Senator bought Alex Burrows from Canucks

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Ottawa Senators are gearing up for a push to the postseason, acquiring forward Alex Burrows from the Vancouver Canucks for prospect Jonathan Dahlen on Monday.

Burrows, after waiving his no-trade clause, agreed to a two-year, $5 million extension with the Senators, according to multiple reports.

The trade gives the Senators a skilled pest with plenty of playoff experience at forward.

Burrows, 35, has played 822 regular-season games with the Canucks, with 193 goals, 191 assists and 1,066 penalty minutes. He has added 19 goals and 15 assists in 70 playoff games.

He had four straight seasons of at least 25 goals from 2008-09 to 2011-12, largely while playing with the Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik. Burrows’ best offensive days are behind him — he has nine goals in 55 games this season — but he will still bring an edge to a Senators team that is pressuring Montreal for the top spot in the Atlantic Division.

Dahlen, 19, was selected in the second round, 42nd overall, by Ottawa at the 2016 draft.

He has impressed at the international level, with six points in seven games for Sweden at the 2017 world junior championship and leading his country in scoring with five points in five games at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka under-17 tournament.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s rookie QBs on the edge

Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo is the subject of trade speculation thanks in large part to his very strong performance in two starts early in the 2016 season. But how much do just 63 pass attempts tell us about how good a quarterback he’s likely to be?

Garoppolo averaged 7.9 yards per attempt and posted an 88.7 QBR in 2016, both of which are excellent figures. But it’s such a small sample size that it’s unwise to assume he’ll continue at that pace. On the other hand, he did play well for two starts, so his underlying potential is more likely to be good than if he had been mediocre in the same short span. It’s not much, but there is some information to be gleaned.

To quantify just how much weight we should put on that two-game performance, we can use something called Bayes’ theorem, which allows us to systematically update our beliefs as new information arrives. In this case, we can begin with the belief that Garoppolo is drawn from the distribution of QB talent found in the NFL. Then, with every dropback he makes, we can update our belief about where his talent level lies. This approach not only tells us what our best guess of his underlying talent level should be, but also tells us how much uncertainty there should be around that best guess.

Our starting point is the fact that Garoppolo is drawn somewhere from the pool of QB talent typically found in the NFL. Great QBs like his teammate Tom Brady are rare, as are very poor QBs. Although below-average QBs can be found anywhere, they’re weeded out of the league fairly efficiently. So QBs with near league-average talent levels make up the bulk of the population on NFL rosters. Our belief starts with stating that Garoppolo’s true talent level lies somewhere on that spectrum from poor to great, so we can create a probability distribution that best matches the actual distribution of talent. Without knowing anything else about an NFL QB, this distribution captures our prior belief about how good he is.

Then he makes his first throw and we have the tiniest better idea of how good he is. Then, after another throw, we have an ever so slightly better idea of how good he is. We continue to update our belief until after enough dropbacks that we can be confident that he’s actually as good (or bad) as what we’ve seen so far. For a guy like Garoppolo with only 63 attempts over two starts, and a total of 94 attempts through his three seasons, our uncertainty remains very large.

Using just pass attempts from 2016, our updated best guess of his talent level is 7.0 yards per attempt (YPA), which is much closer to league average than his raw average to date. This result underscores the fact that 63 attempts is far too little information to have any confidence in his underlying talent level. In fact, something called a 95 percent confidence interval, which tells us a range of results we can safely bet on, spans from well below average to superstar levels. It would take 500 attempts averaging 7.9 YPA before we could confidently say a QB is above average, and it would take about 1,000 attempts, or about two full seasons, before we realistically could be confident in what kind of talent level a QB has. (Using all 94 of his career attempts yields about the same results.)

Any team considering a trade for Garoppolo should put very little weight in what we saw in 2016.

Of course, for potential bidders like the Bears, Browns and 49ers, the real question isn’t so simple. It’s not a question of Garoppolo or not, but a question of Garoppolo or their next-best option, which is most likely a first-round draft pick such as Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina) or Deshaun Watson (Clemson). And first-round picks carry their own uncertainty. As a group, since 2000, first-round QBs have a career average of 6.8 YPA, with a range of uncertainty even larger than for a player like Garoppolo with 63 throws in two starts.

As little as we know about how good Garoppolo really is, we know even less about a generic first-rounder, plus our best guess at Garoppolo’s underlying talent is slightly higher. With this method, we can even estimate the probability that Garoppolo would be better than the generic first-round QB, given certain assumptions. With what we’ve seen so far, there’s a 59 percent chance Garoppolo would turn out better. If we repeat the same analysis but instead use a more advanced metric of performance — expected points added — we get very similar results: a 64 percent chance that Garoppolo is better than a generic-first rounder.

