20 February 2007South Africa is to set a Housing Development Agency in an effort to double the number of houses being built and to meet its target of eradicating informal settlements by 2014.Speaking to journalists in Cape Town on Wednesday, Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the agency would develop, manage and coordinate housing development across the country.This would include identifying and buying well-located and affordable land for low-income housing.Sisulu said that while more than 200 000 affordable houses were being built each year in South Africa, the number needed to be doubled in order to eradicate informal settlements by 2014, one year ahead of the deadline of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.According to the Department of Housing, while some two million low-cost houses have been built since 1994, it still faces a huge and increasing demand from about 2.4-million households in informal settlements.The department has projected that delivery will increase to 265 000 houses in 2006/07, based on a conservative estimate of 30% growth in the final quarter. However, the department adds that South Africa “urgently” needs to achieve a target of half a million houses a year.In order to eradicate the housing backlog, annual delivery rates of more than 400 000 units are required, at a cost of between R345- and R548-billion, with costs decreasing as the delivery rate increases.According to the department, a delivery rate of about 500 000 housing units per year would mean the backlog could be eradicated by 2014, at a cost of about R345-billion.Sisulu said the urgency of the housing programme was also part of an overall anti-crime strategy. Apart from raising the standards of living of South Africans, it would enable more efficient policing in orderly settlements compared to the haphazard nature of informal settlements.While it continues to deliver formal low-cost housing, the government is also busy finalising legislation to prevent further squatting and invasions. It is also assisting metropolitan areas and other cities in the areas of funding and capacity to upgrade existing informal settlements.The minister also called for more private sector involvement in the sector. “Through the social contract, we will continue to engage more employers in order to work with them to provide decent affordable homes for their employees,” Sisulu said.Source: BuaNews
9 September 2011 The latest edition of the prestigious journal Science contains no less than five articles detailing new evidence that Australopithecus sediba, whose fossils were uncovered at a site in South Africa’s Cradle of Humankind, is the best candidate for ancestor of the genus Homo. The delicate skeleton of the hand of the Australopithecus sediba lay protectively in the hand of Wits University professor Lee Berger, who first discovered the site in August 2008, at a press conference in Johannesburg on Thursday. It is the most complete hand skeleton of an early hominin ever discovered. Besides the hand, a complete undistorted pelvis, along with pieces of the foot and ankle skeleton, were unveiled this week. First-time achievements Five papers detailing the findings and analysis of the find were published in Science on Friday. This is the largest number of scientific papers every produced by an African-based team or university to be published in a major science journal. An image of the hand appears on the cover of the journal. Other first-time achievements in palaeontological science are the highest resolution and most accurate scan of an early human ancesters’ brain, and the most accurate dates to be obtained for an early hominin site in Africa. Australopithecus sediba dates back 1.9-million years. “The fossils demonstrate a surprisingly advanced but small brain, a very evolved hand with a long thumb like a human, a very modern pelvis, but a foot and ankle shape never seen in any hominin species that combines features of both apes and humans in one anatomical package,” said Berger. Last year the skeleton of a boy, nicknamed Karabo, was unveiled. This year a second female skeleton was unveiled, along with the other fossils.‘Best candidate ancestor for the genus Homo’ “The many very advanced features found in the brain and body, and the earlier date, make it possibly the best candidate ancestor for our genus, the genus Homo, more so than previous discoveries such as Homo habilis,” he said. This means that the status of Homo habilis is now going to be re-evaluated. The site – now called Malapa, in the Cradle of Humankind northwest of Johannesburg – has yielded over 220 bones, collectively making up more than five individuals. The skeleton of an adult female and adolescent male have so far been assembled. The find was first announced at Maropeng, the intrepretation centre attached to the Sterkfontein Cave area, in April 2010. Over 80 scientists from across the world – geologists, computer specialists, morphologists, anatomists and physicists, among others – have come together to study the fossils. It has been estimated that the boy was between 11 and 13 years, while the woman was in her late 20s or early 30s. It is believed that they fell into a deep cave, where they were solidified into rock, and over 2-million years of erosion the fossils have been exposed. Other animal fossils have been found with them – sabre-toothed cats, hyenas, antelopes, mice, birds and snails. Sediba is believed to be the ancestor of the Homo genus. It had long arms, like an ape and short powerful hands, meaning that although it was bipedal, it retained its ability to climb. The advanced pelvis and long legs suggest it was able to stride and possibly even run like a human.Significance of the complete hand The significance of the complete hand is extraordinary. Almost all other hominin hand bone finds do not belong to the same individual, and therefore cannot be affiliated with a specific hominin species. “In our paper, we investigate the presence of several features that have been associated with human-like precision grip and the ability to make stone tools,” said Dr Tracy Kivell, a palaeoanthropologist in the department of human evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. The hand is unique because it has shortened fingers and a very long thumb, but at the same time very powerful muscles for grasping, making it a hand capable of tool manufacture and use, but still able to climb. “However, the Au. Sebida hand is still primitive in many ways compared to modern humans, and the team does not suggest that Au. sediba was the only hominin around 2-million years ago capable of making tools,” said Kivell. A comparison has been between Homo habilis and Au. Sebida, both capable of tool making, although with different hands. What this indicates is that there were many hominin species capable of making stone tools, long before either of them are known to have roamed the earth. “However, the paucity of complete hand bones in the fossil record and our poor understanding of how the human hand functions and what morphology is necessary to make tools has limited our ability to determine exactly which species made tools and when and how tool-making first evolved,” said Kivell. “Au. Sediba has shed new light on these questions.”The pelvis The pelvis is short and broad like a human pelvis, but it retains features of earlier hominins. “It is surprising to discover such an advanced pelvis in such a small-brained creature because of previous ideas as to the origin of the shape of the human pelvis,” said Dr Job Kibii, a palaeoanthropologist in the Institute for Human Evolution at Wits. For this reason, the linking of larger brains to a more advanced pelvis will be revisited. “The shape and form of the Au. Sediba pelvis suggests that there is a need to look at other explanations for the origins of modern pelvic shape,’ adds Kibii.The foot The foot is particularly important in the evolution of humans, and indicates what defines humans – the ability to walk upright, or bipedalism. The ankle of the female is one of the most complete ankles ever found, with bones connected. It shows evidence of an arch and Achilles tendon, but at the same time is ape-like in its heel and shin bone. “This suggests that Au. sediba may have practised a unique form of bipedalism, and would have almost certainly climbed trees,” said Dr Bernhard Zipfel, a palaeoanthropologist at the Institute for Human Evolution at Wits. No ankle has been described with so many primitive and advanced features in one complex, he says. This means that if the bones had not been found as a whole, it may have been assumed that they belonged to different species. Interestingly, the bones were not taken apart physically but rather separated virtually with 3D scanners. These digital bones were then printed out and studied, with no damage caused to the ankle.The brain The brain pounds out its shape against the developing skull of a child with every heartbeat, and leaves an impression of the shape and form of the brain on the inside of the skull. Scientists have mapped the contours of this surface, thus producing a clear image of the original brain. The boy’s brain was around 450 cubic centimetres, compared to a human brain of around 1 600 cubic centimetres. “However, one of the major discoveries announced in the Science papers is that the shape and form of sediba’s brain is not consistent with a model of gradual brain enlargement, which is what has been hypothesised previously for the transition from Australopithecus to Homo,” said Dr Kris Carlson from the Institute for Human Evolution at Wits. The fossils were too old to be dated by radio-carbon dating, a method that can only date fossils back 50 000 years. Instead, they were dated by means of the Uranium-Lead dating method. When the rocks were formed, uranium got trapped in them and decayed, forming lead. Scientists are able to measure the amount of uranium and lead in the limestone rocks, which capped the find. Sediba is Sotho for “well” or “spring”; Australopithecus sediba was so named because it was hoped that “a great source of information will spring from the fossils”. Excavation of the site is at a very early stage, and holds the promise of many more fossil discoveries. Source: City of Johannesburg
In Part I, “Be Yourself – Everyone Else Is Taken” – we stressed the importance of embracing your uniqueness on your path to success. As we experience 21st century demographic and technical transformations in the workplace, one important adjustment that leaders can make is to acknowledge and reward positive deviance – both formally and informally. In a community, the collective actions of each member define the culture of the group. Well, almost. There are usually a few outliers – those who stick out, swim upstream, and tend to succeed against the odds. They are the positive deviants. They “tend to think and act well in advance of where the organization wants to go, and are already practicing many of the attitudes, behaviors, and business processes these functions want to achieve as a result of … [their] cultural change initiatives.” The three criteria for positive deviance are as follows: Voluntary behaviors Significant departure from the norms of a reference group Honorable intentions Positive deviants are usually right in front of us. They are “invisible in plain sight.” Think about the recruiting brochure for your company. It’s probably filled with glossy photos of employees playing softball, teammates eating lunch together, climbing clubs, theatre troupes, and bowling outings. Who are the people that organize those outings and groups? Often, it starts with one single passionate employee, who puts together the sports league schedules, sends email, sets up a web site, and follows up with team members. He or she is your positive deviant. And it’s likely that none of that which they do here – the stuff that makes a team or company a great place to work – shows up in a performance evaluation for them, despite the huge impact it has on the quality of work life for everyone. For example, a typical mentor may contribute 12-40 hours a year helping one or more mentees with virtually no formal recognition in the company rewards process, and likely no reduction in their own workload to accommodate for that time investment. They do it to give back, to give to others. These people help one another as an organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) for the benefit of the group and to help others. This unrewarded positive deviance stretches beyond informal activities and can take the form of new creative methods by which an employee meets his formal performance goals. He or she may have the same end result on paper come review time but often how the positive deviant got there (perhaps by bringing others along the way, or developing sustainable methods) can be better in the long run for the company, but unrecognized. Despite the relative informality around how it grows, and is promoted, “positive deviance has profound effects on the individuals and organizations that partake and benefit from such activities” and “A growing number of scholars believe positive deviance may be important for promoting subjective well-being and long-term organizational effectiveness.