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The Heat Are Expected To Sign-And-Trade For Kyle Lowry But No One Wants To Get Them Fined Like The Bucks

Less than a year ago, the Milwaukee Bucks were trying to acquire Bogdan Bogdanovic in a sign-and-trade with the Kings after trading for Jrue Holiday in a move that would’ve given them a formidable quartet of stars. Days before the free agency moratorium period opened, the deal was reported as done but would fall apart in the coming days as Bogdanovic insisted it was the first he had heard of it, signing with Atlanta instead, and the Bucks would end up getting fined a second round pick for tampering prior to the free agency window opened.

The issue wasn’t so much that Milwaukee had discussed this deal and had a framework established, but that it was reported as a done deal, which the league doesn’t like. The good news is Milwaukee shook off that failure and built a championship team, otherwise we would remember that situation very differently today. It appears teams and the league’s newsbreakers have learned the lesson from the Bogdanovic debacle as we get ready for the start of free agency on Monday and another sign-and-trade is taking shape.

The Miami Heat picked up Goran Dragic’s $19.4 million team option on Sunday, a somewhat curious move in that it eats into their open cap space considerably if they are to chase Kyle Lowry and his reported desire to get a three-year, $90 million contract. However, it makes for a great salary filler in a sign-and-trade deal with Toronto if Lowry gets that number, with Precious Achiuwa and KZ Okpala meeting the rest of the salary requirements to get a deal done. After Dragic’s option got picked up, newsbreakers tried their best to toe the line between reporting and not getting anyone in trouble on what appears to be a done deal.

The phrasing on these is pretty funny, as it’s clear the sign-and-trade is the reason Dragic got picked up but no one can report on actual talks, just on the general idea that it makes sense. Adrian Wojnarowski went a step further on Sunday night, offering a report that the Heat are “frontrunners” to land Lowry, offering the general framework of what that deal could look like while also making sure to couch it as “preparation” for when talks become legal on Monday afternoon.

Lowry has long been intrigued with joining Heat star Jimmy Butler and the Miami organization, and now Miami has maneuvered to have two key elements of a possible sign-and-trade package — guard Goran Dragic and forward Precious Achiuwa — to offer the Raptors once talks can ensue at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, sources said.

While negotiations on sign-and-trade agreements aren’t allowed to begin until free agency opens, teams are able to prepare for scenarios and those contingencies are beginning to take shape inside front offices ahead of Monday.

There’s certainly the possibility that Lowry ends up in Dallas or New Orleans, who each have cap space to sign him outright, but the way this is being reported makes it seem like the Heat are the heavy favorites to land Lowry and that this could get done very quickly on Monday evening once it becomes actually legal for conversations to happen, which of course, haven’t happened at all.

Make sure to put it in the papers that we have NOT discussed a trade yet, it could just come together in five minutes on Monday.

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Ariana Grande Sends A ‘Gentle Reminder’ About Getting Vaccinated

With the rise of the far more transmissible Delta variant, the push to get people vaccinated is more important than ever. Large gatherings, such as Rolling Loud and Lollapalooza, could turn into super-spreader events. As a result, Ariana Grande took to her Instagram to urge her followers to get vaccinated.

“Vaxxed n masked,” Grande wrote under an image of her wearing a black mask. “This is your gentle reminder to please get your vaccines if you are eligible. this thing is not yet over ! sharing some info because i care and if i can, i’d like to help anybody who is hesitant or curious with making their decision. this delta variant is very new and since data is changing all the time, i’ll source some links for you to stay up to speed yourself but so far… we do know that it spreads much more easily compared to previous variants.”

The singer then spoke to unvaccinated individuals directly. “Most of the spread is among unvaccinated people and in areas with low vaccination rates !” she wrote. “And yes although you can still get it while vaccinated, the vaccine helps to protect against severe illness, hospitalization, and death ! all great things to be protected against in my book.”

Her message comes after Grande became the latest musician to set up their own concert through Fortnite.

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Chris Paul And Kawhi Leonard Reportedly Declined Their Player Options And Will Be Free Agents

There aren’t many franchise-changing stars expected to be available when free agency opens on Monday, as Kyle Lowry is the top prize for most teams that feel they’re one major piece away from contending and will have first pick of most teams with cap space (or sign-and-trade) interest.

