Barcelona want fee in the region of £17m for 18-year-old Ilaix Moriba; the midfielder also has interest from RB Leipzig; Tottenham sold Moussa Sissoko to Watford and are also prepared to sell Tanguy Ndombele
Tottenham are in talks to sign Ilaix Moriba from Barcelona.
A source in Spain has indicated that an agreement is close and personal terms with the player will not be an issue.
Barcelona want a fee of 17 million pounds (20 million euros) for the 18-year-old central midfielder.
However, Moriba also has interest from RB Leipzig, who Sky Sports News reported a few days ago was in talks to sign him.
Joan Laporta recently confirmed Moriba will be sold after turning down offers to sign a new contract at the Nou Camp.
Spurs sold midfielder Moussa Sissoko to Watford on Friday and are also prepared to sell Tanguy Ndombele if his valuation is met.
However, the 18-year-old, who has two caps for Senegal, will stay in Ligue 1 for the rest of the season.
The defensive midfielder played 25 times for Metz last season, scoring four goals and having played all three games so far.
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About a month into the start of training camp for the 2021-22 NBA season, which will eventually return to a traditional timeline, Caesars Sportsbook released over/under win totals for all 30 teams on Wednesday. Private. No real surprises at the top: Brooklyn Nets (54.5), Milwaukee Bucks (53.5), Los Angeles Lakers (51.5), Philadelphia Sixers (51.5), Utah Jazz (51.5) and the Phoenix Suns (50.5) are the six teams with -50-line wins.
At the bottom, the Oklahoma City Thunder (22.5), Orlando Magic (24.5), Houston Rockets (24.5), Cleveland Cavaliers (25.5), Detroit Pistons (26.5) and San Antonio Spurs (29. ,5) are six teams under 30 years old.
Seriously injured, all those predictions sound right to me. You can argue about actual winning totals (that’s the point of gambling), but in general, the top six will be really good teams and the bottom six will stink.
That leaves 18 teams somewhere in between, and many of those teams are harder to predict even overall. That’s what we’re focusing on in this section: High Variance Group. Here are five teams with what I would consider a range of potential regular-season outcomes.
- Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson is the fulcrum on which the Golden State season will finally rest. If he returns to All-Star level in a relatively short period of time, the Warriors are an elite team, perhaps on the short list of contenders, that could outstrip their 49.5 win total. in the fight for a seed out of four. If it takes Thompson a while to return, and even longer to find top form, Golden State will likely stay put until the All-Star breaks.
The Warriors have made solid moves during the season. Otto Porter Jr., Andre Iguodala and Nemanja Bjelica should stabilize rotation. Even before Thompson’s return, there was a scenario where Jordan Poole continued to flourish, Andrew Wiggins supporting his solid two-way season, and James Wiseman alongside rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody proving themselves ready. meaningfully contribute to putting Golden State in a good venue with the potential to be great playoff time.
There’s also a scenario where Poole and Wiggins pull back, Wiseman and the rookies aren’t ready, Iguodala is more of a mentor than a key player at this stage, and Thompson isn’t quite the same as leaving Warriors, as they are currently built, play around in a Western Conference with a large margin of error.
And that’s if Stephen Curry, 33, and Draymond Green, 31, stay healthy all season. If that doesn’t happen, forget it. The Warriors may be scrambling for everything they’re worth just to make it to the knockouts, or they may be a contender. That’s a big variance. And that doesn’t even include the scenario where they make a big deal and shake up everything we’ve just talked about. Indeed, Warriors can go many different ways.
- Chicago Bulls
The optimist will point out that the Bulls can be an elite offensive team. The pessimist will remind you that Chicago’s defense can be terrible. The 41.5 win line that Caesars put for the Bulls reflects the balance between the two teams, predicting them to be more or less a mediocre team.
That said, an argument can be made that Chicago could end up being a lot better or worse than that predicted. Zach LaVine could be the next Devin Booker, an incredibly talented goalscorer waiting to shed the label of good-bad when surrounded by legitimate talent. Nikola Vucevic is a big player at All-Star level. DeMar DeRozan has beaten the analytical crowd over the years, but he’s still a super-stellar mid-ranger.
