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03:16, Sep 10 2016

No matter what happens to these two parties this much seems almost inevitable: Toronto will take Harrison Barnes in the NBA Draft. Justin Houston Jersey . Last year, when some thought Barnes would declare after one year at North Carolina, it was because he ended the season on a serious hot streak, filled a need for Toronto on the wing and was a player the organization could get fans excited about. This year, with everyone expecting Barnes to declare, hed represent a consolation prize for a team that didnt lose enough to secure a top pick and will take damaged goods because its better than settling for a raw power forward or reaching for a point guard. Whatever the reason, it seems like these two are destined to be together. The fact is that it isnt a horrible match. Barnes is a pure scorer who can shoot, and the Raptors desperately need shooters on the wing. Hes got some size and plays defence, and he is a very sharp player, but he never dominated at the college level like people expected him to and he too often seems content to play the game at 70 per cent rather than maxing out his talents while on the court. There is also the fact that over the course of the season two other wing players, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bradley Beal, simply made themselves better fits for Toronto than Barnes did. Kidd-Gilchrist is like Dwane Caseys dream player; a natural leader at the small forward spot that plays all-out all of the time, excels at playing defence, rebounding and driving the ball to the hoop. Beal is a shooting guard with NBA range, a relentless offensive motor and is a solid passer and playmaker. If the Raptors got one of those two guys they could make fans feel like the losing this season was worth it. With Barnes... well with Barnes theyd be thankful that they had Jonas Valanciunas coming over. They could continue to sell him as the key incoming asset and let Barnes slide into a more complimentary role behind him. Given the Raptors season, though, thats probably what they will have to settle for. One of the "problems" that the team has faced since hiring Casey as their head coach is that this team tries too darn hard for a club in search of a high draft pick. They lost major parts to their system for long stretches - from Jerryd Bayless to Andrea Bargnani to trading away Leandro Barbosa - but nothing broke this clubs will. They are on pace to finish with a better winning percentage than they had last year (.327 currently versus .268 a season ago), theyve shown a stubborn refusal to back down to good teams and have notched wins against several of their lottery-bound counterparts (Cleveland, New Jersey, Washington, Detroit, New Orleans and Golden State). If and when they finish outside of the bottom five at the end of the season theyll have no one to blame but themselves for actually caring enough to try and win almost every game that they played. Unless the lottery gods smile on Toronto in May, there is a good chance that the only player on their radar that theyll have a shot at is Barnes, because his stock seems to have fallen far enough to land in Torontos range. Sure theyll try to trade up to take one of the more attractive assets, but the price may prove too steep that high in the draft to move up even one or two spots for a shot at Kidd-Gilchrist or Beal. Its not like landing Barnes is a sickening fate, and if the Raptors do so outside of the top-five then they are actually probably getting him at about his proper value. Getting him this year, though, carries a much different perception than getting him last year would have, and perception is key as the club looks to win back the fans it sacrificed to go down the rebuilding rabbit hole after Chris Bosh bolted for Miami. Of course, things could be worse. The Raptors could wind up selecting seventh or eighth in the draft, losing out on Barnes and having to pick from guys like Perry Jones, Jared Sullinger, Jeremy Lamb or Terrence Jones. Heck, at that point the club may explore trading out of the draft altogether. That fate doesnt seem likely, though. No, Barnes and the Raptors have been on a collision course for over a year now, and were just counting down the final months until it happens. Its almost time to stop fighting it. Both parties have shifted in their respective spheres and yet both still seem aligned with one another. Its not a matter of good or bad or right or wrong, its just inevitability. Well have to wait until May 30 for the next sign of this impending union, but at this point it just seems like a formality. Barnes and the Raptors arent an ideal fit (especially from Torontos perspective), but its good enough and that will probably be all it takes to make Barnes a Raptor at the end of June. Theyre just a little too potent and Barnes is just a little too underwhelming for it to happen any other way. Chris Jones Jersey . The Montreal Canadiens represent the nations only hope of ending a 21-year Stanley Cup drought, and thats a long shot. Official Kansas City Chiefs Jersey . Atlanta also received the rights to Giorgos Printezis and cash considerations from Oklahoma City for the rights to Sofoklis Schortsanitis and a trade exception. http://www.chiefsstoreofficial.com/authentic-tony-gonzalez-chiefs-jersey/ .Jansrud, a two-time downhill winner this season, timed 1 minute, 49.07 seconds on a 3.08-kilometre (1.9-mile) course. The practice run started lower down the mountain because of high winds.Older, wiser, still humble and hungry to win a World Series, Jim Thome returned to a place he never imagined leaving. And as he