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Brooks Koepka prepares to putt on the fourth hole during the third round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club, Saturday, June 18, 2022, in Brookline, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

PGA response

So Jay Monahan reportedly will announce additions to the PGA schedule this afternoon. The plan, according to multiple media outlets after a mandatory players meeting Tuesday in Connecticut where this week's Travelers will be played, is to add eight tournaments to the schedule that will have $20 million purses, no cuts and be limited to the top 50 players in the Fed Ex Cup points.

OK. It's a start.

Moreover, it's a sign that the PGA Tour bigwigs realize the threat is real.
But adding these events also gives the LIV and Greg Norman and the rest of them a new avenue to attack.

If those lucrative events are designed to directly compete with the LIV events — and you have to assume some of these pay-for-play days will overlap some of the LIV events on the calendar — what about the guys 60ish to 100 in the standings?

Because if the LIV is pulling closer in star power — we asked Tuesday which is more interesting Rory, JT, Jordan and Jon Rahm or Phil, DJ, Brooks and Bryson, and it's way too close for comfort for Monahan and his minions — the true divide is in the depth of each tour. The bottom third of the LIV is dotted with brothers, buddies and bangers. The PGA Tour's 60 through 100 is dotted with names like Matt Wolff (60th), Tommy Fleetwood (68th), Adam Scott (73rd), Justin Rose (77th), Jason Day (101st) and Rickie Fowler (113th).

Running the risk of alienating those guys could make the LIV more attractive in some regards, no?

In fact, after Koepka's reported defection, here's betting the next LIV name is among those listed above, and there are reports that Fowler could be headed that way for Portland.      

Feeling the draft

We committed to discussing the draft this week. I love the draft. You know this.

Before we get to the current crew of players and Chas' question about one of the mock drafts, I want to float this idea.

Back in the day, NBA teams could draft a player and hold their rights even if those players stayed in college.

The Celtics took Larry Bird  with the No. 6 pick in 1978.

Bird returned to Indiana State for his senior year — led ISU to the title game against Magic — before signing with Celtics before the 1979 draft for record money.

How cool would it be to have that wrinkle, where teams in the back part of round 1 could roll the dice and pick some of the draft-eligible players who elected to return to college ball?

As for this class, Chas wondered about the mock/rankings Matt Norlander offered on long-term pro potential. It's here for background.

Norlander, who is very good at his craft, lists Duke's Paolo Banchero as the top long-term pro.Banchero is an excellent player with extreme upside. But he's not Jabari Smith.

Not now. Not in the future.

Yes, I'm very pro Jabari, the Auburn one-and-doner who lifted the Tigers to the top of the polls for a stretch of the 2022 season.

But his time at my alma mater aside, I love his game.

As Norlander noted, Banchero has a thicker frame currently and was the key factor in getting Duke to the Final Four.

The NBA thickness does not worry me with Jabari, who will add a few LBs, as much as it does with Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren. (Side note: I think you have to rank Holmgren either top two or three or outside the top 10 or even in the 20s. His slightness is either not going to be an issue or it's going to be a monster issue. Holmgren has a wicked swing state of Dirk potential franchise guy or Adam Morrison potential franchise wrecker.)

Moreover, Smith's shooting skills are off-the-charts excellent — dude's 6-10, at least and shot 42% from 3; for his career at Davidson, Steph Curry shoot 41% from 3 gang — which is tailor made for today's stretch NBA.

Norlander writes that Banchero has more 'it' factor, and that may be true. But Duke looked to him for almost everything in their run to the Final Four. Auburn did not look to Jabari enough.

And I love that Norlander rolled the dice with Shaedon Sharpe at 3, because the upside is through the roof with the kid who reclassified, enrolled at UK and will have never played a college game before becoming a millionaire Thursday night.

Sharpe's athleticism is ridiculous.

Thoughts?  

Settled but unsettled

So Deshaun Watson and his legal team have settled 20 of the 24 claims of sexual misconduct.

The only surprising parts of this is a) what about the other four, and b) why was this not the approach from the very beginning. (Side note: According to this story, Watson could very likely be in the process of settling the other four cases as well.)

In truth, this whole ordeal has been surreal. Especially for the multiple women who are claiming the former Clemson star and current Cleveland QB sexually assaulted them.HBO Sports had a segment talking with some of the women who have made these claims, and it's some rough stuff.

Yes, Watson was not charged criminally after two grand juries declined to indict him.

The settlements came before Watson was set for depositions later this week in the cases.

You have to think the NFL will levy some form of suspension against Watson.

You also have to wonder how much of the $230 million contract he signed with the Browns during the offseason will be sent to those women in those 20 cases?

At least $20 million, right?

This and that

— Speaking of golf and the FedEx standings, did you know that Baylor School alum Luke List is 27th in the points race currently. That's some awesome sauce right there. And Keith Mitchell is 37th. And, how cool is this, if the season ended today, Stephan Jaeger would be in the FedEx tournament since he's at 125th on the points list. More importantly, 125th would secure Jaeger's Tour card for next season too. Gotta keep draining putts and making cuts my man.

— Do yourself a favor and read this story about a New Jersey middle school teacher who has kept an empty seat in his classroom for the last 30-plus years. God bless good teachers.

— Braves played. Braves lost a 12-10 slugfest. First bad outing for the mustachioed Spencer Strider. It happens.

— So Coach K will not attend Duke home games next season. OK. Great.

Today's questions

Which way Wednesday starts this way: Which would you guess, Watson wrote $20 million in checks or more in those settlements?

Which Braves hitter not named Ronald is the most fun to watch?

Which will be the NFL's punishment for Deshaun Watson, no suspension, 1-to-4 game suspension, more than four-game suspension?

Which golfer is headed to the LIV next, and if you are Tiger Woods can you really turn down $1 billion if the Saudis offered that much?

Answer some which ways, ask some which ways.

As for today, June 22, let's review.

On this day in 1633, the Pope makes Galileo recant his view that the Earth orbits the Sun. Rest easy, he was right, of course and the Vatican admitted their mistake — in 1992.

"The Rescuers" was released on this day 45 years ago.

Meryl Streep is 73. She's overrated, right?

Pistol Pete would have turned 75 today. Clyde Drexler is 60 today. Man, I loved that Houston team with Drexler and Hakeem and Michael Young and Larry Micheaux back in the early 1980s.

Champ Bailey is 44 today. Dude was awesome in his awesomeness. One of the best corners ever in my view.

Rushmore of 'champ' and be creative.

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