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Good morning to everyone but especially to...
GRANT WILLIAMS AND THE DALLAS MAVERICKS
Afterdespite a midseason all-in move, the Mavericks entered this offseason with big questions to answer. Just a few weeks in, they've answered several of them strongly.
The latest isthat brings Grant Williams to Dallas. :
- Mavericks receive: Williams, two second-round picks
- Celtics receive: Two second-round picks
- Spurs receive: Reggie Bullock, unprotected 2030 first-round pick swap with Dallas
Williams' role in Boston waxed and waned throughout the year, and afterand Kristaps Porzingis earlier this offseason, Boston deemed him expendable. But this is exactly the type of player the Mavericks need.
- Williams, 24, is a tenacious competitor who will provide defensive physicality and versatility alongside the defense-averse Luka Doncic-Kyrie Irving backcourt pairing.
- Offensively, Williams knocked down 39.5% of his 3-pointers last season and 41.1% the season before. He should get plenty of open looks playing with Doncic and Irving.
- Williams got a four-year, $53-million deal as part of the sign-and-trade.
The Mavericks have overhauled their roster around Doncic and Irving with Williams, first-round picks Dereck Lively II and Olivier-Maxence Prosper, trade acquisition Richaun Holmes and free-agent guards Dante Exum and Seth Curry. That's significant shooting, athleticism and, most importantly, defensive prowess. Dallas was 27th in defensive rating following the Irving acquisition last season.
- We're getting Titans this season. from the
- Four-star 2024 offensive tackle Daniel Calhoun is to Georgia's top-ranked recruiting class.
- Hannah Dingley of Forest Green Rovers is the in English men's professional soccer history.
And not such a good morning for...
THE LOS ANGELES ANGELS
They may be called the Angels, but their injury luck has been downright hellish. Los Angeles suffered a devastating blow -- and two more minor but still frustrating ones -- this week.
The big one is Mike Trout, whoand will miss four to eight weeks after undergoing surgery.
- Trout, 31, is slashing "just" .263/.369/.493 this season, well below his lofty standards, but his 2.9 WAR is top-30 in MLB, and he was selected to his 11th career All-Star Game.
- Trout missed a month last season (back), missed almost all of 2021 (calf) and saw his 2019 season end prematurely (foot). He has played in at least 140 games just once since 2017.
- One day after Trout's injury, both Shohei Ohtani (fingernail/blister) and Anthony Rendon (foul ball off shin) . Luckily, neither injury appears to be too serious.
- Catcher Logan O'Hoppe, shortstop Zach Neto, infielders Gio Urshela and Brandon Drury and pitchers José Suarez, Ben Joyce and Matt Moore are all hurt.
The timing is absolutely brutal. The Angels have fallen to four games out of the AL Wild Card and have lost seven of eight. With Ohtani facing free agency at the end of this season, the Angels have insisted they won't trade their two-way superstar as long as they're in the playoff hunt, but given the injuries listed above, that might be a big ask.
Not so honorable mentions
- Giannis Antetokounmpo and may miss the FIBA World Cup.
- The Cardinals' disappointing season to the Marlins.
- A Yankees cameraman was .
- Dodgers righty Dustin May (elbow) is .
- Nelson Cruz was .
- Duke's Kyle Filipowski is .
Top MLB trade candidates as deadline nears ⚾
We're now inside four weeks until the Aug. 1 MLB trade deadline, and with underachievers (hello, Cardinals, Padres and Mets) and pleasant surprises (hello, Diamondbacks, Rangers, Orioles and Reds) abound, we could be in for a wild next month or so.
Our R.J. Anderson has rounded up, and No. 1 is a name that just surfaced recently: Max Scherzer.But given , he seems unlikely to move, meaning the likely top trade target actually available as the deadline nears is...
- Anderson: "2. Lucas Giolito, RHP, White Sox -- It says more about the state of the American League Central than it does the state of the White Sox that Chicago remains one good week away from being in the thick of things. That could complicate matters with respect to Giolito should the White Sox get hot at the right (or, perhaps, wrong, depending on your perspective) time. Anyway, Giolito is an impending free agent who has fully course-corrected from a rough 2022. Until the White Sox actually make a run, we're going to assume he'll be the best right-hander traded this summer. Potential suitors: Rangers, Astros, Orioles"
Yankees reliever Jimmy Cordero suspended for rest of season ⚾
Yankees reliever Jimmy Cordero has beenfor violating MLB's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.
- Cordero accepted the suspension and was placed on the restricted list, which means he is suspended immediately without pay.
- Cordero has a 3.86 ERA with 34 strikeouts and 10 walks in 32 2/3 innings. His 31 appearances rank fourth on the team.
- Per the league, Cordero "will participate in a confidential and comprehensive evaluation and treatment program supervised by the Joint Policy Board."
The details behind Cordero's suspension are not publicly known.
NFL Quarterback tiers: Clear big three, but strong group right behind 🏈
No position in sports is more hyper-analyzed, more hyper-criticized and more difficult to play than NFL quarterback. It's the position that makes the whole world go 'round. If your team has a great one, you probably have a chance at winning it all.
So with training camp fast approaching, our Will Brinson put, and there's an uber-talented trio of AFC signal-callers leading the way.
- Brinson: "Tier 1: The Big Three 2023 -- Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen: This is your top three draft picks if you're starting a franchise. There's a reason these guys comprised the top three spots on Pete Prisco's Top 100 NFL Players list earlier this offseason. ... Mahomes is clearly No. 1 and I wouldn't even be opposed to giving him his own tier. But I think Burrow and Allen are close enough behind to warrant this designation. If your team has one of these three guys, you believe the Super Bowl is winnable even if things go wrong for your franchise."
I'm in the camp that Mahomes deserves his own tier -- he's the only one of the three that actually has a Super Bowl, and he has two at that -- but Will's right. If you're going to make it a three-player tier, those are the three who belong there.
The group right behind them -- titled "Could Join Them Next Year" -- should be a fun one:
- Justin Herbert -- new offensive coordinator (Kellen Moore), new first-round wide receiver (Quentin Johnston)
- Lamar Jackson -- new offensive coordinator (Todd Monken), remade wide receiver group including Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers
- Trevor Lawrence -- one of NFL's best quarterbacks over second half of last season, adds Calvin Ridley
- Jalen Hurts -- record-breaking dual threat, was one possession away from winning Super Bowl
What we're watching Thursday 📺
⚾ Cardinals at Marlins, 6:40 p.m. on FS1
🏀 Thunder at 76ers, 7 p.m. on ESPN2