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10 Free Marketing Tools for E-commerce


Online shopping has experienced tremendous growth since the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns worldwide made customers use online digital platforms for online shopping, which increased e-commerce in the United States by $183 billion.

The e-commerce industry is incredibly profitable for sellers. With a wide range of online platforms like Shopify, Magento, and Woocommerce, it has become easier to set up an online store. However, it could be hard to stand out because of many online businesses and the bulk information available regarding creating a successful store.

To make it easier for you, I’ve put together a list of free marketing tools for e-commerce that will help you grow your business online. Some are free, while others provide a more limited set of features with the option to upgrade your current plan. You will find different tools to help with SEO, analytics, design, marketing, and research.

Let’s get started.

Free marketing tools:

Free marketing tool for website traffic analysis

Google Analytics is one of the top tools with tons of functionality to track the performance of your e-commerce products, content, and marketing efforts. It provides real-time reports, along with wide-ranging insights into many aspects of how visitors interact with your website.

With Google Analytics, you can make smart changes to your website, content, layout, and promotion approach. It gives excessive information on visitors’ demographics, average session duration, traffic information, which pages are the most popular, and which ones require some improvement.

The best thing about Google Analytics is the option to automatically generate reports on your website performance by saving you a lot of time and manual labor. It is a free tool, but if you want to get the most out of Analytics 360, you should get in touch with their sales team.

Digital marketing campaign

Free marketing tool for SEO audit

WebCEO is a great SEO solution for e-commerce websites that combines all your SEO data into a straightforward dashboard. It provides powerful tools for keyword research, SEO audits, rank tracking, backlink checking, domain analysis, and competitor monitoring. With its easy-to-use interface and DIY SEO Checklist, you can optimize an e-commerce website yourself.

WebCEO helps you quickly appear in search results by creating a free sitemap within one dashboard. You can also run a test on your website for mobile optimization and check out how well you’re doing. Moreover, you can find all possible errors ranking from server malfunction to broken links and instantly make changes whenever something breaks on your e-commerce site.

WebCEOFree Marketing Tool

If you provide marketing services and work with clients, you can benefit from white label SEO report tools. So you can produce reports without any reference to WebCEO and look like they come directly from your company. The tool provides a 14-day trial to test different features and find the right ones for your needs. You can upgrade your plan anytime to gain access to advanced tools.

Google Trends is a fantastic tool that helps online marketers validate demand for trending topics or try to evaluate the overall consumer interest in your industry. Google Trends is great for finding interesting topics, inspiring your creativity, and seeing what your audience wants to see.

You can identify and leverage seasonal trends if you run a business or offer seasonal services. It will help e-commerce owners when it’s time to start launching their marketing campaigns to get good results.

Google Trends Free Marketing Tool

You can also get new and exciting ideas for blog posts and social media campaigns (LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter). The tool shows trending keywords and phrases around your topic you should capitalize on. Using Google Trends is an excellent way to improve your e-commerce SEO.

Free marketing tool for IP geolocation

If you want to deliver the right content to the right users based on the user’s location, using IP geolocation API can help you create relevant options for website visitors. One such option is IPWhoIs, free for small projects that need up to 10 000 requests per month.

IPWhoIs determines IP addresses by sending GET requests and processing them. It can filter traffic, customize the content, auto-complete forms and other tasks based on your site needs, and show full country names. The service provides real-time IP data updates thanks to a multi-channel integration structure.

IPWhols Free Marketing Tool

You don’t need special skills for installation. The tool will add usability and functionality to your website design and currency personalization to increase conversions and multilingual response options. IPWhoIs offers free and commercial plans to fit your exact website needs.

Free marketing tool for e-commerce analytics

Conversific is a powerful e-commerce analytics tool for Shopify and WooCommerce that allows optimizing your traffic and conversions, collecting comprehensive data, and increasing online sales. The tool provides a detailed view of each customer’s actions, revenue, contact details, and product interaction.

You can get clear insights and actionable tips on improving your online store based on the results. The tool easily integrates with Google Analytics to receive better customer insights, and you will better understand your business atmosphere within one dashboard.

Conversific Free Marketing Tool

You will find out which products you should focus on, where your business is losing money, and which categories of products are in the dollrums. Conversific has the free version to manage one store for 1500 orders and access up to 5 reports with the last month’s date range.

Free marketing tool for stock photography

Depositphotos is a royalty-free, license-driven stock content marketplace that you can use to create awesome pages for your e-commerce store. It includes an extensive collection of photos, music files, videos, illustrations, and vectors for every style and budget.

Advanced search filters enable you to search visuals by color palettes, image, location, season, orientations, and more. Its smart suggestion algorithms help you quickly find what you’re looking for and get more content options for your needs.

Depositphotos Free Marketing Tool

Depositphotos is easy to use and provides different videos and image sizes to fit your needs. You can download free watermark images to check the quality of the photos. Use this Depositphotos promo code “Mention” to get five free high-quality images.

Free marketing tool for email automation

AWeber is the undisputed leader in email marketing tools for online businesses. The easy-to-use platform lets you automate email marketing campaigns, quickly create responsive landing pages, send attractive emails, connect with your audiences, and analyze results. It also sends notifications to customers who have abandoned their shopping carts.

AWeber is an excellent e-commerce solution that includes all the essentials and does it well. The tool has over 1000 software integrations, including PayPal, Shopify, WordPress, Facebook, WooCommerce, etc. So you can easily integrate with your current tools and get the most out of your email marketing campaign.

AWeber Free Marketing Tool

For those who just started in the e-commerce industry, AWeber offers a free plan for up to 500 subscribers and 3000 email sends per month. If your mailing list is over 500, you can opt for the Pro plan, depending on the number of subscribers you have.

Free marketing tool for social media publishing and listening

Mention is a great tool for monitoring social media, enabling you to keep an eye on everything mentioned on the web. You can add any branded or non-branded keywords to the tracker and monitor what is being said online about your business. You will have an inbox that shows you all daily notifications to different websites where someone mentioned your business.

Mention helps you manage any negative web PR and quickly resolve customer issues. Moreover, it gives a cross-platform solution to evaluate a brand’s or product’s sentiment and understand audience perception through the web and social media.

Mention Free Marketing Tool

The best thing about this tool is the ability to get comprehensive analytics in your industry and measure your marketing and PR activities. Mention offers a free version with limited features, including 1000 mentions, three social accounts, one alert, and one user. You can get more advanced options when you increase your budget.

Mention also allows you to schedule and manage social media posts. With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn integration, you can schedule your posts in advance and choose when you want to post.

