My first task this morning was to find out which NBA team drafted my NBA Sleeper Pick for 2019. It turns out to be the 76ers who took Matisse Thybulle out of the University of Washington. Unlike just about everyone else in the draft who brings gaudy scoring stats to the table, Thybulle is not much of a scorer and really does need time to develop his shooting and offensive skills. However, what he does as well as or better than everyone else in the draft is to play perimeter defense; he led the nation in steals last year (3.5 per game) and he averaged 2.2 blocked shots per game too. As NBA teams continue to “spread the floor” on offense, the value of perimeter defense is going to increase – and Thybulle is the best that I saw at that aspect of the game. Ergo, he is my NBA Sleeper Pick for 2019.
When I left for vacation, the issue of Robert Kraft’s alleged dalliance(s) at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa focused on statements by the police/prosecutors that they would reveal covert surveillance tapes from inside the spa to show that there was “improper hoochie-coochie” going on in there. For the record let me say unequivocally:
- If such video evidence exists, I have precisely zero interest in watching it. Sex is not a “spectator sport”.
Subsequent to that declaration by the prosecution, the judge in this matter ruled that the tape in question was obtained improperly and could not be used in court. Who knows if that evidence will ultimately be admissible or not – and frankly, who cares? Look, I have no interest in trying to navigate the waters where any questions are of this ilk:
- Why is prostitution a crime?
- If a woman has an inalienable right to choose what to do with her body, why can she not choose to sell sex acts with it for money?
- Why would a man of Robert Kraft’s means choose to go to a Day Spa for “relief” instead of “ordering in”? [That was my question the day the original story broke.]
What I do want to say here is that the police and the prosecution in this case begin to seem overly zealous here. Recall, on the day of the revelation of these arrests and charges, the police said that there was “human trafficking” going on in that Day Spa and that the women there were akin to sex slaves. Now that would change the equation a whole lot. Human trafficking is a totally despicable situation; sex slaves are not choosing to sell their sex acts for money, they are being coerced into doing so. Human trafficking in sex is a form of rape in my mind where the rapist is not necessarily the person performing the sex act.
The problem is that no one has been arrested or charged with human trafficking in this matter for the last 4 months. If it were in fact ongoing there – as was declared without any modifiers back in February – you would think that the gendarmes would have made an arrest or filed charges against the ne’er-do-wells by now. The only logical conclusion to draw here is that there was no human trafficking going on notwithstanding the fact that the activities in that Day Spa were maximally sleazy.
The parallel that keeps coming to mind here is the infamous and disgusting “Duke Lacrosse Case”. Just as the prosecutor in Durham, NC played fast and loose with public statements and various bits of evidence, it seems as if the prosecution here has been “less than candid” regarding how and why there was covert video surveillance in that building.
And now I have the opportunity for a relatively smooth transition to the next topic of the day – – Tom Brady, who works for Robert Kraft, is entering the final year of his contract with the Patriots. I cannot imagine that he will become a free agent in February 2020; there will have to be a new contract or an extension of his current one in place before that. Kraft said back around Super Bowl time that he foresaw Brady as the Pats’ QB for “quite a while”. If I have interpreted the various salary numbers correctly regarding how one calculates the franchise tag, I believe it would cost the Pats a guaranteed $32.5M for a one-year extension if they use the franchise tag. That would still leave Brady well below the annual salary for several NFL QBs and put Brady about on the same annual salary level as Carson Wentz.
However, the franchise tag would seem to work against the interests of both Brady and the Pats. We know – because Brady has said so – that he has taken lower values on his contracts for the team to be able to sign other players for the benefit of the team. The franchise tag does not allow for any salary cap relief; the entire amount goes on the books as a guaranteed deal for a single season the minute the ink dries on the dotted line.
This situation will find a resolution – probably before the start of the 2019 season…
Oh, by the way, two other “elder-statesman QBs” are in the final year of their contracts.
- Philip Rivers will finish up a deal that had a total value of $83.3M over 4 years with the Chargers. The Chargers have 3 other QBs on the roster at the moment – Cardale Jones, Easton Stick and Tyrod Taylor. My assessment is that the Chargers do not have an “heir-apparent” in the wings and will find a way to get a new deal done with Rivers before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in February 2020.
- Eli Manning will finish up a deal that had a total value of $84M over 4 years with the Giants. The Giants have 4 other QBs on the roster as of this morning – Eric Dungey, Daniel Jones, Kyle Lauletta and Alex Tanney. [For the record, Eric Dungey is double-slotted as a QB and as a TE.] Given that the Giants took Daniel Jones with the overall #6 pick in this year’s draft, you would have to say that they think they have an “heir-apparent” in the wings. It will be interesting to see what the Giants do with regard to signing/extending Eli Manning as this season progresses.
Finally, Dwight Perry had this comment in the Seattle Times regarding the possibility that the Orchids of Asia Day Spa video tape was going to be made public:
“Florida prosecutors say they’ll release videos of Patriots owner Robert Kraft at Orchids of Asia Day Spa, with certain parts pixelized.
“Even the refs who jobbed the Saints are saying, “Bad call!’ ”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………