Wemby Mania 


By: Jeff Yoder

Good Morning,

The NBA Draft’s undisputed No. 1 pick is stateside. Victor Wembanyama arrived in New York for the NBA Draft and even threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium (yikes). His basketball game is better, we promise. The image of Wemby holding a baseball just looks alien. Regardless, the Wemby has landed. Let the mania begin

Letter Rip!


NBA Mock Draft 2.0

Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Projecting Tomorrow Night’s 1st Round of the NBA Draft

Late June is draft-watch season for the NBA, and we’re just 24-36 hours away from Thursday’s big selection show. Everyone and their brother knows the No. 1 overall pick — Victor Wembanyama. The Spurs are about to secure their centerpiece for the future with a 7-foot-5 phenom that can shoot, dribble, pass, and defend. Beyond that, things are wide open. The consensus top-3 includes Wembanyama and G-League guard Scoot Henderson (both pictured above) along with Alabama forward Brandon Miller. The order is fluid, and plenty of trade rumors involving picks No. 2 and 3 are swirling.

Teams With Multiple 1st-Round Picks: The Pacers (7, 26 & 30) and Jazz (9, 16 & 28) have three first-rounders, each. Indiana also holds the No. 32 pick, and both teams could package trades to move up or defer for future picks. The Hornets (2 & 27), Blazers (3 & 23), Rockets (4 & 20), Magic (6 & 11), and Nets (21 & 22) all have two first-round selections.

Teams With No 1st-Round Picks: All of those teams with multiple picks had to come from somewhere. That leaves eight teams — the Nuggets, Suns, Celtics, Bucks, 76ers, Cavaliers, Bulls, and Timberwolves — without 1st-round selections.

Names & Teams to Watch: Wembanyama is the obvious main story in tomorrow night’s draft, but there’s little suspense to his situation. The biggest names to watch are Brandon Miller and Scoot Henderson, and which teams might trade up to get them. There’s a lot of chatter around the Hornets and Blazers being potential sellers of the No. 2 and No. 3 picks. The Magic also own two lottery picks and could be ready to swing them for an established veteran or move up to get one of the top-3.

NBA Mock Draft 2.0

1. Spurs: F Victor Wembanyama (France)

2. Hornets: F Brandon Miller (Alabama)

3. Blazers: G Scoot Henderson (G-League)

4. Rockets: F Jarace Walker (Houston)

5. Pistons: F Taylor Hendricks (UCF)

6. Magic: G Amen Thompson (G-League)

7. Pacers: C Dereck Lively II (Duke)

8. Wizards: G Ausar Thompson (G-League)

9. Jazz: G/F Gradey Dick (Kansas)

10. Mavericks: G Anthony Black (Arkansas)


11. Magic: F Cam Whitmore (Villanova)

12. Thunder: G Kobe Bufkin (Michigan)

13. Raptors: G Jalen Hood-Schifino (Indiana)

14. Pelicans: F Bilal Coulibaly (France)

15. Hawks: G/F Jett Howard (Michigan)

16. Jazz: G Jordan Hawkins (UConn)

17. Lakers: G Brandin Podziemski (Santa Clara)

18. Heat: G Nick Smith Jr. (Arkansas)

19. Warriors: F Kris Murray (Iowa)

20. Rockets: G Cason Wallace (Kentucky)


21. Nets: F Olivier-Maxine Prosper (Marquette)

22. Nets: G Keyonte George (Baylor)

23. Blazers: C James Nnaji (Spain)

24. Kings: G/F Ryan Rupert (New Zealand)

25. Grizzlies: G Marcus Sasser (Houston)

26. Pacers: G/F Leonard Miller (G-League)

27. Hornets: G/F Dariq Whitehead (Duke)

28. Jazz: F Noah Clowney (Alabama)

29. Pacers: F Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana)

30. Clippers: F Jaime Jacquez Jr. (UCLA)

We’ll have the full NBA Draft Primer in today’s edition.

Read More

B/R: Trying to Build Victor Wembanyama’s Pro Comparison

CBS Sports: NBA Mock Draft: Hornets Take Scoot, Miller Left for Blazers

The Ringer: 2023 NBA Mock Draft: Lottery Shuffling & Trade Rumors

Yahoo! Sports: NBA Mock Draft: Latest intel 2 Days Out & Analysis on All 58 Picks



Reds Run It To 10

Photo: Jeff Dean / Getty Images

Reds Stretch Win Streak to 10 Games, Join Rays (13-0) as Only Teams With Double-Digit Streaks in 2023

No stopping now! The Reds’ sensational run continued on Tuesday night with an 8-6 win over the Rockies. The rookie sparkplug Elly De La Cruz (3-for-4) homered, T.J. Friedl had four hits, and Cincinnati is now cruising towards the All-Star break with a 10-game win streak (their longest since 2012) and momentum in the NL Central. So what changed? Bats. Big ones. The Reds have scored 63 runs over the 10-game streak (6.3 runs per game). Not only did Cincy bring up De La Cruz on June 6, but they also called up three pitchers and welcomed back Joey Votto (minors rehab assignment) over the weekend. The streak will get tested at the end of the month against the Braves, Orioles, and Padres.