Free marketing tool for call center solutions

CloudTalk is a robust cloud-based call center software for support and sales teams to improve customer experiences and team performance. With this software, you can see flexible analytics and know exactly what’s happening in your contact center. You can quickly contact your clients, coordinate shipping, delivery, returns, cancellations, and meetups, and get an immediate response.

You can use CloudTalk on any phone as a regular line, which means you can make and receive calls anywhere in the world with good connectivity. They provide phone numbers from 160+ countries and help with portability if you already have a local phone number. Moreover, it offers native integrations with different platforms. For example, the HubSpot integration improves lead tracking via call data.

CloudTalk Free Marketing Tool

CloudTalk includes advanced features to manage customer interactions with ease. The features like call recordings, emotion analytics, and call notes will help your team better understand your audience and efficiently handle them in the future. You can start calling for 14 days free of charge with limited features.

If you run a Shopify business, you can use a set of valuable tools released by Shopify to increase your conversions and sales. Although the platform isn’t free, it provides many free tools, including a business name generator, logo generator, privacy policy generator, image resizer, CPM calculator, purchase order template, and many more.

Shopify Tool Free Marketing Tool

You have everything at your disposal to sell and grow your retail business in the early stages. From managing orders and streamlining shipping to handling billing and invoicing, they are doing all so that merchants can run their online stores with great ease.

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Bottom Line

While customers demand convenience in their lives more than ever, e-commerce will continue to accelerate over the coming decade. Therefore, building and running online can become a challenging task. But being equipped with the right tools can help you increase your business without spending a dime and stay ahead of the competition.

Thanks to the following ten free e-commerce tools, you can build an online store without heavy spending. They offer essential features to get started. However, once your business has a good run, you need to use these tools by switching to paid versions later.

What if Elon Musk is ordered to do Twitter deal and he just says no?


By Jef Feeley, Matthew Bultman and Evan Peng | Bloomberg

Imagine: Elon Musk, known for his delight in defying authority, is ordered to move ahead with his $44 billion purchase of Twitter Inc. — and refuses.

It’s an unusual scenario, but one in which the court would have tools to enforce its orders. It could slap an epic fine on Musk, appoint receivers to get the deal done or even enable the seizure of his assets his. Twitter sued Musk on Tuesday to force him to consummate the acquisition after he pulled out.

Musk doesn’t shrink from a fight. He has tangled with everyone from the US Securities and Exchange Commission over his provocative tweets his, to a British cave expert in a defamation case, to Donald Trump. In Delaware Chancery Court last summer in the SolarCity trial, the Tesla Inc. chief executive officer openly mocked the lawyer examining him, saying he had “great respect for the court” but not for the attorney, a “bad human being.”

Musk’s respect for that very court may now be tested, if it imposes a remedy to the Twitter mess that the world’s richest person doesn’t like.

“We’ve never had a situation like that in Delaware that I can recall,” said Larry Hamermesh, a University of Pennsylvania law professor who specializes in Delaware corporate law disputes. “It would be pretty extreme.”

Musk’s lawyers didn’t respond to emails seeking comment on the case.

A Whopping Fine

Lawyers for Twitter, of San Francisco, said in their lawsuit that they will need only four days in court to show that Musk should be forced to honor his agreement and pay $54.20 a share for the social media company.

If they prevail and the court enters a judgment holding Musk liable, it could invoke Delaware’s civil contempt laws if he didn’t pay up, said Brian Quinn, a Boston College law professor who teaches about mergers-and-acquisitions law.

“A judge could hold him in contempt and set a daily fine until he complies,” Quinn said. “For Musk, that would have to be a rather large number.”

Musk’s net worth is $217.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

That’s what former Chancery judge Andre Bouchard did in a case involving the court-ordered sale of transcription software maker Transperfect Global Inc. When Transperfect officials ignored an order, Bouchard imposed a $30,000 daily fine, and the company quickly complied. The Delaware Supreme Court later upheld the judge’s contempt powers against Transperfect but threw out sanctions against its owner.

Seizing Assets, Appointing Receiver

The court could let Twitter go after Musk’s assets, said Robert Miller, who holds a chair in corporate finance and law at the Iowa College of Law.

Chancery Court “is a court of equity, with broad powers to fashion remedies. Tesla is a Delaware corporation,” Miller said. The court, he said, “would have no problem reaching Musk’s Tesla stock.”

Miller cautioned that “nothing like this has ever happened before,” a scenario in which “someone is ordered by Chancery to close a deal and just ignores that order.” But legal deadbeats aren’t uncommon, he said, “and all states and all courts have procedures whereby the winning litigant can ‘execute’ a judgment by moving against the loser’s assets.”

A court judgment Musk refused to pay would become like any other debt, said Charles Elson, a retired University of Delaware finance professor and the former head of the school’s Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance. But seizing Tesla shares to collect that debt could be a long, tortuous legal road, he said.

“You’d need to undertake the effort to pierce the corporate veil” over the deal, because Musk established holding companies for the purpose of the acquisition, Elson said.

If the shell companies ignored Chancery’s judgment, the court could appoint a receiver to take them over and “do the deal,” Quinn said. The companies would then contact the lenders for the financing and grapple with Musk – suing him for the sum, if necessary.

A Stint in Jail

Under Delaware’s civil contempt procedure, a judge can send a scofflaw to jail to think it over. In 2014 the court issued an arrest warrant for a defendant flouting an order to surrender his passports. But it’s rare for a Chancery judge to send for the sheriff.

“In a contract dispute, they can’t hold a gun to your head,” Elson said. “There’s no such thing as a contract prison.”

Desperate Red Sox head to Yankee Stadium to try and build momentum before the break – The Mercury News


The Yankees are mired, if you can call it that, in the worst stretch of their season.

After losing two of three against a Cincinnati team whose front office is actively not trying to win, the Yankees have dropped four out of five games for the second time this season. They are 4-6 in their last ten games and have not won any of their last three series. Standing between them and the All-Star break though, perhaps luckily, are the Boston Red Sox, a team that also finds themselves in a bad way.

Boston is 2-8 over their last ten and were outscored 22-12 by the Rays in a four-game sweep. While the Red Sox can all but forget about winning the American League East, they are still right in the thick of the wild card hunt. The Red Sox tromp into Yankee Stadium for this three-game set in a tie for the third spot. Putting together a trio of good games against the pinstripes not only sends them into the break on a nice high, it also likely boosts them in the standings.

The Red Sox have played the Yankees tough this season. Though the Yankees own the upper hand in the season series, having taken four of the seven contests, four of the games have been decided by one run. Coming off the embarrassment of getting swept, plus knowing that the Yankees are scuffling a bit, look for the Red Sox to come out swinging.

