CBS Sports mock draft projects New York Giants moving on at quarterback

The New York Giants are set to have a pair of high first round draft picks if the standings hold, and there’s no solid verdict yet on which way the team is likely to go with them. That’s because the Giants are essentially on the verge of needing a complete rebuild, and have plenty of spots where they could add talent.

With that being said, some spots are more in need of the talent than others. The latest mock draft from CBS Sports will be controversial with Giants fans, because it has the team making some arguably questionable decisions in regards to which positions to target.

New York Giants take LSU CB Derek Stingley Jr. with 6th pick

CBS has the Giants choosing to target the cornerback position with the 6th overall pick. While James Bradberry has indeed had a down season compared to last year, that would still be quite the strange decision from the front office considering the other larger needs the Giants are dealing with at the moment.

Stingley would make the, at times, stingy Giants secondary even better. He has legitimate All-Pro skills on the boundary.

Stingley is the top ranked cornerback in this year’s class, and it does look like he could have the All-Pro skills that CBS mentions. But at this point, the Giants having better coverage isn’t going to help much if the offense can’t score points and the defensive line can’t put pressure on the quarterback.

It’s safe to say the Giants aren’t going this route, and that there would be an uproar if the Giants GM ignored every other need to take a corner.

Giants take Pitt QB Kenny Pickett with the 7th pick

This one is a bit more spicy. The Giants taking a quarterback in this draft isn’t impossible, but it would be a majorly controversial move. Still, CBS projects the Giants taking Kenny Pickett with the 7th pick and moving on from Daniel Jones.

Pickett’s a New Jersey kid with loads of collegiate experience. He’ll understand what it means to be the quarterback in New York City’s media market. He can ball too, thanks to deceptive improvisation, above-average arm talent, and good accuracy.

The fact of the matter is, even if the verdict on Daniel Jones will potentially be decided after this season, the Giants aren’t in a good position to replace him this year regardless of what they decide. Even if the organization wants to have a clean slate and move on from Gettleman’s quarterback, this is an uncertain class without a standout player such as Joe Burrow or Trevor Lawrence.

Additionally, the Giants have one of the worst offensive lines in football right now. Just like many have argued that even more successful quarterbacks would fail with the Giants due to their poor pass blocking, it’s easy to argue that even a top tier prospect would crash and burn when forced to play behind the Giants line.

All in all, it’s not entirely out of the question for the Giants to move on at quarterback this year. We’ve seen a trend recently of NFL teams being less patient with the position, after all. But such a move would be extremely controversial to say the least, and would miss a chance to address the rest of the things that are holding back the roster on both sides of the ball.

Bulls 119, Knicks 115: Chicago stifles triumphant Knicks comeback

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The New York Knicks faced off against the Chicago Bulls in a shootout on Thursday night, with the final score 119-115. Despite a resilient effort, the Knicks deserved to lose this game, finding themselves down 21 points in the first half before mounting an incredible comeback in the third quarter. Unfortunately, New York was unable to extract a victory, losing their second consecutive contest by four points or less.

The Knicks took a late lead for just a moment before DeMar DeRozan hit a number of shots to give the Bulls an advantage. In fact, DeRozan finished with 34 points, hitting 12-of-19 shots from the field and 10-of-11 free throws. He also contributed six rebounds and three assists.

DeRozan wasn’t the only Chicago star to post double-digit points, as Nikola Vucevic posted 27, hitting 10-of-18 shots from the field and 5-of-9 from three-point range. Zach LaVine, who shot lights out, recorded 27 as well, hitting 50% of his shots from the field and 3-of-6 from deep.

The Knicks found their groove in the second half partly because they began to understand Chicago’s game. With smaller players, the Knicks played physically and dominated the interior, as Julius Randle posted 30, hitting 14-of-21 shots from the field and picking up 12 rebounds.