DeRozan ran a pick-and-roll with Vucevic, who can dash to the 3-point line, with LaVine ready for secondary action and Lonzo Ball and Patrick Williams positioned in opposite corners is an idea that you can pass. In LaVine, DeRozan, and Vucevic, you have three people who can dominate individual matches and let things flow from there. Coby White can score from the bench. Alex Caruso does a little bit of everything.
And the defense is probably not that bad. On Friday, the Bulls traded Lauri Markkanen to Cleveland in a three-team deal that included Portland and brought in Derrick Jones Jr., who could wreak havoc on a long, athletic, highly variable defender. Caruso, Ball and Williams are all classy defenders. LaVine improved last season and he showed at the Olympics that when he wants to commit, which he should do this year with a real shot to win, he has could be a good defender. Vucevic is a pretty solid center back, but that can work in the regular season (backup center is a big flaw). Throw in a little or a lot, good luck, and there’s a world in which Bulls can get enough stops to give a chance to act.
But there’s also the potential for a big setback: Walker can’t stay healthy, Randle settles in a middle ground between what he’s been in his entire career and what he was last season, Barrett just doesn’t materialize when glimpses of a steady jumper and suddenly, “The Knicks are back!” dilapidated frontage back to the subdivision. No scenario is hard to imagine.
- Portland Trail Blazers
For all the talk of Damian Lillard not being able to compete for the title with the Blazers as it is now, this is still a really good team with one of the five best starting lineups in the league. Depth and defense will matter. On Friday, Portland acquired Larry Nance Jr., an elite defender. That might help you. Neil Olshey hopes his new coach Chauncey Billups will fix the rest.
The viability of that theory depends on what you think “fix” means. Should the Blazers be a bottom three? Are not. But it’s best that they can defend the bottom half, even with Nance. The bottom line is they have Lillard, Norman Powell and CJ McCollum, and the individual scorer – perhaps with a little more movement set up by Billups – will continue to be the mainstay of this team. And it is a good backbone.
The X-factor, of course, is Lillard. It feels like a formal commercial request is lurking just around the corner, and if that happens, even though he has a contract for the next four seasons (player option in 2025), every project guess won’t show up in Portland. If Lillard goes, McCollum, Robert Covington and perhaps Jusuf Nurkic won’t be far behind. This can clear up quickly.
But for now, Portland is being forgotten as a good team. I could easily see the Blazers staying together and battling the likes of Phoenix and Utah for a seed in the top four. Lillard is great. And for now, the Blazers still have him.
- Los Angeles Clippers
Kawhi Leonard could very well miss the whole season. It will be interesting to see Paul George return to his Indiana days when he was an alpha clearly expected to lead a contentious team. I like his chance. George looked like a top 10 player in the world when Leonard made it through the knockout stages last year. He’s arguably better suited to that sort of obvious type, despite the pressure to produce, than he’s forced to find the sweet spot next to or behind other stars.
If you think Terance Mann could be what he’s been in the playoffs all season, and you like the addition of Eric Bledsoe, and you believe Nicolas Batum has a really good year with him, and important Most, if you really believe that Reggie Jackson is, like, the point guard of this big time, George enough to keep the Clippers in the top half of the Western Conference. If Leonard can come back by the playoffs, you’ve got a contender.
But all of that feels fragile. It is not unreasonable for the Clippers to fall into a position of play. We’ll see what happens to the Warriors, the Mavericks and Jamal Murray and the Nuggets. If the Blazers survive, and you score in the Lakers, Jazz and Suns, the Clippers don’t have to fall too far, you know, fall pretty far.
Boston Celtics: Josh Richardson looks like a commercial contender, and if the Celtics get it right, they could climb the candidate ladder with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown leading the way. But there’s also a chance that this team, for reasons that aren’t easily identifiable, just won’t have it, like last season, and another day with the play-in league is in its future.