To get a more intuitive sense of this analysis, the chart below plots our best estimate of a QB who averages 7.9 YPA after a varying number of attempts. The blue line shows that after only a few attempts, our estimate should be close to league average, but as the number of attempts increases, our estimate should approach his actual average. The green line indicates the average YPA for the generic first-round QB, and the red line is the league average overall. The shaded areas depict the uncertainty we should have about where the true average lies. In this case, the mean will be within the shaded area about 67 percent of the time.

Carmelo Anthony says the Knicks trade is bigger than people think

Now that the NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans is over, we bring you back to your regularly scheduled drama called the New York Knicks.

The team newcomer guard Derrick Rose’s unexcused game absence in December 2016 seems like forever ago. Former Knicks great Charles Oakley’s recent run-in with team owner James Dolan was embarrassing for the struggling franchise that hasn’t won a championship since 1973. The Knicks also entered All-Star Weekend with a 23-34 record, fourth-worst in the East.

The biggest spotlight on the team this week is back to whether they will get rid of the-very-hard-to-trade Carmelo Anthony.

But Melo says it’s not that simple.

“I haven’t figured out a situation that makes sense for both parties. I am not the kind of guy who just goes out there and says, ‘Get me outta here … get me outta here,’ without having a plan. It’s bigger than that,” Anthony told The Undefeated after Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game.

The Knicks would love to trade Anthony before Thursday’s trade deadline. He is making a mammoth $26.5 million this season and has two more years on his contract paying $26.2 million and $27.9 million, respectively. The 10-time NBA All-Star also has a “no-trade clause,” when means his consent would be needed for a trade. The 32-year-old also has an expensive 15 percent trade kicker.

The Knicks currently have nothing strong on the trade front for Anthony, a source told The Undefeated. One NBA general manager told The Undefeated that the Knicks told him they don’t believe Anthony would waive his trade kicker.

“I haven’t heard anything. I haven’t talked to anybody,” Anthony said.

Knicks president Phil Jackson has been openly critical of Anthony in what appears to be a ploy to persuade him to waive his no-trade clause. There have been reports that Anthony would be willing to waive the clause for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics. Anthony has said repeatedly said that his preference is to stay in New York, and those close to him say it’s not coach speak. He could be open to considering waiving his no-trade clause for a great opportunity, a source said.

The Knicks return to practice in Westchester, New York, on Tuesday. Anthony, however, doesn’t have to return until Wednesday, since he played in the All-Star Game. The Knicks’ first game after the NBA All-Star Game is on the road against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday. Anthony was scheduled to return to New York City via charter plane early Monday morning and looks forward to relaxing his brain for a few days.

“Mentally I’m good. For me, I’m trying to compartmentalize it and deal with it to be able to focus and have a clear mind. I’m just trying to play basketball and have fun. Sometimes I feel like I am not allowing it to be fun with everything going on. The last two months has been about me trying to enjoy the game,” Anthony said.

One member of the Anthony family who is enjoying the game is his son, Kiyan.

Anthony earned his 10th overall All-Star selection last week as a replacement for injured Cavaliers forward Kevin Love. He has been an NBA All-Star every year that Kiyan, who turns 10 on March 8, has been alive. Anthony adores the fact that his son is a basketball junkie who wants to be a great player like his father. The youngster actually chose to play for his AAU basketball team in Portland, Oregon, over the weekend instead of going to New Orleans to watch his dad suit up with the NBA’s best.

“I’m proud of him. Originally, I wasn’t selected. The tournament was there and he was happy to go and that was going to be during our All-Star break. At the last minute things changed, but he was happy to go to the tournament,” Anthony said.

Kiyan’s dad hopes he can be happy playing basketball again soon, too.

Carmelo Anthony replaces the injured Kevin Love for the All-Star game

New York Knicks striker Carmelo Anthony has been selected for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ injury substitute striker Kevin – love the Sunday All-Star game in New Orleans, NBA Wednesday said.

The source told ESPN that Anthony accepted the invitation of the NBA specialist Adam Silver earlier in the day, after which Silver gave him a place on the Eastern Conference roster.

This will mark Anthony’s 10th All-Star nod.

The 13-year veteran plan to take a vacation with his family before accepting a silver invitation.

“That means a lot,” Anthony said. “Do not misunderstand my name, it’s an honor to be named the All-Star team, go out there, mean that everything is happening, it’s around us, around me, that’s around our organization. Going out, not just on behalf of The whole organization of New York City, but also an honor.

