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Tag:Dwight Howard
Posted on: March 8, 2012 4:32 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 4:42 pm
 

Trade Deadline: Teams looking to make a move

Dwight Howard faces the most uncertain trade deadline of his career. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

The winds are filled with whispers and disinformation. Fans are rattling trade machines and scouring salary lists. And most of the players in the league have a heightened anxiety while telling everyone they're oblivious to what's going on.

It's trade season.

With the deadline a week away, talks are ramping up, and while this is the most difficult trade deadline in years to predict in the way of volume of deals, the chatter is going to be the same as ever. Teams are at the point in the season where it's time to either head in a different direction, try and get over the hump, move towards the future, add that final piece, blow the whole thing up, or try and stay the course.

Some teams are above the fray. The rest will be on the phone. And some desperately need to get a deal done in the next seven days. With that, we present the Deadline Urgent Care Report, for teams that need to make a move now. It's time to trade or get off the block.


1. Orlando Magic: There's so much going on with this situation that no one really wants to talk about. It gets boiled down to a handful of narratives. "You have to rebuild if you're going to lose Dwight Howard." "You don't trade Dwight Howard until you absolutely have to." "You can't make decisions based on emotions." "Who really wants to rebuild around Brook Lopez?"

There's so much more going on. The health of their owner. Dwight's complex relationship with the city, with ownership, with Otis Smith, with Stan Van Gundy. To be sure, there's an impression given that Howard thinks he's beyond all of them at this stage in his career. But there's part of him that knows Smith took a chance on him. He knows Stan Van Gundy helped make him into the Defensive Player of the Year that he is. He knows Orlando has embraced him. This isn't an easy scenario in back and white lines.

But the reality remains. The Magic have to trade Howard if he is unable to give them a solid indication he wants to stay. Yes, Cleveland has rebuilt well without trading LeBron James. But it's less about what you get in return than it is about clearing space. Letting Howard go in free agency means you have a terrible team that's expensive. Trading him means the possibility of moving Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, or Glen Davis to alleviate the contract situation.

The Magic need to be looking to the future, trying to pull in as many young viable could-be-stars as possible, not bringing in veterans with large contracts or injury issues. They need to scrap it and start over. It's the quickest and most logical way back to title contention. Currently the odds are a pick 'em for if they'll trade him or not. At some point, despite how complicated the situation is, you have to move forward. Otherwise you're not saving yourself, you're just waiting to die.

Targets: Distributing wing creator, point guard upgrade.
Movable assets: Dwight Howard, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, J.J. Redick, Jameer Nelson


2. Los Angeles Lakers
: It's pretty simple stuff, really. This team, as constructed, will most likey win a title. They can, but they probably will not. And that is not how the Los Angeles Lakers operate. They have movable stars, are willing to take on salary, and are in need of a face-saving move to try and redeem the decisions of the front office.

The trick for the Lakers is determining trade value. Pau Gasol was thought of as the best big man in basketball a year and a half ago. Now, he's a sidekick delicate shooter who fell apart in the playoffs. Andrew Bynum was a project with upside who you could still rationalize moving for something less than elite return. Now he's an All-Star who finally looks healthy. Do you see the problem? Gasol is better than his current value will allow in return and Bynum's current value is so high as to make it difficult to net equal return.

Furthermore, they need a star to put next to Kobe Bryant. Dwight Howard is there, but that situation has been temperamental. And it doesn't address their issues. A trade for Howard means they still have weaknesses at point guard and small forward. If the Lakers are going to do a deal, they need to pull in other teams to get some auxiliary talent back.

Targets: Dominant superstar option B, point guard upgrade, small forward who can hit water falling out of a boat.
Movable assets: Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum (?), Metta World Peace, Steve Blake, Matt Barnes.


3. Boston Celtics:
It's. Over.

The run was good. It wasn't great, just one championship, two Finals, and for a collection of Hall of Famers, it's disappointing. But the reality remains, it's time for Boston to move on. Every indication is that Danny Ainge isn't looking to try and win a title this year through trade. He's aiming for down the line. The idea is to be in a position to make a big move should one come available, not try an force one with the older players currently on roster.

