Dwight Howard trade appears to be close

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Dwight Howard trade appears to be close

From Comcast SportsNet
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Deron Williams and Dwight Howard talked about being NBA teammates four years ago during the Olympics. Now Williams knows there's speculation that it could happen soon. He's aware of reports that Orlando and Brooklyn and trying to arrange a trade -- possibly involving two other teams -- but he's not paying too much attention to that. "There's been a lot of rumors over the last year as far as he's concerned, so early on I concerned myself with it, but lately just let it play out and whatever happens, happens," Williams said Monday at training camp for the latest Olympic team. "I think we'll have a good team without him, I think we'd have an even better team with him." Howard has asked the Magic to trade him, with the Nets his preferred destination. That goes all the way back to last offseason, and Williams knows it's difficult not only for Howard, but for teammate Brook Lopez, whose name has been linked to all the trade talk. There were multiple reports Monday that the Nets and Magic were talking with the Clippers and Cavaliers about a deal that would ultimately send Howard to Brooklyn The Nets have already had a good July, acquiring All-Star guard Joe Johnson from Atlanta and getting Williams to commit to a five-year, 98 million extension, rather than join the Dallas Mavericks. Williams can finally sign the deal late Tuesday night and will be able to fully participate in the U.S. Olympic team's practices Wednesday after sitting out the contact portions for now. Getting Howard, whom Williams said there is no player like in the NBA, would make them even stronger as they open their first season in Brooklyn. "I think we'll be good, I think we'll one of the top teams in the East for sure, top teams in the NBA," Williams said, "but it just depends on how everybody jells and comes together as a team." Williams said he hasn't talked to Howard for a couple of weeks, but knows the situation has been trying for him and hopes to see a resolution soon. "For him, because I'm friends with him, so I know how tough it's been on him," Williams said. "So yeah, you want to see it end one way or another just so he can be happy and move on."

Casspi thanks Kings after trade to Pelicans: 'Definitely isn't easy'

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USATSI

Casspi thanks Kings after trade to Pelicans: 'Definitely isn't easy'

The Kings traded Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the forward to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

I want to thank the Sacramento Kings organization for the opportunity to play basketball in front of the great fans of Sacramento. My wife and I felt in Sacramento like being home and this is something we both will cherish for ever. This definitely isn't easy for me and my family to leave, and you all know how much I love our city, organization and fans but the time has come. I want to wish nothing but success to my Kings. I will definitely will follow and cheer from afar. 
Always a big part of my heart, 
Omri #18

Casspi, 28, averaged 5.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 18 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

MESA, Ariz. — Adam Rosales has a real simple plan for which infield position he chooses to try to get work at.

“Wherever there’s less guys, I go over there,” he explained with a smile.

The sun came out and the A’s finally got on the field for their first full-squad workout Monday after being rained out Sunday. That meant Rosales, back for his second go-round as an Athletic, got his first chance to prepare for what figures to be a super-utility role, which is how he’s carved out a nine-year major league career.

All indications are that he’ll be the primary backup infielder, capable of spelling Jed Lowrie at second base, Marcus Semien at shortstop, Trevor Plouffe at third and even fill in at first base or left field in a pinch.

Though Rosales, who spent 2010-12 with Oakland and re-signed in January on a one-year $1.25 million deal, is well-versed in preparing himself all over the diamond, one position in particular is one that he says is most difficult to master in limited time.

“Shortstop,” he offered without hesitation. “There’s a lot more going on there, a lot less room for error. At shortstop, especially with a guy like Mike Trout running, you’ve got to be in good rhythm, good timing, get rid of the ball and make an accurate throw.”

Depending on how the A’s prioritize their 25-man roster, Rosales could very well be the only backup infielder. That means fellow infielders Joey Wendle and Chad Pinder would start in the minors if the A’s were to keep a fifth outfielder or third catcher. But because the A’s have some players who can fill in at multiple spots, there’s numerous ways they can choose to configure the roster when it comes time to pare it down.

Rosales, 33, said walking back into the A’s clubhouse for the first time made him “feel like I’m back home.” So much of the support staff — equipment guys, clubhouse guys — are the same as when he was here before. He was also happy to see former infield mate Mark Ellis walk through the door Sunday. He says Ellis, a teammate from 2010-11, instilled in him the importance of being a great defender. Ellis is working as a part-time spring instructor.

“He told me, the No. 1 reason he was in the big leagues was because of this,” Rosales said, holding up his glove. “I was such a young player then. I’d always work with him, how to turn double plays. Just to have him around is awesome.”

NOTEWORTHY: Sonny Gray and Kendall Graveman were among the pitchers who faced hitters for the first time this season. Bruce Maxwell caught Gray, his first time behind the plate with Gray other than the one inning Gray threw in an abbreviated start at Anaheim toward the end of last season. Maxwell said Gray’s changeup in particular looked good.

Manager Bob Melvin has been very impressed early on with Graveman’s command. Graveman said he’s trying to improve his changeup, in an effort to induce weak contact from righties and get them on the their front foot, which could then make him more effective on the inside corner.

CAMP BATTLE: There could be a good fight for the seventh and final spot in the bullpen, and it would seem being left-handed could give someone an edge. Sean Doolittle is the only lefty currently projected among the A’s top six relievers. Melvin had good things to say about Daniel Coulombe, a lefty who made 35 appearances in relief last year and also saw a bit of time with Oakland in 2015. Coulombe posted a 4.53 ERA last season but struck out 54 in 47 2/3 innings.