Why West Marine Inc. Stock Surged 33% Today   
A buyout agreement has West Marine rising with the tide.
          Report: Bulls have no plans to offer Dwyane Wade buyout   
One of Chicago’s Three Alphas may well stick around despite the Bulls’ teardown. According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls still value Dwyane Wade’s veteran presence on what will be a very young team, and have no plans to offer the guard a buyout. And this has been stated publicly by management...Read More
          Fox's Sky Buyout Hits Roadblock, UK Demands More Scrutiny   
Rupert Murdoch s Twenty First Century Fox Inc s FOXA proposed acquisition of remaining 61 stake in Europe s leading pay TV broadcaster Sky plc hit a roadblock after U K government minded to refer the deal for second phase of review to Competition and Markets Authority CMA
          Op-Ed: Staples' $6.9 billion buyout could end in the shredder   
Private equity firm Sycamore can only contribute so much to Staples' survival, says Lauren Silva Laughlin.
          More than 1,500 Fidelity employees take company’s buyout offer   
The company extended the offers to approximately 3,000 workers in February as part of a larger effort to cut costs.

          Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: New York Knicks Still Trying To Trade Anthony, Will Not Buy Out Contract   

Carmelo Anthony Leading New York Knicks Against Cavs

Carmelo Anthony trade rumors haven’t stopped, despite the New York Knicks moving on without team president Phil Jackson at the helm. This seems to hint that the Knicks are ready to move on as a franchise and that the front office is still hoping Anthony will waive his no-trade clause. A report by the New York Post just came out that reveals Anthony is still on the trade block. The report also confirms that the Knicks aren’t willing to offer Anthony a contract buyout to part ways with the All-Star forward.

Click here to continue and read more...


          Perhaps the women get the    
A married adult female becomes a one-woman adult female for one of two reasons: extermination or separation. The ex is an solid state, the latter is not.When a female person loses her married man to release the neighbours all call up corpulent and give meals and any support they can make a contribution near admiration to household repairs or improvement or thing that is needed. They are compliant to offer solace and a shoulder to cry on. They are unclaimed for the woman and they embrace her in their activities, response regretful for her that she is now so alone.However, things are fairly disparate when a marital status ends due to adultery or nuptial breakdown. That straight away plunges a adult female into a new accumulation. She is transformed, instantaneously it seems,from a mated female person to a woman. Becoming one of many, division of a agency of used and abandoned women, seen as funny by all those who are motionless undamagingly ensconced in the female internal reproductive organ of their wedding.Post ads:spy cell phone pc free / cheating on your love / my friends boyfriend is cheating on her do i tell her / surveillance 1984 quotes / spy call nokia 6233 / china security surveillance technology buyout / spy call software 6300 / text monitoring for iphone / cheating husband body language / monitoring of phone calls software / spice mobile 6868n / cell phone spy how to detect / funny cheating spouse quotes / e.jean cheating / recording devices on computer / fable 3 cheating on your wife / 007 keylogger spy software reviewsPeople lean to recede from her. Invitations to get togethers stop. It appears that women have a sneaking suspicion that their husbands may possibly be attracted to the notion of an "available woman" and so the women who utilised to be friends move back and leave your job her alone with her bodily process and her fears. There are no meals braced and no offers of assistance. Husbands are kept at territory merely in case, for such as is the representation represented of a woman. The husbands possibly will not be safe and sound. She may perhaps basis the waste of opposite marriages.
          Kyle Korver to Get Contract Offer from Cavs; Carmelo Anthony Buyout Eyed   

The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly entering free agency with retaining Kyle Korver and acquiring Carmelo Anthony as their top two priorities.

According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, the Cavs are expected to make Korver a contract offer, and they are hoping the New York Knicks will buy out the remainder of Melo's deal.

Vardon added that the Cavaliers can go above the salary cap to sign Korver due to the fact that they traded for him last season.

The 36-year-old sharpshooter shot an NBA-best 45.1 percent from beyond the arc last season, while averaging 10.1 points per game.

With regard to Anthony, the Knicks reportedly would rather trade him to get assets in return rather than buying him out, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said on Mike & Mike (h/t Ryne Nelson of Slam Online) that the Cavaliers are the only team Melo would accept a buyout to join.

Anthony and LeBron James are close friends, and by joining James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, Melo would give the Cavaliers a "Big Four" that could potentially better compete with the Golden State Warriors.

While the 33-year-old Anthony's production has dipped a bit over the past two seasons, he still averaged 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game in 2016-17, and he has made the All-Star Game in 10 of the past 11 seasons.

Even if Anthony would be willing to waive his no-trade clause for the Cavs, it is unlikely Cleveland would have the assets needed to get a deal done.

Also, with the Cavaliers in search of a general manager to replace David Griffin and the Knicks looking for a team president to take over for Phil Jackson, there is a great deal of uncertainty in both front offices.

Read more Cleveland Cavaliers news on BleacherReport.com


          Cavs Rumors: Latest Buzz on Paul George Trade, Carmelo Anthony and More   

The tension coming from the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer is, in a word, palpable.

After LeBron James and his defending champs bowed out of the Finals to the new superteam on the block, the front office has to worry about the fact the King might opt out in 2018 and consider his options on the open market.

Of course, having a King around gives the team access to scenarios most teams wouldn't dream about—like pursuing names such as Carmelo Anthony or Paul George.

With free agency about to open, let's step back and look at some of the notable rumblings around the Cavaliers.

         

Buyout Shopping

The Cavaliers haven't done much to negate Golden State's gigantic advantage in the superteam race yet in large part because the front office doesn't have much in the way of assets to sling at other teams.

Forming a juggernaut like the Cavaliers around LeBron has a way of doing that to the team.

Alas, this doesn't mean the Cavaliers won't have options soon. According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, the team will keep an eye on two potential buyout options—Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony:

Wade is an interesting angle for the Cavaliers to consider because it'd be a throwback to their days with the Miami Heat. The 35-year-old guard just picked up his player option with the Chicago Bulls because it comes in around $24 million.

Still, with Chicago's new direction after shipping away Jimmy Butler and building around Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, Wade is a bit of an odd fit and might find himself on the market after a little negotiation.

Anthony is an entirely different story.

His New York Knicks just parted ways with president Phil Jackson, though the damage between the team and superstar forward might be irreparable at this point as the front office heads for a rebuild of its own. Given Anthony's no-trade clause, it's hard to see him agreeing to a transaction when he could hit the open market.

Now would be a good time to mention Stephen A. Smith of ESPN reported Anthony would indeed accept a buyout so he could join the Cavaliers.

Viewed in a vacuum, the Cavaliers adding one of Wade or Anthony isn't a bad thing, though neither is a defensive stopper who could better help defend the likes of Kevin Durant.

Such options do exist, though.

             

Quietly Working the Trade Phones

One of the quieter items surrounding the Cavaliers as of late is apparent trade discussions with the San Antonio Spurs.

While this isn't as flashy as the above or what follows below, the Cavaliers chatting with the Spurs about veterans is right in line with what the team actually has to offer via trade.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported the Cavaliers opened a dialogue with the Spurs about veteran guard Danny Green:

Green is an interesting option for Cleveland because he serves two purposes—he'd be a critical depth option and also has a 2018 player option the Cavaliers could hope he declines, freeing up more cap space to use while trying to keep LeBron in town.

Green is 30 years old coming off a season in which he averaged 26.6 minutes and posted 7.3 points. Nothing eye popping here, but a nice way for the Cavaliers to land some affordable depth at the 2, provided San Antonio's asking price isn't too high—and it shouldn't be if the Spurs are intent on shedding cap so they can pursue big-name free agents.

Again, make sure to keep this one in mind. If nothing happens on the buyout market, the odds the Cavaliers hit up the Spurs about this again seem strong.

                 

Banking on PG13 for the Long Haul

By now, the idea of the Indiana Pacers dealing Paul George and his landing with his hometown Los Angeles Lakers seems about as obvious as the Lakers drafting Lonzo Ball.

And we knew Ball and the Lakers coveted one another for years.

The Cavaliers, at least, hope to throw a wrench in these plans. Stein noted recently that the team had found itself involved in talks with the Pacers and Denver Nuggets for George while shipping away Kevin Love.

A third team would indeed help the Cavaliers compensate for a lack of assets. It's hard to imagine he wouldn't want to come to town and play next to LeBron, either. On paper, he'd be the defensive stopper the team desperately needs, sticking on Durant and letting LeBron run wild on the offensive end of the court like he's accustomed.

But what about the long term? If George joins and the Cavaliers don't win a ring, can the front office convince him to sign a long-term deal? Even worse, what if both LeBron and George leave together?

Rest easy—according to USA Today's Sam Amick, who spoke with people close to the situation, George wants to win:

"Hell-bent as he is on signing with the Lakers, George also won't close a window of opportunity. So if the Cavs can convince Pritchard to either take on four-time All-Star forward Kevin Love or send him to a third team in exchange for more suitable assets, then George will play his heart out alongside LeBron James and remain open to the idea of re-signing next summer if James were also to return."

Of course, this isn't a guarantee of anything. The Cavaliers still have to go out and perform after making a franchise-altering deal.

But at the least, fans worried George might be a rental can rest easy and hope LeBron can convince him it's worth sticking in town.

Putting something like that on LeBron's shoulders has a relaxing effect.

         

All stats and info via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified

Read more Cleveland Cavaliers news on BleacherReport.com


          Cavs Rumors: Breaking Down 2017 Offseason Plan for Cleveland   

The stakes couldn't be much higher for the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer.

Blow it, and LeBron James might walk out the door next offseason, likely creating a domino effect regarding the futures of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Hit a home run and the Cavs may be able to close the gap on the Golden State Warriors.

While the team's massive payroll limits what Cleveland can realistically do, that doesn't lessen the weight of each and every decision the front office makes. 

Below are the biggest tasks ahead for the Cavaliers.

     

Resolve the General Manager Vacancy

In defense of the Cavs, at least they didn't fire their team president less than a week after the NBA draft, when the team selected an 18-year-old point guard to run the offense said team president espoused. While welcomed by New York Knicks fans, the timing of Phil Jackson's departure wasn't ideal.

Granted, Cleveland doesn't have much room to boast. The free-agent negotiating window opens Saturday and the Cavaliers are no closer to hiring a general manager.

ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman reported Wednesday the team is still in negotiations with Chauncey Billups and that Billups' representatives presented a counter-offer to team owner Dan Gilbert. The Associated Press' Tom Withers reported Tuesday that Billups is the only candidate who has met with Gilbert so far.

Firing David Griffin, who helped build a roster that reached three straight NBA Finals and win a championship, would've been more defensible if the Cavaliers had a cogent plan in mind to replace him.

Instead, they're putting all of their eggs in one basket—a basket that comes with potential pitfalls of its own:

As risky as hiring Billups would be, it might be a more preferable outcome than failing to hire him. At that point, Cleveland would be left scrambling for other candidates—potentially as the free-agency moratorium period is underway.

The absence of a general manager has already hurt the Cavs this offseason. They failed to land Jimmy Butler, who instead moved on to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears also shared this on the night of the draft:

Having a general manager surely would've helped the Cavs get the deal across the finish line.

Cleveland has backed itself into a corner, and hiring Billups is the best way to mitigate the damage.

     

Go All-In for Paul George or Carmelo Anthony

The Cavs don't have enough cap space to sign a marquee free agent, and their trade options are limited both by their available assets and the caliber of star they'd be looking to acquire. Butler's trade to the Timberwolves trims their choices even further.

If Cleveland fails to add Carmelo Anthony or Paul George, then it could be facing a summer in which it makes no noticeable upgrade to the roster. While the Cavs don't necessarily need to transform their squad, they can't afford to stand pat and hope their odds of upsetting the Warriors improve.

The door to trade for George may not be closed completely, but it's not exactly wide open, either.

The Cavs missed a chance to get George before the draft, with ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Chris Haynes reporting they tried to get a three-way trade involving the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets completed.

Stein and Haynes added Cleveland will continue to pursue a possible George trade.

The Cavaliers have plenty of competition. The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Boston Celtics are attempting to get George and Gordon Hayward this summer, while ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon reported the Houston Rockets are targeting George as well.

The Rockets traded for Chris Paul on Wednesday, which might signal they shifted their resources toward acquiring the All-Star point guard at the cost of possibly acquiring George.

On Wednesday, Stein provided an update on the Anthony front:

The New York Knicks have eroded Anthony's trade value to the point that the Cavs may not have to give up much to get him—with a buyout clearly the optimal route.

Adding Anthony won't make the same kind of impact it would have five or six years ago, but he averaged 22.4 points and 5.9 rebounds a game and shot 35.9 percent from three-point range. And as a third or fourth scoring option for Cleveland, he may find the offensive efficiency he has lacked for much of his career.

      

Re-Sign Kyle Korver

The Cavaliers are at least somewhat lucky in that they don't have to worry about losing too many key players to free agency. They have five players out of contract: Kyle Korver, Deron Williams, Derrick Williams, James Jones and Dahntay Jones.

Of the five, Korver should be Cleveland's top priority.

The 36-year-old was very effective in his limited role. According to Basketball-Reference.com, 74.3 percent of his field-goal attempts came from beyond the arc, and he shot 48.5 percent from three-point range.

In February, Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon noted the Cavaliers have Bird rights for Korver, so they can exceed the salary cap in order to re-sign him. That gives Cleveland some much-needed financial help to lure the sharpshooter back for next year.

Given Gilbert's willingness to open his checkbook in the past, re-signing Korver shouldn't be too difficult for the Cavs.

Read more Cleveland Cavaliers news on BleacherReport.com


          Walgreens ends its attempt to buy Rite Aid   
NEW YORK – Walgreens has ended its takeover pursuit of rival Rite Aid after resistance from U.S. regulators and will instead now buy stores, distribution centers and inventory in a new deal.

The proposed merger, first announced in 2015, was initially for about $9.4 billion but was whittled down to about $6.8 billion earlier this year.

For scrapping the transaction, Walgreens Boots Alliance will pay Rite Aid Corp. a $325 million termination fee. It will pay Fred's Pharmacy an additional $25 million following the termination of a related asset deal.

Under the new agreement, Walgreens will buy 2,186 stores, three distribution centers and related inventory from Rite Aid for about $5.18 billion in cash. Walgreens also will assume the related real estate leases and certain limited store-related liabilities. Rite Aid will have an option, exercisable through May 2019, to become a member of Walgreen's group purchasing organization.

Walgreens said Thursday that the stores it purchases from Rite Aid will be converted to the Walgreens brand "over time." The stores included in the agreement are mostly located in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. The three distribution centers are in Dayville, Connecticut, Philadelphia and Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The new transaction is targeted to close within the next six months.

Before the new deal, Deerfield-based Walgreens and Camp Hill, Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid faced a complicated task of easing antitrust concerns to complete the buyout. The companies initially expected to sell no more than 500 stores to appease regulators, but that was eventually pushed to 1,200 stores.

The combination of Walgreens, the largest U.S. drugstore, and Rite Aid would have created a drugstore giant with more than 11,000 stores nationally, even with the sale of more than a thousand stores. That would have been a few thousand more than the nearest competitor, CVS Caremark Corp.

Meanwhile, Walgreens reported a 5.3 percent boost in fiscal third-quarter profit to$1.16 billion, or $1.07 per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $1.33 per share.

Revenue rose 2.1 percent to $30.1 billion.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research were looking for earnings of $1.31 per share on $29.68 billion in revenue.

Rite Aid reported a first-quarter adjusted loss of 5 cents per share on revenue of $7.78 billion.

Shares of Rite Aid plunged more than 22 percent in premarket trading, while Fred's stock tumbled nearly 20 percent. Shares of Walgreens were up 6.5 percent.


          Rebellion At The NYTimes: Newsroom To Walk Out After “Decrying Direction Of Paper”   
– Rebellion At The NYTimes: Newsroom To Walk Out After “Decrying Direction Of Paper”: Exhausted and demoralized after repeated buyouts and cutbacks in the newsroom, it seems the downtrodden journalists at the New York Times have finally had enough: In a pair of letters delivered to executive editor Dean Baquet and managing editor Joseph Kahn, ... Read more
          NHL free agency 2017: Michael Cammalleri, Jussi Jokinen highlight list of buyouts   
Friday, June 30 is the end of the first buyout period for NHL players. So when 12 p.m. on the East Coast rolled around, a lot of players were put on waivers for buyout purposes. Elliotte Friedman had the full …
          More than 1,500 Fidelity employees take company’s buyout offer   
The company extended the offers to approximately 3,000 workers in February as part of a larger effort to cut costs.

          Comment on Several Buyouts Before Deadline by rmhancharick   
Not that they want to, but would Carolina be allowed to re-sign Murphy to a new deal now?
          Comment on Several Buyouts Before Deadline by acarneglia   
Kevin is extremely talented
          Comment on Several Buyouts Before Deadline by Jimmykinglive   
Calgary basically ate 100k of cap space for Carolina
          Comment on Several Buyouts Before Deadline by Rob   
Lack is the guy they wanted. Ryan Murphy, at this stage of his career, is very bad. Could be the Canes didn't want the dead money on their cap from buying him out and insisted he be part of the trade.
          Comment on Several Buyouts Before Deadline by Eoin93   
I guess I'm losing the business side of things. Why trade for a player then immediately buy them out? The carolina \ Flames deal makes no sense.
          Comment on Several Buyouts Before Deadline by bheath33   
See Ya Jimmy... Hayes brothers are the biggest softest players in the league... but their Dad was a scum bag who got shaken down by Whitey Bulger so i guess its expected
          Analysis: U.S. fund managers seek consumer stocks that Amazon can't conquer   

By David Randall

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's game-changing move to upend the grocery business with a surprise deal to buy Whole Foods Market Inc compounds a problem already vexing fund managers: how to play U.S. consumer spending when the Seattle-based e-commerce giant is threatening to take over retail.

Amazon's relentless growth and destruction of value among traditional retail rivals is forcing active fund managers to look for bets in areas they think Amazon can't or won't reach.

Emerging options include theme restaurant chains, recreational vehicle makers and sellers of stuff that's just too heavy to ship via Amazon's network. Meanwhile, some fund managers are increasingly convinced the only way to play consumer spending is to move away from brands and retailers and into logistics and supply chain companies, essentially betting e-commerce will render most consumer companies obsolete.

The challenge of investing in consumer companies comes a time when the category would typically shine.

Low unemployment and a solid housing market boost consumer stocks, yet companies in the category - excluding Amazon - are up just 5.2 percent for the year, or about 3 percentage points below the broad S&P 500 as a whole, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Amazon shares, by comparison, are up about 30 percent.

BIGGER DISRUPTION THAN WAL-MART'S

Amazon now accounts for about 34 percent of all U.S. online sales and should see that number grow to about 50 percent by 2021, according to a Needham research note.

Amazon's growing dominance is in some ways akin to the rise of Wal-Mart Stores Inc in the early 2000s, when its rapid growth and move to branch out into groceries raised concerns it would put other retailers out of business. Yet Amazon's greater online reach and purchase of a top-shelf grocery store chain makes it far more formidable, said Barbara Miller, a portfolio manager at Federated Kaufmann funds.

"I've been in this industry for twenty-five years and this is the biggest transformation we've seen in the consumer space," she said.

While Wal-Mart put many small mom-and-pop stores out of business, Amazon is dragging down national competitors like Target and Macy's with its combination of low prices, broad range of inventory, and speed, she said.

At the same time, Amazon is expanding its e-commerce dominance when more shoppers are online, suggesting more pain ahead for competitors. E-commerce sales grew 14.7 percent in 2016, nearly triple the 5.1-percent growth rate of traditional retailers, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

BUGS AND COFFEE: THE HUNT FOR SURVIVORS

Fund managers say Amazon's growing dominance is forcing them to shift long-held strategies, by either putting less money into consumer stocks overall or by focusing on companies that can compete alongside Amazon or may be attractive buyout targets.

The company's outsized 15.4-percent weighting, more than double the next-largest stock in the S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary index, is problematic for fund managers who typically will not hold any positions greater than 5 percent of their portfolio in order to manage risk.

Josh Cummings, a portfolio manager at Janus Henderson funds, is avoiding shares of direct competitors of Amazon, such as Target Corp, Kroger Co, and Wal-Mart, and instead focusing on companies with "idiosyncratic" attributes, he said.

Starbucks Corp, for instance, offers an experience that Amazon would find hard to match, he said, while Servicemaster Global Holdings, parent company of pest control company Terminix, is largely immune from e-commerce competition.

"Could Amazon decide they want to be in the business of spraying for bugs? It doesn't seem likely," he said.

Miller, the portfolio manager at the Federated Kaufmann funds, said she is moving away from stores that could be found in a mall, focusing instead on companies like Dave & Busters Entertainment Inc and Wingstop Inc that offer food-based experiences. She also owns shares of Camping World Holdings Inc, which sells a mix of goods and services ranging from roadside assistance to accessories to the growing recreational vehicle market.

"This is a company with a strong membership base that has the sort of scale in its niche to rival Amazon," she said.

Jeff Rottinghaus, portfolio manager of the T. Rowe Price U.S. Large-Cap Core Equity fund, said he owns Home Depot Inc shares because its stores essentially function as warehouses and much of its merchandise is too heavy or bulky to profitably ship quickly online.

Gary Bradshaw, a portfolio manager at Hodges Capital in Dallas, said he expects that portfolio holding Wal-Mart will become more aggressive in acquiring small, private companies to broaden its online reach.

The company announced a deal to buy men's wear company Bonobos for $310 million in mid-June, following purchases of outdoor gear retailer Moosejaw and online shoe store ShoeBuy. Wal-Mart acquired online retailer Jet.com in a $3.3 billion deal last August.

"They're going to do whatever it takes to compete with Amazon. They may be losing the battle at the moment but that doesn't mean that they will back down," he said.

Other investors are getting their consumer exposure by focusing on behind-the-scenes companies that power the growth of e-commerce.

Laird Bieger, a portfolio manager of the Baron Discovery Fund - the top-performing small-cap growth fund year-to-date - said he is focusing on companies like CommerceHub Inc, which works with companies such as J C Penney Co and Best Buy Inc to allow them to sell more products online and ship directly from manufacturers.

Craig Richard, a co-portfolio manager of the Buffalo Emerging Opportunities fund, said he has been buying Kornit Digital Ltd, which makes textile printers that can produce t-shirt and other apparel designs on demand, helping save inventory costs.

Amazon is Kornit's largest customer and has warrants to buy up to 2.9 million Kornit shares, about 8 percent of the company, at $13.03 a share over the next five years. Shares of Kornit, up 57 percent this year, traded at $19.95 on Friday.

(Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Dan Burns and Nick Zieminski)


          Buyouts offered to 8 percent of UM full-time faculty   
Around 50 veteran professors at the University of Montana have been offered early retirement incentives as the university prepares for another round of downsizing.

The figure is substantially lower than the 80-100 buyout target state officials floated in April while securing a $2 million legislative earmark to offset "faculty termination costs." Buyouts alone seem unlikely to achieve the university's overall staff reduction goals.

Offers are limited to full-time, tenured faculty who are at least 65 years old and are already eligible to retire.…
          UM buyouts a 'win-win-win?' Not so fast.   
Any buyouts offered to University of Montana faculty and staff will likely be limited to those whose academic programs or departments are targeted for downsizing, the Montana University System’s human resources director says.

Such an approach could put senior and junior faculty at odds, and may strain a process that faculty union leaders hoped could offer an alternative to mass layoffs as UM prepares to cut its budget by millions over the next two years.

“It gets more sensitive the more specific the buyout becomes,” says University Faculty Association spokesperson Lee Banville. “How do you not turn this into, ‘Senior faculty retire now or junior faculty lose their jobs,’ which could be a very destructive conversation to have.”

UM President Sheila Stearns and Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian began discussing buyout options just weeks after Stearns took over as interim president in December, as the Indy first reported.…
          Bruins place Jimmy Hayes on waivers for buyout purposes   

Two years ago, he was realizing a dream of playing for his hometown team. A frustrating two years later, his career in Boston is coming to an end. On Friday, one day before the start of free agency frenzy, former Boston College standout and Dorcheste...

The post Bruins place Jimmy Hayes on waivers for buyout purposes appeared first on Bruins Daily.


          Comment on Why Globacom Will Acquire Etisalat Nigeria In 2017 [Video] by With Board Dissolution And Exit Of Hakeem Bello-Osagie, Here Are Options for Etisalat Nigeria – Tekedia   
[…] becomes clear after two years that it is not making progress, the firm should put itself for sale. Glo remains a strategic partner that can help absorb it. It may not be cash deal, of total buyout, but something closer to a merger […]
          Asian Sovereign Wealth Participates in InterPark Buyout   
An investor group led by TIAA Private Investments, an affiliate of Nuveen, and Antarctica Capital finalized talks to buy Chicago-based InterPark, LLC, the largest owner-operator of parking infrastructure in the United States. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]
          Buyouts are rising to the highest level since before the financial crisis   
The pick-up in dealmaking reflects an environment where private equity firms face fierce competition for assets, Financial Times reports.
          Scouting Notebook: Dani Ceballos Putting His Football to the Fore at Euro U21s   

With the notable exception of 2015, Spain have been utterly dominant in Under-21 Championships this decade. 2011 saw them defeat Switzerland 2-0 in the final; in 2013 they beat Italy 4-2; and in 2017, they enter the final against Germany as heavy, heavy favourites.

The calibre of player they've taken to this tournament has been just as remarkable as their collective performances. 2011 saw Thiago Alcantara, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Javi Martinez form an all-powerful midfield, while in 2013, Isco, Asier Illarramendi and Koke joined Thiago to make them even stronger.

This year a new crop have shined. In their first game of the tournament—a 5-0 demolition of Macedonia—Marco Asensio, fresh off scoring in the UEFA Champions League final, grabbed the headlines (again) with an eye-popping hat-trick.

Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez also scored that day, and he has gone on to bag four more, including a ridiculous hat-trick against Italy in the semi-final, while Marcos Llorente has swept up at the base of midfield in a calm, collected manner.

But one man's name currently in the papers was not on the teamsheet for that opening fixture, and said man was not happy about it.

According to ESPN FC's David Cartlidge, Dani Ceballos—who you may well have seen tear Italy's entire team apart with one slinking dribble on Tuesday—was incredibly disappointed not to have been handed a key role and had to set about changing matters.

It's not the first time this season he's been left sidelined; Gus Poyet, when manager of Real Betis, inexplicably pushed him (and Chelsea loanee Charly Musonda) away from the first-team squad for periods of time before Christmas. From a footballing perspective it made no sense, as Ceballos is the most creative, talented player in that team and they battled relegation from August to April, but then, the decision to drop him may well have had nothing to do with football at all.

Despite being aged just 20, Ceballos already has a chequered past. According to Goal.com, he's made some derogatory comments in the past about different regions of Spain; insulted legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas and his wife; told a just-relegated player that he hopes his club rots in the second division; and even sent a pro-General Franco tweet.

That's been the story of his career to date: off-field issues, distractions and mishaps coming to the fore, with the unfortunate casualty being his football. For one so young to be constantly battling back from adversity is a true shame.

Missing the starting XI against Macedonia was simply the next in a lengthy line of footballing setbacks, but Ceballos made the most of his 27 minutes off the bench against Macedonia and found himself in the starting XI against Portugal for the group's key clash.

They won, he played well, and he found himself back on the bench for the third game—only this time it was alongside Asensio and Saul, as coach Albert Celades rotated his crop ahead of the semi-finals.

Against Italy, he shot to the fore for all the right reasons. His tempo-setting midfield play, so often seen in excellent Real Betis performances this year, were key to Spain controlling the game and controlling proceedings. Saul Niguez may have scored another rocket, but that was almost overlooked due to Ceballos producing the moment of the game.

Having already nutmegged Roberto Gagliardini three times and got him sent off for two yellows earned from pure frustration, he embarked on a scintillating run, ducked between two midfielders after an outrageous fake pass sent them the wrong way, beat one more and then nutmegged another poor soul in the box to set up a shot. It left the crowd, the Twittersphere, the universe gobsmacked.

That's what Ceballos is, in pure footballing terms: An electric, exciting, dazzling, smart midfielder. If he can set aside his documented off-field issues and control his emotions, the sky's the limit for him.

That slick fake-pass move to flummox Italy is one of his specialties. He did it to Atletico Madrid last season too, fooling two of Diego Simeone's seasoned warhorses with a quick swish of the leg. In the same game, he smacked the post from distance, then went one better and powered a ridiculous volley in from outside the box after a corner had been headed clear.

But while it's easy to fall for Ceballos' highlight reel moments and simply consider him a difference-maker in the final third, that would do an injustice to his abilities in the other two.

He can drop into deeper areas and control games. For long periods against Italy he was level with Marcos Llorente in the base of midfield, playing as a No. 6 and dictating. He set Spain's rhythm and tempo, kept the ball moving and probed for weak points in Italy's formation. From there he was able to either slalom forward and beat markers or launch accurate passes into Gerard Deulofeu or Asensio.

He also put the work in defensively, tracking men back and, on a number of occasions, getting a vital foot in to dispossess just outside his own box. He won't make an elite box-to-box midfielder, nor will he try to, but the graft shown is important—particularly given the circumstances he started the tournament in, and given Barcelona's Denis Suarez is on the bench, itching to reclaim that spot in the team.

The whole world has seen Ceballos at his best during this tournament, and, as if often the case, transfer links have followed. Real Betis' president has been forced to deny reports that Real Madrid are just a step away from signing him, per Canal Sur TV (h/t ESPN's Adriana Garcia), but the fact he has a €15 million buyout clause is public knowledge and can only work against the Andalusian club.

€15 million for a player who can do what he's done this summer, at the age he is? It shouldn't just be Real Madrid interested; it should be every top club on the continent.

      

Facebook.com/SamTigheBR

Read more World Football news on BleacherReport.com


          The Bulls waive Rajon Rondo, ending a very weird partnership after one year   
Rajon Rondo's back on the market. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Rajon Rondo’s back on the market. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

So, after all that, the Chicago Bulls are down to just one “Alpha.”

[Fantasy Football is open! Sign up now]

The Bulls announced Friday afternoon that they’ve waived point guard Rajon Rondo, just shy of one year after Chicago signed him to a two-year deal to serve as the Bulls’ new lead ball-handler. The team had reportedly tried to find a taker for the final year and $13.3 million Rondo was due for the 2017-18 season, but couldn’t find a trade partner for the 31-year-old former All-Star. Instead, the Bulls chose to waive him hours before the start of the NBA’s 2017 free agent season at 12 a.m. ET Saturday, paying him $3 million rather than his full freight to open up a little under $21 million in cap space heading into free agency.

Not that the Bulls are expected to make a big splash once things get underway. At last Thursday’s 2017 NBA draft, Chicago shipped All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler, far and away the team’s best player, to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for shooting guard Zach LaVine, 2016 first-round pick point guard Kris Dunn and 2017 first-round choice Lauri Markkanen, a 7-foot shooter out of Arizona — all age 23 and under, joining a collection of recent draft picks and additions (Denzel Valentine, Paul Zipser, Bobby Portis, Jerian Grant, Cristiano Felicio, Cameron Payne) in what now seems to be a full-on youth movement that’s not exactly conducive to spending big money in free agency.

The move seemed curious from the jump. Yes, Rondo had led the NBA in assists one season earlier on a Sacramento Kings team on which, as he colorfully said, “you couldn’t name three people,” and yes, he came at a comparatively low annual price tag for a starting point guard in the wake of the Bulls trading Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks. But as a ball-dominant, non-3-point-shooting playmaker whose best defensive days are behind him and whose prickly personality had resulted in more than a few run-ins with coaches during his time in Boston, Dallas and Sacramento, Rondo seemed an odd fit alongside incumbent rising superstar Butler and the Bulls’ other big-name, big-ticket 2016 free-agent signing: hometown hero Dwyane Wade, himself a ball-dominant, non-3-point-shooting playmaker whose best defensive days are behind him.

The players insisted before the start of the season that they’d make it work, that having “Three Alphas” in the locker room and on the court was better than having none. The results didn’t exactly bear that out, as the Bulls sputtered and stumbled for most of the season before finishing 41-41, briefly putting the fear of God into the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, and losing four straight games to get eliminated after Rondo suffered a broken thumb that knocked him out for the remainder of the season.

[Follow Ball Don’t Lie on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

It was a weird year. Rondo began the season as Chicago’s starting point guard, then earned a one-game suspension in December for “conduct detrimental to the team” after a heated exchange with assistant coach Jim Boylen. Later that month, he got benched for five straight games in favor of former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, and even racked up a DNP-CD on his own celebratory bobblehead night. He returned to the lineup after the “bulls***” benching and, before long, into controversy, as he, Butler and Wade sparred publicly and via social media over the leadership reins of a team that was underperforming its own lofty expectations and running out of time to solve its issues.

The Bulls eventually got it together enough to hit .500 and earn the East’s eighth and final playoff spot on the final night of the season. They stunned the top-seeded Celtics to start the opening round, taking two games in Boston behind strong performances from Butler, center Robin Lopez and Rondo, as the former Celtic averaged 11.5 points, 10 assists, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals in two stellar outings in his old stomping grounds. It all turned, though, after Rondo broke his right thumb in Game 2. Fred Hoiberg didn’t have another option at the point capable of filling Rondo’s role, and a Celtics team that figured out the tactical lever to pull to put the Bulls’ backs against the wall — playing small-ball from the start of the game to pull Chicago’s bigs away from the rim, forcing Hoiberg to try to match size with size, neutralizing Lopez and the Bulls’ rebounding advantage inside — ripped off four straight wins to eliminate the Bulls.

Rondo, who averaged 7.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.7 assists in 26.7 minutes per game in 69 appearances in his lone season in Chicago, insisted after the season that the Bulls would’ve swept the C’s had he not gotten injured. The Bulls insisted they wanted to bring Rondo back. Neither came to pass, and now the veteran point guard will have to wait to see what kind of interest he can generate on the free-agent market.

Chicago also waived point guard Isaiah Canaan, who made 39 appearances off the Bulls bench last year, averaging 4.6 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 15.2 minutes per game, and who started in Round 1 after Rondo went down.

(Like I said: weird year.)

Despite having moved decisively in the direction of a youth-led rebuild over the past eight days, the Bulls appear to be sticking with holding on to their lone remaining “Alpha,” who exercised the $23.8 million player option he held for the season to come:

How exactly paying Wade $24 million to lead a team in transition makes sense doesn’t exactly compute. But then, that’s sort of par for the course, as any major Rondo will tell you:

More NBA coverage:

– – – – – – –

Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!


          NBA Free Agency Shopping Lists: Atlantic Division   
Gordon Hayward is Boston’s top free agent target. (Getty Images)

Free agency is a complicated time full of misdirection, brief opportunities, and a whole lot of persuasion. We’ve put together these shopping lists to ensure every team stays on track.

Boston Celtics

2016-17 record: 53-29, eliminated in the conference finals

Unrestricted free agents: Jonas Jerebko, Amir Johnson, Gerald Green, James Young

Restricted free agents: Kelly Olynyk

The Celtics are cruising into July with big dreams, and unlike many other teams that enter free agency with far-fetched visions of wooing multiple stars, Boston’s are realistic. Plan 1A: Sign Gordon Hayward, then trade for Paul George, in that order. Plan 1B, maybe: Sign Blake Griffin, then swoop in for George. The latter actually might make more sense fit-wise, but, if reports and rumors are to be believed, the Celtics have had their sights set on Hayward for a while, and he appears to be their first choice. He’ll talk shop with Boston this weekend, sandwiched in between meetings with Miami and Utah.

The plans sound wonderful in theory. But there are plenty of potential hiccups. The wait for Hayward will be excruciating. If he does indeed opt for a reunion with Brad Stevens, Boston will then have to clear cap space to fit his presumed max contract under the salary cap — something that became a bit more difficult when the NBA slashed its cap projection from $101 million to $99 million. Even if the Celtics renounce all five of their free agents and waive Tyler Zeller, they may be squeezed on max room. That means they may have to part ways with even more assets to fit Hayward into cap space.

Then, after what could be a lengthy (by NBA free agency standards) wait, they’ll have to hope George is still available. Indiana has been talking to other PG-13 suitors, and may not be comfortable turning down other enticing deals to hold out for Boston’s package. After all, what if Hayward goes elsewhere?

If he does, and if Griffin lands elsewhere, shelling out for what could be a one-year rental for George makes significantly less sense for Boston. If Danny Ainge strikes out, he could — and probably should — hold on to his valuable assets, maintain flexibility, and build for three or four years down the road.

[Fantasy Football is open! Sign up now]

If everything goes right, the Celtics will add Hayward and George to a core of Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and whoever doesn’t get flipped to pave way for two All-Stars. They could then add an athletic big man with their mid-level exception, and gear up to battle the Cleveland Cavaliers for East supremacy. But a lot of contingencies must be in place if the Hayward-George pursuit doesn’t go to plan.

Brooklyn Nets

2016-17 record: 20-62

Unrestricted free agents: Randy Foye, K.J. McDaniels (Nets will reportedly decline team option)

Restricted free agents: None

The Nets are still struggling for breath under the oppressive weight of the 2013 Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce trade, but the wheezing is gradually turning into deeper intakes and outtakes. Brooklyn now has a centerpiece — or at least a building block — for its rebuild in D’Angelo Russell. It has a semblance of stability and direction. But it still has a striking dearth of talent, and no chance of contending within the next few years. That means the Nets should look to make one of two moves.

First, they could snoop around for trade partners looking to offload big contracts, just like they did with the Lakers and Timofey Mozgov in the Russell deal. With plenty of cap room, the Nets can afford to take on dead weight if it means also acquiring future first-round picks or talented youngsters.

Second, they could throw money at restricted free agents coming off their rookie deals to try and pry any away from their incumbent teams. Targeting established stars is unrealistic, and targeting aging veterans is useless, but targeting a 24- or 25-year-old who can develop along with Russell meshes with Brooklyn’s timeline. Otto Porter, Nerlens Noel and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope should be at the top of their list. If those big-money offers get matched, GM Sean Marks could turn to guys like Tim Hardaway Jr. or Kelly Olynyk.

The downside of handing a four-year deal to a player like Porter or Noel is it restricts Brooklyn’s cap flexibility going forward, and could hinder its pursuit of big-time free agents in 2019 or 2020. That’s why rumors have linked the Nets with veterans like J.J. Redick, who may not command more than two or three years. That would maximize Brooklyn’s cap space for more important offseasons in the future. But taking a chance on Porter or Noel might be worth it.

Are the Knicks still building around Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis? (Getty Images)

New York Knicks

2016-17 record: 31-51

Unrestricted free agents: Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday, Sasha Vujacic

Restricted free agents: Ron Baker

The Knicks enter free agency without a team president. That, in most cases, is not a good thing. On the other hand, they’re now free from the constraints of the Triangle and Phil Jackson’s insistence on bringing in players to fit in his antiquated offense. That, undoubtedly, is a very good thing.

Jackson, however, has left the Knicks with more problems than potential for growth. The first order of business should be repairing the organization’s relationship with Kristaps Porzingis. The second should be figuring out what to do with Carmelo Anthony. Is there a palatable trade offer out there? How forgiving would Anthony be in buyout negotiations? A trade is the preferable option, but Anthony, of course, has a no-trade clause. Coach Jeff Hornacek was non-committal when asked about Anthony’s future with the team.

As for free agency, the Knicks need help in the backcourt, where they are alarmingly thin. They could basically use any guard — well, except Derrick Rose. Before Jackson’s ouster, there were reports that the Knicks had interest in re-signing their expensive, ineffective point guard. That would be absurd.

A better move would be to bring back Justin Holiday, and perhaps bring in a veteran point guard or combo guard to mentor — or simply take the load off — first-round pick Frank Ntilikina. There is reportedly mutual interest between the Knicks and Jeff Teague. Jrue Holiday and George Hill could be options in a similar realm.

Overall, the Knicks could be extremely quiet. Or a resolution to the Anthony situation could trigger a flurry of moves. With no replacement for Jackson as of Friday morning, their direction remains up in the air.

Philadelphia 76ers

2016-17 record: 28-54

Unrestricted free agents: Tiago Splitter, Sergio Rodriguez

Restricted free agents: Alex Poythress

The Sixers won’t be too active in the coming weeks, but they’re nonetheless in an interesting spot. They have loads of cap space, but not much roster space, and a slew of players that will be up for new deals in coming years. As a result, the Sixers should limit their free agency haul to one or two players.

J.J. Redick makes a ton of sense as a top target. The Sixers can offer him big money for two years, or maaaaaybe three, without handicapping themselves when the time comes to make a real splash in free agency. Redick can space the floor for a young team that desperately needs shooters. He can also offer a strong veteran presence in the locker room.

Or the Sixers could stay patient, and wait until 2018 or 2019, when a) more attractive options could arise, and b) Philadelphia will be a more attractive destination for free agents. GM Bryan Colangelo and his staff need to refrain from spending just to spend. Handing a four-year, big-money deal to someone like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could end up being a grave mistake.

The other logical move is to extend Robert Covington on a front-loaded deal. Such an extension would allow the Sixers to pay Covington fairly while also softening his cap hit down the line to around $10 million. A Covington renegotiation, along with one veteran free-agent signing, should be the priorities.

Will Toronto keep its core together? (Getty)

Toronto Raptors

2016-17 record: 51-31, eliminated in conference semifinals

Unrestricted free agents: Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Patrick Patterson, P.J. Tucker

Restricted free agents: None

The next few weeks in Raptor-land revolve around Kyle Lowry. Will the 31-year-old All-Star point guard bolt? Or will he re-sign? Or do the Raptors even want to bring him back? The answers to those questions should dictate the direction of the franchise this summer and for years to come.

If Lowry stays, Toronto would have no cap room, but could bring back its own guys and make another run at a top-four finish in the East. The payroll would climb to slightly unnerving levels, but that’s the price of ambition. If ownership and management decide they want to stay competitive, there is no choice but to go all in to retain Lowry, Ibaka and probably Patterson, too. Any other pieces would have to be added either using exceptions or via trade (Jonas Valanciunas should be on the block … and, if they really want to get crazy, maybe DeMar DeRozan as well?).

But if Lowry leaves, or if the team decides his price tag is too hefty, the first domino of the rebuild falls. The second domino should be to let Ibaka and Tucker walk. The third should be drawing a line in the sand during negotiations with Patterson, and possibly walking away from them if the dollar figures get out of control. The fourth could be trades of veterans for younger assets. The Raptors can’t even come close to contending without their star point guard; therefore, if they lose him, they shouldn’t even try to. They’re overdue for a rebuild, and being spurned by Lowry could force their hand.

Related:

More NBA Free Agency Shopping Lists:

Northwest DivisionPacific DivisionSouthwest Division

Atlantic DivisionCentral DivisionSoutheast Division


          NBA Free Agency Shopping Lists: Central Division   
The future of LeBron James looms over every decision the Cavs make. (AP)
The future of LeBron James looms over every decision the Cavs make. (AP)

Cleveland Cavaliers

2016-17 record: 51-31, East champions

Unrestricted free agents: Kyle Korver, Deron Williams, Derrick Williams, Dahntay Jones, James Jones

Restricted free agents: None

The Cavaliers are lucky enough not to face any meaningful free agent departures from a squad that ran through the East for the third-straight postseason. Unfortunately, they’re well over the salary cap and can’t really sign any true difference makers. Kyle Korver would be difficult to replace if he doesn’t want to return at the minimum, but the Cavs can always try to sign another capable veteran wing and trade some of that shooting for defense. Everyone else is easily replaceable, and a March buyout market that could include Dwyane Wade should ensure that they won’t hurt for options ahead of the 2018 playoffs.

Of course, a lack of free agent activity does not mean that the Cavs will stand pat. Several reports have them in play for Paul George via trade, and LeBron James’s apparent displeasure with Dan Gilbert’s decision not to retain David Griffin means that the next general manager will probably look to make a splash. If Kevin Love ends up on his way out of town in a deal, then Cleveland will look to add another power forward so neither LeBron nor George has to log too many minutes against physical opponents. However, that player might not be of true starter quality.

These recent NBA Finals also seemed to confirm that the Cavs will need a few more versatile wings to compete with the Warriors over a seven-game series. George would certainly fit that description, but the likelihood of adding other difference-makers at the Cavs’ price point is fairly low. On the other hand, they’ll be heavily favored to win the conference due to the mere presence of LeBron. There are worse trade-offs.

