IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Warriors, Kings left with big decisions ahead of free agency
WARRIORS FUTURE: No, Golden State did not end the season as NBA Champions. However, even in the face of cruel adversity, they showed well. Here is how it plays out. They will keep either Kevin Durant and/or Klay Thompson. They may even pay them max contracts. DeMarcus Cousins may be more of a long-shot. However, reports out state that Cousins would be open to staying in the Bay Area. If the Warriors keep Durant and Thompson, it may be time to move Draymond Green via trade. It is doubtful the team will be relevant in 2020. However, if they make the right moves and injured players recover, they will have a good shot at maintaining dominance. There is still hope. It is just more distant.
BARNES DECLARES FOR FREE AGENCY: Harrison Barnes spurned the Sacramento Kings $25 million offer to play in Sac Town next season. Instead, he declares for free agency. The Kings had hoped to make him a cornerstone to complement Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III. Barnes may still opt for the Kings, but it becomes a more slippery slope. With a promising season ahead, it appears that Sacramento must move forward without Barnes at this point.
USWNT EMERGES UNDEFEATED: The World Cup of Soccer starts well for the U.S. Women. It is a 13-0 whitewash of Thailand followed by a nifty 3-0 win over Chile. A projected big test vs. Sweden finds the ladies prevailing 2-0. It is a positive start. The knock out round starts for Team USA on Monday as they face Spain on Fox.
GIANTS/A’S: Oakland sweeps the Baltimore Orioles in a three-game set by a combined score of 27-7. High drama on Thursday night as they score four runs in the bottom of the ninth thanks to a Matt Chapman walk-off homer. Marcus Semien extends his hit streak to 17 games. On the other side of the Bay, the Giants go into Los Angeles and win Game one, 3-2. However, the Dodgers come back to take the next three by a count of 27-10. The final contest found the Giants falling short 9-8 after Madison Bumgarner gave up eight hits and five runs in a tough fourth inning. He left after 3.2 innings. The A’s are trending towards the Wild Card spot. The Giants struggle through a difficult season.
HOW SWEDE IT IS!: The San Jose Sharks landed a big fish when they re-captured defenseman Erik Karlsson. General manager Doug Wilson got it done as Karlsson inked an 8-year, $92 million deal. “We are going to have a great chance to win the Stanley Cup next year and in the years ahead, “ stated Karlsson. Wilson added, “We are committed to putting the best team on the ice every year.” It is a big piece to the 2020 puzzle. Equally important are Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton. Is there enough cap room to tie up both of them?
THE BALL CIRCUS INVADES THE BIG EASY: We should be talking about how the Los Angeles Lakers mortgaged their future in the acquisition of Anthony Davis. The Lakers gave up three players and first round draft picks to obtain Davis’ services. It will be a game-changer, one way or another, for Los Angeles. However, one of the traded players was Lonzo Ball. Eek! Of course, it is father LaVar who has more to say than anyone else. Is New Orleans ready for his invasion? Will there be a Mardi Gras float sponsored by LaVar? How disruptive can he be on Bourbon Street? As the Lakers are glad to rid themselves of the family, can the Pelicans handle the worst dad in basketball? Act II is already underway.
RAIDERS/NINERS FORECAST: Oddsmakers have the San Francisco 49ers winning eight games and the Oakland Raiders notching six. The 49ers have not done enough to cure their defensive woes and the Raiders are just in disarray. Pre-season starts next month!
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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