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"The Hornets still need a starting center, however, a position they'll need to either fill in the draft (11th overall pick) or free agency (up to $26.8 million in cap space if the team renounces Malik Monk and Devonte' Graham)."Denver Nuggets Face Coverings

The play-in accomplished what the league has wanted: Rather than a late-season fan/media focus on tanking to get better draft lottery odds, multiple teams were making a push to get into the play-in — or rise to the No. 6 seed and above to avoid it. That became the focus of the NBA conversation. The league wants more of a focus on its on-court product — not the process of team building and trades, which has been more popular than games for years — and this helped the league accomplish some of that.Orlando Magic Face Coverings

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Minty Bets previews the betting odds for Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Bucks and Suns on Saturday July 17.Indiana Pacers Face Coverings

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"I would say just understanding competition and that it's never personal between who you're going with, unless lines are crossed," Booker said this week discussing going from foe to teammate with the Bucks' players. "Those guys aren't that type and I would never go that way with them, because there's a high respect level for each other. Representing your country is a whole different dynamic than competing against each other in the NBA Finals, but I can always respect somebody that competes at the highest level."

Devin Booker turned in back-to-back games of 40-points or more, yet the Suns squandered opportunities to put the Bucks away in Game 4 and Game 5. Rather than have a crowning achievement for Chris Paul, it was Giannis Antetokounmpo who had two plays that will be near the beginning of his career retrospective highlight whenever he retires.

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Of course, trades are typically consummated on draft night as the urgency surrounding prospects builds for front offices. While a trade hasn’t yet been executed, it will be worth watching what happens next Thursday once the draft tips off.Cleveland Cavaliers Face Coverings
The Kings add one more high-end prospect to their pipeline, already close to exploding with near-ready talent. Edvinsson is still raw, but he is one of the better skaters in this draft class, as well as maybe the best puck handler among blueliners. He also has ideal size. The sky is the limit. - Ryan WagmanKansas City Chiefs for NHL Face Masks

Michael – William Borgen. There is not a lot available on Buffalo and Borgen may be worth a shot due to his low salary. Colin Miller is another option but is a lot more expensive.

Compher seems like the sort of player who could survive the inevitable changes throughout Seattle's salad days, and be a solid, middle-six contributor for the expansion franchise for a very long time. It would be something if they could pair Compher with Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog in free agency.Toronto Maple Leafs for NHL Face Masks

In his statement, Prokop thanked his "amazing family, friends and agents -- who have known this about me and met me with love and support every step of the way."

"Obviously you guys have Jones there who I think is a great goalie and I've looked up to him for years, he used to play for the Calgary Hitmen when I grew up in Calgary," Hill said when asked about competing for the starting goalie job. "So yeah, no it's cool and I'm ready to embrace the opportunity if it's given to me to be a starter and push for that job."Buffalo Sabres for NHL Face Masks

The Kraken passed on a lot of highly paid veterans. They didn't shy away from Mark Giordano, who has a $6.75 million cap hit through this season.

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Vanecek wore Capitals red for 37 games in his sole season in the swamp, but quickly became a dependable netminder and a fan favorite. He was Washington’s starter for most of the season and in the playoffs, where several times it seemed like he was the only reason the Capitals were able to stay in certain games. He posted a .908 save percentage and 2.69 GAA in 2020-21.Tennessee Titans for NHL Face Masks

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In 2018, Kaval and Fisher announced they would build on the Oakland waterfront. The team cultivated community support. In April, the mayor threw her support behind the project. Two weeks later, the A’s announced their financial plan. The mayor disowned it within hours.

He also moved into 10th-place in Cubs franchise history in extra-base hits, passing Phil Cavarretta, with 533.Baltimore Orioles Face Masks

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The deal I struck was I would run the daily operations of the team for the 1988 season. In exchange, I would get $750 a month. I was already making $750 a month for less responsibility working for a minor league baseball team in Pennsylvania. When I mentioned that, I was then offered a $100 a month car allowance as a sweetener, as if the extra $100 a month for wear and tear on my car was akin to winning the lottery. No health care or retirement plan came with the job. I know what you’re thinking, but if you worked in minor league baseball in the 1980s you understood that low wages and long hours were part of the gig. Stockholm Syndrome, baseball style.

