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Morning Jolt: Yao trade important to Rockets' future


Tuesday, December 28

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Yao pivotal in potential trades?

Replacing Yao Ming may be impossible, but there may be interest in moving him. Making moves -- from using salary-cap exceptions to dealing Yao's expiring contract -- could be the key to retooling without him. The Rockets have begun talks regarding a variety of options designed to motivate teams seeking cost savings to make a deal, a person with knowledge of the Rockets' thinking said. The Rockets have spoken with Sacramento, which has the sort of young talent the Rockets would seek, and Charlotte, which would more likely have to include attractive draft picks along with contracts, according to one individual familiar with the talks. (Houston Chronicle)Comment

Niners have secret GM list?

Initial reports have cobbled together a list of GM candidates in San Francisco without obvious ties to some hot coaching names. So maybe there's a second and third wave of candidates. Maybe Jed [York] already knows who they are, because he has been quietly investigating who [Jon] Gruden and/or [Jim] Harbaugh would want lined up as their GM in a shared-power situation. That would possibly include people like: Mike Lombardi (associated with both men) ... Tom Heckert (former Philadelphia and current Cleveland GM, but under [Mike] Holmgren in the hierarchy, some ties to Gruden and worked with Harbaugh's brother, John) ... And George Kokanis (in Baltimore with John). (San Jose Mercury News)Comment

Cubs back to drawing board for expansion plans

Chicago's NL entry may be looking at a retooled upgrade. We hear the Cubs are quietly working to amend their proposal to renovate Wrigley Field. In simple terms, the team would match its previous tax payments to the city -- $16 million in 2009 -- while keeping any tax revenue above the base for park renovations and perhaps construction of the long-planned triangle building. Once the team has what it plans built, the Cubs argue the additional business will increase taxes collected. "The plan they came up with for this renovation was a non-starter," governor Pat Quinn said Monday on Chicago Tribune Live on Comcast SportsNet. "It didn't have public support. They have to go back to the drawing boards." (Chicago Tribune)Comment

Must-See Photo

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is introduced before the start of Atlanta's game against the New Orleans Saints. The Falcons would ultimately lose 17-13. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

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The Mavs marched to their eighth-straight road victory in their 103-93 rout of the Oklahoma City Thunder Monday night.

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Vikings at Eagles (8:00 p.m., ET)

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SI Vault: Raymond Berry

This Day in Sports

  • 1958 -- Raymond Berry and the Colts beat the Giants 23-17 in the NFL Championship in what many call the greatest game ever played.
  • 1978 -- Mike Bossy ushers in the 30th hat trick in Islander history
  • 1993 -- John Maclean passes Kirk Muller as all-time New Jersey Devils scorer with 521 points