Butler And Russell On The Move, Panarin Becomes NHL’s Best Paid Winger, Venus Falls To 15 Year Old

After a wild first day of free agency in the NBA, the second day was just about as crazy, with teams continuing to work out deals on Monday. According to sources, a couple of big deals are close to being completed, with one of them being a massive four-team trade that ends up shipping Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat. The Philadelphia 76ers had faced the prospect of losing Butler, who had just joined the team last season, for nothing had they not worked a sign and trade. But apparently they have successfully done it. Also moving on as part of the deal will be Hassan Whiteside, going to the Portland Trail Blazers, and Josh Richardson going to the Sixers. Another man said to be nearing a move is D’Angelo Russell, who is said to be close to having his deal to the Golden State Warriors completed after the Brooklyn Nets brought in Kyrie Irving and co on Sunday. He will partner Steph Curry in the backcourt while Klay Thompson recovers from his ACL injury. The Warriors are also said to be bringing back Kevon Looney as they seek to hold onto some depth in their team.

Sports Illustrated

The NBA isn’t the only sports organization making a big move in their free agency period. The NHL also is making waves, with winger Aretmi Panarin signing on the dotted line with the New York Rangers for $81.5 over seven years, making him the highest paid winger in the league currently. The Rangers are in the middle of rebuilding their roster, and this will be seen as a foundation piece for them as they look to build a consistent contender. Last season, Panarin played for the Columbus Blue Jackets, scoring 28 goals and racking up 59 assists across 79 games.

Yahoo Canada Sports

Wimbledon has only just begun, but it’s also already ended for a couple of the more notable women’s stars. Venus Williams, for one, will be headed home after the first round after she was beaten by 15 year-old Coco Gauff on Monday at the All England Club. She is the youngest player to ever be invited to the tournament, and she was able to defeat Williams, the oldest player in the tournament this year at 39 in straight sets (6-4, 6-4) to clinch a huge upset victory. Naomi Osaka, winner of last year’s US Open and this year’s Australian Open, was also eliminated in the first round, dropping out at the hands of Yulia Putintseva in straight sets as well.

USA Today

Nets Officially Have Their Superteam, Lillard And Middleton Among Those Staying Put, Yankees Sweep London Series

The Brooklyn Nets have their super squad, and it might just be the worst nightmare of the New York Knicks coming true. According to sources, long rumored Knicks targets Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, very good friends, are said to set to join the Nets ahead of the 2019-20 NBA season. Irving will leave the Boston Celtics after a tumultuous time there to say the least, while Durant will reportedly leave behind the Golden State Warriors, a team where he has experienced some very high highs and some low lows, too. Unlike Irving, it doesn’t appear that Durant will have much of a role to play this season as he recovers from the ruptured Achilles injury he sustained in the playoffs against the Toronto Raptors. Apparently, the duo will also be joined by DeAndre Jordan, giving them some beef inside the paint as well. Jordan has played for three teams in his career and will be seeking a return to form after not even featuring for the Knicks in the last few games last season. With those two running the show, when they get healthy, he could be back in top form in no time flat.

NBC Sports

Two other free agents that have caused a lot of interest look set to stay put with their current teams, according to reports, with Damian Lillard set to remain in Portland and Khris Middleton staying with Milwaukee. Lillard has agreed a super max deal with the Trail Blazers, of whom he helped reach the Western Conference Finals last season, while Middleton is said to have elected to stay with the Bucks after helping them to their most successful season in over a decade. He had previously declined an option for a $13 million deal for the upcoming season, mostly so he could get top dollar for himself. They also are set to retain center Brook Lopez, who has blossomed into a legitimate double threat for the Eastern’s top seed.

Sports Illustrated

The New York Yankees, the ‘home’ team for Sunday’s second and final London Series game, found themselves in a 4-2 hole against rivals Boston at the former Olympic Stadium. But that didn’t stop them, and it certainly didn’t discourage them one bit as they busted the game wide open in the bottom of the seventh with a nine run inning that helped take them to a 12-8 win over the Red Sox. Gary Sanchez, ever brilliant, was once more the hero, hitting a two-run single to put them ahead for good. Gio Urshela was another star of the day, providing his team with three RBI and scoring another run of his own. It wasn’t the highest scoring game (that was on Saturday after all), but it was still a whale of game that will definitely not hurt baseball’s standing in Europe and other parts of the world.

