The NBA transaction moratorium was lifted Monday at noon, leading to a bunch of trades and even more rumors.
What We Know:
- The biggest trade from day 1 is without a doubt the Chris Paul deal. The OKC Thunder sent the All-Star guard and Abdel Nader to the Phoenix Suns for Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Leque, and a 2022 first-round draft pick. Considering that Paul’s huge contract seemed untradeable just a year ago, Thunder GM Sam Presti brought back a haul of assets for him this offseason. Paul will join rising star Devin Booker in Phoenix and they are poised to be a fun and competitive team in the West this year.
- OKC didn’t just move CP3, but they also flipped Dennis Schroder for more assets. The Thunder are sending Schroder to the LA Lakers for Danny Green and a 2020 first-round pick. The Lakers are adding one of the best bench guards in the league to their already championship-winning roster and the Thunder are adding another pick to their huge stock of draft assets. This deal also has implications for Lakers guard Rajon Rondo, who many are expecting to leave the team in free agency. The Lakers seemingly have found his replacement in Schroder, paving the way for Rondo to sign with the Atlanta Hawks or the LA Clippers.
- Day 1 has also seen plenty of players opt in or out of their current contracts. The Lakers have three players who are opting out of their contracts to test free agency with Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Rondo. Even though Rondo might leave for another team, no one really expects Davis or KCP to move. Other notable players opting out and entering free agency are the Denver Nuggets’ Jerami Grant and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Brook Lopez and Wesley Matthews.
- Several players are also opting in for the last year of their deals to secure some extra money. The big ones are Nicolas Batum, Mike Conley, DeMar Derozan, and Otto Porter, with each of them making well over $25 million next season. Derozan is worth keeping his eye on because he’s still an All-Star caliber player and some contending teams like the Lakers might try to trade for him.
- Perhaps the biggest name floated in Monday trade talks was former MVP James Harden. After his teammate Russell Westbrook demanded a trade, Harden let the Rockets know that he was committed to the team. However, it is now being reported that Harden is looking to be traded, with his preferred destinations being the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers. Brooklyn is Harden’s top choice because he loves the idea of reuniting with Kevin Durant, but Philadelphia might be more realistic because they have better players to include in a trade. For a player as good as Harden, it would require one of the most generous trade packages in NBA history to get a deal done.
This is a huge week for NBA player movement. Not only did the trade moratorium end on Monday, but the draft will be held Wednesday night and free agency opens up on Friday.
The World’s First LGBTQ+ Cricket Match Held in the UK
The historical event took place on Sunday at the Weoley Hill Cricket Club between the United Kingdom’s two LGBTQ+ cricket teams, the Birmingham Unicorns, and the Graces Cricket Club.
What We Know:
- Players on both teams felt overjoyed at the inaugural game. Graces captain Stuart Anthony told AFP that the game symbolized more than just entertainment; it made a statement. Unicorns skipper Lachlan Smith added that the cricket match was “a celebration of inclusion”.
“If you’re into cricket, there’s a place for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re different — we have a home,” said Anthony.
- The two clubs thought about playing each other after Smith came to the Graces for advice on starting an inclusive team. The country’s governing body for cricket, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), as well as the county team Warwickshire permitted the match to happen because of coronavirus relaxations.
- The Graces and Unicorns found importance in creating teams that represent the LGBTQIA+ community in cricket. Certain athletes on the team previously felt the necessity to hide their sexuality for the sake of the sport. They even reported that a majority of players in other cricket clubs do the same thing.
- For example, Smith grew up playing the sport but became disenchanted with it when he felt an incompatibility between his sexuality and the game. He spent fifteen years away from the sport and came out of the closet after playing with his current club for two years. Additionally, Anthony felt similar feelings about cricket. His emotions changed when he found an LGBTQ-inclusive team in 2009.
- Despite the ECB supporting the LGBTQ+ community more and more in recent years, athletes and charities alike believe the organization could do more. National charity Stonewall’s Director of Programmes Liz Ward said that tackling discriminatory behaviors should not only rest on LGBTQIA+ athletes’ shoulders. Furthermore, Anthony believes complete acceptance of others in cricket will take a little longer. However, he also feels that the younger generations will be more open to LGBTQ+ athletes. Smith thinks more inclusive teams should pop up and play more matches, citing that it shouldn’t take another 25 years to occur.