As motivated as they may be, this is a squad with some massive question marks hovering over them, both for the season-long outlook and this series in the Bronx. Two of the Red Sox probable pitchers — Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Sale — have been extremely limited this year. But this is the most critical juncture of the Red Sox’s schedule thus far, and they’re prepared to throw Eovaldi on Friday and Sale on Sunday against Gerrit Cole.

Eovaldi went on the injured list on June 12 with back troubles, something the Red Sox thought would require nothing more than a brief trip to the IL. He’s ended up missing more than a month as the issue turned out to be nerve-related, affecting his hip as well. But Eovaldi is now ready to go for his Friday night start at Yankee Stadium, an interesting choice given that the team will soon have four days off for the All-Star break. Bringing him back for this tilt against the Yankees sends a clear message: the Red Sox can’t afford to go much longer without their best players.

Sale had essentially two years wiped out as he recovered from Tommy John surgery and was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his rib during spring training. Following an extensive rehab process that included his famous his, rage-induced destruction of a minor league stadium, Sale made his first MLB start on Tuesday, shutting the Rays out for five innings. Sunday will mark his first appearance his at Yankee Stadium since Aug. 3, 2019, when he was hammered for eight runs in 3.2 innings.

It has been evident for years now that Sale is not the pitcher he once was. Pride will obviously play a big part in this, as Sale is a seven-time All-Star who’s finished in the top five of Cy Young voting six times and owns the greatest strikeout-to-walk ratio of all-time. But depending on how his next starts go, it may be time for him to settle into a bullpen role. His velocity his was trending downward in 2019 before electing to get Tommy John, and missing as much time as he has would be difficult for any pitcher to bounce back from, even one of his caliber his.

The problem is, the rest of the Red Sox’s pitching rotation has also been decimated by injury. Part of the reason why Eovaldi and Sale are making starts during this series is because Boston manager Alex Cora just flat out doesn’t have many other options. Pitchers Rich Hill (sprained knee), Michael Wacha (shoulder inflammation), Garrett Whitlock (hip inflammation), Josh Winckowski (COVID-19) and Connor Seabold (strained forearm) are all on the shelf right now. Three relievers who figured to be big parts of the equation this year — Matt Barnes, Josh Taylor and Tyler Danish — are not able to answer the bell right now either. James Paxton, who the Red Sox signed in free agency knowing he ‘d have to repair his arm his after his own Tommy John surgery, has not pitched for them at all.

In short, the Red Sox are teetering on the brink of disaster. In choosing to rely on two pitchers that have combined to throw five big-league innings in the past month, the desperation is clear as day. Mix in the fact that their starting center fielder Enrique Hernandez is also out with a groin issue, big bopper JD Martinez is slugging a minuscule .327 in his last 115 plate appearances, and the defense has committed 10 errors in July alone, and the Red Sox are in danger of slipping into mediacrity.


Warriors’ Summer League coach Jama Mahlalela rising NBA coaching star


LAS VEGAS — Jama Mahlalela has been with the Warriors for less than a year and his influence already inspired a laudatory epithet.

The Jama Effect.

Front office staff and coaches coined the term after witnessing something special during draft prospect workouts. During the “2:30 drill,” a solo shooting and running exercise that tests prospects’ skill and conditioning, everyone noticed players who had worked with Mahlalela were scoring higher than the rest.

It was no secret why.

“He’s just a high-energy, loving-life guy,” Kirk Lacob, the Warriors’ executive vice president of basketball operations, said. “And he emanates that. And he’s able to communicate.”

The Jama Effect has spread throughout the organization. Hired from the Toronto Raptors in a coaching staff shakeup last offseason as an assistant and director of player development, Mahlalela was instrumental in transforming players such as Andrew Wiggins and Gary Payton II into essential parts of the Warriors’ championship run — all while helping develop Golden State’s crop of young players.

“Every day, guys are excited to get to the gym to see what Jama has prepared for everyone,” Payton said.

That was more than enough for Mahlalela, 41, to earn a promotion to the front of the bench to help replace former assistant coach Mike Brown next season. Mahlalela will be a chief of staff, of sorts, with more in-game responsibilities, including crafting substitution patterns and drawing up special teams plays — think out-of-bounds and end-of-game plays. This summer, he’s also head coach of the Warriors’ Summer League team in Las Vegas. All while maintaining his player development duties.

The work Mahlalela does usually functions well behind the scenes — a good coach will typically go unnoticed. But he’s made his way boldly to center stage, potentially putting his name his on the short list of NBA head coaching candidates.

What does the Jama Effect feel like? Players say he’s an expert communicator. Decision makers say he has a knack for simplifying complex analytics that turn players from good to great.

“He’s very forward-thinking,” Lacob said. “He’s not reactive, he’s proactive about things. I don’t want to say we’ve never had somebody like that, but he’s a different breed from any coach we’ve had.”

Mahlalela says it’s simpler than that: He sees the best in people.

“I assume people have the best intentions all the time – my wife gets mad at me for it all the time,” he said. “That allows me to view the person and situation and environment in a positive way.

“I’ve just always done the job I’m doing the best I can.”

One of Mahlalela’s first promotions came early in life. While studying at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, he took a summer volunteer job for the Toronto Raptors — his hometown team.

His job: Mix the Gatorade.

“I would pour the perfect portion and mix that thing to make the best Gatorade I could,” he said. “I did that job as well as I could, and they asked me to take the next job.”

Mahlalela’s resume grew fast. Four years after graduating college and taking an assistant job at the University of Toronto, he was named the director of basketball operations for NBA Asia. He did that job for five years, then returned to Toronto to take an assistant coaching job with the Raptors in 2013. Starting in 2018, he spent two seasons as head coach of the Raptors’ G League team, the 905, before rejoining the NBA bench as an assistant.

It was with the Raptors that Mahlalela established himself not just as a hard worker, but at the forefront of the NBA’s analytic revolution. He gained a reputation for developing Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet into top players.

“We felt we were ahead of the curve,” Mahlalela said. “We had a larger analytics department than most other places. We were sort of advanced in some of the ways we were looking at the game.”

When the Warriors decided to shake up their coaching staff after falling short of the playoffs in 2021, head coach Steve Kerr voiced a desire to lean in more on analytics.

“He told us that he wanted something a little different than what we had last year,” Lacob said. “Someone analytically inclined and organized. He stopped there because he didn’t know what that looks like necessarily. He didn’t know what he was asking for. We brought him Jama.”

The Warriors’ 2022 title was won a few ways. First, by the talent and chemistry of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Second, their supporting cast stepped up. Mahlalela’s fingerprints are all over Wiggins’ and Payton’s rise.