NWI Times

Yankees And Red Sox Smash In London, NBA Free Agency Wheel Spinning Fast, 0-0 Popular Soccer Score Lately

Major League Baseball was bound and determined to put on a heck of a show in London as it made its UK debut on Saturday. It always promised to be quite the sight, but no one, and we mean no one, expected what unfolded as the New York Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox in a slugfest by a score of 17-13. The Yankees looked like they had the game sealed up in the top of the first when they plated six runs, but the ‘home team’ Red Sox were not to be outdone, leveling up the score. It never really slowed down, and in the end, we ended up with the third longest nine-inning game in MLB history at four hours and 42 minutes. There were 37 total hits in the affair and no errors, with DJ Lemahieu, named an All-Star starter on Thursday, proving to be the hero with five RBI in the barn burner. Game 2 will be played at 10 AM on the East Coast on Sunday, a rare early treat for us in the USA to watch.

Yankees Go Yard

NBA Free Agency isn’t even officially open as of yet, but that has not stopped teams from getting down to business. And apparently the players have also been willing to begin, with a number of deals already, reportedly, done ahead of Sunday’s official beginning of the period. The biggest deal looks to be that the Brooklyn Nets are set to sign Kyrie Irving, with the point guard looking to get out of town. That makes space for Kemba Walker to join the Boston Celtics, which looks to also be all but done and dusted at this point as well. It also means that the Los Angeles Lakers, apparently, are looking into the possibility of bringing back Nets guard D’Angelo Russell to the west coast. That would be seen as a pretty big move for them and the team to go back on a deal, but the man has really transformed himself in Brooklyn and might want to leave in order to prosper as best he can. There is still a lot of other talks ongoing, so it will be interesting to see how it all shakes up in the end.

Yahoo Sports

For the third day in a row, the Copa America, South America’s premier soccer competition, saw a match go to penalties after a 0-0 draw took place. This time, it was Peru ousting Uruguay in shock fashion, joining Chile, Brazil, and Argentine in the semi-finals. This is a perplexing turn of events. It’s not usual to see this score all of the time, and even thought this can sometimes not necessarily indicate a fair reflection of the game, it’s still worrying. On top of that, all three of Saturday’s games at the Africa Cup of Nations ended 0-0, further causing consternation across the globe for those of us hoping to see goals.

Al Jazeera

USA Holds Off France, Klay To Be Offered Max Deal, Lynn Leads Rangers To Shutout Win

The United States Women’s National Soccer Team has lived to fight another day, defeating France on Friday night in Paris to eliminate them by a score of 2-1. Not for the first time this week, and likely to not be the last time, Megan Rapinoe was the hero for the Americans. She got on the scoreboard inside of five minutes from a free kick, following up two goals in the previous match, a 2-1 victory over Spain back on Monday. She would then score in the second half, the 65th minute specifically, to make it 2-0 and seemingly end all doubt. But France, who had failed to hit the target for much of the match, had some fight left in them, and they responded through towering defender Wendie Renard’s fourth goal of the World Cup. That made it 2-1, and even though they had several shaky moments, the USA held out and will now face England in the Semi-Finals on Tuesday night in Lyon as a result.

Pro Soccer USA

The Golden State Warriors are facing a scenario for the season ahead that includes missing a huge chunk of their successful core over the last few years, but despite that, they are looking to solidify their future nonetheless. They are, according to sources, seeking to do this by offering ‘Splash Brother’ Klay Thompson a max deal to stay in San Francisco come Sunday night when free agency opens. The deal, purported to be worth $190 million over five years, is the biggest they can offer him, and it is hoped that it will be enough to dissuade him from going elsewhere- namely Los Angeles. Thompson, who tore his ACL in the NBA Finals earlier this month, is due to miss most of the upcoming season.

Sports Illustrated

The Texas Rangers just keep on making waves in the AL West, keeping up a recent charge by winning on Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays 5-0. The Rays, talked about by a lot of people because of their ability to compete with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees so well in the AL East, are only a game ahead of the Rangers now after they were shutout in the defeat. It was crafted by Lance Lynn, who was nearly flawless in eight innings. He sat ten down on the evening and only allowed three hits and one single walk. Rougned Odor and Ronald Guzman got things started off well in just the second inning, contributing with three RBI and setting them on their way to the win.

