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Read August 08, 2018, 07:43:56 AM #0
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General manager Mitch Kupchak wants point guard Kemba Walker to end his NBA career right where it started – with the Charlotte Hornets.

Kupchak said Friday that Walker is ”revered” in the Charlotte community Will Hernandez Color Rush Jersey , and that he and owner Michael Jordan look at the two-time All-Star as ”the focal point of this franchise going forward.”

The 28-year-old Walker has been the subject of possible NBA trade talks as he prepares to enter the final year of his contract with the Hornets. That speculation has amped up recently because it is a practical impossibility for Charlotte to sign Walker to an extension before he becomes a free agent in July of 2019 since the Hornets are so tight under the salary cap.

”I think everybody is aware of the situation, if you follow basketball a little bit, it is unique that he is on an extension that may make it a challenge going forward to figure out before he becomes a free agent,” Kupchak said.

At $12 million per year, Walker well underpaid when compared to the other top point guards in the league.

But that doesn’t mean Kupchak is giving up hope the team can keep Walker in Charlotte.

”I don’t think it is anybody’s goal to lose him in free agency,” Kupchak said. ”But going forward, in the community Billy Price Color Rush Jersey , in the franchise, this is a player that we hope is with us – not only for the next couple of years, but ends his career here.”

The Hornets don’t have much experience behind Walker at point guard.

They have last year’s first-round draft pick Malik Monk and drafted Devonte Graham from Kansas in the second round on Thursday night.

Graham said he is excited to pick Walker’s brain when it comes to basketball.

”I have never met him, but I remember watching him play when he was at UConn though,” Graham said. ”I’m just excited man to learn from someone like that and just be around someone like that who is winner, and knows how to win and compete. I am looking forward to being able to learn from him.”



Mike Foltynewicz loves trying to one-up his fellow hurlers in the Atlanta Braves red-hot pitching rotation.

He kept even with cohorts by tossing five shutout innings and Freddie Freeman homered as the Atlanta Braves held off the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 on Sunday.

”It’s like a friendly competition with a fun group of guys,” Foltynewicz said. ”It’s a good vibe.”

The Braves outscored St. Louis 22-10 in sweeping a three-game series in St. Louis for the first time since May 11-13 Darius Leonard Color Rush Jersey , 2012.

Tommy Pham homered for St. Louis, which has lost four in a row. The Cardinals scored five times in the seventh to rally from a 6-0 deficit.

Foltynewicz matched Julio Teheran and Max Fried to post the Braves third successive scoreless appearance by a starter. Teheran tossed six scoreless innings a 5-1 win on Friday. Fried did not allow a run in 6 2-3 innings of an 11-4 victory on Saturday.

”They’ve been awesome,” said Atlanta infielder Charlie Culberson, who had two hits and drove in two runs on Sunday, ”It makes it easier for us (hitters). A little bit more relaxed for us going up there.”

Foltynewicz (6-4) surrendered one hit – a fourth-inning single to Marcell Ozuna. He struck out nine and walked three in an 86-pitch outing.

”He never gave in, he kept grinding,” manager Brian Snitker said.

Foltynewicz has allowed just two hits and one run over 10 innings in two outings since coming off the disabled list with tightness in his right tricepts on June 25.

”He was kind of wildly effective Johnny Townsend Color Rush Jersey ,” St. Louis infielder Kolten Wong said. ”When you’re throwing as hard as he was, it makes it tough.”

The Braves three starters allowed seven hits over 17 2-3 innings with 24 strikeouts in the series.

”We’ve been feeding off each other,” Foltynewicz said. ”We’re always pulling for each other, pushing each other, asking questions. We hang around together and you can see that we take it out to the mound. It’s been a really fun time.”

A.J. Minter picked up his third save in as many tries by setting the side down in order in the ninth. He has not allowed a run in his last seven appearances.

Freeman’s 16th homer of the season, a two-run drive, pushed the lead to 3-0 in sixth. The blow highlighted a five-run uprising that also included a run-scoring hit from Culberson.

Pham hit a three-run homer off Peter Moylan in the seventh to bring the Cardinals to within 6-5.

St. Louis starter John Gant (2-3) allowed four runs on four hits over 5 1-3 innings.

”I’ve definitely got to do better http://www.steelersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-james-washington-jersey ,” Gant said. ”Came out on the losing end, so anytime that happens, improvements need to be made.”

Francisco Pena had a two-run single in the seventh for St. Louis, which will play 17 of its next 20 games on the road.

The Braves have been in first place or tied for first in 60 of the last 62 days. They kicked off their 10-game road trip in style.

”To come out and win the first three games, that’s really nice,” Culberson said. ”But this series is done. We took care of business. Time to move on.”

Atlanta infielder Ozzie Albies extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a sixth-inning single.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: C Tyler Flowers returned to the starting lineup after missing Saturday’s game. He suffered a muscle cramp in the sixth inning of Friday’s 5-1 win.

Cardinals: RHP Luke Gregerson began a rehab stint with Triple-A Memphis on Sunday. He did not allow a hit over one inning. Gregerson was placed on the 10-day disabled list with shoulder impingement on May 16.

UP NEXT

Braves RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-2, 2.68) will face RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (2-0 Donte Jackson Color Rush Jersey , 1.93) in the first of a three-game series against the Yankees in New York. Sanchez is 4-1 in six lifetime starts against the Yankees.

Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (4-4, 3.22) takes on Arizona LHP Robbie Ray (3-0, 4.01) in the opener of a three-game series in Arizona that kicks off a nine-game road trip. Martinez is 2-0 in three starts at Chase Field.

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