The starting team as a whole played well for New York in the 2nd half, with Alec Burks contributing 16 points over 43 minutes and Evan Fournier posting 16, shooting 40% from three-point range. Fournier also earned four steals in the game, a high for both teams.

Off the bench, Obi Toppin scored eight points, recording two steals and four rebounds. While he allowed a few costly turnovers, he played with energy and made several defensive stops to keep the Knicks in the game.

Unfortunately, the difference in this game was the turnovers, as the Knicks posted 18, eight of which came in the first quarter. They managed to fight back in the second half, with Chicago turing the ball over 15 times.

Despite another resilient effort, New York will go home tonight with a somber feeling, exerting maximum effort but unable to secure victory. They will look forward to the Denver Nuggets, who should offer a better opportunity at victory compared to Brooklyn or Chicago. Their next game is on Saturday afternoon at 1 PM, so they have a bit of time to rest up before then.

Yankees: Jameson Taillon has great reaction to lockout, shining light on health implications

New York Yankees, Jameson Taillon

With the MLB lockout underway, all players can do is wait patiently for the owners and Players Union to find a new agreement. When it comes to the New York Yankees, they will be eyeing the beginning of a new free agency once the lockout ends. General manager Brian Cashman failed to make any moves prior to December 1, indicating a more active spring when things hopefully come to a conclusion.

In the meantime, players are unable to receive treatment from their team specialists and doctors, which could have health implications for next season.

Yankees’ starting pitcher Jameson Taillon changed his picture to a blank image as the MLB tries to rattle the Players Union for their desires. The players want the opportunity for big contracts earlier, whereas owners ideally like to keep as much money as possible, for obvious reasons.

Taillon took the opportunity to take a friendly shot at the MLB, indicating he wouldn’t be able to work with his physical therapists from the team after receiving surgery on his ankle at the end of the 2021 season.

How did Taillon perform for the Yankees?

Taillon had a disappointing first year with the Yankees after being traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates prior to the 2021 season. He posted a 4.30 ERA over 29 games, recording a 8.73 strikeouts per nine rate, the highest of his career, and a 2.74 walk rate.

Taillon saw an increase in usage of his fastball and curveball compared to his 2019 season. His fastball hovered around 94 mph, the lowest of his career. It was clear that two seasons off after underoging his second Tommy John surgery impacted his performance, which was to be expected.

While his arm managed to escape unscathed, slightly tearing ligaments in his ankle forced the Yankees to rely on others when they needed Jameson at the end of the campaign. Hopefully, he can return to full health despite the lockout and not having his team doctors on hand.

Bellator 272 Preview: Sergio Pettis – Kyoji Horiguchi

Tomorrow night in the main event of Bellator 272, we will see a battle for the bantamweight title. The champion Sergio Pettis (21-5) takes on the former champion Kyoji Horiguchi (29-3). Horiguchi will be looking to regain the title that he never lost inside the cage.

Back in 2019 at Bellator 222, Horiguchi captured the bantamweight title when he defeated Darrion Caldwell by decision. That win made him a two-promotion champion between Bellator and RIZIN. However, Horiguchi never ended up defending his Bellator title.

Horiguchi went back to RIZIN and lost to Kai Asakura. He ended up relinquishing the Bellator title and secured a rematch with Asakura where he was able to avenge the loss back in December of last year. Horiguchi won by knockout.

The loss that he suffered was his first loss since 2015 when he lost to Demetrious Johnson for the UFC flyweight title. There are a lot of people betting on Horiguchi tomorrow, but he’s going to have his hands full with Sergio Pettis.

Sergio Pettis has gotten off to a blistering start since jumping from the UFC. After a solid run in the UFC which included wins over Joseph Benavidez and Brandon Moreno, Pettis made the jump to Bellator in 2020.

So far, he’s gone a perfect 3-0 with the promotion which includes capturing the bantamweight title. In May he took the title away from Juan Archuleta when he was able to outpoint him over the course of five rounds.