“ Positive deviants often do not even realize that they are doing anything unusual or noteworthy. They work alongside their peers and flourish in their area of passion. These employees are intrinsically motivated to an extent, but better formal recognition will create a culture where positive deviance thrives and is more readily accepted. Time and time again leaders find that deep innovation can’t be taught or controlled – but it can be sparked or catalyzed. One way to jump start innovative behavior is to encourage, acknowledge, and reward positive deviance. This requires “an approach to behavioral and social change based on the observation that in a community, there are people (Positive Deviants) whose uncommon but successful behaviors or strategies enable them to find better solutions to a problem than their peers, despite having no special resources or knowledge.” “Managers must actively look for those extraordinary successful groups and individuals, and bring the isolated success strategies of these “positive deviants” into the mainstream… [And] current best practice change management methods are not good at realizing this.” Neither are best practice rewards methods. In growing corporations there will inevitably be a trend, at some point, towards standardization – in processes, titles, rewards and methodology – that is natural as an organization grows and matures – even though it inhibits risk-taking and experimentation. As this evolution takes place, it becomes more and more important that positive deviance is embraced, communicated out and rewarded. If a team has done something successful – technically, organizationally, with management, morale, etc., there are typically outlets for sharing best practices – but preparation and delivery to share comes at the expense of the individual, who often must forsake his or her own job, or more likely, work extra hard, in order to help the company by sharing. These “positive deviants”, whose practices and success stories we acknowledge, should be explicitly rewarded – and encouraged through more than just a circumstantial acknowledgement with an “atta boy or atta girl” email. This should be part of a formal reward and recognition effort and called out deliberately by upper management, and rewarded accordingly. Some quick ideas to get started in embracing positive deviance A Scientific Model for Grassroots O.D., Seidman McCauley http://www.scribd.com/doc/19180652/A-Scientific-Model-for-Grassroots-OD Spreitzer & Sonenshein. 2004. Toward the Construct Definition of Positive Deviance. University of Michigan Business School, American Behavioral Scientist. Understanding the Impact of Positive Deviance in Work Organizations. Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Sternin, J., & Choo, R. (2000). The power of positive deviancy. Harvard Business Pascale and Sternin (2005). Using Indigenous Change Agents. Explanation of Positive Deviance
SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Judiciary Committee set to take over Trump impeachment probe Abueva proves worth with solid outings vs Australia, Japan BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. [email protected] promises that he’ll be ready for Gilas Pilipinas in the third window of #FIBAWC pic.twitter.com/nSnFTGHYWG— Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) February 25, 2018The Philippines takes on Chinese Taipei on June 29 in Taipei, before flying back home to try and avenge its loss against Australia on July 2 at Philippine Arena.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim But if there’s one thing he knew donning that national tri-colors, it’s that he can always trust the ones on the floor.Romeo never doubted his teammates as the Philippines went on to claim the 89-84 victory over the Akatsuki Five to move to the second round of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“My trust in the team is always there. I know that they won’t give up that easily. All of them already has the experience,” he said.Romeo’s belief never waned even after Japan made a belated run that cut what was once a 15-point lead down to just two, 86-84, with 31.5 seconds to play — especially when he saw who had the rock. PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netMissing Gilas Pilipinas’ duty anew in its game against Japan on Sunday, Terrence Romeo admitted that the itch to play for the national team never wavers, especially after the home squad fell behind 4-20 early.“I always feel that [I want to play], especially when I watch the games. I always want to help the team,” he admitted in Filipino.ADVERTISEMENT “I saw that kuya Jayson (Castro) had the ball. I wasn’t nervous when I saw he had the ball in that last possession,” he said as he even called Castro as the country’s savior.Castro sank the game-clinching floater over Makoto Hiejima with 10.6 seconds remaining before Andray Blatche hit a free throw to put the game away.“They really made me proud,” related the GlobalPort dribbler as Gilas Pilipinas qualified to the second round of the Asian qualifiers. “They delivered at a time where we really need them the most.”The victory makes Romeo all the more excited to make his national team comeback as he seeks to be in tip-top shape for the third window, slated in June.“I promise that I’ll be ready by that time,” he vowed as he continues his recovery from his knee contusion injury. “I can’t say that my return will be a big factor for the team, but all I want is to help the team.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES View comments