However, there are two players that could, if they wanted to, completely shake up the 2021 free agency landscape. Kawhi Leonard and Chris Paul each had player options facing them and the expectation has been that both would decline those options and re-sign with their current teams in L.A. and Phoenix respectively. That said, by declining the options and becoming unrestricted free agents, both would at least crack the door open for a departure, which would send ripple effects throughout the league.

On Sunday, word emerged that both players had declined their options and would look for new deals tomorrow when free agency opens at 6 p.m. ET. Chris Haynes broke the Kawhi news first, with Adrian Wojnarowski confirming and noting the expectation is a new deal gets done with the Clippers.

Shams Charania then brought word that Paul was declining his $44.2 million option, while Woj reported a decision wasn’t final but if he did, there was hope for the Suns that they would work out a deal in short order.

Of the two, Paul seems most likely to explore more avenues in free agency than Leonard, who many expect will sign a 1+1 max deal with L.A. that will allow him to rehab from his torn ACL, play in 2022-23, and then be able to sign a 5-year supermax deal from the Clippers (or look elsewhere in free agency). Paul’s future seems most likely to continue to be in Phoenix, but with the way Robert Sarver talked about Paul’s free agency, it certainly seems as though the Suns aren’t fully confident that they’ll run it back next season.

Paul will surely hear overtures from the likes of the Mavericks, Heat, and any other contender who has a point guard need and has been connected to Kyle Lowry, but it seems as though it would take a substantial surprise offer to come his way for him to bolt Phoenix. That doesn’t mean its impossible, but after reaching the Finals this year, there’s little reason for Paul to think this Suns team can’t get him over the hump, at least compared to the teams that can offer him real money.

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Report: The Heat Want To Reunite Kyle Lowry With DeMar DeRozan

The Miami Heat made a couple of important decisions on Sunday regarding their two veterans with team options, letting Andre Iguodala walk (with most anticipating he will return to the Warriors) and somewhat surprisingly picking up the $19.4 million option on Goran Dragic.

With Miami as one of the presumptive frontrunners for Kyle Lowry, picking up Dragic certainly opens up doors for a sign-and-trade with Toronto, but if the Raptors aren’t interested in a Dragic-centric package, they would need to find another team interested in taking on the veteran point guard. There are some teams that could have interest in doing so — the Mavs have been connected to the Slovenian point guard for the past couple summers/deadlines due to Luka Doncic’s relationship with Dragic — but it certainly put an interesting wrinkle into the point guard market.

Miami has been connected to Lowry for some time, making a push for him at the deadline this year, but they won’t be alone. Dallas and New Orleans have both cleared cap space to be able to meet the reported three-year, $90 million desires of Lowry in free agency, and Philadelphia’s interest in a sign-and-trade is also known. In the end, if money is all the same, it’s going to come down to where he feels most comfortable and happy spending the latter portion of his career. To try and give themselves a leg up in that category, the Heat are pulling out all the stops, per Marc Stein, who reports they are trying to work out how to bring Lowry’s old teammate and best friend DeMar DeRozan to Miami with him.

DeRozan will be a free agent and there were rumblings that San Antonio was willing to explore sign-and-trade opportunities to send him to L.A. before they pulled off the Russell Westbrook deal. Whether San Antonio, with a pair of young lead guards in Dejounte Murray and Derrick White they seem ready to build around, would want Dragic in a sign-and-trade or if a third team could be tossed into the mix remains to be seen, but there are few more tried and true routes to a free agents heart than bringing in their friends. That’s how Brooklyn ended up with DeAndre Jordan on a hefty deal as part of the price that came with landing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

The fit with DeRozan, Lowry, and Jimmy Butler would be fascinating to watch, if nothing else, as DeRozan and Butler have similar offensive games in that they like the ball in their hands and do their damage in the midrange, while Lowry isn’t exactly a sharpshooter from three. They would definitely have to match most any offer sheet for Duncan Robinson to give some floor balance offensively to that trio plus Bam Adebayo, but defensively they would be an absolute nightmare to deal with. We’ll see in the coming days if this becomes something more than pre-free agency smoke, but for now it’s fun to imagine those two longtime friends reuniting in Miami for one more ride.

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The Kid Laroi’s ‘F*ck Love’ Goes No. 1 On The ‘Billboard’ 200 A Year After Its Original Release

The Kid Laroi’s success first began with his 2020 debut mixtape, F*ck Love, and increased a deluxe version titled F*ck Love (Savage). Now, more than a year after the original release, he finally reaches No. 1 on the ‘Billboard’ chart thanks to a second and third reissue titled F*ck Love 3: Over You and F*ck Love 3+: Over You respectively.

