– Adrian Wojnarowski wrote late Monday night that the Chris Paul trade talks between the NBA and the Clippers are “dead for now.” Ken Berger of CBS wrote earlier in the night that the acquisition of G Chauncey Billups could enable the sides to push talks “over the finish line,” primarily because it would allow the Clips more freedom to add G Eric Bledsoe to the deal. Woj’s notes that the real issue is whether or not the Clippers will part with G Eric Gordon and/or their high No. 1 pick. He also adds new explanation to Paul’s position that he might stay for a second year, pointing out that Paul would likely only do so if they indeed had both Gordon and the pick. Stay tuned.
– ESPN’s Chris Broussard reports that Magic’ F Dwight Howard will only sign a long-term extension with four teams: the Magic, Mavericks, Nets and Lakers. All three teams outside of Orlando have been mentioned as trade destinations by Broussard previously.
– The Nets reportedly believe the team can land both F Nene and F Dwight Howard. There was speculation that this was the plan to convince G Deron Williams to stay long-term, but reports have been all over the place. New Jersey is clearly looking to make at least one major splash before the season starts.
– The Warriors have signed F Kwame Brown to a 1-year/$7M contract. They need the rebounding help, but they couldn’t have overpaid more. Golden State will have $16M committed in salary between Brown and F Andris Biedrins this season.
– Nets’ F Travis Outlaw (right hand) recently had a screw inserted into his hand. He had a fracture following an incident with a punching bag, and he was also seen running with a limp. His days with the Nets appear to be numbered, as he’s a candidate for the amnesty clause.
– According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Pacers have offered G Jamal Crawford a 2-year/$10M contract with an opt-out clause to return to the free agent market in 2012. If the veteran isn’t able to find a multi-year deal to his liking, it’s possible he could accept and join the Pacers. Stein also tweeted that Indiana could still be outbid by the Wolves, as they’re interested in him as their starting two-guard.
– Cavaliers’ G Baron Davis (back) may have a herniated disc in his back. He’s getting a second opinion on the issue.
– F Carl Landry has received interest from the Hornets, Trail Blazers and Nets. Landry was previously reported to be in negotiations with the Pacers, but it’s unclear if those talks have cooled since Indiana signed F David West. He should sign somewhere soon.
– F Andrei Kirilenko would “seriously consider” signing with the Kings if he returns to the NBA. Kirilenko is currently playing in Russia, and it was previously reported that he had yet to make a decision about a return stateside. AK-47 would definitely be an interesting fit in SacTown.
– Mavericks’ G Rudy Fernandez will seek a buyout from the team according to a league source. ”It would be the best move for both sides. Rudy can be free to keep playing in Spain and the Mavs can go about their season with a sound roster.” The signings of G Delonte West and F Vince Carter may have been a precursor to this, and it will mark the end of a somewhat disappointing career in the NBA.
– Grizzlies’ G O.J. Mayo will not be traded to the Pacers for G Brandon Rush and F Josh McRoberts. There was serious speculation surrounding this deal after it was reported that the two teams would revisit talks from last season. Now, the deal is dead and Mayo has been told he won’t be traded anywhere. The Lakers are also believed to be interested in McRoberts.
– Grizzlies’ G Xavier Henry (right ankle) is on crutches and in a walking boot at practice. Henry will be sidelined up to a month due to torn ligaments in his ankle. He missed most of his rookie season with a knee injury, and now he has this issue with the campaign around the corner.
– Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com hears that the Rangers are more focused on trading for a starting pitcher than signing free agent 1B Prince Fielder or even pursuing Japanese RHP Yu Darvish. Rosenthal was told that the team’s payroll flexibility is not as significant as many in the industry previously believed. Texas will search the market for more financially-friendly pitching options.
– According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Rockies are “making a push” for OF Carlos Beltran. The Rox have also made an offer to OF Michael Cuddyer but will only sign one of the two free agents. Beltran, 34, batted .300 with a .910 OPS and 22 home runs in 142 games this past year between New York and San Francisco. He’s also drawing some level of interest from the Cardinals and Red Sox.
– According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, there are “3-4 teams” in the running for Mets’ LHP Jon Niese. The Mets aren’t actively shopping Niese, but could pull the trigger on a deal if they really like the package coming back. They’re thought to be asking specifically for a catching prospect. Niese registered a 4.40 ERA and 138/44 K/BB ratio over 157 1/3 innings this past season for New York. He’s under team control through 2015.
– According to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, the Red Sox “have an interest” in free agent LHP Joe Saunders. Saunders was non-tendered by the D’Backs on Monday night after the two sides failed to work out a multi-year agreement. The 30-year-old registered a 3.69 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 33 starts this past year and is likely to find multiple suitors on the open market. The Red Sox are believed to be interested.
– According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Red Sox have signed C Kelly Shoppach a 1-year/$1.35M deal, pending a physical. Shoppach, 31, batted just .185/.285/.340 in 253 total plate appearances this past season for the Rays, but should fit in well against lefty pitching.
– According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the Phillies have signed LHP Dontrelle Willis to a 1-year/$1M deal with performance-based incentives, pending a physical. The 29-year-old had a rough 5.00 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in 75 2/3 innings this past year for the Reds, but held lefty hitters to a .127 batting average and .369 OPS.
– Japanese RHP Chong Tae-Hyon has decided to stay in Korea. Tae-Hyon was said to be “wrapping up” a deal with the Orioles last week, but the Lotte Giants offered a 4-year/$3.1M contract, which is a pretty significant amount for a contract in the Korean Baseball Organization. The 32-year-old had a 1.48 ERA in 54 2/3 innings this past season for the SK Wyverns. He would have been the first player to jump from the KBO to MLB.
