Author: admin

a1, b2, c3, d4

OKC gets one of NBA’s best role players in Alex Caruso, while Bulls land work in progress

Alex Caruso started his professional career as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, just not at the NBA level. After going undrafted in 2016, he signed with the Oklahoma City Blue of the G-League. Since then, he’s reached high acclaim with the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls, but apparently, his first team never forgot about him.

On Thursday, the Thunder landed Caruso in a deal with the Bulls in exchange for a young player who entered the league with far more fanfare. Josh Giddey, the No. 6 overall picks in the 2021 NBA Draft, will now move to Chicago and get a second chance in what will hopefully be more of an on-ball role. Giddey struggled in the playoffs for the Thunder because of his weakness as a 3-point shooter, but the rebuilding Bulls may have more on-ball opportunities available to him.

The deal marks the unofficial beginning of trade season. Caruso for Giddey is the closest thing we’ve gotten to a blockbuster so far in June, and here’s how both teams graded out in the deal.

Oklahoma City Thunder: A+
Alex Caruso was, without hyperbole, one of the most sought-after role players in the NBA for at least the past two years. He has defended both Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo at an extremely high level. He’s a brilliant connective passer and steadily improving 3-point shooter that made nearly 41% of his attempts last season. Oh, and he’s not even earning eight figures this season. He fits onto any roster and any balance sheet. So, naturally, he lands with the team that probably needs him the least.

Oklahoma City’s second- and third-best players are still on rookie deals. They ranked fourth in defense and led the NBA in 3-point percentage. Caruso is an absolute luxury to them. But oh my god, what an incredible luxury he is going to be.

The Celtics just won a championship in large part by acquiring an endless array of switchable perimeter stoppers. The Thunder now have Caruso, Lu Dort, Cason Wallace and Jalen Williams… with Chet Holmgren, who ranked third in the NBA in contested shots per game last season, protecting the basket. You could now credibly argue that Oklahoma City’s defense is primed to be better than Boston’s.

And it didn’t even cost the Thunder cap space. Caruso will make roughly $1.5 million more than Giddey next season. Both are on expiring deals, so it’s not as though the Thunder traded long-term financial security for him. Oklahoma City can still pretty easily create more than $30 million in cap space if it wants to. That’s more than enough to, say, address their rebounding woes by signing Isaiah Hartenstein while also potentially re-signing Isaiah Joe to a new long-term deal. Whatever other ambitions the Thunder have this offseason they can still just as easily address.

They have effectively traded a player they could no longer use for a player that practically the entire league was desperate to acquire. Giddey remains a promising long-term prospect. He’s a uniquely talented passer and ball-handler for his size, especially in transition, but he was benched late in the second round against Dallas because the Mavericks did not guard him. He cannot play off of the ball as a 31% career 3-point shooter, and he was never going to be a permanent point guard on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s team. The Thunder had to trade Giddey. Their general manager is just so good at this that he turned his problem into the kind of player most teams struggle to acquire even with their best assets.

And that’s the cherry on top here. The Thunder may not need Caruso, but you know what getting him accomplishes? It keeps him away from everybody else. The Thunder just helped the Mavericks get Daniel Gafford at the trade deadline only to watch Gafford help Dallas knock them out of the playoffs. The Thunder weren’t going to facilitate someone else’s acquisition of Caruso, but imagine if he had landed on another top Western Conference team? Suddenly one of the best Gilgeous-Alexander defenders in the league would be playing against them. Now he can’t. They haven’t just added one of the NBA’s best role players. They’ve ensured that none of their rivals could get him instead. This is Executive of the Year-level stuff from Sam Presti.

Chicago Bulls: C-
This is a generous C- for Chicago. It’s a nod to Giddey’s obvious talent. He’s one of the 10 best passers in basketball already. He can score inside of the arc and rebounds well for his position. Triple-doubles aren’t exactly in vogue at the moment, but Giddey is one of only nine players to post at least 10 of them in the past three seasons. It’s not as though the Bulls are trading for a bust. They’re just trading for a very specific sort of player, one that they aren’t necessarily equipped to maximize right now.

