Paul George agrees to join 76ers; Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese topple more records; Joey Logano wins 5OT race

Written by on July 3, 2024

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💰 Good morning to everyone, but especially to …

NBA FREE AGENTS

If you want to earn life-changing money in an instant, you can either win the lottery or become an NBA free agent. The free agency period officially opened Sunday, and the money is already flying.

Paul George is heading back to the Eastern Conference after he agreed to the 76ersfour-year, $212 million deal to join Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey in Philadelphia. The 76ers are hoping that George, who started his career in Indiana before moving on to Oklahoma City and Los Angeles, can be the missing piece that gets this trio to their first NBA Finals.

But don’t feel too bad for the Clippers — James Harden has already signed a deal to remain in L.A. He’ll be getting $70 million over the next two seasons — as long as he wants to remain for the 2025-26 season. The second year of the contract is reportedly a player option, so Harden might be back in the free agent pool again next summer.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a two-time NBA champion, woke up with more heft in his bank account as well. A former member of the Nuggets and a key role player on the 2023 championship team, Caldwell-Pope is headed to the Magic on a three-year deal worth $66 million.

Another big name-veteran is Chris Paul, who was waived by the Warriors before his $30 million guarantee kicked in. That’s a tough break for Paul, but he landed on his feet rather quickly. Paul will reportedly sign with the Spurs for $11 million as he’s set to join Victor Wembanyama in San Antonio.

Here are some of the other notable signings that broke when free agency began on Sunday:

  • Pistons star Cade Cunningham will not be hitting free agency after getting a $226 million bag.
  • Jonas Valanciunas landed a $30 million contract with the Wizards.
  • The Heat are keeping Kevin Love around with an $8 million contract.
  • Naji Marshall is going to the Mavericks on a three-year, $27 million deal.

While those are some big numbers, bigger ones are on the way with some of the top free agents still unsigned.

But let’s go back to George for a minute. Our Sam Quinn has laid some concerns that will come with PG-13 playing in the City of Brotherly Love.

  • Quinn: “The primary question here is lifestyle. Forget about just moving from one coast to the other. Philadelphia fans are among the craziest in all of sports. The Clippers largely skate by unnoticed in Los Angeles because of how much more popular the Lakers are. That’s not happening to the 76ers.”

The other star who could be on the move is Warriors legend Klay Thompson. Quinn explored a few different free agency options for Thompson too.

Keep up with every move throughout the free agent frenzy right here with our NBA free agency tracker.

👍 Honorable mentions

⛳ And not such a good morning for …

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AKSHAY BHATIA

Normally, a second-place finish would be cause for celebration for a 22-year-old golfer, but it was a bitter ending for Akshay Bhatia at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Bhatia entered Sunday as one of the contenders to win the tournament, and he had the chance to at least force a playoff with tournament winner, Cam Davis.

On the 72nd hole, Bhatia and Davis were tied for first at 18-under, but that’s when things came unraveled for the former. All Bhatia needed to do was avoid a three-putt on the final hole, and he would still be alive in the battle for the tournament title.

Unfortunately for him, Bhatia flubbed a short par putt, handing Davis the win. Bhatia still earned an “A-” from our own Kyle Porter in his Rocket Mortgage Classic leaderboard grades, but he will be having nightmares about that missed opportunity for a while.

  • Porter: “Even despite some of his mishaps, he went to the last tied with Davis at 18 under, hitting his approach to 32 feet. After a sketchy lag putt to 4 feet, Bhatia missed his par putt — it would have sent the Rocket Mortgage Classic to a playoff — instead three-putting for the first time all week.”

Behind Davis, it was a crowded leaderboard at the end of the tournament with four golfers tying for second.

1. Cam Davis (-18)
T-2. Akshay Bhatia (-17)
T-2. Min Woo Lee (-17)
T-2. Davis Thompson (-17)
T-2. Aaron Rai (-17)

👎 Not so honorable mentions

🏀 Angel Reese, Caitlin Clark make (more) WNBA history

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This WNBA rookie class has already made quite the impression, and two of the league’s biggest stars were shining bright again yesterday. Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark both made history in their own ways.

In just half a season as a pro, Reese has already done something that no other WNBA player has ever accomplished. In the Sky‘s 70-62 loss to the Lynx, Reese tallied 10 points and 16 rebounds. And in doing so she recorded her 10th straight double-double, the longest such streak in WNBA history. That puts here above some pretty elite company.

1. Angel Reese, 10 (2024)
2. Candace Parker, 9 (2015)
T-3. Sylvia Fowles, 8 (2012)
T-3. Sylvia Fowles, 8 (2011)

Meanwhile, Clark continues to show her elite playmaking level, and she was dishing all afternoon in the Fever‘s 88-82 comeback win over the Mercury. Clark finished the game with 12 assists, giving her 129 on the season and eclipsing Julie Allemand for the franchise’s rookie record. It only took Clark 20 games.

The scary part for the rest of the league? She’s probably not done there.

  • Clark is now just 72 assists away from the Fever’s all-time single-season assist record for all players (201).
  • The rookie phenom is even on pace to smash the WNBA’s all-time rookie assist record of 225.

Kind of makes you wonder what they’ll be able to do during the rest of the year, and in seasons to come.

😲 Joey Logano wins Ally 400 in historic five overtimes

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When the drivers got into their cars for the Ally 400 at the Nashville Superspeedway, they probably weren’t expecting to go a record five overtimes and a whopping 331 laps, but that’s exactly what happened.

Coming down the stretch, it looked like Denny Hamlin would wind up in Victory Lane, but a caution flag with two laps to go completely flipped the race on its head. That began a series of chaotic restarts that led to the race reaching a NASCAR record five overtimes.

After each of the first four overtime restarts, there were multi-car crashes that extended the race even further. The race leaders faced difficult decisions in regards to fuel, and Logano rolled the dice by staying out instead of pitting.

That decision paid off for him, and he managed to get his car across the finish line with the fuel gauge on “E.” After the marathon race, Logano credited his car’s mileage for the win.

  • Logano: “We had it won off of (Turn) 4 and then the caution came out, and I was like, ‘Oh, my God,’ but you can’t pit. You’ve kind of got to go for it. Boy, it was close. But we’ve got to give a lot of credit to Roush Yates (engines), not only building horsepower but building fuel mileage. That’s what won today.”

With so many drivers falling by the wayside late in the race, here is how the top five shook out in the Ally 400.

1. #22 – Joey Logano
2. #71 – Zane Smith (R)
3. #45 – Tyler Reddick
4. #41 – Ryan Preece
5. #17 – Chris Buescher

📺 What we’re watching Monday

⚽ Euro 2024 — France vs. Belgium, 12 p.m. on FS1
⚽ Euro 2024 — Portugal vs. Slovenia, 3 p.m. on Fox
⚽ Copa America — Bolivia vs. Panama, 9 p.m. on FS2
⚽ Copa America — USA vs. Uruguay, 9 p.m. on FS1
🏀 Wings at Storm, 10 p.m. on NBA TV

The post Paul George agrees to join 76ers; Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese topple more records; Joey Logano wins 5OT race first appeared on CBS Sports.


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