Hawks’ Josh Smith: ‘I feel like I’m a max player’


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is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, maybe the gem of the class, depending on what happens with Dwight Howard.

Smith has played all nine seasons of his career for the , experiencing ups and downs with the organization and fan base. He’s a fantastically versatile and talented player but one who has come with some frustrations.

He’s just 27 and has put together three consecutive seasons of high-level basketball. He’s definitely set for a payday. What kind of payday? Well, if you ask Smith, the highest kind.

“I feel like I’m a max player,” Smith said, . “I feel I bring a lot to the table. I have a lot of versatility. For what I do and what I giveAC Milan have made an offer for Atletico Madrid striker Angel Correa.Corriere dello Sport says Milan have offered €35m plus €5m in bonuses. Also included is a 30 per cent sell-on clause.Atletico are willing to sell – but not on the cheap.The Madrid giants need the cash to fund a bid for Valencia striker Rodrigo.Los Che are demanding €60m to sell the Spain international. this ballclub, I feel like I’m worth it.”

The obvious question is if other league executives feel the same way about Smith. Knowing the , someone probably does.

The Hawks have been down this path before with Joe Johnson, giving him the only max contract in franchise history. They overpaid dearly for him (six years, $120 million), but their hand was really forced. They knew if they didn’t pay up, someone else would.

A max for Smith would be five years and close to $94 million. Which is almost as much as Johnson got, a move the Hawks seemed to regret almost the moment after they inked him.

Smith was asked about that, too, the Hawks having an unfortunate history with max deals.

“There shouldn’t be any hesitation. I’m Josh Smith; I’m not anybody else. I’m not Michael Jordan. I’m not LeBron James. I’m not Brook Lopez. I’m Josh Smith. You can’t look at what might’ve happened with another person. Let’s say Joe. You can’t say, ‘I’m skeptical of giving another person that’ because of whatever they feel like happened.”

Smith’s situation will become much more intriguing as the trade deadline nears. With the Hawks losing for the rest of the season, any high hopes were likely dashed right then. They’re still 25-18 and sixth in the East, but the consensus is they aren’t going deep into the postseason.

So would the Hawks just cut ties with Smith now and try to get assets back? It’s a possibility for sure, especially if he’s feeling he’s due a max-levelexplained choosing Newcastle United this season ahead of RB Leipzig.Lazaro is on-loan at Newcastle from Inter Milan.Hor Aston Villa striker Scott Hogan.The Daily Mail says Hogan is in talks to join Championship side Stoke City on a season-long loan.Hogan has just under two years remaining on his contract at Villa and had a loan spell at Sheffield United in the secoe told FCInterNews: “It’s no secret that I had the opportunity to go to a top club in Germany (Leipzig).”And playing in the Champions deal.


Dwight Howard becomes a Laker as four-team deal completed


(Getty ted Norwich City deserved victory over champions Manchester City.The injury-hit Canaries put in a remarkable display from minute one to defeat Pep Guardiola’s side and McLean was full of praise for the mentality he and his teammates showed throughoutImages)

a  that the trade call to complete the four-way trade of Dwight Howard is complete. 

Dwight Howard is a Laker. 

More on Los Angeles LakersRelated links | More coverage | | |

The . According to multiple reports: 

The Lakers receive: Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon, Earl Clark

The Magic receive: Arron Afflalo, Nicola Vucevic, Al Harrington, Josh McRoberts, Moe Harkless, Chritian Eyenga, a conditional Lakers’ first-round pick, a conditional 2015 second-round pick, the lower of the Nuggets’ two 2014 picks, a 2013 second-round pick, and a protected pick from the Philadelphia 76ers. 

The Nuggets receive: Andre Iguodala

The Sixers receive: Andrew Bynum, Jason Richardson

on Thursday night, with the Lakers coming out the big winners. Despite the move, the Heat r, but the Lakers jump the Thunder for second-favored to win. Kobe Bryant to Facebook on Friday morning. 

From Orlando Magic GM Rob Hennigan via their presser: 

“A primary goal for our basketball team is to achieve sustainability while maintaining a long-term vision. We feel this deal puts us in a position to begin building in that direction,” said Hennigan. “In addition to the six players joining our team, we will be in a position to maximize our salary cap flanchester City midfielder Matt Smith has moved to QPR on-loan.Smith, 19, spent last season on loanier League has adapted in the past few seasons.Luiz was famously chastised by Gary Neville for being a “PlayStation footballer” due to his showboating with the ball while playing out from defen e.However, Luiz points to how many teams now play in suc in the Dutch second tier with FC Twente.The Wales international is yet to make a senior appearance for City.The Rs have also signed Tottenham midfieldeexibility in the near future, as well as utilize the multiple draft picks we have acquired going forward.”“Dwight Howard accomplished tremendous success on and off the court during his eight years in Orlando,” said Hennigan. “We wish him, Chris (Duhon), Earl (Clark) and Jason (Richardson) all the best in the future.”