New Orleans Pelicans: They could be the team that didn’t play in the playoffs from a year ago that made the leap. Produced there. Brandon Ingram is an All-Star at the border and we know about Zion Williamson. We’ll see how the Lonzo Ball-for-Devonte ‘Graham swap works. It is possible that the Pelicans had raised hopes with Zion, only to find themselves on the clock even keeping him long.
After months of speculation about Damian Lillard’s future, the Portland Trail Blazers made their biggest move of the season. The three-team trade that allegedly sent Derrick Jones Jr and a protected first-round pick to the Chicago Bulls did not bring in another star for Portland, nor did it mark the beginning of a tear. However, Larry Nance Jr. made the team materially better.
Nance is the kind of buyout that former Blazers coach Terry Stotts has certainly had to pray for over the past few seasons, a player in a high-profile role who cashed in on the defence. Portland is in dire need of a defensive upgrade and especially needs this versatility. Unlike Stotts, new coach Chauncey Billups will have staff go small and experiment with different averages without compromise. In today’s NBA, flexibility is almost a requirement.
This is still a team built around Lillard and CJ McCollum, but it’s starting to sound like the kind of team you’d want to build around Lillard and McCollum. Norman Powell, acquired on the trade deadline and renewed this season, gives the Blazers another reliable source of scoring. Robert Covington, acquired before last season, is a leading back-up and another fast shooter. Nance provided them with some of the passing they received from Jusuf Nurkic, mixed with the athleticism and changeability that drew them to Jones. Even so, Portland’s offense was highly rated with Jones on the field last season, and their defense was terrible as Carmelo Anthony and Enes Kanter replaced the bench.
Nance doesn’t live aloof, but he’s done 36.9 percent of catches and three-shots over the past three seasons. He can search for Lillard, he can make space in the floor and he is a threat in a tunneling position. The Billups don’t need to part with the five starting points (Lillard-McCollum-Powell-Covington-Nurkic) that beat rivals by 14.2 points out of 100 possessions last season, according to Cleaning The Glass, but Nance could slip right away if he does. Beginners get hurt. Building on the Blazers’ season in which they also replaced Kanter and Anthony with Cody Zeller, Tony Snell and Ben McLemore, the front office is hopeful that, with a strong start and a more balanced roster, counter injury, they were able to show Lillard that they weren’t that far away.
If nothing else, the plan is clear now. In the absence of a move that would all cost years to franchise for draft options, Portland made a win-win move that costs a one-time draft. Instead of going with an entirely new strategy this season, they tried to execute it better. Instead of flattening the list, they once again tweaked it.
In a basketball sense, the risk is that, even if Nance has an All-Defense-caliber season, adding him (and minus Kanter and Anthony) may not be enough to turn the 29th-ranked defense into a capable one. . In a more holistic sense, the risk is that, as Nance might seem to fit, Lillard might claim anyway. Year after year, Portland has followed the path of step-by-step improvement, betting on the foundation it has laid. The stakes are higher this time.
Though sometimes seen as cumbersome and unnecessary these days, hyphenated names do have noble roots – quite literally. They became popular among English nobility in the 15th century as a way to keep the bride’s surname alive for generations to come. This explains why my freshman college roommates, who had only seen my name before meeting me, were expecting a classy British teenager in a school uniform to walk through the entrance to the dormitory. .
Hyphenated names no longer discriminate on the basis of economic status and can now be found across all segments of society worldwide. However, they may be on their way out.
Following the explosion of hyphenated names in the 1980s and 1990s in the United States, activity has slowed in recent years due to logistical problems associated with naming extremely long names containing one character. often considered “illegal” by computer software. Also, people with hyphenated names will have a hard time naming their children, as adding three or four surnames doesn’t seem like a sustainable option.
We can see this happening in the NBA. According to the Basketball Reference database, 20 active players have hyphenated names. Only one, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, was drafted this year, after no hyphenated players were drafted last year. The writing could be on the wall, and it could mark a dramatic decline in hyphenated NBA names for at least a generation.
So while we can, let’s celebrate those of us with double-barreled names – players so great they named them twice. Last year, I compiled a list