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2020 NBA Draft winners and losers: Kings get a steal, Bucks fumble a trade – Sportsnet.ca

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The 2020 NBA Draft came and went with a flurry of activity taking place before, during and after the event.

The draft, of course, isn’t just about players getting picked — it’s also about trades and signings, among other things.

So, with that in mind, here are the biggest winners and losers from draft night.

Winners

Minnesota Timberwolves

This may feel like a cop-out because Minnesota had the No. 1 overall pick and used it to draft Anthony Edwards, the best prospect in the draft according to most big boards and mocks heading into Wednesday night.

But look closer at the business Timberwolves president Gersson Rosas conducted on a whole, and you’ll see why Minnesota had itself quite the night.

Not only did the Timberwolves manage to secure Edwards, they also swung a trade that saw Ricky Rubio return to the Twin Cities, as well as trades that allowed them to land Leandro Bolmaro at No. 23 and Jaden McDaniels at No. 28.

Minnesota has a long way to go to compete with the West’s powers, but it took a significant step forward Wednesday. Edwards looks to be a seamless fit as a scoring wing, Rubio’s return will bring the team some much-needed veteran leadership, and the two other draft picks, talent-wise, are among the best in the draft — even if they’ll require additional seasoning before making an impact in the NBA.

Sacramento Kings

Though the Kings started off the night poorly (more on that in the losers section below), their evening still ended up being pretty damn good for one reason only: Tyrese Haliburton.

Sacramento had the 12th overall selection Wednesday and Haliburton, a player that was expected to be a lock for the top 10 coming into the draft, managed to fall all the way down to them, making for a no-brainer decision.

Haliburton is a six-foot-five guard from Iowa State who should form a three-headed guard monster with De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. His versatility will make him useful in multiple lineups.

When you acquire top-10 talent picking out of the top 10, it’s an automatic win.

Dallas Mavericks

The move Dallas made with the Philadelphia 76ers to acquire Josh Richardson was a good piece of business.

Yes, the Mavericks gave up Seth Curry, an undeniably good shooter, but they needed more individual shot-creation to help complement Luka Doncic. Richardson can provide that.

He’s coming off a down year in Philadelphia, but that version of Richardson isn’t indicative of the player he truly is. During his breakout season with Miami in 2018-19, Richardson was an aggressive three-level scorer who could take over games at times.

Doncic is a brilliant player, but there will be times where the Mavericks need a bucket and they won’t be able to go to him for a myriad of reasons. Having Richardson as a Plan B is pretty good.

Nate Darling

For the first time since 2009, a Canadian was not selected in the NBA Draft, but that doesn’t mean Canada wasn’t represented on draft night.

The Bedford, N.S., native reportedly signed a two-way deal with the Charlotte Hornets as an undrafted free agent.

Darling played this past season at Delaware, averaging 21 points and shooting 39.9 per cent from three-point range.

The six-foot-five, 200-pound guard may not have been drafted, but he still gave the country some Canadian content on draft night.

So hats off goes to Darling on the beginning of his NBA journey.

Emotions

Obviously, because of COVID-19, the NBA was forced to do its draft virtually, taking away some of the pomp and circumstance of the green room and players heading up on stage to shake the commissioner’s hand.

What the virtual draft offered, however, might have been even better: real-time looks at players realizing their dreams, surrounded by family and friends.

Instead of polished, prepared answers, we got to see these kids truly take in the moment, with many of them breaking down in tears of absolute joy, a good reminder that these NBA draft prospects are human beings.

Losers

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks lost draft night before it even began, when the bombshell report came out that the reported sign-and-trade they had arranged with the Kings for Bogdan Bogdanovic hadn’t actually been approved by Bogdanovic himself.

Milwaukee made a huge splash Monday evening with word that it had, essentially, sold its future for Jrue Holiday followed by this move to bring in Bogdanovic — all in an effort to accumulate more talent around two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and convince him to stay (or just bet the farm and try to win a title before he leaves in free agency).

Now it looks like this plan is in jeopardy because of the hiccup with Bogdanovic, which left the Bucks in a bad position.

Of course, seeing as free agency hasn’t officially opened yet, this might be a case of Milwaukee doing damage control and trying to avoid any sort of anti-tampering penalties the league may be looking to punish them with for executing a sign-and-trade before the moratorium. But even if that’s the case, this still robs them of their negotiating power with Bogdanovic, who could take advantage of this gaffe to force the Bucks to pay him more than they might have previously offered.

Hopefully this situation gets resolved with free agency opening Friday, but for now the Bucks have a big, fat egg on their foreheads.

