James Jones retires, joins Suns front office

James Jones played for five NBA teams over his 14-year career and was part of three championship squads.

Jones announced his retirement on Wednesday and will join the Suns as the team’s new vice president of basketball operations. Jones earned the nickname “Champ” while helping the Heat win NBA titles in 2012 and 2013. He joined the Cavaliers in 2014 and helped Cleveland win the NBA Finals in 2016 as the Cavs reached the Finals in three straight seasons.

Jones was a second-round pick of the Pacers in 2003 and played for the Suns from 2005-07. Suns owner Robert Sarver said during Wednesday’s introductory press conference that Jones is “intimately familiar with what it takes to win a championship.”

The Spurs adding Irving would be dangerous, but it seems unlikely the Cavs would be willing to send their star player to one of the strongest teams in the league. And if Irving’s reasoning for getting out of Cleveland is that he wants to be the focal point, then why would he go to San Antonio? He’d be overshadowed by Kawhi Leonard.

And similar to the Heat, what could San Antonio give Cleveland to make the trade worth it? Leonard is out of the question, and most of the other players are great because they buy into Popovich’s system. Irving to the Spurs just seems unlikely for a number of reasons.

This is probably the most intriguing destination. It’d be awkward for Jeff Teague, who just signed with Minnesota in the offseason, so he’d probably be involved in the trade somehow. But adding Irving to a roster that already has Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns is an exciting thought.

But, it’d be difficult to make this trade happen without giving up one of those three. Even if it doesn’t happen, the fact Minnesota is even considered by Irving is a big move for the franchise. Instead of being an afterthought, players actually want to play for the Timberwolves. dolphins_002

Saints favorites to land arguably the best receiver left in free agency

Even after the change, confusion remained. While the rule got more specific, it didn’t get any easier for the officials, who will be tasked with deciding within a split second if a receiver fits within the criteria listed above.

On Thursday, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino provided an explanation for the updated language. In actuality, he might’ve made it more confusing.

Though the rulebook attempts to lay out what is and isn’t a catch with that paragraph above, Blandino told SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Ross Tucker and Brad Hopkins that it isn’t an “all-inclusive list.”

Boldin is arguably the best receiver still left in free agency, heading a group of unsigned receivers that also includes Roddy White and James Jones.
As Rapoport reported, Boldin views New Orleans as an attractive destination because of receivers coach John Morton, who coached Boldin with the 49ers. Of course, he also might want to join the Saints, who cut Marques Colston this offseason, because he’d be catching passes from future Hall of Famer Drew Brees.

“We just try to give some examples. It’s not an all-inclusive list, but it is something that officials will be looking for, when it goes to replay, we’ll be looking for and things that everybody else can use to gauge what the decision is going to be.”

In other words, common sense can sometimes override the rulebook. I don’t foresee that being an issue at any point this season (note the sarcasm).
There appears to be no end in sight to the confusion. Because as long as the NFL sticks with the current catch rule — “two feet, then time,” as Blandino put it — there’s never going to be a way to adequately define and consistently enforce the “time” requirement, especially if the common sense of an individual official is allowed to overrule what the actual rulebook says.

Last season, while playing in a porous 49ers offense Boldin caught 69 passes for 789 yards and four touchdowns. As long as he’s not the primary weapon of an offense, he still has plenty to offer. Plus, Boldin could also serve as a mentor for Cooks, 22, and Thomas, 23.

Boldin ranks 12th all-time in receptions with 1,009.

A week ago, the NFL officially updated the catch rule. While the league didn’t necessarily change the rule, it provided additional language to help clarify when in fact a receiver becomes a runner.

Via the rulebook for the 2016 season:

A player has the ball long enough to become a runner when, after his second foot is on the ground, he is capable of avoiding or warding off impending contact of an opponent, tucking the ball away, turning up field, or taking additional steps.