– According to FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi, LHP Tsuyoshi Wada’s 2-year deal with the Orioles is worth $8.15M with an option for 2014. Wada, 30, registered a 16-5 record, a 1.51 ERA and a 168/40 K/BB ratio in 184 2/3 innings this past year for the Softbank Hawks and will presumably jump into the starting rotation in 2012. Wada’s delivery and mechanics have drawn comparisons to LHP Jamie Moyer.
– Flyers’ F Claude Giroux (concussion) is out indefinitely. GM Paul Holmgren said that Giroux was not feeling well Tuesday morning and that the symptoms have indeed gotten worse. Giroux, who was accidentally kneed in the head by teammate Wayne Simmonds during Saturday’s game against the Lightning, is the NHL’s leading scorer with 39 points.
“Claude reported not feeling very good today. Over the past few days, his symptoms have gradually gotten worse. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion.”
– Lightning’ coach Guy Boucher doesn’t anticipate F Martin St. Louis (facial/nasal fractures) being able to play until after Christmas, at the earliest. The Tampa Bay winger suffered facial and nasal fractures after being hit around his left eye by an errant backhand shot from teammate Dominic Moore during practice. St. Louis will not be permitted to do any physical activity until the blood subsides from his eye and until that happens, there will also be no timetable for his return. St. Louis has confirmed that he will wear a visor upon his return.
– The Jets have claimed F Antti Miettinen off waivers from the Lightning. He had just signed a 2-year/$3M contract with the Bolts worth $1.5M annually.
– According to TSN, the Kings have sought permission to speak with former Flames’ head coach Darryl Sutter, and are believed to be working on a deal to make him the new Kings’ head coach later this week. Stay tuned.
– The Devils have acquired D Kurtis Foster and G Timo Pielmeier from the Ducks for F Rod Pelley, D Mark Fraser, and a 2012 7th round pick. Foster has just two points in nine games this season, but will see lots of powerplay time. Foster had 42 points in 2009-10 with the Lightning, including 26 with the man advantage, so this could potentially be a great move.
– Lightning’ F Steve Downie has been fined $2,500 for leaving the bench to take part in a scrum during Thursday’s game against the Rangers.
– Bruins’ F Brad Marchand has been fined $2,500 for slew-footing Penguins’ D Matt Niskanen in Monday night’s game.
– Oilers’ D Andy Sutton spoke out about wanting to see an appeal process instituted in the NHL for suspended players.
“There absolutely should be (an appeal process). My only course of action is that I can appeal to (NHL commissioner) Gary Bettman. That’s not going to change anything. Going forward in the new CBA we have to make strides in that regard. We should have an impartial arbitration committee that’s going to take a look at this, have my people on my side, have the NHL on their side and have an independent party that’s going to make these decisions. It’s not just one guy making all these decisions.”
– Senators’ prospect D Patrick Wiercioch (throat) has been released from hospital and has returned home. Wiercioch sustained a throat injury in the B-Sens’ Dec. 9 game versus the Norfolk Admirals.
– The NFL has suspended Steelers’ OLB James Harrison one game for his Week 14 helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns’ QB Colt McCoy. McCoy was running with the football and not in the pocket, but Harrison still landed a helmet-to-helmet blow after McCoy had thrown the ball. Harrison is expected to appeal the ruling in an effort to play in Monday’s game against the 49ers. He has a long history of suspensions and fines.
– Raiders’ coach Hue Jackson vehemently reiterated Monday that RB Darren McFadden (foot) will not require surgery. Lisfranc injuries can sometimes require surgery to fully heal, but apparently McFadden won’t need it. Jackson added that he has no idea when McFadden will be cleared to practice.
– 49ers’ coach Jim Harbaugh admitted Monday that RB Frank Gore (unknown) is playing at less than 100%. Harbaugh conceded that Gore’s health was the reason he carried the ball just 10 times in last week’s loss to the Cardinals. “He’s got some things. He’s not 100%. And we have other backs who got carries in the second half.” Gore faces a tough Steelers’ defence on Monday night.
– WrestleMania 28 is now just 3 1/2 months away – and the top matches for WWE’s biggest show of the year are starting to take shape. The main event of WrestleMania 28 will see The Rock return to singles action in his home town against the man he challenged to a match the day after last year’s WrestleMania, John Cena. We noted yesterday that WWE officials are currently planning a WWE Championship match between CM Punk and the returning Chris Jericho. On Monday’s RAW, Triple H returned and cut a promo on The Undertaker, who he has wrestled at the past two WrestleManias. According to our sources, WWE is planning to give Triple H yet another shot at ending The Streak, with Undertaker vs. Triple H 3 currently scheduled for WrestleMania as well.
– At Monday’s RAW, it was announced that the WWE Championship will be hanging above the ring in the Triple Threat main event of Sunday’s WWE TLC pay-per-view. Here is the updated card for Sunday:
TLC Match For The WWE Championship: CM Punk vs. The Miz vs. Alberto Del Rio
World Heavyweight Title Match: Mark Henry vs. Big Show
Tables Match: Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett
Ladder Match With Sledge Hammer Hanging Above The Ring: Triple H vs. Kevin Nash
Intercontinental Title Match: Cody Rhodes vs. Booker T
United States Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder
WWE: Tables, Ladders & Chairs takes place on Sunday, December 18, 2011.
– BG James, best known as the Road Dogg Jesse James, wrote the following on Twitter last night after returning to RAW:
“It sure felt good to be out there again. These last two days have been awesome for the dogglb. #ohyoudidntknow”
“I wish @RealBillyGunn was on this ride with me. We have been through a lot together and it would be cool to be sharing this with him. #OUDK”