Bellator 272 Prediction

This is such a fantastic matchup and I really can’t wait for this Bellator title fight. I’m expecting this fight to take place on the feet and it will be really interesting to see who is able to utilize their gameplan the best.

For Pettis, the key is going to be keeping the fight tactical from range. I really like the development I’ve seen in his striking and if he can make it a point fight, he’s going to be in good shape. I also like his ability to take things to the ground and use his ground game if need be.

That said, the former Bellator champion has a lot of pop in his hands and that power could prove to be a big advantage. Horiguchi can end this fight with his power and I think his power has the ability to throw Pettis off and make things difficult for the current champion.

I’m expecting both men to find success in this one. I think Horiguchi is going to rock Pettis in the early rounds, however, I think Pettis will come on strong in the later rounds. This fight is going to the cards and I think the judges might event be split. In the end, I see Sergio Pettis keeping his title and remaining Bellator’s best.

Prediction: Sergio Pettis by Split Decision

Yankees News: Spending big after the lockout, 5 star free agents when negotiating starts back up

carlos correa, yankees

Top links for the New York Yankees as lockout commences:

Yankees need to start spending big when impending lockout ends: Sherman – New York Post

General manager Brian Cashman was incredibly patient before the lockout commenced on the evening of December 1. The New York Yankees are preparing to come out of the gates firing once the MLB and Players Union come to an agreement, but that could be months away with the two sides on opposite ends of the spectrum.
However, Cashman indicated he had a bit of flexibility this off-season financially, and there are a number of star free agents available on the market once things open back up.
With a number of teams picking up new players, including the Texas Rangers and New York Mets, there will be less competition for some of the bigger prospects when the lockout ends. The Yankees will undoubtedly have their eyes set on a new shortstop, whether that be Carlos Correa or Trevor Story. Both offer strengths and weaknesses, but Correa missed out on the opportunity to cash in early.
Ultimately, it seems evident that owner Hal Steinbrenner told Cashman to sit still while the lockout proceeds. Clearly, Steinbrenner feels as though changes will be made that will benefit the Yankees, which may help them in their quest to land players at a cheaper price point.

5 star free agents Yankees can sign when lockout ends – Yanks Go Yard

When things go back to normal, the Yankees have plenty of talent to pick from on the market. As stated above, Carlos Correa represents the best of the bunch, despite a back injury that required significant treatment during the 2021 season. They can also pursue an option like Kyle Schwarber, featuring a big lefty bat.

There’s also the prospect of a player like Freddie Freeman, who is expected to stick with the Atlanta Braves, but if the Yankees come calling with a long-term deal, he could be persuaded to leave.

Then you have options like Trevor Story, who the Yankees could land on a short-term deal, representing a stopgap while they wait for some of their minor league talents to reach the majors. However, reports indicated that Correa has been scouted for playing third base as well, and if he’s willing to move in the future after being offered a massive contract, that could be a beneficial deal for the Bombers.

Nonetheless, nobody knows how long the lockout will last, but we will be here every step of the way to prepare for the future.

Evan Fournier relishes first taste of Knicks-Nets rivalry: It felt like a home game

Evan Fournier almost ended up as the hero for the New York Knicks when he sank a game-tying triple with 17 seconds left. But unheralded Brooklyn Nets’ forward James Johnson had other plans.

The Nets drew the first blood in the Battle of New York this season with a gut-wrenching 112-110 win over the Knicks Tuesday night before a sellout crowd of 18,081. It was the largest attendance to a Nets’ home game in franchise history. Thanks, in large part, to the Knicks fans who invaded the Barclays Center in Atlantic Avenue.

“That was my first time playing Brooklyn as a Knick. It was fun. It felt like a home game,” Fournier said after Wednesday’s practice. “The atmosphere was great. It’s too bad we couldn’t get a win.”

It was jarring to watch Kevin Durant and James Harden, two of the league’s superstars, getting booed at their homecourt. But the Knicks fans made it happen, drowning the Nets’ fans at times. Even Julius Randle got MVP chants in his lone trip at the line.