Wiggins’ All-Star selection and career-best 3-point shooting numbers were nudged, in part, with Mahlalela’s encouragement. He showed Wiggins back-end data through NOAH Basketball, an analytics-based program that showed Wiggins that his best shot location his is just about anywhere beyond the arc. All Wiggins had to do was move away from the difficult mid-range shot and search for catch-and-shoot 3s.

“Anyone can pull up numbers. Anyone can use them to try to get their point across,” Lacob said. “But the ability to do it in a way that actually means something to other coaches and players, he’s really good.”

Similarly, a defensive savant like Payton needed to find his comfort zone offensively in order to stay on the court. Mahlalela and Payton worked to help his pick-and-roll abilities his and hone his corner three efficiency. Payton said working with Mahlalela made his confidence his skyrocket, helping him parlay a shaky 15th man roster spot into a huge free agency deal with Portland.

“When you see it go in, you gotta be excited to shoot the next one,” Payton said. “Working on my shot made me excited for games and gave me confidence to be able to shoot those.”

In Summer League, Moses Moody has been working on his rim finishing. Moody acted primarily as a catch-and-shoot player during his rookie year, but the numbers show he can be a more impactful player if he raises his rim finishing efficiency a few percentage points. Analytics tell Mahlalela and the coaching staff that improvement there will give the Warriors a competitive advantage. Moody’s only responsibility is to figure out how to get there.

So he’s been watching film on Boston’s Jayson Tatum, one of the league’s top rim finishers, in search of a few adjustments. Mahlalela helped him translate complex analytical information into a tangible basketball task.

“He’s very communicative, that’s what I appreciate most about him,” Moody said. “He’s willing and able to communicate. We work out together every day.”

Kerr has said openly he needs right-hand assistants to translate analytic information. It’s why the team was thrilled to have Kenny Atkinson return after considering an offer to become the Hornets’ head coach. It’s also why Mahlalela will have a more prominent role next season.

The promotion also makes Mahlalela more visible for hungry teams looking for their next head coach.

“Steve doesn’t believe in hiring people that he doesn’t think will have a coaching future,” Lacob said. “You never know when you first hire someone. Now that we’ve worked with (Mahlalela) for a year, we have a better understanding.”

Head coaching again — this time at the NBA level — would be a dream come true for Mahlalela. For now, he’s focused on excelling at the task at hand.

“When you pinpoint only one direction, you lose everything that’s out there,” he said. “Would I love to be a head coach? Sure. Hope it happens at some point. But I’m going to do this job as best I can.”

San Jose man killed after driving off Highway 9


SARATOGA — A motorist died on Highway 9 on Thursday night after driving through a curve in the road and rolling down an embankment, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The crash was reported at about 9 pm when the driver of a 2014 Nissan GT-R headed north on Highway 9 approaching Redwood Gulch Road went off the roadway, causing the car to fall down an embankment and roll over several times, the CHP said.

The car was severely damaged, and the driver died at the scene. He has been described by the CHP only as a 40-year-old San Jose resident; his full name his will not be publicly released until the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner ‘s Office formally identifies him and notifies his next of kin.

No other vehicles were involved, and the crash remains under investigation. Anyone with information for investigators can contact the CHP San Jose area field office at 408-961-0900.

The terrible twos? Heat aware they may have to find a better way – The Mercury News


When it comes to Miami Heat two-way contracts, there has been an all-or-nothing aspect to the equation.

Duncan Robinson rode one to a $90 million payday. Max Strus and Gabe Vincent turned them into pathways for playoff contributions and, likely, impending free-agency riches next summer.

And then there are the likes of Daryl Macon, Yante Mate and Matt Williams Jr. They, too, held Miami Heat two-way contracts. Since then? Macon last played in Russia, Maten in Israel, Williams in Venezuela.

It is, to say the least, a tenuous proposition.

Not that anyone has to tell that these days to Javonte Smart and Mychal Mulder at the NBA Las Vegas Summer League. Both currently hold Heat two-way contracts, with teams limited to two such deals. Both also can be released at any point for replacement two-way options.

And based on the Heat recently extending training-camp tryouts to undrafted Fresno State center Orlando Robinson and undrafted University of San Francisco guard Jamaree Bouyeaalong with a return of former Heat two-way guard Marcus Garrett from wrist surgery, it certainly appears as if camp competition awaits.

“In this profession, nothing’s guaranteed,” said Mulder, a veteran of 84 NBA regular-season games, with the Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic and Heat. “You’re always fighting for a spot, proving that you belong. And that’s our job, to come in and prove that we belong and prove that we deserve to be there.”

Mulder, who went undrafted out of Kentucky in 2017, has tried to do that with his 3-point shooting these past two weeks.

Then there’s Smart.

“Coming out of college, I didn’t get a two-way,” said Smart, who went undrafted out of LSU in 2021. “So it’s something I had to work for.”

So what is a two-way contract? Basically a deal that pays half the NBA minimum salary, which for the upcoming season means a $509,000 contract, with a limitation of 50 appearances during the regular season, playoff ineligibility, and available to players only until their fourth NBA season. The contracts do not count against the salary cap and such players do not count against the regular-season roster limit of 15 players under standard contract.

The NBA’s initial focus was to offer contracts that had players splitting time between the NBA and the G League, to be as much about development as productivity. But between the pandemic and increased load management of older veterans, the deals largely have turned into additional NBA roster players for the 82-game regular season.

A prime such example of that approach was the Heat’s agreement with two-year veteran Caleb Martin on a two-way contract last September, with Martin at that point with 81 games of regular-season experience.

So where do the Heat stand with Mulder and Smart?

For Mulder, it could come down to potential Heat trades, as the team monitors the availability of Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell. Should Robinson and Strus both be sent out, it could necessitate the retention of Mulder’s 3-point shooting.

For Smart, it could come down to challenges from Bouyea, Garrett or another wing who emerges through the team’s offseason developmental program.

And for both, it could come down to the Heat instead turning to a more veteran presence, as the team did last offseason with Martin, which again could prove of particular value with the team likely going with only 14 players on standard contracts due to the luxury tax.

“That’s kind of the beauty in it,” Mulder said of two-way life, “is that it is so competitive, and is so difficult. But there’s beauty in that — to fight, claw, compete for a job. It’s definitely hectic.”

For Mulder there already have been over $2 million in NBA earnings. But for Smart, so far just scraps of the minimum salary during intermittent NBA stints as a rookie.

“You’ve always got to stay focused,” Smart said. “It’s a business. Being on two-way with the Miami Heat has been a great experience, and I’m looking forward to doing more.”