And still, a change is needed. They can definitely re-stock in free agency when Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett's deals come off the books. But considering the value of both players, it would make sense to shop either or both in an attempt to get something of value now. Again, the idea is not to find players to win a title now, since they're not in that position. But to get players that will have value later to then move for those big pieces.

And then there's Rondo.

The enigmatic, temperamental shrouded in mystery and a faint air of disgust who drops triple-doubles to boggle the mind continues to be at the center of the Celtics' uncertainty. The Celtics took to the offensive last week to shoot down rumors they were looking at moving Rondo. But he's been discussed as a potential trade target for far longer than the past two weeks. Rondo has trouble scoring efficiently. He also possesses arguably the best vision of any point guard in the league, including Chris Paul. Can you build around him? Is his success a product of playing with three Hall of Famers? Is he limited by the Celtics' pace and lack of speed? The questions about Rondo have implications beyond whether to trade him or not. They also deal with how to build a team around him going forward if they don't trade him.

Targets: Versatile wings, on-ball creators, anything resembling a legitimate center.
Movable assets: Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce (?), Chris Wilcox, Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass, Jermaine O'Neal (expiring contract).


4. Atlanta Hawks:
Josh Smith still wants out. The roster is stale. Marvin Williams is movable, finally. Jeff Teague makes Kirk Hinrich expendable. There's every reason for the Hawks to be big players at the deadline, but as always, their ownership situation makes things complicated. Still, the Hawks have repeatedly made moves at the deadline over the years and Smith should get a high amount of offers.

Targets: Clearing salary, legitimate center, back-up scoring guard.
Movable assets: Josh Smith, Kirk Hinrich, Joe Johnson.


5. Golden State Warriors:
The Warriors' new ownership has made big noise about change and bringing in stars, changing the culture. Instead they're largely the same team they have been for the past few years. They want to make a big splash. They have all the components to do so, it just matters how desperate they are. Expiring contracts, young stars on good contracts, versatility and depth. They have everything but a good roster. Fixing it will take more than a quick fix, but if they want to make a splash, the time is now.

Targets: Legitimate star, legitimate center, defensive backcourt and frontcourt upgrades.
Movable assets: Literally every player on roster.


6. Milwaukee Bucks:
Stephen Jackson has a huge contract, a bad attitude and a declining skill set. So clearly the market should be strong for him. The Bucks have wandered into no-man's land, not bad enough to land a star in the lottery, not good enough to make progress. But how do you remake a roster like this with a very specific outline for a blueprint? Brandon Jenning is the franchise player... is that a good thing? If Andrew Bogut can stay healthy they're a force... can he? They have depth that plays exceptionally well, is it worth selling high on them? It's a complex situation in Milwaukee.

Targets: Scoring, versatility, multi-dimensional impact.
Movable assets: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ersan Ilyasova, Drew Gooden, Brandon Jennings (?), Andrew Bogut (?), Stephen Jackson.


7. New Jersey Nets:
They can wait on Dwight. But that's the kind of gamble that puts the fear of God in you. It's like telling your spouse, "Don't worry, honey. I've lost our car, our couch, our refrigerator, our bed and our life savings the last five times I've tried this gamble, but this time it's going to be different!" Nets supporters often point out that Billy King has made a number of four and five team trades. What they do not mention is how seldom his teams have gotten the better end of those deals. Not that his teams come out worse. But it's not like we're dealing with a stellar record.

The Nets have young players, but they're not very good. It's unlikely they'll panic should Howard stay put in Orlando, but it's going to make them break out the scotch. Expect their phone lines to be busy for the next week.

Targets: Dwight Howard. Pieces necessary to get Dwight Howard.
Movable assets: Anyone but Deron Williams.


8. Houston Rockets:
The Rockets are where they always are. Trying to get a star and building up assets to get a star they can never seem to land which makes them build up more assets to try and get a star. It's like an M.C. Escher painting.

