Last night felt like a punch to the gut.
It was a roller coaster weekend for Sixers fans regarding LeBron James. He officially opted out of his deal with the Cavaliers Friday morning and the courting for the king began. And slowly, it started to begin to feel he might actually come to Philly. And it felt like a Big 3 of James, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George would not happen with PG staying in OKC.
Fast forward to Sunday, when in the middle of the World Cup, Woj dropped a huge bomb involving a meeting with the Sixers and LeBron’s reps, sans LeBron. The Sixers reportedly pitched that they were very confident the team could get Kawhi from the Spurs and sign him to a long-term deal. Getting him would’ve taken two players and three first round picks. We all wanted to pull the trigger immediately.
And then at 8:05 PM, out of nowhere, Klutch Sports Group, the agency that represents James, dropped a short press release announcing James would go to LA for four years and $154 million. Get his jersey if you want.
To make things worse:
Sources: As trade talks have unfolded, Kawhi Leonard’s focus is unchanged: He wants to be a Laker. https://t.co/0wZGf5MrNt
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2018
Who knows how it may unfold in LA. The Lakers also signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LANCE STEPHENSON, and JAVALE MCGEE to one-year deals. KCP is a good player, but Stephenson, LeBron’s top enemy who will probably play the role of J.R. Smith, and McGee, the big man who’s made numerous appearances on Shaqtin’ A Fool embarrassing himself, is unbelievable. It might turn into a clown show for all we know. They’re also interested in bringing back Brook Lopez and signing Nerlens Noel.
So what will the Sixers do? Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli left, which means the scoring from our bench took a huge hit. And with Kawhi’s wishes to still be a Laker in any way possible, including sitting out next season, it’d be smart if the Sixers don’t waste Dario and Covington plus three first round picks for a rental.
The big priority right now is to get J.J. Redick back. Losing him would be brutal. Next up would be reloading the bench. James Ennis has reportedly been a target for the team, and Jabari Parker has also been linked to the team. Do you also re-sign Amir Johnson or possibly pursue a guy like Kyle O’Quinn? Guys like Avery Bradley, Tyreke Evans, and Kyle Anderson (RFA) also intrigue me.
They also appear to be talking to Jerryd Bayless about either a complete buyout of his $8.575 million contract or stretching out his contract. The latter of the two options would keep him on the books for three seasons (double the number of years left on his current contract plus one year), but with a lower salary hit of around $2.85 million a year.
So with that, Joel Embiid’s response to all of this was simple:
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) July 2, 2018
Let’s do it organically. Trust The Process.
Before we continue, a word from our sponsors:
Legal. Check out Krasno, Krasno and Onwudinjo when you need a workers’ compensation or social security attorney.
Important summer baseball is back. It’s Phillies season. Shop now.
Fresh. The best meal delivery service, without question. Sign up for Hello Fresh now and get $40 off your first two boxes.
Amazon. If you shop Amazon, support your favorite website and use our link.
We have a new episode of Crossing Broadcast to discuss everything that happened this weekend, including the LeBron stuff.
Continuing with the current Sixers squad, Summer League action begins later this week. Markelle Fultz will not participate as he continues to work on his shot with Drew Hanlen, and Shake Milton suffered a stress fracture in his back and also will not play in Las Vegas.
Here’s a look at the minicamp participants, which also includes former St. Joe’s Hawk Isaiah Miles:
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) July 1, 2018
Jonah Bolden will also not participate, and apparently he might not be a part of the team in the future at all:
Source: Philadelphia are entertaining the idea of using stash Jonah Bolden as a trade asset. Lots of interest from other NBA teams, there's a standard NBA buyout to free him of his $400,000 deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) July 2, 2018
As with the veterans on the team, Justin Anderson had shin surgery and will be re-evaluated in about two weeks.
On Thursday, the Sixers helped opened up a renovated playground in North Philly. They hope it can turn the area around for the better.
The Phillies took three of four games against the Nationals this weekend. After edging the Nats Thursday, the Phils got blown out Friday with a 17-7 loss, thanks to seven home runs by Washington.
The series finale was a hot and wild 13 -inning affair, with the Phillies coming out on top with a 4-3 win thanks to an Andrew Knapp walk-off homer. Nick Pivetta came in relief for the final inning and got the win. That capped off a brutal 42-game stretch which saw the team go… 21-21. That’s really damn good.