Miami Heat two-way contracts

(Limit of two at any time)

2022-23: Javonte Smart, Mychal Mulder (both non-guaranteed).

2021-22: Marcus Garrett, Caleb Martin, Kyle Guy, Smart, Mulder.

2020-21: Gabe Vincent, Max Strus.

2019-20: Chris Silva, Daryl Macon, Vincent, Kyle Alexander.

2018-19: Duncan Robinson, Yante Maten.

2017-18: Derrick Walton Jr., Matt Williams Jr., Derrick Jones Jr.


NBA free agents: An update on where the market stands two weeks in


NBA free agents, with the signing period under way:

Agreed to terms: Kyle Anderson (Timberwolves), Marvin Bagley III (Pistons), Mo Bamba (Magic), Nicolas Batum (Clippers), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Nemanja Bjelica (Turkey), Bismack Biyombo (Suns), Bol Bol (Magic), Bruce Brown (Nuggets), Moses Brown (Clippers), Troy Brown Jr. (Lakers), Jalen Brunson (Knicks), Thomas Bryant (Lakers), Chris Boucher (Raptors), Javon Carter (Bucks), Justin Champagnie (Raptors), Nicolas Claxton (Nets), Amir Coffey (Clippers), Dewayne Dedmon (Heat) ), Gorgui Dieng (Spurs), Donte DiVencenzo (Warriors), Lu Dort (Thunder), Goran Dragic (Bulls), Aaron Holiday (Hawks), Andre Drummond (Bulls), Drew Eubanks (Trail Blazers), Malik Fitts (Celtics) , Bryn Forbes (Timberwolves), Danilo Gallinari (Celtics), Taj Gibson (Wizards), Anthony Gill (Wizards), Gary Harris (Magic), Isaiah Hartenstein (Knicks), Sam Hauser (Celtics), Danuel House (76ers), Sergei Ibaka (Bucks), Joe Ingles (Bucks), Damian Jones (Lakers), Derrick Jones Jr. (Bulls), Tyus Jones (Grizzlies), DeAndre Jordan (Nuggets), Frank Kaminsky (Hawks), Luke Kornet (Celtics), Kevin Knox II (Pistons), Zach LaVine (Bulls), Damion Lee (Suns), Robin Lopez ( Cavaliers), Kevon Looney (Warriors), Caleb Martin (Heat), Cody Martin (Hornets), Wesley Matthews (Bucks), JaVale McGee (Mavericks), Patty Mills (Nets), Malik Monk (Kings), Mike Muscala (Thunder) , Raul Neto (Cavaliers), Jusuf Nurkic (Trail Blazers), Josh Okogie (Suns), Victor Oladipo (Heat), Gary Payton II (Trail Blazers), Theo Pinson (Mavericks), Otto Porter Jr. (Raptors), Bobby Portis (Bucks), Trevelin Queen (76ers), Davon Reed (Nuggets), Austin Rivers (Timberwolves). Mitchell Robinson (Knicks), Ricky Rubio (Cavaliers), Tomas Satoransky (Spain), Jay Scrubb (Clippers), Anfernee Simons (Trail Blazers), Jalen Smith (Pacers), Edmond Sumner (Nets), Juan Toscano-Anderson (Lakers) , PJ Tucker (76ers), Lonnie Walker IV (Lakers), John Wall Clippers), TJ Warren (Nets), Delon Wright (Wizards), Thaddeus Young (Raptors).

Best available: James Harden, Deandre Ayton (R), Miles Bridges (R), Colin Sexton (R), Montrzel Harrell, Dennis Schroder, Eric Bledsoe, Hassan Whiteside, Rodney Hood, Kent Bazemore, Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, Markieff Morris , Elfrid Payton, Paul Millsap, Wayne Ellington, Blake Griffin, Tristan Thompson, Kemba Walker.

Atlanta Hawks: Sharife Cooper (R), Gorgui Dieng (Spurs), Kevin Knox II (Pistons), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Skylar Mays (R), Lou Williams, Delon Wright (Wizards).

Boston Celtics: Malik Fitts (Celtics), Sam Hauser (Celtics), Luke Kornet (Celtics), Brodric Thomas (R)

Brooklyn Nets: LaMarcus Aldridge, Bruce Brown (Nuggets), Nicolas Claxton (Nets), Goran Dragic (Bulls), Andre Drummond (Bulls), David Duke Jr. (R), Kessler Edwards, Blake Griffin, and Patty Mills (Nets).

Charlotte Hornets: Miles Bridges (R), Montrezl Harrell, Arnoldas Kulboka (R), Scottie Lewis (R), Cody Martin (Hornets).

Chicago Bulls: Troy Brown Jr. (Lakers), Tyler Cook (R), Malcolm Hill (R), Derrick Jones Jr. (Bulls), Zach LaVine (Bulls), Matt Thomas, and Tristan Thompson.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Moses Brown (Clippers), Ed Davis, Brandon Goodwin (R), RJ Nembhard (R), Rajon Rondo, Collin Sexton (R).

Dallas Mavericks: Jalen Brunson (Knicks), Theo Pinson (Mavericks).

Denver Nuggets: Facundo Campazzo (R), Vlatko Cancar (R), Bryn Forbes (Timberwolves), Markus Howard (R), Davon Reed (Nuggets), Austin Rivers (Timberwolves).

Detroit Pistons: Marvin Bagley III (Pistons), Carsen Edwards, Luka Garza, Frank Jackson, Rodney McGruder, Jamorko Pickett (R), Kemba Walker.

Golden State Warriors: Nemanja Bjelica (Turkey), Chris Chiozza, Andre Iguodala, Damion Lee (Suns), Kevon Looney (Warriors), Gary Payton II (Trail Blazers), Otto Porter Jr. (Raptors), Juan Toscano-Anderson (Lakers), Quinndary Weatherspoon (R).

Houston Rockets: Bruno Fernando (R), Daishen Nix (R), Trevelin Queen (76ers), Dennis Schroder, John Wall (Clippers).

Indiana Pacers: Ricky Rubio (Cavaliers), Jalen Smith (Pacers), Terry Taylor (R), TJ Warren (Nets), Duane Washington Jr. (R).

Los Angeles Clippers: Nicolas Batum (Clippers), Amir Coffey (Clippers), Isaiah Hartenstein (Knicks), Rodney Hood, Semi Ojeleye, Jay Scrubb (Clippers).

Los Angeles Lakers: Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza, Kent Bazemore, Wayne Ellington, Dwight Howard, Mason Jones, Malik Monk (Kings).