Targets: Superstar to build around, low-post scorer.
Movable assets: Anyone for the right price.
Posted on: March 7, 2012 4:10 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 4:43 pm
 

Vegas oddsmaker: expect busy NBA trade deadline

Dwight Howard could determine whether or not this is a busy NBA trade deadline. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver   

Will we see two hectic NBA trade deadline days in a row? Las Vegas seems to think so.

The 2011 trade season was crazy, but the biggest deals -- Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks and Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets -- were both completed in advance of the Feb. 24 deadline. Even so, Gerald Wallace, Kendrick Perkins, Baron Davis, Shane Battier, Aaron Brooks and Jeff Green were just some of the names that moved on the final day of the trade season.

This year, Vegas oddsmaker Bovada anticipates a similar level of activity. On Wednesday, the site set the over/under on trades that will happen on the March 15th deadline at 6.5. Of course, this number is for entertainment purposes only.

It goes without saying that the biggest potential trade chips are Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol. Both are listed at even odds if you want to bet "yes" on them moving. 

So will we see seven trades? Given the slow run-up of rumors it looks a little bleak right now. Let's take a look from both sides.

If this does wind up being a quiet trade season, you can bet on the following factors emerging as explanations after the fact.

Howard's uncertainty

Teams with top-tier assets are on hold as they wait for the Howard situation to clear up. If it gets closer to the deadline and he winds up staying in Orlando, rival GMs will have the choice of scrambling to execute a back-up plan or simply holding their cards until the offseason. It's essentially the same thing if he winds up moving late. For teams not in the transaction, they won't have days to weigh their options as they did following the Anthony and Williams trades last year.

Lockout schedule

The delayed start to the 2011-2012 season also pushed back the trade deadline. With six weeks until the playoffs, the temptation to fold the tent and wait until Draft season could be strong for teams that either aren't true contenders or have already dropped out of the playoff chase. It's much easier to write-off a 66-game season than it is an 82-game season. A number of teams have tanked hard since the beginning of the season using the same logic.

Established dominance in the East

In the East, Chicago and Miami have separated themselves so far from the pack that GMs may have trouble selling their owners on a win-now move that requires taking on salary. Why stock up only to get cut down by two truly elite teams? That train of thought is compounded by what is expected to be a strong free agency class. Taking on salary now means less flexibility later.

If, on the other hand, we do see a flurry of deals, here are a few factors that might trigger them. 

Wide open West

If there's activity for basketball reasons, there's a good chance it happens out West given the possibility that 4.5 games separate seeds 3 through 11. If someone wants to pay to make a push, they will be able to do so.  The Clippers, Lakers, Mavericks, Rockets and Timberwolves would all seem to have interest in making their team better for a little postseason fun.

Luxury tax  

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, high payroll teams are set to be hit with major fines for going over -- and eventually, for staying over -- the luxury tax line. Already, we saw one high-profile salary dump for tax purposes, when the Lakers moved Lamar Odom to the Mavericks.  It doesn't have to be big names or big salary numbers that move, though. Simply shipping an extraneous smaller-salary (over multiple years) guy to a team with cap space for oblique future Draft considerations could wind up saving a taxpayer real money when everything is added up down the line.

Danny Ainge 

The Boston Celtics are always active and this year they have assets galore plus plenty of motivation to move them given the uncertain direction going forward. Last year, Ainge made trades both big (Kendrick Perkins) and small (Luke Harangody). It's difficult to imagine he could sit on his hands with Boston limping along as the No. 7 seed.
Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:15 am
Edited on: March 6, 2012 2:22 am
 

