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."

Wake-up Call: Miggy gets the boot; Rodon's rocky debut; More bad news for Cubs?

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AP

Wake-up Call: Miggy gets the boot; Rodon's rocky debut; More bad news for Cubs?

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Can Leonard Floyd break out in 2017? The Bears like the early signs

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Preview: Cubs wrap up series with Nationals today on CSN

Preview: White Sox host Yankees tonight on CSN

Bulls Talk Podcast: An NBA gone wild and Zach LaVine sit down interview

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What pushed Theo Epstein over the edge in making Miguel Montero decision: ‘It screamed out’

 

White Sox willing to overlook 'rough' patches as healthy Carlos Rodon returns

White Sox willing to overlook 'rough' patches as healthy Carlos Rodon returns

The two fastballs that soared to the backstop on Wednesday night should give you a strong indication that Carlos Rodon was far from perfect.

But in making his first start of the 2017 season, the White Sox pitcher also offered his team plenty of signals that his health isn’t going to be an issue.

Rodon returned to the mound for the first time since last September and brought the goods that made him one of baseball’s top pitching prospects several years ago. Given he’d missed three months with bursitis in the left shoulder and the potential value he offers to a franchise only half a season into its first rebuild in 20 years, that was plenty for the White Sox to overlook the rust Rodon showed in a 12-3 White Sox loss to the New York Yankees at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“He started a little rough early obviously, got some high pitch counts,” manager Rick Renteria said. “And then he kind of settled down.

“Having him back in the rotation and getting him back out there on the big league field, coming out of there feeling good, healthy. I'm sure he will continue to get better as he continues to get out there and move forward.”

Renteria said he wasn’t surprised that Rodon struggled with his command as much as he did against the Yankees. The issues the pitcher displayed in uncorking a pair of wild pitches, walking six batters and throwing strikes on only 41 of 94 pitches were also present during Rodon’s four rehab starts in the minors.

But as long as the stuff was there, the White Sox would be OK with any issues that accompanied the performance. Rodon began to alleviate those concerns immediately when he earned a called strike on the game’s first pitch with a 93-mph fastball to Brett Gardner. Featuring a four-seamer with an absurd amount of movement and a nasty slider he struggled to control, Rodon checked all the boxes the White Sox hoped for from a pitcher they believe will be a frontline starter for years to come. Rodon also was pleased by how he felt before, during and after the contest.

“I was pretty excited,” Rodon said. “I was going a little fast in the first. But it was good to be out there. Next time out, it’ll hopefully be a little better. Arm feels good, body feels good, all you can ask for.”

Well, it’s not ALL you can ask for, but it’s pretty damn good out of the gate given how slow Rodon’s return took. His four-seam fastball averaged 94.9 mph according to BrooksBaseball.Net and touched 97 mph. His two-seamer averaged 94.4 mph and touched 95. And his slider, though he couldn’t control it, nor locate it for a strike, averaged 86 mph.

“You could see (Omar Narvaez) going over to try to catch some balls that were having tremendous run,” Renteria said. “That's (Rodon). He's got some tremendous life, he's just trying to harness it the best that he can and being able to execute where he wants to get as many strikes as possible.”

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The strikes were about the only thing Rodon didn’t bring with him. He walked Gardner to start the game and issued two more free passes after a Tim Anderson error allowed a run to score and extended the first inning. Rodon threw 37 pitches in the first, only 15 for strikes.

He also reached a full count to each of the batters he faced in the second inning. Rodon walked two more with two outs in the third inning after he’d retired six batters in a row.

And there were those pesky first-inning wild pitches that resembled something out of ‘Bull Durham.’

But all in all, Rodon and the White Sox ultimately saw enough in the first outing to be pleased.

“Great stuff, great life, but the goal is to put it in the zone and let them swing it to get guys out early,” Rodon said. “That’s not what happened. I’ll get back to that.”

“It’s a tough loss, but it’s better to be with the guys out on the field grinding than sitting on the couch and watching, for sure.”