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DeMarcus Cousins NO PF
Pelicans' DeMarcus Cousins: Puts up 27 in debut38m ago
DeMarcus Cousins posted 27 points, (11-19 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 4-5 FT), 14 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and five steals across 35 minutes in Thursday's 129=99 loss to the Rockets
All eyes were on this game as Demarcus Cousins joined his friend and fellow Wildcat alum Anthony Davis on the court Thursday. No doubt it will take some time to work out the kinks for the New Orleans Pelicans , and when New Orleans, is on the slate, look for the production of these two big men to skyrocket.
Lou Williams HOU SG
Rockets' Lou Williams: Steals show in Cousins, Davis unveiling1h ago
Lou Williams tallied 27 points (9-16 FG, 7-11 3Pt, 2-2 FT), two rebounds and two assists across 25 minutes in Thursday's 129-99 win over the Pelicans.
With James Harden only posting 13 points and 14 assists Thursday, this box score solidifies Williams' sixth man status, and he simply couldn't have a better showing. Thr Houston Rockets will get this kind of production going forward if Harden continues dishing him the ball.
Heat's Johan Petro: Claimed off waivers by Heat D-League affiliate Thursday1h ago
Petro was claimed off waivers Thursday by the Miami Heat 's D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Adam Johnson of DLeagueDigest.com reports.
In an unexpected move, the 31-year-old center has been claimed off waivers after not playing in the NBA since the 2012-13 season. He has career averages of 4.7 points and 3.9 rebounds across 15.4 minutes per game.
Kemba Walker CHA PG
Hornets' Kemba Walker: Drops heroic 34 in overtime loss1h ago
Kemba Walker provided 34 points (11-19 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 9-9 FT), seven rebounds, six assists and three steals across 42 minutes in Thursday's 114-108 overtime loss to the Pistons.
Despite this heartbreaking loss, the point guard delivered with yet another superior effort. It appears the Charlotte Hornets did not dip into the trading pool prior to the deadline, Walker was very vocal about adding depth to a struggling franchise,
Ronnie Price PHO PG
Suns' Ronnie Price: Will sign with Suns for remainder of season1h ago
Ronnie Price will ink a deal with the Phoenix Suns for the remainder of the season, Doug Haller of AZCentral Sports reports.
Though he's only played in two games this season for the Suns after two 10-day contracts, the 33-year-old will be joining the team for the remainder of the season. That being said, he's had two previous stints with the organization, back in 2011-12 and 2015-16, and is likely being signed to help mentor the team's young guard core.
Nikola Vucevic ORL C
Magic's Nikola Vucevic: Leads team in scoring and shot attempts1h ago
Nikola Vucevic scored 25 points (8-20 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 8-10 FT) and added nine rebounds, two assists and one block in 33 minutes during Thursday's 112-103 loss to the Trail Blazers.
In the Orlando Magic 's second game since trading Serge Ibaka, Vucevic again led the team in scoring and shot attempts. He is a clear beneficiary of the Ibaka trade, and his fantasy value, therefore, has increased somewhat.
Andrei Vasilevskiy TB G
Lightning's Andrei Vasilevskiy: Another game, another loss44m ago
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 22 saves in a 3-2 loss to the Flames on Thursday night.
The guy is talented, but he hasn't won a game since Jan. 24. And Vasilevskiy has once just a single game in 2017. He's making it hard on the Bolts to deal with Ben Bishop's expiring contract. Vasilevskiy is proving he's just not ready to step into the starter's role.
Nikita Kucherov TB RW
Lightning's Nikita Kucherov: Continues to put up points1h ago
Nikita Kucherov notched his 23rd goal of the season in a 3-2 loss to the Flames on Thursday night.
Kucherov is well on his way to breaking his career mark of 30 goals. He has 10 points, including four goals, in his last nine games.
Frederik Andersen TOR G
Maple Leafs' Frederik Andersen: Makes 37 saves in shootout loss1h ago
Frederik Andersen made 37 saves through overtime in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Rangers on Thursday night.
Riding Andersen is a little like strapping into the seat of a roller coaster -- wild ups and downs with little to no control. He is 2-2-1 in his last five starts, but 3-3-3 in his last 10 starts. And Andersen has allowed four or more goals in five of those 10. Bench him until you see some stability in his game.
