On Monday night, over 891,000 viewers tuned in for the first-ever Riot Games-sanctioned friendly match between two professional international teams: Clutch Gaming and Bilibili Gaming. To celebrate Clutch Gaming’s recently announced partnership with Chinese video sharing site Bilibili, the two squads faced off in one serious match, followed by a trio of unorthodox exhibitions. In the lone serious match of the night, Clutch Gaming, the Houston Rockets-owned 2018 North American League Championship Series newcomers, took home the win, destroying Bilibili Gaming’s nexus after thirty minutes of focused play. Though Clutch fielded a mixed squad featuring representatives of the organization’s LCS and Academy teams, the victory showed the depth of talent on the organization’s roster. The match featured strong performances by jungler Galen “Moon” Holgate and support Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme.
July 27, 2021 | 7:57 pm EDT Update
Tony Jones: The Oklahoma City Thunder are not expected to extend a qualifying offer to center Tony Bradley, League Sources tell The Athletic, making him an unrestricted free agent. Bradley, a former Jazz, is expected to have multiple teams interested in him on the open market
JD Shaw: Free agent big man Dewan Hernandez has committed to summer league with the Wizards, source tells @HoopsRumors. Hernandez, a Miami product, was drafted No. 59 overall by the Raptors back in 2019.
For the inquiries about his age ― and, by extension, the negative connotations that accompany being the oldest first-round prospect of his class ― Chris Duarte has an emphatic answer. “I’m 24 years old and my response is, if you want to win right now, go ahead and take me,” Duarte said Tuesday. “If you want to win six or eight years later, go ahead and draft an 18-year-old kid and develop him.”
“We’ll see what happens,” said Duarte, a native of the Dominican Republic who was a basketball late-bloomer. “My goal is to play in the NBA and stay there for a long time. So we’ll what happens. I like the Knicks. I like Golden State. So we’ll see what happens.”
The Knicks, said multiple sources, have been trying to package their picks (19th, 21st and 32nd) to move up in the draft. It might be necessary if they target Duarte, whose draft range starts at the end of the lottery. According to Hoopshype, New York reached out to the Warriors about their 14th pick and the Pelicans about their 10th pick.
Scott Agness: Pacers’ advance scout job is open for the second time in a year, league sources said. Gary Schmidt is not returning. Jimmy Powell, who had been in that role for the previous 21 years, retired before the 2020-21 season.
July 27, 2021 | 7:17 pm EDT Update
According to a league source, the Warriors view Josh Giddey as a strong possibility with the No. 7 pick. At 6-foot-8, 185 pounds with preternatural passing ability and an improved jumper, he boasts an intriguing mix of ready-made NBA skills and long-term potential. Odds are that Giddey, who doesn’t turn 19 until Oct. 10, could fill a role for the Warriors next season as a secondary ballhandler off the bench.