Action Network

Astros Headline MLB ASG, Rays Outlast Twins In 18, Lakers Dump Salary To Wizards

The starters for the MLB All-Star Game were announced on Thursday night after a drawn out process this year, and it will be headlined by three starters from the Houston Astros, leaders of the AL West currently. The men selected for the game to be staged in Cleveland from the 2017 World Series champions are Alex Bregman, George Springer, and Michael Brantley. The latter two will join Mike Trout of the LA Angels in the outfield. Trout was the biggest vote-getter in the final round of voting. Three other teams also managed to have two men each named as starters. The Atlanta Braves saw 1B Freddie Freeman win a spot alongside outfielder Ronald Acuna, Jr. The Chicago Cubs had catcher Wilson Contreras and shortstop Javi Baez selected. And lastly, the New York Yankees saw catcher Gary Sanchez and 2B DJ Lemahieu named to the game. The All-Star game takes place on July 9th, so it’s just around the corner now.

Houston Chronicle

None of the Tampa Bay Rays’ stars will be starting in the All-Star game, but they might feel like they deserved a nod or two after their ridiculously difficult 5-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday in 18 innings. Over the course of the game, the Rays and Twins were tied for nearly 16 innings as the score was leveled at two in the second and would never seem to change from that. Tampa used eight relievers and bided their time until they finally got some big hits in the top of the 18th as a sacrifice fly, single, and an infield single took them to a win in a long five hours and 42 minutes. That came after the game had already been delayed 57 minutes prior to the start for rain. A long, long day, but a fruitful one for the Rays, who are 6.5 off the pace of the Yankees in the AL East.

Tampa Bay Times
The Los Angeles Lakers have officially made themselves room for another ‘max’ contract, should they choose to now sign someone for that price. The news came down after, according to sources, they shipped out the contracts of Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones to the Washington Wizards along with a second round pick in the 2022 Draft. While none of the players have been very impressive and won’t turn heads, it is notable since it now means the Lakers are free to try and bring in another superstar if they choose. As of now, they have three players (only two officially) in LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, and Anthony Davis, so this will be a very different looking team come the new season. Much debate has been had over what they should do, to take one big name or to spread out the money evenly. We will see, but now all of the options are out there for them.

NBC Los Angeles

Durant To Be Free Agent, Minor Leads Rangers To W, Vandy Wins College World Series

It was announced on Wednesday that Kevin Durant, perhaps the biggest name to possibly be a free agent this summer, will indeed be exploring his options by becoming an unrestricted free agent. He did so after he declined his own option for a one year, $31.5 million deal, which would have effectively paid him to rehab seeing as how he has work to do in order to get back from a ruptured Achilles and likely will not play next season. With that being said, KD can still find his way back to the Golden State Warriors, though he now will have some options to think about, with many believing that he is choosing from some combination of the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and Los Angeles Clippers. He can make slightly more per year should he stay in Oakland, but there isn’t much difference between the deals, so he might look to move for other reasons instead.

San Francisco Chronicle

Don’t look now, but the Texas Rangers are steadily creeping into the picture in the AL West. Yes, they are still 5.5 games back of the Houston Astros in the division, but their five game winning streak, as well as the generally woeful run the 2017 World Series champions have had recently, has seen them knock on the door. That kept up on Wednesday night as Mike Minor once again proved his worth in a complete game outing. It was his second of the season, and it saw him give up just five hits and one earned run as he led his Rangers to a 4-1 win over the Tigers in Detroit on the mound. At the plate, he got help from Willie Calhoun, Jeff Mathis, and Danny Santana, all of whom homered in the victory.

Daily Morning News

Vanderbilt were crowned College World Series champions on Wednesday night after they defeated the Michigan Wolverines 8-2 in a decisive Game 3 of the Finals. The Commodores had lost Game 1 and were in a very pressure-packed situation, but they kept their cool to take each of the last two to grab the title. They were led in this game by more impressive pitching, only this time in the form of Mason Hickman. The starter was shaky early, giving up a run in the first inning and being hit all around the yard, but he soon settled down and only allowed a single hit after that opening salvo from their opponents. In total, he ended up striking out ten in six solid innings. When coupled with their big third and fourth innings (three and two runs, respectively), this broke the game open and essentially sealed the championship for them. This is their second title in the last six years, in just their fourth CWS appearance. Freshman pitcher Kumar Rocker ended up being named as the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

Salt Lake Tribune

Yankees Break Home Run Record, Rockets Making Play For Butler, Rocker Stays Hot For Vandy

The New York Yankees have broken an MLB record for the most consecutive games with a home run, running their streak up to 28 on Tuesday when DJ LeMahieu hit a drive on the first at-bat of the game for them. They didn’t have to wait long for their second of the day, either, with Aaron Judge bashing his first since returning from injury directly after the record had been extended. Two more homers would be launched by them, with Gleyber Torres and new signing Edwin Encarnacion each driving one over the fence. Despite the fact that they all homered, they were ‘just’ solo shots and the game ended 4-3 in their favor against the Toronto Blue Jays. They held on in the ninth, giving up one run after going into it up 4-2. It wasn’t all good news of the Bronx Bombers, however, as it Giancarlo Stanton was forced to exit the game early and will have an MRI on his knee later on Wednesday. He had a run-in with Clayton Richard on his way to third base, and that eventually saw manager Aaron Boone pull him from the contest.

