Bill Self, Joel Embiid

NBA general manager: ‘You can’t use a top-five pick’ on injured Joel Embiid

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Joel Embiid’s draft stock is dropping rapidly due to his injured foot.

Just how far will he fall?

An anonymous NBA general manager, via Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

“I think there is a point at which you use a pick on him, where you’re hoping maybe these are just fluke things that are not going to be recurring,” one general manager told Sporting News. “But that point is not in the Top 5 or so. You can’t use a Top 5 pick. I think there are too many other good options there to think about using the pick on one who has these injury problems.”

Just speculating… Deveney is based in Boston, and the Celtics have the No. 6 pick. Might the anonymous GM be Danny Ainge trying to get Embiid to fall so he can draft him?

In reality, it doesn’t matter what one general manager – or even a consensus of general managers would do. It matters only what David Griffin (Cavaliers), John Hammond (Bucks), Sam Hinkie (76ers), Rob Hennigan (Magic) and Dennis Lindsey (Jazz) would do.

It’s easy to now justify taking Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker ahead of Embiid. They’d be quality No. 1 picks in an average draft.

But Dante Exum, Noah Vonleh, Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon or Julius Randle over Embiid? That’s a much harder trigger to pull.

Yet, drafting an injured Embiid won’t be easy, either.

I’d guess Embiid will go between No. 3 and No. 5, but so much remains up in the air – no matter what the agenda is of an anonymous general manager.

Potential No. 1 pick Joel Embiid suffers stress fracture

Gordon Hayward beats buzzer, Mavericks (video)

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 18:  Gordon Hayward #20 of the Utah Jazz during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 18, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Rodney Hood got the Jazz to overtime.

Gordon Hayward took it from there.

This extends Utah’s win streak to eight games and snaps a 10-game losing streak in Dallas. The last time the Jazz won in Dallas? Mavericks guard Deron Williams started – for Utah.*

*Those Jazz brought Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews off the bench. Dang

Rodney Hood sends Jazz-Mavericks to OT (video)

during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 18, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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Up three points and the final seconds winding down, the Mavericks had a great chance to intentionally foul Trey Lyles (a 62% free-throw shooter) with his back to the basket.

Instead, they allowed Rodney Hood to hit this shot and get the Jazz to overtime.

Avery Bradley fouls Khris Middleton, who makes game-winning free throw (video)

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The Bucks led the Celtics led the Bucks by 19 in the fourth quarter and four in the final minute.

But Boston completed its comeback when Jerryd Bayless committed a boneheaded foul on Kelly Olynyk with a second left, shoving Olynyk in the back on the inbound. Olynyk sunk both free throws to tie the game.

Then, Khris Middleton got Bayless off the hook.

Middleton drew a foul on Avery Bradley, who was trying to contest the game-winning shot. The Milwaukee wing made one free throw then intentionally the second, and Jae Crowder couldn’t replicate this.

Gregg Popovich shakes head at New Hampshire primary results during in-game interview (video)

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Par for the course, Gregg Popovich gave curt answers to end his in-game interview quickly.

But David Aldridge tempted the Spurs coach, asking whether he wanted New Hampshire primary results. Popovich walked back to hear the answer.

Told Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump won, Popovich shook his head.

Was that disapproval for the Democratic or Republican candidate – or both?