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Kopech is a fiery hurler who can dial up 100 mph with ease. When healthy, he can be used as a top-end starter or elite pitcher out of the bullpen. The White Sox have every reason to ensure he stays on the south side for a long time, despite the potential of a World Series title in 2021.St. Louis Cardinals Face Masks

The 23-year-old Rincon hit .263 with 12 homers and 48 RBIs in 63 games at Double-A Tulsa. He will report to Double-A Binghamton.New York Mets Face Masks

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.Toronto Blue Jays Face Masks

After undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, Sale had a rehabilitation start down with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs on Tuesday night in front of a sold out crowd. To say that Sale was lights out in his short outing is a massive understatement, as Red Sox fans understandably freaked out on Twitter.

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Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib in June became the first active NFL player to come out.

ESPN: There's always one shot every episode that blows me away. The one you got of Brendan Gallagher, moments after being teary-eyed in a press conference, walking out of the arena following Game 5 and passing a giant video screen of the Lightning celebrating; that's just spectacular.Miami Dolphins for NHL Face Masks

• The Stadium Series will return and be hosted at Nissan Stadium in Nashville on Feb. 26, 2022 with the Predators taking on the defending champion Lightning.Chicago Blackhawks for NHL Face Masks

So, the 30 NHL teams involved faced those considerations. What about some of the minimums and other factors for the Kraken in selecting players in the expansion draft? Here are some key details:

If Edvinsson is there, he's a nice addition for a team saying goodbye to franchise defenseman Seth Jones this offseason. If it's a center, one assumes McTavish or Eklund, the latter of whom plays center and wing. If it's wing and Guenther falls to five, it could be him.Denver Broncos for NHL Face Masks

Who knows? Whatever happens, it figures to be exciting. That goes for debating roster construction heading into Wednesday’s official Kraken expansion draft picks, to how they navigate the 2021 NHL Draft/offseason, and then watching them sink or swim during the season.

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Flyers make stunner of a trade to land a top-pair defenseman originally appeared on NBC Sports PhiladelphiaTampa Bay Lightning for NHL Face Masks

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5. Kyle Hendricks picked up a no-decision, but the ninth-inning rally extended his streak to 13 starts without a loss, dating back to May 16. He allowed eight hits and two earned runs, his 13th quality start in his last 15 starts.

7. Of course, this was only Tepera's second appearance since coming off the injured list last Friday. A potential trade chip, he struck out three in a scoreless seventh, hitting a batter and allowing a single.New York Yankees Face Masks

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The Nationals did their best to restore calm to fans who remained inside the stadium by informing them that the incident occurred outside Nationals Park. Colorado Rockies Face Masks

On deck: First pitch Wednesday is 7:15 p.m. Kyle Hendricks (12-4, 3.65 ERA) and Adam Wainwright (7-6, 3.71 ERA) are the probable starters.Toronto Blue Jays Face Masks

Gray, the top pitching prospect in the Dodgers' organization, showed off good stuff and had some good stretches. But he also gave up solo homers to LaMonte Wade Jr. and Thairo Estrada, as well as a two-run shot by Mike Yastrzemski. 

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The Phillies head into the resumption with a 45-45 record. They are 2½ games behind the Mets, who blew a six-run, eighth-inning lead and lost to the Pirates.

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He has qualmed some of that, hitting .324 in June and .286 thus far in July with improved plate discipline. Oh, and that power? He hit 11 home runs the last two months. Where he fits defensively is going to be the biggest question mark. He has split time recently at third base, first base, and left field. The reality is the Mets are looking to find a spot to place this bat for the long-term.Texas Rangers Face Masks
Footprint is a material science company that works to reduce dependency on single- and short-term use plastics. The goal for the Footprint Center is to become carbon-neutral and be not rely on single-use plastics.

So are the Warriors "intrigued" by Sexton? Sure, why wouldn't they be? But does that mean they'd be willing to part with one of or both of their most valuable trade pieces for him? No is the short answer.Memphis Grizzlies Face Coverings

For the Warriors to compete with the Bucks, they’re going to need Draymond Green’s defensive wizardry. They’re going to need more of the length that a 7-foot-1 James Wiseman provides. They’ll need substantially better rebounding, a couple more trustworthy shooters, the kind of discipline they exhibited at their best and the endurance to outlast against Milwaukee’s core, which averages less than 29 years of age.