New York Post

According to sources, the Houston Rockets are going to be making an attempt to sign Jimmy Butler to their team in a sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. Since the Rockets don’t have the cap space to make the signing themselves, they need the Sixers to play ball for them, and truthfully, this would work in Philly’s favor, anyway, since they would end up getting at least something for Butler instead of him potentially leaving for free. Either way, Butler is going to end up making a lot of money, with deals of over $30 million a year said to be on the table. Should he join the Rockets, he would join James Harden and Chris Paul, effectively forming another ‘big three.’

VidMid

It’s hard to imagine where the Vanderbilt Commodores might be without star pitcher Kumar Rocker. Sure, they would be a good team without him, but you just get the sense that they wouldn’t have that same fear factor to them. He showed that in spades on Tuesday night as he made sure his team will see a Game 3 for all the marbles on Wednesday night when he had 11 strikeouts and gave up just three hits in six and a third innings in a 4-1 win over Michigan. He is 12-5 on the year, and this is the second time he’s produced big time after his team was put into a must-win situation. In that instance, he threw a no-hitter against Duke a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the freshman is very unlikely to have any role in the College World Series Finals finale.

WXYZ

Giannis Takes NBA MVP, Mets Reportedly In Major Mess, US Advances With Two PK’s, Italy To Host 2026 Winter Olympics

Giannis Antetokounmpo was officially named NBA MVP on Monday night, beating out James Harden and Paul George in order to become the third youngest in the last 40 years to win the award. In doing so, he became the fifth player born outside of the United States to take those honors, and he did so by grabbing 78 of the 101 first-place votes to win it in a landslide. The Greek Freak’s season included him being an All-Star captain as well as leading his Milwaukee Bucks past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001. He averaged 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds over the course of the season, becoming the first since Shaq to pull that feat off. Luka Doncic took home Rookie of the Year, keeping up the European theme.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

According to sources with inside knowledge of the New York Mets, the team’s front office is involved with making decisions in-game. The news comes as a major shock, since this is not the form for baseball by any means. Current GM Brodie van Wagenen, in his first season with the club, has denied that he has been doing such, but he did state that he was keeping an eye on medical reports and the like. This is such a strange, perplexing situation that it’s easy to believe this is one of the problems for them. Meanwhile, their crosstown rival Yankees had a player hit a home run in a 27th consecutive game, tying that record in a 10-8 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

NBC News

The United States Women’s Soccer team didn’t have the easiest of times on Monday against Spain, but they figured out a way to grind and grit their way past the underdogs to win their Round of 16 clash 2-1 and set up an intriguing quarterfinal against hosts France on Friday. The Americans got an early goal via a Megan Rapinoe penalty kick, only to see Spain race back with a goal of their own through Jennifer Hermoso less than two minutes later. A physical hour or so would go by before the #1 ranked team and defending champions earned a second penalty kick, which was eventually put away by Rapinoe to ultimately send them to the last eight of the competition. Canada failed to make it two North American teams in the quarterfinal in the nightcap, losing 1-0 to Sweden.

NBC News

For the second time in 20 years, Italy will play host to the Winter Olympics, as it was confirmed on Monday in Lausanne that it would be so. Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, precisely, will be the specific hosts, following up the 2006 edition that took place in Torino. The other contender, though most saw Milan as the leaders in the pack for quite a while, was Stockholm, Sweden. It didn’t lead to a lack of controversy, either, with the Swedish delegation verbally protesting whether the IOC wants a bid to be made by a fiscally responsible group or not. Guess we got our answer to that as they continue to go without hosting a Winter Games.

