Knicks acquire Mikal Bridges; NBA Draft begins tonight; Lynx dethrone Liberty for Commissioner’s Cup

Written by on June 26, 2024

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🏀 Good morning to everyone, but especially to …

THE NEW YORK KNICKS

Don’t forget to rewind your tapes, New York. A genuine blockbuster dropped last night when the Knicks acquired forward Mikal Bridges from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for a bevy of draft picks and Bojan Bogdanovich.

Acquiring Bridges did cost the Knicks some significant draft picks. They shipped four unprotected first-round draft picks, a protected first-round pick and a second-round pick to the Nets. The teams also swapped first-round picks in 2028.

But in Bridges, the Knicks are getting a six-year NBA veteran who’s coming off a season in which he averaged 19.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

Still, that price will be a lot easier to swallow if Bridges winds up being the missing piece for New York. After falling just short of an Eastern Conference finals appearance this year, the Knicks add a stud defender and a strong shooter in Bridges.

Now, the Knicks are legitimate NBA title contenders and will be a real threat to the reigning champion Boston Celtics next season. This trade is a risk for New York, but it is a worthwhile dice roll for a franchise that hasn’t won a championship in 51 years.

Our own Sam Quinn gave the Knicks a “B+” in his trade grades on this deal.

  • Quinn: “Nothing is guaranteed in the NBA, and giving up all of this capital for a non-All-Star certainly won’t change that. But the Knicks have a chance to win the whole thing. That hasn’t been true in decades. The risk is considerable. The reward is greater. No matter how this plays out, it was a worthy gamble for New York.”

This acquisition also unites the quartet of former Villanova stars. Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart were all on the Wildcats’ 2016 national championship team, and all but Hart were on the roster that won another title in 2018.

👍 Honorable mentions

⚾ And not such a good morning for …

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GERRIT COLE

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole made his second start of the season after returning from elbow inflammation last night, and he got knocked around by the New York Mets in a 9-7 loss.

Cole’s final stat line wasn’t pretty. He lasted just four innings, allowing seven hits and six earned runs. Four of those hits left the park for home runs.

For just the second time in his career, Cole failed to record a strikeout. The last time that happened was on May 20, 2016, when Cole was still a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cole also had the distinction of becoming the first pitcher in franchise history to allow four homers and four walks without notching a strikeout.

It was bad enough that Cole failed to punch out anyone in the first game of the Subway Series, but his general lack of velocity and whiffs raised some red flags for our own R.J. Anderson.

  • Anderson: “Cole failed to punch out any of the 21 batters he faced. He generated just five swinging strikes and saw each of his pitches average at least one mph lower than they did compared to last season’s norm, according to Statcast.”

Cole’s poor start dug a 6-0 hole for the Yankees, and they couldn’t climb out of it. New York made a valiant comeback effort, including a five-run effort in the eighth inning, but Cole’s struggles were too much to overcome.

👎 Not so honorable mentions

🏀 2024 NBA Draft preview

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Tonight, the next wave of NBA stars will take the stage at the 2024 NBA Draft. Before teams start submitting their picks, the experts here at CBS Sports have all your draft preparation needs covered.

The Atlanta Hawks own the No. 1 overall pick and have a big decision to make in a wide-open draft year. Right now, it seems like that decision will come down to one of two French prospects, Zaccharie Risacher and Alex Sarr.

In his latest mock draft, our own Kyle Boone has those two going back-to-back with the first two picks. Beyond that, things might get even murkier, but Boone has Kentucky star Reed Sheppard coming off the board to the Houston Rockets at No. 3 overall.

  • Boone: “Houston grabs the most potent 3-point shooter in the draft. Sheppard rated in the 100th percentile (!) in jump shots as a true freshman at Kentucky and was aces as a catch-and-shoot weapon to boot. He adds playmaking on both ends as a passer and defender.”

Keep it locked on our mock draft page all day today in order to get the latest predictions from each of our experts.

