Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown has not been lined up in front of the firing squad yet, but he and his staff are requesting their last meals.
While reports that Brown would be fired the day after the Cavaliers were eliminated from the playoffs were premature, everyone expected us to get to that point. And according to Brian Windhorst at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, it is close.
According to sources, Brown and his coaching staff are preparing to be let go. Meanwhile, the front office and team owner Dan Gilbert are believed to be considering a list of possible replacements.
While Gilbert said his evaluation period will last 7-10 days, it won’t likely last longer than that. According to multiple sources, there is a clause in Brown’s contract that changes his compensation for the remaining year of his contract if he’s let go more than 10 days after the season ends.
Brown would probably like to be let go sooner rather than later, giving him time to see if he can land one of the head coach openings around the league. More likely, he will have to return to the assistant level for a while.
But in the NBA, every coach gets a second chance. And if you can say you led your team to the best record in the conference two straight years, that will help. Brown’s time will come again.
Right now, it is just waiting time for him to be let go.
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
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