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Deandre Ayton is staying in Phoenix… for now, plus why UNC is dropping a high recruit

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Completely satisfied Friday, all! Hope you are doing effectively.

I understand it’s possible you’ll be studying this whereas watching The Open Championship or at the very least maintaining with our reside leaderboard. After a tricky opening-round 78, Tiger Woods’ struggles have continued and it appears to be like like he’s in severe harmful of lacking the minimize. 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 via 18 holes at 6 beneath. 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

Deandre Ayton is getting paid the actually large bucks. Ayton, a restricted free agent, signed a document 4-year, $133-million provide sheet from the Pacers yesterday, however the Suns, Ayton’s unique staff, instantly matched that, protecting 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 supply 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 a very good morning for…

THE PHOENIX SUNS…

Final offseason, the Suns — recent off their first NBA Finals look in almost 30 years — might have given Deandre Ayton a max contract. They determined to not. Two months in the past, the Suns — recent off the most effective regular-season document within the NBA — shockingly collapsed within the second spherical in opposition to the Mavericks, with Ayton spending a lot of the second half of Recreation 7 on the bench.

Head coach Monty Williams cited “inside” causes. Ayton did not converse to the media. In line with reviews, Ayton “didn’t really feel valued” by the franchise after the contract negotiations. And now we’re right here. The Suns needed to match the Pacers’ provide 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 commerce bait for the last word prize this offseason has evaporated, notes NBA professional 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 except they’ll persuade the Nets to take a package deal with out him. If the Nets determine they need to 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.

… AND ALSO NOT SUCH A GOOD MORNING FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS

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

  • Per 247Sports’ Travis Branham, Jackson is predicted to reclassify to 2022 and be part of South Carolina.
  • That might, in principle, 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 faculty” 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 in opposition to COVID-19.

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

The US ladies’s nationwide staff is into the ultimate of the Concacaf W Championship after an easy 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 an exquisite left-footed strike off a terrific Rose Lavelle help. Ashley Sanchez completed the scoring late.

The USWNT will face Canada within the last Monday evening. Whereas the USWNT has already certified for the 2023 World Cup, a spot within the 2024 Olympics and 2024 W Gold Cup can 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 which means it is time for one last mock draft from our MLB professional Mike Axisa.

The Orioles maintain the primary decide, and with no consensus high possibility, a darkish horse might emerge. Corresponding to:

  • Axisa: 2B Termarr Johnson has a number of followers within the business and is thought to be the most effective pure hitter within the draft class, school or highschool. If he isn’t the No. 1 decide, there’s an opportunity Johnson falls to the No. 6 decide and even later. In that case taking an underslot deal at No. 1 can be extra financially profitable than a slot deal at No. 6 or later, plus Johnson would get to say he’s the No. 1 decide within the nation. For the O’s, chopping a cope with Johnson at No. 1 would enable them to spend large on later picks (Nos. 33, 42, and 67) and add a number of high skills to their farm system.”

This 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

Probably 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’ll be able to learn extra about his journey right here) and, if Mike’s mock proves right, he’ll hear his identify known as within the first spherical once more Sunday.

Additionally be sure you try MLB insider R.J. Anderson’s high 30 prospect rankings for extra perception on this yr’s early draftees.

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


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

There was no larger star in the marketplace than Johnny Gaudreau, who ended up in Columbus. It was a very good — if a bit complicated — transfer.

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

You may see grades for all the most important signings right here.

What we’re watching this weekend 📺

 The Open Championship all weekend. This is how one can, too.
We’re additionally watching the NWSL on Paramount+.

And likewise…

Friday

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

Saturday

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

Sunday

🏀 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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