Bulls

Rival Red Wings ship Stuart back to Sharks

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Rival Red Wings ship Stuart back to Sharks

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Detroit Red Wings gave defenseman Brad Stuart and the San Jose Sharks a head start on completing a reunion for next season.Detroit sent the potential unrestricted free agent back to his original team in San Jose on Sunday in exchange for forward Andrew Murray and a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2014.Stuart had made clear that he wanted to be closer to his family, which still lives in San Jose, and now he gets three weeks to negotiate with the Sharks before possibly becoming a free agent July 1."That's the goal of making the trade,'' Stuart said. "We'll work on it for the next three weeks and try to work it out. We have some time to figure that out. For the Red Wings to give me time to figure that out shows what a class organization they are. I owe them a lot.''San Jose general manager Doug Wilson said he is hopeful the two sides can agree on a deal before the end of the month, which would give San Jose another top-four defenseman to upgrade a leaky penalty kill unit.Stuart played more short-handed minutes than any other Red Wings defender this past season. San Jose had the second-worst penalty-kill unit this season, a major factor in their first-round exit from the playoffs against St. Louis."Brad is a player we are very familiar with - a physical, team-first defenseman who is tough to play against, which is exactly the kind of mentality we want our team to possess,'' Wilson said.
Stuart said his priorities were finding a team that would be a title contender and one that was closer to his family. The Sharks fit in both categories, posting the second best record in the NHL since the lockout."It's nice to know they're excited to have a chance to get me back,'' Stuart said. "I feel the same way. Hopefully we can work it out.''Stuart was drafted third overall by San Jose in 1998 before being traded to Boston on Nov. 30, 2005, along with Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau for current Sharks captain Joe Thornton.Stuart, 32, had six goals and 15 assists in 81 games last season. He had a plus-16 rating and led the Red Wings in hits with 177 and was second in blocked shots with 115.He has played in 876 career games in 13 seasons with San Jose, Boston, Calgary, Los Angeles and Detroit, recording 74 goals, 231 assists and 489 penalty minutes. He's also added nine goals and 28 assists in 124 career playoff games."I take pride in being a good physical player who is hard to play against and works hard every night,'' Stuart said. "I want to be a guy the coaching staff and others can count on to give his all every night.''Copyright2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The next preps-to-pros leaper, Anfernee Simons confident 'I'll be able to make this jump'

The next preps-to-pros leaper, Anfernee Simons confident 'I'll be able to make this jump'

Anfernee Simons looks more like a ball boy than a 2018 NBA Draft prospect right now. He’s not considered small, what with having a 6-foot-3 frame with a massive 6-foot-9 wingspan, and he weighed in at last week’s NBA Draft Combine at 183 pounds, “heavier” than Lottery-bound guards like Trae Young, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Collin Sexton.

But there’s plenty of potential to unpack from the soon-to-be 19-year-old, baby-faced combo guard. Don’t let the appearance fool you. Simons is one of the most talented players in the class, and a team patient enough to let him develop at his own pace could reap major benefits in due time.

You won’t find much video on Simons, as the IMG Academy star is preparing to be the first prospect to go preps-to-pros without a year in college since Thon Maker did so in 2016.

Simons, a consensus five-star recruit in the 2018 class, originally committed to Louisville in November 2016 and then decommitted the following September shortly after Rick Pitino was fired. Since he had graduated from Edgewater High School in Florida and was playing a post-grad year at IMG Academy, he became eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft because he is a year removed from high school. That’s where he played this past season, declaring for the draft and signing with an agent in late March.

“The opportunity is there. Me and my parents talked about it a lot and I feel like I’m confident in myself that I’ll be able to make this jump,” he said at last week’s Combine. “So I just felt like, do it now and not waste any time.”

Simons has been on the radars of NBA teams, even if he’s not a household name like Ayton, Doncic and Bagley. He’s currently projected outside of the Lottery, in part because teams haven’t seen him compete against collegiate level talent and because his wiry frame almost surely means time in the G-League as a rookie. But again, the skill set is there.

Simons is a point guard with solid range beyond the arc. He may struggle off the ball because of his size, though that long wingspan and a quick release from his chest should allow him to get off shots. He’s a blur in transition and finishes well at the rim – his 41.5-inch vertical was tied for third best at the Combine, and his three-quarters court sprint was eighth fastest.

He’s a mixed bag defensively. Wingspan is the fun buzz word these days, and that will help him at the next level, but his small frame means there’s work to be done. A strength and conditioning coach will salivate at bringing Simons into the weight room and getting his body NBA-ready.

“Just staying durable through 82 games,” Simons answered when asked about his biggest challenge physically at the next level. “Taking care of your body is real pivotal so I feel like learning how to take care of my body now is a good thing.”

Simons maturely answered that the “unknown” of his game will be both a positive and minus during the pre-draft process. While fellow prospects he may face in team workouts don’t know as much about him and, thus, his game, teams also need to find out more about Simons’ game and off-court habits.

“Coming in young, people don’t know who I am and haven’t seen me play much. That’s the good side about coming in early,” he said. “It could be the same thing (negatively). People haven’t seen me like that, so I feel like they don’t know who I am. They probably think I’m too young to play in the league.”

Simons met with the Bulls and has scheduled a pre-draft workout with them. Though the Bulls feel like their rebuild could go quicker than anticipated – especially if they hit on their No. 7 pick – there could be plenty to gain from drafting for upside on a player like Simons.

Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne will both be free agents in 2019, and Denzel Valentine’s long-term future isn’t set in stone in Chicago. That leaves plenty of openings in the backcourt behind Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine. Simons won’t be ready to contribute much in 2018-19, but the Bulls wouldn’t need him to. A handful of outlets projected Simons as a top-5 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The Bulls could snag him a year earlier, let him develop in Hoffman Estates and bring him up in a year when they’re a step closer to contending.

Daily White Sox prospects update: Gavin Sheets hits his first homer of 2018

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Daily White Sox prospects update: Gavin Sheets hits his first homer of 2018

Here's your daily update on what the White Sox highly touted prospects are doing in the minor leagues.

Class A Winston-Salem

Gavin Sheets hit his first home run of the season in a 12-4 loss. While it's taken him this long to hit his first ball out of the park, Sheets has a .380 on-base percentage and his 24 walks make for one of the top 10 totals in the Carolina League. Blake Rutherford doubled in this one, while Sheets, Rutherford, Alex Call and Luis Alexander Basabe combined to draw five walks.

Class A Kannapolis

Luis Gonzalez and Evan Skoug each had a hit in a 9-3 win.

Triple-A Charlotte

Charlie Tilson had two hits in a 9-3 loss.