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The 2021 NBA Finals MVP spoke about reaching the sport’s pinnacle with the Bucks after eight seasons in the league.

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Nowhere were the TV usage numbers more stark than during Saturday night, which coincided with Game 5 of the Bucks-Suns set. A mere 59 million viewers were watching TV as Milwaukee took a 3-2 lead in the series, a shortfall of 28.8 million compared with the number of Americans who were in front of the tube during the corresponding broadcast in June 2019. The NBA is unlikely to repeat the experiment; as it is, last week’s game was the league’s first Saturday-night Finals outing in 39 years.Orlando Magic Face Coverings

In this case, the Wizards can offer the 15th pick and a couple future second-round picks to move up a few spots, or send Bryant to Indiana in a package for the 13th pick to acquire multiple first-round picks in this draft. Bryant fits better next to Domantas Sabonis than Myles Turner does, so the Pacers could acquire a new center and focus on trading Turner elsewhere to make up for the loss of their lottery pick. Philadelphia 76ers Face Coverings

"Just Chris being Chris. He's always intentional about everything. He's focused," Williams said. "He's always about winning."Milwaukee Bucks Face Coverings

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Like Kennedy, Rodriguez is almost certain to be moved this month. And although Rodriguez has a chance to serve as the closer on a contending team, having another ninth-inning gig is far from a certainty. As a manager with Rodriguez on my roster, I would want more for him than I would for Kennedy. That being said, I would be willing to accept much less than I would have two months ago.New York Mets Face Masks

Condensed Game: San Francisco scored 4 runs in the 7th inning, while Buster Posey, Wilmer Flores hit back to back homers in the Giants' winLos Angeles Dodgers Face Masks

Carrasco allowed one hit and struck out two batters over 2.0 IP and 27 pitches in his first rehab start for High-A Brooklyn on July 15. He threw 19 strikes and his fastball touched 94 mph during the outing.

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"This is a historic franchise," Rizzo said. "It's Wrigley Field, it's the Chicago Cubs. When you hear that, it's really special."Washington Nationals Face Masks

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With that home run, Rizzo is now tied with longtime Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez for sixth on the franchise's all-time home run list, with 239.

The Mets didn’t put a timetable on Lindor’s return, but such injuries can often take a month or more to heal.

“This is currently an active investigation, and it appears there is no ongoing threat at this time. As a result of the shooting incident, tonight’s @Nationals game has been suspended,” D.C. police said via Twitter.Cleveland Indians Face Masks

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2021 NHL entry draft: What Flyers fans need to know ahead of draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Price, 33, carries a $10.5M cap hit for five more seasons. His contract has ranked among the worst in the NHL, at least until his playoff resurgence. (Full disclosure: it still scares me. A lot.)

Corey – Will Borgen. The 24-year-old blueliner skated in 10 games with Buffalo last season. He is still looking for his first NHL point through 14 appearances, but he had 14 blocks and 30 hits in 2020-21. Borgen, who is a restricted free agent, with arbitration rights, has some upside and probably won’t cost Seattle much to sign him.Jacksonville Jaguars for NHL Face Masks

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There’s even more uncertainty surrounding the Sabres, who have the potential of shaking up the draft order by adding an extra pick. Adams hasn’t ruled out doing so while juggling trade talks involving three key players, including captain Jack Eichel, who has questioned his future in Buffalo over a dispute with the team regarding how to repair his herniated disk.Chicago Blackhawks for NHL Face Masks

Gostisbehere has not blossomed into the top-pairing, No. 1 defender the Flyers hoped he would when he first arrived in the NHL seven years ago, but he still has some value and can contribute, especially if put into a sheltered role. His possession numbers are still strong and he definitely provides some offense from the blue line. He seems like one of those players that failed to meet expectations fully and is viewed as a bust, when in reality he is simply just a good player. Maybe not what you expected. Still pretty useful.

