Hollywood Blockbusters

July 30, 2021

By: Carlos Alvarez

Happy Friday 

Yesterday was a wild one for sports news. Sure, there were the Olympics and an NBA Draft. But a pair of blockbuster trades sent superstars from the nation’s capital to Hollywood. The NBA and MLB powers just shifted, and we’ve got it all before our weekend sendoff.

Editor’s Note: You can still find our daily Olympics coverage, medal count and Olympics watch-list at the bottom of today’s edition.

Letter Rip!



Draft Recap: Pistons Take Cunningham

Photo: Arturo Holmes / Getty Images

NBA Draft: Pistons Select Cade Cunningham With No. 1 Pick, Shakeup Begins at No. 4


The 2021 NBA Draft began with little surprises on Thursday night as Cade Cunningham (Pistons), Jalen Green (Rockets) and Evan Mobley (Cavaliers) went 1-2-3. With the 4th overall pick, the Toronto Raptors started the drama by passing on Jalen Suggs in favor of Scottie Barnes. Suggs fell to the Magic at No. 5, and Orlando also had the No. 8 pick. A scramble took place as some top-10 talents slid into the teens. Here’s a look at Thursday’s top-10 picks that shaped the future of the NBA.


NBA Draft (Top-10)

1. Pistons: PG Cade Cunningham (Okla. State)

2. Rockets: SG Jalen Green (USA)

3. Cavaliers: C Evan Mobley (USC)

4. Raptors: SF Scottie Barnes (Fla. State)

5. Magic: SG Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga)

6. Thunder: SG Josh Giddey (Australia)

7. Warriors: PF Jonathan Kuminga (Congo)

8. Magic: SF Franz Wagner (Michigan)

9. Kings: PG Davion Mitchell (Baylor)

10. Grizzlies: SG Zaire Williams (Stanford)


Full NBA Draft Board (1st & 2nd Rounds)


Additional Storylines

B/R: Grades for Every Pick in the NBA Draft

Yahoo! Sports: NBA Draft Night Fashion is Back, And It’s Phenomenal

FOX Sports: NBA Draft Top Moments: Pistons Usher In Cunningham Era


Blockbuster: Lakers Land Westbrook

Photo: Casey Sykes / Getty Images

L.A. Lakers Send 3 Players, 1st-Round Pick to Washington Wizards for PG Russell Westbrook


The biggest trade of the NBA offseason came in a flash just before Thursday’s draft when the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards. Westbrook is the only former MVP to be traded three times in three consecutive seasons — from the Thunder to the Rockets, Wizards, and now Lakers. Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson’s triple-double record (182) last season before a late push for the playoffs, but the Wizards appear to be retooling. The move sent three players and a first-round pick back to D.C.


Trade Details

Lakers Get: Russell Westbrook

Wizards Get: Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrel, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, No. 22 Draft Pick


LeBron, AD and Russ? The 2020 NBA champs just added the triple-double king, and they might have the biggest Big 3 of all-time.


Additional Storylines

LA Times: Lakers Acquire Westbrook to Create New Big 3

SI: Brooklyn Nets Trade Landry Shamet to Phoenix Suns for 1st-Round Pick

NBA: Timberwolves Trade Ricky Rubio to Cavaliers for Taurean Prince


Trade Tracker: Another L.A. Blockbuster

Photo: Will Newton / Getty Images

Dodgers Swing Deal for Nationals Duo P Max Scherzer & SS Trea Turner


Thursday’s massive day of trades continued with another deal between Los Angeles and Washington D.C. The Dodgers swung a package of prospects to add P Max Scherzer and SS Trea Turner to an already loaded lineup, and they weren’t done making deals. The Padres were also rumored to be in the Scherzer sweepstakes, but they had to settle for reliever Daniel Hudson after their division rivals nabbed their marquee target. By day’s end, it was the Nationals who sold the farm and unloaded talent throughout the league. Here’s who went where, but deadline day is just beginning.