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 2, 2010June 21, 2017By: Kate Mitchell, Maternal Health Task ForceClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Ann Blanc, Director of the Maternal Health Task Force, welcomed attendees of the Global Maternal Health Conference to the third and final day of the conference. She recalled the Safe Motherhood Conference held in 1987 in Nairobi–and said, “Experts at the Nairobi meeting did not expect to be here today. They would have thought that by now preventable maternal mortality would be a thing of the past.”Lynn Freedman, Director of the Averting Maternal Death and Disability program at Columbia University and moderator of the final plenary, opened the session with a statement that she said few could argue with: Many of the pieces are in place to make preventable maternal mortality a thing of the past; technical knowledge, money, political will, and big improvements on the great challenges of implementation. What we need now is accountability. The title of plenary three was Maternal health accountability: successes, failures, and new approaches.Insights from plenary three panelists:Sigrun Mogedal, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Norway, discussed bi-lateral and mulit-lateral aid for maternal health. She noted the current momentum around maternal health but reminded conference participants that we have been here before–and asked, “Why should now be different?” She pointed out that consensus in New York is not the same as action on the ground. The missing piece needed for more action on the ground is accountability–and this is a matter of hard domestic policies. She said that bi-lateral and multi-lateral debates “take up too much space.” The global must serve and respond to the local, NOT the other way around.Helena Hofbauer, Manager of Partnership Development at the International Budget Project, raised questions about aid effectiveness–and discussed national governments’ commitments to spending on maternal health. She described the work of the International Budget Project to use budget analysis to address persistent inequalities in maternal mortality. She said that the budget is a nation’s single most important overarching policy document. Helena asked, “What would happen if people actually asked the government how much and specifically on what they are spending to improve maternal health?” The International Budget Project did ask these questions on behalf of citizens, and the response was “deplorable”. In fact, the reply from Nigeria was that this sort of information is “sensitive and controversial” and from Tajikistan, “Please don’t bother the minister with these sorts of requests.” Helena declared, “This is, in practice, an accountability free zone.”Nancy Northup, President of the Center for Reproductive Rights, talked about accountability within the context of a human rights and legal framework for improving maternal health. She described a paradigm shift from considering maternal health solely as a public health issue to now understanding it as a human rights issue. Nancy described the legal framework for how and why governments should be held accountable for maternal deaths–citing the right to life, health, equality and non-discrimination, privacy, spacing of children, to be free from cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, and to education, information and the benefits of scientific progress. She described the process of litigation at the national and international level to demand individual compensation and systemic change–noting that demanding this sort of accountability is the next critical step in improving global maternal health.Aparajita Gogoi, Executive Director of CEDPA India and the India National Coordinator for the White Ribbon Alliance, commented on accountability through grassroots advocacy. She said that working on the issue of accountability at the grassroots level occurs in three phases: gathering information, spreading awareness, and speaking out. She described a number of tools that can be employed to give local communities a voice including public hearings, check lists, verbal autopsies, and more. Aparajita talked about the importance of providing a safe setting for dialogue—a place where communities can voice concerns and demand action. She pointed out that crucial here, is that people with power are also present, take the concerns seriously, and are held accountable for taking action.Follow the Maternal Health Task Force and EngenderHealth on Twitter: @MHTF and @EngenderHealth. The conference hashtag is #GMHC2010.For more posts about the Global Maternal Health Conference, click here.For the live stream schedule, click here.Check back soon for the archived videos of the conference presentations.Share this:
TagsEnglish ChampionshipFootball League OneAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say Football League clubs reject “compassionate re-entry” of Buryby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveA proposal for Bury to be readmitted to League Two next season was rejected by the English Football League’s 71 member clubs at a meeting on Thursday, reports BBC Sport.Bury, who were in League One, were expelled from the EFL in August after a last-ditch takeover bid collapsed.Earlier this week, a group trying to rescue Bury submitted a plan for “compassionate re-entry” to League Two.However, an EFL statement said “it became clear that the proposal did not have the necessary support”.It added that EFL clubs’ “preferred direction of travel” was “extending the existing principle of a reduction in relegation across all divisions as a means of returning to 72 clubs now and for the future”.It means only one team will go down from League Two this campaign, rather than two, while three clubs will go down from League One.Bury will now have to apply to the Football Association for a place in non-league football.