Conor Sheary PIT LW
Penguins' Conor Sheary: Making progress from injury1h ago
Conor Sheary (upper body) is skating on his own but isn't ready to skate with the team, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports.
While his return could be less than two weeks away, there's no set timetable. Rookie Jake Guentzel has filled in admirably on Sidney Crosby's line with Sheary out, but Sheary will likely regain his spot with Crosby when he comes back. Of course, there are no guarantees, especially with the trade deadline less than one week away.
Connor Brown TOR RW
Maple Leafs' Connor Brown: Nets 15th goal of the season1h ago
Connor Brown scored his 15th goal of the season in Thursday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Rangers.
Brown continues to skate in Mitch Marner's spot alongside Tyler Bozak and James Van Riemsdyk, and he's taking advantage of the veterans' skills. Brown is a worthy short-term play until Marner returns.
Justin Schultz PIT D
Penguins' Justin Schultz: Nearing return from head injury1h ago
Justin Schultz (concussion) is closing in on a Saturday return, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports. "I skated pretty hard the past couple of days by myself, trying to stay in game shape," Schultz noted. "I still have a couple of more steps. I'm hopeful I can be ready for Saturday. Hopefully I'll get cleared and practice Friday, and be ready for the game. We'll see what happens."
With two of Pittsburgh's top-four defenders sidelined, Schultz's return can't come soon enough. While it's difficult to predict an exact comeback date for players suffering from concussion, there's a decent chance he'll play Saturday if he joins the team for Friday's practice. Stay tuned.
Daniel Hudson PIT SP
Pirates' Daniel Hudson: Second in line for saves2h ago
Daniel Hudson will serve as Pittsburgh's closer on days Tony Watson is unable to close, CBS Pittsburgh reports.
Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington announced the team's pecking order for saves, listing Watson first and then Hudson and Felipe Rivero. Huntington typically doesn't permit his relievers to pitch three straight days, giving Hudson the chance to potentially close after Watson has thrown in back-to-back calendar days. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Pirates move Watson (who will become a free agent after 2017) at the trade deadline, freeing up Hudson to close in the second half of the season.
Steve Cishek SEA RP
Mariners' Steve Cishek: No setbacks in second day of throwing2h ago
Steve Cishek (hip) indicated that everything went without a hitch in his second day of throwing Thursday, Owen Perkins of the Seattle Mariners ' official site reports. "I'm playing catch every other day," said Cishek. "I expect to throw again in another two days and keep building up my hip strength."
Cishek initially hoped to be ready for Opening Day, but now admits he will probably need to wait a bit longer before returning to regular-season action. The 30-year-old reliever has now changed his goals to simply pitching during spring training. "I'd like to be pitching in spring training games," Cishek said. "It'll take a little longer before I'm ready to pitch in regular-season games, but I'd like to get that far before the end of the Cactus League games." With Edwin Diaz now firmly entrenched as the team's closer heading into the season, Cishek will have to settle into either a seventh or eighth inning role for the Mariners. However, his experience as a closer keeps him in the mix for saves should Edwin Diaz suffer an injury or struggle.
Indians' Hoby Milner: At back of pack in race for Opening Day spot3h ago
Milner is outside the bubble in the race for one of the Tribe's few bullpen vacancies, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports.
The chance of Milner making the Opening Day roster took a hit when the Cleveland Indians signed lefty Boone Logan earlier this month. Logan gave the team's bullpen a second southpaw to go along with Andrew Miller, leaving the club little space, if any, for another left-handed reliever. The Tribe selected Milner in the Rule 5 Draft at the winter meetings for $100,000. They can send him back to the Phillies and get half their money back or carry him on the 25-man roster for the upcoming season. The former appears to be the most-likely scenario.
Tony Kemp HOU LF
Astros' Tony Kemp: Gets reps at second base3h ago
Tony Kemp is taking most of his repetitions at second base during spring training, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Kemp appeared in 59 games for the Houston Astros in 2016, almost exclusively in left field, but offseason acquisitions leave him out of the outfield picture. So, it' s back to the position with which he's most familiar. Unfortunately, that's the spot already occupied by Jose Altuve, so we can expect Kemp to start the season playing second base for Triple-A Fresno.
Tim Cooney CLE SP
Indians' Tim Cooney: Dealing with forearm injury3h ago
Tim Cooney , who recently overcame a shoulder injury that caused him to have surgery last year, is dealing with a left forearm problem, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports.