“It was cool,” Fournier said. “We would have won like nobody cares when you lose.”

Fournier said they were all upset they lost a big game. But they were encouraged that it was just a one-possession game against the preseason title favorites.

“So the difference between winning and losing in a lot of games is very, very small. In a lot of games, we were up 15 and blew up leads. So, I think we can be really good and you know, I’m talking about elite, but we have to do it for 48 minutes,” Fournier said. “And when we start doing that, we’re going to take off.”

Inconsistency had been the Knicks’ biggest woe this season. But 20 games into the season, Tom Thibodeau made a drastic change to the lineup, dropping the 6-foot-1 Kemba Walker from the rotation in favor of the 6-foot-6 Alec Burks. After two games, the Knicks look more like last season’s team that grinded out wins with Thibodeau’s signature defense.

They held the Nets to just eight triples on 28.6 percent shooting. But Durant took over down the stretch with 11 points in the final 5:45 of the game. The Nets entered the game averaging 12.9 3s on a 37.5 percent mark. The Knicks perimeter defender is much improved with Burks in the starting lineup. In Burks’ first starting gig, they limited the Hawks to only nine triples on a dreadful 24.3 percent clip.

One of the upsides of the Burks experiment is his size which gave them versatility on switching defense. It threw off Trae Young and the Hawks over the weekend. But the Nets posed a different challenge.

“We didn’t get to switch much really because just the way [Brooklyn] played,” Fournier said. “They played so much isolation and that they don’t really screen so much so it didn’t really have an impact [Tuesday night].”

Their third showdown with the Chicago Bulls this season Thursday night at home will offer a different challenge to the refurbished Knicks’ defense. The Bulls have more weapons offensively than the Nets, with the trio of Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic. Add defensive-minded guards Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso to the mix, who can also hurt on offense.

“They give you a different challenge because DeMar is such a unique player. He operates out of the midrange which is a lost art nowadays. Zach is extremely explosive. They’re just a well-built [team],” Fournier said.

“They have Vooch, who is back, that can really stretch the floor as a big. And they play hard. We owe them one and [Thursday’s game] will be interesting. The first two games in Chicago were intense, hard-fought battles and I expect that [on Thursday].”

The Bulls will be without key reserve Coby White, who has entered the health and safety protocols after testing positive for Coronavirus. White had 14 pts, hitting big shots in the fourth quarter, against the Knicks in the Bulls’ 109-103 win last month.

The Bulls and the Knicks enter Thursday night’s showdown with a winning record after at least 20 games for the first time since 2013, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

It will be a defensive slugfest as the Bulls currently sport the fourth-best defensive rating in the league (105.4). On the other hand, the Knicks are starting to regain their defensive identity after the recent change. It’s one of Thibodeau’s primary considerations when he made the bold move to yank a well-respected and accomplished player like Walker. 

Fournier said the chemistry of the starting lineup is fine. Except for a lackadaisical start in the third quarter where they dug a 16-point hole against the Nets, the starters looked more compact and engaged for the most part since the lineup change.

“I thought we started the game well. You know, AB is a really good player. He’s smart. We’re basketball players. We know how to make plays for each other. We’re gonna get a feel for each other and keep growing.”

Burks is an instant hit with the staring lineup recording season-highs in scoring in two consecutive games. Over the last two games he started, Burks is averaging 24.0 points and four triples on a 42/47/73 shooting split along with 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 2.0 steals.

Perhaps in respect to Walker, whom he shared a bond dating back to last season in Boston, and with just a couple of games in, Fournier deferred giving his judgment on the new makeup of the starting lineup.

“It’s kind of hard to answer because you need to see a bigger sample and get lessons from it. Kemba and Alec are different players. They bring different things to the table,” Fournier said. “So it’s a wait-and-see, really.”