Milwaukee Bucks

2016-17 record:

Unrestricted free agents: Michael Beasley, Jason Terry

Restricted free agents: Tony Snell

The Bucks are the rare team with no overwhelming needs and no major players who could leave in free agency. The progressions of young star Giannis Antetokounmpo and impressive supporting pieces Jabari Parker, Malcolm Brogdon, and Thon Maker suggests that the Bucks can keep their hands off the core and see a meaningful improvement in 2017-18 simply by everyone getting another year of experience. The Bucks look on the way up, and it’s not worth risking too much to speed up the process.

[Follow Ball Don’t Lie on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

Nevertheless, there are ways to form a better team focused on Milwaukee’s strengths of length and athleticism. Center Greg Monroe is entering the last year of his contract and could be a useful addition for a team looking to open up cap space. If Milwaukee can find a taker, they can add either backcourt depth or an active big man and look to fill the other need via their full mid-level exception. Additionally, it would not be a shock to see the Bucks sign Parker on a cost-effective extension after a second ACL tear in three seasons.

The best advice, though, is not to overthink matters. The Bucks boast a thriving core full of potential and could emerge as a real threat to the top teams in the conference next season. If they don’t panic, the Bucks could have an opportunity to attract real high-level talent next summer.

The Pacers can't set a new course until Paul George is dealt. (AP)
The Pacers can’t set a new course until Paul George is dealt. (AP)

Indiana Pacers

2016-17 record: 42-40

Unrestricted free agents: Jeff Teague, Lavoy Allen, Aaron Brooks, C.J. Miles

Restricted free agents: None

The course of the Pacers’ offseason will be set by what they get in return for Paul George. If the trade haul includes an established star like Kevin Love, then Kevin Pritchard can try to bring back veterans like Teague and add another capable player in the hope of mounting a title challenge. If George goes to the Lakers or Celtics and brings back youngsters and draft picks, then it makes sense to rebuild the team around center Myles Turner and forget about the postseason for a few years.

Until George is traded, it’s hard to say exactly what the Pacers need. However, it’s possible that it doesn’t really matter that much when the deal goes down. The Pacers are probably going to be worse next year no matter what, and it’s genuinely difficult to remake a team on the fly when the market for a player seems fluid from month to month. Maybe holding out for the best possible deal is the most important thing here.

All we know for sure is that the Pacers are going to need good players everywhere except center. Get as many as possible and let the trade gods sort it out later.

Chicago Bulls

2016-17 record: 41-41

Unrestricted free agents: Michael Carter-Williams, Anthony Morrow, Rajon Rondo (team option)

Restricted free agents: Cristiano Felicio, Joffrey Lauvergne, Nikola Mirotic

Oh boy, do not expect any big-time free agents to join this team despite its considerable cap room. With Jimmy Butler in Minnesota, youngsters in the backcourt in his stead, and Dwyane Wade virtually assured to be on his way out via midseason buyout, the Bulls are locked into a rebuild even if the shape of the Butler trade suggests they’re trying to create a playoff contender on the fly. This team is not good, and Butler’s unhappy departure ensures that the rest of the league knows the front office is bad news. Short of overwhelming overpayments, there’s no reason to think the Bulls will be major players on the free agent market. But lord knows they need help pretty much everywhere.

It would not be surprising to see Gar Forman and John Paxson essentially give up this offseason and go into the 2017-18 season with one of the saddest rosters imaginable. Maybe they’ll pick up Rajon Rondo’s option so he can help Kris Dunn adjust to his new team and continue to mold the team’s 47 point guards into fine young men. Perhaps they’ll offer Zach LaVine a below-market extension as he works his way back from an ACL tear. It’s anyone’s guess.

There’s a reason everyone hated the Butler trade. This team has no clear course for the future, and that lack of direction should be apparent over the next few weeks.

Detroit Pistons

2016-17 record: 37-45

Unrestricted free agents: Aron Baynes, Beno Udrih

Restricted free agents: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Reggie Bullock

The Pistons face a meaningful offseason after a year in which the promising core of Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond disappointed considerably. Both players now appear to be available in trades, and it’s possible Jeff Bower and Stan Van Gundy would be happy to accept a rebuilding process in exchange for another campaign stuck in 10th or 11th place. Whatever happens with that duo will determine the success of this offseason.

The good news is that the Pistons are not going to lure top-level free agents and don’t have to wait around for trade offers to roll in. The drafting of Luke Kennard gives some cover on the wings, but it’s likely they’ll hand Caldwell-Pope a lucrative contract to re-sign for four years. That’s not a great deal for a team with an already limited cap situation. But it’s also what you do when you’re a mediocre side without many prospects. It’s called accepting your fate, and teams in the middle of the East are great at it.

Otherwise, the Pistons could use meaningful depth everywhere. They will almost assuredly sign a few players you forget about until they play against your favorite team in late December.

More NBA Free Agency Shopping Lists:

Northwest DivisionPacific DivisionSouthwest Division

Atlantic DivisionCentral DivisionSoutheast Division

More NBA coverage:

– – – – – – –

Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Follow @FreemanEric


          Furkan Korkmaz to play for Sixers next season, per reports; Sixers say 'it very well might happen'   
The team said it's working on details of Korkmaz’s buyout agreement with Turkish team Anadolu Efes.
          Sycamore plans to split Staples into three to help fund the takeover   
Sycamore Partners plans to split up Staples into three different entities to help appease bond investors needed to finance the leverage buyout of the office-supply retailer.
          Blog Post: GoodCents Investors Blast Appeal Bid In Appraisal Case   
Investors petitioning for appraisal of their GoodCents Holdings Inc. stock after its $57 million buyout by AM Conservation Group Inc. opposed Thursday a bid to appeal the Delaware Chancery Court’s ruling that preferred shareholders aren’t eligible for special treatment under the company’s incorporating documents.
          Buyouts free more space for Panthers, Devils to spend in free agency   
<br/>The Penguins' Ian Cole upends Panthers left wing Jussi Jokinen during the third period Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla.
Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon already was talking about getting aggressive in the free-agent market. Now he has extra room to do that. Florida ...

          Buyouts make Panthers, Devils even bigger free agent buyers   

Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon was already talking about getting aggressive in the free agent market.

Now he has some extra room to do that.

Florida was one of several teams to buy out a player in the last chance this offseason, clearing salary-cap space for the start of ...

          Blue Jackets buy out Hartnell to free salary cap space   

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Columbus Blue Jackets have bought out the final two years of 35-year-old forward Scott Hartnell's contract, opening up salary cap space to possibly sign another free agent.

Hartnell would have cost the team $4.75 million against the cap over the next two years. The buyout, ...

          Report: Cedi Osman to meet with Cavs after triggering NBA buyout clause   
none
          Report: Carmelo Anthony Only Willing To Accept Buyout To Join Cavaliers   
Melo would settle for less than the $54.2 million owed him.

The post Report: Carmelo Anthony Only Willing To Accept Buyout To Join Cavaliers appeared first on SLAMonline.


          QBE Chile Completes Management Buyout; Rebrands as ‘Unnio’   
QBE Chile Seguros Generales S.A. has completed a management buyout by purchasing the company in May 2017 from QBE Latin America Insurance Holdings. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Following the completion of the deal, QBE Chile rebranded …
          Race to buy $ 10 billion-valued GLP narrows down to two groups   

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG  - The race to buy Global Logistic Properties is now between a Chinese consortium backed by the company's management and a rival group led by Warburg Pincus, sources said ahead of a Friday deadline to submit bids for the $10 billion-valued firm.

An acquisition offers a chance for bidders to grab control of Asia's biggest warehouse operator which counts Amazon among its clients and is benefiting from rising demand for modern logistics facilities, driven by a boom in e-commerce business.

At current valuations, a successful transaction will rank as the largest Asian buyout by private equity groups, which are increasingly targeting bigger takeovers after raising record funds, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Singapore-listed GLP was thrust into the spotlight late last year after sovereign wealth fund GIC, which owns a 37 percent stake, nudged it to start a strategic review of its business. JPMorgan was then hired by GLP as its financial adviser.

GLP's shares have since soared nearly 50 percent to the highest in more than three years.

After months of negotiations with a special committee of GLP's independent directors, the race has narrowed to between a group led by Chinese private equity firms Hopu Investment Management and Hillhouse Capital Group, with the support of GLP CEO Ming Mei, and a rival consortium headed by Warburg Pincus and its logistics partner e-Shang Redwood, the sources said.

GLP, GIC, Warburg Pincus, Hopu and Hillhouse declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak about the deal.

Hopu's founder Fang Fenglei, one of China's best known dealmakers, is a GLP board member, and Hopu, partly owns GLP's China business. The Chinese consortium has also brought in co-investors such as property developer China Vanke  and Ping An Insurance Group of China  for a bid for GLP, sources have said.

"The management group and Warburg Pincus are the most serious bidders. Some other parties are keen on picking up specific assets and not the entire company," said one source.

Concerns over the transparency of the sale process and business ties of the management-backed consortium have forced some potential bidders to re-evaluate their interest and sparked complaints to GIC, sources said.

Last week, GLP said it is in discussions with shortlisted bidders and had taken measures to alleviate potential conflicts of interest following a Financial Times report that almost all the potential bidders were dropping out due to concerns an insider bid will make other submissions pointless.

Some of the potential bidders such as Blackstone Group and Asian buyout firm RRJ Capital are unlikely to submit individual bids, sources said.

Blackstone declined to comment. RRJ did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

GLP owns and operates a $41 billion portfolio of industrial assets spread across China, Japan, Brazil and the United States. It gets two-thirds of its revenue from China, where it has a dominant market position.

Around 20 lenders are working with three consortia in the hope of securing a role on the deal, IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication, reported last week.



          China M&A scrutiny to cast shadow on Asia deals volume   

HONG KONG  - China's outbound M&A volumes nearly halved in the first six months of 2017 following Beijing's crackdown on capital outflows, data showed, and its new scrutiny of acquisitive groups, including Anbang and HNA, is set to dampen Asian dealflow further.

Overseas deals by Chinese companies - the engine of M&A activity in Asia - fell 49 percent in the first half of 2017 from the year-ago period to $64.2 billion, dragging down regional deal volumes, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The total value of announced M&A activity in Asia Pacific fell 15 percent in the first half of this year to $458.4 billion from the year-ago period, the data showed. China was the top nation for both inbound and outbound deals in Asia Pacific for the half-year, attracting $28.5 billion worth of inbound deals.

A slowdown in Chinese deals, especially large-sized ones, could inflict further pressure on Asian revenues of Wall Street banks, who are already feeling the pain of growing competition from Chinese investment banks. M&A is among the few areas where Chinese banks haven't already gained a strong foothold.

Chinese firms spent a record $221 billion on assets overseas, ranging from movie studios to football clubs in 2016, but Beijing's move to prop up the yuan by restricting capital outflows has made it tougher for buyers to win deals abroad.

China's banking regulator tightened the screws further last week, ordering a group of lenders to assess their exposure to offshore acquisitions by several big companies that have been on an overseas buying spree, two people familiar with the matter said.

"The latest crackdown takes away people from the market who were very active on the M&A scene and creates a sense of uncertainty. You will see the impact on volumes," said an Asia financial institutions M&A banker at a large European bank.

The elevated regulatory hurdles for Chinese buyers to get their cash out of the country have caused delays and even withdrawals of a number of China outbound M&A transactions targeting U.S. and European assets.

"The sellside needs to ascertain the credibility of a buyer (from China). The second thing is to address any questions around certainty, in particular funding and approvals," said John Kim, head of M&A for Asia ex-Japan at Goldman Sachs.

Still, Chinese state-owned firms struck some of Asia's top deals in the first half. China Investment Corp wrote a 12.25 billion euros ($13.93 billion) cheque to acquire European warehouse firm Logicor from private equity group Blackstone , the region's largest during the first half.

But this year is unlikely to see any blockbuster deals such as last year's around $44 billion ChemChina-Syngenta tie-up. Bankers instead expect more activity to be driven by private equity firms which have plenty of capital after a busy fundraising period in 2016.

They are already heavily involved in some of Asia's most high-profile takeovers and take-private deals, including the potential sale of Singapore-listed warehouse operator Global Logistic Properties Ltd , which will likely be the region's biggest buyout this year.

($1 = 0.8793 euros)



          06/29/2017: Who still shops at Staples?   
No health care on the show today — and very little President Trump — just some good ol' fashion corporate news up top. The office supply store Staples, has agreed to be acquired for nearly $7 billion. If the private equity deal goes through, it'll be the biggest buyout of the year to date. But it's also been a grim year for retail; sales and profits at Staples have been dropping for years. So who's buying? And why? Then: We're talking about a lot of stress tests today, not just on the nation's big banks but on energy companies.  Investors at Occidental Petroleum and Exxon Mobil voted last month for more transparency around climate change, and how it'll affect the bottom line. Plus: National Parkas and Forests make for popular camping spots over any summer, but that public campground might be privately run these days.
          Buyouts! Buyouts! Buyouts!   
A number of NHL players are on waivers today, including New Jersey winger Mike Cammalleri.
           Michael Cammalleri: Placed on waivers    
Michael Cammalleri: Cammalleri was waived by New Jersey on Friday for the purpose of a buyout. Visit RotoWire.com for more analysis on this update.
          Blog Post: GoodCents Investors Blast Appeal Bid In Appraisal Case   
Investors petitioning for appraisal of their GoodCents Holdings Inc. stock after its $57 million buyout by AM Conservation Group Inc. opposed Thursday a bid to appeal the Delaware Chancery Court’s ruling that preferred shareholders aren’t eligible for special treatment under the company’s incorporating documents.
          10 blockbuster acquisitions from 2017 (so far)   
Here are the biggest buyouts from home and abroad from the past six months.
          Tech Mega-Buyouts Edge Toward Comeback as BMC, CA Plot Deal   
none
          Flames place Bouma, Murphy on waivers for purpose of buyout   
none
          Report: Panthers place Jokinen on waivers for buyout purposes   
none
          Devils place Mike Cammalleri on waivers, set up buyout   
none
          Buyouts make Panthers, Devils even bigger free agent buyers   
FILE - In this April 8, 2017, file photo, Washington Capitals defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk works with the puck during the team's NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in Boston. Shattenkirk at 28 is looking at a long-term, lucrative deal…
          Buyouts make Panthers, Devils even bigger free agent buyers   
FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2017, file photo, Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Scott Hartnell heads to the penalty box during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators, in Nashville, Tenn. The Columbus Blue…
          Buyouts make Panthers, Devils even bigger free agent buyers   
New Jersey Devils' Nico Hischier, center, sits with head coach John Hynes, left, and general manager Ray Shero during a news conference in Newark, N.J., Monday, June 26, 2017. The 18-year-old center was the first Swiss-born player to be drafted…
          Buyouts make Panthers, Devils even bigger free agent buyers   
Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon was already talking about getting aggressive in the free agent market.
          Sixers Expected To Sign Furkan Korkmaz   
1:25pm: The Sixers aren’t quite ready to confirm an agreement with Korkmaz, with both Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Jessica Camerato of CSPhilly.com reporting (via Twitter) that the team is still working on the details of his FIBA clearance and buyout. However, both Pompey and Camerato hear that it “very well” may happen. […]
          Joe Vardon on Bull & Fox 6-30-17   

Joe Vardon talks about the Cavs' interest in bringing over Cedi Osman from Europe, Carmelo Anthony's push for a buyout and the Cavs' chances to acquire him if that happens, whether Kyrie Irving could appear on the trade market and the team's plan to retain Kyle Korver and the latest on Chauncey Billups' situation...


          Bruins have nothing to show for Tyler Seguin trade after Hayes buyout   

The Boston Bruins waived Jimmy Hayes and now have nothing to show for the 2013 trade that sent Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars.


          Sixers waive Henderson, nearing buyout agreement with Anadolu Efes for Furkan Korkmaz   
The Sixers are working on a buyout agreement with Anadolu Efes to get the Turkish sharpshooter for next season.
          Furkan Korkmaz to play for Sixers next season, per reports; Sixers say 'it very well might happen'   
The team said it's working on details of Korkmaz’s buyout agreement with Turkish team Anadolu Efes.
          Carmelo Anthony Trade Rumors: Knicks, Rockets Talks Involved Ryan Anderson   

The Houston Rockets and New York Knicks reportedly had trade discussions regarding Carmelo Anthony and Ryan Anderson.

On Friday, Ian Begley of ESPN.com reported the two sides "touched base recently" with Anderson's name coming up when Houston was talking about potentially acquiring Anthony. Begley granted the discussions "didn't gain much traction," noting the Knicks weren't particularly interested in Anderson at the time.

Anthony's immediate future is still hanging over the Knicks franchise even after it parted ways with team president Phil Jackson. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical previously reported the front office wanted to trade him instead of offering a buyout even after dispatching of Jackson.

Begley speculated Houston would be an ideal fit for Anthony with his no-trade clause because he could play with his friend Chris Paul.

The fit would make sense from the Rockets' perspective as they attempt to add more talent to keep up with the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference. Anthony is a 10-time All-Star and a six-time member of an All-NBA team and can still be a scoring machine for the next couple of years even at 33 after averaging 22.4 points a night this past season.

He could be particularly dangerous in Houston head coach Mike D'Antoni's space-oriented system alongside James Harden (who led the league in assists per game in 2016-17 at 11.2) and Paul (fourth in the league in assists at 9.2).

As for Anderson, Begley said he's "been shopped around by the Rockets," and the player is in the midst of a four-year, $80 million contract. He won't be an unrestricted free agent until 2020, per Spotrac, and is expensive even as a matchup problem who drilled 40.3 percent of his three-pointers in 2016-17.

He apparently didn't interest the Knicks at that cost, especially since they already have a big man who can extend his game to the outside in Kristaps Porzingis.


          Jokinen, Cammalleri among buyouts before FA   
Jokinen, Cammalleri among buyouts before FA
          Is Home Chef a buyout candidate?    
The fast-growing meal-kit delivery company is "regularly receiving" investment and partnership offers, the Chicago company confirmed, a day after competitor Blue Apron went public.
          NBA rumors: Knicks unwilling to talk buyout with Carmelo Anthony   
Link: http://fansided.com/2017/06/27/knicks-unwilling-buyout-carmelo-anthony/
          Lakers News: Latest Buzz on Pursuit of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony   

For the Los Angeles Lakers, the lead-up to free agency isn't as wild as it could be. 

Team president Magic Johnson and the Lakers have already made most of their gigantic moves—highlighted by the drafting of Lonzo Ball at No. 2 overall in the 2017 NBA draft and the dismissal of D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the basketball purgatory known as Brooklyn.

It sounds disappointing, but the Lakers have their eyes on the long-term prize. Accelerating the process now doesn't seem like something the front office will do when it can groom prospects for a year and stand a chance at major names such as Paul George and LeBron James in 2018.

Of course, fans have been down this road before when planning for big names in a year or two. The Lakers, at least, have options this time, as explained in the latest bits of news below.

             

PG13 Update

For those somehow out of the loop, the Lakers could probably strike a deal with the Indiana Pacers and call it a day. But why surrender more assets when PG13 wants to come to town anyway?

George will hit the open market in 2018, barring a miracle, and he'll weigh superteam options and his hometown Lakers. At 27 years old, he's still right in the middle of his prime, so he'll have seemingly unlimited options.

That makes it sound like the Lakers could have a hard time convincing him to come to town, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

According to Basketball Insiders' Steve Kyler, talks of a trade went south around the June 22 draft:

That makes sense. Why would the Pacers want to help the Lakers acquire their star at less than he's worth? Adding to that tension, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski, Paul told the Indiana front office he's leaving and wants to go to Los Angeles.

The Pacers would want to hunt for the best deal, which likely means a trade with the Boston Celtics and president Danny Ainge, who has acquired numerous assets. 

Brandon Ingram, the No. 2 overall pick in 2016 and the one piece the Pacers seemed to want from the Lakers, wasn't someone L.A. was willing to give up, according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Patience might be the chosen route here, even if it means flirting with the chance George goes to another contender, competes for a title and never leaves said contender. 

                

PG13 Putting Out L.A. Feelers?

Look, it might not work out with George. Maybe he goes to Boston or joins the Cleveland Cavaliers and wins a ring, looks at his rebuilding, hometown Lakers and shrugs.

It happens. Lakers fans know it. But it sure is hard to ignore all the connections.

Like one here that says Paul has reached out to Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors to ask about Los Angeles, according to former NBA player and NBC Sports analyst Kelenna Azubuike on 95.7 The Game:

Thompson, as expected, has already denied this, according to The Vertical's Nick DePaula:

But players talk, and this buzz isn't the most ridiculous thing to happen this offseason.

                        

What About Carmelo Anthony?

Remember when it seemed like a good idea for the Lakers to acquire Carmelo Anthony?

Anthony has been lost in the background given the organization's links to George. And the more that leaks to the media about his odd situation with the New York Knicks, the more it sounds like he won't be making it to Los Angeles.

The man has been through the ringer lately, with Phil Jackson openly discussing how he doesn't fit in the team's rebuilding plans. (Jackson is now out of his job as Knicks president, which the team announced Wednesday.)

Anthony might want a buyout so he can choose his own future, and Lakers fans aren't wrong to think he might want to join their team.

Just don't get the hopes up too much, as Frank Isola of the New York Daily News pointed out: "According to a person familiar with Anthony’s thinking, Carmelo is no longer enamored with playing in Los Angeles if it means having to be away from his son for an extended period of time."

In other words, Anthony seems like a candidate to stay in the Eastern Conference and maybe join a contender like the Cavaliers. Staying local for family makes sense, as does seeking a contender at the age of 33.

This is probably for the best considering the Lakers want to keep building around Ball and Ingram. It'd be nice to finally see Anthony donning purple and gold, but he doesn't fit the plan regardless of his asking price.

So while it's right to monitor the situation in New York, keep expectations in check—which is a fitting way to approach this summer and the next.      

                           

All stats and info via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.

Read more NBA Pacific news on BleacherReport.com


          Report: Carmelo Anthony Only Willing To Accept Buyout To Join Cavaliers   
Melo would settle for less than the $54.2 million owed him. The post Report: Carmelo Anthony Only Willing To Accept Buyout To Join Cavaliers appeared first on SLAMonline . - Source: www.slamonline.com
          Market - Buyouts make Panthers, Devils even bigger free agent buyers   
Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon was already talking about getting aggressive in the free agent market. Now he has some extra room to do that. Florida was one of...
          Buyouts make Panthers, Devils even bigger free agent buyers The Associated Press   

photo

New Jersey Devils' Nico Hischier, center, sits with head coach John Hynes, left, and general manager Ray Shero during a news conference in Newark, N.J., Monday, June 26, 2017. The 18-year-old center was the first Swiss-born player to be drafted first overall in the NHL draft. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)



          NBA Draft Recap (V.2)   

It's now two days after the NBA Draft, all of the sports analysts have given their best/worst, as has my counterpart, so now I’ll give mine. As I mentioned in my mock draft, this draft lacked “superstar” talent. Obviously it’s easier to do better if you have more picks right? Wrong. For some franchises that just gave them more opportunities to make bad picks.  I agree with two of my partner’s decisions for best/worst, but have a few different views for the others.

The Best (In descending order):

Denver Nuggets: (See below post).

Houston Rockets: On draft day the Rockets were able to acquire four players that can make an immediate impact. They drafted international center Nikola Mirotic, but then shipped him, Brad Miller, and a future first round pick to Minnesota in exchange for Jonny Flynn and the T-Wolves 20th pick, Donatas Motiejunas. Flynn, who became expendable for Minnesota with the Ricky Rubio signing, has the potential to be a franchise point guard. Along with the acquisitions of those two, Houston also drafted one of the more talented players in the draft in Kansas forward Marcus Morris, and one of the most underrated players in the draft, Florida’s Chandler Parsons.

Utah Jazz: The Jazz were able to get arguably the most talented big man in the draft in Enes Kanter, and one of the best value picks with Alec Burks at #12. Utah was able to address not only needs with their picks, but also was able to get the best available player in doing so. Burks can share time at the point with Devin Harris, while also playing shooting guard, and even some small forward if he is needed. Kanter will take some of the pressure down low off of Al Jefferson by allowing him to obtain easier looks and also providing a big body on defense.

The Worst (In descending order):

New York Knicks (See below post).

Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers draft would’ve been described as a bad draft unless they made a trade to upgrade their team by adding a superstar, or a player who could make an immediate impact. The Lake Show did not make that trade. Darius Morris was taken with the 41st pick, Andrew Goudelock was taken with the 46th overall pick, and their late second round picks of Chukwudiebere Maduabum and Ater Mojik left many scratching their heads. Although Maduabum has since been traded for a future second round pick, the Lakers simply didn’t make any improvement this draft that will impact their season. With all this being said, if the Lakers are able to include Morris, Mojik and/or Goudelock in a trade for an impact player, they will no longer be mentioned as a worst. However, if they trade Bynum/Gasol they will regret not drafting a big man with the 46th pick, passing on Keith Benson.  

Charlotte Bobcats: The Bobcats had two of the top 10 picks, and in my mind made the wrong decisions on their picks. Charlotte took international big man Bismack Biyombo with their #7 pick (acquired from Sacramento), but not only is Biyombo a raw talent, but he also has a buyout issue. While the buyout issue may not matter if the lockout does indeed occur, the Bobcats should’ve gone another route with this pick. They would’ve had a steal by selecting Kentucky guard, Brandon Knight (who was drafted one pick later by Detroit). If they drafted Knight, they could’ve still went with Kemba Walker at #9 playing Walker at point and Knight at shooting guard, or went with Klay Thompson, Jimmer Fredette, or Marcus Morris. By taking Walker/Biyombo and trading Stephen Jackson the Bobcats have an abysmal offense that will undoubtedly be a bottom dweller this upcoming season.

Best Steals of the Draft:
#8: Brandon Knight:
#12: Alec Burks (Utah Jazz)
#26: Jordan Hamilton (Drafted by Mavericks, traded to Nuggets)
#44 Charles Jenkins (Golden State Warriors)
#48: Keith Benson (Atlanta Hawks)
#60: Isaiah Thomas (Sacramento Kings)

Worst Picks of the Draft (Based on team who selected/acquired player & pick the player was drafted):
#7: Bismack Biyombo (Charlotte Bobcats)
#28: Norris Cole (Drafted by Bulls, traded to Heat)
#45: Josh Harrellson (Drafted by Hornets, traded to Knicks)
#58: Ater Mojik (Los Angeles Lakers)


          Suitors wanted for Gdynia Shipyard   
Fairplay International Shipping Weekly
18 Aug 2005




Suitors wanted for Gdynia Shipyard
COMPONENTS of Polish shipbuilding are sought after by Western investors, but something keeps emerging to hold things up. A recent potential project involving Polish yards reportedly involved global container carrier Mediterranean Shipping and Ray Car Carriers (RCC) of the Isle of Man, with backing from Israeli shipowner Rami Ungar – a 16% shareholder in Gdynia Shipyard. Last year Ungar bought out Zl56M ($17M) of debt from Kredyt Bank and later exchanged it for shares. MSC and RCC were reportedly interested in the yard and the European engine builder H Cegielski Poznan. They were understood to have offered a Zl150M buyout a month ago. However, Dariusz Adamski, who heads the yard’s Solidarity trade union, told reporters that the response from the economic ministry caused the shipowners to walk away. The ministry insisted that the deal should involve Korporacja Stocznie Polskie (Polish Shipyards Corp), which was set up to restructure shipbuilding.

But MSC and RCC were interested only in the yard. After they withdrew, the ministry made another offer but it was apparently ignored. The ministry’s AID management agency for privatisation has refused to comment about the talks. With its elected period running out and facing likely defeat in the approaching elections, the Polish government will probably not interfere with shipbuilding, even though Polish yards urgently need capital to complete restructurings. Gdynia Shipyard received a Zl40M capital enhancement from AID, which helped reduce losses to Zl70M last year, from Zl200M in 2003. Arkadiusz Krezel, AID’s president, tells Fairplay the agency is auditing the yard, with findings expected by the end of this month. Half-year results indicate net losses of Zl65M for the yard.

But managers hope for a positive result for the full year, even though steel prices not dropping as predicted. The rationale for this thinking is that not many ships were delivered in the first half of the year, while costs were attached to initial construction stages for many others. These ships will now be sold in the second half and therefore generate profits, thus enabling the first half-year loss to be overturned. As Fairplay went to press, the Gdansk yard, part of Gdynia Group, was building two ships of the 8184 type and producing ship sections for Gdynia Shipyard. At the Gdynia yard, seven ships are under construction: three container ships of 4,400-4,500TEU, two large car carriers and two prototype, smaller PC/TCs.

By the end of 2005, the whole yard group will have 13 ships delivered, totalling a sales value exceeding $567M. Five of these were delivered before August – three built at Gdynia Shipyard and two units built in Gdansk. Gdansk’s most recent christening and launching was the container ship Passat Breeze on 5 August. Its financing was facilitated by a loan from Nord/LB Bank Polska Norddeutsche Landesbank, with guarantees from the Polish government. The Germanischer Lloyd-classed ship at 39,100dwt has container capacity of 2,700TEU, including 300 refrigerated boxes. Its top speed is 21.5kt, thanks to its 21 735 kW Cegielski MAN B&W 7S70MC-C main engine. Gdynia Shipyard, known in recent years for its lengthy series of very large car carriers, is now outfitting its first unit (of four contracted) of the rather smaller 8245 design. Elbe Highway, launched on 16 July, is for RCC, with a likely delivery date of next month. The 7,750dwt PC/TC can carry up to 2,130 standard cars of Japanese RT-43 type (equivalent to the Nissan Bluebird) on its eight internal decks, which provide 17,500m². The DNV-classed ship has two stern ramps and generates 18.9kt with its Cegielski-MAN B&W 7S46 MC-C main engine. The ships are being built through loans from PKO Bank Polski bank.

COMPANY PROFILE:
Full company name:
Stocznia Gdynia SA
Formed: 1922
Employees: 6,300
Head office: Gdynia, Poland
Latest results:
2003 losses: over Zl200M ($62M); first-half 2005: Zl65M
Leading shareholders: as of 4 May
Ministry of State Treasury: 37.743%
Ray Car Carriers: 16.058%
Corporation Polskie Stocznie: 11.607%
Stoczniowy Fundusz Inwestycyjny: 8.551%
          Godrej FMCG arm scouts for global buyouts   
Fast moving consumer goods company Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) aims to double the contribution of its overseas business to 50 per cent in two year...
          Jim Boeheim Says Carmelo Anthony Wants to Be on Knicks, Blasts Triangle Offense   

Carmelo Anthony's former college coach, Jim Boeheim, commented on Melo's status and the state of the New York Knicks on Friday. 

According to ESPN.com's Myron Medcalf, the Syracuse head man said Melo's current preference is to remain with the Knicks.

He also knocked the triangle offense, which former team president Phil Jackson pushed prior to his departure from the organization this week: "The triangle is the worst offense ever, unless you have Michael [Jordan] or Kobe [Bryant]."

The 33-year-old Anthony is coming off his 10th career All-Star season after averaging 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, but it wasn't without drama.

New York once again disappointed with a 31-51 record, and it hasn't reached the playoffs since the 2012-13 campaign.

Before agreeing mutually to part ways with the Knicks, Jackson said on multiple occasions it would be in the best interest of both Melo and the organization to arrange a trade.

A buyout is also a possibility, but Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported Wednesday that the Knicks would prefer to get assets in return.

The issue is that Melo has a no-trade clause, which means he would have to approve any potential deal the Knicks arrange.

New York has some promising, young pieces in Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina and Willy Hernangomez, and trading Anthony is a move that could accelerate a much-needed rebuilding process.

Read more New York Knicks news on BleacherReport.com


          Knicks Rumors: Former Cavs GM David Griffin to Interview for Team President   

The New York Knicks reportedly have their eyes on former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin for the vacant team president role.

On Thursday, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com reported New York was "in touch" with Griffin and has him "among the franchise's initial interviews" to fill the opening left after the team parted ways with Phil Jackson.

The Cavaliers decided against bringing Griffin back this offseason even though the team reached the last three NBA Finals and won a championship during his tenure. He was the general manager when LeBron James returned from the Miami Heat, and he traded for Kevin Love and added critical pieces around the King in recent seasons.

James offered an endorsement for Griffin during the season that underscores how valuable he could be for the Knicks, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com:

"It makes no sense why he shouldn't get an extension. He's pulled every move—he's tried to make every move happen—to better this team to be able to compete for a championship. So we wouldn't be in this position, obviously, without him and without the guys that are here—from the coaching staff to the players to Griff. He's been a big piece of it."

While Griffin has plenty of experience winning at the highest level and dealing with marquee players from his time in Cleveland, New York would represent a significant challenge. The Knicks are coming off four straight losing seasons, and the immediate future of Carmelo Anthony is hovering over the franchise.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical cited sources who said the Knicks still want to trade Anthony instead of offering him a buyout even though Jackson is gone.

However, Marc Berman of the New York Post explained "Anthony has a no-trade clause he is expected to exercise if anything materializes. Anthony also owns a monetary trade-kicker, making a deal quite an enormous task."

Elsewhere, Griffin would have to deal with any potential lingering issues with 21-year-old Kristaps Porzingis. Wojnarowski previously reported Jackson wanted to trade the blossoming star after he skipped his season-ending exit meeting, noting Porzingis was "frustrated with the level of dysfunction within the franchise."

Read more New York Knicks news on BleacherReport.com


          Carmelo Anthony Reportedly Seen as 'Detrimental' Influence on Kristaps Porzingis   

Despite Phil Jackson's ouster, the New York Knicks' public degradation of Carmelo Anthony does not appear to be ceasing any time soon.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reported Thursday that some Knicks officials believe Anthony is "detrimental" to the development of Kristaps Porzingis. Jackson reportedly believed Anthony was actively trying to "sabotage" the budding Knicks star.

A source told Berman that Porzingis' public support of the triangle offense was a point of tension between the two. Anthony reportedly "lit into" Porzingis after he made comments in March saying he liked the triangle and wished the Knicks had been using it since the beginning of the season.

The triangle is the preferred offense of Jackson, who was ousted as Knicks president after three years Wednesday. Jackson and Anthony had a publicly frayed relationship, with both trading barbs in the media throughout the former's tenure—especially over the last two years.

Their relationship had become so toxic that it had likely reached a point of no return, with one of the other having to move on this offseason. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported the Knicks would still prefer to move Anthony via trade rather than buy him out.

However, an Anthony trade is a near-pipe dream, as Jackson's ill-advised decision to give Anthony a no-trade clause leaves the Knicks with no leverage. Anthony has long preferred to stay close to his son in New York. On paper, the only team that would feasibly consider trading for his contract is the Houston Rockets, who are likely too far away for Anthony to consider.

If the Knicks are determined to move on from Anthony, they'll reach a buyout and eat the last two years of his contract. It's become a circus of nonsense in the front office, and the correct move is to build around Porzingis and young talent.

There's no reason to poison the well more than it already has been.

Read more New York Knicks news on BleacherReport.com


          Blog Post: Union Punted Over Harley Buyout Plan, Says NLRB Judge   
An NLRB administrative judge dismissed on Tuesday a complaint from a union representing workers at a Pennsylvania Harley Davidson facility, ruling that the union had given implicit consent to a buyout plan it later contested. 
          6/30/2017: BUSINESS: Speculation mounts over KKR move to strike Dixon deal   

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts may strike a deal to buy part or all of Bruce Dixon’s hospitality company by the end of this week, according to sources, after speculation suggested that the buyout firm was cooling with respect to its interest in the restaurant...
          Hold Up: Stephen A. Smith Says Carmelo Anthony Is Willing To Accept Buyout To Go To The Cleveland Cavaliers!   
Stephen A. Smith says that New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony may be willing to accept a buyout to go to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Carmelo Anthony has told the Knicks that he wants a buyout—but his dem ... - Source: www.worldstarhiphop.com
          Comment on UCLA football adds 2019 linebacker commit by Pete   
This is how bad The state of UCLA football is. They hire a OC who was fired at his last job for non-performance. After he gets hired at UCLA, he throws his name in the ring for the OC at Alabama. Then they hire some guy by the name of Hank Farley for OL coach. He too was fired from his previous job for the same reason. In 2016 the Minn. Vikings had the worst rushing team in the NFL. Not only that. Dan Guerrero Signs Mora to a to a extension thru 2021. A barely-publicized subsection of Jim Mora’s 2013 contract extension made his contract one of the hardest in college football to terminate and his recent extension this past summer put Mora in the realm of Steve Alford when it comes to immovable Bruin coach contracts. Not only are they stuck with Mora, because a big buyout clause in that extension, it would too expensive to fire him. On top of that Dan Guerrero's contract is set to expire in 2019. So this guy probably doesn't give a rip. Dan Guerrero can pick a women’s lacrosse coach, but when it comes to the the only two revenue-producing sports (men’s football and basketball), he has two guys who have a lock on third and fourth place in the Pac-12 every single year. Forget about the cliche’ “can’t win the big one,” these guys can’t even get to the big one.
          The Next Foods Buyout   

An activist investor has finally stepped in at Hain Celestial . Hain is one of the last remaining major consumer packaged foods companies with a strong tilt toward healthy/natural/organic products.


          Friday's NHL: Buyouts turn teams into free-agent buyers   

The Panthers, Devils, Bruins, Jets and Flames bought out players to clear salary-cap space for the start of free agency Saturday.         Original published: 2017-06-30 20:16:50 Read the full Detroit News here

link: Friday's NHL: Buyouts turn teams into free-agent buyers


          Friday's NHL: Buyouts turn teams to free-agent buyers   

The Panthers, Devils, Bruins, Jets and Flames bought out players to clear salary-cap space for the start of free agency Saturday.         Original published: 2017-06-30 20:10:35 Read the full Detroit News here

link: Friday's NHL: Buyouts turn teams to free-agent buyers


          The Bulls waive Rajon Rondo, ending a very weird partnership after one year   
Rajon Rondo's back on the market. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Rajon Rondo’s back on the market. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

So, after all that, the Chicago Bulls are down to just one “Alpha.”

[Fantasy Football is open! Sign up now]

The Bulls announced Friday afternoon that they’ve waived point guard Rajon Rondo, just shy of one year after Chicago signed him to a two-year deal to serve as the Bulls’ new lead ball-handler. The team had reportedly tried to find a taker for the final year and $13.3 million Rondo was due for the 2017-18 season, but couldn’t find a trade partner for the 31-year-old former All-Star. Instead, the Bulls chose to waive him hours before the start of the NBA’s 2017 free agent season at 12 a.m. ET Saturday, paying him $3 million rather than his full freight to open up a little under $21 million in cap space heading into free agency.

Not that the Bulls are expected to make a big splash once things get underway. At last Thursday’s 2017 NBA draft, Chicago shipped All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler, far and away the team’s best player, to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for shooting guard Zach LaVine, 2016 first-round pick point guard Kris Dunn and 2017 first-round choice Lauri Markkanen, a 7-foot shooter out of Arizona — all age 23 and under, joining a collection of recent draft picks and additions (Denzel Valentine, Paul Zipser, Bobby Portis, Jerian Grant, Cristiano Felicio, Cameron Payne) in what now seems to be a full-on youth movement that’s not exactly conducive to spending big money in free agency.

The move seemed curious from the jump. Yes, Rondo had led the NBA in assists one season earlier on a Sacramento Kings team on which, as he colorfully said, “you couldn’t name three people,” and yes, he came at a comparatively low annual price tag for a starting point guard in the wake of the Bulls trading Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks. But as a ball-dominant, non-3-point-shooting playmaker whose best defensive days are behind him and whose prickly personality had resulted in more than a few run-ins with coaches during his time in Boston, Dallas and Sacramento, Rondo seemed an odd fit alongside incumbent rising superstar Butler and the Bulls’ other big-name, big-ticket 2016 free-agent signing: hometown hero Dwyane Wade, himself a ball-dominant, non-3-point-shooting playmaker whose best defensive days are behind him.

The players insisted before the start of the season that they’d make it work, that having “Three Alphas” in the locker room and on the court was better than having none. The results didn’t exactly bear that out, as the Bulls sputtered and stumbled for most of the season before finishing 41-41, briefly putting the fear of God into the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, and losing four straight games to get eliminated after Rondo suffered a broken thumb that knocked him out for the remainder of the season.

[Follow Ball Don’t Lie on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

It was a weird year. Rondo began the season as Chicago’s starting point guard, then earned a one-game suspension in December for “conduct detrimental to the team” after a heated exchange with assistant coach Jim Boylen. Later that month, he got benched for five straight games in favor of former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, and even racked up a DNP-CD on his own celebratory bobblehead night. He returned to the lineup after the “bulls***” benching and, before long, into controversy, as he, Butler and Wade sparred publicly and via social media over the leadership reins of a team that was underperforming its own lofty expectations and running out of time to solve its issues.

The Bulls eventually got it together enough to hit .500 and earn the East’s eighth and final playoff spot on the final night of the season. They stunned the top-seeded Celtics to start the opening round, taking two games in Boston behind strong performances from Butler, center Robin Lopez and Rondo, as the former Celtic averaged 11.5 points, 10 assists, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals in two stellar outings in his old stomping grounds. It all turned, though, after Rondo broke his right thumb in Game 2. Fred Hoiberg didn’t have another option at the point capable of filling Rondo’s role, and a Celtics team that figured out the tactical lever to pull to put the Bulls’ backs against the wall — playing small-ball from the start of the game to pull Chicago’s bigs away from the rim, forcing Hoiberg to try to match size with size, neutralizing Lopez and the Bulls’ rebounding advantage inside — ripped off four straight wins to eliminate the Bulls.

Rondo, who averaged 7.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.7 assists in 26.7 minutes per game in 69 appearances in his lone season in Chicago, insisted after the season that the Bulls would’ve swept the C’s had he not gotten injured. The Bulls insisted they wanted to bring Rondo back. Neither came to pass, and now the veteran point guard will have to wait to see what kind of interest he can generate on the free-agent market.

Chicago also waived point guard Isaiah Canaan, who made 39 appearances off the Bulls bench last year, averaging 4.6 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 15.2 minutes per game, and who started in Round 1 after Rondo went down.

(Like I said: weird year.)

Despite having moved decisively in the direction of a youth-led rebuild over the past eight days, the Bulls appear to be sticking with holding on to their lone remaining “Alpha,” who exercised the $23.8 million player option he held for the season to come:

How exactly paying Wade $24 million to lead a team in transition makes sense doesn’t exactly compute. But then, that’s sort of par for the course, as any major Rondo will tell you:

More NBA coverage:

– – – – – – –

Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!


          NBA Free Agency Shopping Lists: Atlantic Division   
Gordon Hayward is Boston’s top free agent target. (Getty Images)

Free agency is a complicated time full of misdirection, brief opportunities, and a whole lot of persuasion. We’ve put together these shopping lists to ensure every team stays on track.

Boston Celtics

2016-17 record: 53-29, eliminated in the conference finals

Unrestricted free agents: Jonas Jerebko, Amir Johnson, Gerald Green, James Young

Restricted free agents: Kelly Olynyk

The Celtics are cruising into July with big dreams, and unlike many other teams that enter free agency with far-fetched visions of wooing multiple stars, Boston’s are realistic. Plan 1A: Sign Gordon Hayward, then trade for Paul George, in that order. Plan 1B, maybe: Sign Blake Griffin, then swoop in for George. The latter actually might make more sense fit-wise, but, if reports and rumors are to be believed, the Celtics have had their sights set on Hayward for a while, and he appears to be their first choice. He’ll talk shop with Boston this weekend, sandwiched in between meetings with Miami and Utah.

The plans sound wonderful in theory. But there are plenty of potential hiccups. The wait for Hayward will be excruciating. If he does indeed opt for a reunion with Brad Stevens, Boston will then have to clear cap space to fit his presumed max contract under the salary cap — something that became a bit more difficult when the NBA slashed its cap projection from $101 million to $99 million. Even if the Celtics renounce all five of their free agents and waive Tyler Zeller, they may be squeezed on max room. That means they may have to part ways with even more assets to fit Hayward into cap space.

Then, after what could be a lengthy (by NBA free agency standards) wait, they’ll have to hope George is still available. Indiana has been talking to other PG-13 suitors, and may not be comfortable turning down other enticing deals to hold out for Boston’s package. After all, what if Hayward goes elsewhere?

If he does, and if Griffin lands elsewhere, shelling out for what could be a one-year rental for George makes significantly less sense for Boston. If Danny Ainge strikes out, he could — and probably should — hold on to his valuable assets, maintain flexibility, and build for three or four years down the road.