Golden State Warriors

The most brutal news of the evening came pre-draft, when word leaked that Warriors superstar Klay Thompson had suffered a potentially significant lower-body injury while training.

Thompson, of course, missed all of last season recovering from a torn ACL. To see him potentially miss more time would be a big blow for both the Warriors and the game itself.

No one ever wants to see a player miss time because of injury — especially stars like Thompson.

It’s still unclear how long he’ll be out for, but here’s hoping the best for him.

Houston Rockets

The rumour mill hasn’t been treating the Rockets kindly of late, with word that both Russell Westbrook and James Harden want out of Houston. The team’s lone move on draft night probably won’t help their cause much, either.

You may remember that heading into the draft Houston traded away Robert Covington for Trevor Ariza and a couple of first-round picks. Well, on Wednesday, the Rockets decided to move Ariza and one of those picks (No. 16 overall, which turned into Isaiah Stewart) to the Detroit Pistons in an effort to, essentially, create room to make use of the mid-level exception.

A puzzling move when you start thinking about the free agency market and if the Rockets would even find someone as good as Ariza using the mid-level exception, let alone Covington, whom they traded for Ariza in the first place.

Elton Brand

You have to wonder what Brand was thinking if he was watching Wednesday night. Daryl Morey, Brand’s replacement as 76ers general manager, is not even a full month into the job — but he’s almost completely undone everything the former boss did, accomplishing the brunt of his work on draft night.

First, before the draft, Morey managed to offload Al Horford’s albatross contract by attaching a couple of picks to it, while acquiring some needed shooting in Danny Green in the process. Then, during the draft, Morey swung the aforementioned deal with Dallas to get even more shooting by acquiring Curry, and then proceeded to add even more shooting by drafting Arkansas marksman Isaiah Joe in the second round.

The 76ers’ problems always came down to the fact their two best players — Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons — are best when operating inside, and they needed to find ways to space the floor better.

In the two years he was GM in Philadelphia, Brand never solved this problem. But Morey appears to be solving it in just a few weeks.

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Cris Collinsworth Apologizes for Saying He Was 'Blown Away' by Football Questions From 'Even the Ladies': TRAINA THOUGHTS – Sports Illustrated

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1. NBC’s Cris Collinsworth has offered a mea culpa after making a head-scratching comment during Wednesday’s Ravens-Steelers game.

The Sunday Night Football analyst was talking about how passionate Steelers fans were when he said, “In particular, the ladies that I met. They had really specific questions about the game. I’m like, ‘Wow.’ You’re just blown away by how strong the fans are here in this town.”

Collinsworth singling out “ladies” instantly generated backlash on social media, with many people pointing out that it shouldn’t surprise anyone that women are knowledgeable about the NFL—or any sport, for that matter. 

A few hours after the game ended, Collinsworth addressed the controversy and issued an apology for the insulting remarks.

2. A brand-new SI Media Podcast dropped late Wednesday night with Chris Long. The Super Bowl champion, who now hosts the Amazon Prime pregame show on Thursday nights and the Green Light podcast three days a week, shared his insight into what NFL players are going through this season while trying to play through a pandemic. 

Long also talks about what’s going on with Tom Brady and the Bucs and why he thinks people shouldn’t sleep on the Packers.

Non-football topics Chris and I discussed include our hatred of shaving, UGGs, celebrity-scented candles, the funniest TV/movie death or funeral scenes and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

Or you can watch the podcast on YouTube.

3. We need more honesty like this from NFL head coaches.

4. Anyone else surprised that casino revenue in Las Vegas is down only 36% this year? I expected that number to be much higher.

5. It’s giveaway time. Easton Baseball has relaunched its “Green Easton” bat, and they are providing one for a Traina Thoughts reader.

The first person to email me (Jimmy.Traina@si.com) the correct answer to these two questions wins the Green Easton bat. You have to email me the answer. Do not send it via Twitter, Instagram, etc.

• On this week’s SI Media Podcast, Chris Long said he expected Mark Sanchez to be doing commercials for what after his football career?

• On the same podcast, Long cited which TV show as having the funniest funeral scene? 

6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: As I’ve said, funniest TV/movies death or funeral scenes was a topic on this week’s SI Media Podcast with Chris Long. Some of my Twitter followers passed along their favorites, and I need to shout out Sean Malone for this one. 

7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: Barry Sanders won the Heisman Trophy on this date in 1988. We’ve all seen Sanders’s Lions highlights many times, but did you all know he once had a 100-yard kickoff return during his Heisman season at Oklahoma State?

