“He’s got a contract for next year,” Nelson said. “Absolutely we’ll have Sam back. Great guy. If we can get him to show up on time to practice, that’ll be a step in the right direction.”
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Dalembert’s full salary will cut into the Mavericks’ cap room this summer – and they should have a significant amount of space – but he’s also a bargain. Dallas’ starting center, Dalembert is averaging 6.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 20.3 minutes per game.
He’ll turn 33 before next season (maybe even this season if the Mavericks extend their playoff run to May 10), and as Nelson alluded, Dalembert has issuesmanaging his time. But that’s why Dallas got him so cheaply.
The Mavericks are 9-1 in the 10 games Dalembert has played most. They need to figure out how to get more Dalembert, not less – and that’s why they’re keeping him.
Then again, if Dalembert’s salary becomes the difference between adding an impact free agent and not, the plan could change. There’s a reason his contract isn’t fully guaranteed.
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’