Love in the surgery on Tuesday to remove his left knee loose body, and will miss six to eight weeks.

Anthony and love are the subject of recent trade rumors and media coverage.

In other cases, the report said the Knicks were actively seeking to get love in an Anthony deal before the February 23 trading deadline.

Spike Lee calls James Dolan-Charles Oakley incident ‘insanity’

Knicks fan Spike Lee was in tears when he saw Charles Oakley handcuffed in a hallway behind the court at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.

The film director on Sunday called the Oakley incident “insanity” and questioned owner James Dolan’s decision to suggest Oakley had a drinking problem.

“I mean, how can you say somebody is an alcoholic? You just can’t, in my opinion,” Lee, speaking to a small group of reporters, said Sunday at Madison Square Garden while wearing an Oakley jersey. “And even if the person was, why would you say that? I don’t know why you would say that. All I can do is wear my jersey.”

Oakley was ejected from the arena and arrested Wednesday night after a scuffle with security.

The Knicks said Oakley was behaving in an abusive manner toward security. Oakley denied it. Dolan has banned Oakley from the arena indefinitely.

Lee, a lifelong Knicks fans, believes that the Knicks’ treatment of Oakley — coupled with Phil Jackson’s direct and indirect criticisms of star Carmelo Anthony — will hurt their recruitment of free agents.

“Who’s gonna come here?” Lee said. Earlier in the week, when asked to pick a side in the Jackson-Anthony feud, Lee told Tencent-ESPN that he’d help Jackson pack his bags.

Jimmy Butler vowed to 100%, and then joined the Bulls

SAN FRANCISCO — Bulls All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler will miss his third straight game Wednesday night against the Warriors because of a right heel injury.

Butler, who originally injured the heel last Wednesday in a win over the Thunder, did not participate in Wednesday’s shootaround and acknowledged he still had pain in the heel.

“I don’t think it’s getting worse. It’s actually getting better,” Butler said after Wednesday’s shootaround. “There’s just certain movements, and that will make it worse. You don’t want that to happen.”

Guard Dwyane Wade did not participate in the shootaround because of an upper respiratory infection. He is a game-time decision against the Warriors.

Center Cris Felicio (right lower leg strain) is also questionable. He was expected to miss a week after injuring his leg in a loss to the Rockets last Friday, but he has started to do more in practice.

Coach Fred Hoiberg said that Michael Carter-Williams and Jerian Grant will remain in the starting lineup alongside Robin Lopez and Taj Gibson. If Wade does not play, it is unclear who will start in his place.

Butler was noncommittal when asked if he would play Friday against the Phoenix Suns.

“Man, I’m hopeful for every day,” Butler said. “Hopefully when I go back to the hotel and eat some Cheerios, it’s the magical thing that my body doesn’t hurt. Whatever it takes. I just want to play. But yeah, I’m hopeful that day by day, hour after hour, I’ll return to the basketball court.”

Butler acknowledged he is thinking long term with the injury, but is hopeful he won’t do more damage to the heel when he does return.

“Obviously, but I want to go out there and be able to help,” he said. “I don’t want to be able to go out there and play like 10 minutes and be like, ‘I can’t move.’ I want to go out there and be the player I can be on both ends of the floor. My coaches, my teammates understand that. When I go out there I want to play. There ain’t gonna be no restrictions. Go out there and play however many minutes, whatever I’m asked to do on the basketball court.’

“I don’t want to be able to go out there and play like 10 minutes and be like, ‘I can’t move.’ I want to go out there and be the player I can be on both ends of the floor. My coaches, my teammates understand that. When I go out there I want to play. There ain’t gonna be no restrictions. Go out there and play however many minutes, whatever I’m asked to do on the basketball court.”

Kyle Shanahan will be interested in Matt Schaub as a bridge to the 49-person QB

Atlanta Falcons backup quarterback Matt Schaub could be following Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to San Francisco, if the man poised to become the new 49ers head coach has his way, according to league sources.

Shanahan, who is expected to be named the 49ers’ new head coach as soon as Monday, always has liked and respected Schaub’s play, from the time he was a Pro Bowl quarterback for him with the Texans, to his current role as backup quarterback in Atlanta.

Schaub is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent and, with Washington preparing to place its franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins, Shanahan might have to settle for pursuing Atlanta’s backup quarterback rather than the Redskins’ starting quarterback.

Schaub could be the 49ers’ bridge quarterback, as the starter or the backup, but whatever role he takes he would be valuable as he knows Shanahan’s system.