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I dont want to say not losing the team

With the NBA Free Agency period beginning midnight on July 1st, many teams were out pitching their benefits to potential players. [url=]Evan Engram Womens Jersey[/url] . Sean Francois, (@seanfrancois) Halifax-based writer and co-founder of basketball blog, signs up for the Three-Man Weave this week with Duane Watson and Will Strickland from TSN 1050s "1 On 1 With Will & Duane", as we look at where some of the stars may land and asses the early activity. How important was the Kyle Lowry signing for Toronto? Strickland: Rhetorical. It would have been a nuclear winter in the T-Dot had Raptors President and GM Masai Ujiri not re-signed Lowry. DeMar DeRozan is the the best player on the team and an All-Star; Kyle Lowry is the MVP of the Raps. This is not necessarily up for debate.Francois: I believe that Kyle Lowrys signing is a BIG deal. The fact of the matter is that he re-signed with a Toronto team that had success this past season and has a bright future with a young core, so hes envisioning what he can do to help take the Raptors to the next level as a leader and key contributor. The Raptors franchise as a whole (players and management) cannot afford to rest on their laurels though. They must continue to improve individually as players, and management and coaches need to continually look for ways to improve the team in order to maintain and exceed this new found level of success on the court. To me, Lowrys re-signing helps quell the notion/misconception that players dont want to play in Toronto. Like in the heyday of the Vince Carter-era, if the team is winning, players will want to stay. Watson: After drafting and developing the likes of Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and Chris Bosh, only to head south of the border once their game blossomed, it was important for the franchise to keep their own talent. Definitely a statement that Toronto is a destination for free agents, as Lowry drew interest from Miami, Houston and the Lakers. It was the right deal and he is the leader of the ball club and Masai Ujiri didnt have to overpay to keep him here.Will the Heat be able to retain their Big Three and improve their roster? Strickland: Tough to say at this point. LeBron James has been flying solo on this mission, rightfully demanding max money as for the first 11 years of his career, never has he been the highest paid player in the NBA or on his own team. Bosh opted out, then asked for a five-year, $90 million deal, which definitely wont happen in Miami. Dwyane Wade opted out and seems to be willing to do whats necessary to retire on South Beach. All that said, Pat Riley needs to bring in a Pau Gasol-type big, a solid PG and a competent bench with a mixture of youth and experience or we may have seen the last of the Heatles.Francois: I believe that the Miami Heat will be able to retain their Big Three, but only for another one or two seasons. With the reported contract demands/expectations from LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, I do not anticipate there being enough money available (under the salary cap) for Pat Riley to bring in significant pieces to placate James for the long haul. Therefore, I suspect LeBron will stay in Miami, but on a short term deal so that he has flexibility to go elsewhere in short order if he sees fit to do so. Watson: The numbers dont add up, LeBron James maintains he wants a max contract, deservedly so, but expects Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to take less than their value AND are expected to find key players to add to the roster? Its not going to happen and I dont see James staying to play with the same team again, even with a max deal.Where will LeBron James end up? Strickland: The initial feeling is that if Riley cant work magic with record cap space available, The King signs a one-year tender and starts the process again next July. Other options include Cleveland and Houston having the inside track to sign LeBron. There are long shots like Chicago and Dallas, an intriguing scenario in the Valley of the Sun that involves James and Carmelo Anthony in Phoenix and the most explosive of all - Miami and the Clippers do a straight sign-and-trade with LeBron for Blake Griffin. Francois:I believe LeBron James will ultimately stay in Miami, but on a short-term deal so that he has the flexibility to go elsewhere in short order if he doesnt believe the Miami Heat can continue to build and maintain a competitive roster. Pat Riley will need to work some magic to be able to attain players that can truly keep the Heat competitive and at a Championship-calibre level, considering the high percentage of cap space that the Big Three will command - even if it is at a "reduced" rate. Watson: LeBron leaves Miami unless he takes a short-term contract to stay, say, one or two years. When he does, it only makes sense that he returns to Cleveland. If hes going to leave the comfort and stability of the Heat, it would only make sense to do so if he returned home. They have young and dynamic pieces in Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, Tristan Thompson, etc, which is already a better Cavaliers team that he took to the NBA Finals in 2007.Where will Carmelo Anthony end up? Strickland: History speaks to Melo being about his money and max dollars exist by staying in Metropolis, learning the Triangle with ghost coach Phil Jackson (Sorry, Derek Fisher...we know what this is!), then waiting on Kevin Love and/or LeBron to show up in Gotham for the 2015-2016 season. Chicago seems like a fit for a better opportunity to win now, even with the unknown of Derrick Rose and his health. Houston and Dallas feel like gratuity stops on Melos Wine & Dine Tour 2014. And the writing was on the wall when Kobe couldnt make it back from his annual blood spinn... ahem, pardon me, "vacation in Europe" to meet with Anthony. Francois: I would enjoy seeing Carmelo Anthony in a Chicago Bulls uniform, but I do expect now that hes finished speaking with the Bulls, Mavericks, Rockets, Lakers