Could that change? Sure. If the Bulls can manage to unload Zach LaVine’s albatross contract onto someone else and let DeMar DeRozan walk in free agency, that would put Giddey in a position to succeed. He needs to control the offense to succeed. Coby White takes plenty of on-ball reps, but has comfortably existed within ball-handling timeshares throughout his Bulls tenure. That duo can work. They just can’t watch DeRozan and LaVine dribble out the shot-clock.

Even if both of them are gone, it’s not as though this is some well-spaced offense that’s ready to play at Giddey’s speed. The Bulls just ranked 28th in pace and 26th in 3-point attempts. Only two players currently on their roster made even 100 3-pointers last season: White and Ayo Dosunmu. Chicago still needs to upgrade significantly when it comes to spacing if it wants to make the most of Giddey.

Caruso ultimately wasn’t long for Chicago regardless of Oklahoma City’s offer. It never made sense for a Play-In team to keep a 30-year-old ace role player who was eligible for an extension. But the offers the Bulls got for Caruso reportedly reflected his immense value around the league. Multiple first-round picks as well as a top-10 pick, according to CHGO’s Will Gottlieb.

This raises an important question about Chicago’s process here: why make this trade now? Why not at least try to extract one of Oklahoma City’s many, many spare first-round picks? What reason did the Bulls have to believe that this offer wouldn’t have been on the table on draft night? While there would certainly have been interest in Giddey around the league, his shooting woes would have made him a questionable fit for most of the league’s 30 teams. His market wasn’t going to be robust. The general estimate in most reporting had been that he was worth a late-first round pick. Perhaps a bit more in the right situation. The Bulls blew that figure out of the water.

There are two silver linings here. The first is that Giddey has technically improved as a shooter in all three of his NBA seasons. He got to around 34% on 3s last year, though the volume was low enough that it’s hard to know if that means genuine growth or just variance within a small sample. The other, more pertinent benefit here is that it makes the Bulls substantially worse in the short term. Chicago owes its top-10 protected first-round pick in the loaded 2025 NBA Draft to the Spurs thanks to the DeMar DeRozan trade. It is now likely that the Bulls keep that pick, and perhaps set up a tank for one of next year’s elite prospects. As tantalizing as Giddey’s skill set might be, he has a long way to go before he can lead a team to real winning.

a1, b2, c3, d4

Carmelo Anthony explains why Kobe Bryant ‘couldn’t stand’ JJ Redick during 2008 Team USA tryouts

JJ Redick is set to be the next Los Angeles Lakers head coach. And while he never played for the team, he does have a history with some of its legends. While on “7PM in Brooklyn” this week, Carmelo Anthony shared a story of how Kobe Bryant “couldn’t stand” Redick during the Team USA tryouts.

Mike Krzyzewski was the Team USA head coach, and he had some history with Redick as he had coached him at Duke. Krzyzewski was raving about the former Blue Devil, who was a two-time ACC Player of the Year and the 2006 National Player of the Year.

“I remember Kobe couldn’t stand JJ Redick,” Anthony, who retired with the Lakers in 2023, retold.

Although he did not specify the date, it seems this story took place ahead of the 2008 Beijing Games. Redick was just about two seasons into the league after being drafted 11th overall by the Orlando Magic. Bryant, who at this point had already played in the NBA for 12 seasons and had earned three NBA championships with the Lakers, allegedly gave Redick a hard time during practice.

“He got tired of Coach K talking about JJ Redick,” Anthony said in the podcast. “Kob took it very, very personal. To the point where he was running through screens in practice. He was denying JJ the ball. Fouling the s**t out of JJ. I’m like, why are you treating the young boy like that?”

“…This Motherf****r ain’t let JJ Redick score in practice,” he added.

Melo tells the story of Kobe Bryant bullying JJ Redick during Team USA tryouts because he was sick of Mike Krzyzewski talking him up 😭

New episode live now, tap in!