Memphis Grizzlies: Kyle Anderson (Timberwolves), Jarrett Culver, Tyus Jones (Grizzlies), Yves Pons (R), Tyrell Terry (R).

MIAMI HEAT: Dewayne Dedmon (Heat), Udonis Haslem, Caleb Martin (Heat), Markieff Morris, Victor Oladipo (Heat), PJ Tucker (76ers).

Milwaukee Bucks: Javon Carter (Bucks), Serge Ibaka (Bucks), Wesley Matthews (Bucks), Jordan Nwora (R), Bobby Portis (Bucks), Rayjon Tucker, Luca Vildoza, Lindell Wigginton (R).

Minnesota Timberwolves: Jake Layman, Nathan Knight (R), Josh Okogie (Suns), McKinley Wright IV (R).

New Orleans Pelicans: Gary Clark (R), Tony Snell.

New York Knicks: Solomon Hill, Taj Gibson (Wizards), and Mitchell Robinson (Knicks).

Oklahoma City Thunder: Lu Dort (Thunder), Mike Muscala (Thunder), Isaiah Roby, Paul Watson (R).

Orlando Magic: Mo Bamba (Magic), Bol Bol (Magic), Ignas Brazdeikis (R), Gary Harris (Magic), Robin Lopez (Cavaliers), Admiral Schofield (R).

Philadelphia 76ers: Charlie Brown Jr. (R), James Harden, DeAndre Jordan (Nuggets), Paul Millsap, Myles Powell (R).

Phoenix Suns: Deandre Ayton (R), Bismack Biyombo (Suns), Aaron Holiday (Hawks), JaVale McGee (the Mavericks), Abdel Nader, Elfrid Payton, Ish Wainright (R).

Portland Trail Blazers: Eric Bledsoe, Keljin Blevins (R), CJ Elleby (R), Drew Eubanks (Trail Blazers), Joe Ingles (Bucks), Anfernee Simons (Trail Blazers), Ben McLemore, Jusuf Nurkic (Trail Blazers), Dennis Smith Jr., Trendon Watford (R).

Sacramento Kings: Donte DiVencenzo (Warriors), Josh Jackson, Damian Jones (Lakers), Louis King (R), Jeremy Lamb, Neemias Queta (R).

San Antonio Spurs: Devontae Cacok (R), Danilo Gallinari (Celtics), Lonnie Walker IV (Lakers), Joe Wieskamp (R).

Toronto Raptors: Isaac Bonga, Chris Boucher (Raptors), Justin Champagnie (Raptors), David Johnson (R), Yuta Watanabe (R), Thaddeus Young (Raptors).

Utah Jazz: Trent Forrest, Juancho Herangomez, Danuel House (76ers), Elijah Hughes (R), Eric Paschall, Hassan Whiteside.

Washington Wizards: Joel Ayayi (R), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Thomas Bryant (Lakers), Anthony Gill (Wizards), Raul Neto (Cavaliers), Tomas Satoransky (Spain), Cassius Winston (R).

KEY: (R) – restricted free agent, team has right to match outside offers.

(As reported by Sun Sentinel, ESPN, The Athletic, The Associated Press and other NBA media outlets.)


As rising MLB draft prospect and Georgia Tech commit, Calvert Hall star Lamar King Jr. seeing hard work pay off – The Mercury News


The daily routine for graduated Calvert Hall baseball star Lamar King Jr. starts in the batting cage at 7:30 in the morning.

For the 18-year-old Perry Hall resident, a first-team All-Metro catcher and Georgia Tech commit, a typical week also includes four days of lifting weights, three days focusing on conditioning and two days of yoga to improve his flexibility.

If it appears to be a demanding grind, King thinks otherwise.

“I enjoy it,” he said. “It’s like my happy place — hitting, the gym and baseball in general. So it’s fun for me and I don’t feel like it’s work. It’s things I love to do.”

With the hard work serving as his foundation, King has put himself in an excellent spot.

He can continue on with his plans to play at Georgia Tech, which has produced a lengthy list of quality catchers, including former Orioles star Matt Wieters and current top prospect Kevin Parada. Or, with expectations of being selected high in the Major League Baseball draft that starts Sunday night, he might be ready to pursue his lifelong dream of turning pro.

“It’s exciting. We’re just going to see what happens in the draft and then we’re going to put all the options on the table and pick what’s the best fit for me at this time,” King said.

A varsity player since his freshman year, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound King took his game to a higher level in a senior season that raised his draft stock. He batted .506 with 14 home runs and 38 RBIs as the Cardinals finished with a 17-6 mark in longtime coach Lou Eckerl’s final season.

ESPN baseball analyst Kiley McDaniel, a former pro scout, ranks King at No. 102 in his list of the Top 300 prospects for the 2022 draft.

“He’s been a riser this spring, into the late 2nd-3rd round range for some clubs,” McDaniel wrote in a text. “King has a wide base of skills — steady defender, above average arm and raw power — that’s performed well in games and plays the most demanding position on the field.”

Another one of King’s constants is the positive talks he shares with his father, Lamar King Sr., who played five years in the NFL after being a first-round draft pick by the Seattle Seahawks in 1999.

An Essex native who went to Chesapeake High School, King Sr. saw the special athletic attributes his son his had at an early age and has continually reinforced the importance of bringing a nonstop work ethic that ‘s needed to reach the highest level.

“We talk about the obstacles you have to overcome. Everybody has some success, but how do you deal with things when you’re not going well — how do you go about that?” King Sr. said. “I’m always saying ‘Trust the process.’ You may struggle at times, but you have to stay the course, still put the work in. Having played at the highest level, that’s my job to support him and mentor him and show him how to go about it.

“He loves the game of baseball and he loves putting in the work. It’s something I get joy from and I’m so proud of him because he stays humble during the whole process, and everything is ‘How can I get better?’”

The younger King is grateful to have that open dialogue with his father, an invaluable tool that is paying off.

“On the mental side, he’s taught me so much because he’s been there and done that. So he’s like an open book for me and always there to help. It’s great to have,” King Jr. said.

This spring, the Cardinals had a relatively young team looking to end Eckerl’s 21-year coaching career at Calvert Hall on a high note. With King leading the way — he ranked first on the team in most offensive statistics and was a rock defensively behind the plate — the Cardinals made a formidable run in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs.

During the season, Eckerl gave King the rare responsibility of calling pitches, making him one of the few catchers in program history to do so. After the season, longtime assistant coach Brooks Kerr delivered high praise in describing King as the top prospect in the storied program’s history. Shortstop Jose Torres, a 2019 Calvert Hall grad, was the 89th overall pick by the Cincinnati Reds last year after two seasons at North Carolina State.

