Free Agency Fireworks

June 30, 2022

By: Carlos Alvarez

Happy Friday 

Oops. We mean Thursday, but it\’s the final edition of the week for The Sportsletter. The team is hitting the road for the 4th of July holiday, but not before we preview the big weekend ahead. Fireworks incoming

Letter Rip!



Free Agency Fireworks


NBA Free Agency Begins Today (6:00 pm ET)


The flood gates open later today as free agency officially opens tonight (6:00 pm ET). There are plenty of big-name players on the market, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all on the move. For example, James Harden and Bradley Beal opted out of their current contracts to become free agents, but they’re widely expected to re-sign with their respective teams on restructured deals. On the other hand, players like DeAndre Ayton and Jalen Brunson are primed to jump ship for new teams in search of more money. While our list below has our expected outcomes for the biggest names on the market, we’ve learned to expect the unexpected when it comes to NBA free agency. Let the fireworks begin! \"💥\"


Free Agents Likely to Stay Put

James Harden (PHI)

Bradley Beal (WAS)

Zach LaVine (CHI)

Lu Dort (OKC)

Anfernee Simons (POR)


Free Agents Likely to Switch Teams

DeAndre Ayton (PHO)

Jalen Brunson (DAL)

Donte DiVincenzo (SAC)

TJ Warren (IND)

Victor Oladipo (MIA)

PJ Tucker (MIA)


Free Agents We’re Just Not Sure About 

Miles Bridges (CHA)

Collin Sexton (CLE)

Malik Monk (LAL)

Marvin Bagley III (DET)

Mo Bamba (ORL)


Trade Alert: Hawks Acquire PG Dejounte Murray

Before free agency starts, the madness has already begun with a blockbuster trade. The Spurs sent Dejounte Murray to the Hawks in exchange for Danilo Gallinari, three first-round picks, and a pick swap. Murray immediately gives Atlanta a new dynamic with another elite ball-handler and playmaker to help alleviate some pressure off of Trae Young. On top of that, he is an elite wing defender.


Additional Storylines

BR: Winners and Losers from Hawks-Spurs Dejounte Murray Trade

Yahoo!: NBA Free Agency 2022: Start Date, Primer on Top Players, Teams with Salary Cap Space, Rumors, Predictions

CBS Sports: Nuggets-Wizards Trade Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Ish Smith in 4-Player Deal



\’Stros in High Orbit \"☄️\"


Astros Starting 4th of July Weekend With A Bang (By Marissa Kasch)


The Houston Astros entered into a rather challenging two weeks of baseball, featuring back-to-back series with the Yankees and Mets, then hosting both teams again this week/weekend. So far, the ‘Stros have been cruising (6-2 against New York).


The Astros took on the Mets at Citi Field, both Tuesday and yesterday where they emerged victorious in both games. Some of the best teams in baseball facing off in a primetime slot generated plenty of buzz and questions about which team was better, but the Astros put a stop to those questions quickly. On Tuesday, they beat the Mets (9-1) with run support from Jeremy Pena, Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker, and Yuli Gurriel. Yesterday, the numbers weren’t as ugly for the Mets, but it was still a shutout (2-0). Justin Verlander allowed only 2 hits during his 8 innings against the team with the 4th-highest batting average in the MLB. Houston (47-27) overtook New York for the second-best record in the big leagues, and they’re 11-3 in the last two weeks.


Can they continue strolling through the week when they play the Yankees tonight? We\’re predicting more fireworks for the Astros this weekend.


Read: Mets & Yankees Get Stark Reminder of Astros’ Strength to End June (NY Post)


MLB Quick-Hitters


Yanks Go Yard in June: With two more homers from Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees won their fourth straight game by sweeping the A’s (5-3) and setting the June HR record in the process (57).


Appel’s First AppearanceNine years after Mark Appel was the No. 1 overall pick (2013), the pitcher was called up and made his first trip to the Phillies for a scoreless 9th inning in a 4-1 loss to the Braves.


Benches Clear in AL East: The benches emptied Wednesday night in Toronto when Red Sox starter Nick Pivetta beaned Alejandro Kirk. No punches were thrown and suspensions aren’t expected. Boston won in 10 innings (6-5).



Upsets Take England


#2 Kontaveit, #3 Ruud & #10 Raducanu Tumble Out of Wimbledon in 2nd Round


Another morning in London saw three more top seeds stumble. No. 2 Anett Kontaveit and No. 10 Emma Raducanu both suffered straight-set defeats to unranked challengers in the women’s draw while No. 3 Casper Ruud got ousted by Ugo Humbert in four sets. Meanwhile, No. 1 Novak Djokovic had no problem advancing. Rounds 3 and 4 will bring us into the quarterfinals by next week.


Wimbledon Highlights

M: #1 N. Djokovic def. T. Kokkinakis (6-1, 6-4, 6-2)

M: #5 C. Alcaraz def. T. Griekspoor (6-4, 7-6, 6-3)

M: U. Humbert def. #3 C. Ruud (3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4)

M: #20 J. Isner def. A. Muray (6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4)

W: #2 A. Kontaveit def. J. Niemeier (6-4, 6-0)

W: #3 O. Jabeur def. K. Kawa (6-4, 6-0)

W: C. Garcia def. #10 E. Raducanu (6-3, 6-3)


Additional Storylines

ESPN: US Open Champion Emma Raducanu Ousted by Caroline Garcia

The Guardian: No Rackets, No Problem as Humber Dispatches Rudd



\"🏀\" WNBA: Parker Helps Sky Block Out the Sun

The 2nd- and 3rd-best teams in the WNBA met for a shootout Wednesday in Chicago. The Sky topped the Sun (91-83) thanks to a 25-11-7 night from Candace Parker. With the win, Chicago jumped to the top of the league standings.


\"⚽️\" MLS: 8-Goal Thriller Between Cincy & NYCFC

Game of the year? FC Cincinnati and New York City FC provided an eight-goal frenzy Wednesday in the MLS as they played to a 4-4 draw. Brenner (CIN) had his first career hat trick and Heber (NYC) tallied a brace. No winner on the pitch, but every fan was a winner.





The Must-Watch List

It’s the holiday weekend! Enjoy some fireworks and sports with friends and family and we’ll see you again next Wednesday (July 6).



Rounds 3-4 (All Weekend)



Rays-Blue Jays Series

Yankees-Guardians Series

Rangers-Mets Series

Padres-Dodgers Series

Full MLB Schedule



Mercury at Sky (Sat. 1:00 pm)

Mystics at Sun (Sun. 1:00 pm)

Full WNBA Schedule



MLS Schedule

NWSL Schedule


PGA Tour

John Deere Classic (All Weekend)



F1: British Grand Prix (Sun. 10:00 am)

NAS: Road America (Sun. 3:00 pm)


UFC 276

I. Adesanya vs. J. Cannonier (Sat. 10:00 pm)


*All Times ET