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Rajon Rondo trade grades: Lakers clear roster spot; Cavs replace Ricky Rubio; Knicks make it three-team deal

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The Cleveland Cavaliers have been one of the best stories of this strange NBA season, and as the calendar turns to 2022 they sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference at 21-16 But last week they suffered a major loss when veteran point guard Ricky Rubio went down with a torn ACL that will keep him out for the rest of the season. In need of another point guard — in particular, a veteran to help with their young roster — the Cavaliers have made a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers to acquire Rajon Rondo, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic

Cleveland originally sent forward Denzel Valentine to Los Angeles for Rondo, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. However, the Lakers are reportedly sent Valentine to the New York Knicks, and the Knicks waived Valentine shortly after acquiring him, per Charania.

Rondo, who entered the league’s health and safety protocols on Dec. 26, has struggled so far with the Lakers, putting up just 3.1 points and 3.7 assists per game on 32.4 percent shooting from the field and 26.7 percent shooting from 3-point land. At this stage of his career, the 35-year-old Rondo isn’t the most exciting acquisition and will be a downgrade on Rubio. But the Cavaliers don’t have too many options in the middle of the season, and Rondo will at least bring some similar qualities. He’s still a capable defender who will fit in with the Cavaliers’ defense-first style, and will always be able to run an offense. 

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Rondo is excited about the chance to play a bigger role with an emerging Cavs team, per Wojnarowski. He’s reportedly viewed the trade in a positive light ever since it’s been mentioned to him. Even if Rondo can bring some of the same skills, it will be difficult for him to replicate Rubio’s impact. The Cavaliers have been much better with Rubio on the court this season. 

Off. Rating

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108.6

106.8

+1.8

Def. Rating

99.5

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104.5

-5

Net Rating

9.1

2.4

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+6.7

There are also the intangibles that Rubio brings in terms of leadership and camaraderie. 

“I think this team is so close, so it’s like an extended family member goes down and it just pains you,” Kevin Love said after Rubio was injured. “It just hurts to see anyone go down, but especially a guy like Ricky, who has been so consistent for us and brings so much to this team for so many different reasons.”

Now with Rondo joining the team, it will be interesting to see if the Cavaliers can remain at the top of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. They are also already without Collin Sexton for the season due to a torn meniscus, which will put extra responsibility on young guard Darius Garland to lead the way in the backcourt. 

As for the Lakers, it’s not surprising that they moved Rondo. Not only has he played poorly this season, he doesn’t fit on this roster. Moving him opens up a roster spot that they could use on another shooter or more frontcourt depth. Here’s how both sides graded in the deal:

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Lakers receive:

Knicks receive:

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Cavaliers receive: 

Los Angeles trade grade: A-

This is a very simple calculus for the Lakers. They wanted to clear a roster spot. Doing so by waiving Rondo would have left them with roughly $7 million in dead money between his salary and the luxury tax. This is a Lakers team that let Alex Caruso walk because of the tax. Savings like this matter, especially if they’re going to pursue upgrades elsewhere at the deadline. The Lakers got those savings by trading a player in Rondo who had fallen out of the rotation before COVID forced their hand. They can now use this roster spot to retain Stanley Johnson, who has played well on a 10-day contract for them at a position of need in forward. Essentially, swapping Rondo for Johnson at minimal cost is a free upgrade so long as Johnson maintains his recent productivity.

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Cleveland trade grade: C

Cleveland couldn’t have lost Rubio at a worse time. In a normal season, the Cavs might have signed a free-agent point guard to serve as a stopgap backup while they sought out a longer-term solution … but the league-wide COVID outbreak significantly drained the available talent pool. That made Rondo perhaps their best short-term option, and that’s not saying much. Rondo has been ineffective this season and hasn’t been even an average regular-season player since at least the 2017-18 season. Cleveland probably shouldn’t expect much of Rondo for the long haul, and should continue to seek out upgrades in other trades, but this deal didn’t even cost the Cavs a second-round pick. It’s an ultimately harmless move that gets them a better stand-in than they could have found in free agency. Rondo isn’t ideal, but he’s better than nothing.

Knicks trade grade: B

The Knicks are getting $1.1 million by getting in on this deal at the last minute, and all they had to do was give up the draft rights to two players who aren’t expected to play in the NBA, so not a bad deal at all by those terms. Unsurprisingly, New York waived Valentine so he can join another team for the remainder of the season. This deal was mainly about the Lakers making a roster spot available for the buyout market, or if they do decide to sign Johnson to a standard contract for the remainder of the season, and the Knicks happily helped in that matter and got some cash back in the process.





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Combate Global picks, live stream, how to watch, fight card: Tena vs. Romero predictions, channel, time

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The Combate Global schedule will continue Friday on Paramount+ with five fights from La Jaula in Miami. Ivan Tena is a 23-year-old featherweight who looks like one of the best prospects in the promotion after earning three knockout victories and one submission win in his first four fights. He’ll take on Mexican fighter Roberto Romero in a USA vs. Mexico showdown in the 145-pound division. You can stream the action live on Paramount+.

The co-main event will feature Chile’s Valentina Escobar (1-0) against Mexico’s Yazmin Najera in a fight at 120 pounds. Another bout on the Combate Global fight card will feature a pair of veteran featherweights as Carlos Rivera (14-6) takes on Landry Ward (5-1). The Combate Global fight card begins at 10:30 p.m. ET and you can catch all the action live on Paramount+.