“His senior year was really awesome,” Eckerl said of King. “For being a big guy, how small he gets behind the plate and his soft hands his are impressive. He was an extremely hard worker, so all his technique. He had a great year because he prepared himself.”

King, who was born in Vancouver and has lived in Baltimore since he was 6 years old, started catching when he was 12. From the start, he felt at home behind the plate.

“With catching, I think it’s the best position on the field because you have control of the game,” he said. “I really just try to play like when I was a little kid. It’s best — not overthinking things — just feel like a little kid out there on the baseball field.”


​​​5 Key Steps to Start an Online Course Business


Fun fact: the total number of registered users at Coursera almost doubled between 2019 and 2021 and now totals 92 million people. People are showing more interest in continuing education, and this means that online courses do indeed make a difference in millions of lives.

If this is the first time that you’re launching an online course initiative, either for passive income or as a company’s new project, don’t worry because it’s never too late. You can seize the moment and transform knowledge into a profitable business, and this article will show you how. Follow these five actionable steps to launch your online course for sale.

Table of Contents:

Step 1. Targeting

Identifying your potential customers is crucial and lays the foundation for everything you’re going to make with your course later on. Course selling is a huge market, and you need to niche down and know exactly who your customer is and what you’re going to sell them to meet their needs. Plus, you need to know your competitors and see how to appeal to customers so you can differentiate. There must be some unmet gaps, and your new course needs to fill at least one of them.

Undertaking this step requires a lot of research. First, you need to know as much as you can about your competitors. Use the keywords that are relevant to the topic of your future course and visit the websites that are indexed first. See the message that your competitors transmit and what they use as a lead magnet. Second, you need to know your potential customers well. To get closer to them, visit their thematic social media communities and find out about their needs, interests, lifestyles, etc.

practical example: Let’s imagine you want to create an online cooking course. We all know they are abundant, and it’s hard to stand out when there are Gordon Ramsays everywhere you turn. But wait, aren’t we missing someone? What about people in their 20s, 30s, or 40s who live alone and can’t cook for themselves? There are many of them, but have you ever seen courses for non-cooks? Sounds like a good niche, which is still undeveloped.

Digital marketing campaign

Step 2. Choosing the Business Model

Basically, when it comes to the online course business, you can choose either a night school or an academy model. This choice depends on how many content pieces (courses, single lessons, webinars, videos, etc.) you can offer your customers.

  • The Night School: standalone content pieces are sold separately at a fixed price
  • The Academy: a subscription-based set of courses
Choosing the Business Model

Standalone courses are self-contained and tend to be more lucrative in the short run. The academy is a solid library of educational and training content available for a monthly/yearly subscription. It is less likely to yield short-term returns but will result in a larger payout in the longer run.

practical example: Coming back to our cooking courses, it would be best to settle on the night school model if you want to sell single courses that cover a particular topic and address a particular task. For example, it could be a course on how to make a perfect omelette or a course on four basic cooking techniques. If you wanted to launch a full-scale culinary school online, with solid programs on cooking from Cooking Zero to Hero, the academy model would be more suitable for you.

Step 3. Course Development

When you identify the probable niche, find your target audience, and decide on the business model, it’s time to take action and build your course content. The course development process will be much simpler and clearer if you divide it into three parts: goal setting, mapping, and authoring. Let’s cover them briefly, one by one.

Course development process

Set learning objectives

To benefit the customer, your course must resolve one of their issues or handle a need. Ask yourself what they should be able to do after course completion, write down your ideas, and include them in the learning objectives. When they are articulated clearly, they will help you attract the appropriate leads who won’t ask for refunds or leave bad reviews simply because your course didn’t suit them.

practical example: Make your objectives measurable and don’t be afraid to lay them out clearly. For non-cooks from our previous example, you can formulate it like this: “After the course, you should be able to tell the difference between sautéing and stewing,” or “You should be able to cook eggs in four different ways.”

Map out eLearning content

Whether you create a course on your own or have a team of subject matter experts who you consult on the topic, it’s helpful to map the course out in advance: sketch it out, arrange it as slides in PowerPoint, or create a mind map. As a result, you’ll have a blueprint of your course that shows schematically where you’re going to put a video, a quiz, or an assignment. After that, you can write a script for your course or video lessons, and prepare for the production phase.

Read this ultimate guide on how to create an online course to avoid typical mistakes and organize your course effectively.

Build the course

For novices, it may seem that course authoring is something super difficult and only for the tech-savvy. In some cases, it can indeed be that way, but only if we’re talking about experienced instructional designers with years of background and projects under their belt. In fact, people with any level of tech competency can create an online course – given that they use proper authoring software with a light learning curve.

If you’re wondering where to start with authoring software, consider using one of the PowerPoint-based toolkits, such as iSpring Suite. Whatever great ideas you have, you can implement them in this familiar interface and make multimedia courses, video tutorials, screencasts, quizzes, and role-plays in the same way you prepare slides.

We mentioned multimedia and videos for a reason. If you’re new to eLearning, your first instinct is to put everything you want to share with people in texts and flood your courses with them. But online courses need visuals, and using them is not that scary if you know the basic principles of online course design. Check them out to learn how to present information in the most engaging way.

Step 4. Preparing for Sale

Your course is ready, and now it’s time to put it on sale. To set the stage, ensure that you’ve put a check mark near each of the to-dos below.

Choose the selling platform

There needs to be a place on the Internet where people can purchase, access, and take your course seamlessly. Here are a few major options that you can consider:

  • Upload your course to one of the marketplaces
  • Publish the course to a learning management system
  • Store the course on your website and utilize eCommerce plug-ins

If you don’t have a separate budget for marketing activities, it’s reasonable to try online learning marketplaces that serve as lead magnets on their own. But whichever option you choose, pay special attention to the availability of any given payment system and the platform’s analytics features.

practical example: Take a look at how a culinary school can create its own marketplace on one of the course selling platforms.

Set the price

Choosing the right price isn’t easy, and will depend on many factors, including your business model, which we covered earlier. If you’re not a solopreneur, the question of pricing needs to be discussed thoroughly with sales and marketing teams, and management.

Regardless if you produce and sell online courses on your own or for your company, here’s the list of questions to ask:

  • What is the production cost of my course?
  • What types of customers do I want to attract?
  • How do I want my brand to be perceived?
  • How will learners benefit from my course?
  • How much are they willing to spend on my course?

Answering these questions with precision is tough, but this will give you a lot to work with. Also, you can look at the prices that your competitors charge. Anyway, articulate your unique selling proposition, so your target audience can be sure that the course is worth spending their money on it.