Watch: De La Cruz Homers, Reds Win Streak Reaches 10

MLB Quick-Hitters

Strider History Lifts Braves Streak to 7The Braves and Phillies met for a clash of NL East clubs riding six-game win streaks. Atlanta’s Matt Olson hit his 21st HR of the year, but it was Braves’ ace Spencer Strider (6 IP, 8 Hits, 1 ER, 9 Ks) who earned a 4-2 win and became the second pitcher since 1901 to throw 300 Ks in his first 35 career starts.

JV Returns to HoustonThe Mets and Astros met for a special occasion in Houston as Justin Verlander made his first start against his former team. It didn’t go well for JV. He allowed four runs in seven innings of a 4-2 loss.

Rizzo, Cole, Yankees End SkidThe Yankees ended a four-game skid on Tuesday thanks a 3-hit night from Anthony Rizzo and a stellar performance from Gerrit Cole (7.1 IP, 4 Hits, 1 ER, 8 Ks). Cole is now 8-1 with a 2.64 ERA. The Pinstripes bested the Mariners (3-1).

Stroman Strikes for CubsThe Cubs are winners of four straight after Marcus Stroman (7 IP, 5 Hits, 0 ER, 5 Ks) tossed seven scoreless innings and logged his seventh straight win for Chicago. The Cubs blanked the Pirates (4-0), and Pittsburgh has now lost eight straight.

Bonus: White Sox Win Thriller With Rangers on Controversial Home-Plate Collision Violation




Wings def. Dream (85-73)

Lynx def. Sparks (67-61)

Sun def. Storm (85-79)

 College World Series

TCU def. Oral Roberts (6-1)

#5 LSU def. Tennessee (5-0)

*CWS Down to Final 4 Teams

(See Today’s Must-Watch List)



 10 Defining Players of the 2023 NFL Season

Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts left a lasting impression on the 2022 NFL season, but every year offers a new crop of breakout stars and juicy story lines from new faces in new places or surprise teams that no one expected to make the postseason. (Sports Illustrated)

 Lionel Messi’s Validation for MLS

So, we now know when Lionel Messi will play his first game in the snazzy pink colors of Inter Miami. It will be on July 21, against Mexico’s Cruz Azul in the Leagues Cup. Messi’s decision to join Miami brings validation to the progress of the MLS. (FOX Sports)

 Curse of the NBA Draft’s 8th Pick

It’s commonplace in sports to talk about the curses and losing streaks. It’s been almost 30 years since an All-Star was taken with the no. 8 pick (shout-out Vin Baker). We examine the most bizarre drought in the draft. (The Ringer)





Today’s Must-Watch List


Orioles at Rays (12:10 pm ET)

Braves at Phillies (6:40 pm ET)

Dodgers at Angels (9:38 pm ET)

Padres at Giants (9:45 pm ET)


LAFC vs. Seattle Sounders (10:30 pm ET)


Aces at Mercury (3:30 pm ET)

College World Series

#2 Florida vs. TCU (2:00 pm ET)
#1 Wake Forest vs. #5 LSU (7:00 pm ET)

Download The Sportsletter’s Must-Watch Calendar



Poll Results

Yesterday, we asked: Do you think the Saudi Pro League’s pursuit of soccer stars will be boom or bust? Most of you think it’s a bust, but there’s still competition brewing.

Boom — 38%

Bust — 62%



Heart of the Southside

Photo: Michael Reaves / Getty Images

How White Sox Closer Liam Hendriks Struck Out Cancer (By Marissa Kasch)

It’s pretty hard not to root for Liam Hendriks, even if you’re a Cubs fan (which is saying a lot). As a closer, he has made many important strikeouts in his career. But his most recent feat is his most impressive. Hendriks struck out his most difficult opponent yet: cancer. 

As far as stories go, Hendriks’ is one for the books. After spending the last six months battling Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, undergoing rounds of chemotherapy, and having his life turned upside-down, the White Sox righty is back on the mound.

Hendriks was still receiving treatment as recently as April 3, which was his last day of chemo before his announcement that he was officially cancer free. In late April, he started rehab with the White Sox. Shortly after, he was back like he never left.

Inside Hendriks’ Battle

Obviously, it takes a strong person to beat cancer. Hendriks had to endure the pain and suffering of both the cancer itself and the harsh treatment. But he says he couldn’t have done any of it without his wife by his side. 

His wife, Kristi, stayed at his bedside with him the entire time. For a 33-year-old and his wife, the diagnosis was devastating. But they didn’t let it control them.

Upon receiving his diagnosis, Hendriks said that he wouldn’t wallow or complain about how it’s unfair. A disease as debilitating and relentless as cancer is not fair to anyone. Instead, Hendriks was determined to turn his diagnosis into something positive.

Philanthropic Family

As I said, it’s hard not to root for Liam Hendriks, and not just because of his triumphant return. Maybe it’s because he’s one of the most fun closers to watch. Or maybe it’s because he’s one of those guys who it’s impossible not to like.

Hendriks is known for his selflessness and dedication to his community. He was a two-time nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which he described as one of the most important honors he has received. He and Kristi also founded the South Slydah Society, a meal delivery service for frontline workers and others in need. The society has donated over 1,400 meals from small businesses already. 

Chicago Comeback

In the two games he has pitched since his return, Hendriks is 2-0 in saves for the White Sox. He won the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award in back-to-back years (2020 and 2021). He has also been chosen as a three-time American League All-Star. 

But none of these awards compare to Hendriks’ biggest feat; unlike his other awards and honors, that one was accomplished off the field. Liam Hendriks closed out cancer, and now every pitch seems a little bit sweeter.