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Knicks: NBA admits officiating crew missed two big calls in loss to Brooklyn

knicks, julius randle

The New York Knicks fell to the Brooklyn Nets due to a few bad calls in the waning moments on Tuesday evening by a score of 110–112. The Knicks gave Brooklyn a run for their money, despite crawling back from a double-digit deficit in the third quarter.

The Knicks have had far more success with Alec Burks at starting point guard after taking Kemba Walker out of the rotation. The analytics indicated that the Knicks have the worst defense in the NBA per 100 possessions when Walker is on the floor, and when he’s off, they have the best defense per 100 possessions. Ultimately, head coach Tom Thibodeau tried his best to retain him and utilize him appropriately, but his homecoming has been nothing but disappointing thus far.

Nonetheless, forward Julius Randle was extremely vocal after the loss to Brooklyn, specifically regarding poor officiating. In fact, he indicated that the referees told him he wasn’t getting calls in the paint because he was “too strong.”

Well, Randle was proved right, as the league admitted he was fouled with 1:49 remaining in the game on a jump shot.

According to the New York Post, the league admitted the officiating crew made two mistakes in the final moments of the game, dictating the result:

The league ruled the foul was called correctly, but there were two mistakes — both that went against the Knicks. The NBA said there should’ve been a foul called on James Harden when he made contact with Julius Randle’s arm with 1:49 remaining on a jump shot. A frustrated Randle was later given a technical foul after arguing with the officials. Additionally, on the play that Johnson was fouled by Robinson, LaMarcus Aldridge should’ve been called for a three-second violation.

In addition, Kevin Durant executed a clear as day double dribble, and James Harden traveled with a big jump stop, landing on the same foot he jumped off of, which by definition is a foul.

The officiating crew clearly gave Brooklyn more calls, despite Knick fans overwhelming the Barclays Center.

Thibodeau is already thinking about the future, trying his best to leave the past in the past without getting too frustrated.

“You just got to move on. That’s the league,” Thibodeau said. “You can’t think about what happened yesterday. You have to think about what’s coming. So that’s where we are.”

The Mets expressed interest in infielder Kris Bryant before lockout

New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant

Despite having acquired Eduardo Escobar and the expectation of having Robinson Cano back for the 2022 campaign, the New York Mets reportedly expressed interest in third baseman Kris Bryant before MLB owners decided to implement a lockout.

Per the terms of the lockout, there will be no free agent signings, trades, and players won’t be able to use team facilities, not even to rehab injuries. Everything is frozen until MLB and the players’ association can hammer out a new CBA (collective bargaining agreement) deal.

Besides the Mets, the Los Angeles Angels, San Diego Padres, and even the Colorado Rockies were expressing interest in the former Rookie of the Year and MVP of the National League. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies, and the Houston Astros, also contacted Bryant’s agents.

Bryant will have to wait until the lockout is over to sign with a team, which he is reportedly comfortable with.

The Mets are “probably set” on the position players side, but…

During Max Scherzer’s introductory press conference, Mets GM Billy Eppler mentioned the possibility of adding another position player during this offseason, but said the organization is “being mindful” of not harming its long-term outlook.

“We do feel pretty good about this position player group, but want to remain opportunistic as we navigate the rest of the winter and look for areas that we can improve the club,” Eppler said.

Recently, Andy Martino of SNY had reported the Mets were “probably set on the position player side” after adding outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha, in addition to Escobar.

However, a trade involving infielder Jeff McNeil (after the lockout) could change things, and the Mets could theoretically fit Bryant under that scenario.

For now, everything will have to be put on hold until owners and players can alleviate their issues and agree to a new CBA deal, which doesn’t seem it will be soon.

Yankees Analysis: GM Brian Cashman mystifies, but this isn’t the first time

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

New York Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman is one of the best in MLB but doesn’t always work in ways that Yankee fans want or appreciate. So far, this offseason, we have seen some of the biggest names on the free-agent market being scooped up by teams paying insane contracts that the Yankees want no part of. That is understandable, with two monster contracts on the books already, and one that will come close to those when they extend superstar Aaron Judge. 11 of the 15 top names in baseball have gone to other teams this off-season.

