ESPN's Bottom Line - Version 2.0

Thursday, February 24, 2011

NBA Trades: NY Teams Get Their Men, Carmelo to Knicks and Deron to Nets


Well Carmelo Anthony is finally a Knick.  We can all finally stop wondering what his DECISION is going to be.  Roughly 8 months have passed since NBA team swapping was real news rather than speculation and then out of nowhere the Nets pulled off another huge trade yesterday afternoon.  After losing out on Carmelo, the Nets took less than a day to secure a trade with the Utah Jazz for All-Star Point Guard Deron Williams.  

The newest Net
Both teams had to give up huge sums of players and draft picks to get their targets.  However in a league dominated by stars any ransom is worth a player of their caliber.  No matter how many "starters" or high upside youngsters a team gives up, when they do it in the name of acquiring a bona-fide All-Star, they win the trade.  Although both teams are now missing some pieces, they are in a much better place with 'Melo and Deron on the roster than they were last week.  

Clearly now that those deals are done, people can't stop thinking about what the next big move is going to be.  While I've already detailed exactly what those are most likely to be here, there are rumors about Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and even possibly Steve Nash.  The deadline is today at 3pm so stay tuned to see if any more interesting deals are made.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's NFL Combine Time

The NFL Combine starts tomorrow and despite already being in draft season for the last few weeks the premiere scouting event annually held Indianapolis is really when NFL draft talk starts to heat up.  Who can resist some water cooler 40 time chatter?  Nobody.  There are notable drills that will be discussed, there will be guys flying up draft boards, and guys talking there way completely off draft boards but the best part of it is that we sports fans get to play the role of NFL scout over the next four days.  The full schedule is here.

One of the aspects of the Combine that gets plenty of attention is the Wonderlic test.  It's a "a twelve-minute, fifty-question test used to assess the aptitude of prospective employees for learning and problem-solving in a range of occupations."  If you'd like to take a sample test to see what it's like, I've got one for you, it's a 10 questions and you have 2:27 to answer them.  Once you click on the link start answering questions because the clock starts ticking down immediately.  Let's know how you did in the comments.  Here it is.

Gisele must love Wonderlic scores

There are a few guys who have a lot to gain and a few who have a lot to lose at the Combine this year so let's talk about a few guys with major questions to answer. 
  • Cam Newton, QB  - Newton clearly has all the physical tools but he is going to have to show NFL teams during private interviews that he understands how to read defenses.  Some people have said there are concerns about his ability to get out from under Center but a guy as athletic as him shouldn't have any problems like that.  For him, it all comes down to smarts.
  • Prince Amukamura, CB - Amukamura seems to be the most ready to go Cornerback in this year's draft.  The main question that he hasn't answered is his speed.  We've seen supposed can't miss CBs slip in recent years after failing to blaze the 40 yard dash at the combine.  While Prince set the Arizona state high school 100m record so he should be fine, but he still has to do it.
  • Robert Quinn, DE - Quinn missed this season after being suspended by the NCAA for improper contact with an agent.  Although he has the size and athleticism his small amount of dated tape has caused some concern.  If he puts on a show over the weekend like most believe that he can, it's possible that he could find himself getting selected in the Top 5 in April.  
  • Ryan Mallett, QB - Mallet might have the strongest arm of the QBs in this class but he might also have more character concerns than any of the other ones too.  Mallett is going to have to perform well on the Wonderlic and the private interviews in order to quell fears that he could be really super dumb or even addicted to drugs.  If he does that we've seen other lanky rocket armed QBs, like Joe Flacco, do very well for themselves recently and he could be a mid 1st Round pick.
  • RBs Mark Ingram, Mikel LeShoure, and Ryan Williams - These three RBs are most likely going to be the first three RBs taken in April and for them, this weekend all comes down to that 40 time.  While none of them are burners and times in the 4.5 range will be fine, anything closer to or above a 4.7 could be very bad to their draft stock.  

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