[Fantasy Football is open! Sign up now]

If everything goes right, the Celtics will add Hayward and George to a core of Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and whoever doesn’t get flipped to pave way for two All-Stars. They could then add an athletic big man with their mid-level exception, and gear up to battle the Cleveland Cavaliers for East supremacy. But a lot of contingencies must be in place if the Hayward-George pursuit doesn’t go to plan.

Brooklyn Nets

2016-17 record: 20-62

Unrestricted free agents: Randy Foye, K.J. McDaniels (Nets will reportedly decline team option)

Restricted free agents: None

The Nets are still struggling for breath under the oppressive weight of the 2013 Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce trade, but the wheezing is gradually turning into deeper intakes and outtakes. Brooklyn now has a centerpiece — or at least a building block — for its rebuild in D’Angelo Russell. It has a semblance of stability and direction. But it still has a striking dearth of talent, and no chance of contending within the next few years. That means the Nets should look to make one of two moves.

First, they could snoop around for trade partners looking to offload big contracts, just like they did with the Lakers and Timofey Mozgov in the Russell deal. With plenty of cap room, the Nets can afford to take on dead weight if it means also acquiring future first-round picks or talented youngsters.

Second, they could throw money at restricted free agents coming off their rookie deals to try and pry any away from their incumbent teams. Targeting established stars is unrealistic, and targeting aging veterans is useless, but targeting a 24- or 25-year-old who can develop along with Russell meshes with Brooklyn’s timeline. Otto Porter, Nerlens Noel and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope should be at the top of their list. If those big-money offers get matched, GM Sean Marks could turn to guys like Tim Hardaway Jr. or Kelly Olynyk.

The downside of handing a four-year deal to a player like Porter or Noel is it restricts Brooklyn’s cap flexibility going forward, and could hinder its pursuit of big-time free agents in 2019 or 2020. That’s why rumors have linked the Nets with veterans like J.J. Redick, who may not command more than two or three years. That would maximize Brooklyn’s cap space for more important offseasons in the future. But taking a chance on Porter or Noel might be worth it.

Are the Knicks still building around Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis? (Getty Images)

New York Knicks

2016-17 record: 31-51

Unrestricted free agents: Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday, Sasha Vujacic

Restricted free agents: Ron Baker

The Knicks enter free agency without a team president. That, in most cases, is not a good thing. On the other hand, they’re now free from the constraints of the Triangle and Phil Jackson’s insistence on bringing in players to fit in his antiquated offense. That, undoubtedly, is a very good thing.

Jackson, however, has left the Knicks with more problems than potential for growth. The first order of business should be repairing the organization’s relationship with Kristaps Porzingis. The second should be figuring out what to do with Carmelo Anthony. Is there a palatable trade offer out there? How forgiving would Anthony be in buyout negotiations? A trade is the preferable option, but Anthony, of course, has a no-trade clause. Coach Jeff Hornacek was non-committal when asked about Anthony’s future with the team.

As for free agency, the Knicks need help in the backcourt, where they are alarmingly thin. They could basically use any guard — well, except Derrick Rose. Before Jackson’s ouster, there were reports that the Knicks had interest in re-signing their expensive, ineffective point guard. That would be absurd.

A better move would be to bring back Justin Holiday, and perhaps bring in a veteran point guard or combo guard to mentor — or simply take the load off — first-round pick Frank Ntilikina. There is reportedly mutual interest between the Knicks and Jeff Teague. Jrue Holiday and George Hill could be options in a similar realm.

Overall, the Knicks could be extremely quiet. Or a resolution to the Anthony situation could trigger a flurry of moves. With no replacement for Jackson as of Friday morning, their direction remains up in the air.

Philadelphia 76ers

2016-17 record: 28-54

Unrestricted free agents: Tiago Splitter, Sergio Rodriguez

Restricted free agents: Alex Poythress

The Sixers won’t be too active in the coming weeks, but they’re nonetheless in an interesting spot. They have loads of cap space, but not much roster space, and a slew of players that will be up for new deals in coming years. As a result, the Sixers should limit their free agency haul to one or two players.

J.J. Redick makes a ton of sense as a top target. The Sixers can offer him big money for two years, or maaaaaybe three, without handicapping themselves when the time comes to make a real splash in free agency. Redick can space the floor for a young team that desperately needs shooters. He can also offer a strong veteran presence in the locker room.

Or the Sixers could stay patient, and wait until 2018 or 2019, when a) more attractive options could arise, and b) Philadelphia will be a more attractive destination for free agents. GM Bryan Colangelo and his staff need to refrain from spending just to spend. Handing a four-year, big-money deal to someone like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could end up being a grave mistake.

The other logical move is to extend Robert Covington on a front-loaded deal. Such an extension would allow the Sixers to pay Covington fairly while also softening his cap hit down the line to around $10 million. A Covington renegotiation, along with one veteran free-agent signing, should be the priorities.

Will Toronto keep its core together? (Getty)

Toronto Raptors

2016-17 record: 51-31, eliminated in conference semifinals

Unrestricted free agents: Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Patrick Patterson, P.J. Tucker

Restricted free agents: None

The next few weeks in Raptor-land revolve around Kyle Lowry. Will the 31-year-old All-Star point guard bolt? Or will he re-sign? Or do the Raptors even want to bring him back? The answers to those questions should dictate the direction of the franchise this summer and for years to come.

If Lowry stays, Toronto would have no cap room, but could bring back its own guys and make another run at a top-four finish in the East. The payroll would climb to slightly unnerving levels, but that’s the price of ambition. If ownership and management decide they want to stay competitive, there is no choice but to go all in to retain Lowry, Ibaka and probably Patterson, too. Any other pieces would have to be added either using exceptions or via trade (Jonas Valanciunas should be on the block … and, if they really want to get crazy, maybe DeMar DeRozan as well?).

But if Lowry leaves, or if the team decides his price tag is too hefty, the first domino of the rebuild falls. The second domino should be to let Ibaka and Tucker walk. The third should be drawing a line in the sand during negotiations with Patterson, and possibly walking away from them if the dollar figures get out of control. The fourth could be trades of veterans for younger assets. The Raptors can’t even come close to contending without their star point guard; therefore, if they lose him, they shouldn’t even try to. They’re overdue for a rebuild, and being spurned by Lowry could force their hand.

Related:

More NBA Free Agency Shopping Lists:

Northwest DivisionPacific DivisionSouthwest Division

Atlantic DivisionCentral DivisionSoutheast Division


          NBA Free Agency Shopping Lists: Central Division   
The future of LeBron James looms over every decision the Cavs make. (AP)
The future of LeBron James looms over every decision the Cavs make. (AP)

Cleveland Cavaliers

2016-17 record: 51-31, East champions

Unrestricted free agents: Kyle Korver, Deron Williams, Derrick Williams, Dahntay Jones, James Jones

Restricted free agents: None

The Cavaliers are lucky enough not to face any meaningful free agent departures from a squad that ran through the East for the third-straight postseason. Unfortunately, they’re well over the salary cap and can’t really sign any true difference makers. Kyle Korver would be difficult to replace if he doesn’t want to return at the minimum, but the Cavs can always try to sign another capable veteran wing and trade some of that shooting for defense. Everyone else is easily replaceable, and a March buyout market that could include Dwyane Wade should ensure that they won’t hurt for options ahead of the 2018 playoffs.

Of course, a lack of free agent activity does not mean that the Cavs will stand pat. Several reports have them in play for Paul George via trade, and LeBron James’s apparent displeasure with Dan Gilbert’s decision not to retain David Griffin means that the next general manager will probably look to make a splash. If Kevin Love ends up on his way out of town in a deal, then Cleveland will look to add another power forward so neither LeBron nor George has to log too many minutes against physical opponents. However, that player might not be of true starter quality.

These recent NBA Finals also seemed to confirm that the Cavs will need a few more versatile wings to compete with the Warriors over a seven-game series. George would certainly fit that description, but the likelihood of adding other difference-makers at the Cavs’ price point is fairly low. On the other hand, they’ll be heavily favored to win the conference due to the mere presence of LeBron. There are worse trade-offs.

Milwaukee Bucks

2016-17 record:

Unrestricted free agents: Michael Beasley, Jason Terry

Restricted free agents: Tony Snell

The Bucks are the rare team with no overwhelming needs and no major players who could leave in free agency. The progressions of young star Giannis Antetokounmpo and impressive supporting pieces Jabari Parker, Malcolm Brogdon, and Thon Maker suggests that the Bucks can keep their hands off the core and see a meaningful improvement in 2017-18 simply by everyone getting another year of experience. The Bucks look on the way up, and it’s not worth risking too much to speed up the process.

[Follow Ball Don’t Lie on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

Nevertheless, there are ways to form a better team focused on Milwaukee’s strengths of length and athleticism. Center Greg Monroe is entering the last year of his contract and could be a useful addition for a team looking to open up cap space. If Milwaukee can find a taker, they can add either backcourt depth or an active big man and look to fill the other need via their full mid-level exception. Additionally, it would not be a shock to see the Bucks sign Parker on a cost-effective extension after a second ACL tear in three seasons.

The best advice, though, is not to overthink matters. The Bucks boast a thriving core full of potential and could emerge as a real threat to the top teams in the conference next season. If they don’t panic, the Bucks could have an opportunity to attract real high-level talent next summer.

The Pacers can't set a new course until Paul George is dealt. (AP)
The Pacers can’t set a new course until Paul George is dealt. (AP)

Indiana Pacers

2016-17 record: 42-40

Unrestricted free agents: Jeff Teague, Lavoy Allen, Aaron Brooks, C.J. Miles

Restricted free agents: None

The course of the Pacers’ offseason will be set by what they get in return for Paul George. If the trade haul includes an established star like Kevin Love, then Kevin Pritchard can try to bring back veterans like Teague and add another capable player in the hope of mounting a title challenge. If George goes to the Lakers or Celtics and brings back youngsters and draft picks, then it makes sense to rebuild the team around center Myles Turner and forget about the postseason for a few years.

Until George is traded, it’s hard to say exactly what the Pacers need. However, it’s possible that it doesn’t really matter that much when the deal goes down. The Pacers are probably going to be worse next year no matter what, and it’s genuinely difficult to remake a team on the fly when the market for a player seems fluid from month to month. Maybe holding out for the best possible deal is the most important thing here.

All we know for sure is that the Pacers are going to need good players everywhere except center. Get as many as possible and let the trade gods sort it out later.

Chicago Bulls

2016-17 record: 41-41

Unrestricted free agents: Michael Carter-Williams, Anthony Morrow, Rajon Rondo (team option)

Restricted free agents: Cristiano Felicio, Joffrey Lauvergne, Nikola Mirotic

Oh boy, do not expect any big-time free agents to join this team despite its considerable cap room. With Jimmy Butler in Minnesota, youngsters in the backcourt in his stead, and Dwyane Wade virtually assured to be on his way out via midseason buyout, the Bulls are locked into a rebuild even if the shape of the Butler trade suggests they’re trying to create a playoff contender on the fly. This team is not good, and Butler’s unhappy departure ensures that the rest of the league knows the front office is bad news. Short of overwhelming overpayments, there’s no reason to think the Bulls will be major players on the free agent market. But lord knows they need help pretty much everywhere.

It would not be surprising to see Gar Forman and John Paxson essentially give up this offseason and go into the 2017-18 season with one of the saddest rosters imaginable. Maybe they’ll pick up Rajon Rondo’s option so he can help Kris Dunn adjust to his new team and continue to mold the team’s 47 point guards into fine young men. Perhaps they’ll offer Zach LaVine a below-market extension as he works his way back from an ACL tear. It’s anyone’s guess.

There’s a reason everyone hated the Butler trade. This team has no clear course for the future, and that lack of direction should be apparent over the next few weeks.

Detroit Pistons

2016-17 record: 37-45

Unrestricted free agents: Aron Baynes, Beno Udrih

Restricted free agents: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Reggie Bullock

The Pistons face a meaningful offseason after a year in which the promising core of Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond disappointed considerably. Both players now appear to be available in trades, and it’s possible Jeff Bower and Stan Van Gundy would be happy to accept a rebuilding process in exchange for another campaign stuck in 10th or 11th place. Whatever happens with that duo will determine the success of this offseason.

The good news is that the Pistons are not going to lure top-level free agents and don’t have to wait around for trade offers to roll in. The drafting of Luke Kennard gives some cover on the wings, but it’s likely they’ll hand Caldwell-Pope a lucrative contract to re-sign for four years. That’s not a great deal for a team with an already limited cap situation. But it’s also what you do when you’re a mediocre side without many prospects. It’s called accepting your fate, and teams in the middle of the East are great at it.

Otherwise, the Pistons could use meaningful depth everywhere. They will almost assuredly sign a few players you forget about until they play against your favorite team in late December.

More NBA Free Agency Shopping Lists:

Northwest DivisionPacific DivisionSouthwest Division

Atlantic DivisionCentral DivisionSoutheast Division

More NBA coverage:

– – – – – – –

Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Follow @FreemanEric


          Bruins buy out Hayes, put bow on one of the worst trades ever   
Jimmy Hayes was placed on unconditional waivers on Friday. (Winslow Townson/AP)

The Boston Bruins placed forward Jimmy Hayes on waivers for the purpose of a buyout Friday, putting a bow on one of the worst trades in recent memory.

Hayes is coming off an abysmal year in which he put up just five points (2-3) in 58 games while averaging less than 10 minutes per night despite making $2.3 million against the cap. With another $2.6M owed to him next season this was a logical move for the Bruins, who will only be hit with a cap penalty of $566,667 next season and $866,667 in 2018-19.

Don Sweeney will gladly wipe his hands clean of this deal, which was one of the first moves he made as GM after taking over for Peter Chiarelli in May 2015.

[Follow Puck Daddy on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

Hayes, a Boston native, was acquired from the Panthers on July 1, 2015 in exchange for Reilly Smith and Marc Savard’s contract. Smith, as you recall, was one of the pieces the Bruins received in return for Tyler Seguin.

With Hayes no longer on the team, the Bruins are officially left with nothing to show for Chiarelli’s decision to trade a 21-year-old second-overall pick who scored 67 points in his sophomore season.

Here’s what the final score looks like:

Boston’s haul

Loui Eriksson: Had a 63-point campaign in 2015-16 but was largely a disappointment in Boston as the centerpiece of the deal. He’s coming off a dreadful season after signing a big-money contract with the Canucks last summer.

Reilly Smith: Made a strong first impression with a 51-point campaign in 2013-14, but took a step back the following year due to a dip in his shooting percentage. The Panthers flipped him to Vegas last week for a fourth-round pick.

Joe Morrow: The Bruins declined his qualifying offer this week after the 2011 first-rounder failed to blossom in Boston.

Matt Fraser: Was claimed off waivers by the Oilers in December 2014, currently playing in Sweden.

Dallas’s haul

Tyler Seguin: Only four players have put up more points than Seguin since he joined the Stars in 2013-14.

Rich Peverley: Nearly matched Eriksson’s production in the first year after the trade before being forced into retirement due to an irregular heartbeat.

Ryan Button: Bounced between the AHL and ECHL, currently playing in Germany.

It might not be the worst trade in NHL history, but it could be up there by the time Seguin is done running up the numbers in Dallas.

Along with Hayes, Mike Cammalleri (NJD), Devante Smith-Pelly (NJD), Jussi Jokinen (FLA), Mark Stuart (WPG), Lance Bouma (CGY) and Ryan Murphy (CGY) were also bought out on Friday.


          Oilers' window to win might close after 2018 (Trending Topics)   

 

When Connor McDavid signs his biggest-deal-in-NHL history early next week, a lot of people will have a lot to say about what he “should have” done.

Should have taken fewer years so he can cash in again in his mid-20s. Should have taken less money so his team can be more competitive. Should have waited another year so he could wring another million dollars out of this team when he inevitably becomes the league’s first back-to-back MVP since Alex Ovechkin almost a decade ago.

[Follow Puck Daddy on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

But we’re in uncharted territory with McDavid here. There’s no saying what he should or shouldn’t do because no player has ever been so singularly valuable to his club in the cap era. Not Alex Ovechkin, not Sidney Crosby, not any other big-contract guy. It’s not hard to conjecture where the Oilers sit today if they get Eichel and some other team gets McDavid thanks to a couple lottery-ball bounces. The league has never been as rich as it is today: McDavid is the first player to clear $10.5 million AAV — and in fact, blow past it by more than 25 percent — and given his unique circumstances, it’s a territory few will even come close to approaching.

The money is big, but McDavid is worth it, especially because he gave Edmonton a conciliatory few years at the back end of the contract. If he truly wanted to cash in, he’d have gotten to unrestricted free agency as soon as possible and become the first $20 million player in league history. And the thing is, he’d have probably been worth it.

There is basically no amount of money you could give McDavid that’s allowable within the confines of the CBA — in which no one player can exceed 20 percent of the total cap limit — and have it not be “worth it.” In fact, extremely worth it. If you don’t think he’s the best player on earth you have still have to concede that day is coming very, very soon, and the value he provides to the Oilers not just on the ice but in jersey sales, getting on national TV, value to advertisers, etc. probably even surpasses what Crosby does for the Penguins. And again, if not now, soon.

But here’s something else that will soon come to be: One year from now, maybe two, people are going to start saying about McDavid what they’ve started to say about Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. They used to say it about Ovechkin, too. “He makes too much money. Yes he’s great, but it’s holding the Oilers back and they might never win a Cup as long as he has that contract.” And the thing is, just like Ovechkin to this point and almost certainly like Toews and Kane for the balance of their deals, those people might be right.

The Oilers’ window to win may seem pretty much wide open. McDavid is young and only going to get better. But given the cap constraints he places on the team — every dollar he gets is one Peter Chiarelli cannot spend elsewhere — it’s more reasonable to say that things might get a little dicey starting the second this new contract kicks in. You can see why here:

This obviously assumes Leon Draisaitl takes $6.5 million AAV, which might be a little optimistic for the Oilers. Some reports have started to emerge that his representation wants to put the boots to the club for sending him down his rookie season and costing him a year of unrestricted free agency.

You can adjust that Draisaitl number up or down by however much you feel is reasonable and the overarching point remains the same: The Oilers are going to spend in the high-$50-low-$60-millions range for just 13 players the season McDavid’s big contract kicks in. The year after that, probably around $52 million for just nine. And that’s without a new contract for what they clearly consider to be a franchise goalie.

And how much do you think the cap goes up in those seasons? Maybe another $5-6 million? Can’t be much more than that given how things have moved the past few years, and it might be less given the NHLPA’s distaste for the ever-growing escrow payments.

What that means to the Oilers is clear enough: They’ve built their expensive core for the next few years. A strong netminder in Cam Talbot. A top-four defense of Oscar Klefbom, Andrej Sekera, Adam Larsson, and Kris Russell (yikes). A forward group toplined by McDavid and Draisaitl, Milan Lucic, maybe Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (if they don’t Hall-and-Eberle him), and probably Jesse Puljujarvi (who by the way also needs a new contract in 2019-20 and won’t be cheap if he works out). That’s your ride-or-die group. It probably costs like $60-plus million two years from now.

And the cap will maybe hit $80 million in that time. If all goes better than it has the past few years. When Crosby and Malkin signed their jumbo extensions several years ago, those deals came at a time when the cap was growing fairly quickly in comparison to what it is now. That extra breathing room allowed the Penguins to circle back to being competitive five years or so down the line. The cap ceiling’s growth used to be at least 7 percent on a regular basis. The last two seasons it hasn’t exceeded 3 percent. (The estimated 4 percent growth noted in Greg’s post on this subject yesterday is therefore wildly optimistic.)

So while you can look at McDavid’s percentage of the cap right now and say it’s roughly comparable to what Crosby, Malkin, or Ovechkin got when they cashed in — on longer-term deals than the CBA now allows — you have to also understand that percentage is going to shrink a lot more slowly.

Again, this is not McDavid’s fault. He should take as much money as he can possibly get. That’s true of every single player in the entire league. But the issue is that Chiarelli has not been judicious in the contracts he’s given out, and that’s the real failing here. If Edmonton doesn’t win a Cup within the next few years, Chiarelli’s inability to identify what certain players are actually worth will be the reason why.

Did Lucic leave money on the table to play with McDavid in a gorgeous new rink blah blah blah? Undoubtedly. Some sucker out there would have given him an extra million a season, no question. But that doesn’t make Lucic’s buyout-proof contract good. It makes it less bad than it could have been. Russell’s deal is just bad business all the way around. An over-30 defense-first defenseman whose primary skill is blocking shots isn’t where I’d be super-willing to invest $16 million over four years.

McDavid and Draisaitl? You gotta pay those guys. Some of the other guys on the books for the next two or three years not so much.

The thing is, there was no way you couldn’t have seen this coming. The day you draft McDavid, you have to start thinking, “Okay, what does his contract look like when his ELC expires?” and plan accordingly. Chiarelli either didn’t do that or isn’t good at it. McDavid will get you to 50 wins a season almost by himself for the next five years at least. But that Lucic contract already looks regrettable based on the season he just had, and he’s only going to get older, slower, less impactful.

(This is to say nothing of the negative value he provides a few years from now relative to 25-year-old Taylor Hall.)

Apart from Lucic and Russell, there’s no single contract where you say, “This is a totally unreasonable overpayment.” But half a million here, a million there; it adds up fast. And when you gotta give out the richest salary in the league, even to a player who deserves it, you quickly come to understand how badly Chiarelli’s hands are tied.

Even if the salary cap somehow hits $80 million in 2018-19, it’s tough to see how Chiarelli puts much NHL-quality depth behind these guys unless every draft pick and rookie free agent signing they’ve had in the past few years works out exactly how they need them to. Or maybe if they go bargain-hunting behind the promise of “you’ll get to meet Connor McDavid,” which is actually a draw for the club.

They’ll need six or seven forwards, a defenseman to slot in behind Darnell Nurse and Matt Benning (both of whom will also need new contracts), and a backup goalie (probably a fairly cheap Laurent Brossoit or Nick Ellis). Can you get those 10 players — and have them be effective for you — for about $18-19 million? I’m not so sure.

It’s tough to guess where that really leaves the Oilers, except maybe to say, “Not as well-off as you’d think.” But that’s not on McDavid.

It’s on Chiarelli, who got caught paying non-stars too much money. Again.

Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS



          What’s next for Scott Hartnell after buyout?   

The Columbus Blue Jackets made forward Scott Hartnell disappear on Thursday, buying out the final two years of his six-year, $28 million deal they took on when they acquired him from the Philadelphia Flyers in 2014.

According to Cap Friendly, the buyout costs the Jackets $1.5 million against the cap next season vs. his $4.75 million AAV, with the cap penalty increasing to $3 million in 2018-19. The cap penalty for 2019 through 2021 is $1.25 million.

[Follow Puck Daddy on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

This is the Jackets’ third buyout in two seasons, along with Jared Boll and defenseman Fedor Tyutin last year.

“Moves like this are never easy, but with our current organizational depth at the position it is something we believe is in the best interest of our club moving forward,” said GM Jarmo Kekalainen.

Well, yeah. Hartnell had 13 goals and 24 assists in 78 games last season for the Jackets, skating 12:04 per game, which was his lowest average time on ice since his rookie season in 2000-01.

The Jackets told him at the end of the season that he wouldn’t be back, but that didn’t sway Hartnell to waive his no-movement clause for exposure in the expansion draft.

Now he can sign anywhere, although it would be on a plus-35 contract, which makes things a little tricky as far as term.

Where could he land? The obvious spot would be with the Nashville Predators.

That’s where he was drafted sixth overall in 2000, where his former coach Peter Laviolette is behind the bench and where his former linemate Ryan Johansen resides. The Predators nearly acquired him in the Seth Jones trade, too.

He can give them some veteran leadership, contribute on the power play and bring in some added muscle when necessary – last season was Hartnell’s first full NHL season since 2008 without breaking 100 penalty minutes.

Of course, there will always be those who want a reunion with the Philadelphia Flyers, where Hartnell was a beloved player. We’re just not sure how a plus-35 Hartnell fits with what the team’s doing in 2017. Or what Dave Hakstol’s doing with that team.

Eh, sign with the Penguins and watch the world burn, Scotty.


Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS



          NHL Buyouts Roundup: Cammalleri, Bouma placed on waivers   

As the NHL free agency period is looming, many teams across the league are buying out players to relieve cap space. The Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils are among the most active in this department.


          Turkish forward Cedi Osman, Cavaliers in negotiations on contract   

Turkish forward Cedi Osman is negotiating with the Cavs on a contract for next season, sources told cleveland.com, and according to a report has informed his Euroleague club he'll exercise the $1 million out clause in his contract. Watch video

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Turkish forward Cedi Osman is negotiating with the Cavs on a contract for next season, sources told cleveland.com, and according to a report has informed his Euroleague club he'll exercise the $1 million out clause in his contract.

Osman, 22, was acquired on draft night in 2015 from the Minnesota Timberwolves. He's played the last four seasons for Anadolu Efes in Turkey, where he averaged 7.1 points in Euroleague play this season.

Euroleague journalist David Pick reported Friday that Osman told Anadolu Efes he was triggering his $1 million NBA buyout and was on his way to Cleveland to meet with staff.

Sources told cleveland.com the team was in negotiations with Osman. The Cavs own his NBA rights -- he's a 6-8, high energy, defending wing -- and could sign him to a minimum contract worth more than $1 million for next season or use some of the mid-level exception, worth $5.1 million.

The Cavs' payroll is already nearly $30 million over the salary cap and $19 million over the luxury-tax line. They will make Kyle Korver an offer to stay with the Cavs when free agency starts at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Osman's possible presence could spell trouble here for Derrick Williams, a former No. 2 overall pick who signed as a free agent in February with Cleveland and is a free agent again.

A source said Osman likely would not play for the Cavs in the Las Vegas Summer League because of a commitment to the Turkish national team.


          Staples will go private in buyout   
Retail-focused private equity firm Sycamore Partners has agreed to acquire Staples for $6.9 billion, pending regulatory appro -More

          Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (SFM) Stock Is a Potential Buyout Star   

InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips

The drop in SFM stock in the wake of the Amazon deal for Whole Foods makes for a great buying opportunity for investors interested in Sprouts.

The post Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (SFM) Stock Is a Potential Buyout Star appeared first on InvestorPlace.


          Blue Jackets buy out Hartnell to free salary cap space   

Rails

Buyout ends Hartnell’s three-year stint in Columbus read more...

Tag(s): Pro
          Bruins buy out Hayes, put bow on one of the worst trades ever   
Jimmy Hayes was placed on unconditional waivers on Friday. (Winslow Townson/AP)

The Boston Bruins placed forward Jimmy Hayes on waivers for the purpose of a buyout Friday, putting a bow on one of the worst trades in recent memory.

Hayes is coming off an abysmal year in which he put up just five points (2-3) in 58 games while averaging less than 10 minutes per night despite making $2.3 million against the cap. With another $2.6M owed to him next season this was a logical move for the Bruins, who will only be hit with a cap penalty of $566,667 next season and $866,667 in 2018-19.

Don Sweeney will gladly wipe his hands clean of this deal, which was one of the first moves he made as GM after taking over for Peter Chiarelli in May 2015.

[Follow Puck Daddy on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

Hayes, a Boston native, was acquired from the Panthers on July 1, 2015 in exchange for Reilly Smith and Marc Savard’s contract. Smith, as you recall, was one of the pieces the Bruins received in return for Tyler Seguin.

With Hayes no longer on the team, the Bruins are officially left with nothing to show for Chiarelli’s decision to trade a 21-year-old second-overall pick who scored 67 points in his sophomore season.

Here’s what the final score looks like:

Boston’s haul

Loui Eriksson: Had a 63-point campaign in 2015-16 but was largely a disappointment in Boston as the centerpiece of the deal. He’s coming off a dreadful season after signing a big-money contract with the Canucks last summer.

Reilly Smith: Made a strong first impression with a 51-point campaign in 2013-14, but took a step back the following year due to a dip in his shooting percentage. The Panthers flipped him to Vegas last week for a fourth-round pick.

Joe Morrow: The Bruins declined his qualifying offer this week after the 2011 first-rounder failed to blossom in Boston.

Matt Fraser: Was claimed off waivers by the Oilers in December 2014, currently playing in Sweden.

Dallas’s haul

Tyler Seguin: Only four players have put up more points than Seguin since he joined the Stars in 2013-14.

Rich Peverley: Nearly matched Eriksson’s production in the first year after the trade before being forced into retirement due to an irregular heartbeat.

Ryan Button: Bounced between the AHL and ECHL, currently playing in Germany.

It might not be the worst trade in NHL history, but it could be up there by the time Seguin is done running up the numbers in Dallas.

Along with Hayes, Mike Cammalleri (NJD), Devante Smith-Pelly (NJD), Jussi Jokinen (FLA), Mark Stuart (WPG), Lance Bouma (CGY) and Ryan Murphy (CGY) were also bought out on Friday.


          Oilers' window to win might close after 2018 (Trending Topics)   

 

When Connor McDavid signs his biggest-deal-in-NHL history early next week, a lot of people will have a lot to say about what he “should have” done.

Should have taken fewer years so he can cash in again in his mid-20s. Should have taken less money so his team can be more competitive. Should have waited another year so he could wring another million dollars out of this team when he inevitably becomes the league’s first back-to-back MVP since Alex Ovechkin almost a decade ago.

[Follow Puck Daddy on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

But we’re in uncharted territory with McDavid here. There’s no saying what he should or shouldn’t do because no player has ever been so singularly valuable to his club in the cap era. Not Alex Ovechkin, not Sidney Crosby, not any other big-contract guy. It’s not hard to conjecture where the Oilers sit today if they get Eichel and some other team gets McDavid thanks to a couple lottery-ball bounces. The league has never been as rich as it is today: McDavid is the first player to clear $10.5 million AAV — and in fact, blow past it by more than 25 percent — and given his unique circumstances, it’s a territory few will even come close to approaching.

The money is big, but McDavid is worth it, especially because he gave Edmonton a conciliatory few years at the back end of the contract. If he truly wanted to cash in, he’d have gotten to unrestricted free agency as soon as possible and become the first $20 million player in league history. And the thing is, he’d have probably been worth it.

There is basically no amount of money you could give McDavid that’s allowable within the confines of the CBA — in which no one player can exceed 20 percent of the total cap limit — and have it not be “worth it.” In fact, extremely worth it. If you don’t think he’s the best player on earth you have still have to concede that day is coming very, very soon, and the value he provides to the Oilers not just on the ice but in jersey sales, getting on national TV, value to advertisers, etc. probably even surpasses what Crosby does for the Penguins. And again, if not now, soon.

But here’s something else that will soon come to be: One year from now, maybe two, people are going to start saying about McDavid what they’ve started to say about Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. They used to say it about Ovechkin, too. “He makes too much money. Yes he’s great, but it’s holding the Oilers back and they might never win a Cup as long as he has that contract.” And the thing is, just like Ovechkin to this point and almost certainly like Toews and Kane for the balance of their deals, those people might be right.

The Oilers’ window to win may seem pretty much wide open. McDavid is young and only going to get better. But given the cap constraints he places on the team — every dollar he gets is one Peter Chiarelli cannot spend elsewhere — it’s more reasonable to say that things might get a little dicey starting the second this new contract kicks in. You can see why here:

This obviously assumes Leon Draisaitl takes $6.5 million AAV, which might be a little optimistic for the Oilers. Some reports have started to emerge that his representation wants to put the boots to the club for sending him down his rookie season and costing him a year of unrestricted free agency.

You can adjust that Draisaitl number up or down by however much you feel is reasonable and the overarching point remains the same: The Oilers are going to spend in the high-$50-low-$60-millions range for just 13 players the season McDavid’s big contract kicks in. The year after that, probably around $52 million for just nine. And that’s without a new contract for what they clearly consider to be a franchise goalie.

And how much do you think the cap goes up in those seasons? Maybe another $5-6 million? Can’t be much more than that given how things have moved the past few years, and it might be less given the NHLPA’s distaste for the ever-growing escrow payments.

What that means to the Oilers is clear enough: They’ve built their expensive core for the next few years. A strong netminder in Cam Talbot. A top-four defense of Oscar Klefbom, Andrej Sekera, Adam Larsson, and Kris Russell (yikes). A forward group toplined by McDavid and Draisaitl, Milan Lucic, maybe Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (if they don’t Hall-and-Eberle him), and probably Jesse Puljujarvi (who by the way also needs a new contract in 2019-20 and won’t be cheap if he works out). That’s your ride-or-die group. It probably costs like $60-plus million two years from now.

And the cap will maybe hit $80 million in that time. If all goes better than it has the past few years. When Crosby and Malkin signed their jumbo extensions several years ago, those deals came at a time when the cap was growing fairly quickly in comparison to what it is now. That extra breathing room allowed the Penguins to circle back to being competitive five years or so down the line. The cap ceiling’s growth used to be at least 7 percent on a regular basis. The last two seasons it hasn’t exceeded 3 percent. (The estimated 4 percent growth noted in Greg’s post on this subject yesterday is therefore wildly optimistic.)

So while you can look at McDavid’s percentage of the cap right now and say it’s roughly comparable to what Crosby, Malkin, or Ovechkin got when they cashed in — on longer-term deals than the CBA now allows — you have to also understand that percentage is going to shrink a lot more slowly.

Again, this is not McDavid’s fault. He should take as much money as he can possibly get. That’s true of every single player in the entire league. But the issue is that Chiarelli has not been judicious in the contracts he’s given out, and that’s the real failing here. If Edmonton doesn’t win a Cup within the next few years, Chiarelli’s inability to identify what certain players are actually worth will be the reason why.

Did Lucic leave money on the table to play with McDavid in a gorgeous new rink blah blah blah? Undoubtedly. Some sucker out there would have given him an extra million a season, no question. But that doesn’t make Lucic’s buyout-proof contract good. It makes it less bad than it could have been. Russell’s deal is just bad business all the way around. An over-30 defense-first defenseman whose primary skill is blocking shots isn’t where I’d be super-willing to invest $16 million over four years.

McDavid and Draisaitl? You gotta pay those guys. Some of the other guys on the books for the next two or three years not so much.

The thing is, there was no way you couldn’t have seen this coming. The day you draft McDavid, you have to start thinking, “Okay, what does his contract look like when his ELC expires?” and plan accordingly. Chiarelli either didn’t do that or isn’t good at it. McDavid will get you to 50 wins a season almost by himself for the next five years at least. But that Lucic contract already looks regrettable based on the season he just had, and he’s only going to get older, slower, less impactful.

(This is to say nothing of the negative value he provides a few years from now relative to 25-year-old Taylor Hall.)

Apart from Lucic and Russell, there’s no single contract where you say, “This is a totally unreasonable overpayment.” But half a million here, a million there; it adds up fast. And when you gotta give out the richest salary in the league, even to a player who deserves it, you quickly come to understand how badly Chiarelli’s hands are tied.

Even if the salary cap somehow hits $80 million in 2018-19, it’s tough to see how Chiarelli puts much NHL-quality depth behind these guys unless every draft pick and rookie free agent signing they’ve had in the past few years works out exactly how they need them to. Or maybe if they go bargain-hunting behind the promise of “you’ll get to meet Connor McDavid,” which is actually a draw for the club.

They’ll need six or seven forwards, a defenseman to slot in behind Darnell Nurse and Matt Benning (both of whom will also need new contracts), and a backup goalie (probably a fairly cheap Laurent Brossoit or Nick Ellis). Can you get those 10 players — and have them be effective for you — for about $18-19 million? I’m not so sure.

It’s tough to guess where that really leaves the Oilers, except maybe to say, “Not as well-off as you’d think.” But that’s not on McDavid.

It’s on Chiarelli, who got caught paying non-stars too much money. Again.

Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS



          What’s next for Scott Hartnell after buyout?   

The Columbus Blue Jackets made forward Scott Hartnell disappear on Thursday, buying out the final two years of his six-year, $28 million deal they took on when they acquired him from the Philadelphia Flyers in 2014.

According to Cap Friendly, the buyout costs the Jackets $1.5 million against the cap next season vs. his $4.75 million AAV, with the cap penalty increasing to $3 million in 2018-19. The cap penalty for 2019 through 2021 is $1.25 million.

[Follow Puck Daddy on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr]

This is the Jackets’ third buyout in two seasons, along with Jared Boll and defenseman Fedor Tyutin last year.

“Moves like this are never easy, but with our current organizational depth at the position it is something we believe is in the best interest of our club moving forward,” said GM Jarmo Kekalainen.

Well, yeah. Hartnell had 13 goals and 24 assists in 78 games last season for the Jackets, skating 12:04 per game, which was his lowest average time on ice since his rookie season in 2000-01.

The Jackets told him at the end of the season that he wouldn’t be back, but that didn’t sway Hartnell to waive his no-movement clause for exposure in the expansion draft.

Now he can sign anywhere, although it would be on a plus-35 contract, which makes things a little tricky as far as term.

Where could he land? The obvious spot would be with the Nashville Predators.

That’s where he was drafted sixth overall in 2000, where his former coach Peter Laviolette is behind the bench and where his former linemate Ryan Johansen resides. The Predators nearly acquired him in the Seth Jones trade, too.

He can give them some veteran leadership, contribute on the power play and bring in some added muscle when necessary – last season was Hartnell’s first full NHL season since 2008 without breaking 100 penalty minutes.

Of course, there will always be those who want a reunion with the Philadelphia Flyers, where Hartnell was a beloved player. We’re just not sure how a plus-35 Hartnell fits with what the team’s doing in 2017. Or what Dave Hakstol’s doing with that team.

Eh, sign with the Penguins and watch the world burn, Scotty.


Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS



          "The Frightening Math of 'Peak Debt'”   
"The Frightening Math of 'Peak Debt'”
by Brian Maher

“Why does anyone bother to listen to economists anymore?” wonders Stephen Moore, former adviser to then candidate Trump. That very question tortures us in our private moments, and admittedly turns us to drink whenever the strain of it all proves too much.

Why, after all, would anyone listen to bunglers whose annual growth estimates were off by an average 80% - for six straight years? Moore reminds us that government economists predicted 3.2–4.6% annual growth every year between 2010 and 2015. Of course it never exceeded 2.6% one single year. Not one of the six. And so the “money multiplier” is once again exposed as fraud - the belief that a cup of water can be transmuted into a gallon of wine.., an ounce of lead into a pound of glorious gold.

Moore, in The Daily Caller: "According to Keynesian thought, as money circulates in the economy, the government’s initial investment could multiply to a total economic benefit five or 10 times greater than the original stimulus, [economics professor Richard] McKenzie wrote. But the staggering truth, told by Moore: The trillions of dollars of government borrowing here and abroad created a decade-long anemic recovery."

It seems a fair conclusion. Again, GDP growth never exceeded 2.6% over the period in question. And the Commerce Department announced today that this year’s first-quarter GDP only grew an annualized 1.4%. The IMF has also downgraded its forecast for total 2017 U.S. growth to 2.1%... down from its April 2.3% projection. We await the next downgrade.

It’s a heady liquor, debt, a liquor made headier when Nixon pried the dollar loose from its golden foundation in 1971. At first the booze turned stiff, sobersided Uncle Sam into a cheery and amiable soul. It untied his tongue, had him winking at ladies, slapping the backs of his fellows, bellowing raucous jokes. He was everybody’s friend. But the initial effects wore off soon enough. And he needed more and more of harder and harder stuff to keep him at his tricks. But the days of wine and roses caught up to him… They eventually ran down his liver.., and he could no longer pay his tabs. Now he’s becoming a tragic spectacle, a menace to himself and others, a man undone.

Just 34% when Nixon closed the gold window in 1971, America’s debt-to-GDP ratio is now a drunken 106%. And evidence shows that when the debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 70% the money multiplier, so called, swings into reverse. Real GDP declines at that point.

Economist Lacy Hunt, writing late last year: "The deficit spending provides a transitory boost to economic activity, but the initial effect is more than reversed in time, the economy is worse off on a net basis, with the lagged effects outweighing the initial positive benefit."

Based on academic research, the best evidence suggests the [government expenditure] multiplier is -0.01, which means that an additional dollar of deficit spending will reduce private GDP by $1.01, resulting in a 1 cent decline in real GDP. Once again: Evidence shows the money multiplier reverses when debt-to-GDP exceeds 70%.

Today’s U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio is 106%. And every dollar of deficit spending reduces private GDP by $1.01, a 1 cent decline in real GDP. It’s a dismal math. As a former White House budget director, David Stockman knows something about debt.

And David says America is hung on the hooks of a mighty dilemma he calls “Peak Debt”: Notwithstanding a 5X gain in the Fed’s balance sheet - from $900 billion on the eve of the Lehman meltdown to $4.5 trillion today - our Keynesian central bankers simply could not cause consumers to borrow and spend their way to prosperity. That’s because they are impaled on Peak Debt. There is no more credit that can be shoved into the system.

We wrote the other day that it’ll all probably come to rough business soon enough, that a crash is likely. We even managed to suck a precise date out of our thumb: next Valentine’s Day. We have no idea of the actual date of course. But the other day Janet Yellen said something, something that could tempt fate on even its busiest day. She claimed another 2008-level crisis is unlikely “in our lifetimes.” At the risk of sounding ungentlemanly, Ms. Yellen is not a young woman. “Brings to mind the old joke about a lifetime guarantee,” quips our colleague Dave Gonigam of The 5 Min. Forecast: “My lifetime, not yours.”

Below, David Stockman shows you how the debt spree of the past 40-plus years will be the nation’s undoing. What would Benjamin Franklin have to say about it all? Read on."

"Debt Is the Third Benjamin Franklin Certainty"
By David Stockman

"Benjamin Franklin supposedly said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." If old Ben were still around he would surely add "debt" to his famous saying. Indeed, a recent Experian study of its 220 million consumer files actually proves the case. It turns out that 73% of consumers who died last year had debts which averaged nearly $62,000. In addition to the kind of debt that apparently always stays with you - credit cards and car loans - it also happened that 37% of the newly deceased had unpaid mortgages and 6% still had student loans with an average unpaid balance of $25,391!

Once upon a time people used to have mortgage burning ceremonies when later in their working years the balance on the one-time loan they took out in their 30s to buy their castle was finally reduced to zero. And there was no such thing as student loans, and not only because students are inherently not credit worthy. College was paid for with family savings, summer jobs, work study and an austere life of four to a dorm room. No more. The essence of debt in the present era is that it is perpetually increased and rolled-over. It's never reduced and paid-off.

To be sure, much of mainstream opinion considers that reality unremarkable - even evidence of economic progress and enlightenment. Keynesians, Washington politicians and Wall Street gamblers would have it no other way because their entire modus operandi is based not just on ever more debt, but more importantly, on ever higher leverage. The chart below not only proves the latter point, but documents that over the last four decades rising leverage has been insinuated into every nook and cranny of the U.S. economy.

Nominal GDP (dark blue) grew by 6X from $3 trillion to $18 trillion, whereas total credit outstanding (light blue) soared by 13X from $5 trillion to $64 trillion. Consequently, the national leverage ratio rose from 1.5X in 1980 to 3.5X today.
My point today is not to moralize, but to discuss the practical implications of the nation's debt-topia for Ben Franklin's other two certainties - death and (especially) taxes. There’s no doubt that the modus operandi of the American economy has been transformed by the trends displayed in the above chart.

It so happened that the 1.5X ratio of total debt-to-income (GDP) at the beginning of the chart was not an aberration. It had actually been a constant for 100 years - except for a couple of unusual years during the Great Depression. It was also linked with the greatest period of capitalist prosperity, economic growth and rising living standards in recorded history.

By contrast, today's 3.5X debt-to-income ratio has two clear implications. First, the nation effectively performed a leveraged buyout (LBO) on itself during the last forty years. And that did temporarily add to the appearance of prosperity. But it also means that the U.S. economy is now lugging two turns of extra debt compared to the historic norm. Mainstream opinion, of course, says "so what?”

The U.S. economy is lugging $35 trillion of extra debt, that’s what. That's right. In the absence of the 40-year leverage aberration since the late 1970s, the chart abve would show about $29 trillion of credit market debt (public and private) outstanding, not $64 trillion. Make no mistake, $35 trillion of extra debt make a very practical and very large difference. The soaring leverage ratio of recent years came at a heavy price - and one which Keynesians and their camp followers simply refuse to acknowledge: America's 40-year LBO didn't create permanent incremental growth. It just stole it from the future.

Today's added leverage and the incremental spending it currently finances eventually become tomorrow's higher debt service cost and reduced spending. In fact, the latter is already occurring. And that’s the reason I call the chart below "The Great Inverse."
The trend level of real GDP growth captured by the gray bars has been heading south since the early 1970s. And during the last 10 years it’s averaged only 1.2% annually, or just one-third of the 3.8% average recorded during the American heyday (1953-1971). This stunning deterioration occurred precisely as the national LBO hit full stride (red line), rising from the historic 1.5X to the current 3.5X.

