In today’s sports news…
The NBA free agency continues, and the trade talks ramp up. The Nets will not trade Kevin Durant unless it’s a package that includes a “blue-chip” player; the Cleveland Browns traded quarterback Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers for a conditional fifth-round draft pick, and in the NHL major trade rumors are swirling around the Calgary Flames’ Matthew Tkachuk.
The Brooklyn Nets have “privately maintained” that they will only trade Durant if the package they are offered includes a “blue chip” player like Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram or Raptors forward Scottie Barnes. If the package does not include a “blue chip” player, Durant will likely remain with the Nets.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst updated NBA fans on rumors that Kyrie Irving will be going to the Los Angeles Lakers:
“No one is bidding against the Lakers for Kyrie. The 76ers and Mavericks were mentioned, and that was shut down immediately. There’s no reason for LA to put everything on the table. This could drag out.”
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin said:
“The signal around the league is that Kyrie wants to go to LA, beyond next season, so any team that wants him knows he would be a rental.”
The Lakers are interested in shooting guards Buddy Hield and Eric Gordon. Both players are sharpshooters, and if the Lakers can’t trade for Irving, Hield or Gordon would be the perfect plan B for the team.
ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski had an update on Kevin Durant:
“Maybe at some point the Nets come to Kevin Durant with a trade. And he looks at it and says ‘maybe I’d rather stay here.’”
According to Yahoo Sports NBA Insider Chris B. Haynes, Durant has “gone dark” as “multiple stars” throughout the NBA have attempted to contact Durant after his trade request.
Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal signed a five-year, $251 million contract to remain in Washington D.C. with the Wizards.
The Portland Trail Blazers are expected to release veteran guard Eric Bledsoe. He will garner interest from several teams.
Caleb Martin signed a three-year, $20 million deal with the Heat to remain in Miami.
The Lakers held a workout for veteran guard Darren Collison today.
The Cleveland Browns traded quarterback Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers for a conditional fifth-round pick. The pick could turn into a fourth-rounder if Mayfield plays 70% of the team’s offensive snaps in 2022.
The Atlanta Falcons signed defensive tackle Eddie Goldman to a one-year deal.
By Wednesday night, the Calgary Flames’ Matthew Tkachuk was the subject of the league’s hottest trade rumors. Tkachuk is a restricted free agent, and The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun said that “teams are delicately approaching” the Flames.
“It goes without saying the Flames’ lone intention right now is to sign Tkachuk long-term and keep him in the fold,” LeBrun wrote. “But if he prefers to do a one-year deal and bring himself to UFA in a year, it puts Calgary in a brutal spot.”
Pat Steinberg, the Flames radio host, agreed that a one-year deal would be a bad thing for the franchise.
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) July 7, 2022
While some hockey watchers pooh-poohed the rumors, a tweet from Andy Strickland, the rinkside reporter for the St. Louis Blues, gave the rumors quite a bit of credibility. Matthew’s father, Keith Tkachuk, is a five-time NHL All-Star who played for St. Louis for roughly half of his 18-year professional career, and Matthew and his siblings were raised in St. Louis.
Matthew Tkachuk trade rumors swirling…some talk of last offer from #Flames to Johnny Gaudreau was in the $9.5 range.
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) July 6, 2022