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With reports suggesting that free-agent guard J.R. Smith is close to signing with the Los Angeles Lakers for the rest of the 2019-20 season, one of the team’s key rotation players, forward/guard Danny Green, offered his thoughts on the matter in a recent podcast appearance.

As quoted by ClutchPoints, Green appeared on Tuesday’s edition of the Battle for L.

A. podcast, where he discussed multiple topics with hosts Tomer Azarly and Ryan Ward. Talking about the possibility of Smith joining the Lakers in time for the resumption of the season later this month, the veteran wingman said that he’s a fan of the 34-year-old’s game, adding that he “deserves an opportunity” to keep on playing in the NBA, much like other longtime mainstays such as Carmelo Anthony and Jamal Crawford.

“Professionally been in this league for a long time, I have seen him, we from the same area, he’s from the northeast, I’ve seen him workout here and there. He’s ready, he looks like he’s been ready for this call for a minute. We’ll see how it goes, it’s above my pay grade. I don’t make those decisions. But if he does get the opportunity, whether it’s with us or with another team. He’ll be a great addition to wherever he goes.”

Given that Green, much like Smith, is frequently used as a shooting guard, it’s not clear whether both veterans will be in direct competition with each other for minutes once the restart is underway.

  Harry How / Getty Images

As of Monday, reports suggested that the Lakers were in the process of finalizing a deal with Smith, who has not played in the NBA since November 2018, when he was still suiting up for the Cleveland Cavaliers. As of this writing, the transaction has yet to be made official, but the former Sixth Man of the Year replied to several tweets from former and current NBA players who congratulated him in advance of his expected return to the league.

If Smith does end up on Los Angeles’ roster, he will serve as a replacement for combo guard Avery Bradley, who opted out of the season restart due to family concerns. While he has solid career averages of 12.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists and a shooting percentage of 37.3 percent from three-point range, the former high school phenom struggled toward the end of his stint with the Cavs, per Basketball-Reference. In 11 games in the 2018-19 season, Smith was limited to just 6.7 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game and shot just 34.2 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from beyond the arc.

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Yankees nearing the time for large pitching choices

With 4 further roster spots for the primary two weeks of a mini season that’s scheduled to open July 23, the Yankees must determine what number of pitchers they take.

In a standard season, groups depart spring coaching with 12 or 13 pitchers. After all, nothing about this season that thus far has been lowlighted by the coronavirus shutting the sport down in mid-March and a contentious labor scenario has been bizarre. Even now with a dozen days till the Yankees face the defending World Sequence champion Nationals in Washington, there’s no person guaranteeing the season will get off the bottom or not halted in some unspecified time in the future because of the virus.

Nonetheless, for Aaron Boone, pitching coach Matt Blake and the analytical arm of the entrance workplace, the time is shortly approaching for a pitching employees to be finalized.

Clouding the ultimate determination can be how Masahiro Tanaka is coping with a concussion suffered throughout a simulated recreation final week when he was struck within the head by a ball off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton that was clocked at 112 mph. So, too, would be the availability of second baseman DJ LeMahieu and pitcher Luis Cessa, who’re quarantining at dwelling after testing optimistic for COVID-19.

“At this level we actually haven’t had critical conversations about that. I might say over the subsequent a number of days these conversations would regularly begin to decide up,’’ Boone stated Thursday evening on a Zoom name forward of Friday’s rain washing out that days’ exercise at Yankee Stadium. “And clearly that closing week we are going to actually begin honing in on it.’’

Masahiro TanakaGetty Photos

Do the Yankees cut up the roster 15/15 for the primary two weeks of the season? Or, as a result of starters received’t be anticipated to go greater than 4 or 5 innings and perhaps nearer to 3 to 4 frames, will Boone and Blake go for a 16/14 cut up? And even 17/13?

Whereas Boone pointed to pitchers getting their first style of intrasquad video games and constructing pitch counts, he is aware of the numbers recreation can be in search of solutions quickly.

“I might say we’re not fairly there but, however then once more we’re two weeks from enjoying a recreation, so in every week these conversations are actually going to have to select up,’’ Boone stated.

Contemplating Saturday will mark every week since Tanaka final pitched and the conservative observe MLB takes with concussions, anticipating Tanaka to begin one of many first 4 video games of the common season could be a attain.

Do the Yankees plug in one other starter akin to Jonathan Loaisiga or Mike King? Cessa, if he joins spring coaching shortly? Or use Chad Inexperienced as an opener? Piggy-back relievers?

Although it might be a shock if extremely regarded prospects Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia land a giant league gig regardless of what number of pitchers are carried, Ben Heller, Tyler Lyons and David Hale have possibilities of sticking no less than for the primary two weeks.

Heller, who was a part of the 2016 Andrew Miller commerce to the Indians that introduced Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield to the Yankees, is the one 40-man roster arm out of that trio. The correct-handed Heller, 29 early subsequent month, missed all of 2018 due to Tommy John surgical procedure and was restricted to 11 minor league video games and 6 within the large leagues final 12 months. The Yankees thought sufficient of him so as to add him to the ALCS roster final 12 months as CC Sabathia’s alternative, however he didn’t seem in any of the six video games.

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