Deandre Ayton is staying in Phoenix… for now, plus why UNC is losing a top recruit


Glad Friday, all! Hope you are doing properly.

I understand it’s possible you’ll be studying this whereas watching The Open Championship or at the very least maintaining with our live leaderboard. After a troublesome opening-round 78, Tiger Woods’ struggles have continued and it seems to be like he’s in critical harmful of lacking the reduce. In the meantime, Cameron Younger shot an 8-under 64 to take the Day 1 lead, and Rory McIlroy — who tees off at 9:59 a.m. — was second through 18 holes at 6 under. As of Friday morning, Dustin Johnson is atop the leaderboard.

As for the remainder of the sports activities world, let’s get proper to it.

Good morning to everybody however particularly to…


Deandre Ayton is getting paid the actually huge bucks. Ayton, a restricted free agent, signed a record 4-year, $133-million offer sheet from the Pacers yesterday, however the Suns, Ayton’s unique staff, immediately matched that, holding him in Phoenix… for now.

  • Ayton can’t be traded till Jan. 15, 2023 on the earliest and can’t be traded to the Pacers in any respect this upcoming season. He also can veto any commerce for a yr.
  • Ayton sought a 5-year, $172-million extension final yr, however the Suns refused to offer it (extra on that in a bit).
  • At 23, he’s one in every of simply six gamers to common at the very least 10 factors and 10 rebounds every of the final 4 seasons, becoming a member of, amongst others, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid.

Along with getting a giant contract, Ayton might conceivably hit free company once more at 27, nonetheless proper in his prime. And if he’s actually too fed up with Phoenix to remain (I promise, extra on that in a bit!), he might discover a new residence inside the subsequent a number of months.

Honorable mentions

And never such morning for…


Final offseason, the Suns — contemporary off their first NBA Finals look in almost 30 years — could have given Deandre Ayton a max contract. They decided not to. Two months in the past, the Suns — contemporary off the very best regular-season file within the NBA — shockingly collapsed within the second spherical towards the Mavericks, with Ayton spending a lot of the second half of Recreation 7 on the bench.

Head coach Monty Williams cited “internal” reasons. Ayton did not converse to the media. In accordance with stories, Ayton “did not feel valued” by the franchise after the contract negotiations. And now we’re right here. The Suns needed to match the Pacers’ supply sheet — and signal him to the kind of deal they declined to do final summer time — merely to keep away from dropping him for completely nothing. It by no means ought to have gotten this far. 

The Suns’ title window is correct now, and now Ayton’s usefulness as trade bait for the ultimate prize this offseason has evaporated, notes NBA knowledgeable Sam Quinn.

  • Quinn: “These restrictions complicate Phoenix’s pursuit of Kevin Durant considerably. Now that Ayton is off of the desk, in the intervening time, the Suns are successfully locked out of the bidding till January until they will persuade the Nets to take a bundle with out him. If the Nets determine they must commerce him throughout the offseason, the Suns are merely out of luck. Their prize for doubtless lacking out on Durant? A hefty luxurious tax invoice, because the Suns are actually roughly $15 million above the tax line.”

Issues might nonetheless work out in Phoenix. Ayton might transfer previous the negotiations and be part of one other superb Suns staff. However that is removed from a assure.


First there have been whispers. Then rumors. Then reports. After which, yesterday, the No. 1 basketball recruit in the 2023 class, GG Jackson, de-committed from North Carolina.

  • Per 247Sports’ Travis Branham, Jackson is anticipated to reclassify to 2022 and be a part of South Carolina.
  • That will, in concept, make him eligible for the 2023 draft as a 19-year-old at the very least a yr faraway from highschool.
  • Jackson beforehand known as UNC his “private dream college” and was this system’s second-best recruit within the 247Sports period behind Harrison Barnes.

Not so honorable point out

  • The Yankees are rethinking their pursuit of Andrew Benintendi after it was revealed he’s unvaccinated towards COVID-19.