20Jusuf Nurkic9.039.6428.4211.1117.31 1Pascal Siakam11.8712.67$37.36M$1.54M$35.82M 12Rudy Gobert13.7914.7143.4023.2420.16 9Giannis Antetokounmpo14.8815.8846.8424.1622.68 2Nikola Vucevic13.9114.8443.7812.7531.03 13Ben Simmons8.398.9526.416.4319.97 17Monte Morris6.376.8020.051.3518.70 18D’Angelo Russell8.098.6325.467.0218.44 5Karl-Anthony Towns11.3312.0935.667.8427.82 10Kemba Walker10.5611.2733.2412.0021.24 We won’t find out who won until late June, but the 2018-19 NBA season treated basketball fans to one of the great MVP battles in recent memory. Several worthy players hung around the race for large portions of the season, including Paul George and Nikola Jokic. But in the end, there were two: Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden — each of whom has several arguments working in his favor.Antetokounmpo is the best player on the best team1By record, at least. in the league, and he led the 60-win Bucks to the best defense and fourth-best offense in the NBA. He averaged an unheard of 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. He is also one of the best defenders in the league — a top-tier candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.Harden, meanwhile, carried an offensive burden unlike any in modern NBA history. His 40.5 percent usage rate is the second-highest of all time. He finished the season averaging 36.1 points per game, eighth-most in league history and the most since Michael Jordan ticked off 37.1 per game in 1987. Harden boosted his deep attempts far beyond what previously seemed either possible or reasonable, taking 13.2 triples per game and connecting on them at a 37 percent rate.2He made 378 shots from beyond the arc, second only to only 2016 Stephen Curry in NBA history.Really, though, the argument between the two players is less about who had the better season and more about the definition of “valuable.” Is it just the best player in the league? Is it the best player on the best team? Is it the player whose performance was most outstanding, whatever you decide that means? Is it the player whose team needs him the most? Is it some combination of all of those things, as well as a few others? Different players, coaches, executives, fans and media members have different definitions.What if we took the word “valuable” as literally as possible, though, and tried to identify the player who provided his team with the greatest bang for its buck throughout this season? After all, what’s more valuable than performing at a level that far outstrips your salary, allowing your team to spend those surplus dollars on more talent elsewhere?The first step to answering this question is to quantify the dollar value of a win in the NBA. There were 1,230 games played this season, which means there were 1,230 wins up for grabs. According to Basketball-Reference.com, NBA teams handed out more than $3.6 billion in salary this year. Dividing that figure by 1,230 means that a single win was valued at $2,949,908.82.We can then turn to ESPN’s Real-Plus Minus and specifically RPM wins, a stat that uses a player’s RPM and his possessions played to estimate his contribution to the number of his team’s wins. Not all players qualified for the RPM leaderboard, so there was a slight shortfall of wins produced by the 514 players who did qualify. We applied a multiplier to each of those player’s totals in order to account for the shortfall. Then, we multiplied the dollar value of a win by the number of adjusted RPM wins each player produced to pinpoint the dollar value of that player’s production. Subtracting his actual 2018-19 salary from that number yields a surplus, meeting our goal of identifying the best bang-for-buck player in the league this season. 19Willie Cauley-Stein7.237.7122.764.7018.06 14Joe Ingles10.4511.1532.8913.0519.85 It should come as no surprise that both Antetokounmpo and Harden ranked among the league leaders in both the value of their production and the surplus value they provided their teams. The Rockets received more than $27 million in surplus value on Harden; the Bucks got nearly $23 million in surplus on Antetokounmpo. Neither player, though, led the league in surplus value. Harden ranked sixth, while Antetokounmpo ranked ninth (and second on his own team).3Brook Lopez, who produced $32.77 million in value compared with a paltry $3.38 million salary, held that crown. Fellow MVP candidates George ($30.22 million) and Jokic ($19.49 million) also ranked highly in surplus value, but again, neither of them led the league.4Though George did lead the league with a production value of $60.78 million. Instead, the league leader was do-it-all Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, with a surplus value of nearly $36 