This Week in U.S. Sports: NBA drama hits fever pitch; MLB hot stove beginning to freeze

It might be the Super Bowl this Sunday, but the NBA has still been grabbing the headlines ahead of the trade deadline.
It might be the Super Bowl this Sunday, but the NBA has still been grabbing the headlines ahead of the trade deadline.

Even in Super Bowl week, the NBA managed to grab its share of the spotlight as the trade market heated up.

One superstar has switched teams while a saga involving another may still have a long way to go.

It's a different story in MLB, where numerous players remain unsigned, including two of the biggest free agents in league history.

All that and more are here in this look at the week in U.S. Sports.


1. The first blockbuster trade has dropped

Everyone knows the NBA is a year-round sport not confined to the action on the court. The drama extends to social media and smack talk in press conferences, but it truly thrives in the trade rumour world.

On Thursday the trade world exploded a full week before the deadline thanks to one of the most storied franchises in the NBA - the New York Knicks.

New York found out on Thursday that star forward Kristaps Porzingis would not sign a contract extension with the team. Things then moved extremely quickly, with the Knicks agreeing a deal to send the Latvian to the Dallas Mavericks. They will receive DeAndre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews and two future first-round draft picks in return, with Courtney Lee, Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. going the other way.

There is still plenty of drama left before next Thursday's deadline, but this was certainly a move no one saw coming.


2. Davis speculation dominates the week

The NBA world had already seen its fair share of drama by the time the Porzingis news broke, with New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis having requested a trade on Monday.

Davis' agent Rich Paul told ESPN that he would not re-sign with the Pelicans when his contract is up after next season and he would prefer to be traded.

His remarks naturally resulted in the Pelicans reportedly receiving a plethora of calls from teams looking to strike a deal.

But here is the funny part, the team Davis wants to go to - the Los Angeles Lakers - were said to be the last team Pelicans general manger Dell Demps picked the phone up for. He entertained calls from everyone else but took nearly three days to call back Los Angeles.

Davis' dream of joining LeBron James on the Lakers may still take a while to come to fruition.


3. The Bryce Harper/Manny Machado saga threatens to stretch into February

While the NBA is known for making things happen quickly on the trade front - a la the Knicks and Porzingis - MLB is developing a reputation for dragging out discussions.

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado - possibly the biggest free agents to hit the open market in the last decade - remain unsigned at the end of January, and no decision for either player seems imminent.

Both players were said to be looking for deals in the $300million range.

Some 100 free agents remain unsigned with a mere two weeks before pitchers and catchers report for spring training. MLB no longer has a 'hot stove' season because the stove is freezing cold.


4. The week of Kendall Coyne Schofield

Kendall Coyne Schofield had about as good of a week of anyone in the US this week as she captured the minds and hearts of the entire hockey world.

When Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon announced he would not compete at the NHL All-Star fastest skater competition on Saturday, some fans were disappointed. But soon after he made the announcement, those people were intrigued as the MVP candidate offered his spot to Schofield.

Schofield gladly accepted and became the first woman to compete in any event in All-Star skills challenge history.

She did well too, beating out Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller and finishing in seventh place. She took that success and built on it by landing a gig with NBC Sports on their Wednesday Night Hockey broadcast.

It will be hard for anyone to beat a week like that.


5. NFL considering reviews of judgement call plays

The backlash from the pass interference no-call in the NFC Championship Game has not died down. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did not speak publicly on the play until Wednesday, 10 days after the original incident.

Many did not like Goodell's answer to the Saints fans' complaints, yet at least he came out and said the league will consider reviewing judgement call plays in the future.

What those reviews would look like remains to be seen, but there is now a consideration to address a situation a lot of people were complaining about.

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