— 7PM in Brooklyn (@7PMinBrooklyn) June 20, 2024
In an interview with Dan Le Batard back in April, Redick said Bryant helped inspire what would eventually become the “Mind The Game” podcast with Redick and LeBron James.

“God rest (Kobe Bryant’s) soul. I think him being gone, there’s a void there. How many of the [other] all-time greats are talking about the game? I don’t know if there’s anybody.” – @jj_redick says Kobe Bryant inspired his new pod with @KingJames.


— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) April 8, 2024
Redick competed with the USA Basketball Under-21 Team in 2005 and won gold medals at the World Championship and the Global Games. However, he never made it to the Team USA Olympics roster. As for Bryant, he won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games and also the 2012 London Games.

a1, b2, c3, d4

Sixers’ interest in Clippers free agent Paul George has waned in recent days, per report

Less than a week after Philadelphia 76ers franchise player Joel Embiid sat next to free-agent-to-be Paul George on ESPN’s pre-game show and hinted that he’d like to team up with the star forward, the Sixers’ interest in signing George has “significantly waned,” according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The Sixers can enter the offseason with up to $65 million in cap space if they so choose, and, in his end-of-season press conference, team president Daryl Morey told reporters that their biggest need was “someone at the wing who can play and deliver at a high level in the playoffs.” A few days before that, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst had said that Philadelphia was expected to offer George a max contract. In “recent days,” however, Philadelphia’s focus has shifted “elsewhere,” per The Athletic.

George, who has spent the last five seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, is one of the best players on the free-agent market, if not the very best. If the Sixers aren’t seriously pursuing him anymore, is it because they don’t like their chances of luring him away from Los Angeles? Is it because they have something else up their sleeve?

It is rare that a team that employs a recent MVP (Embiid) and a capable co-star (Tyrese Maxey) has enough cap space to sign another star to a max contract. Thanks to the trade that sent James Harden to the Clippers, Philadelphia also has some draft capital to spend in potential trades. In theory, Philadelphia would be a nice destination for just about any wing who is either about to hit free agency or hoping to be traded. In addition to George, LeBron James, OG Anunoby, Miles Bridges and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are all about to be free agents. Jimmy Butler is under contract with the Miami Heat for another season, but he’s been linked to the Sixers in the rumor mill, too.

George’s immediate future remains hazy. When Kawhi Leonard signed a contract extension with the Clippers in January, he said he did so with the expectation that George and Harden would be sticking around. Leonard, however, signed a less-than-max deal that runs through the end of the 2026-27 season. If George were willing to accept something similar, it’s fair to assume that he would have done so already.

a1, b2, c3, d4

Malik Monk agrees to stay with Kings on four-year, $78M contract, per report

Malik Monk has agreed to stay with the Sacramento Kings on a four-year, $78 million contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

This was the max contract the Kings could offer Monk with his early Bird rights. It is a big deal that Monk signed before even testing free agency, as he could’ve been offered $100 million by other teams and it’s likely someone would’ve gone higher than Sacramento. Orlando would’ve made sense from a scoring need and financial standpoint.

Here’s how Monk’s contract breaks down annually.

Monk had early bird rights with Sacramento.

Here are the numbers:

2024/25- $17.4M
2025/26- $18.8M
2026/27- $20.2M
2027/28- $21.6M (Player)

— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 21, 2024
Monk, who finished as the Sixth Man of the Year runner-up to Naz Reid after averaging a career high 15.4 points and 5.1 assists this season, is an electric scorer for the Kings and has clearly found a home he was not interested in leaving even with more money likely available.

It’s been quite the rise for Monk over the last two years in Sacramento after he was only able to command the veteran’s minimum salary with the Lakers the summer of 2021. He played well for the Lakers, and has broken out with the Kings.

Last season, Monk led all bench players in total points and assists and was one of only two players in the past 25 years to have 1,000 points and 300 assists as a reserve, according to ESPN Stats. He also carded the highest assist percentage on drives among all players. He punctures defenses in multiple ways, even as a high-flying lob finisher from the guard position.

