By Wyatt Dojutrek, Jack Ankony and Paul Evers, online sports editor, executive sports editor and sports editor
Heading into the summer, the Knightly Banter crew would like to make predictions about summer’s hot topics. Here’s what we think will happen before school is back in session, August 22.
BY THE TIME WE ARE BACK IN SCHOOL…
Will Tom Brady have his suspension overturned, once again?
Wyatt Dojutrek: Yes, I’m a Patriots fan, it’s that simple. Get ready for Roger Goodell revenge tour part two!
Jack Ankony: Brady will get his way and somehow do away with the entire suspension. Deflate gate needs to end.
Paul Evers: Brady’s legal team will find a way to put the quarterback on the field for Week 1. Whether the suspension actually gets overturned or not, I get the feeling Mr. Brady will serve his 4 game suspension finally at some point next season.
Will Alshon Jeffery have signed a long-term extension?
JA: No, Bears front office doesn’t want to spend that kind of money yet. In the case that Kevin White isn’t as good as expected, Jeffery will sign a big deal.
PE: Bears will give him a decent offer, but Jeffery will not sign the dotted line. He’ll play under the franchise tag, and I get the feeling he just wants out of Chicago after this year.
WD: No, the Bears will not be willing to spend that much money on Alshon Jeffery who had his injury problems in his career. If he doesn’t, send him to the Patriots we would love to have him!
PE: What is it with the Patriots wanting Bears castoffs? I thought that was the Packers and Vikings job.
Will the Cubs have won 70 games?
WD: Yes, this is the best managed Cubs team of all time, the Cubs have both youth and talent on their side. I think that if the Cubs get an Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, or shall I say Ryan Braun. I think the Cubs will get anyway even if they do not get one of those players.
JA: Yes, greatest Cubs team ever. A world series is in sight. By calling up OF Albert Almora, that gives us depth in the outfield. All we need is one more solid reliever.
PE: If the Cubs keep pace with how they’ve been playing, 70 wins is in the bag. This team is poised to do it unlike any other team, as the immense depth the Cubs possess (such as Matt Szczur, Tommy LaStella, and Javier Baez) will be able to keep this team from getting tired and starting a slump.
Will the White Sox be 1st place in the AL Central?
JA: No, epic collapse continues. I think they’ll be in third place behind Indians and Tigers.
PE: No, but they will be in the Hunt for October either as a wildcard team or as a contender for the AL Central crown (maybe 3 or 4 games behind the Royals)
WD: No, I like Francisco Lindor and Mike Napoli and the Indians to take the AL Central. Kansas City will be the Wild Card team for the AL. By the way, the Indians have the third best manager in baseball in Terry Francona (behind Buck Showalter, and Joe Maddon). Cleveland Rocks!
Will the Cubs have traded for a high-end reliever?
JA: Yes, Andrew Miller will be a Cub in the fall to round out our pitching staff.
PE: I’ll take that a step further, Andrew Miller will be a Cub in exchange for Dan Vogelbach, Arismendy Alcantara, and a minor league pitcher. Yankees will eat up this young talent in a heartbeat. Honestly, this isn’t that much for the Cubs to give up either.
WD: Yes, I agree with Paul’s trade with Vogelbach and Alcantara, Vogelbach is a born DH, so he would be perfect in the Bronx. Miller has played for Theo in Boston where he had a lot of success.
Will Jay Bruce be on one of the Chicago baseball teams?
JA: No, the Cubs don’t need a slow, inconsistent outfielder. I’ll let the Sox have him.
PE: Cubs, no. Sox, maybe. Bruce is the perfect left handed power hitter the Sox need, but they may be looking for a flashier trade (anybody know if the Rockies want to trade Carlos Gonzalez?) if they can’t stabilize themselves.
WD: Chicago baseball teams, no, Bruce will go to the city that never sleeps and join the already terrific outfield of the New York Mets for Juan Lagares. If the Mets get Bruce, they will take the NL East crown taking down Dusty’s Nationals.
Will Jake Arrieta have less than 5 losses?
JA: Yes, I’ll give him 4 losses. Though he only has one loss to this point, he hasn’t pitched his best. However, he will find his groove again and get plenty of run support from the Cubs elite offense.
PE: Yes he will, the Cubs will keep him in games with the offense and he will keep the Cubs in games with always giving up 0-3 runs. Expect a lot more no decisions then he’s been receiving lately however.
WD: Yes, the snake will have 3 losses. He has been just okay in his last couple of starts dating back to mother’s day. He will be back to normal in the summer months.
Will the Bulls have traded Jimmy Butler?
JA: No, he is the backbone of our franchise. Joakim Noah will be gone and replaced by Timofey Mozgov, Hassan Whiteside, or Bismack Biyombo (all overpaid.)
PE: Any chance the Celtics will take on Derrick Rose and we’ll get Marcus Smart back and the Nets 2016 and 2018 picks? Then fine Jimmy can go. I’ll take a young point guard, the number 3 pick, a probable future lottery pick, and the cap room to go max out a younger star (DeMar DeRozan or Hassan Whiteside anyone?)
WD: No, Jack is right on this one he is the face of the Bulls organization right now. If they trade him, the season would be even worse without him than with him. And Paul, the Celtics won’t take Derrick Rose because they already have Isaiah Thomas at point for Brad Stevens.
PE: Just saying he could be the backup for one season in Boston…
Who will the Bulls have taken with the 14th overall pick?
JA: Denzel Valentine. Though he is similar to Jimmy Butler, they should take the most talented player available when they pick.
PE: Dontas Sabonis. Bulls need frontcourt pieces with Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah likely on their way out, and who better to replace Noah than with the high motor and effective rebounder Sabonis.
WD: Skal Labissière. The big seven footer from Haiti had a disappointing freshman season under John Calipari at Kentucky. But he will drop all the way to 14 and he will become the Pau Gasol of the future.
Will the USA men’s basketball team win the gold medal?
JA: Yes, even without the reigning MVP Steph Curry, USA’s athleticism will dominate throughout the olympics.
PE: Is this even a question? USA will dominate as expected.
WD: The gold medal should already have the US logo on it, yes they are winning.
Will Team USA made it to the Copa America semifinals?
JA: No, I don’t know much about soccer, but USA is not very good.
PE: After a tough loss, the USA came back with a resounding victory over Costa Rica. It’s possible that the Stars and Stripes could make a run to the semifinals.
WD: Due to my knowledge of soccer, no.
Will Jordan Spieth win multiple majors?
JA: No, I’ll say Spieth wins only one this year. It will come at The Open Championship where he beats Dustin Johnson by a stroke. Spieth will finish top 15 in all major tournament this year.
PE: No, there seems to be too much disparity in golf.
WD: Sure, He will win the Players Championship and the US Open. Jason Day will win The Open Championship.