The Pulse: Latest on Patrick Kane, new NBA draft age and Joey Moppo
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Good morning! Everyone says hello to Joey Moppo.
Kane (finally) on the way?
The NHL trade deadline was already insane. But as Friday approaches, a blockbuster emerges that has ruled them all: Patrick Kane could be joining Rangers — finally. Let’s catch up:
- Kane has been mentioned as a trading opportunity for months, leaving the process entirely up to the player. Kane has a no-trade clause but is aging and playing for a Blackhawks team at the bottom of the Western Conference. He is also a free agent this offseason.
- New York is Kane’s travel destination of choice, and it appears that the framework of a deal is largely set. But as Arthur Staple and Scott Powers report, the sides are struggling to close the deal. fans are tired.
- It’s hard to overstate how huge a deal this trade would be. Kane is a legend of the game at 34 and Rangers could use a league boost. They already made other big deals ahead of Friday’s deadline. You are all in. They just need the saga to be over.
- Another facet: Chicago’s race for Connor Bedard, the best prospect in the draft. Each haul for Kane includes draft picks. They hope to repeat the success they achieved in back-to-back drafts with Kane and Jonathan Toews in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
Kane is still ranked #1 on our NHL Trade Board, but there are many other talented players available. Stay locked on our live blog for new updates until Friday.
Also, don’t miss Harman Dayal and Dan Robson’s story of how general managers close deals on time. Some GMs get “ridiculous”.
NBA, NBPA on the verge of setting a new draft age
The NBA and its players’ association are nearing agreement on a new CBA, reports Shams Charania, which is good if you enjoy watching NBA basketball. There are many financial details to be worked out, but I want to focus on one key issue: the draft age.
- The sides are working to lower the draft age to 18, which will alter an already rapidly changing landscape for young basketball prospects. The union is reportedly urging veteran players to mentor high schoolers who go straight into the league, rather than being replaced by them.
- Back to the landscape. With this change, there may not be a better time to be a young, promising prospect. The choices are yours: go straight into the league when you’re ready, make millions in zero-zero deals at the collegiate level, or sign with a G-League team for big bucks while still developing.
It’s been a bad night for feet in the NBA. LeBron James will be out for several weeks with a right foot injury, sources said the athlete late at night, a colossal blow to LA’s playoff chances. It could be the end for the Lakers in 2023. Also, LaMelo Ball broke his right ankle against the Pistons last night, a bad beat in a season full of Pistons for Charlotte.
Commanders cut Carson Wentz yesterday, an unsurprising move. However, if you zoom out, it’s shocking to see how Wentz’s career arc has spiraled over the past five years. In 2017, Wentz was a Super Bowl Winner MVP nominee before he was injured. This is now the third year in a row that a team has cut ties with him. He’ll likely land a good backup job somewhere, but his time as a starter is probably over for now.
Haslam in the NBA?
Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry has sold his stake in the team to Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, sources have confirmed the athlete yesterday. Haslam will lead the team alongside co-owner Wes Edens. The intriguing detail here: the $3.5 billion valuation for the franchise, another sign that NBA team values are skyrocketing. Lasry and Edens bought the Bucks for $550 million in 2014.
We’re calling for Joey Moppo
Joey Votto has become a unique personality in baseball: funny, engaging, quirky and insanely talented. It was fully issued in oral history in spring 2021, according to his teammates. Classic Votto stuff.
Votto, who couldn’t be outdone, upped the ante: he commented on this oral history yesterday, producing a fantastic piece full of hilarious nuggets and serious commentary. The whole story is worth your time, but we have to cover some of the best parts:
- Votto confirmed that he sends his teammates videos of him mopping the floor, who often listens to Kendrick Lamar, earning the nickname Joey Moppo. Votto doesn’t seem ready to actually bring the Moppo brand to the public, which is a real shame. Bring us Moppo.
- He started taking improvisation classes to be a better teammate and prepare for his career after playing. Broadcasting is probably in its future. Oh, and Votto has also learned Spanish so he can better communicate with teammates and mentor young Hispanic prospects should he become a coach in the future.
- He likes chess. I let him describe his habit: “My routine every day is to compete, then go home and play chess and listen to old Norm Macdonald and old David Letterman, drink a sleeveful of Saltines, and then sleep.” to go. I’m deadly serious. This is my life routine from spring training.”
The full note/interview also includes an amazing picture Votto took of himself posing on the hood of his minivan. Of course he had a minivan phase.
Seth Davis got a good look at the ongoing Brandon Miller saga in Alabama and across the country as March Madness unfolds.
A minor league pitcher has been banned from baseball for betting on games during the 2020 season. He says he should have been treated like a normal citizen. MLB – claim for receipts – disagreed.
Fresh NFL Combine Content: An amazing 24 out of 32 NFL teams compete with quarterbacks in mind.
Do you remember James Click? The guy the Astros hired to fix things after the scandal (and then got ousted after winning the World Series) joined the Blue Jays’ front office yesterday.
Cool idea: Our MLB staff went team by team and selected one player from each team who could exceed their projected fantasy value this year.
The Athletic’s new F1 team is making good stuff. Luke Smith goes deep on Max Verstappen, an ‘extremely rare natural’
(Photos: David Banks/USA Today)