The Graces became the UK’s first LGBTQ+ team in 1996; the Unicorns became the second team with its conception in March 2021.
Diego Maradona’s Doctor and Six Others to be Questioned in His Death
Soccer icon Diego Maradona suffered a heart attack weeks after undergoing brain surgery for a blood clot and died in November 2020 at 60 years old. After this, two of his children filed a complaint with the Argentine Justice Department against neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, citing that he allowed their father’s health to deteriorate. Medical experts agreed with their claims.
What We Know:
- Argentina’s public prosecutor brought in a panel of twenty medical authorities to analyze Maradona’s treatment. They concluded that the care the legend received held “deficiencies and irregularities;” they also determined the medical team left his survival “to fate” and could have survived if tended to at a healthcare facility. Maradona died in a rented Buenos Aires home, where he obtained home care.
- Alongside Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov, psychologist Carlos Diaz, nurses Ricardo Almiron and Dahiana Madrid, nursing coordinator Mariano Perroni, and medical coordinator Nancy Forlini will face interrogation.
- Beginning Monday and spanning two weeks, the seven will appear “one by one” before prosecutors to reply to the allegations. They may receive charges such as manslaughter if found guilty.
- The hearings were supposed to begin last month, but officials needed to postpone them due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Prosecutors will end questioning on June 28 with Luque. Once this finishes, a judge will decide if the matter should proceed in court. This process may take months or years. While awaiting their fate, the seven must follow strict rules, such as not leaving the country. They risk eight to twenty-five years in prison if they do so.
- Luque actively denies all the accusations against him. He claims he “tried his best” and offered Maradona everything he could. He also states that the soccer player accepted some things and denied others.
In addition, Luque says that Maradona felt very depressed in his final days; he declares that the “quarantine hit him very hard.” Because of this, Dr. Luque wants dismissal of the case. Despite his pleas, the courts will continue their movement to bring justice to Maradona’s family and fans.
Oklahoma Sooners Beat Florida State Seminole 5-1 in Game 3 of Women’s College World Series
The win allowed the Oklahoma Sooners to win their fifth Women’s College World Series title.
What We Know:
- The Sooners’ Jocelyn Alo started Thursday’s game with a home run. After this, Jayda Coleman “poked one over the fence” in the second inning, giving the team an early 2-0 lead. Soon after, the Seminoles got in their only run in the third inning when the Sooners’ Tiare Jennings lost a popup, and Kalei Harding took her opportunity to score.
- Oklahoma responded automatically with Jennings scoring on a wild pitch by Florida State’s freshman reliever Emma Wilson. Coleman scored two with a “hard-line drive off the left-field wall to score two” and give the Sooners the 5-1 advantage.
- The Sooners acquired this win because of star pitcher Giselle Juarez. Before the game, the Oklahoma softball team lacked a dominant pitcher, but Juarez “answered the call.” In Game 2, she helped the team win 6-2 against the Seminoles. During Game 3, Juarez allowed one run on two hits.
- The crowd’s majority also stood up when Juarez took the circle in the seventh inning. ESPN writes that she caught the final out like a “popup into her glove.” After securing the catch, the other Sooners ran up to her, and “Boomer Sooner” played over the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium’s sound system.
“Honestly, I was kind of hoping it didn’t go in the sun and that they would let me catch it,” Juarez said. “But I mean, it felt so slow motion, and then just to look up after I caught it and see [Kinzie] Hansen running at me — surreal, awesome moment.”
- In contrast, Florida State University’s Seminoles softball team aimed to win their second title in three consecutive World Series under coach Lonni Alameda. However, the Sooners shocked them with their talent. Center fielder Dani Morgan told the media she felt pride in the team despite losing.
- Although the Seminoles did not win this time around, they made marks at the World Series. For example, freshman Kayley Mudge made 14 hits, a new record for the Women’s College World Series.
The Sooners’ other World Series wins were in 2000, 2013, 2016, and 2017, under coach Patty Gasso.
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