and the Knicks that he will ultimately stay where hes been for the past three-and-a-half seasons. I feel that the maximum money that the Knicks can offer, which no other team can (and the fifth-year on a contract), plus his wife and family being settled in New York City and enjoying everything the city has to offer, will ultimately keep him in the Big Apple. Watson: The best scenario is for him to wind up in is Chicago, with a defensive-minded coach and a complement of stars in Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose and defensive pieces like Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson, however it will likely be the most complicated. Melo can get max money in New York if he stays, but he wants to win. Can he attract a marquee free agent to come play with him there, knowing he wont pass the ball? I think he will opt for the long money (five-year max deal) and stay in New York.Which free agency move thus far, quietly makes their team better? Strickland: Toronto. Ujiris continues to be solid and respectful of the cap dynamic, fan dynamic and team growth dynamic by re-upping Kyle Lowry to a very reasonable deal for a player of his calibre. With a 2017 lockout looming and, as usual, Washington D.C. affecting the current economy by grossly overpaying Wizards centre Marcin "The Polish Hammer" Gortat, the Raptors are building in a fiscally responsible fashion that should engender confidence for Ujiris next moves. Francois: With a lot of free agents still unsigned or undecided on their team for the upcoming 2014-15 season, the answer to the most underrated free agent signing is probably still to come. That said, to answer the specific question of what free agent signing has quietly made their team better, I believe the Spurs re-signing of Patty Mills is very key. Unfortunately, he now has to recover from rotator cuff surgery, but a lot of teams certainly had him on their radar for his shooting prowess and point guard abilities. This helps keep the San Antonio Spurs core and group of impactful role players intact, while giving the Spurs a fantastic opportunity to keep the Larry OBrien Trophy in their possession. Watson: While none of the big names has signed yet, Lowry is the biggest name to lock up, but that has already been addressed. Danny Ferrys Atlanta Hawks traded Lou Williams and Lucas Nogueira to the Raptors for John Salmons, who they will likely waive for $1 million providing cap space. They also acquired Thabo Sefolosha for three years and $12 million, who provides solid perimeter defence to platoon with Kyle Korver, the leagues best three-point shooter. The cap space may also pave way for Luol Deng to sign with the Hawks, as well. [url=]Evan Engram Giants Jersey[/url] . PAUL, Minn The clock lingered for what seemed like an interminable two minutes and 51 seconds before Mark Fraser finally escaped to the bench during a wildly one-sided first period of an eventual loss to Boston. [url=]Wayne Gallman Giants Jersey[/url] . Al Horford said all he had to do was make the catch near the basket and then shoot a soft jumper. [url=][/url] . But the young forward is more than willing to shed a little blood if thats what it takes to make the team this season. "It caught me pretty good, dazed me for that shift, but I didnt want to be off the ice for too long," he said after practice, his lip still bleeding a little despite the plastic stitches holding it together.BOSTON - The Blue Jays arrived at Fenway Park on Friday knowing the division-rival Red Sox needed either a win, or a loss by Tampa Bay, to clinch the American League East. Veteran Mark DeRosa sat down with on Friday afternoon to discuss when the Jays season went awry and the changes in the clubhouse culture he envisions for next season. Below is the transcript of the discussion. -- Weve talked a lot about the hows and the whys of the season and where it went wrong. Lets talk about when. You look back at the final game of that June series here, Jose hit the ball off Uehara to tie the game and then there was the way the ninth inning ended and you guys lost and that turned a potential 3-4 road trip off the win streak into a 2-5 trip and it seemed to zap momentum. Is it possible that a game like that is kind of a trigger for where things went negative or is that an over-simplification? DeROSA: Nah, I mean there are moments you can look to throughout the course of the year. I always go back to the first two weeks of the season. We got off so slow, just put ourselves in such a pessimistic-type attitude where we were expecting things to go wrong. Its just been the tale of many weeks for this team. Its had its moments of playing really great baseball and taking it to some of the best teams and best pitchers in the game and then weve had moments where weve rolled out there and done a lot of things fundamentally wrong and made mental errors that have cost us. I dont want to look back to that game because I think youre referring to the game with Josh Thole at first and theres a situation where I was jammed up with my neck. I think Adam Lind was out of the game with a tight back and Josh Tholes put in a position hes not accustomed to being in. A lot of things contributed to that one day but I just feel like its been a six-month grind where weve seen flashes of doing things really well but not consistently enough to stay in the race. So based on that answer is it an excuse to say its early? You refer back to early April when the tone was set. You can always recover from a bad two or three week start but looking ahead to next year it sounds like something that you would like to see tidied up? DeROSA: I think not only Gibby, Alex (Anthopoulos), everyone involved would like to see a lot of things tidied up. Myself included. Theres enough blame to go around, no doubt about that. I just think we came out of spring training with such a swagger and such expectations that our balloon got popped real early and we didnt have a stopper at the time to kind of put a tourniquet on the bleeding. (Mark) Buehrle was struggling at the time, (R.A.) Dickey was struggling