Ultimately, all this debt and financial suppression is the enemy of investment and productivity. It encourages massive financial engineering in the form of stock buybacks and merger and acquisition (M&A) deals. This diverts economic resources from productive investment on main street to leveraged speculation in existing financial assets on Wall Street.

The retail sector, for example, was the site of massive borrowings to fund share buybacks and LBOs - until Amazon knocked over the house of cards, causing what I call Retail Armageddon. The retail sector will see upwards of 30,000 store closures over 2016-2018 alone. We’ve also seen massive debt envelop the auto sector, which is nearly $3 trillion. This is a sector that bears very close watching, as I believe it’s ready to implode any day now.

In short, the sum of business sector debt stood at $8.7 trillion on the eve of the great financial crisis. It now stands at $13.2 trillion. And that $4.5 trillion gain was not pumped into productive investments on main street. The Fed’s reckless money printing is grinding down the U.S. economy's growth with rising debt and higher leverage ratios - exactly the kind of causation that lies behind the Great Inverse chart.

And that gets us to death and taxes... A surprisingly high share of today's soaring medical costs are designed to ward off the former. But the overwhelming share of households have no savings or remaining debt capacity. So they demand government help with their medical bills and sooner or latter we end up with Medicare, Medicaid, tax subsidized employer plans ($200 billion per year) and Obamacare. During the next decade, for example, upwards of $25 trillion or nearly 63% of personal health care costs will be financed by the programs listed above (including the state share of Medicaid).

Needless to say, that's why government funded health care has become the true third rail of American politics. The entire population has been driven into government financed or subsidized health insurance. And as these policies became increasingly socialist (i.e. based on community ratings and homogenized rather than risk-differentiated premiums), the whole system becomes more inefficient and costly. But capitalism doesn't work if you have no economic prices and no real consumers. What you get instead is price-insensitive patients and organized provider cartels, which attempt to maximize their incomes by lobbying public and private insurance payors.

The solution of government insurance then becomes the driving force of endlessly escalating government budgets. There is not a snowballs chance in the hot place the system will be reformed any time soon because the baby boom gave itself an LBO. That is, 73% of the population going into its "final expenses" with $62,000 of debt.

In short, the national LBO of 1980-2017 has saddled the nation with a giant Welfare State (health care and retirement pensions) because the bottom 90% of the population has no material savings. And financing that mushrooming Welfare State will mean, in turn, higher taxes and more public debt as far as the eye can see.

When you look at the Great Inverse chart above it becomes fairly obvious that even more debt and taxes will result in even lower economic growth. That will only necessitate even higher taxes and debt to pay for the Welfare State. Benjamin Franklin also famously said at the end of the Constitutional Convention, "gentleman you have a Republic, if you can keep it." If he had known about today's trifecta of death, taxes and debt, he might not have pronounced so boldly."

          Friday Charts: Patents, Dot Bombs and the Incredible Shrinking Stock Market   
Friday Charts: Patents, Dot Bombs and the Incredible Shrinking Stock Market

It’s Friday in the Wall Street Daily nation, time to go to the charts!

The post Friday Charts: Patents, Dot Bombs and the Incredible Shrinking Stock Market appeared first on Wall Street Daily.
By Louis Basenese


          Jimmy Butler Gave Out His Phone Number During A Press Conference and The Daily Links   


NFL on CBS Host James Brown Lost A Ton Of Weight- Terez Owens

Billy Jean King Shuts Down John McEnroe "Controversy"- Bob's Blitz

Doc Rivers Responds To Chris Paul Trade- The Spun

Melo Will Only Accept Buyout To Play For One Team- Front Page Buzz

Klay Thompson Drunk In China- Sport Smasher





          Several Buyouts Before Deadline   
The deadline to buy out players is today, and several teams have taken advantage of the option before free agency starts. The following players have been placed on waivers for the purposes of a buyout: Mike Cammalleri (NJD), Devante Smith-Pelly (NJD), Mark Stuart (WIN), Lance Bouma (CGY), Ryan Murphy (CGY), Jimmy Hayes (BOS), Jussi Jokinen (FLA).…
          Columbus Blue Jackets Buy Out Scott Hartnell   
The Columbus Blue Jackets have bought out the remaining two years on Scott Hartnell’s contract, making him a free agent. Hartnell didn’t need to be placed on waivers like a normal buyout because of his full no-movement clause. Columbus will take on a cap-hit going forward as follows:  2017-18: $1.5MM 2018-19: $3.0MM 2019-20: $1.25MM 2020-21: $1.25MM Our own Seth…
          Edmonton Oilers Waive Benoit Pouliot, Will Buy Out Contract   
The Edmonton Oilers continue to clear cap space, placing Benoit Pouliot on unconditional waivers today for purposes of a buyout. The forward has two years remaining on his contract at $4MM per season, meaning a buyout cap-hit will be structured as follows. 2017-18: $1.33MM 2018-19: $1.33MM 2019-20: $1.33MM 2020-21: $1.33MM Pouliot’s career in Edmonton will…
          Tech Mega-Buyouts Edge Toward Comeback as BMC, CA Plot Deal   

Software firms said to weigh deal to combine, take CA private; private equity firms have about $600 billion of dry powder Read More


          Bulls Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo   

The Chicago Bulls have a cemented the direction they want to head in. 

Granted, the direction isn't what some fans might've hoped for after shipping away Jimmy Butler in a draft-night deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

But it's better than no direction at all for a team all of a year ago that seemed ready to rebuild, then reversed course and hit win-now mode via free agency, only to sputter into the playoffs and almost take down a (in name only) No. 1 seed. 

Now the Bulls are about the future, meaning Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn.

And the forward-looking focus leaves two names up in the air—Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo.

Rondo might be the more interesting of the two. He went through the motions last year while dealing with odd rotational usage that only saw him take the floor for an average of 26.7 minutes per night, which kept him at humble averages of 7.8 points, 6.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game.

But with Dunn on the roster and Jerian Grant still around, the Bulls have at least considered ways to make Rondo's cap hit cheaper, according to the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson:

"According to sources, one option being considered is waiving Rondo and trying to re-sign him at a lower salary. However, Rondo restored his standing around the league with his professionalism and playoff performance under trying circumstances last season and is expected to draw interest from at least the Pelicans and Pacers in free agency. So that move would be a risk."

Whether Rondo changed the minds of an entire league over two games in the playoffs might be worth a debate. But there's no denying the fact he dropped 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a Game 1 win and another 11, nine and 14 in a Game 2 win.

Fans know the rest of the story—the Bulls tanked out of the series once he went down with a thumb injury.

The Bulls don't seem to mind the idea of keeping a veteran like Rondo around to help along the young core, though the same money-minded stance applies to Wade.

Wade didn't hesitate to pick up his player option, per CSN Chicago's Vincent Goodwill. As would about anyone on the planet who is 35 years old and offered an option in the neighborhood of $24 million.

But buyout talk has predictably started. According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Cleveland Cavaliers have an eye on Wade—alongside Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks—as affordable buyout options they'd like to pursue.

Perhaps even more interesting is the idea Wade might consider a return to the Miami Heat, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald: "What's more, Wade has never bashed the Heat publicly and is open to considering a return at some point in his career, according to an associate."

The Bulls themselves have been rather mum on the issue of buying out Wade, with executive John Paxson recently being vague while suggesting anything on the matter needs to be "advantageous" to the team, per Johnson.

Even if Wade sticks around and acts as a mentor for the young guys while inhaling a gigantic salary, the focus of next season doesn't change. 

For instance, the Bulls just extended an offer to Joffrey Lauvergne, according to TNT's David Aldridge. One of the pieces in the trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder back near the start of the year, Lauvergne is all of 25 years old and offers upside depth next to rookie Lauri Markkanen.

Elsewhere, Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald noted the status of Dunn, Markkanen and others ahead of the summer:

Not mentioned there is LaVine, but if somebody on the roster doesn't necessarily need summer developmental time, it's the 22-year-old guard who dropped 18.9 points on 45.9 percent shooting a year ago who is still recovering from a knee injury.

"I feel like with my ability I'm always able to come back early, but I really haven't set a timetable for that. I'm really confident that I'm going to come back better than I have, and this will give me time to work on my mental game, my strength, just learn the game of basketball more. I have no fear at all coming back from this," LaVine said, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

While LaVine works hard on his recovery so he can get back and act as the centerpiece of the rebuild, the Bulls will clearly weigh financial options surrounding veteran leaders and place an emphasis on the young guys like Dunn.

"We've set a direction," Paxson said after the Butler trade, per Johnson.

This much is clear, especially with it looking like the Bulls have the surprises out of the way before July.

              

All stats and info via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.

Read more Chicago Bulls news on BleacherReport.com


          Game 73 Open Thread: Indians at Tigers   
Friday night baseball in Motown kicks off a four game series that ultimately will cap a torrid stretch of 22 games in 20 days before Monday’s much-needed off day. The Indians have gone 11-7 so far through this particular scheduling challenge and come into the weekend in first place in the Central, seven games ahead of fourth place Detroit. Tonight’s Indians starter will be Josh Tomlin in his 16th start of 2017. Tomlin’s performance this season has been inconsistent and mostly underwhelming as his 4-9 record and 6.09 ERA will attest. While his expert control is evidenced by his league-low 1.0 BB/9, Tomlin’s batting average against of .319 and 15 home runs allowed suggest he’s not fooling many batters who make contact. If one wanted to get elbows deep into Sabermetrics, though, one might be inclined to point out Tomlin’s BABIP is .353, fifth worst in all of baseball, and his FIP is a more respectable 4.44. Has Tomlin been unlucky, or does his mix of low velo, control-reliant stuff leave him susceptible to wilder swings of batted ball outcomes? Last season, Tomlin’s BABIP was just .276 and his FIP a more egregious 4.88. Otherwise, his peripherals were similar to this season. My takeaway? This is roughly the same Tomlin from last season who’s just experienced some odd bad luck and ought to regress to his usual league-average Civil War reenactor innings eater. Opposing Jude Law tonight will be Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez, who was recently reinstalled in the starting rotation after a minor league demotion and bullpen stint. Sanchez has struggled in 2017 as well, only without the silver lining. The 33-year-old Sanchez has allowed a stunning ten home runs in just 32 big league innings and his 6.75 ERA over 13 games (two starts) has seen some corroboration from his FIP (6.57). It’s been a slow, steady decline for the former Marlins’ prospect who pitched a no-hitter as a 22-year-old rookie in 2006. His ERA has hovered in the 5.00 region now for three years and he’s in the last guaranteed year of his contract, making almost $17 million in 2017. His 2017 option of $16 million is unlikely to be exercised, although his buyout is stiff a robust $5 million. Such is the price of failure in America. Line-ups are below, and first pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm ET.
          Cavs Rumors: Swingman Cedi Osman Expected to Join Cavs for 2017-18 Season   
Turkish national Cedi Osman will execute his $1 million buyout from Anadolu Efes S.K. (Istanbul) of the Turkish Basketball Super League and will soon meet with the Cleveland Cavaliers'front office.
          Sycamore plans to split Staples into three to help fund the takeover   
Sycamore Partners plans to split up Staples into three different entities to help appease bond investors needed to finance the leverage buyout of the office-supply retailer.
          The week in GRC: Google faces record antitrust fine, and Walgreens and Rite Aid merger hits the rocks   

This week’s governance, compliance and risk-management stories from around the web

Bloomberg reported that Dan Loeb had amassed a $3.5 billion stake in Nestlé, targeting Europe’s largest company in the biggest bet of his career as an activist investor. Third Point, Loeb’s hedge fund, encouraged Nestlé to sell its stake in L’Oreal, increase leverage for share buybacks and adopt a formal profitability target, among other suggestions. ‘As always, we keep an open dialogue with all of our shareholders and we remain committed to executing our strategy and creating long-term shareholder value,’ Nestlé said. A L’Oreal spokesperson declined to comment.


– Plans to reform Canada’s asset management investment in an effort to remove conflicts of interest have encountered fierce resistance from firms that say the proposed changes will hurt investors, according to the Financial Times. The Canadian Securities Administrators has proposed a ban on asset managers paying commissions to advisers for selling mutual funds, arguing that this widespread practice increases costs for investors and curbs returns. But the Investment Industry Association of Canada and the Investment Funds Institute of Canada have rejected the proposed ban on commission payments, arguing that it would restrict the availability of advice to many households and damage Canadians’ ability to plan and save for their retirement.


Bloomberg reported that Google was hit with a record €2.4 billion ($2.7 billion) fine from EU regulators that said the company skewed search engine results to thwart smaller shopping search services. Google has 90 days to ‘stop its illegal conduct’ and give equal treatment to rival price comparison services, according to a binding order from the European Commission. It’s up to Google to choose how it does this and inform the EU of its plans within 60 days. Failure to comply would risk fines of up to 5 percent of its daily revenue.

Google’s lawyer Kent Walker said the company respectfully disagrees with the EU’s conclusions and will consider a court appeal, according to a blog post. ‘When you shop online, you want to find the products you’re looking for quickly and easily,’ Walker said. ‘And advertisers want to promote those same products. That’s why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both.’


– According to Reuters, dozens of companies such as Google, Microsoft and CBS urged a federal appeals court to rule that a law banning sex discrimination in the workplace offers protection to gay employees. The brief submitted by 50 companies to the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals marks the first time such a large group of businesses has backed arguments about employment discrimination that LGBT groups and the administration of former US president Barack Obama have made for years.

The companies said bias against gay employees is widespread, with more than 40 percent of gay workers reporting harassment and other forms of discrimination in various studies. The lack of a federal law clearly prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has hindered recruitment in states that have not adopted their own law, the companies said.


– The Trump administration is struggling to find a nominee for the Federal Reserve board with community banking experience, delaying plans to fill two other Fed vacancies, including a key regulatory post, The Wall Street Journal said. The problem is that they can’t find somebody willing to take the job.

Ethics rules require Fed governors and their immediate family members to divest themselves of holdings in any financial firms to avoid potential conflicts of interest. But many of the country’s small banks are privately held and run by third-generation or fourth-generation executives. At least three community banker candidates who had been recommended for the job either bowed out or declined to be considered over concerns about selling their stakes in their banks, according to people familiar with the matter.


– Staples agreed to sell itself to private equity firm Sycamore Partners for $6.9 billion, The New York Timesreported. Shares in the company had fallen from about $18 per share two and a half years ago to just $7 earlier this year. Sycamore’s offer of $10.25 per share represents a 20 percent premium over the company’s stock price in early April, before initial reports of a deal to sell the company lifted shares. Staples’ board believes this process ‘has led to a transaction that is in the best interests of our stockholders, as well as Staples and its employees,’ Robert Sulentic, the company’s chairman, said in a statement.


– Blue Apron’s IPO was watered down by Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods, Reuters reported. Blue Apron listed on the NYSE on June 29. The company slashed its valuation expectations by a third earlier this week and early trading led to a market cap of around $2 billion. Amazon’s $13.7 billion deal to acquire Whole Foods has left some potential investors worried about Blue Apron, Reuters noted. The company has been criticized by the Council of Institutional Investors for its plan to list with a non-voting class of shares (CorporateSecretary.com, 6/26).


– A panel of top financial institutions and companies launched guidelines to push for more disclosure about the impact of climate change, highlighting rising concern about the potential investment risks posed by global warming, the WSJreported.

The task force, commissioned by a group of global regulators known as the Financial Stability Board and led by former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, said companies should disclose in financial filings how they are planning for risks and opportunities related to climate change. It also called for companies to develop specific metrics and targets to measure performance in that area. This follows recent defeats in proxy contests for ExxonMobil, Occidental and PPL Corporation on climate-change risk disclosures (CorporateSecretary.com, 6/23).


– While 66 percent of board directors rate their board as highly effective at accurately assessing CEO performance, the percentage drops to 36 percent when they’re asked about the board’s ability to assess the performance of board members, according to new research reported on by KPMG. According to the research, carried out by the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University and The Miles Group, only 23 percent of respondents rate their boards as very effective at giving direct feedback to fellow directors. More than half (54 percent) say if they had the sole power to do so, they would have one or more of their fellow board members removed.


– Nestlé’s investors responded well to the company’s announced plans for a $21 billion share buyback, Bloomberg reported. The announcement was a reaction to activist firm Third Point going public with its $3.5 billion stake in Nestlé, whose share price increased by 1.7 percent on Wednesday.

‘Nestlé’s value-creation model might be seen as a response to recent activist overtures, though the company insists its comprehensive review took place in early 2017, Charlie Mills, an analyst at Credit Suisse, wrote in a note. ‘It certainly points to a faster pace of change at the group [in the future], with growth the overriding agenda.’


– A cyber-attack that first targeted companies in Ukraine is spreading across the world, with several large companies falling victim to the attack, according to Reuters. The companies that have so far fallen victim include AP Moller-Maersk, Mondēlez International, Saint Gobain and BNP Paribas Real Estate. 

The attack locked machines and demanded that companies pay a $300 bitcoin ransom or risk losing all of their data. Reuters reported that more than 30 companies have paid the ransom so far.


– The planned merger between Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) and Rite Aid was called off this week over fears that the deal would be opposed by antitrust authorities. Even under a government administration that has pledged lighter regulation of business, regulators remained concerned about mergers creating dominant players in some sectors, The New York Timesreported.

Rite Aid will now sell 2,186 stores – roughly half of its total – and three distribution centers to WBA for $5.18 billion. Rite Aid shares tumbled as much as 30 percent following the news, its steepest fall in more than a decade. ‘While we’re disappointed we cannot complete the proposed merger with WBA, we believe this asset sale is an important strategic transformation for Rite Aid,’ said John Standley, Rite Aid’s chairman and chief executive, on a conference call with analysts.


– Berkshire Hathaway has announced it will buy 700 million Bank of America shares, placing Warren Buffett’s firm as the bank’s largest shareholder, the WSJ reported. Berkshire Hathaway bought $5 billion of preferred shares in Bank of America in 2011. The deal created provisions for Berkshire Hathaway to buy 700 million common shares in Bank of America at $7.14 per share, well below the current price of $24.32.

‘After an exchange, Mr Buffett’s firm would own about 7 percent of the bank’s common shares, giving it a significant role in corporate governance issues from compensation to the election of new directors,’ the WSJ said.


– The Federal Reserve passed all 34 financial institutions it checks annually as sound – the first time this has happened since testing began in 2011. The results indicate that the banks tested have finally replenished their capital levels following the financial crisis. The New York Times reported that this is good news for banks, banking executives and investors, but could lead us into risky territory.

‘Critics fear the easing of regulatory pressure and a more laissez-faire-oriented White House could set the stage for a return to the bad old days of enormous leverage and freewheeling deals until the music inevitably stops,’ wrote Nelson Schwartz in an op-ed for The New York Times.


– For investors looking for stocks that outperform their peers, simply looking at ESG issues isn’t a panacea, The New York Times reported. Companies that perform best on ESG issues do perform better, on average, than others but, according to research from Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s research group, ‘this performance was not consistent, and was very similar to the performance of large versus small companies.’


– Sprint Corp used confidential information from its alliance with RadioShack Corp to open competing mobile phone stores, dooming the comeback by the electronics retailer and destroying jobs, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday by RadioShack creditors. RadioShack emerged from bankruptcy in 2015 with a deal to co-brand about 1,400 stores with Sprint, which was meant to help the telecoms provider better compete with larger rivals AT&T Corp and Verizon Communications. By early 2017, however, RadioShack, owned by General Wireless, had returned to bankruptcy and is liquidating.

The lawsuit filed in Delaware Superior Court by RadioShack’s official committee of unsecured creditors said Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint breached its contract with RadioShack, and is seeking $500 million in damages. Sprint allegedly ignored its obligations to provide inventory and staff to RadioShack stores because of its own financial troubles. Company spokesperson David Tovar said the company was disappointed by the creditors’ committee action and Sprint expected to defend the matter vigorously.

The lawsuit alleged that in 2016, Sprint used confidential information obtained from RadioShack to open 200 competing stores near RadioShack’s best locations, sinking any comeback for the electronics chain. ‘Sprint’s action destroyed nearly 6,000 RadioShack jobs,’ the lawsuit noted.


          A Time to Reap, A Time to Sow   
The Edmonton Oilers placed Benoit Pouliot on waivers today, choosing to move on from the veteran. This continues a run on 2016-17 wingers being offloaded this summer, as Jordan Eberle is in Brooklyn, Tyler Pitlick is heading for free agency and Leon Draisaitl is possibly heading for center. Lots of discussion today about the buyout...
          WORK SERVICE S.A.: Buyout of U series bonds   

Spis treści:1. RAPORT BIEŻĄCY2. MESSAGE (ENGLISH VERSION)3. INFORMACJE O PODMIOCIE4. PODPISY OSÓB REPREZENTUJĄCYCH SPÓŁKĘ KOMISJA NADZORU FINANSOWEGO Raport bieżący nr 61 / 2017 Data sporządzenia:...


          Coldwater Creek Advocate “Concerned About Verbal & Social Media Promises” by State Senator   
We told you the other day how the Westlake Professional Protesters and State Senator Maria Chappelle Nadal were purposely confusing the public into believing contamination at both locations came from the same source. Below is an excerpt from a founding member of  “Coldwater Creek, Just the Facts Please”. a group that was opposed to the buyout […]
          Filipino think tank: ‘extremely difficult’ for a newcomer to enter market   
The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) has released a new report on competition in the country’s telecoms landscape, concluding that whilst a third operator is needed to challenge de facto duopoly of PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom, a host of barriers make it extremely unlikely that such an event will happen in the near term. The Philippine Daily Inquirer writes that the PIDS' conclusions strike a similar tone to those reached by the antitrust body, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), which undertook to review the telcos’ joint acquisition of San Miguel Corp (SMC’s) telecoms assets in 2016. The multi-billion-dollar deal, which mainly involved giving PLDT and Globe access to SMC’s valuable mobile frequencies, finally closed on 30 May 2017, resulting in the pair now holding about 80% of all available telco frequencies in the country. The PIDS paper published its conclusions highlighting similar charges to those alleged by the PCC. This included the ‘haste’ at which PLDT and Globe closed the buyout deal with SMC, after the latter had abandoned its attempt to launch a third telco player. 'This has brought a cloud about the motives and doubts about the net benefits that the acquisitions could bring given that these transactions clearly reduce competition to just two players,’ the think tank said. ‘There is added concern that the transactions have not been fully transparent about the terms in the co-sharing agreement and the conditions set by the National Telecommunications Commission [NTC],’ it added, before echoing the PCC’s view that the Filipino market is desperately in need of more competition. The PIDS' gloomy prognosis, however, is that the ability of PLDT/Globe to exploit a ‘technical loophole’ to push through the transaction and avoid regulatory scrutiny does not bode well for anyone seeking to enter the market in future. ‘But arising from structural barriers, e.g., the cost of obtaining various permits and licences, both local and national, the cost of obtaining rights of way, the available spectrum or bandwidth, the foreign equity limitation, might make this extremely difficult in the near future,’ it concludes. In conclusion, it has called on the regulator NTC and the government to consider ‘liberalisation, competition and regulatory reforms’ to provide suitable long term solutions for end users – including a call that PLDT and Globe be forced to rapidly improve services. ‘This could entail agreeing on conditions that would yield benefits for consumers, like platform sharing and interconnectivity, and increased services and greater utilisation of their assets [including those newly acquired],’ the PIDS study added.
          New York Times Copyeditors Protest Impending Layoffs in Their Own Brilliant, Inimitable Fashion   
Demonstrators flashed hilarious signs during a 20-minute walkout Thursday.

If the New York Times aims to hold the Trump administration to account, it will be doing so with approximately half the number of copyeditors, as executive editor Dean Baquet has announced plans to lay off as many as 50 staffers.

On Thursday, employees staged a 20-minute walkout to protest the impending cuts.

The slowdown occurred following two letters sent to management by New York Times employees via the News Guild of New York, one from the copyeditors Wednesday and the other from reporters Thursday—or, as the latter prefer to be known, "those whose copy, facts and sometimes the intelligibility of a sentence or two have been hammered into shape by our friends and colleagues on the editing desks."

The copyeditors' protest signs were as witty as they were cutting, incorporating intentional typos to demonstrate their value in protecting the New York Times reporters and brand from embarrassing errors. Signs included "This sign wsa not edited," "Copy editors save our buts" and "Who do you think makes sure it's fit to print?"

In the copyeditors' letters to top management, they describe how they are, "as one senior reporter put it, the immune system of this newspaper, the group that protects the institution from profoundly embarrassing errors, not to mention potentially actionable ones."

The layoffs are said to be planned in the interest of "eliminating what the editorial management of the paper has called redundant, unnecessary layers of editing, in order to speed up the process between story conception and publication," Deadline reports.

The New York Times also recently eliminated the public editor position "in the latest buyout plan to reduce staff."

Expecting reporters to be accountable for their own copy is asking a lot, especially in a fast-paced news environment in which clarity and accuracy are desperately needed to combat the perception of "fake" and biased news.

As one senior Times staffer told Deadline, "I've never seen morale so low at the Times. ... And there's a lot of chaos in the newsroom."

 

Related Stories


          Movers: Nordstrom Considers Leveraged Buyout   
The department store chain said it would look at going private as the retail sector continues to struggle....
          Offer - COMCAST CUSTOMER((1-888-337-5333))SERVICE NUMBER - USA   
In 2001, Comcast announced it would acquire the assets of the largest cable television operator at the time, AT&T Broadband, for US$44.5 billion. The proposed name for the merged company was "AT&T Comcast", but the companies ultimately decided to keep only the Comcast name. In 2002, Comcast acquired all assets of AT&T Broadband, thus making Comcast the largest cable television company in the United States with over 22 million subscribers. This also spurred the start of Comcast Advertising Sales (using AT&T's groundwork) which would later be renamed Comcast Spotlight. As part of this acquisition, Comcast also acquired the National Digital Television Center in Centennial, Colorado as a wholly owned subsidiary, which is today known as the Comcast Media Center.On February 11, 2004, Comcast announced a $54 billion bid for The Walt Disney Company, as well as taking on $12 billion of Disney's debt. The deal would have made Comcast the largest media conglomerate in the world. However, after rejection by Disney and uncertain response from investors, the bid was abandoned in April.[86] The main reason for the buyout attempt was so that Comcast could acquire Disney's 80 percent stake in ESPN, which a Comcast executive called "the most important and valuable asset" that Disney owned.Comcast help email Comcast helpline phone number Comcast customer support phone number Comcast customer service support phone number google Comcast customer service Comcast telephone support
          Spring Storylines: The First Base Black Hole   
Well friends, we’ve finally come to the end. This season will be Ryan Howard‘s last in a Phillies uniform. He’ll receive his $25 million salary, then a $10 million buyout, and he’ll take his 380± home runs to an American League city (I’m assuming he hits about 20 homers in 2016). Until then, the Phillies will
Continue reading...
          NYT is such a success that it will lay off 100 copy editors   
From CNN:
New York Times touts subscriber growth with a jab at Trump
Hahahaha.

Fake News.


For real news, let's turn to an entertainment gossip site.

From Deadline Hollywood:
Using words including “betrayal,” “humiliating” and “covfefe” and suggesting that management had compared them to “dogs urinating on fire hydrants,” copy editors at the New York Times today let executive editor Dean Baquet and his heir apparent, Joseph Kahn, know exactly how they feel about taking the brunt of layoffs and buyouts as the Times expands its reporting ranks.
The latest flare-up comes at a moment when the Times also is dealing with a libel lawsuit filed by former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin over a Times editorial erroneously linking her to violent attacks on public figures.
In a letter addressed to the two top editors and written under the letterhead of the News Guild’s NYT unit, they also included a plea for reconsideration of the plan to eliminate some 100 editors from their ranks.
The only thing I miss about newspaper work are the copy editors.

They are the spine of the newspaper.

This means the New York Times wants to be eventually another web site, except with a pay wall.

CNN buried in its February 2 report on the Times reaching 276,000 online subscribers (or what Drudge calls 17 minutes of traffic) that President Trump had reason to call the Times a failing operation.

From CNN:
Though the paper's messaging was focused on its increasing subscription numbers, not everything is so rosy for the Times. Print advertising revenue decreased 20 percent in the quarter. Digital advertising revenue rose roughly 11 percent, not enough to make up for the loss. Adjusted operating profit for 2016 was $241 million, down from $289 million in 2015. And the paper is expected to make cuts to its newsroom soon.
Revenues are down.

20% in an election year -- when newspaper revenues peak.

So the Times takes a jab at Trump -- and then proves him right by laying off 100 copy editors.

My rule is simple: Everyone who gets in a feud with Trump loses. See O'Donnell, Rosie.



Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's nomination.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.




Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's election.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.

Autographed copies of both books are available by writing me at DonSurber@GMail.com

Please follow me on Twitter.

Friend me on Facebook.
          Hundreds of New York Times workers stage walkout to protest job cuts   
The newspaper announced plans to lay off dozens of copy editors, along with “voluntary” buyouts that could also lead to layoffs of reporters.
          Re: Flip   

Rent stabilization laws help create affordable housing, and that's a good thing, though the laws need to insure landlords can also still make a reasonable return on their investments. That's where there's a disconnect. Often increases in annual operating expenses exceed the amount of rent increases allowed by the rent guidelines board. This isn't public housing, yet the city is in a position to determine the ROI on a private investment.

My situation w/ the buyout was very, very unusual. The stars were aligned. I got lucky. There is an income cap on rent stabilized apts. If your income exceeds the cap, then you can lose your stabilized lease. I did exceed the income cap w/ my rental, though my landlord never solicited me for income info., and that burden lied w/ him not me.


          [$$$] Construction Job Board - Estimator - Construction - Ameri-Force   
Estimator Jacksonville, FL Job Description Ensure customer satisfaction by identifying and exceeding client needs. Estimate, value engineer and develop project budgets. Facilitate the subcontractor bid process. Negotiate subcontractor and material buyout;...(click link to see full post)
          Buyout Period (Jun 30)   
none
          Buyout Period (Jun 29)   
none
          Bain Capital's Offer to Buy Germany's Stada Falls Through   

German generic drug manufacturer Stada Arzneimittel AG recently watched its buyout offer from Bain Capital fall apart. The stock is a holding of Longleaf International.


          Buyouts make Panthers, Devils even bigger free agent buyers   
New Jersey Devils' Nico Hischier, center, sits with head coach John Hynes, left, and general manager Ray Shero during a news conference in Newark, N.J., Monday, June 26, 2017. The 18-year-old center was the first Swiss-born player to be drafted first overall in the NHL draft. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Panthers' Jokinen and Devils' Cammalleri among buyouts


          NBA Rumors: Buzz Surrounding Andre Iguodala, Possible Carmelo Trade and More   

We're officially on the eve of 2017 NBA free agency. Beginning on Saturday, June 1, free agents will be able to make verbal agreements with NBA teams. On Thursday, June 6, free-agent deals can become official.

A week from now, rosters around the Association are going to look quite a bit different than they do now. There are some quality free agents—like Blake Griffin, Gordon Hayward and Jrue Holiday, to name a few—set to hit the open market.

In addition to a robust free-agent market, we're likely to see some notable trades unfold in the next several days. We've already seen a few take place, but the trade market is only likely to heat up further as new rosters continue to take shape.

Let's examine some of the latest offseason buzz as the NBA dives into free agency.

      

Jazz, Timberwolves Interested in Iguodala

The Golden State Warriors proved they're the most dominant team in the NBA right now by knocking off LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in just five games in the Finals. However, the Warriors face the possibility of seeing their talented roster dismantled in free agency as standout players like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala are all slated to hit the open market.

The good news for the Warriors is that both Curry and Durant appear poised to return. Iguodala, on the other hand, has a murkier future.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports believes Iguodala could command up to $20 million a year with another team on the open market—and recently listed teams like the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves as ones that could be interested in him.

Chris Haynes of ESPN.com also believes the Jazz and Timberwolves are teams that are interested in adding Iguodala:

"The Timberwolves recently acquired All-Star wingman Jimmy Butler to jump-start their acceleration, and if they're able to procure Iguodala, head coach Tom Thibodeau would have a roster equipped for a deep playoff run.

[...]Should Utah lose All-Star forward Gordon Hayward, who is expected to decline his player option and garner serious attention from the Boston Celtics, Iguodala is believed to be its top priority to fill that void, sources maintain."

Should Utah lose All-Star forward Gordon Hayward, who is expected to decline his player option and garner serious attention from the Boston Celtics, Iguodala is believed to be its top priority to fill that void, sources maintain."

Adding Iguodala makes perfect sense for teams like the Jazz and the Timberwolves because they play in the same conference as the Warriors. A team in the Western Conference would essentially be double-dipping by adding Iguodala and taking him away from Golden State.

      

Carmelo May Not Get Buyout

Even with Phil Jackson out of the New York Knicks organization, there's still little certainty about the future of Carmelo Anthony. The veteran forward would prefer to stay in New York but would be willing to accept a buyout, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

However, the Knicks don't appear likely to buy out Anthony and would prefer to trade him and the more than $54 million remaining on his contract, per The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski:

The problem with this plan is that Anthony possesses a no-trade clause in his contract. He'll have to sign off on any deal the Knicks want to do. One team Anthony might be willing to accept a trade to is the Houston Rockets.

Stephen A. Smith of ESPN reported on Thursday that Anthony would accept a trade to Houston. There he could form a new Western Conference superteam alongside James Harden and the recently acquired Chris Paul.

Smith also reported that Anthony would accept a buyout in order to remain in the Eastern Conference and join the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, as we've already noted, a buyout seems incredibly unlikely at this point.

      

Rockets Believe They'll Get Anthony or George

The Rockets have an interest in adding Anthony, and they also have an interest in trading for Indiana Pacers forward Paul George. While George has only one year left on his contract, he's considered one of the most talented players on the trade block.

According to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, the Rockets believe that they can land either George or Anthony this offseason:

George would be a better fit for the Rockets in their arms race against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference. He's younger than Anthony and is more valuable on the defensive end of the court.

The Cavaliers showed in this year's Finals that offense isn't enough to beat Golden State. The reason Cleveland only managed one win against the Warriors was a lack of bench depth and a lack of high-quality defense.

Again, though, George may only be around for one season, so his addition would put the Rockets squarely in win-now mode. Anthony, on the other hand, would give the team options this year and next.

Of course, the Rockets would likely have to sell Anthony on playing a reduced role—possibly even one off the bench. Harden is a player who always wants the ball in his hands, and it's going to be tough enough for him and Paul to coexist offensively.

Anthony possesses a similar mindset, so accepting the part of role player may be difficult. Unfortunately for Anthony, he'll probably be looking at that prospect if he ends up in Houston or in Cleveland.

Read more Opinion news on BleacherReport.com


          New York Times Copyeditors Protest Impending Layoffs in Their Own Brilliant, Inimitable Fashion   
Demonstrators flashed hilarious signs during a 20-minute walkout Thursday.

If the New York Times aims to hold the Trump administration to account, it will be doing so with approximately half the number of copyeditors, as executive editor Dean Baquet has announced plans to lay off as many as 50 staffers.

On Thursday, employees staged a 20-minute walkout to protest the impending cuts.

The slowdown occurred following two letters sent to management by New York Times employees via the News Guild of New York, one from the copyeditors Wednesday and the other from reporters Thursday—or, as the latter prefer to be known, "those whose copy, facts and sometimes the intelligibility of a sentence or two have been hammered into shape by our friends and colleagues on the editing desks."

The copyeditors' protest signs were as witty as they were cutting, incorporating intentional typos to demonstrate their value in protecting the New York Times reporters and brand from embarrassing errors. Signs included "This sign wsa not edited," "Copy editors save our buts" and "Who do you think makes sure it's fit to print?"

In the copyeditors' letters to top management, they describe how they are, "as one senior reporter put it, the immune system of this newspaper, the group that protects the institution from profoundly embarrassing errors, not to mention potentially actionable ones."

The layoffs are said to be planned in the interest of "eliminating what the editorial management of the paper has called redundant, unnecessary layers of editing, in order to speed up the process between story conception and publication," Deadline reports.

The New York Times also recently eliminated the public editor position "in the latest buyout plan to reduce staff."

Expecting reporters to be accountable for their own copy is asking a lot, especially in a fast-paced news environment in which clarity and accuracy are desperately needed to combat the perception of "fake" and biased news.

As one senior Times staffer told Deadline, "I've never seen morale so low at the Times. ... And there's a lot of chaos in the newsroom."

    

Related Stories

 

          Devils Buyout Two Prior to Free Agency   
On the day before the start of unrestricted free agency, the Devils got busy giving themselves even more cap space. On Friday, the club announced that it had placed forwards, Mike Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly on waivers with the intention of buying out both contracts. Cammalleri, 35, just finished his third season of a five-year, […]
          Henrik Lundqvist is having a hard time with Rangers’ shakeup   
An offseason of core-splitting featuring the buyout of Dan Girardi and the trade of Derek Stepan has struck home for the Rangers’ senior and most important player. “You expect changes every year because that’s just part of the business we’re in, but this summer has been a little different because of the magnitude of the...
          Buyout Roundup: Go ahead and add Hartnell, Cammalleri to free agent pool   
There was plenty of buyout action Friday as GMs looked to clear cap space ahead of free agency. Among the notables let go by their respective clubs were Scott Hartnell, Mike Cammalleri and Jussi Jokinen.

The NHL’s signing season kicks off Saturday, and in order to clear up cap space ahead of free agency, a number of teams have trimmed the fat from their rosters ahead of the closing of the first buyout window on Friday evening.

Already, several notable buyouts have taken place. Among those was the buyout of goaltender Antti Niemi by the Dallas Stars and four defensemen: Matt Greene by the Los Angeles Kings, Simon Despres by the Anaheim Ducks, Dan Girardi by the New York Rangers and Francois Beauchemin by the Colorado Avalanche. And there’s already reported interest in two of those players.

Niemi, it has been reported by Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, is a potential target of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who will be searching for an NHL-ready backup to play behind Matt Murray after the departure of Marc-Andre Fleury in the expansion draft. Meanwhile, Girardi, a stay-at-home defender who’s more than willing to block some rubber, has apparently drawn interest from several teams. Friedman noted, however, that it appears a deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning may already be done.

But Niemi and Girardi aren’t the only buyout victims-turned-free agents who will be looking for new homes. Here’s who else has hit the open market after being bought out Friday, including a few players who are sure to draw interest:

Jimmy Hayes, RW, Boston Bruins
Buyout Cap Hit: $566,667, 2017-18; $866,667, 2018-19.  

Hayes, 27, came Boston’s way almost two years ago to the day in a July 1, 2015, deal that sent Reilly Smith and Marc Savard’s LTIR contract to the Panthers. Days later, Hayes, who had put up 19 goals and 35 points the year prior, was inked to a three-year, $6.9-million contract. To say things didn’t work out in Beantown for the Boston native would be an understatement, though. 

In his first year, he put up 16 goals and 29 points, not a poor effort, but he was almost invisible this past season for the Bruins. Hayes chalked up only two goals and five points, suiting up in 58 games and averaging little more than nine minutes of ice time per night. It was a massive disappointment, and it’s far from surprising to see the Bruins cut ties.

Where does Hayes land now? Likely on a team that’s willing to give him a shot in their bottom six. Signing with a team lacking depth and chasing size would make the most sense for Hayes. His options will certainly be limited, though.

Ryan Murphy, D, Calgary Flames
Buyout Cap Hit: $100,000 in 2017-18; $137,500 in 2018-19

When Calgary landed Eddie Lack on Thursday, Murphy came as part of the package. Initially, the thought was the 24-year-old might get a shot to try his hand at the Flames’ third pairing, maybe rejuvenating his once promising career and finding a fit in Calgary. That won’t be the case, however, as almost as soon as he got to the Flames, he finds himself on the free agent market.

Where Murphy goes now is anyone’s bet, but he’d certainly make an interesting pickup if a team wants to give him a shot to prove he can turn into a consistent contributor. He had promise as an offensive defenseman, but the shortcomings in his defensive game have limited him to bottom-pairing minutes for the bulk of his NHL career. He’s a project, but one that might be worth taking a shot on if defensive depth is weak.

Lance Bouma, C, Calgary Flames
Buyout Cap Hit: $666,667 in 2017-18; $766,667 in 2018-19

Talk about cashing in on a stellar season. Bouma scored 16 goals and 34 points in 78 during the 2014-15 campaign and parlayed his performance into a three-year, $6.6-million deal. Since his new contract deal has kicked in, though, the pivot has managed to score five goals and 14 points in 105 games, truly ugly totals for a player earning as much as Bouma. It could have been seen coming, however, because Bouma shot an incredible 15.4 percent that season. In the years since, Bouma has shot 4.1 and 5.7 percent. That’s not to mention his ice time has slipped to an average of 11:38 per game over the past two seasons.

If Bouma is going to land anywhere in the big league, he’s likely going to have to do so on a one-year, league-minimum contract, and there’s a realistic possibility that any contract he signs is going to have to be a two-way deal. At 27, he’s through the best years of his career and he’s not likely to reach the heights he did during his career-best year again.

Scott Hartnell, LW, Columbus Blue Jackets
Buyout Cap Hit: $1,500,000 in 2017-18; $3,000,000 in 2018-19; $1,250,000 in 2019-20; $1,250,000 in 2020-21

Quite possibly the most notable buyout of the off-season thus far is the Blue Jackets deciding to part ways with Hartnell. The veteran winger wasn’t playing awfully for Columbus — he chipped in 13 goals and 37 points in 78 games — but the issue was that Hartnell, 35, was making far too much to play fourth line minutes for a team that is looking to get younger, faster and more skilled to keep up in the cutthroat Metropolitan Division.

At the time of the buyout, Hartnell was carrying a $4.75-million cap hit, and buying him out cleared more than $3 million in space and that can go a long way with Josh Anderson and Alexander Wennberg needing new deals as RFAs. That’s not to mention Columbus has been identified as one team chasing Ilya Kovalchuk and, more recently, Matt Duchene.

As for Hartnell, he shouldn’t be without a job for long. Yes, he’s up there in age, but his production in a limited role was impressive and he can still bring offensive punch to a team needing third- or fourth-line help. That’s not to mention he can still be an effective power play contributor. He has 20 goals with the extra man over the past three seasons.

Benoit Pouliot, LW, Edmonton Oilers
Buyout Cap Hit: $1,333,333 in 2017-18; $1,333,333 in 2018-19; $1,333,333 in 2019-20; $1,333,333 in 2020-21

Pouliot’s tenure in Edmonton started off so strong. In that first season, back in 2014-15, he scored 19 goals and 34 points while taking second line minutes, and the signing looked rather solid for the Oilers. The next season, though, Pouliot managed 16 goals and 36 points before slipping all the way into a fourth line role and netting just eight goals and 14 points in 67 games this past season. And at $4 million per season, that was simply too much for Edmonton to pay out.

The concern here was the next two years of the deal, especially with new extensions set to kick in for Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in the coming years, and that’s why Pouliot was bought out. Like Hartnell, though, the 30-year-old Pouliot should be able to find work elsewhere, even if only to play limited minutes on a fourth-line. He’s a smart enough two-way player to help out, and with options limited, a team may be able to nab him for a song.

Jussi Jokinen, Florida Panthers
Buyout Cap Hit: $1,333,333 in 2017-18; $1,333,333 in 2018-19

Unless the Panthers are set to make a splash in free agency or are really concerned with cutting costs for the upcoming season, it’s hard to make sense of buying out Jokinen. 

Was Jokinen as effective this past season as he had been in the past? Absolutely not. Was he a sure thing for another 15-goal, 30-point season? Nope. But Jokinen was still a decent contributor and even if it meant moving to the third line, he could have provided some offense in Florida. Instead, he’s looking for a new job.

The most likely possibility for Jokinen, 34, is a new gig on a team looking for center depth that can also provide some scoring punch, and he certainly seems as though he’ll have some suitors. He scored 11 goals and 29 points in 2016-17, putting up four on the power play and one while shorthanded. He’s defensively responsible and a versatile forward, and a team up against the cap looking for some help could certainly come calling. Jokinen has something left to give.

Mike Cammalleri, LW, New Jersey Devils
Buyout Cap Hit: $1,666,667 in 2017-18; $1,666,667 in 2018-19; $1,666,667 in 2019-20; $1,666,667 in 2020-21

Injuries have really hampered Cammalleri recently and he’s missed more than 60 games across the past two campaigns. That said, if Cammalleri is healthy and ready to go, there may be no better way to inject cheap, veteran scoring into a lineup than inking the 35-year-old to a deal.

