Cubs

Free agency: Williams, Terry, Nash, Roy updates

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Free agency: Williams, Terry, Nash, Roy updates

Point guard Deron Williams signed a five-year, 100 million extension with the Brooklyn Nets yesterday. The 28-year-old Williams likely was enticed by the Nets' trade with Atlanta that brought in All-Star Joe Johnson.

Unrestricted free agent Steve Nash and the New York Knicks are closing in on a sign-and-trade that would bring the 38-year-old point guard to the Big Apple. In exchange, the Suns would receive guards Iman Shumpert and Toney Douglas and center Dan Gadzuric.

The Boston Celtics are proving they still want to contend, agreeing with shooting guard Jason Terry to a three-year, 15 contract. The Celtics signed Kevin Garnett last week for three more years, and reportedly still want Ray Allen to return.

Eric Gordon and the Phoenix Suns agreed to a maximum offer sheet (four years, 58 million) Tuesday, but Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski said the Hornets plan to match the offer, meaning the shooting guard will stay in New Orleans.

The Golden State Warriors want to set up a second meeting with free agent shooting guard Brandon Roy. The Warriors and Mavericks have been going after the 27-year-old the hardest, but the Bulls and Pacers remain potential destinations for the former retiree.

The Toronto Raptors and restricted free agent shooting guard Landry Fields agreed to a three-year, 19 million contract yesterday. The Knicks reportedly will have a tough time matching the deal, so it's likely that Fields will wind up in Toronto.

The Brooklyn Nets are finalizing a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Clippers for power forward Reggie Evans. The Clippers will receive a future second round pick in exchange for the veteran forward, who will receive a three-year, 5 million contract.

The Houston Rockets withdrew their qualifying offer to shooting guard Courtney Lee, making the 26-year-old shooter an unrestricted free agent. Sources said the Bulls, Pacers, Clippers, Mavericks, Suns, Wizards, Grizzlies and Hawks have all shown interest in Lee.

The Los Angeles Clippers offered a contract to shooting guard Jamal Crawford, but he has not signed with the team. The Timberwolves, 76ers, Suns and Grizzlies have all shown interest in the unrestricted free agent.

Ersan Ilyosova has a four-year contract offer to play in Europe, and the Milwaukee Bucks have countered with a five-year offer of their own. The Nets are reportedly interested in his services as well.

Jason Heyward predicts he will be the MVP of 2018 Cubs

Jason Heyward predicts he will be the MVP of 2018 Cubs

“Who will be the Cubs’ 2018 team MVP?”

Jason Heyward: “Me!”

No hesitation, no pause. Just an honest answer from a confident 28-year old with a $184 million contract.

Nobody wants to succeed more at the plate than the Cubs’ two-time Gold Glove award winner, but the offense has been downright ugly (.243, 18 HR, 108 RBI in 268 games).

Despite not performing up to a megadeal, Heyward has no problem talking about his contract:

“It is what it is, I earned it," Heyward said. "I earned that part of it. For me, it’s awesome. To be where I want to be, that’s the most important thing.”

After spending time talking at Cubs Convention speaking with Heyward, his manager and six of his other teammates, it’s no surprise that it was Heyward who delivered the now-famous Game 7 “Rain Delay Speech.”

His teammates adore him.

Question to Ben Zobrist: “Who’s your favorite teammate of all-time at any level?”

After a 10-second pause: “Jason Heyward.”

That definitely says something coming from a 36-year-old, three-time All-Star and World Series MVP.

For the true blue Cubs fans that can’t stand Heyward and his untradeable contract, sorry, his teammates and manager have nothing but good things to say. 

By all accounts, Heyward is a quality human being despite his shortcomings in the batter’s box the last two seasons.

And his goals for an offensive renaissance in 2018 are simple and basic:

“Just being in the lineup every game.”

His teammates will be behind him 100 percent, even if the fans are not.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Are Blackhawks a playoff team even with Corey Crawford?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Are Blackhawks a playoff team even with Corey Crawford?

Seth Gruen and US99’s Stylz & Roman join Luke Stuckmeyer on the panel.  Joel Quenneville says he expects and hopes Corey Crawford can return this season?  Will he come back?  And are they a playoff team even if Crawford returns?

Plus the Bulls extend Zach LaVine’s minutes, a preview of Sunday’s championship game and will Jake Arrieta eventually end up back with the Cubs?