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Why 49ers' Joe Staley once paid Kyle Long $1K at the NFL Pro Bowl

Why 49ers' Joe Staley once paid Kyle Long $1K at the NFL Pro Bowl

Former Bears offensive tackle Kyle Long, fresh off retiring from the NFL, stopped by the NBC Sports Bay Area set Wednesday on Radio Row at Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Fla.

Long, already great with a microphone in his hand, is searching for his next opportunity after football as he looks forward to pursuing some of his hobbies. Since it's only been a couple of weeks since the news he was hanging up his cleats, he's still attached to football.

He likes what he has seen from the 49ers' offense. Specifically, the offensive line and Joe Staley. Turns out, Long and Staley go way back.

"I went to the Pro Bowl with Joe, my third year in the league -- nobody wants to play right tackle at the Pro Bowl, but I was the guy that had been there for both positions," Long told 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco. 

Staley, at the time, was in his ninth season. Being a veteran of the game, the 49ers tackle told Long he would pay him $1,000 if he switched to right tackle during the Pro Bowl.

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Easy money to make, right?

Check out the clip above for the entire funny story from Miami as the 49ers prepare to take on the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday.

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (8 p.m. Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. Thursday, 9:30 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday).

Also tune in at 1 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday for a two-hour special of "49ers Pregame Live" with Laura Britt, Donte Whitner, Jeff Garcia, Ian Williams, Kelli Johnson, Greg Papa and Grant Liffmann. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on "49ers Postgame Live," starting immediately after the game.

Ranking NBA star players Warriors could attempt to acquire in trade

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USATSI

Ranking NBA star players Warriors could attempt to acquire in trade

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.

Trade season is about to heat up in the NBA, and the Warriors will be at the forefront of many rumors, mostly in regards to them selling some of their assets.

Names such as Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson III and Willie Cauley-Stein assuredly will be linked to various trade talks ahead of the Feb. 6 deadline, but it's yet to be seen how willing the Warriors will be to give them away without receiving draft picks in return.

At this point, unless the Warriors are blown away by an offer, it's very unlikely they will make a big splash trade and acquire a star. It's much more likely that they will enter the offseason with a much clearer picture of the market, as well as the valuable knowledge of the draft order. If they were to land the top pick, or somewhere near the top, then Bob Myers and Co. will have many assets to play around with, including D'Angelo Russell and a massive trade exception from the Andre Iguodala deal.

Many big names have been discussed this season, as players eventually could be on the move if they were to become disgruntled in their current situations, or if their team decides to reshuffle the deck. Here are some of these players, in order of who should be at the top of the Warriors' wish list:

Giannis Antentokounmpo

There is no reason to go into depth about why The Greek Freak would be the Warriors' top choice. The notion of putting him alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson should make the front office drool and the rest of the league terrified.

We've seen the videos of Curry jokingly recruiting Giannis, and many around the league wonder if the Warriors would be his top choice if he wanted out of Milwaukee. Warriors fans hoping for this dream scenario should be hopeful that the Bucks have an early disappointing exit in the playoffs, making it a more realistic situation for Giannis to perhaps think about a change of scenery.

Joel Embiid

Speaking of Warriors fans hoping for an Eastern Conference team's early playoff exit, the Philadelphia 76ers employ two of the rumored potentially disgruntled players. One of them is Embiid, the incredibly talented and eccentric center.

Embiid is an offensive force and a beast on defense. While he has injury concerns, acquiring him to put alongside the Splash Brothers would be a nightmare for the rest of the NBA.

Karl-Anthony Towns 

Teaming Towns and Russell together would be the Timberwolves' first choice if they could, but if Towns decides he wants out of Minnesota, then there's a chance he could be traded for his good friend.

Towns is the quintessential new-age center, with incredible athleticism and ability to shoot the three-ball, which he is doing at a lethal 41.8 percent clip. His defense sometimes can be spotty, but his overall talent and just being 24 years of age makes him one of the most valuable big men in the league.

Ben Simmons

The 76ers' dynamic playmaker still is just 23 and refining his game. There is plenty of criticism regarding Simmons' inability and lack of willingness to take jump shots or threes. But at the end of the day, he's still a 6-foot-10 supreme athlete who can do a little bit of everything on the court (yes, other than shooting as of now) while also being an elite defender.

Spacing could be a bit of an issue with Simmons on the court with the other Warriors stars, but with all the amazing benefits that come with his game, the team would love to be in a position to have to make it work.

Bradley Beal

Beal is not necessarily a dream fit next to Curry and Thompson, at just 6-3 and a bit of a volume shooter. However, Beal is a dynamic scorer, averaging almost 28 points per game for the Wizards this season.

Beal's shooting percentages have declined, mostly because he's the main focal point for opposing defenses, but if he were coupled with the Warriors' stars, it's safe to assume he would get more open looks than he has in his entire career.

The mere fact that Beal can be more of a catch-and-shoot type threat more than a ball-dominant player could make some think he's a better fit in the backcourt than Russell. But is it a big enough difference to take on Beal's huge contract? Maybe not.

[RELATED: Giannis jokes about convo with Steph]

Kevin Love

The Warriors were very close to pulling off a trade for Love a long time ago, and they're so thankful they didn't and kept Klay instead.

At 31 years old and past his prime, could Love be a fit now? No, not really. He's owed a lot of money by the Cavaliers, and his defense is nearly non-existent at this point. His rebounding and ability to stretch the floor can benefit some teams, but the cons definitely outweigh the pros when deciding if Love could be a fit with Golden State.

Warriors have NBA's ninth-toughest schedule based on Vegas over/unders

Warriors have NBA's ninth-toughest schedule based on Vegas over/unders

While rosters are still a month away from being finalized for Steve Kerr and the Warriors, the Vegas oddsmakers are already working hard to project the upcoming NBA season.

Based on NBA over/under win total projections, Yaya Dubin of NBAthlete.com put together a strength of schedule ranking for each of the 30 teams.

The Warriors show up as having the ninth-toughest schedule, although the list is clearly skewed toward Western Conference teams. Just one Eastern Conference team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, are above the Dubs.

[RELATED: Warriors' five toughest stretches of 2019-20 schedule could determine fate]

Dubin went further and broke down the projections by month, indicating that the schedule does get easier mid-season for Golden State. 

While these numbers will undoubtedly change significantly before the NBA regular season opens up on Oct. 22, it is clear the Warriors will have major competition to make the playoffs for an eighth consecutive season.