We like to talk about how Cleveland got nothing for LeBron James (and how Denver doesn’t want to go down that road).
But that’s not exactly true. Thanks to a might-as-well-at-this-point sign-and-trade, the Cavaliers are sitting on a $14.5 million trade exception. That means the team can trade for a pretty high-priced player and send very little back in return.
“It creates more opportunity,” Grant said. “It’s like having $14.5 million in cap space, except you can’t actually go sign a player with it. You can only sign a player into it. It helps you facilitate trades. If a team is in the luxury tax and they want to get out of it, they might give you an asset to do a deal. Maybe you can’t quite make a deal work because the numbers don’t work, you can use that to put players into a trade. It’s a pretty powerful tool. We’ll be aggressive with it as we go into the season.
“We want to be flexible, strategic and not be emotional,” he said.
Good thing Grant has a powerful tool, because he’s got a lot of work ahead of him.
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.
Buddy Hield: Vivek Ranadive told me at Kings-Pelicans games, ‘We’re still going to get you’