at the time, we didnt have Ricky (Romero). I mean, there was a lot of things that kind of went into it. The one nice thing, even though its negatively impacted my season because I was brought in at 38 to kind of be a sounding board and hopefully be a nice piece to a championship team, but if there is a silver lining there have been a lot of young guys come up and do some things that have really helped us. Also, theres been some great personal seasons. What Eddie (Edwin Encarnacion) did was magnificent and he did it for five months. Adam (Lind) got hot and was able to protect him but there were times where he had no protection. (He) had a great year. Colby (Rasmus) has had a great year so there have been some bright spots. Obviously the bullpen was fantastic but collectively I feel like if we want to get to where I feel this team wants to get to then there needs to be a different outlook in spring training. That sounds cultural, a culture change. DeROSA: I think so. Thats just my personal belief. I just feel like, and rightfully so, a lot of us, because of the big trades and the big names and bringing a lot of different guys together, I felt like it might have been detrimental if all of a sudden camp was just so regimented when everybody from different organizations is coming in with different ways of getting ready and preparing for the season. I felt Gibby did the right thing by giving us the leeway to prepare ourselves. I dont think weve earned the right to do that again next year so maybe theyre a little more involved in spring training. You know what? (As a player,) shut up and do your job. [url=]Davis Webb Jersey[/url]. Thats kind of where Im at. Ive never been in this situation, trying to play spoiler or play out the string and I know from my point of view, I love being here, I love being in the big leagues, its a great organization but this aint what its about, trying to stop Boston from celebrating on us. So hopefully these guys, Im sure with their magic number being one, well get a chance to see it and maybe itll digest and maybe it will trigger something. At spring training next year, does that mean longer hours on the field or is that mean somebody stepping up and saying, hey, theres a way weve got to go about doing this to get ready for March 31, 2014? DeROSA: You cant leave anything to chance. I feel like you earn leeway based on performance and we havent earned that this year. If anything, weve lost that in my eyes. Thats how I was raised. If you do good, you get rewarded. If you do bad, you get punished. That being said, I dont see us getting punished in spring but I think an attention to detail will probably be a big priority. The Blue Jays and the Toronto Argonauts finalized a deal to extend the Argos lease at Rogers Centre through 2017. Theyve got some opt-outs before that. Ultimately the aim here is for the Argonauts to find a new home and for natural grass to be put in the stadium. There are only two stadiums in the game, Torontos and Tampa Bays, that have artificial turf. Have you ever spoken to players quietly, or friends youve made around the league, whove kept Toronto at a distance in terms of free agent consideration because of the turf? DeROSA: No. But, definitely, its dated now. I think it does more damage. I dont know the scientific studies but I know for me, personally, its done more damage to my body physically than playing on grass. I think, you know, the games evolving to the point where there are some guys who can really murder the ball down your throat on that stuff. I just feel like the game was meant to be played on grass. I understand why it was turfed and I get that but I would like to eventually see, if they can maintain it in there, for it to go to grass. Being around this team, have you noticed guys have more bumps and bruises than may be typical? Because, Mark, perfect example: the turf has changed since the 80s but the Blue Jays great outfield of Bell, Moseby and Barfield were all out of the game by 33. DeROSA: What I notice, for me, is my lower back and knees. You go on the road for a 10-day stretch and you go back there and you give it two or three days of really pounding on it and you feel it. I mean, some guys might love it, I dont know. I certainly enjoy hitting there. I dont know if the numbers justify that. I dont think they do but I enjoy hitting there. I think its a great ballpark to hit in. The fans have been great, to be honest with you. They really have been great for as much as I feel weve disappointed a lot of people. I think thats the biggest thing for me, and thats what Id like, I want the guys on the team and this is just me speaking freely because I dont know the inner makings of how everyones heads working at a certain time but I would just like everyone to really want to be great, to want to win the AL East and do what it takes to get it done. The talents here, weve got no one to blame but ourselves. Gibbys done a tremendous job not, I dont want to say not losing the team, but not losing himself because of expectations. I know hes taken the brunt of the fury from the fans and the media and I feel like thats been unfair but that being said, I expect there to be a different mindset next year. Youre talking about being great as a team, not being individually great? DeROSA: Not be satisfied to be in the big leagues. Try to go next level. There are a lot of people who care about what we do off the field. Ive always tried to remember that. Even the days you dont feel like getting out there and grinding it out and doing all the things you need to do to get ready, you owe it to the people that come to the games and the city that supports you. You owe it to them to give it your best. I feel like we have done that but at the same time weve made a lot of juvenile mistakes that have cost us games. [url=]Cheap NFL Jerseys[/url] [url=]Wholesale Jerseys[/url] [url=]Wholesale NFL Jerseys[/url] [url=]Jerseys From China[/url] [url=]Wholesale NFL Jerseys[/url] [url=]Cheap NFL Jerseys[/url] [url=]Cheap Jerseys[/url] ' ' '

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