Nearly a week after the Indiana Pacers offered talented but controversial guard Lance Stephenson a five-year, $44 million contract, the two sides remain far apart on a new deal.
Stephenson obviously wants the sun, the moon and the stars from the Pacers after leading them in both rebounds and assists last season and really just taking his game to the next level overall. However, his on-court antics, especially throughout the playoffs, are what he is most-remembered for right now and that could be a sticking point for the Pacers with regard to going with more dollars. The two sides should continue to negotiate, but it might take the involvement of a third team to really kick the discussions into high gear. ANALYST: Howard Bender
Albert Pujols went 1-for-4 with a home run on Wednesday night against the Astros.
Pujols has reached his coveted 30 home run mark and it is still only July. In his 15 major league seasons he has now hit 30 home runs in 13 of them, giving him a jaw-dropping total of 550 throughout his career. His resurgence has been a breath of fresh air for all baseball fans, but especially great for those who took him in the middle rounds of their fantasy drafts. Right now, Pujols gives us no reason to assume that his bat will slow down any time soon, so his pace of 49 home runs this season shouldn’t be ruled out by any stretch of the imagination. Analysis: Dom Murtha
Lucas Duda went 3-for-3 with three home runs on Wednesday night against the Padres.
Duda provided a perfect fantasy night on Wednesday, as he went 3-for-3 with three home runs. Unfortunately for Mets fans, his three round trippers were the entire New York offense, as they lost to the Padres by the score of 7-3. The streaky Duda’s bat has come alive of late, as he has pounded six home runs in his last four games (16 at-bats), bringing him to the grand total of 18 on the season. After looking like he was going to be a huge disappointment this year, following up his 30 home run 2014, Duda has turned it on, inching him closer to matching that number as the second half of the season is well underway. Analysis: Dom Murtha