MLB Trade Deadline: Today (4:00 pm ET)


MLB Trade Tracker


P Max Scherzer/SS Trea Turner  Dodgers

Nationals Get Back: 4 Prospects


1B Anthony Rizzo  Yankees

Cubs Get Back: 2 Prospects


OF Kyle Schwarber  Red Sox

Nationals Get Back: 1 Prospect


RHP Daniel Hudson  Padres

Nationals Get Back: 2 Players


LHP Danny Duffy  Dodgers

Royals Get Back: Player TBD + Cash


Additional Storylines

The Ringer: “Blockbuster” Doesn’t Begin to Describe the Dodgers’ Trade for Scherzer & Turner

MLB: Rockies’ RHP Jon Gray and SS Trevor Story Are Hot Names on Deadline Day

Yahoo! Sports: Cubs on Verge of Something “Big” With Mets Involving Kris Bryant & Javier Baez



Lee Shines in Biles’ Absence

Photo: Jamie Squire / Getty Images

Sunisa Lee Takes Gold in Women’s All-Around Competition


By now we all know about Simone Biles’ withdrawal in the women’s all-around competition, but that didn’t stop Team USA’s Sunisa Lee from stepping up. Lee shined on Thursday morning, capturing the gold medal with a total score of 57.433. She held off scores of 57.298 (Brazil) and 57.199 (Russia) to become the sixth American woman to win gold in the all-around, including the fifth in a row dating back to the 2004 Olympics. No Biles? No problem for Team USA. The 18-year-old from Minnesota is a gold medalist.


Last 5 Women’s All-Around Gold Medalists

2004: Carly Patterson (USA)

2008: Nastia Liukin (USA)

2012: Gabby Douglas (USA)

2016: Simone Biles (USA)

2020: Sunisa Lee (USA)

Watch: The Moment Sunisa Lee Clinched Her Gold Medal


Other Olympic Updates


Track & Field Qualifiers (Day 1)


Men’s Golf Update (Live Leaderboard)


More USA Women’s Swimming Medals

Americans Lilly King and Annie Lazer finished 2nd and 3rd in the women’s 200M breaststroke to add to the U.S. swimming medal haul. South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker took gold.


Women’s Basketball: USA def. Japan (86-69)

*Highlights Unavailable at Time of Production


This Morning’s Schedule


Women’s Soccer Quarterfinals

USA vs. Netherlands (7:00 am ET)

*In Action Now


Men’s Tennis Semifinals

N. Djokovic vs. A. Zverev (2:00 am ET)

*In Action Overnight



⚽️ GOLD CUP: Zardes Sends USA Into Finals

It took 86 minutes to find a goal, but the United States are moving on to the Gold Cup Final. Nicholas Gioacchini found Gyasi Zardes in front of the net for a 1-0 win against Qatar in Thursday’s semifinals. Zardes punched home the only goal of the game after Qatar had multiple near misses. The USA will face Mexico in the Gold Cup Final on Sunday (8:30 pm ET).


⚾️ MLB: Rodolfo Castro Only Hits Homers

Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Rodolfo Castro only hits dingers… literally. Castro hit two homers against the Brewers on Thursday night. He now has five career hits, and they’ve all been home runs. That’s never happened before in MLB history.




Total Medals

🇺🇸 USA (41)

🇨🇳 China (33)

🇷🇺 Russia (30)

🇯🇵 Japan (26)

🇬🇧 Great Britain (23)

🇦🇺 Australia (22)

🇮🇹 Italy (19)

🇳🇱 Netherlands (15)

🇩🇪 Germany (14)

🇰🇷 South Korea (12)

🇨🇦 Canada (11)

🇫🇷 France (11)


Gold Medals

🇨🇳 China (16)

🇯🇵 Japan (15)

🇺🇸 USA (14)

🇷🇺 Russia (9)

🇦🇺 Australia (9)


*Medal Count Accurate as of Midnight ET (July 30)



The Olympics Watch List

We’re locked in on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics all weekend long. Unfortunately, we can’t list every event in the next 72 hours — with swimming and track and field events scattered throughout — but here are some of the must-see events in action this weekend (in chronological order). Enjoy!


Women’s Soccer (Quarterfinals)

USA vs. Netherlands (Fri. 7:00 am ET)

*In Action Now


Women’s Tennis

Singles Final (Fri. 11:00 pm ET)



USA vs. Korea (Sat. 6:00 am ET)


Men’s Basketball

USA vs. Czech Republic (Sat. 8:00 am ET)


Men’s Golf

Final Round (Sat. 6:30 pm ET)


Men’s Tennis

Singles Final (Sun. 2:00 am ET)


Women’s Volleyball

USA vs. Italy (Sun. 11:00 pm ET)


Women’s Basketball

USA vs. France (Mon. 12:40 am ET)


Women’s Soccer

Semifinal Matches TBD (Mon. 4:00 am ET)


All Team USA events will air live on Peacock / NBC or tape-delayed on NBC affiliates.


Full Olympics Schedule & Results