Even at his age, Cammalleri has consistently been able to light the lamp, and 2016-17’s 10-goal, 31-point performance was more of an aberration than anything. He had the worst shooting percentage of his career — a measly seven percent — after posting 17.3 and 13.9 shooting percentages during his first two campaigns as a Devil. For his career, Cammalleri has shot upwards of 12 percent. That’s impressive.

Maybe Cammalleri is starting to slow down, and that’ll happen with age. However, if there’s a team looking for a potential second power play unit triggerman or some scoring help on the wing, it’s hard to pass up Cammalleri. He’s not a 30-goal guy anymore, but in the right situation, 20 is far from far-fetched.

Devante Smith-Pelly, RW, New Jersey Devils
Buyout Cap Hit: $175,000 in 2017-18; $225,000 in 2018-19

Smith-Pelly has bounced from Anaheim to Montreal to New Jersey over the course of his six seasons in the NHL, but he’s never found a real fit. He’s a checking-line guy who can get in on the forecheck and mix it up, but he’s not the type of bottom-six winger who can be relied upon for consistent contributions. His 14-goal, 25-point season in 2015-16 is the best Smith-Pelly has ever put forth, but he managed just five goals and nine points in 53 games this past season. That’s proof of how wildly his offense can fluctuate.

Of all the players bought out Friday, Smith-Pelly seems to be the most likely to end up overseas, and maybe a turn across the pond can be just what he needed. He hasn’t really found his fit in the NHL, but some experience in a bigger role could do him well. If he does land back in the big league, you can almost be assured it’ll be a two-way deal.

Mark Stuart, Winnipeg Jets
Buyout Cap Hit: $1,458,333 in 2017-18; $583,333 in 2018-19

Stuart was a fixture of the franchise since joining the Jets, playing more than 350 games in Winnipeg since the team moved north of the border. Over the past three seasons, though, the Jets’ draft and development model, not to mention the acquisition of Tyler Myers, has made Stuart obsolete. His ice time has slipped from 19-plus to little more than 12 minutes in three seasons, and he was often a healthy scratch during the 2016-17 campaign.

It’s hard to say what the market is going to be like for Stuart, especially with the breadth of middle- and bottom-pairing defenders available in free agency, but the 33-year-old could potentially be a fit for a squad looking to land a physical presence who can slot in as a sixth or seventh defender. Stuart has very little offense to his game, but he can fill a hole as a defensive defenseman. A team might really covet his leadership, too. He spent four seasons as an alternate captain in Winnipeg and captained USA’s World Championship squad in 2011.

Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.


          Flames' Smith, Lack duo isn’t inspiring — but maybe it won’t matter   
Off-season speculation tied the Flames to Ben Bishop and Marc-Andre Fleury, but instead Calgary is set to role with Mike Smith and Eddie Lack in goal. But average netminding might be all the Flames are after.

For months leading up to the off-season, rumors circled about the Flames’ goaltending situation with talk of Ben Bishop or Marc-Andre Fleury ending up in Calgary by the time the 2017-18 campaign began. So, when the Flames went out and acquired Mike Smith, he wasn’t exactly the netminder many had been expecting would come aboard to help solidify a Flames crease that has been shaky for the better part of the past decade.

Alas, the thought was that even an average season out of Smith, which is about the level to which he has played over the past several years, would be enough to be an upgrade in Calgary, but it would have made sense for the Flames to hedge their bets by landing a backup goaltender with the ability to take over as the starter if need be in case Smith stumbled or fell injured. The likes of Anders Nilsson, Jonathan Bernier, Chad Johnson and maybe even Steve Mason were options. So, who did the Flames go out and get? Eddie Lack.

In a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday evening, Calgary acquired Lack, defenseman Ryan Murphy — who is now slotted for a buyout — and a 2019 seventh-round pick in exchange for Keegan Kanzig and a sixth-rounder in 2019. As part of the deal, the Hurricanes also retained half of Lack’s salary, meaning the Swedish keeper is suiting up for the Flames’ for $1.375 million next season. While he may be coming at a cut rate, one has to ask themselves what exactly Calgary is trying to do between the pipes.

Look, it was fair for Smith’s acquisition to come as somewhat of a surprise. After all, it’d be fair to consider him a slight downgrade from the likes of Bishop and Fleury. Statistically, that’s a fact. Smith has turned in a .924 save percentage over the past four years at 5-on-5, while Fleury has maintained a .925 mark and Bishop has been the superior of the three with a .928 SP. Smith also doesn’t have the recent regular season or playoff success of either Bishop or Fleury. But at least some sense could be made of landing Smith if one were to consider that he’s got some qualities, like his puck-moving ability, that make him an interesting addition in Calgary.

But the trade for Lack is about as puzzling as off-season moves get for a team that has been bereft of quality goaltending since Miikka Kiprusoff’s best years.

Lack is as lovable an off-ice personality as the game has. From the taco pads to his affection for former teammate Roberto Luongo, Lack is just the kind of player that every fanbase loves to have around. The issue isn’t that. What the issue is, however, is that Lack has been downright awful over the past two seasons. Since becoming a Hurricane in 2015-16, Lack has turned in back-to-back years of .901 and .902 SPs, has had a bloated goals-against average and won just 20 of his 49 starts. He started to come alive near the end of the past campaign — a run of play that came after he was publicly called out by coach Bill Peters — but it doesn’t change the fact that Lack’s 5-on-5 numbers are atrocious across the past two seasons.

There are 64 goaltenders who have played at least 1,000 minutes at 5-on-5 over the past two campaigns, and of that crop of netminders, Lack ranks 59th with a .914 SP. The only netminders who have performed worse are Curtis McElhinney, Jonas Gustavsson, Michael Hutchinson, Jeff Zatkoff and Jonas Hiller, whose poor run of play is all too familiar to the Flames.

It’s not as if Lack isn’t going to get his turn in the Flames’ crease, either. If recent history is any indicator, and those in Calgary should be hoping it’s not, Smith putting together a season in which he starts 60-plus games isn’t a given. He hasn’t done so in either of the past two seasons, and, since closing out the 2013-14 campaign with 10 games on the sideline with a lower-body injury, Smith has missed another 53 games with lower-body ailments over the past two seasons. Even barring an injury to Smith, keeping the veteran fresh could mean Lack is looking at a 20-plus game season in the Calgary crease. His recent numbers make that a worrisome prospect.

Here’s the thing, though: maybe what Treliving and the Flames are banking on is that it’s not really going to matter who plays between the pipes. Though that may seem like a gamble given what has happened over the past few seasons, one can almost make sense of where Calgary is coming from.

Over the past two off-seasons, Treliving has done incredible work to make the Flames’ blueline one of the very best in the league. Mark Giordano was the perfect cornerstone on which to build the back end, the growth of T.J. Brodie was a significant step forward for the blueline and adding Dougie Hamilton and Travis Hamonic in back-to-back off-seasons gives Calgary a top-four that rivals some of the best in the league. It’s really quite the D corps, and the Flames can still look at potentially re-signing Michael Stone or adding to a sixth and seventh defenders through free agency. It may be somewhat bold to suggest those Flames defenders are the same calibre of the group Predators GM David Poile has assembled in Nashville, but there’s at least some similarity in the way Calgary is building their roster by focusing on a solid top-four defenders.

There’s also a similarity to be drawn in goal. There’s no denying Pekka Rinne was spectacular for much of Nashville’s run to the Stanley Cup final, but the fact of the matter is he has been largely average for the Predators over the past several seasons. His 5-on-5 SP over the past two years is .925 — 33rd of 64 1,000-minute goalies — and his four-year mark of .926 at 5-on-5 falls between that of Bishop and Fleury and slightly ahead of Smith. That might be an indication that Treliving and the Flames aren’t necessarily banking on a goaltender that can bail them out. Rather, what they’re looking for is one who can simply be average, which has seemingly been far too much to ask of goaltenders in Calgary over recent years.

And the reality is average goaltending should be able to get the job done for the Flames. This is a team that was 10th in possession and likely to improve this coming season with the addition of Hamonic, not to mention a team that has offensive weapons and shutdown ability on the back end. Calgary has assembled a roster that should be able to suppress shots, chances and turn pucks the other way in a hurry, and it appears the belief is that will be enough to win even if their goaltending lets them down once again.

(All advanced statistics via Puckalytics)

Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love? Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.


          Buyouts make Panthers, Devils even bigger free agent buyers   
NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this offseason
      
 
 

          Buyouts make Panthers, Devils even bigger free agent buyers   
none
          Mars Wrigley Confectionery Brings Candy HQ to Chicago   

CHICAGO -- Candy maker Mars Inc. said vendors and retailers will benefit from a new Mars Wrigley Confectionery that combines Mars Chocolate and the gum company.

As reported in a McLane/CSP Daily News Flash, the new division, to be based in Chicago, was announced Thursday. The company also confirmed it bought out Berkshire Hathaway’s minority state in Wrigley and now fully owns the longtime Chicago gum company.

The new segment will be led by Wrigley president Martin Radvan. The company said the division, with 30,000 employees worldwide, is expected to be phased in next year.

Mars Chocolate and Wrigley will continue to operate separately for the time being. Jean-Christophe Flatin will continue as president of Mars Global Chocolate, and Casey Keller, previously regional president of Wrigley Americas, will become president of Global Wrigley.

Mars Wrigley Confectionery brings together the heritages of McLean, Va.-based Mars Chocolate and Chicago-based Wrigley, which the company said will help it better address consumer trends and accelerate growth. Among its brands are Snickers, M&M's, Dove and Twix chocolates; Doublemint and Extra gums; Altoids and Lifesavers mints; and Skittles.

The combination will make for simpler interactions with vendors and open opportunity for better collaboration on new products, the company said. “While they were running as two separate companies there was certainly collaboration, but there was a limit on coming together,” said corporate communications manager Kelly McGrail.

A Mars spokesman told TheStreet, a digital financial media company, that Berkshire owned a 19.3% equity interest in Wrigley and that the buyout was completed Sept. 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Mars and Berkshire teamed up in April 2008 to buy the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. for about $23 billion. After that deal closed in October 2008, Berkshire purchased a minority interest for $2.1 billion, which was subject to purchase by Mars over time.

Mars CEO Grant Reid said in a statement that the company was "grateful for the strong and productive partnership we have with Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway" but also "equally pleased that sole ownership of Wrigley provides us with an opportunity to rethink how we simplify our Chocolate and Wrigley businesses so that we can bring a more holistic approach to this vibrant category."

The consolidation is in keeping with recent moves among big players in the snacks and candy industries.

Last year, Kraft and Heinz combined in a multibillion-dollar deal that was also funded by Berkshire. This summer, Hershey rejected a $23 billion takeover deal from Mondelez.

Mars Inc. has net sales of more than $33 billion and six business segments, including Chocolate (M&M's, Snickers, Dove, Galaxy, Mars, Milky Way and Twix); Wrigley (Doublemint, Extra, Orbit and 5 chewing gums; Skittles and Starburst candies; and Altoids and Lifesavers mints); Food (Uncle Ben's, Dolmio, Ebly, Masterfoods, Seeds of Change and Royco); Drinks (Alterra Coffee Roasters, The Bright Tea Co., Klix and Flavia); Symbioscience (Cocoavia and Wisdom Panel); and Petcare (Pedigree, Royal Canin, Whiskas, Kitekat, Banfield Pet Hospital, Cesar, Sheba, Dreamies and Nutro).

Author(s): 
Christine Lavelle

          Controller - Policaro Automotive Family - Ontario   
Prepares cheques for dealer trades lease buyouts. The primary purpose of the role is to provide accounting oversight that includes commissioning, purchasing...
From Policaro Automotive Family - Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:48:17 GMT - View all Ontario jobs
          New York Times Copyeditors Protest Impending Layoffs in Their Own Brilliant, Inimitable Fashion   
Demonstrators flashed hilarious signs during a 20-minute walkout Thursday.

If the New York Times aims to hold the Trump administration to account, it will be doing so with approximately half the number of copyeditors, as executive editor Dean Baquet has announced plans to lay off as many as 50 staffers.

On Thursday, employees staged a 20-minute walkout to protest the impending cuts.

The slowdown occurred following two letters sent to management by New York Times employees via the News Guild of New York, one from the copyeditors Wednesday and the other from reporters Thursday—or, as the latter prefer to be known, "those whose copy, facts and sometimes the intelligibility of a sentence or two have been hammered into shape by our friends and colleagues on the editing desks."

The copyeditors' protest signs were as witty as they were cutting, incorporating intentional typos to demonstrate their value in protecting the New York Times reporters and brand from embarrassing errors. Signs included "This sign wsa not edited," "Copy editors save our buts" and "Who do you think makes sure it's fit to print?"

In the copyeditors' letters to top management, they describe how they are, "as one senior reporter put it, the immune system of this newspaper, the group that protects the institution from profoundly embarrassing errors, not to mention potentially actionable ones."

The layoffs are said to be planned in the interest of "eliminating what the editorial management of the paper has called redundant, unnecessary layers of editing, in order to speed up the process between story conception and publication," Deadline reports.

The New York Times also recently eliminated the public editor position "in the latest buyout plan to reduce staff."

Expecting reporters to be accountable for their own copy is asking a lot, especially in a fast-paced news environment in which clarity and accuracy are desperately needed to combat the perception of "fake" and biased news.

As one senior Times staffer told Deadline, "I've never seen morale so low at the Times. ... And there's a lot of chaos in the newsroom."

 

Related Stories


          Big money investors are searching for stocks that can't get Amazon'd   

FILE PHOTO: An Amazon.com Inc driver stands next to an Amazon delivery truck in Los Angeles, California, U.S. on May 21, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File PhotoThomson Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's game-changing move to upend the grocery business with a surprise deal to buy Whole Foods Market Inc compounds a problem already vexing fund managers: how to play U.S. consumer spending when the Seattle-based e-commerce giant is threatening to take over retail.

Amazon's relentless growth and destruction of value among traditional retail rivals is forcing active fund managers to look for bets in areas they think Amazon can't or won't reach.

Emerging options include theme restaurant chains, recreational vehicle makers and sellers of stuff that's just too heavy to ship via Amazon's network. Meanwhile, some fund managers are increasingly convinced the only way to play consumer spending is to move away from brands and retailers and into logistics and supply chain companies, essentially betting e-commerce will render most consumer companies obsolete.

The challenge of investing in consumer companies comes a time when the category would typically shine.

Low unemployment and a solid housing market boost consumer stocks, yet companies in the category - excluding Amazon - are up just 5.2 percent for the year, or about 3 percentage points below the broad S&P 500 as a whole, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Amazon shares, by comparison, are up about 30 percent. 

BIGGER DISRUPTION THAN WAL-MART'S

Amazon now accounts for about 34 percent of all U.S. online sales and should see that number grow to about 50 percent by 2021, according to a Needham research note.

Amazon's growing dominance is in some ways akin to the rise of Wal-Mart Stores Inc in the early 2000s, when its rapid growth and move to branch out into groceries raised concerns it would put other retailers out of business. Yet Amazon's greater online reach and purchase of a top-shelf grocery store chain makes it far more formidable, said Barbara Miller, a portfolio manager at Federated Kaufmann funds.

"I've been in this industry for twenty-five years and this is the biggest transformation we've seen in the consumer space," she said.

bezos tabletsGus Ruelas/ReutersWhile Wal-Mart put many small mom-and-pop stores out of business, Amazon is dragging down national competitors like Target and Macy's with its combination of low prices, broad range of inventory, and speed, she said.

At the same time, Amazon is expanding its e-commerce dominance when more shoppers are online, suggesting more pain ahead for competitors. E-commerce sales grew 14.7 percent in 2016, nearly triple the 5.1-percent growth rate of traditional retailers, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

BUGS AND COFFEE: THE HUNT FOR SURVIVORS

Fund managers say Amazon's growing dominance is forcing them to shift long-held strategies, by either putting less money into consumer stocks overall or by focusing on companies that can compete alongside Amazon or may be attractive buyout targets.

The company's outsized 15.4-percent weighting, more than double the next-largest stock in the S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary index, is problematic for fund managers who typically will not hold any positions greater than 5 percent of their portfolio in order to manage risk.

Josh Cummings, a portfolio manager at Janus Henderson funds, is avoiding shares of direct competitors of Amazon, such as Target Corp, Kroger Co, and Wal-Mart, and instead focusing on companies with "idiosyncratic" attributes, he said.

Starbucks Corp, for instance, offers an experience that Amazon would find hard to match, he said, while Servicemaster Global Holdings, parent company of pest control company Terminix, is largely immune from e-commerce competition.

"Could Amazon decide they want to be in the business of spraying for bugs? It doesn't seem likely," he said.

Miller, the portfolio manager at the Federated Kaufmann funds, said she is moving away from stores that could be found in a mall, focusing instead on companies like Dave & Busters Entertainment Inc and Wingstop Inc that offer food-based experiences. She also owns shares of Camping World Holdings Inc, which sells a mix of goods and services ranging from roadside assistance to accessories to the growing recreational vehicle market.

"This is a company with a strong membership base that has the sort of scale in its niche to rival Amazon," she said.

Jeff Rottinghaus, portfolio manager of the T. Rowe Price U.S. Large-Cap Core Equity fund, said he owns Home Depot Inc shares because its stores essentially function as warehouses and much of its merchandise is too heavy or bulky to profitably ship quickly online.

Gary Bradshaw, a portfolio manager at Hodges Capital in Dallas, said he expects that portfolio holding Wal-Mart will become more aggressive in acquiring small, private companies to broaden its online reach.

BonobosBonobosThe company announced a deal to buy men's wear company Bonobos for $310 million in mid-June, following purchases of outdoor gear retailer Moosejaw and online shoe store ShoeBuy. Wal-Mart acquired online retailer Jet.com in a $3.3 billion deal last August.

"They're going to do whatever it takes to compete with Amazon. They may be losing the battle at the moment but that doesn't mean that they will back down," he said.

Other investors are getting their consumer exposure by focusing on behind-the-scenes companies that power the growth of e-commerce.

Laird Bieger, a portfolio manager of the Baron Discovery Fund - the top-performing small-cap growth fund year-to-date - said he is focusing on companies like CommerceHub Inc, which works with companies such as J C Penney Co and Best Buy Inc to allow them to sell more products online and ship directly from manufacturers.

Craig Richard, a co-portfolio manager of the Buffalo Emerging Opportunities fund, said he has been buying Kornit Digital Ltd, which makes textile printers that can produce t-shirt and other apparel designs on demand, helping save inventory costs.

Amazon is Kornit's largest customer and has warrants to buy up to 2.9 million Kornit shares, about 8 percent of the company, at $13.03 a share over the next five years. Shares of Kornit, up 57 percent this year, traded at $19.95 on Frida

(Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Dan Burns and Nick Zieminski)


          Here's What Farmers Are Saying About Amazon's Whole Foods Buyout   
What does the Amazon buyout mean for Whole Foods's tens of thousands of organic farmers?
          New York Times Copyeditors Protest Impending Layoffs in Their Own Brilliant, Inimitable Fashion   
Demonstrators flashed hilarious signs during a 20-minute walkout Thursday.

If the New York Times aims to hold the Trump administration to account, it will be doing so with approximately half the number of copyeditors, as executive editor Dean Baquet has announced plans to lay off as many as 50 staffers.

On Thursday, employees staged a 20-minute walkout to protest the impending cuts.

The slowdown occurred following two letters sent to management by New York Times employees via the News Guild of New York, one from the copyeditors Wednesday and the other from reporters Thursday—or, as the latter prefer to be known, "those whose copy, facts and sometimes the intelligibility of a sentence or two have been hammered into shape by our friends and colleagues on the editing desks."

The copyeditors' protest signs were as witty as they were cutting, incorporating intentional typos to demonstrate their value in protecting the New York Times reporters and brand from embarrassing errors. Signs included "This sign wsa not edited," "Copy editors save our buts" and "Who do you think makes sure it's fit to print?"

In the copyeditors' letters to top management, they describe how they are, "as one senior reporter put it, the immune system of this newspaper, the group that protects the institution from profoundly embarrassing errors, not to mention potentially actionable ones."

The layoffs are said to be planned in the interest of "eliminating what the editorial management of the paper has called redundant, unnecessary layers of editing, in order to speed up the process between story conception and publication," Deadline reports.

The New York Times also recently eliminated the public editor position "in the latest buyout plan to reduce staff."

Expecting reporters to be accountable for their own copy is asking a lot, especially in a fast-paced news environment in which clarity and accuracy are desperately needed to combat the perception of "fake" and biased news.

As one senior Times staffer told Deadline, "I've never seen morale so low at the Times. ... And there's a lot of chaos in the newsroom."

 

Related Stories


          Barcelona Transfer News: Neymar Buyout Clause Increase, Hector Bellerin Rumours   

Barcelona talisman Neymar looks even less likely to head for the club's exit door this summer after seeing his buyout clause increase to €222 million (£193 million). Meanwhile, Arsenal's Hector Bellerin reportedly "could be tempted" back to Barca if they sign Jorge Mere.

Spanish newspaper Marca confirmed Saturday was the day specified in the contract Neymar signed in October that his buyout clause would bump up from €200 million (£173 million) to the eye-watering aforementioned fee, a figure arguably no club can afford.

Paul Pogba re-signed for Manchester United for £89.3 million last summer, breaking the transfer record, and Neymar's new termination clause is more than twice that sum.

Barcelona are coming off the back of a season in which their only major trophy success came in the Copa del Rey, but despite that disappointment, Yahoo's Andrew Gaffney illustrated just how unlikely it is Neymar moves anywhere:

What's more, it's detailed Neymar's buyout clause will increase once again to €250 million (£217 million) on July 1, 2018, the valuation at which it will remain for the final three years of his contract.

Numerous European powerhouses would surely compete for Neymar's signature in the event he became available, per James Robson of the Manchester Evening News:

The Sun's Andrew Richardson recently reported Manchester United were a leading suitor for the Brazil superstar, who looks set to continue his reign at the Camp Nou for the foreseeable future.

Elsewhere, Spanish outlet Diario Gol (h/t Daily Star's Jamie Styles) reported Barcelona will sign Sporting Gijon defender Mere, which could aid the club in its attempts to lure Bellerin back to his native Catalonia.

The 20-year-old has a £13 million release clause, and it's suggested Arsenal star Bellerin will be "more likely to make the move back" to the Camp Nou if his friend and Spain under-21 team-mate is already there.

Bellerin has been engulfed by rumours of a return to Barcelona this summer, six years after he left the Blaugrana to join the Gunners. James Benge of the London Evening Standard on Saturday provided quotes from the right-back:

New Barca manager Ernesto Valverde may seek reinforcements in defence once Jeremy Mathieu departs, which O Jogo reported will happen upon the Frenchman's return to Europe from team-mate Lionel Messi's wedding (h/t Sport). And investing in a youthful prospect like Mere could have a double advantage if it helps lure Bellerin.

That being said, Bellerin's decision is likely to weigh on far more than whether one of his friends is at the club, not to mention Barcelona's task of convincing Arsenal to cash in on their prized asset.

Read more World Football news on BleacherReport.com


          NBA Free Agency Roundup: Grading the George trade, the Griffin signing and more   
Blake Griffin got a fifth year and the max from the Clippers. (Getty)

NBA free agency is upon us. And, just a few hours in, it is already absolutely insane. Heck, even before it officially began, it was off the rails. Earth-shaking trades have gone down. Rumors are flying. Meetings are happening. Tampering has undoubtedly occurred, and has been customarily ignored. Some agreements are in place. Others are close.

To help you keep track of it all, we’ll be documenting and analyzing the biggest stories of each day until the chaos subsides. We’ll have everything from the Paul George trades to the Cristiano Felicio signings, from the Blake Griffin contract to the latest J.J. Redick reports, and much, much more. And we’ll dole out quick-hitting analysis and grades on all the significant moves.

Here’s what occurred on Friday night, which bled into Saturday morning and into the official opening of free agency’s doors:

GRADING FRIDAY’S DEALS 

Pacers trade Paul George to Thunder — This was stunning. Completely stunning. And it’s a coup for Sam Presti and Oklahoma City. At best, a modest package of Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis yields a dynamic duo of Paul George and Russell Westbrook for years to come. At worst, George walks after next season, and it turns into a cheeky, even if expensive, salary dump — Oladipo is in the first year of a four-year, $84 million contract; he makes more than George.

From Indy’s perspective, it’s puzzling. Completely puzzling. Surely the Pacers had better offers on the table, or had had better offers tossed their way in the past. At the very least, they could have held out for a more enticing package from Boston in a week. If, as some have suggested, Indiana took a lesser package to get George out of the Eastern Conference, that is mind-numbingly stupid.

Oklahoma City grade: B+  Indiana Grade: D-

Blake Griffin re-signs with Clippers — Griffin had meetings scheduled with Phoenix and Denver. He planned to explore his options. Then he reportedly walked down memory lane, “into a Blake Griffin museum.” When he exited his conference with Doc Rivers, Jerry West and Clippers brass, he cancelled the other meetings and signed with L.A. for five years and $173 million.

That’s right, the Clippers gave a five-year max contract to a player who hasn’t played 70 games in a season since 2013-14, and who hasn’t been an All-Star since 2014-15. Griffin is a top-15 player in the NBA when healthy, and maybe he burgeons into more now that he’s out from under Chris Paul’s shadow. But the numbers don’t necessarily back up that line of thinking, nor does his injury history.

The Clippers, in the end, had to do this to stay relevant. But that doesn’t mean it’s a smart basketball move. Nor does it vault the Clippers into contention for anything more than a second-round playoff exit.

Clippers grade: C+

Steph Curry re-signs with Warriors — Curry, as expected, got the supermax — five years, $201 million — and is not only the highest-paid NBA player ever, he has the highest annual salary in the history of major American professional sports.

Warriors grade: A+  Curry grade: A+

Wolves trade Ricky Rubio to Jazz — At the 11th hour, the Jazz, resigned to losing George Hill, took Rubio into their soon-to-expire cap space at the price of a lottery-protected first-rounder. Minnesota, which had been looking to move its Spanish point guard for some time, got the pick, plus more cap room to spend on Rubio’s replacement. The value of the deal for both sides depends (or depended) on subsequent moves. If Rubio is enough to lure Gordon Hayward back to Utah, this is an A+. If not, it’s a C at best. The Wolves needed find a significant upgrade, such as Kyle Lowry, if the trade was to ultimately pay off for them. They didn’t get Lowry. More on who they did get below.

Minnesota Grade: B-  Utah Grade: C+

Jeff Teague signs with Minnesota — The Wolves think they’ve upgraded at point guard. That’s debatable. What the probably have done is found a slightly better fit to partner with Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler. But the extent to which that fit is better is also debatable. Maybe Minnesota did their due diligence and heard that Lowry wasn’t going to be available, but they should have made a stronger push.

Minnesota Grade: B-

Patty Mills re-signs with Spurs — With point guard demand low and supply relatively high, Mills always seemed likely to re-up in San Antonio. That’s exactly what he did, for four years, $50 million. It’s a decent price for the Spurs, and clearly a good fit for both parties.

San Antonio Grade: B+

Sean Livingston re-signs with Warriors — The Warriors and Livingston moved unexpectedly quickly here. Golden State was able to lock up one of its two key bench pieces. But the more important one is still testing the waters…

Golden State Grade: B

Bulls waive Rajon Rondo — This was not entirely surprising, and not entirely consequential. Rondo is now a free agent. The Bulls are plummeting toward the league’s cellar. Is a Dwyane Wade buyout next?

Chicago Grade: N/A

Other agreements:

Cristiano Felicio re-signed with the Bulls
Tony Snell re-signed with the Bucks
Nene re-signed with the Rockets

FRIDAY’S RUMORS AND REPORTS

Wizards offer John Wall extension — As anticipated, Washington is dangling a four-year, $168 million supermax offer in front of Wall, and, as anticipated, Wall will mull it over.

Paul Millsap’s top suitors — … are reportedly the Nuggets and Timberwolves, with the Suns and Kings also in play. The Wolves would have to engage in some salary maneuvering to make space for the veteran power forward.

Could Andre Iguodala really leave Golden State? — He reportedly has no plans to meet with the Warriors. He is meeting with the Spurs. And the Kings. And the Rockets. He has talked with the Lakers. This could get interesting. And if Iggy does leave the Bay Area? According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Warriors’ backup plan is Rudy Gay.

The Wizards and Otto Porter met — … but adjourned without an agreement in place, and will visit with other teams over the weekend. Porter is a restricted free agent, though, so the Wizards can match whatever offer he gets — and he will likely get the max

What is the market for J.J. Redick? — The Sixers and Nets have been established as suitors, and Redick reportedly met with Philadelphia soon after midnight. but Redick is also reportedly interested in joining the Rockets. That, however, would require some Daryl Morey wizardry or a willingness on Redick’s part to take a below-market contract.

LOOKING AHEAD TO SATURDAY

Jrue Holiday and New Orleans — The Pelicans are in a lose-lose situation. Paying Holiday around $25 million per year is probably not a good idea. But letting him walk, and being left with only around $13 million in cap space to build around DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, is definitely not a good idea. The expectation is that New Orleans will therefore be forced to pony up for Holiday. Will that get done before other teams come knocking? Holiday reportedly met with New Orleans late Friday night and left with a big offer. However, according to another report, he’s also considering Indiana.

Which will be the next point guard domino to fall? — Will it be Holiday? Who will follow Teague and jump at an offer? Kyle Lowry is the obvious candidate, but it’s unclear what the market for him is. Toronto has been awfully quiet. George Hill is another candidate. According to The Vertical’s Shams Charania, Hill ended discussions with the Spurs, who re-signed Patty Mills, but has also spoken with the Nuggets and Knicks.

Russell Westbrook’s extension — Oklahoma City will almost undoubtedly offer him a five-year, $200 million extension similar to Curry’s. They probably already have. With the George trade done, is Westbrook all-in for the long haul? Or will he take his time and sit on the decision?

TOP 10 BEST AVAILABLE

1. Kevin Durant
2. Gordon Hayward
3. Paul Millsap
4. Kyle Lowry
5. Serge Ibaka
6. George Hill
7. Jrue Holiday
8. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
9. Otto Porter
10. Andre Iguodala


          Activator clinic in Outdoor Paradise nets $91k in 21 hrs/wk   
35 year established activator clinic for sale in Colorado Springs. Current owner works 20 hours a week (25 when she doesn’t have an associate) and takes home $91,000 in profit. Associate buyout possible for the right candidate. Colorado Springs was named one of the Top 10 Best Big Cities for Active Families AND America's Best City Overall by Outside Magazine. Enjoy tons of outdoor recreation opportunities, year-round sunshine AND a super-low cost of living? Sounds like the good life to pretty much everyone! See pics and details at http://www.progressivepracticesales.com or call Kevin at 503-839-4527
          Corporate Finance Attorney with 2-4 years of private equity experience - Illinois-Chicago   
Chicago office of our client seeks attorney with 2-4 years of experience (preferably at a national law firm) working on private equity-backed acquisition finance transactions, leveraged buyouts, equity investments, restructurings and workouts. The candidate will serve in the financial transactions group. Illinois Bar admission is required.This international law firm is headquartered in Seattle, WA but now has 19 offices throughout the world, including this one in Chicago. The firm was founded over 100 years ago.
          Big money investors are searching for stocks that can't get Amazon'd   

FILE PHOTO: An Amazon.com Inc driver stands next to an Amazon delivery truck in Los Angeles, California, U.S. on May 21, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File PhotoThomson Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's game-changing move to upend the grocery business with a surprise deal to buy Whole Foods Market Inc compounds a problem already vexing fund managers: how to play U.S. consumer spending when the Seattle-based e-commerce giant is threatening to take over retail.

Amazon's relentless growth and destruction of value among traditional retail rivals is forcing active fund managers to look for bets in areas they think Amazon can't or won't reach.

Emerging options include theme restaurant chains, recreational vehicle makers and sellers of stuff that's just too heavy to ship via Amazon's network. Meanwhile, some fund managers are increasingly convinced the only way to play consumer spending is to move away from brands and retailers and into logistics and supply chain companies, essentially betting e-commerce will render most consumer companies obsolete.

The challenge of investing in consumer companies comes a time when the category would typically shine.

Low unemployment and a solid housing market boost consumer stocks, yet companies in the category - excluding Amazon - are up just 5.2 percent for the year, or about 3 percentage points below the broad S&P 500 as a whole, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Amazon shares, by comparison, are up about 30 percent. 

BIGGER DISRUPTION THAN WAL-MART'S

Amazon now accounts for about 34 percent of all U.S. online sales and should see that number grow to about 50 percent by 2021, according to a Needham research note.

Amazon's growing dominance is in some ways akin to the rise of Wal-Mart Stores Inc in the early 2000s, when its rapid growth and move to branch out into groceries raised concerns it would put other retailers out of business. Yet Amazon's greater online reach and purchase of a top-shelf grocery store chain makes it far more formidable, said Barbara Miller, a portfolio manager at Federated Kaufmann funds.

"I've been in this industry for twenty-five years and this is the biggest transformation we've seen in the consumer space," she said.

bezos tabletsGus Ruelas/ReutersWhile Wal-Mart put many small mom-and-pop stores out of business, Amazon is dragging down national competitors like Target and Macy's with its combination of low prices, broad range of inventory, and speed, she said.

At the same time, Amazon is expanding its e-commerce dominance when more shoppers are online, suggesting more pain ahead for competitors. E-commerce sales grew 14.7 percent in 2016, nearly triple the 5.1-percent growth rate of traditional retailers, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

BUGS AND COFFEE: THE HUNT FOR SURVIVORS

Fund managers say Amazon's growing dominance is forcing them to shift long-held strategies, by either putting less money into consumer stocks overall or by focusing on companies that can compete alongside Amazon or may be attractive buyout targets.

The company's outsized 15.4-percent weighting, more than double the next-largest stock in the S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary index, is problematic for fund managers who typically will not hold any positions greater than 5 percent of their portfolio in order to manage risk.

Josh Cummings, a portfolio manager at Janus Henderson funds, is avoiding shares of direct competitors of Amazon, such as Target Corp, Kroger Co, and Wal-Mart, and instead focusing on companies with "idiosyncratic" attributes, he said.

Starbucks Corp, for instance, offers an experience that Amazon would find hard to match, he said, while Servicemaster Global Holdings, parent company of pest control company Terminix, is largely immune from e-commerce competition.

"Could Amazon decide they want to be in the business of spraying for bugs? It doesn't seem likely," he said.

Miller, the portfolio manager at the Federated Kaufmann funds, said she is moving away from stores that could be found in a mall, focusing instead on companies like Dave & Busters Entertainment Inc and Wingstop Inc that offer food-based experiences. She also owns shares of Camping World Holdings Inc, which sells a mix of goods and services ranging from roadside assistance to accessories to the growing recreational vehicle market.

"This is a company with a strong membership base that has the sort of scale in its niche to rival Amazon," she said.

Jeff Rottinghaus, portfolio manager of the T. Rowe Price U.S. Large-Cap Core Equity fund, said he owns Home Depot Inc shares because its stores essentially function as warehouses and much of its merchandise is too heavy or bulky to profitably ship quickly online.

Gary Bradshaw, a portfolio manager at Hodges Capital in Dallas, said he expects that portfolio holding Wal-Mart will become more aggressive in acquiring small, private companies to broaden its online reach.

BonobosBonobosThe company announced a deal to buy men's wear company Bonobos for $310 million in mid-June, following purchases of outdoor gear retailer Moosejaw and online shoe store ShoeBuy. Wal-Mart acquired online retailer Jet.com in a $3.3 billion deal last August.

"They're going to do whatever it takes to compete with Amazon. They may be losing the battle at the moment but that doesn't mean that they will back down," he said.

Other investors are getting their consumer exposure by focusing on behind-the-scenes companies that power the growth of e-commerce.

Laird Bieger, a portfolio manager of the Baron Discovery Fund - the top-performing small-cap growth fund year-to-date - said he is focusing on companies like CommerceHub Inc, which works with companies such as J C Penney Co and Best Buy Inc to allow them to sell more products online and ship directly from manufacturers.

Craig Richard, a co-portfolio manager of the Buffalo Emerging Opportunities fund, said he has been buying Kornit Digital Ltd, which makes textile printers that can produce t-shirt and other apparel designs on demand, helping save inventory costs.

Amazon is Kornit's largest customer and has warrants to buy up to 2.9 million Kornit shares, about 8 percent of the company, at $13.03 a share over the next five years. Shares of Kornit, up 57 percent this year, traded at $19.95 on Frida

(Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Dan Burns and Nick Zieminski)


          7/1/2017: SPORTS: Devils plan to buy out forward Cammalleri   
NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this off-season. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes were New Jersey Devils forwards Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly, Florida Panthers...
          More buyouts and potential layoffs coming to Seattle Times   
“It’s not at all surprising.” That was the reaction by David Boardman to the announcement by the Seattle Times that it will be reducing staff. The newspaper told staff in an email that it will be offering buyouts with the potential of layoffs after that.
          Associate Attorney - Chicago, IL   
Associate Attorney The candidate must have excellent academic credentials and four to six years of experience working on private equity-backed acquisition finance transactions, leveraged buyouts, equity investments, restructurings and workouts...
          Yahoo To Buy Tumblr In An Attempt To Revitalize Itself   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit (SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) DAVID GREENE, HOST: NPR's business news starts with a big blogging buyout. (SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) GREENE: Today, Yahoo announced its purchase of the blogging site Tumblr. The $1.1 billion deal was unanimously approved by Yahoo's board. Analysts say the acquisition is Yahoo's attempt to revitalize itself. NPR's Kirk Siegler has more. KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Tumblr is a New York-based social media and blogging site that's been growing rapidly, thanks in part to the exploding use of smartphones and tablets. And then there's Yahoo, which desperately needs relevance, says Kara Swisher, co-editor of All Things D, which first reported the acquisition. KARA SWISHER: This is a site that's very hip and very cool, and has a much younger demographic than Yahoo does. And so it's an attempt to try to marry the two together and hopefully, it will work out. Some people think it will; some people think it won't. SIEGLER: It could be risky, at a
          7/1/2017: SPORTS: Devils plan to buy out forward Cammalleri   
NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this off-season. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes were New Jersey Devils forwards Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly, Florida Panthers...
          Defense Authorization Bill Looks to Boost Civilian Workforce   
If the Pentagon does reduce staff, however, another provision would increase buyouts to $40,000.
          7/1/2017: SPORTS: Devils plan to buy out forward Cammalleri   
NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this off-season. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes were New Jersey Devils forwards Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly, Florida Panthers...
           Stuart buyout clears cap room for Jets [Video]    
The latest indicator the Winnipeg Jets plan to be more active in free agency came on Friday morning in the form of a somewhat unexpected buyout.
          Walgreens ends its attempt to buy Rite Aid   
Walgreens ends pursuit of Rite Aid buyout, strikes new deal to buy stores and inventory.
          New York Times Copyeditors Protest Impending Layoffs in Their Own Brilliant, Inimitable Fashion   
Demonstrators flashed hilarious signs during a 20-minute walkout Thursday.

If the New York Times aims to hold the Trump administration to account, it will be doing so with approximately half the number of copyeditors, as executive editor Dean Baquet has announced plans to lay off as many as 50 staffers.

On Thursday, employees staged a 20-minute walkout to protest the impending cuts.

The slowdown occurred following two letters sent to management by New York Times employees via the News Guild of New York, one from the copyeditors Wednesday and the other from reporters Thursday—or, as the latter prefer to be known, "those whose copy, facts and sometimes the intelligibility of a sentence or two have been hammered into shape by our friends and colleagues on the editing desks."

The copyeditors' protest signs were as witty as they were cutting, incorporating intentional typos to demonstrate their value in protecting the New York Times reporters and brand from embarrassing errors. Signs included "This sign wsa not edited," "Copy editors save our buts" and "Who do you think makes sure it's fit to print?"

In the copyeditors' letters to top management, they describe how they are, "as one senior reporter put it, the immune system of this newspaper, the group that protects the institution from profoundly embarrassing errors, not to mention potentially actionable ones."

The layoffs are said to be planned in the interest of "eliminating what the editorial management of the paper has called redundant, unnecessary layers of editing, in order to speed up the process between story conception and publication," Deadline reports.

The New York Times also recently eliminated the public editor position "in the latest buyout plan to reduce staff."

Expecting reporters to be accountable for their own copy is asking a lot, especially in a fast-paced news environment in which clarity and accuracy are desperately needed to combat the perception of "fake" and biased news.

As one senior Times staffer told Deadline, "I've never seen morale so low at the Times. ... And there's a lot of chaos in the newsroom."

    

Related Stories

 

           Methodological issues in estimating the impact of private equity buyouts on employment    
Hall, David (2007) Methodological issues in estimating the impact of private equity buyouts on employment. Discussion Paper. PSIRU, London, UK.
          "I would say John Hancock is a definite [buyout] candidate." - Ira Zuckerman   
"I would say John Hancock is a definite [buyout] candidate." - Ira Zuckerman
          NBA Free Agency Roundup: Grading the George trade, the Griffin signing and more   
Blake Griffin got a fifth year and the max from the Clippers. (Getty)

NBA free agency is upon us. And, just a few hours in, it is already absolutely insane. Heck, even before it officially began, it was off the rails. Earth-shaking trades have gone down. Rumors are flying. Meetings are happening. Tampering has undoubtedly occurred, and has been customarily ignored. Some agreements are in place. Others are close.

To help you keep track of it all, we’ll be documenting and analyzing the biggest stories of each day until the chaos subsides. We’ll have everything from the Paul George trades to the Cristiano Felicio signings, from the Blake Griffin contract to the latest J.J. Redick reports, and much, much more. And we’ll dole out quick-hitting analysis and grades on all the significant moves.

Here’s what occurred on Friday night, which bled into Saturday morning and into the official opening of free agency’s doors:

GRADING FRIDAY’S DEALS 

Pacers trade Paul George to Thunder: This was stunning. Completely stunning. And it’s a coup for Sam Presti and Oklahoma City. At best, a modest package of Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis yields a dynamic duo of Paul George and Russell Westbrook for years to come. At worst, George walks after next season, and it turns into a cheeky, even if expensive, salary dump — Oladipo is in the first year of a four-year, $84 million contract; he makes more than George.

From Indy’s perspective, it’s puzzling. Completely puzzling. Surely the Pacers had better offers on the table, or had had better offers tossed their way in the past. At the very least, they could have held out for a more enticing package from Boston in a week. If, as some have suggested, Indiana took a lesser package to get George out of the Eastern Conference, that is mind-numbingly stupid.

Oklahoma City grade: B+  Indiana Grade: D-

Blake Griffin re-signs with Clippers: Griffin had meetings scheduled with the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets. He planned to explore his options. Then he reportedly walked down memory lane, “into a Blake Griffin museum.” When he exited his conference with Doc Rivers, Jerry West and Clippers brass, he cancelled the other meetings and signed with L.A. for five years and $173 million.

That’s right: the Clippers gave a five-year max contract to a player who hasn’t played 70 games in a season since 2013-14, and who hasn’t been an All-Star since 2014-15. Griffin is a top-15 player in the NBA when healthy, and maybe he burgeons into more now that he’s out from under Chris Paul’s shadow. But the numbers don’t necessarily back up that line of thinking, nor does his injury history.

The Clippers, in the end, had to do this to stay relevant. But that doesn’t mean it’s a smart basketball move. Nor does it vault the Clippers into contention for anything more than a second-round playoff exit.

Clippers grade: C+

Steph Curry re-signs with Warriors: As expected, the Golden State Warriors gave Curry the “super-max” Designated Veteran Player Extension — five years, $201 million. He’s now the highest-paid NBA player ever, and he has the highest annual salary in the history of major American professional sports.

Warriors grade: A+  Curry grade: A+

Wolves trade Ricky Rubio to Jazz: At the 11th hour, the Utah Jazz, seemingly resigned to losing starting point guard George Hill, took Rubio into their soon-to-expire cap space at the price of a lottery-protected 2018 first-round draft pick. The Minnesota Timberwolves, who have been looking to move its Spanish point guard for some time, got the pick, plus more cap room to spend on Rubio’s replacement (whom they locked down in the early moments of free agency on Saturday morning).

The value of the deal for both sides depends (or depended) on subsequent moves. If Rubio is enough to lure Gordon Hayward back to Utah, this is an A+. If not, it’s a C at best. The Wolves needed to find a significant upgrade, such as Toronto Raptors All-Star Kyle Lowry, if the trade was to ultimately pay off for them. They didn’t get Lowry.

