This Week in US Sports: Warriors in rare position, Cubs get their closer

There is intrigue in this year's NBA Finals, a feat not seen in about three years.

The Golden State Warriors are not in control and they are dealing with injuries. It will take a herculean effort from Stephen Curry if they want to win and three-peat.

Meanwhile in Chicago, the Cubs finally have a closer, and in Philadelphia, the Flyers may have just landed their new second-line center.

All that and more happened this week in US Sports.

 

1. Warriors in rare position

The Warriors are in an unfamiliar spot in the NBA Finals after their loss to the Toronto Raptors in Game 3 on Wednesday.

With the defeat, Golden State now trail 2-1 in the series. This is the first time Golden State have trailed in a series since the Western Conference Finals last year against the Houston Rockets and just the second time they have trailed in a series since the 2015-16 Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Golden State won both of those series, but still, it is not something the Warriors have to deal with very often. So the mettle of this team will be challenged going forward.

Especially since head coach Steve Kerr announced Kevin Durant will be out for Game 4.

 

2. Cubs sign Craig Kimbrel

The Chicago Cubs have a closer for the first time in 2019.

Chicago have reportedly agreed to a three-year, $43million deal with Boston former Red Sox and Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, and now the back end of the team's bullpen is starting to look a lot better.

Brandon Morrow has yet to pitch this season as he recovers from elbow surgery, but with the addition of Kimbrel, Chicago now definitively have a man to put at the back end of their bullpen.

And when the fact is added that Pedro Strop just returned from injured list, the Cubs now have confidence in the back end of their pen for possibly the first time this year.

 

3. Flyers acquire rights to center Kevin Hayes

The first step has been taken in determining where a high-profile free agent will go in this year's "silly season."

The Philadelphia Flyers acquired the rights to center Kevin Hayes from the Winnipeg Jets for a fifth-round pick this season.

Now, Philadelphia have the right to negotiate with Hayes before he becomes a free agent in July. The two cannot discuss money, but the team can talk to him freely without the fear of being sanctioned for tampering with another team's player.

Hayes went to the Jets in a trade this season from the New York Rangers, but spent the first four-and-a-half years of his career in New York. In that time, he developed under then-Rangers, now-Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault.

That is a pretty good spot for the Flyers to start their negotiations.

 

4. Holdout list starting to grow

It would not be the NFL offseason if there were not players holding out.

This week, the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions were just the latest teams to be dealt holdouts as Darius Slay and Damon Harrison are not yet in attendance for their respective teams.

One report even said Williams has no desire to play for the Redskins at all anymore, but we will see if that holds true in the long run.

Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones still has not reported to camp either as he is looking for a new contract.

 

5. Blue Jays draft Halladay

In one of the cooler moments in this year's MLB Draft, the Toronto Blue Jays selected a Halladay once again.

This time it was Halladay the younger as Toronto took the son of the late-Roy Halladay in the 32nd round of the draft.

Roy died in a plane crash in 2017 and the Blue Jays drafted Braden as a nod to the two-time Cy Young winner.

Halladay wore No. 32 with Toronto and Braden was drafted in the 32nd round. He still plans to honour his commitment to pitch for Penn State.

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