Paramount+ now has two levels of membership so you can watch Combate and much more. The Premium Plan is $9.99 per month and you can watch your local CBS live stream, including plenty of sports like Champions League, Italian Serie A, college hoops, and the PGA Tour, with no ads, on-demand and the ability to download episodes for offline viewing. Plus, watch the highly-anticipated series Halo, Picard, 1883, and more. Both plans come with a free week to start. Paramount+ will even give you a free week to start, so sign up now here.

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How to watch Combate Global 

  • Date: Friday, August 19
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Streaming: Paramount+

Top Combate Global picks for Aug. 19 fight card

Before tuning in to Friday’s Combate Global fight card, you need to see the picks from SportsLine’s MMA insider Andrew Gombas. With more than 1,400 selections tracked by the third-party monitoring service Bet MMA, he has shown a 6 percent return on investment for his followers. Over the past two years, his followers have netted a profit of more than $10,000. 

For Friday’s card, Gombas is picking Tena to defeat Romero to stay unbeaten and continue his rise up the featherweight ranks. Tena is a recent Arizona State graduate who trains out of MMA Lab and has finished all four of his professional fights in the first or second round. Romero is coming off a draw against Zed Montanez in his last fight.

“This is a fantastic main event for the Combate USA vs. Mexico card. Ivan Tena is one of the prospects in Combate who I hold in high regard. Roberto Romero is known for an exciting fighting style and has a bright future as well. I have to side with Tena. He is a slick finisher who punishes his opponents for making mistakes. I think he gets another finish,” Gombas told SportsLine. Stream the card on Paramount+ now.

How to watch Combate Global in Miami

Now that you know who to pick, get ready to watch Combate Global. Visit Paramount+ now to see the Combate Global, your live local CBS sporting events, some of the world’s top soccer matchups and much more.

August 19 Combate Global fight card

Stream the entire Combate Global fight card here

  • Ivan Tena vs. Roberto Romero
  • Valentina Escobar vs. Yazmin Najera
  • Carlos Rivera vs. Landry Ward
  • Jaret Betancourt vs. Rodrigo Garcia
  • Katie Perez vs. Andrea Meneses Garcia



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Packers’ Aaron Rodgers sets up QB Danny Etling’s long rushing TD during mid-game interview in preseason win

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Quarterback Danny Etling scored a 51-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of Friday’s preseason victory over the New Orleans Saints, yet the highlight of the play wasn’t the touchdown run itself — but who was on air when the play occurred. Etling took the snap and ran to his right untouched for the touchdown with Aaron Rodgers being interviewed mid-game. 

Needless to say, Rodgers was pretty excited when Etling — the third-string quarterback — had the big play for the score. 

“What did I tell ya. What did I tell ya. What did I tell ya,” Rodgers said as he clapped his hands and smiled. “Yeah baby, I love it. I love it.” 

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This isn’t the first time Etling ran a naked bootleg and scored on a long touchdown run. Etling scored on an 86-yard touchdown run on a naked bootleg to his right during his time with the New England Patriots in 2018 — and this touchdown looked eerily similar. In fact, Rodgers was complimenting Etling’s athleticism and reminiscing about that very run minutes before he took off for the score Friday night.

Etling has bounced around the league, being waived and signed by the Patriots, Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks several times. Etling also was on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad, the Denver Broncos practice squad, the Packers practice squad and the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad. He actually was assigned to the Packers practice squad and later signed by the Jaguars and assigned to their practice squad last December.

Overall, Etling has been involved in 27 transactions since entering the league in 2018 — yet has never played a regular season snap in the NFL

For one night, the former seventh-round quarterback from LSU recaptured his rookie year magic. No one at Lambeau Field may have been happier than Rodgers. 

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Watch Everton vs. Nottingham Forest: How to live stream, TV channel, Saturday’s Premier League start time

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The Premier League is back in action on Saturday.

Who’s Playing

  • Nottingham Forest @ Everton
  • Current Records: Nottingham Forest 1-1; Everton 0-2

Paramount+ is the only place to watch every minute of every Serie A match this season, not to mention select games in Italian. Sign up now with offer code ITALY to get a special one month free trial. A subscription also gives you access to other sports content including every UEFA Champions League and Europa League match, the NFL on CBS, and countless movies and shows. Get it all free for 1 month with promo code ITALY.

What to Know

Everton will look to defend their home turf on Saturday against Nottingham Forest at 10 a.m. ET.

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This past Saturday, Everton fell a goal shy of Aston Villa, losing 2-1. That was Everton’s second consecutive one-goal defeat against Villa.

Speaking of close games: Nottingham Forest won by a goal, slipping past West Ham United 1-0. The Nottingham Forest offense checked out after the first half but had enough goals banked to take the contest anyway.

Nottingham Forest’s victory lifted them to 1-1 (10th place with three points) while Everton’s loss dropped them down to 0-2 (18th place with zero points). We’ll see if Nottingham Forest can repeat their recent success or if Everton bounces back and reverse their fortune.

Craving even more coverage of the world’s game? Listen below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.  

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How To Watch

  • Who: Everton vs. Nottingham Forest
  • When: Saturday at 10 a.m. ET
  • Where: Goodison Park
  • Online streaming: Peacock
  • Caesars Sportsbook odds: Everton -111; Draw +245; Forest +325

Featured Game | Everton vs. Nottingham Forest

Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last six years.

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