The Australian act’s latest reached the top of the charts thanks to 85,000 units sold for the chart dated August 7. That number is comprised of 82,000 streaming equivalent album units and 2,000 pure album sales. On July 23, Laroi dropped F*ck Love 3: Over You, adding seven new songs and guest features from Polo G, Stunna 4 Vegas, Justin Bieber, G Herbo, Lil Durk, and Mustard. Four days later, he returned with F*ck Love 3+: Over You, which tacked on six more songs, bringing it to 35 songs and an hour and 18 minutes of music. Altogether, the pair of reissues helped boost the album into the No. 1 spot.

F*ck Love is the first album to top the chart without previously debuting at No. 1 since 2019’s Frozen II soundtrack. It’s also the first album to reach No. 1 more than a year after its release since Prince’s 2001 album The Very Best Of Prince reclaimed the top spot in 2016. The last album to sit atop the album chart for the first time more than a year after its release was the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?. It went No. 1 sixty-three weeks after the project was initially shared back in early 2001.

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Biz Markie’s Funeral Plans Have Been Revealed

Last month, the music world was met with the sad news of Biz Markie’s death, which came as a result of complications with Type II Diabetes. Now plans for the rapper’s funeral were revealed: It will be held on August 2 at the Patchogue Theatre For The Performing Arts in Patchogue, New York, the rapper’s hometown. Greater Long Island reports that the funeral will run from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and also be livestreamed on BET.

“Biz Markie touched the world with his infectious smile, amazing energy, and hip hop hits,” the announcement reads, according to Revolt. “Known for his Top 40 hit, ‘Just A Friend’ and his recurring role on Yo Gabba Gabba! he brightened every room he was in and every song he was on.”

Reverend Al Sharpton will give the eulogy at the service, which he spoke about in a recent post to Twitter. There will also be appearances from the late rapper’s peers, including Fat Joe, Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J and members of the Juice Crew.

Shortly after Markie’s death, his representative Jenni Izumi revealed that he passed away with his wife beside him. “Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans whose lives he was able to touch through music, spanning over 35 years,” Izumi added. “He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter.”

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Matt Damon Confessed That He Only Stopped Using The ‘F-Slur’ Some ‘Months Ago,’ Leaving Many To Wonder What Took So Long

Matt Damon first made his name playing a coarse M*sshole who happens to be a reluctant genius. Since Good Will Hunting, he’s built a very different persona: Nice, affable, polite, often endearingly bumbling. (A rare exception is as the Gruff Midwestern Everyman he plays in the new film Stillwater.) But you can’t take the Massachusetts out of a Massachusettsite, which is why — for some reason — he decided to confess that he only stopped using the “f-slur” semi-recently.

In a new interview with the UK’s Sunday Times (as caught by Vulture), the actor and Oscar-winning screenwriter opened with an anecdote about how his daughter stopped him from using an epithet that went out of fashion among polite society quite a long time ago. He called it “the f-slur for homosexual,” and he was apparently still throwing that one around, at least among family and friends.

To get him to retire the term took, he said, a “very long” plea from his daughter. “I made a joke, months ago, and got a treatise from my daughter,” he recounted. “She left the table. I said, ‘Come on, that’s a joke! I say it in the movie Stuck on You!’ She went to her room and wrote a very long, beautiful treatise on how that word is dangerous. I said, ‘I retire the f-slur!’ I understood.”

Why would Damon self-own like this? And why did it take so long, especially since he’s played two prominent LGBTQ+ characters, in Behind the Candelabra and The Talented Mr. Ripley? Who knows! But for some reason he never got the memo that the only people who still use the “f-slur” are old school bigots, or certain rappers. Indeed, this bit of news was dropped during a recent epidemic in homophobia amongst the hip-hop world, which saw DaBaby get booted from Lollapalooza due to an anti-gay tirade.

When the news hit social media, it left a lot of people confused.

Anyway, welcome to 2021, Mr. Damon!

(Via Sunday Times and Vulture)

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42 Dugg Issues An Apology For His Homophobic Rant

On Friday, 42 Dugg shared what he felt was an affectionate video featuring him and his son. In it, the rapper can be seen kissing and licking his son around the neck and shoulder area, an act that many deemed inappropriate for the child. He later caught wind of the negative reaction and slammed critics with a homophobic response.