Minnesota Grade: B-  Utah Grade: C+

Jeff Teague signs with Minnesota: The Wolves think they’ve upgraded by importing the former Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers point guard. That’s debatable. What the probably have done is found a slightly better fit to partner with wings Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins. But the extent to which that fit is better is also debatable.

Maybe Minnesota did their due diligence and heard that Lowry wasn’t going to be available. It feels like they should have made a stronger push, though.

Minnesota Grade: B-

Patty Mills re-signs with Spurs: With point guard demand low and supply relatively high, Mills always seemed likely to re-up in San Antonio. That’s exactly what he did, agreeing to a four-year, $50 million deal to stay put. It’s a decent price for the Spurs, and clearly a good fit for both parties.

San Antonio Grade: B+

Sean Livingston re-signs with Warriors: The Warriors and Livingston moved unexpectedly quickly here, agreeing to a three-year, $24 million deal that’s reportedly only partially guaranteed in the final season. By acting fast, the defending champs were able to lock up one of their two key bench pieces. But the more important one is still testing the waters …

Golden State Grade: B

Bulls waive Rajon Rondo: This was not entirely surprising, and not entirely consequential. Rondo is now a free agent. The Chicago Bulls are plummeting toward the league’s cellar. As has been the case since Chicago sent Butler to the Wolves at the 2017 NBA draft, veteran star Dwyane Wade (set to earn $23.8 million next season on a team embarking on a rebuild) has seemed like a logical buyout candidate. For now, though, the Bulls seem committed to keeping him around.

Chicago Grade: N/A

Other agreements:

Cristiano Felicio re-signed with the Bulls (four years, $32 million)
Tony Snell re-signed with the Bucks (four years, $46 million)
Nene re-signed with the Rockets (four years, $15 million)

FRIDAY’S RUMORS AND REPORTS

Wizards offer John Wall extension: As anticipated, Washington is dangling a four-year, $168 million super-max offer in front of its franchise centerpiece. As anticipated, Wall will mull it over while the Wizards try to improve a roster that came one win short of the Eastern Conference finals.

Paul Millsap’s top suitors … are reportedly the Denver Nuggets and Wolves, with the Suns and Sacramento Kings also in play. The Wolves would have to engage in some salary-cap gymnastics to make space for the All-Star power forward.

Could Andre Iguodala really leave Golden State? — He reportedly has no plans to meet with the Warriors. He is meeting with the Spurs. And the Kings. And the Rockets. He has talked with the Lakers. This could get interesting.

If Iggy does leave the Bay Area? According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Warriors’ backup plan is Rudy Gay.

The Wizards and Otto Porter met … but adjourned without an agreement in place, and the forward will visit with other teams over the weekend. Porter is a restricted free agent, though, so the Wizards can (and say they will) match whatever offer he gets — and he will likely get the max.

What’s the market for J.J. Redick?: The Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets have been established as suitors, and Redick reportedly met with Philadelphia soon after midnight. But Redick is also reportedly interested in joining the Rockets, and partnering back up with former Clippers running buddy Chris Paul. That, however, would require some Daryl Morey wizardry or a willingness on Redick’s part to take a below-market contract.

LOOKING AHEAD TO SATURDAY

Jrue Holiday and New Orleans: The Pelicans are in a lose-lose situation. Paying Holiday around $25 million per year is probably not a good idea. But as detailed in our Northwest Division free-agent shopping list, letting him walk, and being left with only around $13 million in cap space to build around DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, is definitely not a good idea. The expectation is that New Orleans will therefore be forced to pony up for Holiday. Will that get done before other teams come knocking? Holiday reportedly met with New Orleans late Friday night and left with a big offer. However, according to another report, he’s also considering Indiana.

Which point guard signs next?: Will it be Holiday? Who will follow Teague and jump at an offer? Lowry is the obvious candidate, but it’s unclear what the market for him is. Toronto has been awfully quiet.

Hill is another candidate. According to The Vertical’s Shams Charania, Hill ended discussions with the Spurs, who re-signed Patty Mills, but has also spoken with the Nuggets and New York Knicks.

Russell Westbrook’s extension: Oklahoma City will almost undoubtedly offer him a five-year, $200 million extension similar to Curry’s. They probably already have. With the George trade done, is Westbrook all-in for the long haul? Or will he take his time and sit on the decision?

TOP 10 BEST AVAILABLE (via The Vertical’s Fab 50 Free Agents)

1. Kevin Durant, SF
2. Gordon Hayward, SF
3. Paul Millsap, PF
4. Kyle Lowry, PG
5. Serge Ibaka, PF/C
6. George Hill, PG
7. Jrue Holiday, PG
8. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG
9. Otto Porter, SF
10. Andre Iguodala, SF


          7/1/2017: SPORTS: Devils plan to buy out forward Cammalleri   
NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this off-season. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes were New Jersey Devils forwards Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly, Florida Panthers...
          Bruins buy out Jimmy Hayes, close book on Tyler Seguin trade   

The Bruins have placed Jimmy Hayes on waivers for he purpose of buying him out, thus ending the Dorchester-born winger's time with his hometown team.

Hayes had one more year left on his deal that would have paid him $2.3 million. The cap hit the Bruins will incur from the buyout contract will be $566,667 in 2017-18 and $866,667 in 2018-19. While the B's could have stashed Hayes in Providence and hidden $950,000 of his salary, they have decided to simply cut ties with the 6-foot-5 forward.

With the buyout, the B's now are approximately $14.5 million under the salary cap, with David Pastrnak (estimated $6 million a season) and the arbitration-eligible Ryan Spooner (possibly $3 million) still to be signed.

Obtained from the Florida Panthers for Reilly Smith and the remainder of the Marc Savard contract in the summer of 2015, Hayes was never able to establish himself as a Bruin. After scoring 19 goals in his last season in Florida, it dipped to 13 in his first year in Boston before the bottom fell out last year, when he had just 2-3-5 totals in 58 games and found himself a healthy scratch on many nights.

Hayes is now an unrestricted free agent.

The Hayes buyout also closes the books on the Tyler Seguin trade with nothing left to show for it. Loui Eriksson walked in free agency, Matt Fraser was waived, Joe Morrow was not qualified and Smith was traded for Hayes. And now Hayes, who was the last remnant of the haul for Seguin, has been bought out.

 

 

Author(s): 
Steve Conroy

          What’s next for Scott Hartnell after buyout?   
The Columbus Blue Jackets made forward Scott Hartnell disappear on Thursday, buying out the final two years of his six-year, $28 million deal they took on when they acquired him from the Philadelphia Flyers in 2014. This is the Jackets’ third buyout in two seasons, along with Jared Boll and defenseman Fedor Tyutin last year. Hartnell had 13 goals and 24 assists in 78 games last season for the Jackets, skating 12:04 per game, which was his lowest average time on ice since his rookie season in 2000-01.
          Option Block 575: Put Spreads Need Love to Grow   

Trading Block: Stocks jump as S&P 500 and Nasdaq set new record highs. Goldman insiders underwater options were salvaged by the Trump election.There are still earnings being released.

Earnings today:

  • Tyson Foods (before the bell)
  • Palo Alto Networks (after the bell)

Odd Block: Calls trade in NRG Energy Inc (NRG), calls trade in Ultra DJ - AIG Crude Oil ProShares (UCO) and calls trade in Cypress Semiconductor Corp (CY).

Mail Block: Listener questions and comments

  • Question from RealRK - Juice for free is always nice. I would have never thought of mixing in the call time spread. Musk uses the massive short interest, tweets and it goes up ten points. Thanks fellas! Also, check out the call/put ratio on CY (Cypress Semiconductors). OI near and out of the money in the next three months contracts shows huge call buying (Probably 100 million plus in value). Buyout rumors, so I got long a small amount of January 11 calls. Let me know what you guys think Thursday! Thanks

Options#QuestionOfTheWeek

Great traders need many weapons in their arsenals. But everyone has a favorite. What is yours? Reply/DM w/others.

  • Vertical/Ratio Vertical
  • Iron Condor/Iron Fly
  • Straddle/Strangle
  • Covered Call/Short Put
  • Addition from Options_Addict - Options ratio spreads and naked purchases.

More questions:

  • Question from Rico Landa - Did you guys see this? Is Cuban talking about buying puts or something else? Guess he has a savvy financial advisor?
  • Question from JNic - When the market is rallying like it is now what is wrong with just buying calls? Seems to work or is that just too basic?

Around the Block/This Week in the Market:

  • Nov 22: Existing Home Sales
  • Nov 23: Durable Goods, Jobless Claims, New Home Sales, Consumer Sentiment, FOMC Minutes
  • Nov 24: Thanksgiving Day, markets closed
  • Nov 25: International Trade, Markets close at 1:00 pm Eastern.

          Option Block 567: VIX Fades and Broker Buyouts   

Trading Block: Earnings today before the bell: T-Mobile USA, Inc. Earnings today after the bell: Visa Inc. S&P 500 Skew Unwind Shows Complacency Over Clinton Win: Analysis. TD Ameritrade to buy Scottrade in two-step deal with TD Bank: Read more.

Odd Block: Calls trade in Fiat Chrysler Auto (FCAU), puts trade in Time Warner Inc. (TWX), calls and puts trade in CBS Corp. (CBS).

Mail Block/QuestionOfTheWeek:

Is #Trumpocalypse done? Is $VIX already pricing in @HillaryClinton win? Where will $VIX close on election day?

  • Unchaged (Between 12-14)
  • Elevated (15-18)
  • Spike (Over 18)
  • Selloff (Below 12)

Listener question:

  • Question from Mark Brant: How do funds get orders routed to floor traders? If OH hosts HFs please discuss, thx. Starting one to run the Big Kahuna and favor OH!

Around the Block:

Earnings Highlights This Week:

  • Monday - Visa
  • Tuesday - Apple
  • Wednesday - Tesla
  • Thursday - Alphabet, Amazon, Twitter
  • Friday - Exxon Mobil

This Week in the Market:

  • Oct 25: Consumer Confidence
  • Oct 26: International Trade, New Home Sales
  • Oct 27: Jobless Claims, Durable Goods
  • Oct 28: GDP, Consumer Sentiment

          Option Block 559: Options Buyout Frenzy   

Trading Block: Vol begins to head north again after a big selloff in VIX on Friday. The debates are coming! Merkel has no love for Deutsche Bank. Golf loses a king, Arnold Palmer. What can investors learn from his endorsements? Are you seeing Trump in the rearview mirror? CBOE agrees to buy market operator Bats for $3.2 Billion. With a B. Interesting turn into exchange consolidation rather than fragmentation.

Odd Block: Puts trade in EWG, calls trade in TCK and calls trade in DVAX.

Mail Block: Listener questions and comments

  • Question from @investor17 - Can you please highlight if PG puts were sold or bought? And give perspective on what these high Oct puts strikes 120 mean? (The information in question came from the Hot Options Report for 9.23.16.)

Around the Block: Have you checked out the OptionsHouse blog? OPEC meeting coming up, and they invited Russia. Deutsche Bank aftermath? The Fed.


          Option Block 175: Groupon Volatility Bonanza   

Option Block 175: Groupon Volatility Bonanza

Trading Block: Groupon rallies into earnings, an absolute roller coaster today. No weekend back for VIX cash, toying with the 14 level.

Odd Block: General Electric (GE) sees massive call activity. From black to red: Traders buy puts on The Blackstone Group (BX). The winners and losers in Focus Media's (FMCN) buyout offer.

Xpress Block: John Grigus takes today's OX hot seat and discusses corn crops and the USDA report, as well as the website, idea hub and new products.

Around the Block: Cisco earnings on 8/15 and retail sales tomorrow.

          Option Block 92: Werewolves Love SLV   
Option Block 92: Werewolves Love SLV

Trading Block: A sea of red in the market today - recession fears slam everything except treasuries. VIX cash gaps up yet again -- VIX futures outlook. Metals/Commodities rundown - everything down across the board, with gold down as well, but no rolling down will be taking place before the weekend. Ford below the $10 handle.

Odd Block: Yahoo! - (YHOO) Following an upgrade at Stifel, Nicolaus from “Hold” to “Buy” with a price target of $18.00, shares are on the plus side this morning. The analyst stated “the likelihood of a buyout has increased to 80%.” Looks like some folks are betting on a buyout over the next few weeks. Bank of America - (BAC) Some large option players are “raising the white flag” in Bank of America Corp. (BAC) today with two large blocks of call options being sold on the bids and most likely closing out previous bullish positions. Perhaps most painful, someone dumped over 100k Jan 20 calls for $0.01! Covanta Holding Corp - (CVA) Stock has been hammered over the past few days. Someone thinks it’s overdone and bought a size bullish risk reversal. Range Resources Corp - (RRC) Looks like those upside specs on the 70 and 75 strikes could have paid off.

Xpress Block: Tim Navabi runs down the daily goings on at OX. Today was a day for risk management. There's always a tomorrow in the market. The tools available on the OX are here to the rescue.

Strategy Block: Mike Tosaw discusses his profound belief that we will get through our current financial situation. But you need some type of plan in place for down days like today.

Around The Block: A lot of concern going into the weekend. Another good time to have some units in you back pocket. VIX option implied volatility exploded today, selling premium does not make sense. Has the bleeding stopped at Netflix for now? If you're thinking of playing in inverse ETFs or options on the ETFs, the margin requirements are tighter on the inverse ETFs. Apple held onto 400 today - a flight to safety.

          7/1/2017: SPORTS: Devils plan to buy out forward Cammalleri   
NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this off-season. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes were New Jersey Devils forwards Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly, Florida Panthers...
          Staples, Inc. Is Going Private as It Continues to Flounder   
Staples has accepted a $6.9 billion buyout offer from Sycamore Partners as its turnaround efforts have failed to get earnings per share growing again. Reported by Motley Fool 1 hour ago.
          [英語の落ち穂拾い]buyback #2   

 米銀行計34社は28日, 健全性審査の結果, 資本計画が承認されたことを発表しました。

34 major U.S. banks obtain Fed’s OK over buyback plans

The Federal Reserve has approved plans from the 34 largest U.S. banks to use extra capital for stock buybacks, dividends and other purposes beyond being a cushion against catastrophe.

以下省略

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003791324

 取り上げる語は “buyback” / baɪbæk / です。表記からは, 取引に関する表現であることがうかがえます。『リーダーズ英和中辞典』(研究社)で調べたところ, 「バイバックの」とありました。特に, 自社株の買戻しを指すそうです。The Free Dictionary.comには “an act of buying that one previously sold or owned” と定義されていました。類語には, 企業の「買収」や経済用語で「買占め」を表す “buyout” が挙げられます。(Cayu)

buyback - 田邉祐司ゼミ 常時英心:言葉の森から


          10 Most Successful LBOs and Private Equity Buyouts in History   
none
          Comment on NL Notes: Phillies, Mets, Cards, Dodgers by chri   
All Mets fans love you David but it's time to hang it up. Gotta think the Mets need to approach him soon and see if he will agree to a buyout of sorts, perhaps incentivize him with a role in the organization
          LE2 Linesman / Digger Driver - Freedom Group Ltd - Rettendon   
Founded in 1996 from a management buyout with a single contract, Freedom has grown significantly and now has offices throughout the UK....
From Indeed - Tue, 06 Jun 2017 10:59:56 GMT - View all Rettendon jobs
          Charge Hand / Linesman - Freedom Group Ltd - Rettendon   
Founded in 1996 from a management buyout with a single contract, Freedom has grown significantly and now has offices throughout the UK....
From Indeed - Tue, 06 Jun 2017 10:58:00 GMT - View all Rettendon jobs
          HV & LV Cable Jointers - Freedom Group Ltd - Rettendon   
Founded in 1996 from a management buyout with a single contract, Freedom has grown significantly and now has offices throughout the UK....
From Indeed - Tue, 06 Jun 2017 10:55:51 GMT - View all Rettendon jobs
          Controller - Policaro Automotive Family - Ontario   
Prepares cheques for dealer trades lease buyouts. The primary purpose of the role is to provide accounting oversight that includes commissioning, purchasing...
From Policaro Automotive Family - Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:48:17 GMT - View all Ontario jobs
          The Latest: AP Source: Panthers, Jagr 'nowhere close' The Associated Press   

photo

FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2017, file photo, Florida Panthers left wing Jussi Jokinen (36) skates with the puck as Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Matt Calvert (11) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla. NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this offseason. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes was Jokinen. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)



          The Latest: Sharp returns to Blackhawks, Devils sign Boyle   
FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2017, file photo, Florida Panthers left wing Jussi Jokinen (36) skates with the puck as Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Matt Calvert (11) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla. NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this offseason. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes was Jokinen. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

The Latest: Flyers sign Vecchione to 2-year deal


          NHL free agency season officially underway   
FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, New Jersey Devils left wing Michael Cammalleri (13) races with the puck as Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Newark, N.J. NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this offseason. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes was Cammalleri. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

With NHL free agency set to open, all eyes on Ilya, too


          Buyouts make Panthers, Devils even bigger free agent buyers   
New Jersey Devils' Nico Hischier, center, sits with head coach John Hynes, left, and general manager Ray Shero during a news conference in Newark, N.J., Monday, June 26, 2017. The 18-year-old center was the first Swiss-born player to be drafted first overall in the NHL draft. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Panthers' Jokinen and Devils' Cammalleri among buyouts


          Calgary Flames’ Lance Bouma and Winnipeg Jets’ Mark Stuart among buyouts   
The Calgary Flames saved almost $2 million by buying out Lance Bouma and Ryan Murphy. …read more Global News Winnipeg: Calgary Flames’ Lance Bouma and Winnipeg Jets’ Mark Stuart among buyouts
          Where do the Red Wings go from here?   


The season's over, folks.

It was a tough pill to swallow, but the Detroit Red Wings were eliminated by the Boston Bruins in five games. The series wasn't very close, if we're being honest with ourselves. Yes, the scores were pretty close, but the Red Wings struggled to find their offense and couldn't beat Tukka Rask for more than two goals in a game. I am not interested in performing a postmortem on the season, the injuries, the disappointments, or the playoffs. There's tonnes of great bloggers out there who can do that better than I can.

Today I'm asking the hard question of where the Red Wings go from here.

Earlier in the week Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy wrote a pretty good piece that was critical of the Red Wings and whatnot. Lambert gets a crazy amount of attention from Red Wing fans, as though he is telling them they are bad people for choosing the Red Wings, but he's on point about one thing: the Detroit Red Wings are going to look differently after this season.

You can go over here to look at the roster before July 1st and free agency begins. To keep things moving, here's a list of UFAs come July 1st, along with their cap hits I've bolded the players most likely/definite to be re-signed, and the possibilities are italicized.

(LW) Danny Cleary, $1.75m
(C) David Legwand, $4.5m
(RW) Daniel Alfredsson, $5.5m
(RW) Mikael Samuelsson, $3m
(RW) Todd Bertuzzi, $2.075m
(D) Kyle Quincey, $3.375m
(G) Jonas Gustavsson, $1.5m

And here are the RFAs that need to be signed or a decision needs to be made:

(LW) Riley Sheahan, $900,000
(LW) Andrej Nestrasil $597,500
(C) Landon Ferraro $870,000
(C) Cory Emmerton $533,333
(RW) Tomas Tatar $840,000
(RW) Mitchell Calahan $565,278
(RW) Trevor Parkes $554,167
(RW) Willie Coetzee $543,611
(D) Danny DeKeyser $1,350,000
(D) Gleason Fournier $890,833
(D) Max Nicastro $887,500
(D) Adam Almquist $694,167

In short, the Red Wings have a lot of options. They can either a) re-sign most of the team under the belief that the injuries were the reason why the team failed, b)sign some of the UFAs and RFAs hoping the majority of the team with small adjustments can improve on getting stomped in the first round, or c) clean house and pursue UFAs aggressively.

Helene St. James wrote a nice piece pondering what might happen next year, and she repeats Ken Holland's stance on Johan Franzen staying in Detroit. That's a whole other blog post but for now we'll stay on point. She mentions a few Grand Rapids Griffin stars like defensemen Ryan Sproul, Xaiver Ouellet, and goaltender Petr Mrazek. It's getting to be that time for the organization to accept that the Griffins have accomplished everything they can in their current iteration and graduation day is coming. The team is currently battling in the first round of the AHL Calder Cup playoffs (up 2-1 in a best-of-five vs. the Abbotsford Heat) with some of their graduates from this year returning to the team, but this is the last ride in a Griffins uniform for many of them.

It's safe to say players like Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan, and Joakim Andersson are with the Red Wings for good. Mike Babcock has already stated that the youngsters who propped up the team in March and April have earned jobs moving forward. Good news for these former Griffins. Bad news for the pending UFA forwards who want to re-sign. Of all of the UFAs, including defensemen and goaltenders, the only player who could be brought back without the cocking of one's eyebrow is Daniel Alfredsson. He's already stated if he plays another season, the logical choice is to remain in Detroit, especially since he's also said his family loved it there. CBC's Tim Warnsby pumped out this agenda-laden piece about how he was saying similar things about Ottawa before he split on the team. The revelation of persistent back injuries is a caution flag, but Alfredsson's production was impressive (49 points in 68 games) considering the lack of support at times. It seems most likely that Bertuzzi, Cleary, and Samuelsson will be moving on to other teams or retiring. Another Helene St. James piece states Cleary will wind up with a front office job within the organization. One imagines Samuelsson will be jettisoned into space. Kyle Quincey has been a lightning rod of criticism since he was traded back to the Red Wings, and his relatively poor season-long performance isn't worth a second showing. David Legwand may very well boomerang back to Nashville if a reasonable deal cannot be struck with the Red Wings, but it begs the question why a first/second line center would rejoin this team knowing that the team is in transition looking to inject youth into the lineup. Unless one of Darren Helm, Joakim Andersson, Stephen Weiss, and Luke Glendening are being dumped, Legwand has no spot in the lineup. Jonas Gustavsson may be the only other UFA sticking around, depending on whether the organization feels Petr Mrazek is ready for prime-time. Spoiler alert: he is definitely ready.

The Red Wings defense was woefully mismatched against the Bruins. Are Sproul and Ouellet the answer? One could argue the lack of Jonathan Ericsson was a major factor in the play of the defense, but just like Ken Holland said when he defended Johan Franzen, one player isn't the difference maker. So is the answer to Detroit's defensive flaws a total flush of the bowl? Obviously Kronwall, Ericsson, and Dekeyser are going to be returning, the latter of whom is going to see both a pay hike and a delicious long term contract that will satisfy both the player, the team, and the fans. There's a lot of questions as to whether Brendan Smith, Jakub Kindl, and Brian Lashoff are good enough to keep their jobs over younger, possibly better youngsters like Sproul and Ouellet. Quincey's departure leaves one space open, but there's also Adam Almquist in Grand Rapids to consider. Almquist had 53 points in 73 games as a defenseman, 49 of those being assists. Red Wings fans have been pining for a first-pass-out-of-the-zone defensive stud since Nick Lidstrom retired....

The goaltending situation is most intriguing. Jimmy Howard is the man in Detroit, like it or not. Jonas Gustavsson had a hot start to the season but settled down to numbers below Howard. Mrazek was very impressive in his showings with the big club, registering a .927 save percentage in nine showings and a 1.74 GAA. His record of 2-4 is more reflective of how few goals the Red Wings scored during his stay with the team, and it has to be mentioned that both wins were shutouts. Mrazek is ready to shoulder at least 15-20 games as a backup, and typically Jimmy Howard has shouldered at least 50-60 games a season, depending on his own injuries. This may be the ideal time to graduate Mrazek and leave Tom McCollum as the sole returning goaltender in Grand Rapids, with the idea that Saginaw Spirit's Jake Paterson joins the club on the long road to earning a job in Detroit eventually. Straight up, McCollum has no chance of suiting up in Detroit given how Howard, Mrazek, and even the most likely departing Gustavsson would be ranked before him. He's also not signed to Detroit currently and is an asset of the Griffins themselves. There's also Jared Coreau to consider, but he and Paterson will likely be the Mrazek/McCollum tandem of the future.

There's a lot of other possibilities in the realm of free agency. A quick use of the "Armchair GM" mode on Capgeek's website assuming a few signings leaves the team sporting 27 players. Keep in mind this isn't a lineup sheet, it's a list of players and their assumed cap hits.

FORWARDS

Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($7.500m) / Justin Abdelkader ($1.800m)
Johan Franzen ($3.955m) / Stephen Weiss ($4.900m) / Tomas Jurco ($0.709m)
Drew Miller ($1.350m) / Darren Helm ($2.125m) / Tomas Tatar ($0.715m)
Gustav Nyquist ($0.950m) / Joakim Andersson ($0.733m) / Daniel Alfredsson ($5.500m)
 Riley Sheahan ($0.715m) / Luke Glendening ($0.628m) / Cory Emmerton ($0.605m) /

DEFENSEMEN

Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Jonathan Ericsson ($4.250m)
Jakub Kindl ($2.400m) / Brendan Smith ($1.263m) 
Brian Lashoff ($0.725m) / Xavier Ouellet ($0.670m) 
Ryan Sproul ($0.620m) / Adam Almquist ($0.605m)
Danny DeKeyser ($0.874m)

GOALTENDERS
Jimmy Howard ($5.292m)
Petr Mrazek ($0.595m)
Jonas Gustavsson ($1.500m)

BUYOUTS

Carlo Colaiacovo ($0.000m)

BURIED

Jordin Tootoo ($0.975m)

(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $71,100,000
CAP PAYROLL: $62,786,170
BONUSES: $917,500
CAP SPACE (27-man roster): $8,313,830

Even with this illegal, bloated roaster there's over $8 million dollars in salary cap space. It stands to reason resigned players like DeKeyser, Sheahan, and Tatar are going to see pay raises. The Red Wings are also not going to field nine defensemen on opening day so in the end the team will probably have about $10 million in cap space and a full lineup potentially ready for puck drop in October. The big question is whether Ken Holland will dip into that number for a chance at free agency, or will he stick to his team for now and assume injuries will lead to some necessary trades and incoming behemoth sized salaries. At the very least, it needs to be said that the Red Wings should inquire about improving their defense. Whether that means saying adieu to Quincey and one or more of Lashoff/Smith/Kindl is completely unknown, but fielding the same team isn't going to improve the results, even assuming no one gets injured.

So the question is simple. Where do the Red Wings go from here? Leave a comment below and we'll get to the bottom of this.
          Assessing the Detroit Red Wings 2013 Season   
Not a relevent photo for this post, but I was reflecting on what it means to have your number retired. Photo courtesy of "Schmackity" on Wikipedia.


With the season over thanks to an agonizing game seven overtime defeat at the hands of media favorites, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Detroit Red Wings have cleaned out their lockers and reflected on coming so far but just missing out on the Western Conference Finals. The series winning goal should have been the goal scored by Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, but NHL referee Steve Walkom botched the call and kept the game going. Unfortunately for the Red Wings they were unable to capitalize on this "second chance".


A lot of fans and blogs have already weighed in on the controversy about the blown goal call, the missed boarding call that should have been drawn by Gustav Nyquist, and the painful nature of the series ending goal. Rather than focus on how the season ended, I am going to push forward and celebrate the success of the 2013 Detroit Red Wings for being as successful as they were in a shortened, transitional season. The format for this review will involve short comments on the positive and negatives for each player on the roster. This is not meant to be a deeply analytic piece, just basic observations.

FORWARDS

Pavel Datsyuk
The Good: Datsyuk scored an impressive 15 goals and 34 assists, while remaining a +21 and finishing tied for first in takeaways (56). His faceoff percentage (55%) was impressive and was a human highlight reel all season. He's still the most complete player in the world and has the best attitude when it comes to playing the game.
The Bad: Datsyuk had a much quieter postseason than was expected, with just 3 goals and 9 points in Detroit's 14 playoff games. There isn't much to criticize when it comes to Datsyuk's game, but his playoff performance was less than expected.

Henrik Zetterberg
The Good: When the chips were down and the Red Wings had their backs against the wall, Zetterberg was the hero. In the final four games of the season, Zetterberg scored 2 goals and 8 assists to lead the Red Wings into the playoffs. His season stats (11 goals, 37 assists, 48 points) were a reason why the Red Wings survived a difficult season. Zetterberg has already proven he is an excellent leader on the ice and the perfect captain for a long, long time.
The Bad: Similarly to Datsyuk, Zetterberg was quieter in the playoffs than expected, especially against Chicago. He had two long streaks with no goals (nine and ten games) which contributed to a lesser season that what could have been.

Johan Franzen
The Good: Franzen finished third on the Red Wings with 14 goals and 17 assists, and was a real pest for teams trying to play defense.
The Bad: To be blunt, if Johan Franzen ever has a biography written, it should be titled "Streaky". His tendency to go ice cold during the regular season is infuriating and Mike Babcock himself commented on it a while back. For all the talk about Franzen in the playoffs, where's he been the last three seasons?

Damien Brunner
The Good: Brunner's first season in the NHL was positive; the Swiss scored 12 goals and 14 assists in 44 games. Brunner meshed very well with any line he was on, with or without fellow Swiss league teammate Henrik Zetterberg. Was electric on the ice with fellow youngsters Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson during the playoffs with 5 goals and 9 points.
The Bad: Brunner's scoring virtually disappeared in the second half of the season, scoring just twice in the regular season after a 2 goal, 2 assist performance against Vancouver that saw Roberto Luongo give up eight goals. Brunner took some time in the regular season to adapt to new linemates.


Valtteri Filppula
The Good: Defensively speaking, Filppula is everything you could ask for in a second line center. He contributed 17 points in a shortened season that saw him play just 41 games. Filppula was supposed to be THE next guy to elevate his game after a 60 point season, and still has that capacity...
The Bad: ...except he never stepped up on offence all season. Filppula was -4, barely shot the puck at all this season, and was injured at the beginning of Game Seven against Chicago. He was the lightning rod of criticism among fans and bloggers, leaving a lot of doubt whether he is worth the five million per season he has reportedly demanded. This was a season to forget for Filppula, and provided he dramatically drops his asking price in Detroit, I'd like to see him have the chance to redeem himself.

Daniel Cleary
The Good: Wow, the playoffs can make heros out of anyone if the effort is there. After racking up a respectable 9 goals and 15 points in the regular season, Cleary had 4 goals and 10 points during the playoff run. Cleary took a lot of hits and drew a lot of ire away from the superstars season long, which went unnoticed by myself for most of the season.
The Bad: To be blunt, Dan Cleary is a player who has seen better days and his inconsistently could lead to either retirement or a trade. He has a role on this team but he didn't quite fulfil it. His shot could use a little work but at his age, he's past his learning curve. And his peak. Maybe even past his decline, I'm not sure what to think after the playoffs.

Justin Abdelkader
The Good: "Abby" is the guy who mucks around in the corners and draws the fire away from Pavel Datsyuk. This year he scored 10 goals and 13 points, the former being a career high. At times he looked sufficient on the top line. Had 3 points in the playoffs.
The Bad: As much as Abdelkader is a popular guy for his work ethic, he lacks the skill needed to perform on the top line. Abby's rightful place is on the third or fourth line providing energy and effort. I want to argue he was misused this season, but Babcock is rarely wrong about anything and I'm rarely right about anything. The question is whether Abby goes back to a bottom six role where Cory Emmerton is already helming the fourth line and Darren Helm won't be injured forever.

Jordan Tootoo
The Good: Tootoo does exactly what he was signed to do: fight, hit, and sometimes score. He picked up 8 points in this role during the regular season, and provided some zest in the bottom six when the top six were struggling to score.
The Bad: I disagreed with his signing when it happened, and I still don't see his place on this team in the long term. He's obviously an NHL calibre player who plays the game with little ambiguity about his role, but does this team need someone to carry the team balls? I'm not convinced.

Patrick Eaves
The Good: Eaves picked up 8 points in 34 games and also provides zest in the bottom six. Except with 5% of the penalties! Plus, and I only speak for myself, he is a big fan favorite on the team. His recovery from a very scary concussion is inspiring.
The Bad: Eaves is one of several players who will be competing next year for limited bottom six positions. I don't think there is anything that distinguishes him from Tootoo, Nyquist, Cleary, Bertuzzi, Samuelsson, Miller, Emmerton, Tatar, Abdelkader, Helm, and whoever from Grand Rapids contends for a spot.

Drew Miller
The Good: Miller scored 8 points in 44 games, and provides Detroit with depth. Sound familiar?
The Bad: I could copy/paste the same information for Eaves, so the extra thing I will add for Miller is that he will be a UFA some July 1st.

Cory Emmerton
The Good: Emmerton registered 5 goals and 8 points, etc. He's actually a decent center. Don't look up his faceoff winning %, though.
The Bad: He may be a victim of circumstance where the Brunner-Andersson-Nyquist might be the third line moving forward and Darren Helm returning. I didn't think Emmerton would be here this year, but Helm's absence made him necessary.

Joakim Andersson
The Good: Andersson was quite impressive during the end of the regular season and playoffs, scoring five points in the postseason and providing a heaping pile of talent and energy to the bottom six forwards. He's only going to get better, unlike much of his competition for a roster spot.
The Bad: The hodgepodge of forwards Detroit has to resign, move, or reassign makes it hard to determine who stands out. The youth injected into Detroit had some growing pains, but they could just as easily be replaced by Cleary-Samuelsson-Bertuzzi if management is not confident they can repeat this season's improvements.

Tomas Tatar
The Good: Tatar scored 7 points in 18 games this season, and has kicked a lot of butt in Grand Rapids. He will find his way into a lineup in a season or two, but will he be patient for it? He has a lot of speed, as well.
The Bad: Tatar is in the same boat as the other young forwards, except he's lower on the depth chart and he may be asked to repeat his success in Grand Rapids, or he might get traded knowing there's more resources coming up behind him (Jurco, Frk).

Gustav Nyquist
The Good: Nyquist reminds me a LOT of a certain pair of Russian and Swedish players who have game breaking skillsets. Great hands and his 6 points in 22 games is going to increase next season. In the playoffs, Nyquist was dynamic with Andersson and Brunner, scoring 5 points.
The Bad: As electric as Nyquist is, he didn't impress me as having enough finish on plays where he generated chances. I may be wrong, but his inexperience led to his inability to finish fancy looking plays. He may have to fight a little bit harder to keep his spot, and negotiating with an unhappy Nyquist about his place on the team may lead to an inflated salary.


Todd Bertuzzi
The Good: Bert didn't have much of a season, playing in only 7 games and scoring 3 points. Bertuzzi was scoreless in 6 playoff games...there's really nothing to say except he didn't play worse than he has in previous seasons.
The Bad:The injury begs the question of whether he will be kept. Bert has a lot of upside compared to an unproven rookie...but now those rookies have shown they are the future. Will Bert be bought out?

Mikael Samuelsson
The Good: Samuelsson is a proven talent that can score goals when paired with the best players on the team. He had an assist in one of his 4 regular season games, that's more points than I scored this season.
The Bad: He was injured 200 times this season and might just be the worst signing of the 2012 NHL offseason. Jeff over at Winging it in Motown was right all along about him. He is the top choice for a buyout. It makes more sense to play any other forward than him.

Darren Helm
The Good: Helm played one game this season. He's possibly the best third line center in the league, when healthy.
The Bad: He's not healthy, and he's not done being unhealthy. This could spell trouble for his career as well as his tenure in Detroit.

Jan Mursak
The Good: Mursak made the best of his time in Detroit, and found a job elsewhere. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.
The Bad: There just wasn't a place for him in Detroit.

Riley Sheahan
The Good: Sheahan played one game this season without much fanfare. He looked good in Grand Rapids, I guess.
The Bad: Sheahan's previous criminal transgressions frustrate me. I know young men do stupid things but the Sheahan saga really soured me on him, even if he finds the means to move up the depth chart and into the Red Wings' lineup in the next three seasons. He has a lot to prove before then.

DEFENSE

Niklas Kronwall
The Good: This was Kronwall's first season as Detroit's top defenseman, and he registered a
respectful 5 goals and 29 points in the regular season. Kronwall is a physical defenseman who
isn't afraid to land game-changing hits, and he did so all season right until the very last goal
was conceded.
The Bad: Much was expected of Kronwall this season, and while following Nick Lidstrom was going to be a tall task, there were times where Kronwall didn't deliver the offence he has the
potential for. Two assists in 14 games during the postseason isn't acceptable from our top
defenseman.

Jonathan Ericsson
The Good: Many who watch the Red Wings could make the argument that Ericsson was the best defenseman on the team during this transitional season, and I buy in to that argument. While his offence was respectable (3 goals, 10 assists), Ericsson played a significantly more mature game than was expected, and that's what I take away from his season. I like the new nickname "Riggy".
The Bad: "Riggy" still takes untimely penalties, but was only slightly more visible on the
scoresheet than Kronwall with just 3 assists in 14 playoff games. I'm aware Ericsson isn't on
the team to score, but more was expected.

Jakub Kindl
The Good: Kindl served the team well while other defensemen were injured, scoring 4 goals and 9 assists in the regular season along with a goal and 4 assists in the playoffs. This season saw him resurrect his status from "expendable" to "reliable 5-6 defenseman". Scored a goal in the playoffs that sticks in my head as impressive.
The Bad: Kindl is still a bit of a whipping boy for criticism, with many gaffes occurring in the
playoffs. He's 26 and can't be sheltered as a "rookie" or "prospect" any longer. He's definitely
low on the depth chart and might still be expendable.


Brendan Smith
The Good: Smith had 8 assists in 34 games in the regular season, and 2 goals and 3 assists in
the playoffs. I'm very interested in seeing how he elevates his game in a full NHL season, as I
believe he will produce more offence than he already has.
The Bad: Smith is definitely the whipping boy of the defensive corps. He looked extremely
vulnerable during the playoffs and while he showed some offensive flair, he was responsible for
more goals.

Brian Lashoff
The Good: I really don't know where Lashoff came from but he was quite impressive during the
regular season as a 22 year old who was certainly not weened into his position like Smith was.
He has done great things in Grand Rapids and the future looks bright for him.
The Bad: Lashoff might wind up spending more time in Grand Rapids as there are more experienced
defenders who the Red Wings might consider putting in the lineup for the sake of "winning now".
I'm not sure he's paid enough dues to find a regular spot in the lineup yet.

Ian White
The Good: Ian White was supposed to be one of the top defenders on Detroit in a post-Lidstrom era, having gleaned some experience and good numbers from playing on a deep Detroit blueline. Had 4 points in 25 games despite limited playing time.
The Bad: White is not long for Detroit as he has a tendency to say stupid things to the media
and really has not been playing better than any of the other defensemen on this list. The former
isn't a good reason to get rid of him, but it makes more sense to play a younger defenseman
still capable of improving. He is a UFA so that doesn't work in his favor.

Kyle Quincey
The Good: Quincey had a goal and 3 points in an injury shortened lockout season. He was a solid defender in the bottom pairings and is a great story about having a second chance.
The Bad: He was acquired for a 1st round draft pick and is being paid 3.375 million dollars to
do what any number of our younger players would be capable of doing. Still has a year left, but
after that, if he doesn't improve, he's likely gone.

Carlo Colaiacovo
The Good: Cola looked good in the 15 games he played all season. I really can't remember
anything he did so this section is a wash.
The Bad: "Splodey Bones" is made of glass and while the 2.5 million cap hit is decent there are younger players who could use the playing experience. Might not like being a 6-7 option on this team.

Danny DeKeyser
The Good: The best available college free agent signed with the hometown team and impressed everyone by being an excellent first-pass defenseman who played with the maturity of a veteran during his limited playing time. He is the player I am most excited to watch play next season.
The Bad: The bad for DeKeyser so far is the fact that his limited playing time doesn't provide
enough data to know what he is capable of. His request of being in the lineup immediately
rustled my concern he could wind up demanding more money after the initial contract is done, but there's just not enough data to say much about him except we're all excited he's here.

Kent Huskins
The Good: Huskins stepped in when the team needed someone to be signed and fill the void. He did it well and found employment elsewhere.
The Bad: Nothing bad to say about a player in his situation. I hope he finds NHL employment
elsewhere.

GOALTENDERS

Jimmy Howard
The Good: Jimmy was Detroit's MVP all season and put up All-Star stats in the regular season and playoffs. He was the reason Detroit went the distance against Chicago and nearly defeated them.
The Bad: As elite as Howard was this season, even more will be expected next season in the new division against newer competition. I am unsure if he can repeat the same MVP-like season next year, but I wouldn't bet against him. I would like to see more rebound control, if I had to lodge a legitimate complaint.


Jonas Gustavsson
The Good: He didn't lose every game he played.
The Bad: His stats were poor, he was unreliable as a backup, and is due for a buyout.

Petr Mrazek
The Good: Mrazek has performed brilliantly for Grand Rapids all season, and he was quite
impressive in his two NHL games, especially his first career start, a 5-1 victory against the
St. Louis Blues.
The Bad: With only two games of NHL experience, it's hard to say whether Mrazek is ready to
shoulder a full season load of games as Detroit's backup. He's obviously the future of the team
in goal, but there's a lot of time before that becomes a reality, if it does.



          Joe Vardon: Carmelo Pushing For A Buyout, Trade Highly Unlikely; Holdup With Billups Not Affecting Cavs’ Offseason   
Joe Vardon talks about the Cavs' interest in bringing over Cedi Osman from Europe, Carmelo Anthony's push for a buyout and the Cavs' chances to acquire him if that happens, whether Kyrie Irving could appear on the trade market and the team's plan to retain Kyle Korver...
          Staples, Inc. Is Going Private as It Continues to Flounder   
Staples has accepted a $6.9 billion buyout offer from Sycamore Partners as its turnaround efforts have failed to get earnings per share growing again.
          Comment on NL Notes: Phillies, Mets, Cards, Dodgers by Marvels1022   
Wrong Thor.. if the player retires he is voiding the contract. He is still under control of the organization until contract is up, but he doesn't get paid for retiring unless the player and organization agree on a "buyout" to end the contract. If the organization cuts him then he still gets paid.
          Preparing for Emergencies - Part 6 Summary   
Tip #298 - Preparing for Emergencies - A Summary. I woke up this morning from a dream that I had started a blog a few years ago but somehow in the busyness of life pushed so far back in my mind that I kind-of, sort-of forgot about it. So this morning I checked and found out that it wasn't a dream at all, but that I really had started a blog and had not updated it for over 6 months! And the topic of emergencies that I left off with has been on the forefront of my mind, that I thought I'd do a summary of what I posted and what else I've learned lately.

I summarized in the first 5 parts of this series about what constitutes an emergency and how you can deal with it. Reading back over what I have wrote, I can heartily say I agree with my earlier thinking and continue to strongly emphasize the importance of being prepared more than just financially. While the money is a very big part of being prepared for an emergency, I know many people aren't in a financial position just yet to have a big fund put away. For them, they might not do any preparedness for emergencies because they think money is the only thing they can do. But as I've written about earlier and more things I've experienced over the past year dictates to me that being as ready as you can be for an emergency is much more than having an having an emergency fund. These other things are just as important:

1. Keeping up with your family, friends, and community. If an emergency strikes your family, the first ones who will likely help you whether you have emergency money or not are your extended family, your friends, and you community. While a recluse might garner the sympathy of a few neighbors or strangers, a person who keeps in contact with his family, surrounds himself with friends, and is a contributing member to his church, synagogue, mosque, knitter's group, book club, soccer league, professional group, etc. if much more likely to have lots of support during an emergency, whether it's emotional, financial, physical or any other needed kind.

2. Have a written plan. We discussed the most typical type of emergencies. Of course things rarely happen the way you plan, even emergencies, but taking note of the ones that are common and having a plan on how to deal with them is a big step in being able to handle what comes your way. This could include things like having a will, having a fire espcape route, a place you would go if a hurricane/earthquake/tornado hits your area, where you would store precious items if your damp basement floods, what you would do if you lost your job, etc.

3. Be emotionally ready. Today, with the presence of nearly instantaneous news, it's hard not to be reminded of all of the things that could go wrong in our lives. We are exposed to earthquakes on the other side of the world, floods in anothe region of the country, health scares in a neighboring state, and dangers in our own town. We witness the upheavel that people have experienced due to these events. And while we are sometimes quick to think, "that cannot happen here or that won't happen to me" the more we see these types of events, the more likely we are to realize that at some point, something emergency-like IS going to happen to us. And while we might not know what that emergency will be, we should be prepared to expect the unexpected. It might just mean doing some talking to your self to build yourself up that you can handle anything, it might mean turning to your religion to help you be preapred for anything emotionally, or it might mean that having taken all of the stpes I outlines in the other posts will be enough to help you deal with most any emergency that comes your way.

Of course nothing can fully prepare you for a devastating emergency, but the first step to meeting it head on is to be as prepared as you can be in advance.

