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Good morning to everyone but especially to…
THE NBA DRAFTEES
A no-brainer at No. 1. A debate finally settled at No. 2. Surprises. Trades. And by the end of it all, 58 dreams come true.
The NBA Draft has come and gone, and a new crop of players is ready to make its mark. Here’s more on the top of the class:
Our Adam Finkelstein, and while there were plenty of “A” grades, Wembanyama was only “A+.”
The Mavericks, who also traded down to move Davis Bertans‘ sizable contract and still nabbed Dereck Lively II, were , writes our Sam Quinn. As for biggest losers? There was .
- Quinn: “Cam Whitmore seemed as though he had a chance to be picked as high as No. 4 overall. … Whitmore ultimately tumbled all the way out of the lottery and landed at No. 20 overall, costing himself roughly $14 million… Had he gone one or two picks earlier, this fall would have at least gotten him to a contender. Had he wound up with Miami or Golden State at picks No. 18 or 19, for instance, their team cultures would have been better-positioned to help him make the most of his talent. Instead, he lands on a Rockets team that has seen its young players develop poor on-court habits during its rebuild.”
The money aspect is one thing, and maybe Houston doesn’t have a great player development track record. But here’s the great thing about the draft: Now that it’s over, it’s up to the players. Whitmore can go prove every team that passed on him wrong. He, just like all of the draftees, has a chance to show it’s not where you’re drafted, but what you do once you’re drafted.
Not so honorable mentions
Chris Paul has spent much of his career trying to overcome the Warriors. Now, he’s joining them.
The Wizards arein Washington’s fourth major trade this week. Here are the full terms:
- Warriors receive: Chris Paul
- Wizards receive: Jordan Poole, top 20-protected 1st-round pick in 2030, 2nd-round pick in 2027
It’s Paul’s third team this week alone — he was Bradley Beal deal Sunday — and his sixth team overall. , writes our Bill Reiter.in the
- Paul, 38, has faced now-teammate Stephen Curry 55 times, his third-most common opponent behind Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. That includes three playoff series: Paul’s Clippers beat Curry’s Warriors in 2014, but Curry’s Warriors bested Paul’s Rockets in 2018 and 2019.
- Paul averaged a career-low 13.9 points last season on 44% shooting, his second-worst number in the last decade.
- Like so many other seasons, Paul’s year ended in postseason disappointment: He suffered a groin injury in Game 2 of the conference semifinals against the Nuggets and didn’t return as the Suns lost in six games.
Poole, 24, experienced his own roller-coaster year. After being a huge part of the Warriors’ 2022 title, Poole Draymond Green (who, it’s worth noting, didn’t get paid and ) and then struggled mightily this past season. Here’s our Colin Ward-Henninger on ., got by
Given the questions surrounding both Poole and Paul — and the very different teams they’re joining —
LSU walks off Wake Forest, advances to College World Series Finals ⚾
It was billed as an all-time pitcher’s duel, and it absolutely was that… and then some. And then a lot, actually.
But one swing of the bat in extra innings provided all of the runs and sent LSU to the College World Series Finals withover Wake Forest.
- Tommy White, appropriately nicknamed “Tanks,” launched a two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to walk it off.
- LSU’s Paul Skenes pitched eight scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and one walk compared to nine strikeouts over 120 pitches. No moment was bigger than in the eighth inning with one out and runners on first and third. First baseman Tre’ Morgan made a great play on a bunt and got Justin Johnson at home to keep it scoreless. Skenes has a 1.69 ERA this season.
- On the other side, Rhett Lowder was similarly outstanding for the Demon Deacons, tossing seven scoreless innings. He finishes the season with a 1.88 ERA.
- Skenes and Lowder are , according to our R.J. Anderson. They go .
LSU will face Florida in the best-of-three championship series. They have not met this season.
Ranking NFL triplets: Who’s number one? 🏈
We started from, , and now we’re here: , as voted upon by our NFL experts.
Though the Chiefs have the No. 1 quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, they’re second in our rankings behind…
- Dubin: “1. Cincinnati Bengals: QB: Joe Burrow RB: Joe Mixon WR: Ja’Marr Chase — I have a feeling the perceived difference between Mixon and Isiah Pacheco is what ultimately landed the Bengals in first — even if Mixon was seemingly on the verge of being cut for a portion of this offseason. Burrow and Chase are basically a big play waiting to happen, and the work the entire offense did last year to counteract top-down defenses taking away the deep ball will help them deep into the future.”
The Chiefs and Bengals were separated by just one vote, and I think I would give a slight lean toward Kansas City, but it’s certainly close. Until someone figures out how to stop the Mahomes-Travis Kelce connection, and until someone at least gets in the same stratosphere as Mahomes, they’re No. 1 for me.
What we’re watching this weekend 📺
⚾ Cubs vs. Cardinals, 1:10 p.m. on FOX
⚾ Astros at Dodgers, 7:15 p.m. on FOX
🏀 Fever at Aces, 9 p.m. on NBA TV
⚽ USMNT vs. Jamaica, 10 p.m. on FS1
⚾ Cubs vs. Cardinals, 10 a.m. on ESPN
🏀 Wings at Sparks, 3 p.m. on ABC
⚾ Astros at Dodgers, 7 p.m. on ESPN