So far, Cooney's surgically-repaired shoulder has held up well in camp, but now there's a new ailment impeding his progress toward an Opening Day roster spot. There hasn't been much word on the extent of his forearm issue, but any setback for Cooney could see him cut by mid-spring. With 20 pitchers in camp, and only a few bullpen slots left to fill, Cooney could be the first man out when rosters begin to thin in the coming weeks.
Matt Barnes BOS RP
Red Sox's Matt Barnes: Finds success integrating more offspeed pitches3h ago
Matt Barnes plans to throw his offspeed stuff more in 2017, something he experimented with during September and October last season, leading to promising results, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports.
During the first five months of the 2016 season, Barnes threw his four-seamer nearly two-thirds of the time, but adjusted late in the season following a truly disastrous month of August (12 ER in 10.2 IP). He felt his stuff was still good, but the results weren't there. It was at that point he realized the problem was not with his stuff, but in how he used his stuff. Barnes mixed in more curves and sliders, throwing them as often as the four-seamer, and allowed just one run and no extra-base hits over his final 8.2 innings. While Joe Kelly's transition to the bullpen has garnered most of the headlines, Barnes may be positioned to take a step forward in 2017.
Nick Folk NYJ K
Nick Folk: Released by Jets8h ago
Nick Folk was released by the Jets on Thursday.
Folk was the Jets' kicker for the past seven seasons. For his career he's converted 81.3 percent of his field goals, including 27 of 31 in 2016. It appears the Jets cut ties with Folk to free up some salary cap room, but it remains unclear who'll be their kicker in 2017.
Alterraun Verner TB DB
Buccaneers' Alterraun Verner: Will be released Thursday8h ago
Alterraun Verner will be released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Verner would have been owed $6.5 million in 2017. He saw a reduced workload in 2016 compared to his first two seasons in Tampa Bay, recording only 16 tackles compared to 76 and 56 in 2014 and 2015, respectively. A big reason for this regression was the emergence of rookie Vernon Hargreaves, who took over as the starting corner opposite Brent Grimes last season and racked up 76 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. Verner still has value as a defender, and should find himself on an NFL roster come September.
Breno Giacomini: Released by Jets8h ago
Giacomini (back) was released by the Jets on Thursday, Brian Costello of the New York Post reports.
Giacomini spent the past three seasons with the Jets, serving as their starting right tackle when healthy. He underwent back surgery in January to repair a herniated disc that forced him to end the 2016 campaign on injured reserve. He's now a free agent and can sign with any team.
Lions' Pierce Burton: Signs with Lions8h ago
Pierce Burton signed a contract with the Detroit Lions on Thursday.
Burton has bounced around multiple practice squads over his first two seasons in the NFL and will hope to make an active roster for the first time with the Lions in 2017.
Russell Okung DEN T
Broncos' Russell Okung: Will not have option picked up10h ago
Russell Okung will not have his 2017 option picked up by the Denver Broncos , Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reports.
Okung had a $1 million option due Mar. 9 and another $8 million due in 2017 via a roster bonus, and Denver is reportedly not taking the tackle up on it. Had the bonus been exercised, the tackle would have been owed another $40 million from 2018 to 2020. Although there is certainly a chance he enters free agency, it is not a lock, as the Broncos could ask Okung to restructure his contract. If he were to enter the free agent pool, however, he would add another tackle to a class that already boasts the likes of Andrew Whitworth, Kelvin Beachum and Ryan Clady among others.
Ryan Tannehill MIA QB
Dolphins' Ryan Tannehill: In line to approach upcoming season healthy10h ago
After passing what NFL.com describes as "a battery of tests" on his left ACL and Grade 2 MCL sprain, Ryan Tannehill is slated to be available for the Miami Dolphins ' upcoming offseason program.
Meanwhile, the Miami Herald confirms that Tannehill will not require reconstructive surgery to address the knee issue that cost the starting QB the Dolphins' last three regular-season games in 2016, as well as the team's postseason loss to the Steelers. While Tannehill is expected to utilize a knee brace throughout the 2017 season, the report adds that barring any setbacks, the signal-caller is in line to handle a full workload by the start of training camp this summer. Tannehill may, however, be limited to some degree during the squad's offseason practices leading up to that.