Bobcats formally announce intention to change name to Hornets


Get your Starter jackets and Muggsy Bogues throwback jerseys ready. Because Michael Jordan says the want to “bring the buzz back” to Charlotte.

last week, the Bobcats have begun a process that took a more formal turn Tuesday, when they held a press conference to announce the franchise’s plan to change the name to . Jordan said paperwork has been filed with the league to set wheels in motion for a 2014-15 switch. 

, Jordan said the team has received “overwhelming” support for the name change.

“Overwhelmingly you wanted the Hornets name back,’’ Jordan said. “When I first played here years ago, the thing I was totally astounded by was the energy. I wanted to bring that energy back.

“[This decision] says a lot about how we’ve taken the input from our community and put that in action.’’

The Hornets started as an expansion franchise and were based in Charlotte from 1988-2002 before then-owner George Shinn packed up and moved to New Orleans. Charlotte was awarded an expansion franchise in 2004 and has been the Bobcats — named after first owner Bob Johnson — since. But with the Hornets recently changing their name to Pelicans, the name is available once again. 

One question is whether the team will switch to the old Charlotte Hornets color scheme. 

“We haven’t even discussed that right now,’’ Jordan said. “This is a first step. To say today we’ve come to that conclusion would not be an accurate statement.’’

The team has to help with the transition and gaingham City striker Che Adams.The Daily Echo says Saints have offered a deal worth around £14m for the 22-year-old forward.They made a lower bid in January which the Blues turned down and proved then that they would not be held top ransom as they opuge fan interest and manage the rebranding. 

“The Charlotte Hornets name has been a mainstay throughout the region for many years, Barcelona ace Lionel Messi admits being the LaLiga’s highest goalscorer is something he cares about.Messi’s career has been glittered with all types of records and accomplishments, but being the Spanish top flight’s record goalscorer is one that he hand we are excited to announce our intention to re-establish this historic brand,” Jordan said in a letter directed to fans. “We believe that its return will galvanize our fan base by unifying our loyal Bobcats fans with those who have.BILD says a raft of European clubs are chasing Cunha for this month’s winter market.The Hornets, Real Betis, St Etienne and Nantes are all keen.The Brazilian can pay on the flank and also as a central striker.While the French duo are in contact with strong memories of our city’s predecessor.”

Since forming in 2004, the Bobcats haven’t been able to rekindle the same kind of interest the Hornets enjoyed for their 14 seasons. Part of that has to do with the fact the Bobcats have been generally terrible, but the brand definitely hasn’t landed well. And it’s associated with being a perpetual laughingstock of the league. So a change is certainly a good idea. 


, but has been solid overall so far in the preseas


forward had a disastrous start in Tuesday’s game against the Thunder, but has been solid overall so far in the preseason. Morris was held scoreless in 13 minutes, while shooting 0 for 5 with two turnovers and five rebounds.

Morris is still fourth on the team in scoring in the preseason, averaging 8.3 points in just 19.3 minutes per game while shooting 48.9 percent from the field. He has started five times in six gc has dropped a hint where he expects to moveThe Swede is in contact with AC Milan and Bolmade a plea to Gareth Bale.Toshack has urged Bale to hold a media conference and speak to Real fans about his situation.He said, “Gareth, go out and give an interview. You speak. You have been there for six or seven years and he does not speak the laogna.“I will join a club that must get back to winning, that has to renew its history and is in search of a battle against everyone and everything,” Ibra toldames, and seems likely to open the season as the ts board will keep the promises they have made to supporters.The Gunners sacked manager Unai Emery after a run of poor results, with Freddie Ljungberg taking over as caretaker.But Campbell is skeptical about the immediate future of the club under Staneam’s starter at power forward.  


Nightly Grades: Boston’s meltdown and Grizzlies’ growl


he club.Haaland rejected overtures from Manchester United and Juventus to join Dortmund from RBst Ham goalkeeper Les Sealey has confirmed takeover interest in Bury.Joe Sealey, who trained alongside the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard during his youth career at West Ham, is a former agent and owns several gyms in Cheshire.He told the B Salzburg.”qualifies for both France and Argentina, though is yet to be capped. He was born in Versailles, though has Argentine roots through his mother’s side of the family.And after an impressive first six months in the Premier League, Maupay is now finding hThe club said directly: ‘we need you up front. We like your playing style and we want to have you here’,” Haaland told BVB.TV, via Bundesliga.co


Report: Kenyon Martin, Knicks agree to one-year, minimum deal


joined a team in February 2013 to fill a void in the middle. The Knicks’ frontcourt had been ravaged by injuries and the team just didn’t seem to have nearly enough size to give and the proper amount of support off the bench. Shortly after his signing, Chandler and Stoudemire both battled injuries and Martin started quite a few games to end the season.

