NBA Rumour Roundup: Five early-season trade targets

The Boston Celtics have clearly emerged as the early-season class of the East. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers may wind up taking their expected place atop that mantle, but look weaker than ever. Correction—James is, per usual, playing at an unfathomably high level, yet his supporting cast, especially with Isaiah Thomas sidelined, hasn’t been this weak since he first entered the league.

Celtics aside, a glut of teams that includes the Raptors, Wizards, Pistons (!?), Knicks (!!??), Bucks, 76ers, Magic and Cavs are all in the running in an Eastern conference with its window open wider than ever since LeBron’s reign began.

So what does it all mean? Expect more early-to-midseason trades as teams jockey to take advantage of the landscape in what could become an arms race out East. Frankly it’s already begun, with Milwaukee making the first strike by rescuing acquiring star point guard Eric Bledsoe from the Phoenix Suns earlier this month.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (who tends to know a thing or two about these things), that move was the first of potentially many. So who else could be on the trading block and land on an Eastern Conference contender? Here are some early-season trade targets:

Julius Randle, PF, Los Angeles Lakers

This is an easy one. Although we’re just one month into the NBA season, reports have already surfaced that Randle’s time in L.A. is short and that he’s “very unlikely” to be a part of the Lakers long-term plans.

It’s not so much the fault of Randle, the seventh pick in the 2014 draft, but more a result of the presence of both Kyle Kuzma and Larry Nance Jr., two young Lakers players at the same position whom the team is said to prefer over the former Kentucky standout. …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca

Ravens activate Danny Woodhead from injured reserve

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens have activated running back Danny Woodhead from the injured reserve-designated for return list.

He is eligible to play in Sunday’s game against Green Bay.

Woodhead hasn’t played since suffering a hamstring injury during the opening drive of the season opener against Cincinnati.

The nine-year veteran accounted for 37 yards on that possession, and his return could enhance an offence that has struggled for much of the season.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said: “I think you got a little taste of Danny the first week.”

Baltimore signed Woodhead as a free agent during the off-season, mostly because he provides the team with a quality target out of the backfield.

To make room for Woodhead on the 53-man roster, the Ravens on Saturday waived tight end Gavin Escobar.

…read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca

Santa Clara: Lisa Gillmor accused of using city PR firm for personal gain, violating city policies

SANTA CLARA — Mayor Lisa Gillmor is under fire for tapping a $50,000 city communications consultant — without authorization — to draft a newspaper article, coordinate her TV interviews and give her “message training” in her battles with the San Francisco 49ers over Levi’s Stadium, records show.

The city manager’s office put the brakes on the consultant’s work after discovering questionable expenses involving the mayor. Critics are crying foul, saying Gillmor shouldn’t turn a city contractor into her personal PR guru to advance her agenda with the 49ers. Councilwoman Patricia Mahan, a former mayor, called it “troubling.”

But Gillmor said she wasn’t overstepping her authority. “I’m doing my duty as mayor to speak for Santa Clara residents and the council majority,” said Gillmor, who says her critics on the council are too beholden to the 49ers because team officials contributed to their political campaigns.

The dispute is the latest episode in one of the highest-profile kerfuffles in Silicon Valley, pitting Santa Clara leaders against the city’s professional football team over issues that resonate far beyond the city’s borders, from stadium expenses to youth soccer to concert curfews and bookings.

The city approved the contract with Banner Public Affairs in July to “fulfill the city’s stated need for communications support.” Under city law, consultants work for the city manager, and elected officials — including the mayor — are prohibited from giving them direct orders.

At an hourly rate of $400 to $450, records show, Banner principal Pete Hillan spent more than 10 hours drafting an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle and preparing Gillmor for an interview with the newspaper’s editorial board. He spent more than two hours setting up a CBS interview about the 49ers and prepping the mayor. He spent nearly three hours in August “message training” Gillmor.

None of those activities were authorized by …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

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