Ryan Knaus and I are in Stamford, CT as I write this and just got done watching the Daytona 500 at Bobby V’s sports pub. I’m pretty sure Ryan has never watched more than 30 seconds of NASCAR before and I generally only get excited at this time of year because A. it's the start of the race season and there’s literally nothing else going on, B. Chase Elliott is my neighbor, and C. I had a NASCAR FanDuel lineup set (see A.).
Ironically, I watched the ‘Blink of An Eye’ documentary on the plane flight out here, which is about Dale Earnhardt’s death at Daytona in 2001, his relationship with Michael Waltrip, and Waltrip breaking a 462-race winless streak on the same day his friend and new owner, Earnhardt, died.
Ryan Newman’s crash on the last lap last night was flat-out scary, but news just broke around 10:30 p.m. that he’s in serious but stable condition, and that his injuries are non-life threatening. That is incredible news, especially given how long officials took to give us an update, and says a lot about the safety of the cars being built today. I’m not going to lie…I had a really bad feeling after seeing the crash live, and then seeing the replays. Great news that he’s OK!
As for basketball, the news couldn’t be much lighter as everyone recovers and travels home from All-Star Weekend. But here’s what we know.
The Rockets appear to be on the verge of signing both Jeff Green (10-day contract) and DeMarre Carroll to fill their two empty roster spots. Does this news negatively impact Danuel House and Robert Covington? While I think that’s entirely possible, it doesn’t seem to be likely. Covington is going to be fine either way and Green seems like the biggest threat to House, but is only on a 10-day deal, and may not even make a dent. And Carroll hasn’t played more than 17 minutes in a game this season and has appeared in just 15 of them. Yeah, that’s more games than Marvin Bagley has given us, but I just don’t see either of these guys coming in and ruining two guys who are locked into the Rockets rotation and playing well.
The Nets, according to coach Kenny Atkinson, are planning on playing small ball down the stretch, which would mean a lineup featuring Kyrie Irving (knee - he’ll eventually come back, right?), Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert together down the stretch of games. I don’t think this means too much for guys like Jarrett Allena and DeAndre Jordan, but it might end up being bad news for Joe Harris and Taurean Prince. But then again, this could also just be idle chatter over the All-Star break, so I don’t think there’s any reason to panic.
Marc Berman is reporting that the Knicks are looking at a scoring point guard in the 2020 draft and LaMelo Ball, who signed with agent Leon Rose (who will then be running the Knicks), is exactly that, creating a perfect storm for Ball to end up in New York. I guess the Frank Ntilikina/Dennis Smith Jr. era might already be coming to an end in the Garden.
Chicago point guard Kris Dunn sounds like he might be done for the year due to his sprained right MCL. If that’s the case, Coby White could be hot pickup for the rest of the season, while Shaq Harrison could also become a fantasy factor, as well.
Jason Quick of The Athletic is reporting that Jusuf Nurkic is not likely to start over Hassan Whiteside this season. I am the opposite of surprised by this, as I’ve been saying that Nurkic is going to be a ‘baby steps’ guy, and Whiteside has been playing at a high level for Portland all year. I’m not messing with Nurkic unless I’ve got an IR spot to put him in.
The Pelicans are expected to sign Brandon Ingram to a max deal (about $167 million over five years) now that he’s proven he can play alongside Zion Williamson. Additionally, one of the bold predictions I’m making this week in Stamford is that the Pelicans, led by Zion and Ingram, are going to go on a run and overtake the Spurs, Blazers and Grizzlies and sneak into the Western playoffs as the No. 8 seed.
That’s all the new news we’ve got the day after the All-Star break and there won’t be a Buy Low, Sell High column this week with my travel schedule over the next 48 hours. But I will be there at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday for another Live Chat on Twitch. I’ll see you then!
And my final thought for a late Monday night is that I’m thankful that Ryan Newman is alive and well, and will hopefully make a full recovery after one of the scariest crashes any of us have ever witnessed.