1. NBA Free Agency-To no surprise, it started off intense as top free agent Paul George ended up in a sign-and-trade with the Oklahoma Thunder for G Victor Oladipo and power forward Domantas Sabonis, which heads to the Indiana Pacers. The other top free agent move came this week as former Utah Jazz F Gordon Heyward will sign with the Boston Celtics in either a sign-and-trade or a straight free agent signing.
  2. Why OKC for George? I admit I was surprised as I figured he would end up at either Cleveland or Houston, but the Thunder struck me curious because of their quiet posture, or so it appeared. They obviously needed more than NBA MVP Russel Westbrook’s output and George fit that bill. It’ll definitely make the Thunder stronger, but not good enough to take down the Golden State Warriors.
  3. How long will George stay in OKC? I don’t think he’ll stay long as the Thunder doesn’t like to pay their free-agent players (see James Harden and Kevin Durant) so he may just be a glorified rental-player for a team who still has to pay Westbrook the max money he deserves.
  4. Will Heyward fit in Boston? I think he will. I like his game. He obviously was the glue to the Jazz’s 51-win season and they tried their best to keep him, but they knew that Heyward was due for a huge payday and would never pass up an opportunity to play for a top contender for the Celtics. He’ll team with G Isaiah Thomas & make the team better, but they’re still not good enough to take down the Cavs and LeBron James.
  5. Carmelo Anthony-Now that George and Heyward are signed, the focus is on a non-free agent who’s looking to get away from the NY Knicks in the person of Carmelo Anthony. The reports are that he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Cavs or Rockets, but obviously, there’s work to be done on compensation for the Knicks. Don’t hold your breath on this one folks as it will take some time to work out if it actually happens.
  6. Will Carmelo work in Cleveland? Yes, he will, because the pressure would be on him to be ‘The Man” on the court. (that belongs to King James) Melo would suffice as a role player who can score and will complement James and Kyrie Irving well. But such a move would probably take giving up F Kevin Love to get him and I don’t think Love will be missed in Cleveland.
  7. Will Carmelo work in Houston? because he already knows what it’s like to work with other high scorers (see Denver Nuggets with Allen Iverson 2006-08) and it needs to be more than that. The Rockets aren’t a championship environment and will need more than James Harden and Chris Paul. Melo wouldn’t be that missing piece because there would still be no chemistry.
  8. Steph Curry’s deal-Lost in all the signings was the max deal that Warriors G Steph Curry received and what a deal it was: The 2-time NBA MVP signed a max deal worth $201 million, making him the first $200 million player in NBA history. And Curry does deserve it. It’s hard to believe that he was still on his rookie contract. Not bad for one who just won his 2nd NBA title in 3 years.
  9. Warriors other FA moves-The NBA champs weren’t done as they retained F Andre Iguodala and signed former LA Laker Nick Young to deals, which will definitely make the stronger as if they needed more
  10. Kevin Durant-Apparently this new NBA Champion has a new deal as well as he agreed to a new 2-year contact with the Warriors that will pay him $25 million in year one and an option year of $26.25 million in year two. A pretty selfless move by Durant who wanted to help his team’s salary cap by allowing the champs to retain their players. So far it’s working.
  11. MLB All-Star Team-Yep, it’s that time of year, the Mid-Summer Classic which is truly the best all-star game in all of the sports in my opinion. In the AL, Cleveland and Houston are tied for the most (5) and in the NL, the Washington Nationals have 5. The game will be played Tuesday, July 11th in Miami.
  12. Aaron Judge-To no surprise, my favorite NY Yankee is one of the AL Starters as he’s among 23 players who will make their first all-star appearance. So far Judge is hitting .331 with 29 HR and 65 RBI. Impressive. He’ll definitely win AL Rookie of the Year.
  13. Pirates All-Star Representative-For those who didn’t know, every MLB team will have at least one All-Star Representative which I think is kinda weird, but anyway, the Pittsburgh Pirates will send utility man Josh Harrison to the NL team in Miami. This will be Harrison’s 2nd all-star appearance after he made it in 2014. So far Harrison is hitting .279 with 9 HR and 27 RBI.
  14. No Andrew McChtchen or Filipe Rivero? Unfortunately not as both players certainly deserved to get in. And there’s still a possibility that they will as injury replacements McCutchen leads the Pirates with 16 HR and Rivero is the new closer with 5 saves and a 0.78 ERA.
  15. MLB Final Vote-The fans have a chance to vote 2 more players in and it was announced that KC 3B Mike Moustakas and fellow LA Dodgers 3B Justin Turner earned those votes to join their respective All-Star teams.
  16. The fate of the Pirates-Well, they failed to capitalize on the struggling NL Central as they got swept by the last-place SF Giants, and I feel that they will indeed unload several players by the August 1st Trade Deadline. Those players include McCutchen, Gerrit Cole, Tony Watson and possibly Harrison. So stay tuned.
  17. NFL-To no surprise, this sport is pretty quiet as they get ready for training camps later in the month. Free agency is still going on, but there’s no current news on a significant signing.
  18. Le’Veon Bell-The question is will the Steelers All-Pro RB hold out for training camp? My answer is no because I don’t think he’s that foolish. I think the team will still strike a deal with him before camp starts, which means it has to happen soon.
  19. Darelle Revis-Apparently no one has expressed interest in the veteran All-Pro CB, probable because he’s probably done, but time will tell. He still could end up with the New England Patriots and maybe switch to safety. I wish the Steelers would pick him up.
  20. McDavid gets paid by the Oilers-He’s truly the next big hockey star and will probably be the next face of the NHL after Sidney Crosby retires. He won the MVP award and now the Edmonton Oilers gave C Connor McDavid an 8-year deal worth $100 million, which places his deal 3rd behind Crosby’s $104.4 million. He apparently wanted less to enable the Oilers to build a better team around him. Selfless guy.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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