If you want a more in-depth look at this year’s draft class, our own Cameron Salerno ranked the top five prospects at each position. Center will be an interesting position to track with some big names atop the draft board. Here’s how Salerno has those players ranked:

1. Alex Sarr, France
2. Donovan Clingan, UConn
3. Yves Messi, Baylor
4. Daron Holmes II, Dayton
5. Zach Edey, Purdue

Outside of the elite prospects, all eyes will be on Bronny James, the son of NBA superstar LeBron James. Will the Los Angeles Lakers unite the father-son duo? Sam Quinn has the up-to-date odds on which teams are most likely to pick Bronny out of USC.

What would draft night be without some trades to spice things up? As teams wheel and deal, check out our list of the Top 75 trade candidates, which is headlined by a handful of big names.

🏆 Lynx dethrone Liberty to win Commissioner’s Cup

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The Minnesota Lynx are the Commissioner’s Cup champions for the first time in franchise history after beating the New York Liberty, 94-89, and denying them a chance to repeat as Cup champs.

The Lynx certainly didn’t make things easy on themselves by spotting the Liberty a 10-point lead in the first half, but they cut the deficit to three points at halftime and took control of the game in the third quarter.

Napheesa Collier took home the MVP award after totaling 21 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Collier’s teammates didn’t go home empty-handed, though. The Lynx will split the $500,000 cash prize pool that comes with winning the 2024 Commissioner’s Cup.

One of the more surprising heroes for Minnesota was Bridget Carleton, who torched the Liberty all night long.

  • Carleton exploded for 23 points, 15 more than her 2024 average.
  • She shot 80% from the field while adding five assists and three steals to her stat line.
  • Carleton was unstoppable from deep, drilling six of her eight 3-point attempts.

The night didn’t go quite as smoothly for Sabrina Ionescu and the defending Commissioner’s Cup champion Liberty. She did record 23 points, but she hit just two of her 11 three-point attempts. Ionescu also turned the ball over seven times, accounting for more than one-third of New York’s giveaways.

Ionescu, Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones said they were frustrated with having to play what they said felt like a road game after being displaced due to Wednesday’s Day 1 of the NBA Draft at Barclays Center. The Cup championship was moved to UBS Arena, home of the New York Islanders, a trip of at least an hour by public transportation.

🏈 NFL’s Top 25 players under 25

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They say youth is wasted on the young, but not when it comes to these NFL superstars. Our experts at CBS Sports put their heads together for their annual top 25 players under the age of 25.

Some of the NFL’s biggest stars are still relatively new to the league, and those players are critical to winning a Super Bowl. Being under the age of 25 means their best years are still ahead of them, and it also means they’re on relatively inexpensive rookie deals.

This year’s list includes a slew of bona fide superstars, and my fellow fantasy football players will recognize them as early-round selections.

One of the players who cracked the top five was Cincinnati Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Although injuries limited Chase in 2023, there is little doubt that he is one of the best wideouts in the game today, as our own Jeff Kerr explains.

  • Kerr: “Injuries dinged his marks in 2022, and quarterback questions may have done the same in 2023, but if there’s one wideout capable of approaching Justin Jefferson‘s sheer big-play sizzle, it’s probably his former LSU teammate. His 1,455-yard debut as Joe Burrow‘s No. 1 proved his game-breaking speed.”

Here’s the complete look at the top five:

1. Justin Jefferson | WR | Vikings
2. Micah Parsons | OLB | Cowboys
3. Ja’Marr Chase | WR | Bengals
4. Penei Sewell | OT | Lions
5. Sauce Gardner | CB | Jets

📺 What we’re watching Wednesday

⚽ Euro 2024 — Slovakia at Romania, 12 p.m. on FS1
⚽ Euro 2024 — Ukraine at Belgium, 12 p.m. on Fox
⚽ Euro 2024 — Czechia at Turkey, 3 p.m. on FS1
⚽ Euro 2024 — Georgia at Portugal, 3 p.m. on Fox
⚽ Copa America — Ecuador at Jamaica, 6 p.m. on Fox
🏀 2024 NBA Draft — Day 1, 8 p.m. on ESPN
⚽ Copa America — Venezuela at Mexico, 9 p.m. on FS1

The post Knicks acquire Mikal Bridges; NBA Draft begins tonight; Lynx dethrone Liberty for Commissioner’s Cup first appeared on CBS Sports.


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