For the Kings, this checks off their biggest internal box and allows them to focus on free agency and the draft (they have the No. 13 pick) knowing that Monk is on board on a pretty team-friendly deal. Monk can officially sign the contract with Sacramento on July 6.

a1, b2, c3, d4

Lakers hire JJ Redick; Angel Reese breaks WNBA rookie record; Ryan Garcia hit with one-year suspension

This is an article version of the CBS Sports HQ AM Newsletter, the ultimate guide to every day in sports. You can sign up to get it in your inbox every weekday morning here.

CBS Sports HQ Newsletter
We bring sports news that matters to your inbox, to help you stay informed and get a winning edge.

I agree to receive the “CBS Sports HQ Newsletter” and marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers), and other information from CBS Sports and the Paramount family of companies.
By pressing sign up, I confirm that I have read and agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge Paramount’s Privacy Policy.
Email Address
🏀 Good morning to everyone, but especially to …

After weeks of speculation, the Los Angeles Lakers finally made it official. The Lakers have hired JJ Redick to be their next head coach.

This hiring ends a lengthy coaching search by the Lakers, which included a very public courtship of UConn head coach Dan Hurley, who turned down a $70 million offer from the team.

Redick, who spent 15 seasons as a player in the NBA, has never coached at the professional or collegiate level. In recent years, Redick has risen to prominence through his role as a television analyst and his “The Old Man and the Three” podcast.

Now Redick suddenly goes from his role in the media to coaching perhaps the most high-profile gig in all of basketball. As you might expect, our own Sam Quinn says Redick is a clear winner at the end of this saga.

Anthony Davis, on the other hand, might not be quite as happy. Davis apparently preferred New Orleans Pelicans assistant James Borrego, with whom he already had a pre-existing relationship.

Redick’s new job as the head coach of a franchise with 17 banners will come with the weight of expectations. Part of that weight comes from coaching LeBron James, who has a history of being rather mercurial with his head coaches. Our own Bill Reither lays out the challenge Redick faces in that regard.

Reiter: “Take the coaching history that surrounded his all-time great career. LeBron has had eight full-time head coaches in his career. Only two — Erik Spoelstra and Ty Lue– weren’t let go on his watch (five coaches were fired and Luke Walton ‘mutually parted ways’ with the Lakers in 2019 before taking the Kings job). And even those two cases require some caveats.”
Redick’s hiring has already produced a great story about the late Kobe Bryant. According to Carmelo Anthony, Bryant tormented Redick at Team USA practices ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

👍 Honorable mentions
Reggie Jackson shared a moving tribute to Willie Mays in his return to Rickwood Field.
Charlie Woods has qualified for his first U.S. Amateur Junior.
Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson is reportedly about to get paid.
The Kings have made the wise decision to return to their Gretzky-era logo and color scheme.
Guardians leadoff batter Steven Kwan is within striking distance of a .400 average.
Patriots punter Bryce Baringer showed versatility by winning an amateur golf tournament.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is determined to lead Greece to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
🥊 And not such a good morning for …
Getty Images

Boxer Ryan Garcia won’t be stepping into the ring for a while after the New York State Athletic Commission suspended him for one year.

Following his win over WBC junior welterweight champion Devin Haney, Garcia tested positive for the banned substance ostarine. The year-long suspension was part of a settlement reached by Garcia’s legal team and the suspension.

Garcia was also fined $10,000, and he was forced to forfeit the $1.1 million purse from his bout with Haney. Garcia defeated Haney via majority decision, but that has now been overturned to a no contest. Haney may even be entitled to a portion of the purse as well.

Even before his fight against Haney, there was some controversy surrounding Garcia, who was more than three pounds overweight. As a result of his weight, Garcia was ineligible to claim Haney’s title despite the win.

It’s been a long month for Garcia. Just a couple of weeks ago, he was arrested on a charge of felony vandalism after allegedly causing $15,000 in damage at a Beverly Hills hotel.

