SportsNet - July 2012
After days of reports and rumors, on June 11, clubs were finally able to officially make moves and many of them did, but the biggest talent on the potential dealing block, All-Star center Dwight Howard, stayed with the Magic.
Talks of a four-team trade deal collapsed when Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan ruled out a transfer to the Nets, Howard's preferred destination.
"Anything is possible, but with the talks that we have had up to this point there is probably not a whole lot there," Hennigan said of reviving a Nets deal for Howard.
Hennigan believes such a trade would not be in the Magic's best interest, even though Howard could play out a final season and leave on his own terms in another year. Hennigan said that when he told Howard about his decision, the star big man was 'conversational, respectful, professional and business-like.'
The Magic are still looking for a new coach, with Hennigan believing a hire could come as quickly as next week. Hennigan said he has spoken with other clubs about obtaining Howard, a list that reportedly includes the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Manchester United are in dire need of a player who can replace Paul Scholes and also control and dominate the game the way Scholes did. United suffered another setback after Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed Darren Fletcher has yet to make a comeback from chronic bowel complaint. Reports in May suggested that Fletcher could be making his comeback soon.
Fletcher has been absent since November 2011 after United confirmed the player is suffering from chronic bowel condition that had been affecting the midfielder since the previous campaign.
Serious doubts are been raised over 28-year-old Scottish footballer ever playing at the highest level again. When asked about Fletcher to United, Ferguson mentioned United would provide Fletcher with "all the time he needs".
"He has not started training with us.He has obviously got great challenges ahead," Ferguson added.
"We are happy to be patient but he won't be starting the season.It is unfortunate because he is such a magnificent professional and such a nice lad. If it doesn't work for him, he knows he has a position at the club anyway."
With recent signings Kagawa and Powell now at United, who will be in their first XI next season?
Goalkeeper: David de Gea
There's no doubting David de Gea is United's number one. He showed tremendous substance last season after an appalling start. Although you have to look through his mistakes at the start, he showed why he's one of the best 'keepers in the Premier League after some terrific performances. Even though Anders Lindegaard is on the books at United, de Gea has shown why Alex Ferguson paid £17 million for the Spaniard.
Full Backs: Rafael & Patrice Evra
Since the tenure of legendary tactician Johan Cryuff and later Louis Van Gaal and Frank Rijkaard, Barcelona FC have dazzled the world with their intricate passing game. Tiki taka, as the system of play is now known, has captivated audiences all over the world.
Pleasing to the eye and enjoyable to watch, tiki taka is characterized by short passing movements and emphasis on maintaining possession. Andres Montes the late Spanish broadcaster is credited with coining the term whilst commentating during the 2006 World Cup.
The Spanish, also known masters of tiki taka, utilized a high tempo form of the system at the recently concluded Euro 2012 with outstanding success.
Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers has indicated that he wants to re-invent the system of play at Liverpool by introducing a variant of tiki taka.
Every year at Packers camp, there are always players who surprise and make a run to the 53-man roster. In 2010 training camp, that player was cornerback Sam Shields, a converted wide receiver who flashed great speed in coverage that allowed him to not only make the roster, but place him as the nickel corner behind Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson.
His playmaking potential and abilities in 2010, like the key interception against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship game, is what made the Packers see that he belonged on the roster, and deserving of his position among the Packers' secondary.
But, after a rocky sophomore campaign, in which he struggled to make proper tackles and broke down in coverage, Shields will have to work to keep his spot on the roster, after the improvement by second year corner Davon House , not to mention the Packers drafted corner Casey Hayward out of Vanderbilt in the second round.