walked into Progressive Field, a ballpark known as The Jake when he played in Cleveland the first time, Thome was flooded with memories of former teammates, games and Octobers past. Nine years later, hes wearing an Indians jersey again. "Baseballs a weird thing," Thome said. "Anything can happen." Clevelands home run king returned Friday to the Indians, the team that gave him his start and one that sorely needs him to lead them back into the AL Central race. Thome, one of eight players in history to hit 600 career homers, accepted a trade on Thursday by Minnesota to go back to the Indians Thome said when the Twins approached him, there was no doubt he was Cleveland bound. "You always think about one day returning, and when youre given the opportunity, it was really a no-brainer," he said. "Im excited. Im happy to be here." Cleveland seems equally thrilled. As Thome was driven to a pre-game news conference, riding on the back of a golf cart with Indians general manager Chris Antonetti, stadium ushers, vendors and workers applauded and cheered as he went by. Thome smiled and waved at everyone. "Jimmys back," yelled one. "Its like he never left." His new teammates wore their pants with the legs pulled high, a tribute to Thomes throwback style. With designated hitter Travis Hafner on the disabled list and facing season-ending surgery, the Indians need a big bat in the middle of their injury-thinned lineup. Theyre hoping Thome, who hit 12 homers and drove 40 runs in 71 games for the Twins, can help them close on the first-place Detroit Tigers, who lead Cleveland by 6 1-2 games. "Jim had choices and he chose to come over here," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "A lot of it has to do with the love he has for this franchise and the Cleveland Indians." Thome spent his first 12 years with Cleveland before bolting as a free agent in 2002, when the Philadelphia Phillies gave him a six-year, US$85 million contract. His decision to take more money elsewhere rankled some Indians fans who thought Thome, the likable lefty slugger from Illinois with the sweet swing, was the one guy who would turn down the riches. Albert Belle left. So did Manny Ramirez. Thome was different, they thought. Looking back, Thome doesnt regret his decision, but would take back some promises he may have made. Back then, he was quoted as saying the Indians jersey would have to be torn off his back for him to leave. "You make decisions and you live by them," he said. "Sometimes you look back and you may have said things that werent right. But you face it, you look forward, you look ahead. You look in the mirror and maybe you have been given a second cchance to say youre sorry. Mitch Morse Chiefs Jersey. Maybe thats why Im sitting here. "I would hope to say (to upset fans), maybe we can forget about the past and look ahead -- and maybe win the division together and see what happens in October." Thome arrived at the ballpark at 2:30 p.m. local time and returned to a clubhouse that hasnt changed much since his name plate was above one of the lockers. Thats when he was greeted by Sandy Alomar Jr., his former teammate and road roommate who now coaches first base for the Indians. "Seeing him almost kind of eased things a little bit," said Thome, who was batting fourth for Fridays series opener against Kansas City. Thome is being careful not to make this homecoming personal. Hes always been a team-first player, and while he may not be as productive as he once was, Thome, who turns 41 on Saturday, just wants to be one of the guys. "Its a new era and you have to adapt to a new environment," he said. "Hopefully I can do that and fit in with what these guys are doing. They dont have to fit into what Im doing. I havent gotten to that (retirement) point yet. I dont look to next year or the following year. Im here now and I just want to fit in with these guys." Thome would love to play every day, but knows thats not possible. Hes been slowed by a lower back thats bothered him for years, and Acta said hell be careful with how much he asks of Thome. Thome isnt thinking about how long he might play. Theres a chance these could be the final thirty-some games of his Hall of Fame-calibre career, but this isnt the time to talk about retirement. Not with a division race still unsettled. Thome, who helped the Indians get to two World Series, has been impressed by Clevelands roster of young talent and wants to help them go as far as they can. "Theyve done a great job all year long in getting to this point. I want to come in and be a piece. Thats my focus. Its not about next year or the year after or when Im going to retire. Its not about me. Its about trying to do whats right right now, stay healthy and hopefully we can have some fun here the next month." Thome said its a bit strange to be with teammates who were in junior high when he was mashing homers the first time for the Indians. Hes the elder statesmen now. While playing for the Phillies, Dodgers, White Sox and Twins, Thome always thought about a possible return to the Indians. He just couldnt believe it would ever come true. "Baseballs a weird game," he said. "You dont really know whats going to happen. Ive thought a lot about it. And trust me, there have been many times Ive come in here as an opponent and looked up and things have come back to me about our teams in the 90s and all the good times our fans had and how they treated us as ex-players. "Im very, very glad to be back." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China ' ' '

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19:59, Mar 15 2018

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