The Los Angeles Clippers are having a tough year with their All-Star forward Blake Griffin, who, in a span of two months, has made headlines due to an injury and the altercation with a team staff member that led to another injury. And because this is the NBA, every player out there who messes something up becomes the center of trade talks, and Griffin is no exception to that.
Head coach Doc Rivers has denied repeatedly the rumors that Griffin is on his way out and that the Clippers aren't interested in trading him. However, the case would be a lot different if an outsider team is the one making a strong push to get him. This is where the Orlando Magic comes in.
Orlando has been struggling in their past 10 games and sources are saying that the front office is looking to "put something big together" just before the Feb. 18 trade deadline. Well, it should make perfect sense if the Magic make a pitch for Griffin considering that they too have someone very valuable to offer — Tobias Harris. Combine that with the fact that LA might genuinely be looking to get rid of him because of the off-court issue, then a swap between the two stars should be an interesting thought. more >>
Back in 2007, the Los Angeles Lakers, while having the pressure and ire of a disgruntled Kobe Bryant, tried to offer him to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for then budding superstar LeBron James.
According to a report from ESPN, Bryant was the one who demanded to be traded before the start of the 2007-2008 season when he became very frustrated by the team's lack of promise and action to remain as a team bent on winning even after the departure of another star, Shaquille O'Neal.
The Lakers won three straight NBA championships from 2000 up to 2002, but eventually faltered in the succeeding years after getting defeated by the younger and defensive-minded Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals. Everything came falling down after that, starting in 2005 when the team missed the playoffs. It was followed by two consecutive first-round playoff exits at the hands of the Phoenix Suns. That was when Bryant had enough, eventually asking for a trade. more >>
In response to Tony Stewart's accident and injury, Stewart-Haas Racing decided to replace him for the NASCAR season opener at the Daytona International Speedway with another driver in Brian Vickers. While no official word has been given, several sources confirm the rumors and the team will reportedly announce it later on.
Stewart's replacement is ironically someone who himself had some injury issues last season. As a matter of fact, Vickers only managed to race in two events last season because of recurring blood clots. He wasn't allowed to compete while undergoing treatment for the clots since doctors said that the blood thinners were likely to increase the risk of internal bleeding if he crashes or gets into an accident. He also missed the last five races during the 2013 season because of the same health issue. The first time it was discovered that he had a problem with blood clots was in 2010, when he also missed 25 races after doctors found out there were clots in his lungs and legs.
Stewart didn't have a choice but to skip the season opener due to an unfortunate ATV accident that resulted to a fractured vertebra. He is supposed to be racing in his farewell season in NASCAR. more >>
The Los Angeles Kings placed veteran defenseman Christian Ehrhoff on waivers last Wednesday, officially ending his stint with the team that no longer has the will to absorb his full salary for the season and beyond.
The one-time top defenseman in the league was cleared the day after the report came out and has been assigned to the Ontario Reign in the AHL.
Already in his 12th season in the league, Ehrhoff saw himself playing for the third team in as many seasons after inking a one-year deal with the Kings last offseason. He appeared in 40 games this season for LA, but only managed two goals and nine assists in 15 minutes of playing time. Before his stint in Los Angeles this season, he played for the Pittsburgh Penguins last year. Prior to that, he played for the Buffalo Sabres, where he spent only three years of the original 10-year contract he signed that would have paid him $40 million; the Sabres bought his contract out, prompting him to find another team. more >>
The Baltimore Orioles are on the brink of signing a big-time player in Yovani Gallardo, with reports saying that both parties are in the process of negotiating a three-year contract that will give the right hander at least $40 million.
Gallardo played for the Texas Rangers last season, going 13-11 and with a 3.42 ERA. He's known as a workhorse in baseball and has, in fact, managed to play in at least 180 innings for the past seven seasons in the major league, playing for the Milwaukee Brewers and then the Rangers last season.
The Mexican pitcher was selected right out of high school by the Brewers in the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft; he then went on to play for the team that drafted him from 2006 to 2014. But in his stint with the Rangers last season, he had the lowest strikeout rate in his career (5.9 batters per nine innings), but he has shown in the past that he could play better than that. Obviously, the Orioles are taking a gamble on him, hoping that he brings back the kind of performance he showcased in his early years in Milwaukee. more >>
The San Francisco Giants sure know how to avoid arbitration hearings, once again keeping themselves out of it after agreeing to a one-year contract worth $6.2 million with Brandon Belt. The agreed salary is actually $200,000 below the midpoint based on what both parties offered earlier.
The news of this new deal means that the team has been successful in avoiding arbitration for the 11th year in a row. It's not really something for players who were once part of the salary arbitration negotiations to be proud of, but it also means that the Giants are just being practical in negotiating even the slightest difference in what they're paying their players.
Both parties came to an agreement just before the start of the salary arbitration hearing, which was scheduled last Wednesday. The first baseman asked for a $7.5 million salary for the upcoming season, but the Giants countered with a $5.3 million offer. Based on those amounts, Belt still comes out as a winner in this one, owing to the fact that he only made $3.6 million last season. more >>