million.Siakam is quite good, obviously, but he’s not nearly as good as the MVP types just yet. By any traditional MVP definition, he doesn’t really fit. But we’re not looking for a traditionally defined MVP here — just the player whose value most exceeded his salary. And that’s why Siakam makes perfect sense.Siakam broke out in a huge way this season, emerging as both the favorite for Most Improved Player and a candidate for one of the All-NBA teams. He averaged 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 combined steals and blocks per game while getting to the line 3.8 times a night and canning 36.9 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. He is a wonderful defender, capable of handling himself both in space and on the block, wreaking havoc in passing lanes and containing ball-handlers off the dribble. He also served as the point man in the Raptors’ league-best zone defense and the one of the primary drivers of their defense-to-offense transition attack. Toronto outscored its opponents by 10.7 points per 100 possessions with Siakam on the floor, per NBA.com, the eighth-best figure among the 353 players who appeared in at least 40 games. He carried the Raptors in several games when Kyle Lowry and/or Kawhi Leonard sat out because of injuries or load management; he was also a rotation mainstay, playing in 80 of 82 games, all but one of which he started.And Siakam did all of this while drawing a salary of just $1,544,951, as a former No. 27 overall pick playing in the third year of his rookie-scale contract. He produced like a star — Siakam ranked 11th in production value per RPM wins — while being paid less than 391 other players in the league. Add it all up, and he produced by far the most surplus value of any player this season, with the difference between him and No. 2 Nikola Vucevic slightly exceeding the difference between Vucevic and No. 7 Danny Green, Siakam’s teammate in Toronto. Considering that neither Siakam nor Green is even Toronto’s best player, it’s no wonder the Raptors are among the favorites to represent the Eastern Conference in this year’s NBA Finals.5Provided they can bounce back against the Magic.If that is indeed how these playoffs play out, Siakam will almost surely have played a valuable role — maybe not the “most valuable” by popular definitions, but one that far exceeds the value of his paycheck. 7Danny Green11.6012.3836.5110.0026.51 RKNAMERPM WINSAdjusted WINS*WINS VALUEACTUAL SALARYSURPLUS VALUE * RPM wins were adjusted to account for players who did not qualify for the RPM leaderboard.Numbers may not add up because of rounding.Sources: ESPN, Basketball-Reference.com 6James Harden18.2619.4857.4730.4327.04 16Nikola Jokic14.0114.9544.1024.6119.49 4Brook Lopez10.4111.1132.773.3829.38 Check out our latest NBA predictions. 11De’Aaron Fox8.398.9526.415.4720.94 Pascal Siakam led the NBA in most bang for the buckNBA players by value provided to their teams above their salaries as measured by Real Plus-Minus (RPM) wins, 2018-19 season 3Paul George19.3120.6060.7830.5630.22 8Donovan Mitchell8.899.4927.983.1124.87 15Patrick Beverley7.908.4324.875.0319.84
Fulham and Newcastle United have reached an agreement to sign Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic after a protracted transfer tussle.Mitrovic, 23, was part of the traveling squad to Portugal for the club’s pre-season camp but has flown back to the UK to sign for the Cottagers after the two parties finally agreed.Talks between the two parties have been ongoing since the end of last season, where Mitrovic helped Fulham gain promotion to the Premier League scoring 12 goals between January and the end of the season after arriving on loan on Deadline Day.Report: Courtois’s agent arrested in money laundering case George Patchias – September 11, 2019 Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois agent has been arrested as part of a money-laundering investigation.The ugly word corruption is again staining the world of football. In…The Serbian forward made it clear during his time in SW6 that he would like to return to Fulham, while Slavisa Jokanovic also made it no secret he would like his countryman to be signed permanently, and it now looks like Tony Khan has been able to do just that.It’s been an ambitious transfer window for Fulham after winning promotion to the top flight, having added Jean-Michael Seri, Maxime Le Marchand, Frabi and Andre Schurrle to their ranks, and they will now further boost it by concluding a deal for Mitrovic.Discussions had been ongoing, with both clubs not being able to agree on a fee for the 23-year-old, but it now looks like Newcastle have accepted Fulham’s offer, with Mitrovic now flying back to the UK to wrap up the deal.