After being a key contributor in the Knicks’ somewhat brief playoff run, it looks like the Knicks will bring him back for next season. is reporting that the Knicks and Martin have agreed to bring the former No. 1 pick back to the roster for a one year deal. It will reportedly be for the veteran’s minimum, which is roughly $1.4 million.

Free-agent forward Kenyon Martin has reached agreement on a one-year deal to return to the New York Knicks, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

Martin will make the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million.

Martin played in just 18 regular season games last year, but ended up starting in 11 of those and averaging 7.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in 23.9 minutes. He made a career-high 60.2 percent of his shots with the majority of his attempts coming at the rim. He ar Riyad Mahrez believes that he lost two years of his career due to Leicester City refusing to sell him.Mahrez was a key member of Leicehe South Korean attacker has been in excellent form with Spurs this season.He was rather quiet as the Lonodn side lost to United at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, but he has been a bright spark for most of the campaign.And Schmeichel would love to ster’s titpressure to sell Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.Having previously talked up the sale of the Serb, insisting he wouldn’t stand in his way amid talk of concrete interest from Manchester United, Lotito is now insisting the midfielder could yet stay.”Am I waitile winning side, but wanted to move on to a bigger club, especially after winning the PFA Player of theplayed in all 12 of the Knicks’ playoff games, but only needed to start one of those contests. In the playoffs, he averaged 5.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 21.1 minutes.

You can safely assume Martin will be the team’s fourth big man behind Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire, and . 


Report: Grant Hill considering Thunder, Heat and Lakers


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Grant Hill is such a bandwagoner.

And smartly so.

Hill turns 40 in October and is looking at the twilight years of his career. He found rejuvenation in Phoenix, but he’s looking for a playoff team and hopont man was raving about new signing Tanguy Ndombele.The Frenchman impressed in a 3-2 friendly win over Juventus, while Kane already believes the central midfielder brings qualities that Spurs have lacked in past seasons.”He’s been great. He intercepefully, a ring. So if anyone’s looking to hitch his wagon to a title contender in the final years of his career, it’s Grant Hill. Reportedly.

, Hill has titive, and that’s the way it has to be.We have our problems, and I’m not going to repeat them because people know and some people are tired of me repeating the problems we have.”But we are positive and I have nothing to complain about the players in hree teams he’s interested in: the , and . In other words, three of the league’s favorites for next season.

Free agent forward Grant Hill is still considering at least two other teams–the two teams in last month’s Finals, Miami and Oklahoma City–as well as the Lakers as he decides where he’s going to play next season, according to a source with knowledge of the 39-year-old forward’s thinking.

Reports Tuesday indicated that Hill has decided either to play for the Lakers or retire. But the source strongly indicated that Hill has not limited himself to Los Angeles as he makes up his mind. The Lakers emerged as a strong favorite for Hill after they agreed to terms with the Suns last week on a sign-and-trade deal that will send Steve Nash to the Lakers after the end of the July Moratorium on the 11th for four Draft picks and $3 million. But Hill is looking at the Heat and Thunder as well.

How does it shake out for Hill for each team?

They aren’t likely to extend anything more than a one-year offer to Hill, and depending on his thinking, he probably will want at least a partially guaranteed second season. And with Oklahoma City at 14 on the roster after drafting III and signing Hasheem Thabeet, offering that final spot to Hill rather than a developmental player seems unlikely.

Also, where does Hill get minutes in the Thunder rotation? Obviously he seems like a natural backup for , but depending on how minutes shake out, Hill might only see 10-15 minutes a game. If that’s something he’s fine with, then it could be a fit. He makes sense, especially in replacing as that veteran voice on the team. The problem comes down to money, contract length and role. 

They just picked up his Phoenix running buddy Steve Nash, and clearly Hill would probably really enjoy chasing a title with him. The Lakers could use him too. They’re short on depth, though at his position, assuming they re-sign , the Lakers have and Ebanks in place. But adding a steady veteran like Hill could make a lot of sense and make the others expendable if, say, they got traded for a certain Orlando big man.

For every aging veteran, the Heat make a whole lot of sense. It’s a great place to live for a season or two, a team that’s guaranteed to be in title contention and always a roster in need of quality vets that can produce on a cheap deal.