Report Card 3.6.12: Celebrating revenge

The Bulls did some celebrating of their own in a beatdown of the Pacers. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Bulls second-half defense The Bulls' win over the Pacers in a "revenge" game for celebration-gate earlier in the month was close in the first half. In fact, the Pacers lead. It was going well. The pace was how the Pacers want it, and the Bulls offense had resorted back to "Rose dribbles around and then passes to Noah in the pinch post who holds it for too long until passing it to someone for a mid-range jumper which misses. Then the third quarter happened, a 33-13 cannibalistic raid which started with the Bulls attacking the Pacers dribble furiously to create turnovers then running out for dunks and transition threes. It was like Chokeholds in Seven Seconds or Less and it turned a great battle into a rout before the Pacers could figure out they were hit.
OKC defense The Thunder won the free throw differential, again. The Thunder had some bizarre offensive possessions again. But when the Thunder absolutely needed to shut down the Mavericks, they did. The defense for OKC has come miles in the last three weeks. They blanketed Dirk and disrupted Dallas' playsets enough to completely block out any chance of a miracle tying bucket. They allowed too many Dirk Nowitzki threes early in the fourth, but their recovery down the stretch was championship level.
Orlando Magic/Toronto Raptors The Raptors have no center, no real power forward, and are playing Jamal Magloire and a series of tweeners. And yet outside of Dwight Howard's dominant 36 points, the Raptors hung with the Magic. That says a lot about both teams. The Magic needed a clutch J.J. Redick three to finish them off and this team simply had no frontcourt to defend Orlando with. That's a problem loss.
Sacramento Kings Essentially, twice against the Nuggets, all the Kings had to do was avoid the exact thing they wound up doing. Don't foul Arron Afflalo on a desperation three-pointer at the end of regulation. Don't miss free throws. Don't let Lawson go ISO with space. And yet they did all these things, twice blowing leads that seemed safe and tossing away a game they had every chance to win.
Clippers composure Kenyon Martin gets T'd up needlessly inside the final three minutes. Blake Griffin gets a technical for a bad fall into Luke Ridnour, then missed both of his free throws for the fouls which started it. Chris Paul misses a tying free throw. For whatever reason, the Timberwolves turn the Clippers into toddlers with buckets on their heads, running into walls and down stairs.



E FOR EFFORT
Dwight Howard (36 points on 20 shots, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks in 26 minutes)
Al Jefferson (25 points on 16 shots, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks)
Kevin Love (39 points, 17 rebounds, huge shot after huge shot in the win)
Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:25 am
 

Report Card: Flying fast breaks rule

Posted by Royce Young

 No-look oop? No big.

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.


Kevin Durant
How's this: Durant: 18 points on 5-of-6 in the fourth quarter. Orlando, 21 points on 8-of-25 shooting. The Magic had Oklahoma City beat, but that KD guy hit a couple tough shots, one impossible shot and closed out Orlando, finishing with 38 total. It's really no coincidence that the Thunder are 29-7. They just figure out how to win.
Awesome fast breaks
The two best fastbreaking teams in the league both put up nominees for "Fast break oop of the night." The Heat's (above) included a Dwyane Wade no-look lob to a flying LeBron. The Thunder's featured a no-dribble break that went Durant-Westbrook-Durant for a soaring finish. Take your pick. Both were awesome.
Steve Nash
The ageless one piled up 17 assists to go with 13 points as the Suns took down Minnesota. Oh, and if that wasn't enough, how about eight rebounds too. I really don't know how Nash is doing it. At this point, if you told me he'd be averaging a double-double when he's 58, I'd believe you.
Jimmer Fredette
The Kings lost, but there were small flashes of brilliance from Jimmer. It's March, so it might be Jimmer Time. He scored only 11 points, but hit 3-of-4 from 3 and started to play with a little of that BYU swag that made him such a scoring machine.
Dwight Howard
Howard finished with 33 points on 20 shots, but was a non-factor as the Orlando offense sputtered to a halt late in the game. Howard only got a couple of baskets -- a lob, a putback dunk, another cutting dunk and a couple free throws. He wants to be a part of the late game offense, but it's really hard to see how he can be. The Thunder used Kendrick Perkins on Howard one-on-one in the post and Perkins basically stopped him.
Orlando Magic's fourth quarter As mentioned above, the Magic scored only 21 points in the fourth. The problem with that being Oklahoma City had 35. Orlando blew an 11-point lead as the Thunder came back and took a tough one from the Magic. The offense had no idea where to look for baskets outside of just chucking a deep 3 and hoping Howard could clean up the glass.
Beasley and Williams
A night after going for a combined 54 on 20-25 shooting, Michael Beasley and Derrick Williams combined for nine points on 3-15 shooting.
Posted on: March 1, 2012 11:22 am
 

Report: Howard has asked Magic to get Steve Nash

Posted by Royce Young

Would acquiring Steve Nash make Dwight Howard a happy man in Orlando? (Getty Images)

The Suns may want to re-sign Steve Nash, but that doesn't mean the trade rumors are going to go away. And it also doesn't mean they're not going to answer the phone when someone calls about him.

