Raptors Up 2-1 Over Warriors, Stanley Cup Game 5 Preview, MLB News, NBA Draft Notes, Esports Gambling & Much More

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June 6th, 2019

Welcome back its get away day in Major League Baseball!

Check the “My Take” page for the latest content.

1. What’s New

The 3-point line is moving back in men’s college basketball. The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel announced Wednesday that the arc will be moved to 22 feet, 1 ¾ inches for the 2019-20 season, matching the international distance. The change will not go into effect in Division II and III until 2020-21 due to the potential financial impact on schools.

Bill Snyder, 79, sat down with ESPN and talked at length about life after football in his first extensive public comments since the Kansas University announced last December that Snyder would retire.

Major League Soccer, once shunned by the international football community, is gaining respect thanks to its steady growth in popularity and new stadium projects.

Three years into its new stadium, Orlando City has its first-ever naming rights partner thanks to a new deal struck between the club and Exploria Resorts.

Las Vegas renewed push for MLS has gotten an additional boost with the interest of Vegas Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley. Recent discussions have focused on the MLS team potentially playing a renovated Cashman Field. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Foley would like to place the team at the new Oakland Raiders NFL stadium. 

The PGA Tour will add the island of Bermuda to its 2019-20 schedule. The Bermuda Championship is scheduled for Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at Port Royal Golf Course.

1982 French Open Women’s Tennis, Martina Navratilova beats American teenager Andrea Jaeger 7-6, 6-1 for her first French singles crown.

With the final, best-of-seven series between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors gridlocked at a game apiece, marketers at the NBA and its broadcast partners ESPN and Turner are still grappling with the unpredictability of planning their media during the postseason.

1981 Astro’s Nolan Ryan passes Early Wynn as all-time walk leader (1,777).

Live sports streaming service FloSports has raised $47 million from investors including current partner Discovery Inc. to grow its coverage of new and existing sports.

Professional sports leagues and players came out with their wish list of conditions they would like to see imposed on legal sports betting in Massachusetts.

Jeopardy had never seen a contestant like James Holzhauer before. During his 32-game win streak, which ended Monday night, the 34-year-old professional sports gambler piled up nearly $2.5 million in prize money.

NASCAR and Amazon Web Services have teamed in a new deal that will see the cloud computing company become NASCAR’s preferred cloud computing, cloud machine learning and cloud artificial intelligence provider.

The update provided by Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner in a statement Wednesday night on the 57-year-old Gilbert, who remains hospitalized after falling ill and suffering a stroke on May 26.

2. Game 3 of the NBA Finals in Oakland seemed like the Warriors didn’t want to win the game. Raptors go up 2-1 with a 123-109 victory over the Warriors.

Photo:Tony Avelar/Associated Press

The Golden State Warriors ruled out star guard Klay Thompson for Wednesday night’s Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the visiting Toronto Raptors due to a left hamstring strain.

The Warriors already were without Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney because of injuries.

Kawhi Leonard scored 30 points 30 points (9-17 FG), to go with 7 rebounds and 6 assists, and Danny Green had six three-pointers and 18 points.

Six Raptors scored in double figures. Kyle Lowry had 23 points and nine assists for the Raptors, who are making their NBA Finals debut. Pascal Siakam had 18 points, while Marc Gasol finished with 17, and Fred VanVleet had 11.

Stephen Curry recorded an NBA Playoffs career-high 47 points (14-31 FG, 6-14 3pt FG), alongside 8 rebounds and 7 assists.

Draymond Green‘s streak of double-doubles ended at a career-best six games.

Game 4 is set to take place on Friday, June 7th at 9:00pm ET on ABC at Oracle Arena.

The series returns to Toronto for Game 5 on Monday. A Game 6, if necessary, would be back in Oakland.