The team has a well deserved day off before beginning a quick two-game series with the Baltimore Orioles tomorrow night at home. Zach Eflin will take the mound in that one.
During the weekend, we saw Pat Neshek return for a third of an inning, but also saw Hector Neris go back down to Lehigh Valley.
Recently retired Phillie Jayson Werth probably deserves a spot on the team’s Wall of Fame.
While NBA Free Agency was hot, NHL Free Agency also got underway Sunday afternoon. The Flyers made one move, signing James van Riemsdyk to a five-year, $35 million deal ($7 million AAV).
You can thank Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek for persuading JVR to come back:
“I heard from G and I talked to Jake Voracek,” van Riemsdyk said via conference call. “It was good. I did my homework in the situation to talk to guys that were still there, some guys that maybe are not there anymore but that were there recently, just to get a feel of where things are at.
“I talked to both those guys and just picked their brain about some stuff. They were great about being open and available to help me through my process of getting to the point to make a decision. That was really helpful.”
Three former Flyers the team didn’t want signed elsewhere. Brandon Manning went to Chicago (2 years, $2.25 million per year), Petr Mrazek went to Carolina (1 year, $1.5 million), and Valtteri Filppula signed with the New York Islanders (1 year, $2.75 million). Good job by Ron Hextall to not give those guys that much money.
Meanwhile at Development Camp, Isaac Ratcliffe is showing signs of why the team moved up in last year’s draft to get him:
“My goal after last camp was just to get a lot stronger,” he said last week, after finishing drills at the team’s practice facility in Voorhees. “I have the size to actually get heavier, and this year I wanted to come back and really show I developed a lot this year and put on a few pounds. I want to show I can compete with the toughest guys in the league.”
Ratcliffe, 19, said he wants to put on even more weight, continue to add strength, and increase his speed in the next year.
“It’s a fast game, and it’s a game that’s decreasing in size, too,” he said. “And I have to show that I can bring both speed and size to the game, and my skill set as well.”
Some surprising Eagles news: Linebacker Nigel Bradham won’t play in the season opener. He said it stemmed from an incident back in 2016 where he hit a cabana boy.
The Ringer suggests the Eagles trade Brandon Graham to San Francisco:
Let’s say, just for a minute, that the cap-strapped defending champs decide they can’t afford to sign Graham, 30, to a long-term contract extension now or in 2019. In that case, their next two options are to (1) ride out the final year of his contract and maximize their shot at winning a second consecutive title before letting him walk in free agency—thus getting relatively little (a 2020 comp pick, maximum) in return or (2) think big picture, and trade him now for high-value picks and some much-needed cap relief.
I know what I’d do (Super Bowl LIII or bust, baby), but with the 25-year-old Carson Wentz locked in as their franchise quarterback, the Eagles brass should be thinking about the long-term health of their roster and salary cap, too. That’s where the 49ers—cap- and draft-pick rich and not afraid to make a big splash—come in. San Francisco’s got plenty of interior pass-rush talent, but they don’t have a proven elite edge rusher like Graham. If they threw a 2019 second-rounder and more Philly’s way, Howie Roseman may have to consider it.
The Union fell to LAFC 4-1 out west this weekend. They’ll return home on Saturday to take on Atlanta United FC.
Today, Brazil takes on Mexico at 10 AM, followed by Belgium and Japan at 2 PM on Fox.
In other sports news, former Islanders captain John Tavares signed a seven-year, $77 million deal ($11 million AAV) with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Not everyday you can live a childhood dream pic.twitter.com/YUTKdfMALl
— John Tavares (@91Tavares) July 1, 2018
In other NHL Free Agency news, John Tortorella ripped on defenseman Jack Johnson going to Pittsburgh:
— Mike Darnay (@MikeDarnay) July 2, 2018
Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor is probably calling it a career:
Gods Grace 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/60J2DugpD1
— Kameron Chancellor (@KamChancellor) July 1, 2018
Celtics first round pick Robert Williams missed his flight to Boston and didn’t show up to the first day of Summer League workouts for the team.
Mo Salah signed a new long-term deal with Liverpool. He’ll be there until 2023.
In the news, $1.7 million of fentanyl was seized at the Port of Philadelphia.
Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal attorney, said his family and country come first before President Trump
Vermont legalized weed.