There's already the rumor of Lamar Odom being talked about for Nash, but here's one with some larger implications: Nash to the Magic. Via HoopsWorld:
The Orlando Magic has made offers for Nash in the past and sources close to the situation say that they’ll attempt to acquire the 16-year veteran in the next two weeks. Dwight Howard has asked the front office to pursue Nash and sources close to Howard believe he won’t exercise his early termination option if the team is able to acquire Nash and re-sign him this summer.
That... would be interesting. And it makes a decent amount of sense. Something a lot of us aren't thinking about is that Howard's not technically a free agent this summer. He just had the option to terminate his contract early and become one. So if the Magic were doing good things or he felt like he wanted to give them more time, he could just stick around and make us all go through this again in 2013.

Bringing in Nash would certainly make him reconsider though. You're talking a Hall of Fame point guard to pair with the best big man in basketball. That's a pretty good combination. The Magic would almost certainly have to take on some money in this deal as the Suns aren't going to let Nash go for nothing. But GM Otis Smith has shown a willingness in the past to mix things up in an effort to win, so I'm sure every single player on the roster would be available, except Howard.

As we near closer to the March 15 deadline, I think you'll see one of two things happen with Orlando. A) They trade Howard or B) they keep him and make an aggressive trade to try and win this year, while also convincing him to stick around later.

Nash has refused to ask for a trade from the Suns, but this deal would be good for him as he tries to compete for a title in the twilight of his career. The Suns aren't going anywhere anytime soon, so pairing Nash with Howard would at least give the Magic a relative shot. Would they be able to beat the Heat or Bulls in a series? It would be tough. But it's not just about this year, but the bigger picture. And if Howard wants Nash and Smith delivers, that could go a long ways to keeping No. 12 in Orlando.
Posted on: March 1, 2012 10:50 am
Edited on: March 1, 2012 11:16 am
 

Report: Magic 'reach out' for Monta Ellis

Monta Howard is rumored to be targeted by the Magic. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

ESPN reports that the Magic are not only trying to keep Dwight Howard with this Magic team, they're trying to improve the one they have. 
The Orlando Magic have reached out to the Golden State Warriors about trading for Monta Ellis, according to league sources.No deal is imminent, but Orlando is trying to add Ellis to its roster in hopes of appeasing Dwight Howard. Rather than aggressively pursuing a trade of Howard before the March 15 deadline, the Magic are desperately seeking a move that will convince Howard he can stay in Orlando.
via Source -- Orlando Magic reach out to Golden State Warriors about Monta Ellis trade - ESPN.

ESPN notes that the Warriors are essentially "meh" on the idea, so Orlando's having to pull in a third team. That's the theme of this year, really. The Magic have laden themselves with such terrible contracts they only have Ryan Anderson to move in a potentially big deal, but he's not a star, isn't a veteran, and if they lose Howard, they desperately need to keep him. So they not only have to find a third team, but they have to find a third team interested in the poor trade pieces they have, whether it's Glen Davis, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and his monster contract, or Jameer Nelson.

That won't be easy.

Ellis and Howard would be a great fit, though. Ellis can create off the dribble and score in bunches, which would make life easier for Howard. He's a remarkably good post-up guard, and can create some assists in the right situation. Defense is always the question, but Stan Van Gundy could probably work some magic there like he has with so many. But is Ellis enough to get Howard to stay? That's always the question and the more desperate Orlando becomes to keep Howard, the worse their odds become, you would think.
Posted on: February 28, 2012 6:29 pm
 

Report: Warriors still chasing Dwight

The Warriors reportedly continue to pursue Dwight Howard. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

The Warriors, reportedly, are not messing around.

