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Penguins star Sidney Crosby scores 500th career goal, becomes only second active NHL player to hit milestone

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Nick Wright Has A Theory On Who Leaked The Kyrie Irving, LeBron Report

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(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

 

The Dallas Mavericks have absolutely no chance to trade for LeBron James.

The only way they get LeBron is by either trading him for Luka Doncic — which is obviously not happening — or hoping the Lakers waive him for whatever reason and then sign him to a veteran’s minimum deal — again, not realistic.

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Considering that, Dan Patrick asked Nick Wright on his show about who he thought had leaked the report of Kyrie Irving allegedly reaching out to James to ask him if he would like to join him in Dallas.

After careful consideration, Wright claimed that the leak could’ve only come from Kyrie, as he’d be making himself look like a good employee by trying to get the team better, thus putting more pressure on the Mavs to sign him to a max contract extension.

Wright added that he thought the initial report was interesting because it also mentioned that the Mavs had internal discussions about trading for LeBron before the deadline, even though LeBron wasn’t eligible to be traded because of the CBA.

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Per the FS1 analyst, that leak came from the Mavs, as they wanted to show Luka that they were exhausting all avenues to try and make the team better, even though they risked looking foolish.

His theory makes sense, especially with al the rumors about Doncic not being happy in Dallas.

That’s all a part of the business as well, and sometimes, what happens behind closed doors is even more important than what takes place on the basketball court.

The post Nick Wright Has A Theory On Who Leaked The Kyrie Irving, LeBron Report appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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NBA Insider Reveals What Chris Paul Wants Moving Forward

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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

 

The Phoenix Suns shocked the NBA after they reportedly told Chris Paul he would be waived.

Paul arrived in Phoenix in 2020, set to help Devin Booker compete for championships.

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They did it in their very first year together, losing in the NBA Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Now, the Suns reportedly have plenty of options for Paul but the point guard is clear on what he wants for his career.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Paul wants to run it back with the Suns and keep sharing touches with Booker and Kevin Durant.

However, the Suns have different options for him, including stretching his contract and waiving the player, a trade involving him and Deandre Ayton, or simply re-signing him in free agency.

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In recent days, Kyrie Irving and Fred VanVleet have been linked with the Suns, and the Paul news couldn’t surface at a better moment.

Free agency is weeks away from its beginning but many teams are already making moves to get the pieces they want ahead of the 2023-24 NBA season.

Paul is one of the best and most talented point guards of all time, but with his age, it’s easy to say why the Suns could move on from him.

He averaged 13.9 points, 8.9 assists, and 4.3 rebounds in 59 games this season.

When the postseason arrived and he was hurt, the Suns played faster without him, which could be another reason why the team is looking to cut ties.

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Paul can still provide good things for his team, but only the Suns have the final word on this.

The post NBA Insider Reveals What Chris Paul Wants Moving Forward appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Blue Jays’ Daulton Varsho reaping rewards of improved plate discipline

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For most of the season, Daulton Varsho‘s offensive production has been like an underwhelming approximation of his 2022.

That looks like it might be about to change.

Although Varsho’s .222/.290/.404 line might not leap off the page, he’s been significantly better recently, slashing .267/.323/.533 in his last 15 games.

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Without context those numbers look excellent, but not like a blazing hot streak. His 136 wRC+ in those games is star level, but not outlandish for a hitter having a strong stretch. 

The way Varsho has authored his recent success is even more encouraging for the outfielder than the results, though. One reason for that is the fact that he simply isn’t striking out. 

The 26-year-old entered the season with a career strikeout rate of 24.0 per cent and he’s gone down on strikes just four times in his last 15 contests, posting the lowest K% of his career over a span of that length.


The clearest explanation for this stretch has been far better plate discipline from Varsho. While he hasn’t piled up walks during his recent stretch, he’s chasing fewer bad pitches.

In his last 15 games, he’s chased just 22.7 per cent of pitches outside the zone, far less than his 34.9 per cent in the first 46 contests of 2023. While he’s taking more pitchers’ pitches, he’s been as aggressive in the zone as ever, swinging at 73.3 per cent of balls in the zone — a rate matching his approach earlier in the year (74.1 per cent).

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At the same time that Varsho has cut down on his strikeouts, his power stroke has come alive. His ISO in his last 15 games sits at .267 and he’s hit four home runs — including a 446-footer that is his longest of the season, and the second-longest of his career.


That power production is supported by contact-quality numbers that are significantly better than what he managed earlier in the season.

Split

Average Exit Velocity

Hard-Hit Rate

First 46 games

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86.2 mph

35.4%

Last 15 games

90.0 mph

41.8%

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If Varsho had gotten a few more bounces going his way in the last three weeks he’d be in the midst of a sizzling run that would be elevating his 2023 numbers in a profound way.

As it is, he’s in the middle of a stretch where he’s doing everything right by avoiding strikeouts and making hard contact consistently, but his rewards haven’t been proportional to the quality of his at-bats.

Varsho’s luck isn’t going to magically even out over the rest of the season, but what he’s doing now may have something to tell us about where he can go from here. 

It’s not realistic to expect him to run a single-digit strikeout rate while providing considerable power, but the fact he’s capable of doing that for a couple of weeks at a time is undoubtedly a good sign for the Toronto Blue Jays.

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