The 25-year-old Garcia will now be sidelined for a while as he serves his suspension, which is retroactive to April 20. After the no contest decision, Garcia’s career record drops to 24-1-1.

👎 Not so honorable mentions
The Browns have waived DL Lonnie Phelps following his DUI charge.
Steelers QB Justin Fields was reduced to returning kickoffs in the latest “Madden” trailer.
England had to settle for a draw with Denmark in their UEFA Euro 2024 match.
Maybe the 76ers won’t be pursuing Paul George after all.
Argentina kicked off Copa America with an underwhelming win over Canada.
🏀 Thunder earn high marks for Alex Caruso trade
Getty Images
The Thunder made a savvy move on the NBA trade market yesterday, acquiring Alex Caruso from the Bulls in exchange for Josh Giddey.

Over the course of his career, Caruso has gone from undrafted free agent to critical role player, and now he might be exactly what the Thunder need to take the next step. Between his stout defense and skillful passing, Caruso gives Oklahoma City vastly improved depth at minimal cost.

In his evaluation of the trade, our own Sam Quinn gave the Thunder an “A+.” That’s because, with Caruso in the mix, the Thunder have the makings of a championship defense.

Quinn: “The Celtics just won a championship in large part by acquiring an endless array of switchable perimeter stoppers. The Thunder now have Caruso, Lu Dort, Cason Wallace and Jalen Williams … with Chet Holmgren, who ranked third in the NBA in contested shots per game last season, protecting the basket. You could now credibly argue that Oklahoma City’s defense is primed to be better than Boston’s.”
The Bulls’ report card wasn’t quite honor roll material. They got a “C-” from Quinn for selling a highly sought-after player at a bargain-bin price. The Bulls can only hope Giddey lives up to his former No. 6 overall pick potential in Chicago.

🏌 Kim gets off to fast start at Travelers Championship
Getty Images
On his last day as a 21-year-old, Tom Kim celebrated by dominating the first round of the Travelers Championship. Kim turned in a sparkling round of golf, shooting a 62 at TPC River Highlands.

Kim ended the day at 8-under, good for a two-stroke lead heading into Round 2. Kim hit 11 of 14 fairways, and our own Kyle Porter broke down his nearly perfect afternoon.

Porter: “He is not the biggest hitter nor the most talented player, but he was awesome on Thursday on the eve of his 22nd birthday. What did he do well? Everything. And while his putter carried him to the 62, as we discussed on the First Cut Podcast, this is the type of course on which Kim can compete.”
Behind Kim, there is a logjam atop the Travelers Championship leaderboard. Rickie Fowler, who is trying to end an otherwise poor season on a high note, is in a tie for second with Akshay Bhatia, Will Zalatoris and Kurt Kitayama at 6-under.

In sixth place, Scottie Scheffler and Tony Finau are tied with four other golfers at 5-under.

While Kim is off to a hot start, there is still a lot of golf with some big names in the hunt. Keep it locked on CBS Sports’ coverage of the Travelers Championship all weekend.

🏀 Angel Reese breaks WNBA rookie record
Getty Images
Few WNBA players have gotten off to a hotter start than Sky rookie Angel Reese, who made history in her team’s 83-72 win over the Wings on Thursday.

With 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, Reese recorded her seventh consecutive double-double. That is a new WNBA rookie record as Reese, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2024 draft, continues to make life at the professional level look easy.

Over the last 25 seasons, only six rookies between the WNBA and NBA have rattled off seven double-doubles in a row, and it’s pretty impressive company for Reese.

Blake Griffin (3x)
Victor Wembanyama (2x)
Karl-Anthony Towns (2x)
Emeka Okafor (2x)
Angel Reese
Ben Simmons
Reese’s exceptional run of form has earned her the No. 2 spot in our latest WNBA Rookie Rankings. Reese is now averaging 12.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists through her first 13 WNBA games. Reese will go for eight straight double-doubles against Caitlin Clark and the Fever in Chicago on Sunday afternoon.