USWNT cruises into Concacaf W Championship last with win over Costa Rica ⚽

The US girls’s nationwide staff is into the ultimate of the Concacaf W Championship after a straightforward 3-0 win over Costa Rica

  • After lacking many nice probabilities early, the USWNT bought on the board with Emily Sonnett‘s tap-in late within the first half.
  • Mallory Pugh doubled the lead shortly earlier than halftime with a beautiful left-footed strike off a terrific Rose Lavelle help. Ashley Sanchez completed the scoring late.

The USWNT will face Canada within the last Monday night time. Whereas the USWNT has already certified for the 2023 World Cup, a spot within the 2024 Olympics and 2024 W Gold Cup will likely be on the road.

MLB Mock Draft: Orioles have loads of choices at No. 1 ⚾

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The MLB Draft begins Sunday, and meaning it is time for one final mock draft from our MLB knowledgeable Mike Axisa.

The Orioles maintain the primary choose, and with no consensus high choice, a darkish horse might emerge. Equivalent to:

  • Axisa: 2B Termarr Johnson has quite a lot of followers within the trade and is thought to be the very best pure hitter within the draft class, faculty or highschool. If he is not the No. 1 choose, there’s an opportunity Johnson falls to the No. 6 choose and even later. In that case taking an underslot deal at No. 1 will likely be extra financially profitable than a slot deal at No. 6 or later, plus Johnson would get to say he’s the No. 1 choose within the nation. For the O’s, slicing a cope with Johnson at No. 1 would enable them to spend huge on later picks (Nos. 33, 42, and 67) and add a number of high skills to their farm system.”

Here is the remainder of the mock high 5:

  • 2. Diamondbacks: OF Druw Jones
  • 3. Rangers: SS Jackson Holliday
  • 4. Pirates: 3B Cam Collier
  • 5. Nationals: OF Elijah Inexperienced

Essentially the most intriguing identify within the draft, although, could also be Kumar Rocker. The previous Vanderbilt ace went tenth total to the Mets final yr, however New York by no means supplied him a contract after reviewing his medical info. Rocker spent the previous couple of months dominating for the Tri-Metropolis ValleyCats of the Frontier League (you possibly can learn extra about his journey here) and, if Mike’s mock proves right, he’ll hear his identify known as within the first spherical once more Sunday.

Additionally remember to take a look at MLB insider R.J. Anderson’s top 30 prospect rankings for extra perception on this yr’s early draftees.

NHL free company grades: Evaluating all the most important strikes to date 🏒

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NHL free company has been fairly busy within the opening days with huge names discovering new houses, and our NHL consultants Chris Bengel and Austin Nivison are right here to grade the biggest acquisitions.

There was no larger star available on the market than Johnny Gaudreau, who ended up in Columbus. It was — if a bit confusing — transfer.

  • Nivison: I am nonetheless flabbergasted by this one. … When it comes to worth, the Blue Jackets did very properly right here with a seven yr contract price $68.25 million. In contrast, the Calgary Flames reportedly supplied Gaudreau an eight-year deal price $84 million. This was a formidable transfer by Columbus, and the staff will get higher instantly. Nevertheless, I am confused with the path of the staff. Coming off an 81-point season through which they missed the playoffs by 19 factors, the Blue Jackets are nonetheless a great distance from being a contender… Grade: A

You’ll be able to see grades for all the main signings here.

What we’re watching this weekend 📺

 The Open Championship all weekend. Here’s how you can, too.
We’re additionally watching the NWSL on Paramount+.

And in addition…


🏀 Lynx at Fever, 7 p.m. on CBS Sports activities Community


Tigers at Guardians, 4:10 p.m. on FS1
Crimson Sox at Yankees or Brewers at Giants, 7:15 p.m. on FOX
🏀 Sky at Wings, 8 p.m. on CBS Sports activities Community


🏀 Aces at Solar, 1 p.m. on ABC
🏀 Fever at Storm, 6 p.m. on CBS Sports activities Community
MLB Draft, 7 p.m. on ESPN

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