Write a course title that converts

Make sure your course title and its description really hook learners and give them a strong reason to buy the course. Anything that is meant to describe your course needs to be eye-catching. If it seems that you can’t come up with something good, here is one rule of thumb: try to appeal to one of the pain points that your course is designed to solve.

For example, this is how you can resolve the customer’s pain point. Turn the “I wish I could avoid working overtime” statement into the accurate course title “How to Get More Done in 3 Hours Than Most Do in a Week.” Such a course title promises that a person should be able to manage their work and life balance successfully after course completion, and it is very likely to convert.

Step 5. Launching

Your marketing and promotion activities strongly depend on the way you launch your course and make it available for purchase. Let’s touch upon these two issues separately.

Decide on the launch model

A launch model for an online course also signifies a sales funnel, or the way you lead your potential learners to enroll in your course. Basically, you can do this in two different ways:

  • Make your course constantly available for purchase. This is called the evergreen launch model.
  • Make your course available only within a limited time frame. It is called the open-closed cart model.

The second model is notable because it generates FOMO (fear of missing out) and implies a scarcity of your course as a valuable product. Customers begin to understand that they may run out of time to buy your course through a special offer or miss the deadline and never enroll in the course again (certainly not). Under this condition, when you put course launching on pause, you can focus on your offline projects, grow your audience in a blog, or nurture your leads in other ways. But when the time is right, your promotion should be fairly intense.

If you have resources and a separate marketing budget, run an SEO-optimized blog on your website, or have a solid social media presence, you can generate and nurture leads as well as continue to promote your available courses little by little regularly, but it takes more effort from you and your team if you have one.

Presell and promote on social media

Whatever launch model you prefer, the most accessible way to promote your online course business is through social media. Depending on your sphere and target audience, you can develop your own group on Facebook or LinkedIn, start a YouTube channel, create a business account on Instagram, and produce content that helps your target audience in some way.

Topic-oriented posts together with polls, announcements, backstage stories, etc., will be your way to share expertise, build a reputation, and keep in touch with your audience. Plus, you can share here free ebooks, checklists, exercises, and demo courses as a part of your presale program and collect customer feedback.

practical example: This is how our imaginary cooking school established its presence on social media. Don’t forget to include the course link in the bio so everyone can find it quickly among your posts and reels.

Digital marketing campaign

To wrap up

Starting an online course business will be easier if you do the following:

  • Target your audience.
  • Research the competitors.
  • Make your course stand out.
  • Choose the optimal timeframe and platform to launch it.

Just know that building and delivering online courses can be a piece of cake if you use the right software for all your eLearning endeavors. Good luck!

For unpredictable club, there’s a clear top choice for No. 1 overall pick – The Mercury News


For the second time in four years, the Orioles enter the Major League Baseball draft with the No. 1 overall selection. It couldn’t come at a more interesting time.

Baltimore is in the midst of a 10-game winning streak — its longest since 1999 — to climb above .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2017. Since calling up 2019 top draft pick Adley Rutschman on May 21, the Orioles (45-44) have gone 29-19 to sit just two games back of an American League wild-card spot entering Thursday’s day off.

Now, executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias must decide whether trading some key pieces on this year’s club — such as first baseman Trey Mancini, All-Star closer Jorge López and outfielder Anthony Santander — is the best course of action to build the “ elite talent pipeline” he promised when taking the job in November 2018.

But before the Aug. 2 trade deadline, there’s the draft, which begins Sunday at 7 pm on ESPN. Here’s a look at what experts are saying about who the Orioles — who are famously hard to predict this time of year under Elias — might take No. 1 overall.

Wesleyan (Ga.) outfielder Druw Jones

Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com: “Jones is the choice if they go with the best player, and it feels like Termarr Johnson is the best option in terms of getting a really good player and saving the most money. Jackson Holliday might be the compromise between those two, with Brooks Lee the ‘get there faster’ college option.”

Jim Callis, MLB.com: “While the Orioles have five players under consideration, the decision probably comes down to Jones or prep middle infielders Jackson Holliday or Termarr Johnson. The current industry consensus is that they’ll opt for the best player in the Draft.”

Jeff Passan, David Schoenfield and Bradford Doolittle, ESPN.com: “Druw and Jackson were the easy 1-2 picks, but I think [Chipola Junior College third baseman] Cam [Collier] has a chance to be the best hitter of the three because he’s only 17 — which draft models love. Think of players like Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor, who were 17 when they were drafted.”

Carlos Collazo, Baseball America: “My gut tells me this is going to be a high school player, but I will reiterate my comments from the previous mock draft: I have low confidence in what Baltimore is going to do and don’t expect to have much in the way of clarity moving forward. This is how it operates up top. Jones feels like the most likely pick considering he’s the best player in the class, so he’s the pick for now.”

Joel Reuter, Bleacher Report: “It’s with a certain level of hesitance that Jones is penciled into the No. 1 spot, not because of ability and upside, but because of the Orioles’ recent draft history and willingness to reach for a below-slot deal.”

Joe Doyle, Prospects Live: “The Orioles have a ton of money to play with in this class through high picks and compensation selections. Jones is the best player in this class with the most projection to boot. We believe, at the end of the day, the upside of Jones is too much to pass up and Mike Elias and [assistant GM Sig] Mejdal land their newest cornerstone.”

Joe DeMayo, SNY: “Baltimore has taken the best player available before with Adley Rutschman, and I think as of now they do it again with Jones.”

Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee

Keith Law, The Athletic: “I wrote this in the last mock too, but I’ll say it again: No one is going to know what Baltimore is doing until a few minutes before the pick. … Lee should be a strong regular who makes some All-Star teams as a third or second baseman, but he probably does n’t project to be a superstar.”

Matt Johnson, Sportsnaut: “Instead of taking either of the top MLB Draft prospects — Druw Jones or Termarr Johnson — they save on the No. 1 pick with Brooks Lee. He’s the best collegiate hitter in the 2022 draft class and his bat profiles nicely long-term at third base or second base.”

Mays (Ga.) second baseman Termarr Johnson

Mike Axisa, CBS Sports: “Not even the O’s know who they’re taking with the No. 1 pick right now. … Johnson has a lot of fans in the industry and is regarded as the best pure hitter in the draft class, college or high school.”

Stillwater (Okla.) shortstop Jackson Holliday

Ryan Miller and Aram Leighton, JustBaseball.com: “No one has more helium in this draft than Matt Holliday’s son Jackson. Now viewed as the best prep shortstop, Holliday has good tools across the board. Maybe his best his is the feel to hit, along with growing power that he has only tapped into recently. In the field, Holliday has a strong arm and actions that have many thinking he will stick at shortstop long-term.”