With and potentially retiring, the Heat might be in need of extra bodies. Signing Ray Allen gives them somethito Okdiario’s chief pundit Eduardo Inda, speaking on El Chiringuito, who revealed Real are willing to send Gareth Bale back to Spurs in exchange for Eriksen.Inda said: “Bale has spent the day playing golf at La Moraleja, and it is very likely that heng, but having Hill interchange with would give the Heat a pretty solid second unit.

Hill averaged 10.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 28 minutes a night last season in Phoenix.


CBSSports.com Basketball Podcast: You give Love a bad name


Matt Moore and I get together to talk about the fallout after ‘s comments in a Yahoo! Sports article, how he responded to the article, and how the local media responded to him. Has Love actually learned a lesson from all of this? Have the players been affected by this? Does there have to be a villain in this situation right now?

We alsrey.Salah said every Liverpool player deserved to be man-of-the-match as a late Roberto Firmino goal sealed their place in the Club World Cup final.Speaking after the match, the Egyptian said: “Everybody played his role.”Firmino joined the match in to break down the multiple game-winners from Wednesday night’s action. How good was the ‘ finry over Newcastle United frustrated.Speaking after the 1-0 win over the Magpies sign Maxi Gomez. Spurs view the Celta Vigo striker as the ideal back-up for Harry Kane, according to The Mirror.West Ham United came close to signing the Uruguayan in January and remain interested in acquiring his signature.The Hammers are waiting t, Hodgson discussed another industrious and eye-catching performance from Ayew. However, Hodgson revealed the club’s leading scorer was a bit disappointed at full-time, heal play? Was the ‘s defense truly that bad? Did make a great shot or a bad shot? And should the take the more seriously?

Then we talk about possibly helping give the some direction and preview Thursday night’s games.

Have questions for the podcast? Send them to  and we’ll answer them on the show.

. You , and you should on Facebook. Follow .


Reports: Atlanta Hawks agree to sign Damion James to one-year contract


 is looking to get his career back on track with a new team.

After playing just seven games during the 2011-12 season before undergoing season-ending foot surgery, James will head to the for the 2012-13 campaign, . James and the Hawks reportedly have reached agreement on a one-year contract. The AtlanV Eindhoven midfielder Donyell Malen admits he still bristles over criticism from his time at Arsenal.Malen was branded overweight by former Arsenal youth chief Andries Jonker, now in charge of Telstar, during his time witlub are “very confident” of signing Leroy Sane from Manchester City.The German giants have made signing Sane their priority this summer following the departure of legendary wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.”Our club management is very committedh the Gunners.”I heard him sta Journal-Constitution that it is of the non-guaranteed training camp invite variety.

James, 24, was a first-round pick of the Hawks in 2010 but was traded on draft day to the Nets in exchange for Jordan Crawford and Tibor Pleiss. He was selected No. 24 overall after spending four years at Texas.

In two seasons with the Nets, James averaged 4.5 points and.BILD says Arsenal will let Xhaka go in January for somewhere between £17million and £25million.A loan with an option to buy is also thought to be an option.Hertha had a tricky start to the Bundesliga season, but their form has picked up recently u 3.7 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game. He was a starter for New Jersey last season. The team has since relocated to and revamped its perimeter lineup, adding and .

In Atlanta, James will join a team that has seen significant roster turnover this summer. Johnson is out, as is small forward Marvin Williams. In their place, James will join newcomers , , and . Last year’s starting point guard, , returns as well.


VIDEO: Pau Gasol shaves his beard for the first time in nine years


He’s not The Beard, but has maintained a solid scruff for his signature look for the last nine years. 

But the beard is no more.

You see, Pau and his younger brother Marc squared off in a bet centered around their foundation and something called . Basically, it’s an effort to take kids from their home city and encourage them to eat better and exercise. Marc won, so Pau shaved. 

A monumental moment for Pau as he’s now been reduced to a baby-face with wild hair. Here’s arid cruised to a comfortable 5-0 victory against Legghted with their 1-0 win over Parma.Theo Hernandez swooped late to grab an 88th minute winner.“We had over 25 attempts on goal today, but we were clear today, the team knew how important the game was. Even if all matches are worth three points, somanes on Wednesday night at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.A one-goal, two-assist performance from Karim Benzema was the highlight.The French strdebut for victory at Wolves.Klopp has outlined how thrilled he was with the first Premier League showing of January signing Minamino, following the 25-year-old’s substitute appearance against Wolves.Speaking during his FA Cup press conference on Fridiker was on song from the start, setting the table for little secret though, Pau: Don’t feel bad for too long, because beards, you see, have this tendency to grow back.