Let Freedom Swing


By: Jeff Yoder

Welcome Back 

After a week off, yours truly is back in the driver’s seat. A big shout-out to our team for filling in last week.

The summer sports swing is officially underway after the July 4th celebrations. From a whirlwind of NBA moves to American winners in soccer, golf, and tennis, we’ll recap it all in just a few minutes. The MLB All-Star Game and the ESPYs are on the way this week. But the best “swing” of all is tonight…

 MLB Home Run Derby (Tonight, 8:00 pm ET, ESPN)

Letter Rip!


NBA Moratorium Moves Tracker

Photo: Soobum Im / Getty Images

NBA Download: In-Season Tournament, Offseason Moves & All the NBA Chaos From Moratorium Week

Take a breather, NBA. Just chill for a bit, please. They call it the NBA moratorium, but hardly. The Association has continued dominating the early-July sports headlines with an endless barrage of offseason moves. We’ll recap all of that below. There’s still no news regarding a Damian Lillard trade, The league also announced on Saturday that it will move forward with an in-season tournament. The bombshell announcement was clearly held until the bulk of free-agent dominoes fell during last week’s free-agent blitz. Commissioner Adam Silver laid out details for how the new in-season tourney will work, and what it means, but we’re still learning. Here’s the latest.

In-Season Tournament: The NBA Cup

The NBA’s long-discussed plan for an in-season tournament is now reality. The NBA Cup features each conference (East & West) divided into three groups of five, similar to the divisions, then determines teams via draw. The selected teams will play regular-season games that double as “group stage” action in November with “knockout rounds” in December. Players on the team who wins the NBA Cup will earn a $500,000 bonus, while players of the runner-up team receive $200,000. Third ($100,000) and fourth ($50,000) also receive payouts. In essence, it’s a push to make early-season games more exciting during an arduous 82-game season. We’ll see how it plays out before being critical.

Offseason Movement in a Nutshell

Roughly 110 NBA offseason moves have taken place since the NBA Finals ended in mid-June, and that’s not including the NBA Draft signees. That’s 110 players with new contracts or new teams entering 2023. Almost every notable free agent found their new destination last week during our holiday break, and keeping up with all the moves is nearly impossible for the casual basketball fan. Among the biggest names on the move were Fred VanVleet (Rockets) and Eric Gordon (Suns) while most of the top free-agent targets stayed with their former teams. Kyrie Irving (Mavs), Draymond Green (Warriors) and Russell Westbrook (Clippers) are running it back. Here’s our best shot at reporting every notable NBA offseason move from the past few weeks. Only a few veteran free agents remain, and the bulk of the deals are set in stone.

Every Notable NBA Offseason Move

Free Agent Signings

Fred VanVleet → Rockets

Eric Gordon → Suns

Gabe Vincent → Lakers

Donte DiVincenzo → Knicks

Victor Oladipo → Thunder

Max Strus → Cavaliers

Seth Curry → Mavericks

Grant Williams → Mavericks

Bruce Brown → Pacers

Dillon Brooks → Rockets

Cam Reddish → Lakers

Dennis Schroeder → Raptors

Notable Trade Deals

Bradley Beal → Suns

Chris Paul → Warriors

Jordan Poole → Wizards

Marcus Smart → Grizzlies

Kristaps Porzingis → Celtics

Rudy Gay → Hawks

John Collins → Jazz

FAs Who Re-Signed With Former Team

Kyrie Irving → Mavericks

Draymond Green → Warriors

Russell Westbrook → Clippers

Austin Reaves → Lakers

D’Angelo Russell → Lakers

Cam Johnson → Nets

Khris Middleton → Bucks

Brook Lopez → Bucks

Jordan Clarkson → Jazz

Kyle Kuzma → Wizards

Read More

NBA.com: Every Free Agency Deal, Extension & Trade for All 30 Teams

ESPN: NBA Officially Unveils Format, Groups for New In-Season Tournament



Wimbledon Week 2: Who’s Still Swinging?

Photo: Robert Prange / Getty Images

The Players Who Are Still Alive at Wimbledon After 1st Weekend

The second week of Wimbledon is underway this morning with eight matches to set the stage for the quarterfinals, and big names are still in play. Few major upsets have turned the draws upside down at the All-England Club. Women’s 5-seed Carolina Garcia (Round of 16) and men’s 4-seed Casper Ruud (second round) are the only top-5 seeds to go home early. Here’s a look at the names still swinging and hitting the court this morning.

