossip

Brad Stevens: Celtics won’t know Isaiah Thomas’ status until September

The Boston Celtics’ big offseason makes it somewhat easy to forget that there are questions about Isaiah Thomas’ status.Thomas missed half of the Celtics’ playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers after aggravating a hip injury. He saw multiple specialists and decided not to undergo hip surgery this offseason, but he’s still resting and recovering.Boston head coach Brad Stevens says the team will know more about Thomas’ status after he undergoes more testing next month.“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe,” Stevens told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast.The 28-year-old is coming off a career year that saw him average 28.9 points and 5.9 assists per game while leading the Celtics to the top seed in the conference.The Celtics are ex

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