For any Yankee fan that thinks that Brian Cashman doesn’t know what he is doing, as he seeming is sitting on his hands, make no mistake about it, Cashman has a plan, but you won’t be aware of it until after the lockout, imposed last night, is over. That’s when he will attempt to repeat his magic, as he did with DJ LeMahieu when fans were hoping for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. This is not the first time that Cashman has waited for the last moment.

For those that remember the 2013 season, Cashman appeared to do nothing, even saying he wouldn’t sign Mark Teixeira, but then at the last moment, he did. At the end of that season, he let Robinson Cano go. In 2014 they would stay under the 2014 luxury tax threshold and then went on to spend $458 million on Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Masahiro Tanaka. I have learned over the years that you should never anticipate Brian Cashman, he works undercover with fans, never fully understanding how he works.

The Tampa Bay Rays have proven that you don’t have to spend the most to put a championship team on the field. The Atlanta Braves, who just won the World Series, had a payroll half of what the Yankees had.

Owner Hal Steinbrenner is not his father, a free spender that didn’t always spend wisely, nor is he Steve Cohen of the Mets, who seems to have a bottomless pit of money and believes the more he spends, the more his team will win. Spending $43 million for a pitcher who couldn’t pitch down the stretch because of a dead arm may turn out to be one of the worst deals in baseball history. It is already the biggest contract annually to be awarded to any player in baseball history.

As it stands right, now that the lockout has been imposed, the Yankees are expected to spend about $220 million but still don’t have a shortstop, number two starter, a first baseman, and center field back up. When the lockout is over, Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman, and Trevor Story will still be on the board, along with pitching and center field help. With the lockout expected to last quite a while, Cashman will put his plan in action and quickly.

Much to the chagrin of Yankee fans, news over the holidays will not include much information as to what the team will look like in 2022, rather it will be filled with the less interesting CBA progress and when the 2022 season might start. Stay tuned.

The Yankees preached patience, but the approach was risky and now they’ll have to wait some more

New York Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner

The moment is here. MLB owners are imposing a lockout, which means that all trades, signings, and transactions involving major league players are frozen. There can be no communication between teams and players on their major league rosters. Many teams moved quickly to sign their targets before the expected lockout date, which was Wednesday, December 1, but the New York Yankees didn’t do anything.

The Yankees, it seems, are content by leaving all major moves and roster improvements for after the lockout. It was a risky approach, because teams left the available player pool dry, but there are still ballplayers out there capable of significantly improving the Bombers.

The problem with the Yankees’ approach is that they don’t have any margin for error now. The offseason started with five star-level shortstops, and there are just two now: Carlos Correa and Trevor Story.

There are only two top shortstops for at least five deep-pocketed, shortstop-needy squads: the Yankees, the Los Angeles Angels, the Boston Red Sox, the Houston Astros, and the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Yankees don’t have any room for error

If the Yankees miss out on Correa or Story, they risk ending up with Andrelton Simmons, Jose Iglesias, or Freddy Galvis, and that’s not the idea in an offseason in which the team implied it would have more resources to spend.

The lockout can take a few days (unlikely), several weeks (likely), or even months. For now, games aren’t cancelled, but if February rolls around and the owners and players haven’t agreed on a new CBA, then it may be time to worry.

It could be some time before we know which upgrades the Yankees will make to their roster. They already missed out on Corey Seager, Javier Baez, Marcus Semien, Starling Marte, Max Scherzer, Robbie Ray, Kevin Gausman, Justin Verlander, and other stellar performers.

However, there may still be some interesting players in free agency for them, most notably Correa and pitchers Carlos Rodon, Clayton Kershaw, and Yusei Kikuchi. The Yankees have no choice but to wait and see at this point.