Women’s Round of 16

#25 M. Keys vs. M. Andreeva (9:45 am ET)

#3 E. Rybakina vs. #13 B. Haddad Maia (8:30 am ET)

#6 O. Jabeur vs. #9 P. Kvitova (9:45 am ET)

#2 A. Sabalenka vs. #21 E. Alexandrova (10:00 am ET)

Through to QFs: #1 I. Swiatek, #4 J. Pegula, M. Vondrousova, E. Svitolina

Men’s Round of 16

#5 S. Tsitsipas vs. C. Eubanks (7:15 am ET)

#3 D. Medvedev vs. J. Lehecka (8:00 am ET)

#1 C. Alcaraz vs. M. Berrettini (11:00 am ET)

#6 H. Rune vs. #21 G. Dimitrov (11:15 am ET)

Through to QFs: #7 A. Rublev, #8 J. Sinner, R. Safiullin

*#2 Novak Djokovic Leading 2-0 (Sets) With Play Suspended

Read More

WTA: Defending Champion Elena Rybakina Sweeps Into Round of 16

AP News: Djokovic-Hurkacz Match Suspended, to Continue Monday

ESPN: The 4 Players Who Could Still Upset Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon



All-Star Week → MLB Draft & HR Derby

Photo: Alika Jenner / Getty Images

LSU Duo Goes 1-2 to Make MLB History; Home Run Derby Stage Set for Tonight (8:00 pm ET)

The MLB regular season has reached the All-Star break, and that means big things for three straight days. Last night, the MLB Draft took place at Lumen Field in Seattle — the host of this week’s festivities. The Pirates took LSU pitcher Paul Skenes with the No. 1 pick. Skenes is a surefire future star in the majors. His teammate and co-champ of the Men’s College World Series, Dylan Crews, went next to the Nationals. The pair made MLB history as the first set of teammates to be drafted 1-2. Days 2 and 3 of the draft will take place this afternoon and tomorrow prior to the Home Run Derby (Tonight) and All-Star Game (Tuesday). Check below for the full HR Derby roster for tonight’s competition of the biggest bat.

Fun Fact: Skenes is first player in MLB history to win the College World Series, be named the CWS MVP and get selected as the No. 1 pick all in the same year.

MLB Draft (Top-10)

1. Pirates: RHP Paul Skenes (LSU)

2. Nationals: OF Dylan Crews (LSU)

3. Tigers: OF Max Clark (High School)

4. Rangers: OF Wyatt Langford (Florida)

5. Twins: OF Walker Jenkins (High School)

6. Athletics: SS Jacob Wilson (Grand Canyon)

7. Reds: RHP Rhett Lowder (Wake Forest)

8. Royals: C Blake Mitchell (Texas)

9. Rockies: RHP Chase Dollander (Tennessee)

10. Marlins: RHP Noble Meyer (High School)

Full MLB Draft Tracker

MLB Home Run Derby (Tonight, 8:00 pm ET)

1. Luis Robert (CWS): 26 HRs (+500)

2. Pete Alonso (NYM): 26 HRs (+300)

3. Mookie Betts (LAD): 26 HRs (+900)

4. Adolis Garcia (TEX): 23 HRs (+600)

5. Randy Arozarena (TB): 16 HRs (+900)

6. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR): 13 HRs (+450)

7. Julio Rodriguez (SEA): 13 HRs (+550)

8. Adley Rutschman (BAL): 11 HRs (+1600)

Read More

MLB: Pirates Make LSU Ace Paul Skenes No. 1 Overall Pick

CBS Sports: Home Run Derby 2023 Odds, Picks & Predictions




Men: USMNT Tops Canada in Gold Cup Thriller (2-2, 3-2 PKs)

Women: USWNT Beats Wales in Friendly (2-0) Behind Rodman’s Brace


Tigers Throw Team No-Hitter Against Blue Jays (2-0)

Braves Lose 7th Straight After Scorching-Hot June

Reds’ Elly De La Cruz Wows With 3 Straight Stolen Bases


Hawaiian Allisen Corpuz (-9) Wins 1st LPGA Title at U.S. Women’s Open

Sepp Straka (-21) Shoots 9-Under Sunday to Capture John Deere Classic


Kelsey Plum Scores Career-High 40 Points in Aces’ Win

Liberty Win 3rd Straight Behind Breanna Stewart’s 25

Rhyne Howard’s 32-Point Outburst Leads Dream to 5th Straight

 UFC 290

Alexander Volkanovski TKOs Yair Rodriguez to Retain Featherweight Title


Max Verstappen Wins British GP for 6th Straight F1 Victory

William Byron Wins Rain-Shortened NASCAR Race at Atlanta

 Tour de France

Michael Woods Wins Stage 9, Reigning Champ Jonas Vingegaard Leads





Tonight’s Must-Watch List

MLB All-Star Week

Home Run Derby (8:00 pm ET)


Round of 16 (This Morning)

Download The Sportsletter’s Must-Watch Calendar



Question of the Day

What do you think of the new NBA in-season tournament (The NBA Cup)? (click to vote)

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