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.

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STYX Releases Quarantine Video For 'Too Much Time On My Hands' In Time For STEELERS/RAVENS Football Game – BLABBERMOUTH.NET

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STYX has released a video for its classic hit “Too Much Time On My Hands”, filmed from the band’s home studios specifically for Pittsburgh #SteelersNation in time for yesterday’s (Wednesday, December 2) game against the Baltimore Ravens.

STYX‘s affiliation with the Pittsburgh Steelers has been strong for years. One of the band’s other signature hits, “Renegade”, has been an adopted theme song of the team for over a decade, and they’ve sung the national anthem at many Steelers games in recent years.

STYX recently asked fans for donations to be made to the Pittsburgh Foundation Emergency Action Fund. The Pittsburgh region is facing unprecedented economic, health and human services challenges in the global public health pandemic brought on by the COVID-19 virus. In response, on March 16, local philanthropies partnered to create the Emergency Action Fund, which awarded operating grants on a rolling basis to emergency service providers and nonprofit organizations serving on the front lines of recovery.

STYX has spent the last few months working on its new studio album, The upcoming effort will be the follow-up to “The Mission”, which was released in June 2017. That disc marked STYX‘s first new LP in 14 years. It was recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, co-produced and co-written with Will Evankovich, a longtime collaborator of guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw‘s in the SHAW/BLADES band and who also plays with THE GUESS WHO.

STYX‘s James “JY” Young told Radio Forrest in September that the band will hold off on releasing the new album until it can go back on tour. “That’s the current plan,” he said. “Because we like to have everything kind of get launched at once. It’s easier to make people aware of it if it’s not released in a vacuum. But if you can get a tour going, and tickets are selling, and then the record’s out, it’s easier to build a critical mass for awareness.”

This past August, Young told the Q105.7 radio station that STYX‘s next LP may not arrive for at least another year. “If Dr. Fauci [Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases] is right, [we won’t be able to tour until] the end of [2021], so that would put us out in 2022, which would be the 50th-anniversary year of us signing our first recording contract, which is February 22, 1972,” he said. “But if it’s in ’22 that this record comes out, it’ll be 2-22-22, so maybe that’s what we’ve gotta wait for.”

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, four straight STYX albums sold at least two million copies — “The Grand Illusion” (1977), “Pieces Of Eight” (1978), “Cornerstone” (1979) and “Paradise Theatre” (1981). The band eventually replaced original singer/keyboardist/songwriter Dennis DeYoung in 1999 with Lawrence Gowan.

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Raptors prop odds roll out in advance of season – Sportsnet.ca

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With the start of the NBA regular season less than three weeks away the Toronto Raptors are adjusting to life in their temporary home of Tampa Bay. Forced to relocate due to continued cross-border travel restrictions related to the ongoing pandemic, the Raptors will play home games at Amalie Arena until further notice.

However, with a COVID-19 vaccine looking increasingly likely to roll out at some point in 2021, the odds of the Raptors playing at least one home game in Toronto this season sit at a short -250 in NBA props betting at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

But faced with the prospect of living out of hotels for the entirety of the NBA season, the Raptors have taken a step back on the NBA odds.

Victorious in 53 games last season, second most in the NBA, the Raptors’ win total for the upcoming season sits at just 43.5. Toronto remains a -360 favourite to return to the NBA playoffs for an eighth straight season, but their temporary exile from Scotiabank Arena and recent offseason moves have raised questions. While the team locked up Fred VanVleet with a lucrative four-year contract, the departures of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol suggest the team is undergoing a changing of the guard.

Those concerns extend to team president Masai Ujiri, who has been in demand around the league since leading Toronto to a championship and sports -110 odds of resigning his position with the Raptors before next season’s NBA playoffs.

Indeed, if the Raptors fall out of postseason contention during their upcoming nomadic campaign, Kyle Lowry’s future with the team could also be in question. The heart and soul of the Raptors since his arrival in Toronto eight years ago, Lowry played a crucial role in the team’s march to an NBA title in 2019. But with Lowry turning 35 in March, and entering the final year of a contract that will pay him $30 million, he is listed as a +250 wager at online betting sites to not finish the season as a member of the Raptors.

While a slow start could place Lowry’s future in question, Drake’s position with the Raptors appears to be eternal. The Toronto-born hip hop star has served as the team’s global ambassador since 2013, and has become a familiar presence around the franchise both on and off the hardwood.

That is not expected to change, even as the global pandemic rages, with the musician sporting -850 odds to take his familiar seat at courtside for at least one Raptors game in the season ahead.

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