In Real Life (IRL): It has been just about 1 year since we moved away from our home in Virginia and we are settled in our new home and no longer in emergency -preparedness mode with regard to having a job or a place to live, at least for now. However, I feel like with better communication with old friends through Facebook, and the instantaneous and constant news we receive has done a lot to open my eyes to emergencies that people face every day in their lives. We were exposed to almost daily news reports of Hurricane Sandy for several weeks this past fall along with posts from friends and old classmates about flooded homes, loss of power, and downed trees. Living not too far south of where the storm hit, it's easy for us to say, "it could have been us." And it could have been - easily. And next time it might be. Will we be prepared for it? We've take precautions. We have a generator, we have family to turn to if we need a place to stay. We have insurance. We have an emergency fund. We will take warnings seriously. Our home and possessions are important to us, but our lives are much more important.

As I cam getting older - mid-40's now! - I am starting to hear more from friends and former classmates about diseases and illnesses. We are no longer in our 20's when we think we will live forever. People my age are getting high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, and other devastating illnesses. A good friend of ours just received a second cancer diagnosis within 1 year's time. I see him and wonder how prepared is his family - financially, emotionally, and logistically to deal with this? What plans do they have in place? And I realize the importance of our health before even dealing with any thing else on this earth. Through social media, I also learned of an old college friend who recently lost her husband suddenly to illness. I noticed in the obituary that in lieu of flowers they asked for a donation to their children's college fund. In the midst of tragedy, that seems like a logical way to prepare for her children's future.

The economy seems to be improving, so I am hearing less and less of job loss, and more about increases in home prices, so that is good news for many people. But the recession of the last four years is still at the forefront of my mind. The economy we left in Washington, DC is much better generally than where we live now in North Carolina, so for me, it hasn't been as easy to find a part-time job. And I realize what I lost when I gave up my career 5 years ago (although I don't regret for one minute staying home with my children). I am now behind on skills, have a gap in my employment, and I have few contacts in this area. We are fortunate with my husband's good job. And while his company is doing well now, one round of layoffs or another buyout could end his job and leaves us in an area of the country that isn't as well off. We do have our emergency fund should that situation arise, and we aren't expecting it anytime soon, but after what we've witness since 2008, we are definitely aware of the possibility.

Emergencies come to us in many different ways. And often the emergency we get is not the one we predict. But being prepared for it financially by having an emergency fund, emotionally by having friends and being part of a community, and logistially by haivng a written plan and procedures in place, we will be better off to deal with an emergency that comes our way.

          Weighing the Price of Distillery Buyouts   
What happens when a beloved craft distiller gets acquired by a larger company?
          The Collusion Case Comes into Focus    

I should have known that when the evidence began to come to light, it would reveal a second-rate operation. The most prized witness here is dead but presumably he didn’t take his electronic records with him. The FBI is going to be very interested in talking to this John Szobocsan fellow. Very interested. It looks like he and the recently deceased Peter W. Smith were partners in DigaComm LLC, “a private equity and venture capital firm specializing in seed, start ups, emerging growth, mature, growth capital, industry consolidation, buyout, and early stage investments” that is no longer actively trading. And Mr. Szobocsan is up to his ears in Russian collusion. He made a big mistake when he decided to get on a call with Matt Tait, an “information security specialist for GCHQ” and talk about getting stolen documents from Russian hackers.

It is no overstatement to say that my conversations with Smith shocked me. Given the amount of media attention given at the time to the likely involvement of the Russian government in the DNC hack, it seemed mind-boggling for the Trump campaign—or for this offshoot of it—to be actively seeking those emails. To me this felt really wrong.

In my conversations with Smith and his colleague, I tried to stress this point: if this dark web contact is a front for the Russian government, you really don’t want to play this game. But they were not discouraged. They appeared to be convinced of the need to obtain Clinton’s private emails and make them public, and they had a reckless lack of interest in whether the emails came from a Russian cut-out. Indeed, they made it quite clear to me that it made no difference to them who hacked the emails or why they did so, only that the emails be found and made public before the election.

Trump obviously felt the same way. Of course, there’s a total absence of evidence that Clinton’s server was hacked at all. But we do pretty much know now that this “offshoot” of the Trump campaign was working with the Russians.

The story just didn’t make much sense—that is, until the Journal yesterday published the critical fact that U.S. intelligence has reported that Russian hackers were looking to get emails to Flynn through a cut-out during the Summer of 2016, and this was no idle speculation on my part.

Suddenly, my story seemed important—and ominous.

Matt Tait has now spilled the beans. He’s made it clear that Peter W. Smith convincingly made the case that he was working in concert with the Trump campaign and was dialed into their operation at a very high level. This was evident from the keen insights he had about the internal operations and conflicts within the campaign, and also from his representations that he was working in concert with Michael Flynn and his son, Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, and Sam Clovis. And, yes, there is documentary evidence that Smith made those representations.

The defense here will be that Smith was a rogue operator, but that defense will only stand up if there is no electronic trail to debunk it. All communications Smith had with principals in the campaign will now be subject to review.

A lot depends on what the investigators find.

And now we know why Trump wanted Comey to stop looking at Flynn, and why he fired Comey when he refused to comply.

Discuss


          7/1/2017: SPORTS: Devils plan to buy out forward Cammalleri   
NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this off-season. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes were New Jersey Devils forwards Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly, Florida Panthers...
          Controller - Policaro Automotive Family - Ontario   
Prepares cheques for dealer trades lease buyouts. The primary purpose of the role is to provide accounting oversight that includes commissioning, purchasing...
From Policaro Automotive Family - Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:48:17 GMT - View all Ontario jobs
          7/1/2017: SPORTS: Devils plan to buy out forward Cammalleri   
NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this off-season. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes were New Jersey Devils forwards Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly, Florida Panthers...
           Panthers buy out forward Jussi Jokinen    
The buyout is in accordance with the NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.
          Clash of Clans maker Supercell becomes Europe's first 'decacorn'   

The first $10bn technology company from Europe is Finland’s Supercell, following a buyout from Tencent

Finland’s Supercell has become Europe’s first ever “decacorn” – that’s a technology company worth $10bn – after a buyout from Chinese internet leviathan Tencent.

The deal will see Tencent and its partners secure an 84.3% stake in Supercell, best known for its Clash of Clans mobile game, paying $8.6bn (£5.78bn) for the pleasure. That values the overall company at $10.2bn, the first European technology startup to break that barrier.

Continue reading...
          Buyouts make Panthers, Devils even bigger free agent buyers   
Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon was already talking about getting aggressive in the free agent market. Now he has some extra room to do...
          The Latest: Alfredsson stepping down as Senators adviser   
FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2017, file photo, Florida Panthers left wing Jussi Jokinen (36) skates with the puck as Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Matt Calvert (11) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla. NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this offseason. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes was Jokinen. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

The Latest: Flyers sign Vecchione to 2-year deal


          Patrick Sharp rejoins Blackhawks on low-risk deal   

The Chicago Blackhawks are bringing back one of the most popular players in franchise history, even if he doesn’t exactly fit one of their most pressing needs.

Winger Patrick Sharp played 679 games with the Blackhawks, scoring 239 goals and 272 assists from 2005-15. He was an integral part of three Stanley Cup championship teams before becoming another integral part of the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup championship teams: a salary cap casualty, traded to the Dallas Stars in 2015 in a deal that brought Trevor Daley to the Blackhawks for a brief stint.

According to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times, Sharp is back with the Blackhawks on deal that carries a $1 million cap hit with performance bonuses. We’re still waiting on term.

He’s coming off his worst offensive season since his rookie year, an injury-filled campaign that saw him averaged just 0.17 goals per game in 48 games. He’s now three seasons removed from his last 30-goal season and is 35.

This deal is reminiscent of two trends for GM Stan Bowman. The first is the low cap hit veteran contract for a (former) star forward, like we saw when the Blackhawks signed center Brad Richards to a $1 million hit in 2014-15. (It helped that Richards was flush with New York Rangers buyout money.)

The second is an unending nostalgia trip from the Blackhawks, on which we’ve seen former Cup winners like Brian Campbell, Andrew Ladd and Johnny Oduya all return to the franchise after being cap casualties.

This offseason, we’ve already seen Brandon Saad brought back after a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets involving Artemi Panarin. And while we would never dare question the motivations behind such moves, we’ll simply note that Panarin didn’t advance past the first round in his two seasons in Chicago while the two former linemates of captain Jonathan Toews that have been acquired in the last two weeks won multiple Cups.

Also, they don’t play defense or center. Which the Blackhawks could use help with as well.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS



          Gilead's best M&A option? It's not oncology—it's Vertex, analyst insists   
More than two years ago, one analyst touted Vertex as Gilead’s best option for a buyout that could chip in top-line growth once times got hard in hepatitis C. Now, those times are here—and that analyst is still singing the same tune.
          Boeing To Start Trump Era With New Wave Of Downsizing   
A 32-year career at Boeing comes to a close in April for engineer Dave Baine of suburban Seattle. Baine was already prepared to retire when Boeing sealed the deal by making him a buyout offer last week. "It's better than a gold watch," he says. The deal is six months' pay in a lump sum and extended health insurance. "It'll help the younger folks that want to stick around and help some of the older folks exit quickly and quietly," he says. Boeing, the country's single largest exporter and one of the corporate sponsors of Friday's inauguration, enters the Donald Trump era with plans for buyouts and layoffs. This comes on top of nearly 11,000 job cuts across the company last year, according to a union tally. The company's PR department declined to say whether there's a specific target number for job cuts this year. Most of the trims are coming from the commercial jetliner workforce in western Washington state. Boeing has a lot of planes on order, but new jet sales are slowing. Plus,
          LaLa Names Four Teams Carmelo Could Go to if He Gets a Buyout (Video)   
LaLa Names Four Teams Carmelo Could Go to if He Gets a Buyout (Video)

          Jindal Addresses Bayou Corne's Sinkhole Problem   
Gov. Bobby Jindal and other state and local officials met with Texas Brine representatives on March 13. The company responsible for a giant sinkhole in Assumption Parish is sending appraisers to some evacuated homes in Bayou Corne on Monday. The Governor said company officials will also meet with the State Attorney General’s office on Monday. He said Texas Brine owes state and local governments 4 million dollars, combined, for costs incurred dealing with the disaster. Jindal has been criticized for a seeming lack of attention to residents’ plight. At a press conference last week, he dodged questions regarding the seven-month-old sinkhole and has yet to visit the site, even though he says he will next week. He frowned on how long it’s taken Texas Brine to compensate homeowners. “There was a saying during a previous incident, a local leader said, ‘When they said help was coming tomorrow, it just meant that help wasn’t coming today,’ – we kept hearing settlements and buyouts were coming,
          End-of-season thoughts on the Capitals - The Beginning   
So that’s it.  It’s over.  For the first time since the spring of 2007, the Washington Capitals are not in the NHL playoffs.  It’s an odd feeling; one that I felt was inevitable at some point over the last three seasons, and now that it has, it’s quite empty.  But it’s here.  And now, it’s time to fix it.

Here are some (very early and preliminary) thoughts about this team and how to do just that.

I’m not going to go in to deep detail over what finally sunk this team to the level they are at right now.  I’ve written about their problems ad nauseam over the last three years but especially this year and by now, you know what did them in: bad possession, bad coaching, bad lineup decisions, and poor roster construction.  This is nothing new if you’ve read anything I have written over the last 24 months.
In reality, this team should have counted itself very lucky over the last two seasons, but particularly last year, to make the playoffs.  It was their failure to realize this that has ultimately led us to this moment.  Instead of being proactive and trying to fix a flawed team with deep issues, the cracks were papered over with rhetoric, public relations work, and t-shirts celebrating yet another Southeast Division Championship.

Now that the team has finally missed the playoffs for the first time since “the rebuild,” an opportunity has presented itself for real change.  This means several things, including but not limited to new people in charge, up and down the totem pole.  It means a new coach/coaching staff and a new general manager.  Names I would consider for each position, respectively: Guy Boucher, Peter Laviolette, Dan Bylsma/Barry Trotz (should they become available); Jason Botterill, Al Macisaac, Wayne Thomas, Joe Will.

Central to the next regime and whoever runs it will be a return to what made the Capitals successful between 2008 and 2011.  What made them successful was a team commitment to possession, constant attack, speed, and scoring.  The roster was flush with offensive talent and it had a coaching staff that believed in the elements of successful hockey in today’s NHL.  The results were wonderful.  Yes, I know – the team didn’t get it done in the playoffs.  That doesn’t mean they weren’t successful, or their strategy didn’t have merit.  They were, and it did.  It’s not a coincidence that the team has gotten progressively worse – and alarmingly so – since Bruce Boudreau was fired.  And how about those Anaheim Ducks?

On to personnel – the Brooks Laich situation is quite the pickle.  A beloved member of the franchise and among its most marketable and personable, Laich has been a mainstay on this team for the better part of a decade.  But now he’s hurt, has been for most of the last two seasons, and often struggles to produce even when he is healthy.  If he’s healthy, the Capitals would be well served to exercise their second compliance buyout on him.  If not, they would be well served to try and find a trade partner for a team trying to get to the cap floor (Laich has a no-trade clause, but it is only five teams long).  His cap hit, even when healthy, far outweighs his value at this point for a cap team.  That $4.5 million off the cap for the next three seasons would be great.

Get rid of the right wing logjam.  Tom Wilson shouldn’t have been on this team at all this season, but in limited action this season he has proven to be a very talented player with a lot of upside despite being historically buried to an almost comical level.  That means a right wing has got to go, likely in a trade.  Glancing at the depth chart, I could see a player like Troy Brouwer being flipped along with a prospect or a pick for defensive help.  Teams are likely to see Brouwer’s 20-plus goals and jump at it, willing to give up something sizable, like a young defenseman, in return.  The same could be said for Joel Ward.  Sell high, folks.

Re-sign Mikhail Grabovski.  This is basic.  Grabo has been injured for a lot of this season but when healthy has been as advertised by just about everyone outside of those in the Toronto mainstream media.  He could be a big piece going forward and plays an important position.  In conjunction with this, I’d also like to get Eric Fehr playing wing again and bring in another center.  If Toronto is still interested in dumping Nazem Kadri…

In order to keep Grabovski, Dustin Penner has probably got to go and Jaroslav Halak has definitelygot to go, simply because of numbers.  Penner is a fine player and deserved better here but I have a feeling that GMs will pay up for him.  Halak just isn’t needed.  He will require a multi-year contract at a dollar figure north of $4m a season.  No thank you.


In conclusion, this scratches only the surface.  There are a lot of things that need to be addressed here, and I didn’t even mention the biggest one in some new defensive players.  There is a lot of work to be done, and the next few weeks will be very interesting.

          NHL teams steer clear of long-term deals   
FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, New Jersey Devils left wing Michael Cammalleri (13) races with the puck as Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Newark, N.J. NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this offseason. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes was Cammalleri. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

With NHL free agency set to open, all eyes on Ilya, too


          KKR exits Visma in one of Europe’s biggest software buyouts http://on.ft.com/2tlyvb0    
KKR exits Visma in one of Europe’s biggest software buyouts http://on.ft.com/2tlyvb0  KKR exits
          Family waste group buyout   
A LOCAL authority owned waste management firm has acquired a family-run rival in a deal set to create a £48 million group.
          Six University of Montana faculty members accept second round of buyouts   
none
          MySQL 5.4 New Features – Scaling up   
Has the Sun set on MySQL? Has the sun set on MySQL? I don’t think so. Even after the buyout from Oracle, Sun’s MySQL is still looking up. With a new release coming down the pipes, there is little reason to shy away from MySQL. After a controversial release of version 5.1 in December 2008, […]
          Weekly Commentary: The Road to Normalization   
The past week provided important support for the “peak monetary stimulus” thesis. There is mounting evidence that global central bankers are monitoring inflating asset prices with heightened concern. The intense focus on CPI is beginning to blur. They would prefer to be on a cautious path toward policy normalization.

June 25 – Financial Times (Claire Jones): “Global financial stability will be in jeopardy if low inflation lulls central banks into not raising interest rates when needed, the Bank for International Settlements has warned. The message about the dangers of sticking too closely to inflation targets comes as central banks in some of the world’s largest economies are considering how to end years of ultra-loose monetary policy after the global financial crisis… ‘Keeping interest rates too low for long could raise financial stability and macroeconomic risks further down the road, as debt continues to pile up and risk-taking in financial markets gathers steam,’ the bank said in its annual report. The BIS acknowledged that raising rates too quickly could cause a panic in markets that have grown used to cheap central bank cash. However, delaying action would mean rates would need to rise further and faster to prevent the next crisis. ‘The most fundamental question for central banks in the next few years is going to be what to do if the economy is chugging along well, but inflation is not going up,’ said Claudio Borio, the head of the BIS’s monetary and economics department… ‘Central banks may have to tolerate longer periods when inflation is below target, and tighten monetary policy if demand is strong — even if inflation is weak — so as not to fall behind the curve with respect to the financial cycle.’ …Mr Borio said many of the factors influencing wage growth were global and would be long-lasting. ‘If, as we think, the forces of globalisation and technology are relevant [in keeping wages low] and have not fully run their course, this will continue to put downward pressure on inflation,’ he said.”

While global markets easily ignored ramifications from the BIS’s (the central bank to central banks) annual report, the same could not be said for less than super dovish comments from Mario Draghi, my nominee for “the world’s most important central banker.”

June 27 – Financial Times (Katie Martin): “What’s that, you say? The ‘R-word’? Judging from the markets, Mario Draghi’s emphasis on reflation changes everything, and highlights the communications challenge lying ahead of the president of the European Central Bank. The ECB’s crisis-fighter-in-chief threw investors into a fit of the vapours on Tuesday when he said he was growing increasingly confident in the currency bloc’s economic recovery, and that ‘deflationary forces have been replaced by reflationary ones’.”

June 27 – Bloomberg (Annie Massa and Elizabeth Dexheimer): “Mario Draghi hinted at how he may sell a gradual unwinding of European Central Bank stimulus. The ECB president repeated his mantra that the Governing Council needs to be patient in letting inflation pressures build in the euro area and prudent in withdrawing support. At the same time, there’s room to tweak existing measures. ‘As the economy continues to recover, a constant policy stance will become more accommodative, and the central bank can accompany the recovery by adjusting the parameters of its policy instruments -- not in order to tighten the policy stance, but to keep it broadly unchanged.’ The comments echo an argument first made by Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann… With his nod to a frequent critic of quantitative easing who has been calling for an end of the 2.3 trillion-euro ($2.6 trillion) program, Draghi may have set the stage for a discussion in the coming months on phasing out asset purchases.”

When the ECB chose not to offer any policy clarification coming out of its June 8th meeting, wishful markets had Draghi holding out until September. The timeline was moved up, with the ECB president using the bank’s annual meeting, held this year in Sintra Portugal, to offer initial thoughts on how the ECB might remove accommodation. Market reaction was swift.

German 10-year bund yields surged 13 bps Tuesday and almost doubled this week to 47bps. French yield jumped 14 bps Tuesday – and 21 bps for the week - to 82 bps. European periphery bonds were under pressure. Italian 10-year yields rose 16 bps Tuesday and 24 bps for the week to 2.16%. Portuguese yields rose 14 bps Tuesday, ending the week at 3.03%. Draghi’s comments rattled bond markets around the globe. Ten-year Treasury yields rose seven bps to 2.21% (up 16 bps for the week), Canadian bonds 11 bps to 1.57% and Australian bonds 10 bps to 2.46%. Emerging market bonds also came under heavy selling pressure, with Eastern European bonds taking a pounding.

June 28 – Bloomberg (Robert Brand): “This is what it sounds like when doves screech. Less than 24 hours Mario Draghi jolted financial markets by saying ‘deflationary forces’ have been replaced by reflationary ones, European Central Bank officials reversed the script, saying markets had misinterpreted the central banker’s comments. What was perceived as hawkish was really meant to strike a balance between recognizing the currency bloc’s economic strength and warning that monetary support is still needed, three Eurosystem officials familiar with policymakers’ thinking said. Their dovish interpretation sparked a rapid unwinding of moves in assets from the euro to stocks and sovereign bonds.”

I don’t see it as the markets misinterpreting Draghi. Understandably, inflated Bubble markets have turned hyper-sensitive to the course of ECB policymaking. The ECB’s massive purchase program inflated a historic Bubble throughout European debt markets, a speculative Bubble that I believe unleashed a surge of global liquidity that has underpinned increasingly speculative securities markets.

If not for massive QE operations from the ECB and BOJ, I believe the 2016 global reversal in bond yields would have likely ushered in a major de-risking/deleveraging episode throughout global markets. Instead, powerful liquidity injections sustained speculative Bubbles throughout global fixed income, in the process spurring blow-off excess throughout global equities and risk assets more generally. Recalling the summer of 2007, everyone is determined to see the dance party rave indefinitely.

First-half QE has been estimated (by Bank of America) at (an incredible) $1.5 TN. Bubbling markets should come as no stunning surprise. At May highs, most European equities indices were sporting double-digit year-to-date gains. The S&P500 returned (price + dividends) almost 10% for the first half, with the more speculative areas of U.S. equities outperforming. The Nasdaq Composite gained 14.1% in the first-half, with the large company Nasdaq 100 (NDX) rising 16.1%. Despite this week’s declines, the Morgan Stanley High Tech index rose 20.3%, and the Semiconductors (SOX) jumped 14.2% y-t-d. The Biotechs (BTK) surged 9.7% during Q2, boosting y-t-d gains to 25.6%. The NYSE Healthcare Index gained 7.7% for the quarter and 15.3% y-t-d. The Nasdaq Transports jumped 9.7% during Q2, with the DJ Transports up 5.3%. The Nasdaq Other Financials rose 7.9% in the quarter.

Central banks have closely collaborated since the financial crisis. While always justifying policy stimulus on domestic grounds, it’s now been almost a decade of central bankers coordinating stimulus measures to address global system fragilities. I doubt the Fed would have further ballooned its balance sheet starting in late-2012 if not for the “European” financial crisis. In early-2016, the ECB and BOJ would not have so aggressively expanded QE programs – and the Fed not postponed “normalization” – if not for global ramifications of a faltering Chinese Bubble. All the talk of downside inflation risk was convenient cover for global crisis worries.

As Mario Draghi stated, the European economy is now on a reflationary footing. At least for now, Beijing has somewhat stabilized the Chinese Bubble. Powered by booming securities markets, global Credit continues to expand briskly. Even in Europe, the employment backdrop has improved markedly. It’s just become difficult for central bankers to fixate on tame consumer price indices with asset prices running wild.

Global market liquidity has become fully fungible, a product of multinational financial institutions, securities lending/finance and derivatives markets. The ECB and BOJ’s ultra-loose policy stances have worked to counteract the Fed’s cautious normalization strategy. Determined to delay the inevitable, Draghi now faces the scheduled year-end expiration of the ECB’s latest QE program, along with an impending shortage of German bunds available for purchase. Behind the scenes and otherwise, Germany is surely losing patience with open-ended “money” printing. This week’s annual ECB gathering provided an opportunity for Draghi to finally get the so-called normalization ball rolling. Despite his cautious approach, markets immediately feared being run over.

June 28 – Bloomberg (Alessandro Speciale): “Mario Draghi just got evidence that his call for ‘prudence’ in withdrawing European Central Bank stimulus applies to his words too. The euro and bond yields surged on Tuesday after the ECB president said the reflation of the euro-area economy creates room to pull back unconventional measures without tightening the stance. Policy makers noted the jolt that showed how hypersensitive investors are to statements that can be read as even mildly hawkish… Draghi’s speech at the ECB Forum in Sintra, Portugal, was intended to strike a balance between recognizing the currency bloc’s economic strength and warning that monetary support is still needed, said the officials…”

June 28 – Bloomberg (James Hertling, Alessandro Speciale, and Piotr Skolimowski): “Global central bankers are coalescing around the message that the cost of money is headed higher -- and markets had better get used to it. Just a week after signaling near-zero interest rates were appropriate, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney suggested on Wednesday that the time is nearing for an increase. His U.S. counterpart, Janet Yellen, said her policy tightening is on track and Canada’s Stephen Poloz reiterated he may be considering a rate hike. The challenge of following though after a decade of easy money was highlighted by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s attempt to thread the needle. Financial markets whipsawed as Eurosystem officials walked back comments Draghi made Tuesday that investors had interpreted as signaling an imminent change in monetary policy. ‘The market is very sensitive to the idea that a number of central banks are appropriately and belatedly reassessing the need for emergency policy accommodation,’ said Alan Ruskin, co-head of foreign exchange research at Deutsche Bank AG.”

Draghi and the ECB are hoping to duplicate the Fed blueprint – quite gingerly removing accommodation while exerting minimal impact on bond yields and risk markets more generally: Normalization without a meaningful tightening of financial conditions. This is unrealistic.

Current complacency notwithstanding, turning down the ECB QE spigot will dramatically effect global liquidity dynamics. Keep in mind that the removal of Fed accommodation has so far coincided with enormous counteracting market liquidity injections courtesy of the other major central banks. The ECB will not enjoy a similar luxury. Moreover, global asset prices have inflated significantly over the past 18 months, fueled at least in part by a major increase in speculative leverage.

There are three primary facets to QE dynamics worth pondering as central banks initiate normalization. The first is the size and scope of previous QE operations. The second is the primary target of liquidity-induced market flows. And third, to what extent have central bank measures and associated market flows spurred self-reinforcing speculative leveraging and market distortions. Inarguably, ECB and BOJ-induced flows over recent quarters have been massive. It is also reasonably clear that market flows gravitated primarily to equities and corporate Credit, asset classes demonstrating the most enticing inflationary biases. And there are as well ample anecdotes supporting the view that major speculative leveraging has been integral to myriad Bubbles throughout global risk markets. The now deeply ingrained view that the cadre of global central banks will not tolerate market declines is one of history’s most consequential market distortions.

And while the timing of the removal of ECB and BOJ liquidity stimulus remains uncertain, markets must now at least contemplate an approaching backdrop with less accommodation from the ECB and central banks more generally. With this in mind, Draghi’s comments this week could mark an important juncture for speculative leveraging. Increasingly unstable currency markets are consistent with this thesis. The days of shorting yen and euros and using proceeds for easy profits in higher-yielding currencies appear to have run their course. I suspect de-leveraging dynamics have commenced, though market impact has thus far been muted by ongoing ECB and BOJ liquidity operations.

June 27 – Reuters (William Schomberg, Marc Jones, Jason Lange and Lindsay Dunsmuir): “U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Tuesday that she does not believe that there will be another financial crisis for at least as long as she lives, thanks largely to reforms of the banking system since the 2007-09 crash. ‘Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis?’ Yellen said… ‘You know probably that would be going too far but I do think we're much safer and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don't believe it will be,’ she said.”

While headlines somewhat paraphrased Yellen’s actual comment, “We Will not see Another Crisis in Our Lifetime” is reminiscent of Irving Fisher’s “permanent plateau” just weeks before the great crash of 1929. While on the subject, I never bought into the popular comparison between 2008 and 1929 – and the related notion of 2008 as “the 100-year flood”. The 2008/09 crisis was for the most part a private debt crisis associated with the bursting of a Bubble in mortgage Credit – not dissimilar to previous serial global crises, only larger and somewhat more systemic. It was not, however, a deeply systemic debt crisis akin to the aftermath of 1929, which was characterized by a crisis of confidence in the banking system, the markets and finance more generally, along with a loss of faith in government policy and institutions. But after a decade of unprecedented expansion of government debt and central bank Credit, the stage has now been set for a more systemic 1929-like financial dislocation.

As such, it’s ironic that the Fed has branded the banking system cured and so well capitalized that bankers can now boost dividends, buybacks and, presumably, risk-taking. As conventional central bank thinking goes, a well-capitalized banking system provides a powerful buffer for thwarting the winds of financial crisis. Chair Yellen, apparently, surveys current bank capital levels and extrapolates to systemic stability. Yet the next crisis lurks not with the banks but within the securities and derivatives markets: too much leverage and too much “money” employed in trend-following trading strategies. Too much hedging, speculating and leveraging in derivatives. Market misperceptions and distortions on an epic scale.

Compared to 2008, the leveraged speculating community and the ETF complex are significantly larger and potentially perilous. The derivatives markets are these days acutely more vulnerable to liquidity issues and dislocation. Never have global markets been so dominated by trend-following strategies. It’s a serious issue that asset market performance – stocks, bond, corporate Credit, EM, real estate, etc. – have all become so tightly correlated. There are huge vulnerabilities associated with various markets having become so highly synchronized on a global basis. And in the grand scheme of grossly inflated global securities, asset and derivatives markets, the scope of available bank capital is trivial.

I realize that, at this late stage of the great bull market, such a question sounds hopelessly disconnected. Yet, when markets reverse sharply lower and The Crowd suddenly moves to de-risk, who is left to take the other side of what has become One Gargantuan “Trade”? We’re all familiar with the pat response: “Central banks. They’ll have no choice.” Okay, but I’m more interested in the timing and circumstances.

Central bankers are now signaling their desire to proceed with normalization, along with noting concerns for elevated asset prices. As such, I suspect they will be somewhat more circumspect going forward when it comes to backstopping the markets - than, say, back in 2013 with Bernanke’s “flash crash” or with the China scare of early-2016. Perhaps this might help to explain why the VIX spiked above 15 during Thursday afternoon trading. Even corporate debt markets showed a flash of vulnerability this week.


For the Week:

The S&P500 dipped 0.6% (up 8.2% y-t-d), and the Dow slipped 0.2% (up 8.0%). The Utilities fell 2.5% (up 6.2%). The Banks surged 4.4% (up 4.2%), and the Broker/Dealers jumped 2.6% (up 9.8%). The Transports rose 1.9% (up 5.7%). The S&P 400 Midcaps added 0.2% (up 5.2%), while the small cap Russell 2000 was unchanged (up 4.3%). The Nasdaq100 dropped 2.7% (up 16.1%), and the Morgan Stanley High Tech index sank 3.0% (up 20.3%). The Semiconductors were hit 4.9% (up 14.2%). The Biotechs dropped 3.9% (up 25.5%). With bullion dropping $15, the HUI gold index sank 4.5% (up 1.9%).

Three-month Treasury bill rates ended the week at 100 bps. Two-year government yields gained four bps to 1.38% (up 19bps y-t-d). Five-year T-note yields rose 13 bps to 1.89% (down 4bps). Ten-year Treasury yields jumped 16 bps to 2.30% (down 14bps). Long bond yields increased 12 bps to 2.84% (down 23bps).

Greek 10-year yields were little changed at 5.36% (down 166bps y-t-d). Ten-year Portuguese yields rose 10 bps to 3.03% (down 72bps). Italian 10-year yields surged 24 bps to 2.16% (up 35bps). Spain's 10-year yields jumped 16 bps to 1.54% (up 16bps). German bund yields surged 21 bps to 0.47% (up 26bps). French yields rose 21 bps to 0.82% (up 14bps). The French to German 10-year bond spread was unchanged at 35 bps. U.K. 10-year gilt yields jumped 23 bps to 1.26% (up 2bps). U.K.'s FTSE equities index fell 1.5% (up 11.2%).

Japan's Nikkei 225 equities index declined 0.5% (up 4.8% y-t-d). Japanese 10-year "JGB" yields gained three bps to 0.09% (up 5bps). France's CAC40 sank 2.8% (up 5.3%). The German DAX equities index was hit 3.2% (up 7.4%). Spain's IBEX 35 equities index fell 1.8% (up 11.7%). Italy's FTSE MIB index declined 1.2% (up 7.0%). EM equities were mostly higher. Brazil's Bovespa index rallied 3.0% (up 4.4%), and Mexico's Bolsa gained 1.8% (up 9.2%). South Korea's Kospi increased 0.6% (up 18%). India’s Sensex equities index declined 0.7% (up 16.1%). China’s Shanghai Exchange rose 1.1% (up 2.9%). Turkey's Borsa Istanbul National 100 index added 0.8% (up 28.5%). Russia's MICEX equities index gained 0.6% (down 15.8%).

Junk bond mutual funds saw outflows of $1.735 billion (from Lipper).

Freddie Mac 30-year fixed mortgage rates dipped two bps to 3.88% (up 40bps y-o-y). Fifteen-year rates were unchanged at 3.17% (up 39bps). The five-year hybrid ARM rate gained three bps to 3.17% (up 47bps). Bankrate's survey of jumbo mortgage borrowing costs had 30-yr fixed rates up a basis point to 4.01% (up 34bps).

Federal Reserve Credit last week added $0.8bn to $4.431 TN. Over the past year, Fed Credit declined $5.0bn. Fed Credit inflated $1.620 TN, or 58%, over the past 242 weeks. Elsewhere, Fed holdings for foreign owners of Treasury, Agency Debt jumped another $17.9bn last week to $3.310 TN. "Custody holdings" were up $83bn y-o-y, 2.6%.

M2 (narrow) "money" supply last week slipped $4.3bn to $13.510 TN. "Narrow money" expanded $686bn, or 5.4%, over the past year. For the week, Currency increased $2.7bn. Total Checkable Deposits fell $12.7bn, while Savings Deposits gained $6.9bn. Small Time Deposits were little changed. Retail Money Funds fell $4.1bn.

Total money market fund assets added $4.2bn to $2.621 TN. Money Funds fell $96bn y-o-y (3.5%).

Total Commercial Paper declined $5.4bn to $973.6bn. CP declined $77bn y-o-y, or 7.4%.

Currency Watch:

The U.S. dollar index fell 1.7% to 95.628 (down 6.6% y-t-d). For the week on the upside, the Swedish krona increased 3.4%, the British pound 2.4%, the Canadian dollar 2.3%, the euro 2.1%, the Australian dollar 1.6%, the Norwegian krone 1.3%, the Swiss franc 1.2%, the Brazilian real 1.1%, the Singapore dollar 0.8% and the New Zealand dollar 0.7%. For the week on the downside, the South African rand declined 1.6%, the Japanese yen 1.0%, the Mexican peso 0.6% and the South Korean won 0.4%. The Chinese renminbi gained 0.82% versus the dollar this week (up 2.42% y-t-d).

Commodities Watch:

The Goldman Sachs Commodities Index surged 5.3% (down 6.5% y-t-d). Spot Gold declined 1.2% to $1,242 (up 7.7%). Silver slipped 0.5% to $16.627 (up 4.0%). Crude rallied $3.03 to $46.04 (down 15%). Gasoline jumped 5.6% (down 9%), and Natural Gas rose 3.6% (down 19%). Copper gained 2.9% (up 8%). Wheat surged 11.1% (up 29%). Corn jumped 4.2% (up 8%).

Trump Administration Watch:

June 27 – Bloomberg (Steven T. Dennis and Laura Litvan): “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to delay a vote on health-care legislation came as a relief to some Republican holdouts, but it sets off what will be a furious few weeks of talks to deliver on the GOP’s seven-year promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Senate Republicans went to the White House Tuesday afternoon to meet with President Donald Trump, who also promised his political supporters he would do away with Obamacare. ‘We’re going to solve the problem,’ the president told senators. But Trump also conceded the possibility that the health bill wouldn’t pass. ‘If we don’t get it done, it’s just going to be something that we’re not going to like,’ he said… ‘And that’s OK, and I understand that very well.’”

June 29 – Reuters: “Congress will need to raise the nation's debt limit and avoid defaulting on loan payments by ‘early to mid-October,’ the Congressional Budget Office said in a report… Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has encouraged Congress to raise the limit before the legislative body leaves for their August recess. But it remains unclear if a bipartisan agreement has been struck to allow the limit to be raised, as both chambers continue to be weighed down by health care and tax reform and trying to find an agreement to fund the government after the September 30 deadline.”

June 30 – CNBC (Fred Imbert): “President Donald Trump's White House is ‘hell-bent’ on imposing tariffs on steel and other imports, Axios reported Friday. The plan — which was pushed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and was supported by National Trade Council Peter Navarro, and policy adviser Stephen Miller — would potentially impose tariffs in the 20% range… During a ‘tense’ meeting Monday, the president made it clear he favors tariffs, yet the plan was met with heavy opposition by most officials in the room, with one telling Axios about 22 were against it and only three in favor, including Trump.”

June 29 – Financial Times (Stefan Wagstyl): “Angela Merkel threw down the gauntlet to Donald Trump as Germany’s chancellor pledged to fight at next week’s G20 summit for free trade, international co-operation and the Paris climate change accord. In a combative speech on Thursday in the German parliament, Ms Merkel also promised to focus on reinforcing the EU, in close co-operation with France, despite the pressing issue of Brexit. But in a sign that it may be difficult to maintain European unity around a tough approach to Mr Trump, Ms Merkel later softened her tone, as she prepares to host G20 leaders in Hamburg next Friday.”

June 27 – Bloomberg (Joe Light): “Two U.S. senators working on a bipartisan overhaul of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are seriously considering a plan that would break up the mortgage-finance giants, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The proposal by Tennessee Republican Bob Corker and Virginia Democrat Mark Warner would attempt to foster competition in the secondary mortgage market… Corker and Warner’s push to develop a plan marks Congress’ latest attempt to figure out what to do with Fannie and Freddie, an issue that has vexed lawmakers ever since the government took control of the companies in 2008 as the housing market cratered. The lawmakers’ plan is still being developed, and a Senate aide who asked not to be named cautioned that no decisions had been made on any issues.”

China Bubble Watch:

June 25 – Financial Times (Minxin Pei): “The Chinese government has just launched an apparent crackdown on a small number of large conglomerates known in the west chiefly for their aggressive dealmaking. The list includes Dalian Wanda, Anbang, Fosun and HNA Group. The news that Chinese banking regulators have asked lenders to examine their exposure to these companies has sent the stocks of groups wholly or partly owned by these conglomerates tumbling in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Obviously, the market was caught by surprise. But it should not be… The immediate trigger is Beijing’s growing alarm over the risks in China’s financial sector and attempt to cut capital outflows. In late April, President Xi Jinping convened a politburo meeting specifically focused on stability in the financial system. Foreshadowing the crackdown, he ordered that those ‘financial crocodiles’ that destabilise China’s financial system must be punished.”

June 26 – Wall Street Journal (Anjani Trivedi): “As Beijing looks to rein in companies that have splurged on overseas deals, it is talking up the systemic risks to its financial system. But just how serious is the problem? After all, for years Beijing has urged leading companies to ‘go global,’ and encouraged banks to support them with lending. Its words were taken to heart: Companies like sprawling conglomerate HNA Group and insurer Anbang pushed the country’s outbound acquisitions to more than $200 billion last year… Now… regulators are investigating leverage and risks at banks associated with China Inc.’s bulging overseas deals. It’s clear that Chinese banks are already heavily exposed to China’s big deal makers through basic lending. Chinese lenders had extended more than 500 billion yuan ($73.14bn) of loans to HNA alone as of last year…”

June 26 – Bloomberg: “China may finally be ready to cut the cord when it comes to the country’s troubled local government financing vehicles. Beijing’s deleveraging drive has seen rules impacting LGFV debt refinancing tightened, spurring a slump in issuance by the vehicles, which owe about 5.6 trillion yuan ($818bn) to bondholders and are seen by some as the poster children for China’s post-financial crisis debt woes. Signs the authorities may be taking a less sympathetic view of the sector has ratings companies flagging the possibility that 2017 could see the first ever default by a local financing vehicle.”

June 29 – Reuters (Yawen Chen and Thomas Peter): “The struggles of China's small and medium-sized firms have grown so acute that many are expected to become unprofitable or even go belly-up this year, boding ill for an economy running short on strong growth drivers. The companies - which account for over 60% of China's $11 trillion gross domestic product - have entered the most challenging funding environment in years as Beijing cracks down on easy credit to contain a dangerous debt build-up. Many of the firms - mostly in the industrial, transport, wholesale, retail, catering and accommodation sectors - are already grappling with soaring costs, fierce competition and thinning profits. The strains faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are expected to grow more visible as Beijing deflates a real estate bubble and eases infrastructure spending to dial back its fiscal stimulus.”

June 29 – Reuters (Leika Kihara and Stanley White): “One of Chinese banks’ favorite tools for increasing leverage has staged a remarkable but worrisome comeback just two months after a regulatory crackdown on leveraged investment… Chinese banks’ issuance of negotiable certificates of deposit in June nearly hit the high recorded in March… NCDs, a type of short-term loan, have become extremely popular in recent years with Chinese banks, especially smaller lenders due to their weaker ability to attract deposits. During a clampdown on runaway debt in April, Chinese regulators warned banks against abusing the tool for speculative, leveraged bets in capital markets. But after a deep but brief drop, NCD issuance has risen again as regulatory attention appeared to ease in recent weeks, hitting 1.96 trillion yuan ($287.73bn) this month, up sharply from 1.23 trillion yuan in May and just a touch below March’s record 2.02 trillion yuan."

June 28 – Financial Times (Gabriel Wildau): “Capital flight disguised as overseas tourism spending has artificially cut China’s reported trade surplus while masking the extent of investment outflows, according to research by the US Federal Reserve. A significant share of overseas spending classified in official data as travel-related shopping, entertainment and hospitality may over a 12-month period have instead been used for investment in financial assets and real estate, the Fed paper argued… Disguised capital outflows in the year to September may have amounted to $190bn, or 1.7% of gross domestic product… Chinese households have in recent years looked at ways to skirt government-imposed limitations on foreign investment as its economy slowed and the renminbi depreciated.”

June 28 – Bloomberg (Joe Ryan): “As Elon Musk races to finish building the world’s biggest battery factory in the Nevada desert, China is poised to leave him in the dust. Chinese companies have plans for additional factories with the capacity to pump out more than 120 gigawatt-hours a year by 2021, according to a report… by Bloomberg Intelligence. That’s enough to supply batteries for around 1.5 million Tesla Model S vehicles or 13.7 million Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrids per year… By comparison, when completed in 2018, Tesla Inc.’s Gigafactory will crank out up to 35 gigawatt-hours of battery cells annually.”

June 28 – CNBC (Geoff Cutmore): “China's economic growth will accelerate because the country will finally get leaders who aren't scared, a former advisor to China's central bank said Wednesday. ‘The most important reason is that there is a new group of officials being appointed ... (who will emerge) around the 19th Party Congress which will be in mid to late October,’ said Li Daokui, who is now Dean of the Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University in Beijing. …Li said the Chinese economy will grow 6.9 to 7 percent by 2018 from 6.7 percent in 2017. China posted 6.7% GDP growth in 2016, the slowest in 26 years. ‘These (new) officials have been carefully, carefully scrutinized before they are appointed so they are clean. They are not worried about becoming targets of anti-corruption investigations,’ he added.”

Europe Watch:

June 26 – Bloomberg (Sonia Sirletti and Alexander Weber): Italy orchestrated its biggest bank rescue on record, committing as much as 17 billion euros ($19bn) to clean up two failed banks in one of its wealthiest regions, a deal that raises questions about the consistency of Europe’s bank regulations. The intervention at Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA and Veneto Banca SpA includes state support for Intesa Sanpaolo SpA to acquire their good assets for a token amount… Milan-based Intesa can initially tap about 5.2 billion euros to take on some assets without hurting capital ratios, Padoan said. The European Commission approved the plan.”

June 28 – Reuters (Gernot Heller and Joseph Nasr): “Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble… underscored Germany's concerns about what he called a regulatory loophole after the EU cleared Italy to wind up two failed banks at a hefty cost to local taxpayers. Schaeuble told reporters that Europe should abide by rules enacted after the 2008 collapse of U.S. financial services firm Lehman Brothers that were meant to protect taxpayers. Existing European Union guidelines for restructuring banks aimed to ensure ‘what all political groups wanted: that taxpayers will never again carry the risks of banks,’ he said. Italy is transferring the good assets of the two Veneto lenders to the nation's biggest retail bank, Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI), as part of a transaction that could cost the state up to 17 billion euros ($19 billion).”

June 25 – Reuters (Balazs Koranyi and Erik Kirschbaum): “The time may be nearing for the European Central Bank to start discussing the end of unprecedented stimulus as growth and inflation are both moving in the right direction, Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. Weidmann, who sits on the ECB's rate-setting Governing Council, also said that the bank should not make any further changes to the key parameters of its bond purchase scheme, comments that signal opposition to an extension of asset buys since the ECB will soon hit its German bond purchase limits. Hoping to revive growth and inflation, the ECB is buying 2.3 trillion euros worth of bonds…, a scheme known as quantitative easing and long opposed by Germany… The purchases are set to run until December and the ECB will decide this fall whether to extend it… ‘As far as a possible extension of the bonds-buying program goes, this hasn't yet been discussed in the ECB Council,’ Weidmann told the newspaper…”

June 26 – Bloomberg (Carolynn Look): “It seems the sky is the limit for Germany’s economy. Business confidence -- logging its fifth consecutive increase -- jumped to the highest since 1991 this month, underpinning optimism by the Bundesbank that the upswing in Europe’s largest economy is set to continue. With domestic demand supported by a buoyant labor market, risks to growth stem almost exclusively from global forces. ‘Sentiment among German businesses is jubilant,’ Ifo President Clemens Fuest said… ‘Germany’s economy is performing very strongly.’”