The Leafs have been the Bruins' most fierce rival over the last eight years, thanks in large part to three first-round playoff series that all ended with a Boston victory in Game 7.Pittsburgh Steelers for NHL Face Masks

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As the Seattle Kraken select their first roster of players in Wednesday's NHL expansion draft, some of the city's most famous athletes will be announcing their names.Dallas Stars for NHL Face Masks

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Given his injury, the Mets might opt for the cautious approach and continue to hold deGrom out. Rojas mentioned that the team would have more division games in the second half of the year, and those obviously hold more weight. So their plan might be to wait until the division games pick up in their schedule to bring deGrom back.Baltimore Orioles Face Masks

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The thought behind starting Nuñez was to keep the Giants from stacking their lineup with left-handed hitters, of which they have an abundance, to face the right-handed Gray. But Giants manager Gabe Kapler didn't budge, and his left-handed hitters did most of the damage.Cleveland Indians Face Masks

Oakland City Council members voted 6-1 in favor of a nonbinding term sheet for the Oakland Athletics' proposed waterfront ballpark on Tuesday, but the session ended with confusion as to whether negotiations between the city and the team would continue.Arizona Diamondbacks Face Masks

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Gray, acquired in a 2018 trade that sent Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood and Kyle Farmer to the Cincinnati Reds, has pitched only 15-2/3 innings this year at triple A because a shoulder impingement sidelined him for two months. However, he has built back his stamina to 75 pitches.

“I am committed to Oakland as a major league site,” Manfred said in 2016. “If we were to leave Oakland, I think 10 years from now, we would be more likely than not looking backward, saying we made a mistake.”MLB Face Masks

"We scored one run. That’s not enough to win. I think they outpitched us. I think we pitched better than seven runs.

The Colorado Rockies are having a rough start to the second half of the MLB season with a COVID-19 outbreak.
As Jacob deGrom went on the injured list for the second time this season, marking the fifth separate injury he has dealt with in three months, he went from the best pitcher in baseball to an unpredictable element for the New York Mets.

Minor leaguers can’t seem to catch a break. It’ll be up to Major League Baseball to start addressing all these issues.Cleveland Indians Face Masks

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"One ... is just to be the best leader I can be and help my teammates any way I can once I get down to Bradenton," Davis said. "Help guys get better. When we work together, it's best for everybody."Tampa Bay Rays Face Masks

– A year ago, the Phillies bullpen compiled the second-worst ERA in baseball history, 7.06. For an encore, they have blown 23 saves this year, just 11 shy of the MLB record.Kansas City Royals Face Masks

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He quickly jogged to the plate and scooped up the catcher's mask Casali had flung aside as he jumped out of the crouch to get the final out. The reliever was picking up a veteran teammate, which felt pretty appropriate. The rest of the Giants had been there for Rogers after one of the worst outings of his career 24 hours earlier, and he rewarded their faith. Chicago Cubs Face Masks

This one is classic. Justifies all the rest of them by itself. pic.twitter.com/pToKcOvc5I

With a 6-3 lead going into the eighth inning, Weaver sent Lolich in to finish off the National League. Some thought Lolich should have started the game because the left-hander was 14-6 with a 2.96 ERA at the All-Star break and because the game was in Detroit.

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Though the present hour might look dark, in Williams’s view, this moment is likely no more menacing than a passing shadow. He’s seen his way through worse and, somehow, always seems to reemerge from the darkness so much stronger.

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James won the Finals MVP for both titles. In the 2012 Finals, he averaged 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists in 5 games. In 2013, James put up 25.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 7 games against the San Antonio Spurs.

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In a 77-77 game after three quarters, Milwaukee outscored Phoenix 28-21 in the final quarter. Khris Middleton’s mid-range jumper with 56.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter gave the Bucks a 102-96 lead.Cleveland Cavaliers Face Coverings

But our minds tend to rewind to the 2020 offseason when, after being stiff-armed short of the Finals stage in consecutive years and pondering ways to ensure Antetokounmpo would stick around long-term, the Bucks splurged to acquire Jrue Holiday.Brooklyn Nets Face Coverings

Below is some more information on Murphy III, courtesy of his trainer, Shawn Farmer, and Mann:

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Yet Milwaukee overcame its 32.1% three-point shooting in the postseason — the worst accuracy by a champion in 11 years — to claim a title behind the short-range dominance of Antetokounmpo, who sustained a knee injury late in the previous round yet became just the second player with three 40-point, 10-rebound performances in the Finals.Philadelphia 76ers Face Coverings