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|Now that the Denver Nuggets have a player they coveted in the NBA draft D.J. Fluker Color Rush Jersey , their focus shifts to the start of free agency next week.
Michael Porter Jr. went to the Nuggets at No. 14 Thursday night, giving them a potential impact player. Now the priority this offseason is keeping their own free agents and locking down the face of the franchise.
Center and budding superstar Nikola Jokic is the top priority, and president of basketball operations Tim Connelly has said the Nuggets want to sign him to a long-term contract before he hits the market next summer.
”Nikola’s going to be here for a long, long time,” Connelly said. ”Whatever we do, we’re going to ensure that he’s here as long as possible. We’ll talk to Nikola, his brothers and his representation and he’ll be in Denver for a long, long time. He’ll be buying here.”
Will Barton is an unrestricted free agent and forward Wilson Chandler can opt out of the last year of his deal. Connelly said the Nuggets want to retain both.
”Will Barton is still a priority,” Connelly said.
Barton was versatile and valuable for Denver coming off the bench or in the starting lineup. His 15.7 points a game were fourth on the team playing small forward and both backcourt positions. He started 40 of the 81 games he played.
Swingman Torrey Craig, 27, who split time last season with the developmental G League and the Nuggets on a two-way contract Alexander Alexeyev Capitals Jersey , also is a free agent.
Porter can help alleviate the potential loss of those three because he can play small forward, but health is an issue for him. The 6-foot-10 forward was considered a top-five pick before a back injury that required surgery limited him to three games at Missouri last year.
His back and hip soreness during pre-draft workouts knocked him from the top of the draft to the last pick of the lottery where Denver grabbed him, but Porter said he’s ready to go and will put himself in the hands of Denver’s medical staff.
”They’re going to put a plan together for me,” he said. ”Sometimes, even if you feel really good, they want you to feel even better before they put you on the floor. It’s all on what the team wants me to do, but I feel like I can play immediately.”
Picking Porter as well as getting Jarred Vanderbilt and Thomas Welsh in the second round on Thursday stockpiled Denver’s roster, but it won’t change the blueprint for next month.
”The draft was going to have very little impact on free agency,” Connelly said. ”The guys that are up we want to keep, and we’re going to be aggressive trying to keep them.”
Pro football – actual games – won’t disappear from TV screens, mobile devices and the American consciousness once the Super Bowl ends next February.
The Alliance of American Football will kick off the following Sunday. On network television (CBS) as well as through a multitude of free digital platforms.
Yes Carlos Carrasco Cleveland Indians Jersey , spring football. We know, from the USFL to the World League to the XFL, the idea has not worked. Here’s why the Alliance has a strong chance of succeeding: the folks involved.
The Alliance is the creation of Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Polian, one of the most respected and accomplished executives in NFL history, and Charlie Ebersol, a longtime TV and film producer. Ebersol’s father, Dick, defined NBC Sports’ programming for more than two decades and created ”Sunday Night Football.” Dick Ebersol, who also pioneered NBC’s Olympic broadcasts, will serve on the board of directors.
Former players such as Justin Tuck, Hines Ward and Jared Allen will have significant roles in a league the younger Ebersol calls a ”true partnership.”
”That’s the best way a league can perform and will be ultimately the key to success http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-billy-price-jersey , having an interwoven product,” he says.
”Whenever you have an endeavor that involves the kind of teamwork football involves,” Polian adds, ”it implies a partnership, the need to get their buy-in and do things, particularly in a startup, that represent their best interest … to make sure players know we have their best interests at heart. That is the guiding philosophy.”
Co-founder Polian, who built the Bills, Colts and Panthers into Super Bowl teams, will oversee the football side, helped by former player and front office executive J.K. McKay Bradley Chubb Color Rush Jersey , who has been involved in other startups.
The league will have eight teams – cities and stadia to be announced, though look for complementary sites, not NFL venues, and warmer climates given the February-late April schedule. Rosters will be culled from NFL cuts to the 53-man maximum after preseason, which Polian calls ”the core of our constituency”; collegians who have gone undrafted, including underclassmen who have lost any remaining eligibility; players looking to return to the sport; and free agents from the CFL or elsewhere.
As a single entity, the Alliance will own all contracts and players will be dispersed in a variety of manners. If someone played in the NFL or in college for a Florida team or school, he’d likely wind up on a Florida-based franchise, for example. There also will be a mechanism after those allocations for a team interested in a certain player to get his rights. And then coaches of specific teams will have access to a group of players outside the allocations.
A draft of players in late fall after the college season concludes – ”Players who probably are coming off injury or some other situation where they want to perhaps play in our league in order to enhance their draft status,” Polian explains – also is planned.
With an eye on player safety, the Alliance also will eliminate kickoffs. There is a unique plan for onside kicks Authentic Olivier Rodrigue Jersey , with the team wanting to try one instead taking possession at its 35 yard-line on a fourth-and-10 to try one play to keep the ball.
”This eliminates two plays that if you were reinventing the game are plays you would probably leave out,” Polian says.
The three-point stance for linemen, judged by many a dangerous technique, also could be banned.
The preponderance of video reviews by officials won’t be an issue in the Alliance, Polian says. Each coach will be allowed two challenges and that’s it for replay.
And here’s one everybody but a placekicker will love: all extra points are 2-point conversion plays from the 2-yard line.
Ebersol has spent three years putting together the Alliance. He and Polian, backed by the numbers showing America’s passion for the sport, see a huge void the league can fill.
”Football is so dominant for six months of the year,” Ebersol says. ”It even hides a number we focused on: millions of fans who stop watching the top five sports in America when football is off the air. Millions of football fans who don’t want to watch other sports.
”And there are 59 million who play fantasy sports, 29 million of them stopped when football ended.
”So what to do to really empower our fans? Fans are investors. They invest time and emotion and money … and what they get in return is the thrill of victory and agony of defeat. We wanted to empower the fans so they will be rewarded for being fans of their team, so fans have a real stake in the league.”
How will they do so?
Ebersol mysteriously says to ”stay tuned.”
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