3. Rumors swirl before the 2019 NBA Draft.
NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans Pelicans
Photo: USA Today (Derek E. Hinge)
The Los Angeles Lakers are currently “active in trade talks” involving the No. 4 pick in this year’s draft, as the team is looking for an “established veteran who would be more ready” to help them improve on the 37-45 record they posted in the 2018-19 season. (READ) by Lorenzo Tanos
The partnership between the New Orleans Pelicans and Anthony Davis is finally looking to end. After a number of failed attempts to woe Davis to stay in the team, the Pelicans is reportedly now taking in trade proposals for review with Los Angeles Lakers at the front of the list. (READ) by Mariechris Felipe
It’s hard to imagine what the former UCLA Bruins and current Los Angeles Lakers promising second-year point guard Lonzo Ball would look like in the uniform of another traditional big market franchise like the Chicago Bulls or New York Knicks. (READ) by Andrew Miller
The Los Angeles Lakers will attempt to sign All-Star free agent Marcus Morris to pair with LeBron James and their young core. (READ) by
This is the essential question that has occupied the Toronto Raptors since their bold trade for Kawhi Leonard last July. Leonard is one of the NBA’s most inscrutable superstars, a man of few words and little subtext. (READ) by Kevin Arnovitz

Miami forward James Johnson and guard Dion Waiters are considered available on the trade market. The team is looking to move at least one contract with multiple years remaining this summer. (READ) by E.Jay Zarett

The narrative of R.J. Barrett’s one season at Duke is fascinating when you look at it from 30,000 feet. Barrett was widely considered to be the surefire No. 1 pick in this draft. Zion Williamson has rightfully taken over that title, and New Orleans should fire everyone associated with the organization if they opt to take anyone else with the first pick. (READ) by Rob Dauster
The New York Knicks were really hoping to land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, but it didn’t happen. New York, which shared the highest odds to get the top pick with Cleveland and Phoenix, wound up with the No. 3 pick. Most mock drafts have RJ Barrett out of Duke going No. 3. (READ) by
Bol Bol’s combination of elite size, length, and shooting touch gives him tantalizing upside in the 2019 NBA Draft. At the same time, questions over his mobility, health, and frame threaten to derail his sky-high potential before it ever comes to fruition. Is Bol a future star hiding in plain sight or a draft bust waiting to happen? (READ) by

Darius Bazley’s trail is one never taken, but it appears he’s blazed it unerringly. A year ago Bazley was ticketed for Syracuse as a five-star forward out of Cincinnati when it was announced he would bypass college to play in the G League. (READ) by Keith Langlois

The Crossover presents its fully-updated list of the top 100 prospects. Between our own in-person evaluations, break downs of statistics and film, and intel from ongoing conversations with NBA personnel, these rankings aim to present an accurate picture of each player’s value. (READ) by Jeremy Woo

With the 2019 NBA draft a few weeks away, what trends are emerging from conversations around the league? Here are a few key things to monitor: (READ) by Jonathan Givony 

The New Orleans Pelicans are set to make the first pick in the NBA Draft for the second time in franchise history. In 2012, the Pelicans selected six-time NBA All-Star Anthony Davis with the top pick. (READ) by NBA.com

The Washington Wizards will work out six 2019 NBA Draft prospects on Thursday: Marques Bolden (Duke), Armoni Brooks (Houston), Tre Campbell (South Carolina), Matur Maker (Australia), Nick Perkins (Buffalo), and LaGerald Vick (Kansas). Tremount Waters (LSU) will also be in the building for a visit on Thursday but will not work out. (READ) by NBA.com

In a case of wishful thinking coming true, the Atlanta Hawks are apparently open to trading down in the 2019 NBA Draft. (READ) by Chris Guest

How should each NBA team approach trades, the draft and free agency in 2019? What effect did a stunning lottery result have across the league? (READ) by Bobby Marks

No matter how many projections you make for the 2019 NBA draft, they are going to be thrown out the window at some point in the first round because of a surprising selection. (READ) by Joe Tansey

The calendar has turned to June, meaning the next destination for a few Tennessee Volunteers will become clear a little later this month. The Vols are likely set to see at least two players drafted this year, with both Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield popping up in mock drafts everywhere. (READ) by

4. Betting esports is the future for esports!
Overwatch League.
Photo: Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Betting is the single biggest opportunity in esports. It has uncapped upside and is one of the least encumbered by the video game publisher but it’s also one of the least talked about. (READ) by
Established sports leagues like the NBA and NFL were touted as the expected beneficiaries of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. While those leagues could reap billions, new eSports leagues are also poised to take advantage of this new opportunity. (READ) by Ryan Butler

Esports are no longer a “new thing.” The esports industry is firmly established now, and it’s still growing a rapid rate.

