• Report: Longhorns’ leading scorer Sheldon McClellan to transfer

    Texas sophomore guard Sheldon McClellan will transfer, according to a report by ESPN.

    McClellan led the Longhorns with 13.5 points per game last season and becomes the second Texas player to transfer this month. Sophomore forward Jaylen Bond announced his intentions to transfer last Monday.

    McClellan was in and out of head coach Rick Barnes’ doghouse all year long. Three times he played fewer than 10 minutes and was held scoreless, responding with big games each time. McClellan averaged 20.7 points per game during a three-game winning streak earlier this month but scored just five points in a loss to Kansas State in the Big 12 tournament and six points in a season-ending, 73-72 defeat to Houston last Wednesday.

    Bond and McClellan could be joined by sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo in leaving Texas. Kabongo averaged 14.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists in the 11 games he played in after serving a 23-game suspension for receiving impermissible benefits over the offseason.

  • A few more rounds: What Ed Reed signing with the Texans means

    In Ed Reed’s first press conference as a Houston Texan, he explained that the main reason the three-year, $15 million deal was not finished sooner was that he had to take his son to his nephew’s birthday party over the weekend.

    These past few months seem to have been all about partying for the 11-year veteran after winning the Super Bowl, stirring yet another celebration in the front office and locker room of the Texans organization.

    “It is truly a great day for our franchise,” Houston General Manager Rick Smith said during Reed's press conference. “I am truly thankful that this deal came together. I’m thankful and excited about Ed’s contributions to our football team, to our community. I’m excited to watch him and welcome him into our family.”

    Smith and CEO Bob McNair immediately made plans to sign Reed after free safety Glover Quin signed a five-year deal with the Lions, sending a private jet to Baltimore for Reed’s visit to Houston on March 14.

    Reed must have appreciated the Southern hospitality. And the $15 million.

    The Texans worked out a fair deal, not overstepping with a huge contract that comes with the risk of signing a player toward the end of Reed's career. Reed, in return, can’t complain with $5 million guaranteed and the opportunity to play three more years in the NFL.

    That’s better than what Brian Urlacher is getting.

    The fact that Reed’s contract is for three seasons gives a glimpse at the timetable of hope Rick Smith and Bob McNair have on winning a Super Bowl. This is a team that has been improving incrementally since 2010, and the signing of Ed Reed might be the final piece in getting them there.

    Having played in 90 percent of the games in his career, Reed offers stability to a defense that was plagued by the injury of Brian Cushing a season ago. Reed hasn’t missed a game since 2010 and played through a strained MCL in Super Bowl XLVII, recording an interception and a game-saving tackle.

    The 34-year-old safety offers experience and leadership to a defense whose starters’ average age was 27 last season (younger than four out of the top five defenses of 2012). What better to help reinforce the idea of winning a championship than the addition of a player who just learned how to get there?

    He will be reunited with former teammate Andre Johnson, with whom he won a national championship for the Miami Hurricanes in 2002. The link of leadership between the offense and defense will help keep goals in mind when inner-team rivalries begin during training camp, when starting jobs are at risk.

    With the draft coming up, safety is no longer as big a necessity. But with talent such as Tyrann Mathieu available, it wouldn’t be surprising for the Texans to draft a player in the later rounds to take the reins at safety after benefiting from the mentorship of a future hall of famer.

    Nevertheless, the elite defense the Texans have been striving toward almost seems complete. The secondary is as strong as it ever has been, the linebacking core will return to its full threat with Cushing back in the lineup and J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith are returning to hold up the front line.

    Playing in the Super Bowl is the goal for the Houston Texans, and they may just get there with the help of a player who instead of hanging up the gloves has decided to go for a few more rounds.

  • Buyers and Sellers at the NHL Trade Deadline: Who could be on the move?

    The NHL’s April 3 trade deadline is looming, and there are plenty of teams buying and selling. Here is a look at who should be the most active buyers and sellers, and which players could be on the move in the next few days.

    The Sellers:

    Calgary Flames (12-14-4)

    They’ve been at or near the bottom of the West for a majority of the season, and though still alive in the playoff race, their realistic ceiling is the 7-8 seed – probably a first-round exit playing Chicago or Anaheim. So why not ship off 35-year-old winger Jarome Iginla to a legitimate contender and see what value you can get in return? Iginla is the most coveted Flame right now, and Calgary’s front office has fielded a number of calls about his status. I expect he’ll be sent east, probably to Boston. There have been rumors that Jay Bouwmeester is also available, but I think the Flames will hold onto him. He’s under 30, and one of the league’s most durable and complete defensemen.

    Dallas Stars (15-14-3)

    They just traded mainstay center and captain Brendan Morrow and a third-round pick to Pittsburgh for highly touted defenseman prospect Joe Morrow (no relation) and a sixth-round pick. But they aren’t done. GM Joe Nieuwendyk remains committed to retooling this team by developing youth and depth. On the Stars trading block right now is third line center Derek Roy, who is an unrestricted free agent this summer. Roy, 29, currently has 20 points (4 G, 16 A) and has reportedly rejected the Stars’ offer to re-sign him after this season, so they can either trade him and get some value or let him go for nothing. The Stars' asking price has been high – they are looking for a projected top six forward. Like Iginla, expect Roy to head east, as Dallas will probably try to get him out of its conference. Ignore the Jagr trade rumors. He is too important to the Stars, and he is expected to be re-signed.

    The Buyers:

    Boston Bruins (21-7-3)

    They are on the hunt for almost any major trade out there. They are looking to take over that top seed in the Eastern Conference, and boy, will it be a dogfight with Montreal and Pittsburgh. Already an imposing and physical team I’m not sure they need someone like Iginla, but instead could really benefit from a flashy creator up the middle – someone like center Mike Ribeiro from Washington, who is rumored to be available. They have the prospects to dangle, so we’ll have to see what happens.

    Ottawa Senators (18-9-6)

    They’ve been in talks with Dallas about Roy, but are hesitant to give in to Dallas’ demands: a top six forward. But ever since defenseman Eric Karlsson went down with that nasty Achilles injury, they’ve been a little thin on the blue line. So maybe they look at a Jay Bouwmeester? But then again, Calgary will want a hefty return for him. Ottawa needs to make a move to compete with Boston and Pittsburgh, and it doesn't quite have the same level of prospects, so it is undoubtedly in the toughest position to negotiate.