But before you ask if either Reese or Clark could replace an injured Cameron Brink on Team USA 3×3 team at the Paris Olympics, we’ve got some bad news. Neither fit the eligibility criteria, as our own Jack Maloney explains in his latest piece. Thankfully, he also found some big names who could.

📺 What we’re watching this weekend
⛳ We’ll be tuned into the Travelers Championship all weekend. Here’s how to catch all the action.


⚽ Euro 2024 — Poland at Austria, 12 p.m. on FS1
⚽ Euro 2024 — Netherlands at France, 3 p.m. on Fox
🏃 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, 6:30 p.m. on USA Network
🏒 Stanley Cup Final — Game 6: Panthers at Oilers, 8 p.m. on ABC
🏊 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, 8 p.m. on NBC and Peacock
🏃 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, 9 p.m. on NBC
⚽ Copa America — Peru at Chile, 8 p.m. on FS1


⚽ Euro 2024 — Turkey at Portugal, 12 p.m. on Fox
⚾ Mets at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. on FS1
🏀 Sparks at Liberty, 3 p.m. on ESPN
⚽ Euro 2024 — Belgium at Romania, 3 p.m. on Fox
⚽ Copa America — Ecuador at Venezuela, 6 p.m. on FS1
⚾ Braves at Yankees, 7:15 p.m. on Fox
⚾ College World Series — Game 1: Texas A&M at Tennessee, 7:30 p.m. on ESPN
🏊 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, 8 p.m. on NBC and Peacock
🏃 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, 9 p.m. on NBC
⚽ Copa America — Mexico at Jamaica, 9 p.m. on FS1


🏎 Spanish Grand Prix, 9 a.m. on ESPN
⚾ College World Series — Game 2: Tennessee at Texas A&M, 2 p.m. on ABC
🏎 USA Today 301, 2:30 p.m. on USA Network
⚽ Euro 2024 — Scotland at Hungary, 3 p.m. on FS1
⚽ Euro 2024 — Switzerland at Germany, 3 p.m. on Fox
🏀 Fever at Sky, 4 p.m. on ESPN
⚽ Copa America — USA at Bolivia, 6 p.m. on Fox
⚾ Mets at Cubs, 7 p.m. on ESPN
🏊 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, 8 p.m. on NBC and Peacock
🏃 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, 8:40 p.m. on NBC
⚽ Copa America — Uruguay at Panama, 9 p.m. on Fox

a1, b2, c3, d4

Ranking top 30 players, tracking latest news as Malik Monk agrees to new Kings deal

The 2024 NBA offseason has officially begun after the Boston Celtics finished off the Dallas Mavericks in the Finals on Monday night. Unlike previous years, the league’s new collective bargaining agreement states that teams are allowed to negotiate with their own players right after the final game of the season.This applies to any player who’s set to hit free agency or eligible for a contract extension in July. So yes, NBA free agency is already underway.

Keep in mind, players are not allowed to negotiate with teams other than the one they finished last season with until June 30 at 6 p.m. ET, and contracts can’t be signed until the moratorium ends (on July 6 at 12:01 p.m. ET).

We’ve already got some news on this front. Pascal Siakam and the Indiana Pacers agreed to a new, long-term contract on June 19. Siakam slots at No. 5 in our 2024 top-30 free agent rankings, which can be found below. He’s not the only top-10 player to reach a new deal, either. Kings guard Malik Monk is reportedly staying in Sacramento with a new $78 million deal.

You’ll notice right away two major names at the top of our rankings in LeBron James and Paul George. They’re both unrestricted free agents, meaning they can sign with any team that has the necessary cap space and their current teams would not have the opportunity to match.

Will LeBron leave the Lakers? Probably not, but it’s not out of the question. George, on the other hand, is a serious threat to exit L.A., though interest from an expected suitor in the Philadelphia 76ers is reportedly waning. Speaking of Philly, All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey ranks third on our list, and is most certainly going to be staying in Philadelphia barring something extremely unexpected.

As players begin to agree to terms with teams, we will update this tracker with all available information regarding the terms of each deal.