Olympic.Org

Dodgers Top Rockies With Walkoff, Alonso Passes Strawberry, WWC Controversies, Reavie Grabs Elusive Win

The Los Angeles Dodgers apparently cannot be stopped, so learned the Colorado Rockies on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. With a very rare chance to down the 54-23 NL West leaders, the Rockies were unable to make it stick, falling 6-3 in the end. The bad news is that another fan was struck with a hard foul ball and had to go for tests… back to the game, where the Rockies had taken an early lead only to see the Dodgers overtake them in the seventh inning as Chris Taylor hit a three-run homer. But the Rockies came back an inning later to tie it at three apiece, sending it to the final frame in which the Dodgers got a second three-run shot from Will Smith, the movie star called up only hours prior. It’s the second game in a row that a rookie won it for them on a walk off, and it just goes to show that you can never, ever count a great team like them out. With the win, their lead in the division was extended to 13 games over the Rockies, just incredible.

Dodger Insider

Pete Alonso has become the all-time greatest rookie power hitter for the New York Mets as of Sunday afternoon when he belted his 27th home run of his maiden campaign to see him pass Darryl Strawberry. Unlike the club legend, however, Alonso has only taken 77 games to reach that number, well ahead of the pace of Strawberry, which saw him take 122 games back in 1983. He is now seven shy from breaking Mark McGwire’s record of 33 homers before the All-Star break. Unfortunately, Alonso is about the only thing going well with the Mets right now. They lost to the Cubs on Sunday 5-3 in Chicago, and they had some clubhouse ‘festivities’ as well that are sure to cause some fallout.

Sporting News

Instant replay has become a hot button issue in the world of sports, and soccer version of it- VAR- has been perhaps the MVP, if you can call it that, of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. That idea didn’t slow down much on Sunday as controversy reigned in both matches. First up was underdog Cameroon, looking to become the second African team to ever make the quarterfinals, took on England and were left angered after two calls didn’t go their way in a 3-0 loss that saw them sent packing. In the second match of the day, pitting hosts France against experienced Brazil, it also played a role, though not as telling as France had a goal taken off the board only to end up winning 2-1 in extra time. England will take on Norway in the last eight, while France await the winner of Spain vs the USA on Monday.

CNN.com

After 11 long years of waiting, Chez Reavie is once again a winner on the PGA Tour, taking home the Travelers Championship on Sunday with a total of -17 for the week, four clear shots ahead of second place Keegan Bradley in the end. After a 63 on Saturday, he had a massive six shot lead for the final round, and though he only shot -1 to conclude the week, he still won by quite a way in the end, following up his impressive T-3 finish last time out at Pebble Beach in the US Open. It had been coming, and he finally knocked the door down!

Golf Channel

Pujols Homer Not Enough VS Cardinals, UConn Returning To Big East, USA Get T&T Revenge

In Game 2 of a three-game series pitting the Los Angeles Angels and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Albert Pujols got a rousing reception. He had already been getting that in Friday’s game, but it kept up for him and got even better in this meeting. With the Cardinals leading 4-0, thanks to an error and a Marcell Ozuna home run in the sixth, in the seventh inning, Pujols stepped up to the plate and unleashed a solo shot. What happened next was just plain cool, with his ‘former’ fans greeting him with a curtain call. That would be the lone run the Angels would get off of starter Dakota Hudson for the day, as they eventually ended up winning 4-2. That keeps the Cardinals right in the thick of the incredibly tight NL Central battle. They currently sit in third, just one game off the pace of Chicago and half a game back of Milwaukee. The Angels are just two games under .500, at 38-40, but they are ten behind Houston.

Sporting News

All is right with the world. Well, almost. According to reports, the UConn Huskies are set to return to the Big East Conference, a conference that they joined way back in 1979 as a founding member. They split off back in 2015 from the predominantly ‘Catholic’ schools, but things just haven’t been working out as planned in the American Conference for them, and they are very much looking forward to joining up with the likes of Villanova and Georgetown again. It appears that all of the teams, save the football program, will be making the move, so it’ll be interesting to see where they ultimately land.

New York Times

A lot of the headlines ahead of Saturday night’s Gold Cup match between the United States and Trinidad & Tobago were centered around revenge. While that may have played a very small role in the affair, this match was about way more. It was one, after all, that was being contested by players that were not, by and large, involved in any way with the team two years ago on that fateful night in the Caribbean that saw them miss out on the World Cup. Instead, this was about development and reaching potential, and that’s exactly what they did… in the second half. After a wayward first half that ended 1-0, the Americans would rout their opponents for five more goals. Aaron Long and Gyasi Zardes each scored twice, while the instrumental Christian Pulisic also got on the score sheet along with Paul Arriola. The win made it two out of two for the USA, and it puts them into the quarterfinals of the tournament, no matter what happens in their group finale with Panama.

Fox Sports