Stern says owners unified, “vast majority” favor hard cap

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A few hours after the players told a tale unity it was the owners turn. At least we didn’t have to see a bunch of them in “stand” T-shirts.

David Stern emerged from more than four hours of meetings with the NBA owners Thursday and said that despite reports to the contrary the owners are unified. Which is exactly what the players said after their meeting. Which is exactly what you expect both sides to say.

Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said it clearly: “There is absolute agreement, and it’s a complete fiction coming from somewhere that there isn’t.”

What Stern said that was interesting was that a “vast majority” of owners favor a hard salary cap. He shot down reports that the owners disagree on this issue.

“Some people might say they want a hard cap with this wrinkle and someone says I want a hard cap with that wrinkle,” Stern said. “But I would say there is unanimity in favoring a hard cap — period.”

The hard salary cap has been the sticking point of these negotiations, that and keeping the cap tied to a percentage of the league’s revenue (basketball related income, or BRI). The players have offered to give up four or five percentage points off their 57 percent share of BRI, but they don’t want a hard salary cap and they want what cap there is to be tied to BRI.

If the owners truly are committed to a hard cap, this is going to be long and ugly. But if the players get down to 50 or 51 percent of the BRI, would a majority of owners be willing to get away from a hard cap?

Stern and Silver made it sound like no, but that’s what the future weeks of negotiation are about.

PBT Extra: Three things to watch with Boston in wake of Hayward injury

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Gordon Hayward is going to have surgery on his ankle and leg, which should not be a surprise to anyone who saw the gruesome injury to his leg just 5:15 into his Celtics career. There is no timetable for his return yet, maybe he makes it back for the playoffs, but the Celtics are not going to rush him and he may well miss the entire season.

What next for Boston?

In this PBT Extra I cover the three things to watch for from Boston, which in the short term could mean the Kyrie Irving show. Longer term, not much changes.

Gordon Hayward addresses Celtics and fans from hospital bed (video)

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Gordon Hayward broke his leg early in his Celtics debut – a devastating injury. He’s preparing for surgery tonight, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN:

First – after a perfect introduction from Marcus Smart – Hayward addressed the Boston crowd from his hospital bed before tonight’s game against the Bucks.

Hayward:

What’s up everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent me your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be alright. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.

At least this nice moment (and an outpouring of support) came out of such a gruesome injury.

And if Smart keeps setting up his teammates so well, maybe the Celtics’ offense will keep humming.

76ers coach Brett Brown: Joel Embiid’s minute restriction could quickly rise

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Joel Embiid‘s minute limit of below 20 bummed out everyone (especially Embiid).

But good news could be on the way.

Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:

The 76ers look like a borderline playoff team, Embiid’s health the biggest variable. There’s a direct correlation between his ability to stay on the court and Philadelphia’s postseason chances.

Plus, he’s just so darn fun to watch. The more he plays, the bigger victory it is for every viewer not rooting for the 76ers’ opponent that night.

Report: Bucks have offered second-round pick as enticement for Rashad Vaughn trade

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John Henson was on the trade block. Greg Monroe seems permanently affixed there.

Another player the Bucks apparently want to deal? Rashad Vaughn, who was the No. 17 pick in 2015.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Milwaukee has been working to trade several players to clear salary-cap space, including guard Rashad Vaughn and center John Henson, league sources said. The Bucks have been willing to attach a second-round pick in offers for Vaughn, league sources said.

It’s unclear whether the Bucks are still as motivated to move Vaughn. They slid under the luxury-tax line by stretching Spencer Hawes. One-time target Richard Jefferson already signed with the Nuggets. A roster vacancy and cap savings might not matter as much anymore to Milwaukee.

But Vaughn has struggled in two NBA seasons. The Bucks might be better off trying to develop someone else, even a D-League player, over the 21-year-old Vaugh.

Vaughn is due $1,889,040 this season. He faces a $2,901,565 team option for next season, which his team must decide on by Oct. 31. It seems unlikely that will be exercised.

This is what happens when you draft players for the wrong reason.