Friday, August 12, 2022

Who won the NBA Draft? Plus, what Arch Manning does for Texas’ future

Happy Friday, everyone! Another week down.

Let’s get right to it.

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Good morning to everyone but especially to…


The Magic pulled off one of the all-time covert operations when it came to the No. 1 overall selection in last night’s draft. After much speculation, Orlando selected Duke product Paolo Banchero with the first pick.

Our basketball reporter Gary Parrish gave Orlando an A in his draft grades.

  • Parrish: “Even though I would have taken Chet Holmgren, I can’t say it’s wrong to take Banchero. I think he’s going to be the most impactful player right from the jump and the favorite to win Rookie of the Year. This is sensible, if surprising. He’s a big, strong and skilled forward who could be an incredible building block in Orlando. Grade: A

Banchero has some lofty standards to live up to. Orlando’s previous No. 1 picks: Dwight Howard (2004), Chris Webber (1993 — traded), Shaquille O’Neal (1992).

Here’s how the entire top ten played out, with analysis for each pick:

Here are grades for every pick.


The biggest surprise of the draft was Banchero going first overall. The second-biggest was Jaden Ivey falling to the Pistons at fifth overall after the Kings took Keegan Murray fourth. Ivey was the No. 1 prospect on NBA Draft guru Kyle Boone’s Big Board, and Detroit is an ideal landing spot.

The biggest question about Ivey was whether he could be a lead ball-handler, but he won’t have to worry about that with 2021 No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham manning point guard duties. Then, the Pistons got Jalen Duren 13th overall as part of a trade with the Knicks. Detroit sent Milwaukee’s 2025 first-round pick to New York, a pick that will likely be in the 20s considering how good Milwaukee is.

That makes Detroit a big winner, writes our NBA expert Sam Quinn. Here’s the rest of our excellent draft coverage:

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for…




In 2019, the Brooklyn Nets came together in the blink of an eye with the additions of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Now, they could be falling apart just as fast.

Irving has given the Nets a list of sign-and-trade options should the two sides not reach a contract extension, and that has left Durant pondering his own future with the franchise. To start, here’s Irving’s list:

It’s important to note that Irving would need some help from the Nets here: He has a $36.9-million player option for next season. If he opts out, he’d be a free agent, and several of the teams above don’t have the financial flexibility to add Irving via free agency. Instead, he’d need the Nets to acquiesce to a sign-and-trade; plus, the Nets would at least get something back for Irving.

So if Irving leaves, where could Durant end up? Our NBA expert Sam Quinn ranked all 29 possible destinations, and atop the list is…

  • Quinn: 1. Heat The end goal would be to pair Durant with Jimmy Butler. Hopefully Kyle Lowry would remain in place. The Heat would then use their mid-level exception or possibly another trade to add some size, and their remarkable track record of developing bench players in the G League would ensure robust depth. Add all of that up and you have a team that should not only appeal to Durant, but would be willing to give up what it would take to land him.”

What Arch Manning’s commitment means for Texas 🏈



Texas is back… or at least on its way there. Arch Manning — nephew of Peyton and Eli, grandson of Archie and top recruit in the 2023 class — committed to the Longhorns yesterday afternoon, picking Texas over Alabama and Georgia.

Manning is not only the top recruit in next year’s class, but he’s also just the seventh player — and third quarterback — to earn a perfect 1.0000 rating in the 247Sports Composite since it started in 2000. The other quarterbacks with a perfect score? Vince Young, who went to Texas and Quinn Ewers, who transferred to Texas in December.

College football expert Shehan Jeyarajah explained why timing was a huge factor in the decision.

  • Jeyarajah: “As a member of the 2023 class, he will almost certainly be the starting quarterback at Texas when the Longhorns enter the SEC, which is slated to happen for the 2025 season. If everything works out, Manning will have an opportunity to be a transformational talent in the vein of Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M. That’s something neither Alabama nor Georgia could possibly offer.”

The major quirk in Manning’s decision is that he is slated to overlap for at least one year with Ewers. Ewers played just two snaps last year at Ohio State, but he’s expected to be the Longhorns’ starter this season. Should he live up to his lofty recruiting ranking, we’ll be in for an unprecedented quarterback situation in Austin in 2023, writes college football reporter Barrett Sallee.

  • Sallee: “The most sought-after prospect in the game will be playing for Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans in 2022, but he might as well be playing in Ewers’ rearview mirror. Everything that Ewers does… will be inspected as if he is playing under a giant microscope. That will tell the tale of his future. If he can handle it, the 2023 quarterback battle in Austin will be as fierce as any that we’ve seen in the sport’s modern era.”

Both Shehan (here) and Barrett (here) did an excellent job breaking down the short- and long-term ramifications of Manning’s decision. 

Can Aaron Judge reach 60 home runs? ⚾



No one has hit 60 home runs in a season since Barry Bonds (73) and Sammy Sosa (64) both did it in 2001. Aaron Judge is seriously threatening to change that. The Yankees slugger has 27 home runs through his team’s first 70 games, which puts him on pace for 62 this season.

Will Judge become the sixth player ever with 60 round trippers in a season? Our experts debated it in their latest Batting Around roundtable. R.J. Anderson says no … and it might be because his team is too good?

  • Anderson: “Judge obviously has the strength to do it, as well as the incentive (it’s his walk year) and the environment (hey, it’s OK to benefit from your home park), but that’s often not enough. Besides, he has an injury history and the Yankees — the best team in the American League — might decide that resting him for the postseason is more important than allowing him to pursue a 60-homer season to the bitter end.”

Not everyone picked against Judge. You can see all of the answers here.

What we’re watching this weekend 📺


🏀 Liberty at Dream, 7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network

🏒 Stanley Cup Final Game 5: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. on ABC


Dodgers at Braves, 7:15 p.m. on FOX

🏀 Sparks at Storm, 9 p.m. on Facebook

Mariners at Angels, 10:07 p.m. on FS1


🏀 Lynx at Sky, 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network

Dodgers at Braves, 7 p.m. on ESPN

🏒 Stanley Cup Final Game 6: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. on ABC (if necessary)

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