The700Level

Rating the Rumor: Should Eagles trade for LeSean McCoy?

Rating the Rumor: Should Eagles trade for LeSean McCoy?

Given the Bills’ apparent willingness to trade talent for draft picks, is an Eagles reunion with running back LeSean McCoy a possibility?

Such speculation is quickly becoming the talk of the town, despite the absence of any credible reports the Bills are shopping McCoy – or the Eagles are asking. Then again, it isn’t difficult to connect the dots on this rumor.

Recent moves suggest the Bills are already waving the white flag on 2017. Buffalo sent wide receiver Sammy Watkins to the Rams and cornerback Ronald Darby to the Eagles last week, and while those swaps brought back players as well, the keys to those deals were the picks. The Bills obtained cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round choice for Watkins, and wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a third-round selection for Darby.

Buffalo has clearly entered rebuilding mode, and would no doubt listen to offers for anybody and anything that’s not nailed down. That includes McCoy, who doesn’t sound too thrilled anyway about spending the end of his prime with a team that’s borderline tanking.

Meanwhile, the Eagles’ running back situation is far from settled. We touched on that in some detail. In summary, LeGarrette Blount’s preseason exposed his shortcomings, Wendell Smallwood has yet to play in an exhibition game this summer, and Darren Sproles isn’t an every-down back. Though it certainly could all work out, right now, there’s cause for concern.

McCoy would alleviate those concerns in an instant. The five-time Pro Bowl selection is coming off a season in which he rushed for 1,267 yards and 13 touchdowns, so he can still ball. There’s no question as to fit, either – McCoy became the Eagles’ all-time leading rusher in 2014, largely in an offensive scheme almost identical to that under current coach Doug Pederson.

In fact, McCoy never wanted to leave the Eagles in the first place. He was traded to Buffalo by the previous regime. It’s likely he would welcome the opportunity to come back and play for a team with the likes of Alshon Jeffery and Carson Wentz.

Here comes the downside.

Would the Eagles be as quick to welcome McCoy back? He’s 29 years old, and though he’s shown no signs of slowing down, decline is right around the corner. And what do the Eagles have to trade for an aging running back? The club has already dealt its second- and third-round picks in 2018 in the Wentz and Darby deals, respectively. Will they dip into their stash of 2019 choices, or send a No. 1?

McCoy won’t come cheap, either. The Bills would have to eat nearly $8 million in bonus money in a trade, for starters. And if they were able to swing a third-round pick for Darby with two years left on his contract, and a second for Watkins with one year left, what can they leverage for one of the top five backs in the NFL with three years remaining on his deal? For all we know, it might take a No. 1.

The Bills might be rebuilding, but they certainly aren’t giving these guys away.

There’s no question McCoy can be had for a price. And even if a platoon with Blount, Smallwood and Sproles works out just fine, McCoy would be better.

But at what cost? Probably not one the Eagles are willing to pay. Not with McCoy’s 30th birthday approaching next year. Not with the stock of draft picks already depleted. Not with so many options already on the roster.

McCoy rumors are good fodder for talk radio and blogs. A trade would improve the Eagles’ outlook tremendously for 2017, and possibly beyond. As far as practicality is concerned, however, such a thought is probably more fantasy than reality.

Rating: We can dream…

JJ Redick responds to video in which he allegedly used racial slur

download.jpg
SB Nation/Twitter

JJ Redick responds to video in which he allegedly used racial slur

Early Sunday, a video surfaced on social media that appeared to put Sixers’ guard JJ Redick in an extremely poor light. Redick has since responded to clear up the situation.

Here’s what happened:

At about 8 a.m., a post appeared on Reddit showing a screenshot and caption alleging that Redick said a racial slur during a video from NBA players wishing Chinese fans a Happy New Year. The video caused a huge uproar on social media. If you wish to see the video, it is located here, at the top.

On the surface, without a response, it looked odd from the start. Redick, who we have come to know as a well-spoken individual who is typically very appreciative of basketball fans, isn’t someone you’d expect this from, let alone with a camera pointing directly at his face with an NBA microphone in front of his lips.

He offered this response on his official Twitter account, saying he was tongue-tied and had no intentions of saying what he did on the video.

Fans have reacted on both sides of the issue, as some are still asking for an apology and others take Redick for his word. 

With the All-Star Break going on, Redick won’t be available for a few more days for the media to ask him about this. There’s a chance this story will continue into next week.

The Process is ready for primetime

The Process is ready for primetime

Basically, you saw everything you'd want to see from Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid during the Rising Stars Challenge on All-Star Friday night, as they kept doing what they've basically done all February: winning. 

Ben Simmons was electric all over the court, ending with 11 points (5-5 FG, mostly dunks), six boards, a game-high 13 assists and a team-high four steals. A still-locked-in Dario Saric was the beneficiary of a handful of those dimes, ending with 18 points (7-11 FG, 4-7 3PT), three boards and five assists. 

Joel Embiid had an underwhelming stat line in his thankfully clipped playing time (just eight minutes after sitting out Wednesday's game — we'll see him more on Sunday), ending with just five points and two boards, and not exactly displaying the defensive dominance we're accustomed to from our big man. But the five points came on back-to-back possessions in the third, where JoJo nailed a top-of-the-break three and then scored on a dunk following a Fultzian spin move to the basket, showing the range of his skills in an appropriately breathtaking (and Internet-slaying) manner. 

And of course, the Sixers — I mean, Team World — won handily, outscoring Team USA in every quarter and ultimately triumphing 155-124. Even though Sacramento's Bogdan Bogdanovic took home MVP honors on the night for his white-hot shooting night (26 points on 9-16 FG, including a handful of Steph Curry-esque extended pull-up triples), I thought Simmons was the best all-around player on the floor, another thumb in the eye of the All-Star committee that snubbed him (four times!) for the proper game on Sunday night. 

Perhaps more importantly, the Sixers' presence just dominated the game altogether. Hell, they made up 3/5 of Team World's starting lineup — no other team had more than two representatives, across both squads, though the Lakers would have were Lonzo Ball available — and in the broadcast booth, the TNT guys couldn't stop talking about Embiid all night, comparing him to Hakeem and debating whether they'd ever seen a big man of his versatility before. 

And to think, this year they'll actually be represented on Saturday and Sunday, too. Hopefully Ben and Dario get a nice, relaxing All-Star break from here — they've certainly earned it — and now, it's Embiid's spotlight. The Process is ready for primetime, baby, and longtime Trusters should make sure to enjoy this moment as much as JoJo himself undoubtedly will.