“Quit tryna shove that sh*t down n****s throats,” he wrote. “Ah gay n**** ah be on national tv tonguing down another h*e ass n****, but that’s ok though. Y’all or no motherfucker on earth ain’t finna make me like sh*t ion like and if y’all don’t like me f*ck y’all get wit me. Keep my son out y’all mouth flat out.”

A day after he posted this response, 42 Dugg returned with an apology for the insensitive statement.

It never be my intentions to offend anybody even when I’m offended so for that I am sorry. Usually I’m a very private person when it come to personal sh*t such as my son or my family in general people always tell me I need to take more pictures or you know let my fans see something about me other than music. Yesterday I called myself doing that. My son birthday was the weekend so I decided I would let y’all see how much fun we had. You know the picture/videos I posted of my son wasn’t put out for feedback. That was us being us. So for y’all to take that and make it what y’all did just reminded me of why I keep my family private. I will not be showing my son or any of my family on this s*it again. Y’all lost that privilege. This is for me to promote my music and that’s what I’m gone use it for. Nothing more nothing less.

On the music side of things, you can revisit the rapper’s recent videos for “Turnest N**** In The City” and “Maybach.”

42 Dugg is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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Ariana Grande Will Be The Latest Star To Host A Concert In ‘Fortnite’

As we continue moving into the digital age, we’re seeing stars across the world get more creative in bringing fans to them, especially in music. It used to be that the only way to check out your favorites was to go to a concert, a music festival, or maybe a meet and greet of some kind. Now we’re seeing some of these same events stretch out to a wider audience through the connectivity of online platforms, and particularly gaming.

One of the more unique ways we’ve seen this happening is in Fortnite. The battle royale may be most well known for all the dance trends it spawns, but it’s also hosted a lot of crossovers with real life stars such as Travis Scott and LeBron James.

Joining the trend of celebrities making their appearance in Fortnite will be pop star Ariana Grande. The former child actor turned pop singer, will be a part of Fortnite’s “Rift Tour” where she’ll put on virtual concerts for anyone that attends the in-game events. Of course, because this is Fortnite, there will also be quests to complete and Ariana Grande themed loot to collect throughout the Rift Tour.

Among the items that players can earn while playing Fortnite during this event is a Cuddly Cloudcruiser umbrella that players will be able to glide in with after dropping. The event begins Friday, August 6, and will take place throughout the weekend. The final showing will be on August 8, Sunday, at 6 p.m. ET.

Ensuring that fans around the world can catch the Rift Tour, the experience spans five showtimes over three days. We recommend fans arrive in Fortnite 60 minutes before showtime, and the Rift Tour Playlist should be live 30 minutes before each show. Before Ariana’s arrival, the Rift Tour kicks off with Fortnite-themed experiences — pairing popular tracks with moments based on elements from the game.

This might seem weird to some, but these events have been wildly successful in the past. During Travis Scott’s virtual concert he managed to break Fortnite’s concurrent players record with over 12 million all playing at once. Considering the extreme popularity of Ariana Grande, and that FFortnite is a free game, there’s a pretty solid chance that this concert is going to break a few records of its own.

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Lenny Kravitz Wished His Very Good Friend Jason Momoa A Happy Birthday: ‘I’m Proud To Call You My Brother’

Break-ups are hard, and it’s not always easy for two people who used to date— much less be married to — the same person to get along. And then there’s Lenny Kravitz and Jason Momoa. Kravitz was married to actress Lisa Bonet from the late ‘80s through the early ‘90s. Momoa is married to her now. And yet the two are not only great friends but also family — people who are very open about their love for one another. So it was no surprise that the musician went all out on the Aquaman star’s birthday. Again.

“Happy birthday, @prideofgypsies,” Kravitz wrote on Instagram, alongside a black-and-white photo of the two of them together, one considerably taller than the other. “I’m proud to call you my brother. One love. One family.”

It’s actually almost the exact same post Kravitz did last year, on Momoa’s previous birthday. Same picture, almost the same caption, now with the words, “I’m proud to call you my brother.”

There’s another member of this party, and that’s Zoë Kravitz, who took after both her parents, becoming a singer, like her dad Lenny, and an actress, like her mom. Both Zoë and her mother’s current husband are even both part of the DCEU, though it’s unclear whether Aquaman and her version of Catwoman — to be seen in the forthcoming The Batman — will ever get to hang. But at least in real life their bond is real and beautiful.