June 29 – Reuters (Pete Schroeder and David Henry): “German inflation probably accelerated in June, regional data suggested on Thursday, suggesting a solid upswing in the economy is pushing up price pressures as euro zone inflation moves closer to the European Central Bank's target. The data comes only days after ECB head Mario Draghi hinted that the bank's asset-purchase program would become less accommodative going into 2018 as regional growth gains pace and inflation trends return following a period of falling prices. In another sign of rising price pressures in the 19-member single currency bloc, Spanish consumer prices rose more than expected in June… In the German state of Hesse, annual inflation rose to 1.9% in June from 1.7% in May…”

June 28 – Reuters (Gavin Jones and Steve Scherer): “He is an 80-year-old convicted criminal whose last government ended with Italy on the brink of bankruptcy - and he may well be kingmaker at the next election within a year. Mayoral elections on Sunday showed four-time Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's center-right Forza Italia party remains a force to be reckoned with... ‘Berlusconi sees this as the last challenge of his career,’ said Renato Brunetta, a close ally for over 20 years and Forza Italia's lower house leader. ‘He feels he has suffered many injustices and deserves one last shot. Who can deny him that?’ Matteo Renzi, leader of the ruling Democratic Party (PD), and Beppe Grillo's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement have dominated the national scene in recent years, relegating Forza Italia to a distant third or fourth in the polls. Yet in the mayoral ballots, Forza Italia and its anti-immigrant Northern League allies trounced the PD and 5-Star in cities all over the country, suggesting they have momentum behind them just as the national vote comes into view.”

Central Bank Watch:

June 27 – Wall Street Journal (Tom Fairless): “The euro soared to its biggest one-day gain against the dollar in a year and eurozone bond prices slumped after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hinted the ECB might start winding down its stimulus in response to accelerating growth in Europe. Any move by the ECB toward reducing bond purchases would put it on a similar policy path as the Federal Reserve, which first signaled an intent to taper its own stimulus program in 2013. But the ECB is likely to remain far behind: The Fed has been raising interest rates gradually since December 2015, while the ECB’s key rate has been negative since June 2014. Mr. Draghi’s comments, made Tuesday at the ECB’s annual economic policy conference in Portugal, were laced with caution and caveats. But investors interpreted them as a cue to buy euros and sell eurozone bonds, a reversal of a long-term trade that has benefited from the central bank’s €60 billion ($67.15bn) of bond purchases each month. ‘All the signs now point to a strengthening and broadening recovery in the euro area,’ Mr. Draghi said.”

June 28 – Financial Times (Dan McCrum and Chris Giles in London and Claire Jones): “Bond and currency markets whipsawed on Wednesday as Europe’s two most influential central bankers struggled to communicate to investors how they would exit from years of crisis-era economic stimulus policies. The euro surged to a 52-week high against the dollar after investors characterised remarks by Mario Draghi as a signal he was preparing to taper the European Central Bank’s bond-buying scheme — only to drop almost a full cent after senior ECB figures made clear he had been misinterpreted. Similarly, the British pound jumped 1.2% to $1.2972 after Mark Carney, Bank of England governor, said he was prepared to raise interest rates if UK business activity increased — just a week after saying ‘now is not yet the time’ for an increase. The sharp moves and sudden reversals over two days of heavy trading highlight the acute sensitivity of financial markets to any suggestion of a withdrawal of stimulus measures after a prolonged period of monetary accommodation.”

June 25 – Reuters (Marc Jones): “Major central banks should press ahead with interest rate increases, the Bank for International Settlements said…, while recognizing that some turbulence in financial markets will have to be negotiated along the way. The BIS, an umbrella body for leading central banks, said in one of its most upbeat annual reports for years that global growth could soon be back at long-term average levels after a sharp improvement in sentiment over the past year. Though pockets of risk remain because of high debt levels, low productivity growth and dwindling policy firepower, the BIS said policymakers should take advantage of the improving economic outlook and its surprisingly negligible effect on inflation to accelerate the ‘great unwinding’ of quantitative easing programs and record low interest rates.”

Brexit Watch:

June 27 – Reuters (Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton): “Prime Minister Theresa May struck a deal on Monday to prop up her minority government by agreeing to at least 1 billion pounds ($1.3bn) in extra funding for Northern Ireland in return for the support of the province's biggest Protestant party. After over two weeks of talks and turmoil sparked by May's failure to win a majority in a June 8 snap election, she now has the parliamentary numbers to pass a budget and a better chance of passing laws to take Britain out of the European Union.”

Global Bubble Watch:

June 28 – Wall Street Journal (Richard Barley): “Sometimes financial markets are surprisingly bad at connecting the dots—until they can’t ignore the picture forming before their eyes. The screeching U-turn in bond markets is a good example. The world’s central banks are sending out a message that loose monetary policy can’t last forever. The shift is mainly rhetorical, and action may yet be some way off. But expectations matter, as they did when the Federal Reserve indicated in 2013 that its quantitative-easing program could be wound down. That caused global bond yields to surge, led by the U.S., and sparked extended turmoil in emerging markets. This time, the bond reversal has been centered on Europe. Ten-year German bund yields started Tuesday just below 0.25%, but by Wednesday afternoon stood at 0.37%. That helped lift bond yields elsewhere, since low German yields have been acting as an anchor. The selloff in the bund Tuesday was the worst in 22 months…”

June 28 – Reuters (Sujata Rao): “Global debt levels have climbed $500 billion in the past year to a record $217 trillion, a new study shows, just as major central banks prepare to end years of super-cheap credit policies. World markets were jarred this week by a chorus of central bankers warning about overpriced assets, excessive consumer borrowing and the need to begin the process of normalizing world interest rates from the extraordinarily low levels introduced to offset the fallout of the 2009 credit crash. This week, U.S. Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen has warned of expensive asset price valuations, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has tightened controls on bank credit and European Central Bank head Mario Draghi has opened the door to cutting back stimulus, possibly as soon as September. Years of cheap central bank cash has delivered a sugar rush to world equity markets, pushing them to successive record highs. But another side effect has been explosive credit growth as households, companies and governments rushed to take advantage of rock-bottom borrowing costs. Global debt, as a result, now amounts to 327% of the world's annual economic output, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) said in a report…”

June 26 – Bloomberg (Garfield Clinton Reynolds and Adam Haigh): “Greed seems to be running the show in global markets. Fear has fled, and that may be the biggest risk of all. Currency volatility just hit a 20-month low, Treasury yields are in their narrowest half-year trading range since the 1970s and the U.S. equities fear gauge, the VIX, is stuck near a two-decade nadir. While markets have signaled complacency in the face of Middle East tensions, the withdrawal of Federal Reserve stimulus and President Donald Trump’s tweetstorms, the Bank for International Settlements flagged on Sunday that low volatility can spur risk-taking with the potential to unwind quickly.”

June 27 – Bloomberg (Annie Massa and Elizabeth Dexheimer): “The growing market for exchange-traded funds hasn’t been fully put to the test, according to one of the top U.S. speed trading firms. Ari Rubenstein, chief executive officer and co-founder of Global Trading Systems LLC, told lawmakers… that while investment dollars have flooded the U.S. ETF market, the new order has not endured an extreme period of stress. Volatility, a measure of market uncertainty, has remained low. ‘In some ways the markets are a bit untested,’ Rubenstein said… ‘It’s definitely something we should talk about to make sure industry participants are prepared in those instruments.’”

June 29 – Financial Times (Javier Espinoza): “Private equity buyouts have enjoyed the strongest start to a year since before the financial crisis as fund managers have come under intense pressure from investors to deploy some of the record amount of capital they hold. The volume of deals involving private equity firms climbed 29% to $143.7bn in the first half of the year, the highest level since 2007, according to… Thomson Reuters.”

June 27 – Bloomberg (Enda Curran and Stephen Engle): “Investors aren’t sufficiently pricing in a growing threat to economic and financial market stability from geopolitical risks, and the latest global cyberattack is an example of the damage that can be wreaked on trade, Cornell University Professor Eswar Prasad said. His remarks came as a virus similar to WannaCry reached Asia after spreading from Europe to the U.S. overnight, hitting businesses, port operators and government systems.”

Fixed Income Bubble Watch:

June 27 – CNBC (Ann Saphir): “Bond investors may soon pay a hefty price for being too pessimistic about the economy, according to portfolio manager Joe Zidle. Zidle, who is with Richard Bernstein Advisors, believes the vast amount of money flowing into long-duration bonds is signaling a costly mistake. ‘Last week alone, there is a 20-year plus treasury bond ETF that in one week got more inflows than all domestic equity mutual funds, and all domestic equity ETFs combined year-to-date,’ he said… He added: ‘I think investors are going to be in a real painful trade.’”

June 26 – Bloomberg (Mary Williams Walsh): “The United States Virgin Islands is best known for its powdery beaches and turquoise bays, a constant draw for the tourists who frequent this tiny American territory. Yet away from the beaches the mood is ominous, as government officials scramble to stave off the same kind of fiscal collapse that has already engulfed its neighbor Puerto Rico. The public debts of the Virgin Islands are much smaller than those of Puerto Rico, which effectively declared bankruptcy in May. But so is its population, and therefore its ability to pay. This tropical territory of roughly 100,000 people owes some $6.5 billion to pensioners and creditors.”

Federal Reserve Watch:

June 28 – Bloomberg (Jill Ward, Lucy Meakin, and Christopher Condon): “Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave no indication her plans for continued monetary policy tightening had shifted while acknowledging that some asset prices had become ‘somewhat rich.’ ‘We’ve made very clear that we think it will be appropriate to the attainment of our goals to raise interest rates very gradually,’ she said… In her first public remarks since the U.S. central bank hiked rates on June 14, Yellen said that asset valuations, by some measures ‘look high, but there’s no certainty about that.’ ‘Asset valuations are somewhat rich if you use some traditional metrics like price earnings ratios, but I wouldn’t try to comment on appropriate valuations, and those ratios ought to depend on long-term interest rates,” she said.”

June 27 – Bloomberg (Christopher Condon): “Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer pointed to higher asset prices as well as increased vulnerabilities for both household and corporate borrowers in warning against complacency when gauging the safety of the global financial system. ‘There is no doubt the soundness and resilience of our financial system has improved since the 2007-09 crisis,’ Fischer said… ‘However, it would be foolish to think we have eliminated all risks.’”

June 28 – Bloomberg (Luke Kawa): “When a trio of Federal Reserve officials delivered remarks on Tuesday, the state of U.S. financial markets came in for a little bit of criticism. When all was said and done, U.S. equities sank the most in six weeks, yields on 10-year Treasuries rose and the dollar weakened to the lowest level versus the euro in 10 months. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that asset valuations, by some measures ‘look high, but there’s no certainty about that.’ Earlier, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said the stock market ‘seems to be running very much on fumes’ and that he was ‘somewhat concerned about the complacency in the market.’ Fed Vice-Chair Stanley Fischer suggested that there had been a ‘notable uptick’ in risk appetite that propelled valuation ratios to very elevated levels.”

June 27 – Reuters (Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton): “With the U.S. economy at full employment and inflation set to hit the Federal Reserve's 2% target next year, the U.S. central bank needs to keep raising rates gradually to keep the economy on an even keel, a Fed policymaker said… ‘If we delay too long, the economy will eventually overheat, causing inflation or some other problem,’ San Francisco Fed President John Williams said… ‘Gradually raising interest rates to bring monetary policy back to normal helps us keep the economy growing at a rate that can be sustained for a longer time.’”

June 29 – Financial Times (Alistair Gray and Barney Jopson): “Regulators have given US banks the go-ahead to pay out almost all their earnings to shareholders this year in a signal of their confidence in the health of the financial system. The Federal Reserve has given the green light to a record level of post-crisis distributions, including an estimated total of almost $100bn from the six largest banks. All 34 institutions passed the second part of its annual stress test, although the Fed did call out weaknesses in capital planning at Capital One… The big six US banks — Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — are set to return to shareholders between $95bn and $97bn over the next four quarters, according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Gerard Cassidy. That is about 50% more than they were able to hand out after last year’s exam.”

U.S. Bubble Watch:

June 27 – Wall Street Journal (Shibani Mahtani and Douglas Belkin): “This is what happens when a major American state lets its bills stack up for two years. Hospitals, doctors and dentists don’t get paid for hundreds of millions of dollars of patient care. Social-service agencies help fewer people. Public universities and the towns that surround them suffer. The state’s bond rating falls to near junk status. People move out. A standoff in Illinois between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic Speaker of the House Michael Madigan over spending and term limits has left Illinois without a budget for two years. State workers and some others are still getting paid because of court orders and other stopgap measures, but bills for many others are piling up. The unpaid backlog is now $14.6 billion and growing.”

June 28 – Bloomberg Business Week (Elizabeth Campbell and John McCormick): “Two years ago, Illinois’s budget impasse meant that the state’s lottery winners had to wait for months to get their winnings. Now, with $15 billion in unpaid bills, Illinois is on the brink of being unable to even sell Powerball tickets. For the third year in a row, the state is poised to begin its fiscal year on July 1 with no state budget and billions of dollars in the red. If that happens, S&P Global Ratings says Illinois will probably lose its ­investment-grade status and become the first U.S. state on record to have its general obligation debt rated as junk. Illinois is already the worst-rated state at BBB-, S&P’s lowest investment-grade rating. The state owes at least $800 million in interest and late fees on its unpaid bills.”

June 26 – Wall Street Journal (Lev Borodovsky): “Commercial real estate prices are starting to roll over after reaching record highs, capping a long postcrisis rally. While there is no sign that a decline would mean imminent danger for the economy, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren recently warned that valuations represent a risk he ‘will continue to watch carefully.’ So far, prices have proven resilient, reflecting in part the unexpected 2017 decline of interest rates and the rising capital flows from diverse sources such as U.S. pensions and overseas investors.”

June 28 – Wall Street Journal (Chris Dieterich): “Booming demand for passive investments is making exchange-traded funds an increasingly crucial driver of share prices, helping to extend the long U.S. stock rally even as valuations become richer and other big buyers pare back. ETFs bought $98 billion in U.S. stocks during the first three months of this year, on pace to surpass their total purchases for 2015 and 2016 combined… These funds owned nearly 6% of the U.S. stock market in the first quarter—their highest level on record—according to an analysis of Fed data by Goldman Sachs… Surging demand for ETFs this year has to an unprecedented extent helped fuel the latest leg higher for the eight-year stock-market rally.”

June 27 – Reuters (Kimberly Chin): “U.S. single-family home prices rose in April due to tight inventory of houses on the market and low mortgage rates… and economists see no imminent change in the trend. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller composite index of 20metropolitan areas rose 5.7% in April on a year-over-year basis after a 5.9% gain in March, which matched the fastest pace in nearly three years.”

June 27 – Bloomberg (Andrew Mayeda): “The International Monetary Fund cut its outlook for the U.S. economy, removing assumptions of President Donald Trump’s plans to cut taxes and boost infrastructure spending to spur growth. The IMF reduced its forecast for U.S. growth this year to 2.1%, from 2.3% in the fund’s April update to its world economic outlook. The… fund also cut its projection for U.S. growth next year to 2.1%, from 2.5% in April.”

Japan Watch:

June 29 – Reuters (Leika Kihara and Stanley White): “Japan's industrial output fell faster in May than at any time since the devastating earthquake of March 2011 while inventories hit their highest in almost a year, suggesting a nascent economic recovery may stall before it gets properly started. Household spending also fell in May, leaving the Bank of Japan's 2% target seemingly out of reach.”

EM Watch:

June 28 – Reuters (Brad Brooks and Silvio Cascione): “President Michel Temer called a corruption charge filed against him by Brazil's top prosecutor a ‘fiction’ on Tuesday, as the nation's political crisis deepened under the second president faced with possible removal from office in just over a year. Temer, who was charged Monday night with arranging to receive millions of dollars in bribes, said the move would hurt Brazil's economic recovery and possibly paralyze efforts at reform. The conservative leader said executives of the world's biggest meatpacker, JBS SA , who accused him in plea-bargain testimony of arranging to take 38 million reais ($11.47 million) in bribes in the coming months, did so only to escape jail for their own crimes.”

Geopolitical Watch:

June 29 – New York Times (Nicole Perlroth and David E. Sanger): “Twice in the past month, National Security Agency cyberweapons stolen from its arsenal have been turned against two very different partners of the United States — Britain and Ukraine. The N.S.A. has kept quiet, not acknowledging its role in developing the weapons. White House officials have deflected many questions, and responded to others by arguing that the focus should be on the attackers themselves, not the manufacturer of their weapons. But the silence is wearing thin for victims of the assaults, as a series of escalating attacks using N.S.A. cyberweapons have hit hospitals, a nuclear site and American businesses. Now there is growing concern that United States intelligence agencies have rushed to create digital weapons that they cannot keep safe from adversaries or disable once they fall into the wrong hands.”

June 28 – New York Times (Sheera Frenkel, Mark Scott and Paul Mozur): “As governments and organizations around the world grappled… with the impact of a cyberattack that froze computers and demanded a ransom for their release, victims received a clear warning from security experts not to pay a dime in the hopes of getting back their data. The hackers’ email address was shut down and they had lost the ability to communicate with their victims, and by extension, to restore access to computers. If the hackers had wanted to collect ransom money, said cybersecurity experts, their attack was an utter failure. That is, if that was actually their goal. Increasingly sophisticated ransomware assaults now have cybersecurity experts questioning what the attackers are truly after. Is it money? Mayhem? Delivering a political message?”

June 25 – Reuters: “Qatar is reviewing a list of demands presented by four Arab states imposing a boycott on the wealthy Gulf country, but said on Saturday the list was not reasonable or actionable. ‘We are reviewing these demands out of respect for ... regional security and there will be an official response from our ministry of foreign affairs,’ Sheikh Saif al-Thani, the director of Qatar's government communications office, said… Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which imposed a boycott on Qatar, issued an ultimatum to Doha to close Al Jazeera, curb ties with Iran, shut a Turkish military base and pay reparations among other demands.”

June 27 – Reuters (Foo Yun Chee): “EU antitrust regulators hit Alphabet unit Google with a record 2.42-billion-euro ($2.7bn) fine on Tuesday, taking a tough line in the first of three investigations into the company's dominance in searches and smartphones. It is the biggest fine the EU has ever imposed on a single company in an antitrust case, exceeding a 1.06-billion-euro sanction handed down to U.S. chipmaker Intel in 2009. The European Commission said the world's most popular internet search engine has 90 days to stop favoring its own shopping service or face a further penalty per day of up to 5% of Alphabet's average daily global turnover.”
          7/1/2017: SPORTS: Devils plan to buy out forward Cammalleri   
NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this off-season. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes were New Jersey Devils forwards Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly, Florida Panthers...
          Mid Year 2017 Portfolio Review   
My portfolio is up 15.75% for the first six months of 2017, pulling up my since inception IRR to 23.74%, and comfortably ahead of the S&P 500's 9.34% gain so far this year.  Significant winners have been Tropicana Entertainment, MMA Capital, Pinnacle Entertainment and Resource Capital, the only significant loser has been New York REIT.
Closed Positions:
  • ILG Inc (ILG): In hindsight, this was one of my favorite special situations of the past several years.  ILG (f/k/a Interval Leisure Group) had entered into a reverse morris trust transaction with Starwood prior to the announcement of Starwood's merger with Marriott, thus those that wanted to play the merger arb on the Starwood/Marriott transaction had to short out both Marriott and ILG against Starwood creating an uneconomic selling pressure on ILG's shares.  Since the deal has closed, ILG has run up well over 100%, I unfortunately sold a little too soon in the low $20s as ILG is now being bid up under speculation of a merger with Marriott Vacations Worldwide (VAC).  I'll be looking closely for ideas like this in the future, something similar was the Dell buyout of EMC/VMWare which created a coiled spring in VMWare stock that's caused the DVMT tracker to do very well too.
  • Actelion (ALIOY):  The Actelion/J&J deal closed and the development stage biotech company that was created out of the merger, Idorsia, has done very well too.  I bought the unsponsored ADR, there was a short week or two there when the shares dropped and people started speculating on why and if withholding taxes were going to be an issue, I got scared out of my position, ended up making a small amount of money but left some on the table.
  • CSRA (CSRA):  CSRA is the government services spinoff of CSC, with CSC I had the right idea at the time of the spinoff, CSC was setup to be sold and it was earlier this year when it merged with a division of HP Enterprises in a reverse morris trust to create DXC Technology (DXC).  I haven't spent much time on DXC, but CSC turned out to be the better side of the CSC/CSRA split.   I ended up selling CSRA earlier this spring in a slight fit as I didn't realize pension income was being included in their "adjusted" EBITDA figure they were presenting.  It caused the shares to look artificially cheap compared to peers and I just missed it, lesson learned.
  • WMIH Corp (WMIH):  The white whale of NOL shells, with over $6B in NOLs and apparently no dance partner in sight, it appears like the company's sponsor KKR is unable to find a deal that makes sense, they can walk in January, and will likely use that as leverage to strike an even more advantageous deal with WMIH.  If a deal does happen in the meantime, there still could be money to be made after but I don't see a reason to wait around any longer.
Previously Unmentioned New Positions:
  • Miramar Labs (MRLB):  Miramar Labs is another CVR opportunity, and even smaller than the others mentioned on the blog, but they make a medical device that's used to reduce underarm sweat and hair.  It's more of a elective beauty and/or lifestyle product that is sold to plastic surgeons, spas, etc, and its treatments are paid in cash and not processed through insurance companies.  Sientra (SIEN) is buying Miramar for $0.3149 per share upfront and $0.7058 per share in contingent payments for a total just over $1.02 per share.  The contingent payments are a little unique, where the milestone is a cumulative net sales number with no deadline.  Unlike the other CVRs that rely on an FDA approval, here Miramar already has an approved and commercialized product, so unless the sales flop going forward, the payout should occur, its just a matter of when.  The big payout is for $80MM in sales, Mirmar did $20MM in sales last year, but they're seeing some growth, I'm modeling out a 3-3.5 year timeframe to hit the milestone payment which at current prices of around $0.55 per share generates a pretty nice IRR.  Thanks to @yolocapital on Twitter for pointing it out to me.
  • Sound Banking Company (SNBN):  Sound Bank is a tiny North Carolina based community bank that is being acquired by another small bank but with high growth ambitions, West Town Bancorp (WTWB).  There are many small bank mergers happening, if I was less capital constrained, or had a lower risk mandate I'd probably be diving head first into more of these as the spreads are fairly wide for what should be low risk deals.  West Town Bancorp is offering $12.75 in cash or 0.6 shares of WTWB for each share of SNBN.  With SNBN currently trading at $13.40, you could create shares of WTWB for $22.33 when they currently trade for $24.45.  There is a cap on the cash/stock consideration, so proration is likely with the stock trading over the $12.75 cash payout, but it still seems/seemed like a good bet, the merger is expected to close in the third quarter.
  • Interoil Corp (IOC) Contingent Resource Payment:  I got bored and ended up trying this CRP/CVR the day or two before the merger with Exxon Mobil was completed, no view on how much natural gas is actually in PNG, so its a pure speculation that should be decided in the next quarter.
Current Holdings:
I added a little money earlier this year, the performance figures take that properly into account.

Disclosure: Table above is my blog/hobby portfolio, its a taxable account, and a relatively small slice of my overall asset allocation which follows a more diversified low-cost index approach.  The use of margin debt/options/concentration doesn't represent my true risk tolerance.

          Five good, five bad signings on NHL Free Agent Day 2017   

Fiscal sanity is boring. Favorable geography is boring. These are among the lessons learned on NHL Free Agent Day 2017, which saw more hometown discounts than home run contracts.

Part of this was a lackluster field of difference makers, with a few exceptions. Part of this is the harsh education some teams have gotten, learning that unrestricted free agency is the devil’s tool. (Heck, even the Devils didn’t dabble too deep into it, and they’re terrible.) Part of this is due to the fact that veteran players can now sign low-dollar contracts because they’re flush with buyout money.

Anyway, here are …

The five best contracts from July 1

(As of 6:30 p.m. ET.)

5 – Benoit Pouliot, Buffalo Sabres

One of the best under the radar signings of the day.

Look, he didn’t sign himself to a 5-year, $20 million deal with the Edmonton Oilers. They inked him, it didn’t work out, they ate the last two years of his contract and life goes on.

So with that cash in pocket, he signs with the Sabres for $1.15 million for one season, which is an incredible bargain for a player who could slide in as a second line left wing and help on the power play. This is a guy that can get you around 0.60 points per game on average. As a replacement for someone like Marcus Foligno? That’s a stellar, short-term add.

4 – Scott Hartnell, Nashville Predators

Another example of a player with buyout money taking a low salary – though not the best example of it, as you’ll see – is Hartnell, who goes back to the Nashville Predators on a one-year, $1 million deal.

We discussed the particulars of this reunion earlier, but it boils down to having played for Peter Laviolette, having played with Ryan Johansen and played down the lineup in other roles, and giving the Predators a 100 PIMs guy if they need him to do the dirty work. He’s two years removed from 10 power-play goals as well.


3 – Kevin Shattenkirk, New York Rangers

Just to clarify: Yes, this is still the “best signings” list.

I have no bloody idea why people are so down on this contract. OK, I do: There’s a bias against Shattenkirk for having the nerve not to be better than Alex Pietrangelo, and hence skating second-pairing minutes with the Blues; and he was noticeably bad in the playoffs for the Washington Capitals who, at last check, are a noticeably bad playoff team. Oh, and he’s an offensive defenseman not named Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns, so he’s automatically loathed.

What Shattenkirk is: an elite puck-moving defenseman who is anything but a defensive liability. He doesn’t put up incredible 5-on-5 numbers, which is rightfully a criticism; but that’s conflated with not being good at 5-on-5, and he is: plus-368 in shot attempts over his last 208 games at 5-on-5.

But enough about the player. Let’s talk about the contract.

The Rangers essentially deleted Dan Girardi and added Kevin Shattenkirk to their blue line, and they did so by essentially trading Derek Stepan at $6.5 million against the cap through 2021 for Kevin Shattenkirk at $6.65 million through 2021.

And again: Four years! For the prize of free agency, because he wanted to play for his childhood team. Or because no one gave him seven. But regardless, four years!

Look, maybe in three years we’re calling him a bust. Who knows? You can only judge a deal based on its merits, based on the marketplace and on context. And this is a winner today.

2 – Mike Cammalleri, Los Angeles Kings

The Kings needed two things entering July 1: more offense and cheap labor. They’ll get both from Cammalleri, who still has something to offer as a scorer. Plus, he’s played with Anze Kopitar before, as well as with Dustin Brown. He fits.

But again: This is another “Brad Richards”-esque one-year, $1 million incentivized deal. GM Rob Blake said it himself: Cammalleri wasn’t even on their radar until the buyout from the New Jersey Devils. And then it was a slam dunk. Great move by the Kings.

But not the best move of the day…

1 – Justin Williams, Carolina Hurricanes

Two years and $9 million for a guy who went over 20 goals in each of the last two seasons.

Yes, he’s turning 36, but that’s why the ancillary benefits of having Williams on this team are so key: He’s played for Stanley Cup champions and has proven to be clutch in the playoffs, on a young team that needs that kind of sage in the room. Plus his name is on the Stanley Cup as a member of the Hurricanes.

He was coveted by a few teams, including the Lightning, and this was a significant win for Ron Francis. Guess it helps when you’ve played with the guy.

And now, sadly …

The five worst contracts of July 1

5 – Cam Fowler, Anaheim Ducks

Not a UFA, but a contract signed on July 1 that kicks in for 2018-19.

The Anaheim Ducks literally just went through a situation where long-term contracts given to their defensemen caused a near cap crisis and then they hand out an eight-year contract to Fowler with a $6.5 million cap hit. There was no need to do a max deal here. None.

4 – Nate Thompson, Ottawa Senators

This isn’t an egregiously bad contract. It’s just a nonsensical one given how the rest of the day went.

No need for two years. No need to a give a 32-year-old depth forward $1.65 million a year on that term. Just silly is all.

3 – Karl Alzner, Montreal Canadiens

I hesitate to put there here, because I kind of like this move for the player and the team if Alzner needed a year to get over that sports hernia surgery and returns to basic competence as a defensive defenseman. But while you needed that fifth year to get to that $4.625 million hit in theory, this is still a player with some question marks getting a contract one year longer than Shattenkirk’s.

2 – Dan Girardi, Tampa Bay Lightning

It was bizarre how this two-year, $6 million deal was being praised by some, considering that nearly every other player who took a buyout signed a contract around $1 million in value.

Girardi is 33 and a liability whose competence is entirely defined by his partner’s prowess. But Steve Yzerman says the Lightning have “their own analytics” on Girardi that will no doubt explain how he drags on possession like the anchor of an aircraft carrier.

Finally…

1 – Dmitry Kulikov, Winnipeg Jets

That hearty laugh you heard during the afternoon of July 1 where Buffalo Sabres fans and media hearing about Kulikov getting a three-year deal worth $4.33 million annually from the Jets.

Maybe this is a change-in-scenery type deal. Kulikov seems to believe so. The Jets better hope so, because he’s been abjectly terrible over the last few seasons. In what should have been a “show us” contract, the Jets went three years with him. So Happy Canada Day, or something.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS



          Comment on Notable events that happened since Jimmy Hayes last scored by Bruins place Jimmy Hayes on waivers for buyout purposes - Bruins Daily   
[…] Senators. The rest of his tenure was filled with inconsistent and uninspiring play as seen with his 35-game goal drought between February and November of […]
          Comment on Craft Brewing on Easy Mode: Wicked Weed Brewing & AB-InBev by Good Ideas Executed Poorly: The Brewers Association Chases Independence • thefullpint.com   
[…] the two-million barrel cap. The timing of the logo release, less than two months after the much publicized Wicked Weed Brewing buyout by AB-Inbev, feels reactionary. The nature and timing of these changes have contributed to the erosion in […]
          Tech Mega-Buyouts Edge Toward Comeback as BMC, CA Plot Deal   

Kiel Porter and Alex Sherman (Bloomberg) — Four years after Blackstone Group LP and Silver Lake Management battled to take Dell Inc. private, buyout firms are back in the market for big leveraged technology deals. BMC Software Inc., owned by Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital, and CA Inc. are considering a potential deal that would

Tech Mega-Buyouts Edge Toward Comeback as BMC, CA Plot Deal can be found on Infinite Group Inc..


          Five good, five bad signings on NHL Free Agent Day 2017   
Part of this is the harsh education some teams have gotten, learning that unrestricted free agency is the devil’s tool. Another example of a player with buyout money taking a low salary – though not the best example of it, as you’ll see – is Hartnell, who goes back to the Nashville Predators on a one-year, $1 million deal.
          Smartphone Wars: Has iPhone 5 Lost Its Shine?   
Shares of Apple dip below $500 after reports that the company is cutting back its component orders for the iPhone 5, with Paul Schatz, Heritage Capital; and CNBC's Mary Thompson has the latest on a potential Dell buyout.
          Oilers put Pouliot on waivers for buyout purposes   
Edmonton could use the cap space.
          7/1/2017: SPORTS: Devils plan to buy out forward Cammalleri   
NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this off-season. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes were New Jersey Devils forwards Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly, Florida Panthers...
          Healthcare/Life Sciences, M&A Analyst And/Or Associate – Paris   
Location: Paris Salary: Competitive base bonus Description: Pan-European focus covering subsectors such as Biotech, Medtech, Pharma, etc. Working on a broad range of transaction types including equity raising (IPO and secondary), leveraged buyouts...
          Comment on Warriors Will Meet With Andre Iguodala, Offer Three-Year Contract by Conman   
Contracts can contain non guaranteed years or buyout clauses if exercised in certain time frames. So that's what he's saying. One of the hang ups for Iggy was that 3rd year. WO/ seeing the actual language, Luke is correctly hypothesizing.
          7/1/2017: SPORTS: Devils plan to buy out forward Cammalleri   
NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this off-season. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes were New Jersey Devils forwards Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly, Florida Panthers...
          Fairfax buyout ditched, TPG and Hellman & Friedman retreat    
Fairfax Media will remain in shareholders' hands after private equity firm TPG informed the board on Sunday afternoon it was withdrawing its $2.76 billion offer to buy out the company.
          Fairfax buyout ditched, TPG and Hellman & Friedman retreat   
Fairfax Media will remain in shareholder's hands after private equity firm TPG informed the board on Sunday afternoon it was withdrawing its A$2.76 billion ($NZ3.1b) offer to buyout the company. 
          Controller - Policaro Automotive Family - Ontario   
Prepares cheques for dealer trades lease buyouts. The primary purpose of the role is to provide accounting oversight that includes commissioning, purchasing...
From Policaro Automotive Family - Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:48:17 GMT - View all Ontario jobs
          Let’s Review   
from Scott Burnside of DallasStars.com, Although the signings came fast and furious, the 2017 free agency class was marked by shorter terms and fewer dollars a nod to the recent expansion draft that redistributed some of hockey's wealth and the relative flat salary cap. That doesn't mean there weren't some head scratchers and there still may be some buyers' regret in the coming days, but here is a look at some of the more noteworthy signings as free agency began Saturday. Martin Hanzal, center, signs three years, $4.75 million per year, Dallas Stars You can never have too much depth at center and the acquisition of the big, two-way center creates lots of options for head coach Ken Hitchcock down the middle for a Stars team that has added key pieces behind the bench, in goal, along the blue line and now at center since the end of the season. Kevin Shattenkirk, defense, signs four years, $6.65 million per year, New York Rangers The Rangers shed themselves of aging veterans Dan Girardi (buyout) and Derek Stepan (trade) and then obtained the top free agent defenseman at a manageable cap hit and even more manageable term. Throw in a couple of young prospects and backup netminder Ondrej Pavelec and pretty good week's work for GM Jeff Gorton. Great landing spot for Shattenkirk after a disappointing turn in Washington after the trade deadline. Karl Alzner, defense, signs five years, $4.625 million per season Montreal Canadiens read on
          Whole Foods buyout provides warehouses   
Amazon.com can ship books, furniture and clothing across the Pacific Ocean in what seems like a blink of an eye. But when it comes to delivering fresh groceries to your doorstep, the e-commerce giant’s logistical prowess falters.That’s because the long journey of, say, an avocado from Mexico gets progressively harder the closer it gets to the final buyer. It’s more costly and time consuming to deliver individual pieces of fruit to many customers. The hurdle, which [...]
          7/1/2017: SPORTS: Devils plan to buy out forward Cammalleri   
NHL teams are taking advantage of their final chance to buy out players this off-season. Among the players placed on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes were New Jersey Devils forwards Michael Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly, Florida Panthers...
          Fairfax buyout ditched, TPG and Hellman & Friedman retreat    
Fairfax Media will remain in shareholders' hands after private equity firm TPG informed the board on Sunday afternoon it was withdrawing its $2.76 billion offer to buy out the company.
          REVISION: The Evolution of Capital Structure and Operating Performance after Leveraged Buyouts: Evidence from U.S. Corporate Tax Returns   
This study uses corporate tax return data to examine the evolution of firms' financial structure and performance after leveraged buyouts (LBOs) for a comprehensive sample of 317 LBOs taking place between 1995 and 2007. We find little evidence of operating improvements subsequent to an LBO, although consistent with prior studies, we do observe operating improvements in the set of LBO firms that have public financial statements. We also find that firms do not reduce leverage after LBOs, even if they generate excess cash flow. Our results suggest that effecting a sustained change in capital structure is a conscious objective of the LBO structure.
          Fairfax buyout ditched, TPG and Hellman & Friedman retreat   

Fairfax Media will remain in shareholder's hands after private equity firm TPG informed the board on Sunday afternoon it was withdrawing its $2.76 billion offer to buyout the company.
          US fund walks away from bid for Australia’s Fairfax Media   
Without any binding offers, Fairfax was expected to end the buyout process Monday and instead announce plans first flagged in February to spin-off Domain, the Financial Review added.
          Controller - Policaro Automotive Family - Ontario   
Prepares cheques for dealer trades lease buyouts. The primary purpose of the role is to provide accounting oversight that includes commissioning, purchasing...
From Policaro Automotive Family - Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:48:17 GMT - View all Ontario jobs
          The Voice of Optimism   
Everyone knows the old saying: "If you Can't Beat 'em, Join 'em". So I submit myself to the New Normal. I embrace that Things Are Different This Time. I surrender my soul to the wisdom of the bulls. Let us gather hands around the truth together.


Corporate debt is a positive. First, because interest rates are so low, it represents virtually free money for private equity firms to maximize value to shareholders through buyout transactions. Those making access to this debt are trained professionals and are managing the debt load - and its risks - responsibly.


The booming Chinese economy is putting some strain on the environment, yes, but the Chinese have learned from the lessons learned in the British and American industrial revolutions and have taken the steps necessary to protect their environment for the sake of those that consume their products, for the sake of the economy in the long term, and for the sake of future generations.


The manic building in Dubai, Shanghai, and other emerging economies is exhilarating, and the race to see who can wind up with the world's tallest building just adds to the fun. The building boom is not overdone. On the contrary, Dubai - - until recently, a sweltering, barren desert - will become the top tourist attraction on the planet. The strength of the oil economy will allow this entire region to blossom for decades to come as the new epicenter of global capitalism and prosperity.


The housing "bust" is completely overblown. Yes, there are some isolated instances of damage from the sub-prime lending debacle, but it is completely contained. Although the red-hot pace of housing gains from years past will rest steady for a while, there is in fact no housing "bust", and thus no aftereffects to the economy at large.


The fact that the savings rate has dropped into negative territory is simply illustrative of strong consumer spending. We live in an age of rapid change, and adapting and embracing that change takes money. Here in the United States, we are simply helping lead the way by taking part in an exciting new time of electronic and communications wizardry.


The U.S. equity markets are not overpriced. Indeed, as the private equity buyouts of late illustrate, stocks in the U.S. are undervalued.


By the same token, the Chinese stock market offers a store of value that will only continue to rise. A value of 8,000 on the Shanghai index seems almost a foregone conclusion, particularly since the number "8" is widely considered to be lucky in China.


Some many say that the tremendous push of wealth to the highest echelons of society will create social unrest and turmoil. "Some" are wrong. There are about 1,000 billionaires in the world today (up from zero in 1915), controlling nearly $3 trillion in wealth. The couple of billion people in the world that live in poverty will view these billionaires as inspirational.


There's plenty more good news in the world. The Blackstone IPO was not an opportunistic event meant to exploit the naivete of investors buying at the top of a market. It was simply a means by which the principals in the organization could tap into some of the value they had built while at the same time providing a means for the common man to participate in this exciting new investment vehicle.

The entire "terrorism" issue is completely overblown. Once the war in Iraq withers away to a close, terrorism will be a smattering of unrelated incidents that no longer affect the Homeland.

We have outgrown inflation, and it has about as much chance of returning as the fads of the 1970s that accompanied it. Food and energy are notoriously volatile components, so if we strip away the ability to feed and transport ourselves, the core inflation numbers are comforting.

Next year, when a Democrat is virtually guaranteed to win the Presidency, the combination of a left-leaning Congress and President will be just the kind of "one-two punch" the economy needs to really kick into high gear. Taxes will be reduced or at least be kept low. And the entirely Democrat federal government will provide business all the assistance it requires to continue to thrive.

And, just to put a cherry on top of the whole thing, watch this:


I am now cleansed. And I no longer have to bother with this bearish claptrap. I've had enough.
          Intels Buys Fulcrum Microsystems To Boost Networking   
Intel is acquiring Fulcrum Microsystems (a networking chip company) for an unknown amount of money. The buyout is expected to be the result of Intel's efforts to boost current network offerings.

Fulcrum was founded in 1999 and they currently design Ethernet switches that are used in data centers. Fulcrum's 10GB Ethernet and 40GB Ethernet switch products are expected to work well with Intel processors and Ethernet controller offerings.
          Knicks Rumors: Latest Buzz on Carmelo Anthony Trade, Free Agency and More   

New York Knicks fans woke up to a surprise on Wednesday as Phil Jackson parted company with the Knicks—a twist in the offseason that didn't upset the faithful base. Of course, it's in bad taste to feel excitement after someone loses their job, but many felt Jackson hindered the team's progress and needed to go. Furthermore, the team will pay him $24 million for the remaining two years on his contract.

Jackson's sudden leave doesn't exactly solve the Knicks' issues. The former team president already damaged Carmelo Anthony's trade value, the club lacks direction days away from a critical free-agency period, which starts on July 1 and the Zen Master already drafted guard Frank Ntilikina with the triangle offense in mind. 

Kristaps Porzingis stands as the only light for an entire city desperately waiting for another playoff appearance. In Jackson's three years as an executive, the Knicks failed to win 33 games in each season. The 2016-17 campaign started with hope and ended in flames.

It's anyone's guess how the franchise will move forward. We'll go through the latest on a potential candidate to take on Jackson's role, a free-agent target and Anthony's future.

     

Knicks Target Masai Ujiri as Phil Jackson's Replacement

The primary target to replace Jackson holds the same role with the Toronto Raptors, per The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski:

Masai Ujiri's executive resume stands out among his peers. He earned the 2012-13 Executive of the Year Award with the Denver Nuggets. The Raptors have made the postseason in all four seasons under his direction.

The well-respected executive helped broker the deal that sent Anthony to the Knicks from the Nuggets. He also dealt Andrea Bargnani to New York in a regrettable exchange on former general manager Glen Grunwald's behalf. 

Ujiri elevated the Raptors and outsmarted the Knicks front office in the past. After inking a five-year deal with the Raptors in 2013, he signed an extension in 2016. Will he leave a playoff team for a club in chaos?

     

Carmelo Anthony Remains on Trade Block, Rockets Interested 

Jackson goes, which means Anthony stays, right? Wrong. According to Wojnarowski, the Knicks still intend on trading the 33-year-old forward, but general manager Steve Mills or the new president will have to revive his stock value for a decent return:

After the Houston Rockets pulled off a blockbuster trade for Chris Paul, general manager Daryl Morey has his sights set on Paul George and Anthony to assemble another Big 3 to contend in the Western Conference, per ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon:

The link between Anthony and Paul could entice the Knicks forward to waive his no-trade clause. However, what assets do the Rockets have to offer in a decent deal for a player who can score 22 points per game and close out an opponent in the fourth quarter? 

Unless Jackson has done irreparable damage to Anthony's value, the Knicks should look elsewhere for a trade partner. Though, the 10-time All-Star still holds all the leverage. Sources in his camp have expressed interest in a buyout, which enables him to choose a new destination as a free agent, per ESPN.com's Marc Stein, via ESPN.com reporter Ian Begley

"Sources told ESPN's Marc Stein that Anthony's campwhile acknowledging Anthony's preference to stay close to his sonhas tried to engage the Knicks in recent buyout discussions as it establishes the player's options," Begley said.

According to the report, Anthony would likely attempt to join LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, which allows the defending champions to keep their core together. One way or another, it seems like New York will move forward with Porzingis as its lone star in the Big Apple.

     

Mutual Interest Between Knicks and Jeff Teague 

Jackson's exit sparked Jeff Teague's interest in leading the Knicks in a new direction, per Begley.

Teague doesn't bring star status to New York, but he's been selected to an All-Star team and notched a career high in assists per game (7.8) during the previous campaign.

With the Indiana Pacers losing Paul George in the near future, it's a perfect time for the 29-year-old point guard to reboot his career elsewhere.

What's the alternative? Before Jackson and Dolan decided to part ways, the front office expressed interest in re-signing Derrick Rose, per Begley.

Whether it's Mills or a new president, the person making the decision should view this as an easy choice. Do you want Teague coming off his greatest season as a passer or Rose after his fourth knee surgery?

As an 18-year-old, rookie Frank Ntilikina will need time to develop. For the upcoming season, the Knicks could establish the point guard position with a durable and quality talent in Teague. Once Anthony's situation settles, the team can begin planning a rebuild around Porzingis.

Read more NBA Rumors news on BleacherReport.com


          At Sanofi Genzyme, a new beginning   
But his challenge won’t be the same as those faced by his predecessors, the legendary Henri Termeer, who built Genzyme into a biotech pillar during nearly three decades at the helm, and Termeer’s protege, David Meeker, who led the post-buyout transition.