New leagues, teams, and channels are popping up constantly. This is proving to be very attractive to investors such as big brands and media.

Just a one-year period between 2016 and 2017 saw more than 600 esports sponsorship agreements made. For now, technology, gaming, and consumer electronics seem to be dominating the market. (READ) by Elias Wagner

eSports can trace its roots back to groups of friends hosting LAN parties and playing video games into the late hours of the night. But today, it has become a full-fledged industry, an official network of professional gaming tournaments and leagues.

The eSports market is currently valued at approximately $900 million, and that number will only grow in the coming years. With every passing tournament, the prizes get richer and the views increase. (READ) by

As many sports betting enthusiasts know, you can bet on anything and for anything. In the world of eSports (electronic sports), that “for” includes “skin betting,” a form of wagering for virtual currency that just recently became legal and regulated in the Isle of Man, which is located between England and Ireland. (READ) by Brett Smiley

5. Craig Kimbrel signs deal with the Chicago Cubs after a seven month long hold out and the days highlights.

The Chicago Cubs have agreed to a three-year, $43 million deal, ending a seven-month-long free agency for one of baseball’s best bullpen arms. Craig Kimbrel will earn $10 million this season and $16 million in 2020 and 2021. There is a $1 million buyout on a club/vesting option for the fourth year.

David Bote drove in a career-high seven runs to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 9-8 win over the Colorado Rockies.

David Peralta had a winning single in the 11th, and the Arizona Diamondbacks slowed the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 3-2 win Wednesday that avoided a three-game sweep.

Andrew Haseley and Andrew McCutchen shared a quiet moment in the Philadelphia clubhouse on Wednesday. The 23-year-old Heasley made his big league debut a day earlier because of McCutchen’s season-ending knee injury. Phillies rallied from a three-run deficit to beat the San Diego Padres 7-5.

Trea Turner saved the Washington Nationals after another bullpen meltdown. Turner homered with two outs in the ninth inning, and the Nationals beat the Chicago White Sox 6-4 Wednesday to extend a winning streak to four for the first time since early September.

Chris Sale tossed a three-hitter for his third career shutout, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Rafael Devers drove in three runs apiece, and the Boston Red Sox trounced the woeful Kansas City Royals 8-0.

Charlie Morton allowed five hits in seven innings, extending his unbeaten streak to 20 starts and leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 4-0 win over the Detroit Tigers.

Jason Vargas pitched his first shutout in two years, Amed Rosario hit a three-run homer and the New York Mets beat the San Francisco Giants 7-0 Wednesday night despite losing Robinson Cano hours after his return from the injured list.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off Zack Britton in a five-run eighth inning, Randal Grichuk had a pair of homers and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the Yankees 11-7 on Wednesday night and send New York to its first three-game losing streak since early April.

The Toronto Blues Jays has selected Florida high school pitcher Braden Halladay, a son of the late Roy Halladay, in the 32nd round of the Major League Baseball draft the round matching his father’s Blue Jays uniform number.

6. National Hockey League 2019 Stanley Cup Finals tied 2-2 moves to Boston for Game 5.

Photo: Boston Herald

Matt Grzelcyk, who suffered a concussion on a bad head shot from the Blues’ Oskar Sundqvist late in the first period of Game 2, was on the ice at the Garden. And while he took the sheet wearing a red no-contact jersey, it quickly became apparent he wasn’t going to be limited. (READ) by

Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t speculate whether injured captain Zdeno Chara is out for Thursday’s Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Chara, 42, suffered what appeared to be a significant injury early in the second period of Game 4 when he was struck in the face by a shot by Blues forward Brayden Schenn. (READ) by

With the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs reaching a crescendo, there are plenty of betting opportunities for each game. Our experts — Emily Kaplan, Chris Peters, Ben Arledge and Greg Wyshynski — will be here each day throughout the Stanley Cup Final, giving their best bets for each game. (READ) by Emily Kaplan, Chris Peters and Greg Wyshynski

Coming into the Stanley Cup Final, the Boston Bruins had an edge on the St. Louis Blues in just about every statistical category. You name it, it leaned toward the Bruins: power play, goaltending, scoring and more. (READ) by Sachin Dave Chandan


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