Golden State has long been rumored to be chasing Dwight Howard, despite his exclusion of the Warriors from his team of preferred trade destinations (read: places he will consider re-signing with). What's more, Golden State has been rumored to be interested in trading for Howard without assurances he'll stay. That's the ultimate Russian Roulette gamble. If you miss out with convincing Howard, you will have traded everything you have and have nothing to show for it. Talks had died down in the din of Nets chatter that continues. But a report today from NBA.com says that the Warriors aren't done chasing the rabbit down the hole.

From Scott Howard Cooper of NBA.com on Twitter:
Warriors continuing push for Dwight Howard deal even without DH commitment to re-signing. Not backing off from risky move, source says.
via Twitter / @SHowardCooper: Warriors continuing push f ....
Biedrins has zero trade value, so GSW offer has to be 3-4 key pieces. Imagine moving Monta, Klay, others and DH walks. But Dubs staying in.
via Twitter / @SHowardCooper: Biedrins has zero trade va ....

Monta Ellis is a very good player, if not a "star" or "superstar." Klay Thompson looks to be a great rookie. They have Ekpe Udoh as a talented young big man along with Biedrins' expiring contract. The Magic have reportedly wanted to stay in the playoff hunt, which means they want talented veterans, though,and outside of Ellis, the Warriors are short on that. That's what makes the Magic request so baffling, that they wouldn't be trying to work away to get Stephen Curry, draft picks, and Udoh out of Golden State. 

And all of this for a situation in which Howard could vanish outright. It's a monstrous gamble. But let's look at the best-case, worst-case scenario here.

Best-case: Howard and Ellis/Curry click. Howard finally has a co-star worthy of his stature while he's also clearly the alpha dog. The Bay Area market allows for him to cash in on endorsements and media opportunities, while enjoying the California weather, even if it's a bit colder and ranier than southern California. Mark Jackson gets the defensive rock he covets, ownership gets a star to build everything around. Shooters plus creator plus Dwight = success. They hold his bird rights which means Howard has to walk away from the $30-million-plus afforded him in re-signing with his current team in free agency. That's a big stone to hold. 

Worst-case: Howard leaves, and the gap from the assets traded for him creates an unbalanced roster full of misfits who have to be traded off. Meanwhile, the organization clears over $15 million in cap space and has the ability to clean house on a team that has been fundamentally flawed for the past decade, cycling in the same style of players. A clean slate erupts, with the worst part being a potentially unhappy Curry/Ellis but the Warriors now have unlimited flexibility to retool their roster.

Is drastic change that bad of a worst-case scenario? If Howard and Ellis/Curry works, he could very well stay, and that's great. If it doesn't, he leaves anyway and the Warriors start over again which they've needed to do forever, and that's great. It would look bad, and would create a painful rebuilding process. But if you want to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs. A move like this would prove the new ownership really is the kind of bold leadership they say they are, unwilling to stand on the sidelines while other teams make the franchise-changing moves.

It's just a question of how brave are they, and if Orlando will finally bite the bullet for their offer.
Posted on: February 28, 2012 1:09 pm
 

Podcast: Greg Anthony of CBS Sports, NBATV

By Matt Moore 

On this edition of the CBSSports.com NBA Podcast, former New York Knick and CBS Sports and NBATV analyst Greg Anthony joins us to wrap up All-Star Weekend. We look back on Dwyane Wade's hard foul on Kobe Bryant, and ask whether the players actually get any rest during All-Star Weekend. 

We also discuss Dwight Howard and whether fans and the media oversimplify Dwight Howard's situation regarding a potential trade and being on the fence about leaving Orlando. Anthony talks about how many factors weigh into Dwight's decision and how fluid it can be. We tend to make the situation only about winning, or Orlando's history, or marketing, or playing with stars, or family. And in reality it's a constantly-evolving situation with no clear answer. Great conversation with Greg Anthony, check it out. 

You can also subscribe on iTunes, if that's your kind of thing. 

 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com