How much money Joel Embiid’s injury will cost him

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Though there was conflicting information, I was convinced Joel Embiid would go No. 1 in the draft. He as a top-three lock. That was before his foot injury, of course.

Now, Embiid is in free fall.

I’d guess Embiid still goes in the top three, and I can’t seem him falling below No. 10 at the worst.

But I never would have projected an injured Nerlens Noel would slip to No. 6 last year. And this draft is much deeper, making the risk/reward evaluation less favorable to Embiid. Just to be safe, I’m including the possibility of him falling anywhere in the first round. (If Embiid somehow falls to the second round, his salary would be a matter of negotiation, but that scenario is ridiculously far-fetched).

Rookie-scale contracts are four years – the first two guaranteed and the last two team options. Usually, especially for high picks like Embiid, the options are picked up.

Here’s how much Embiid stands to lose in each guaranteed salary and across the entirety of a four-year rookie-scale deal (counting everything at the standard 120 percent of scale). You can choose your own adventure – starting with whether you believe Embiid would have gone No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 and ending with where you think he’ll fall.

For example, if you believe Embiid would have gone No. 1 and will now go No. 6, you’re projecting a $10,018,983 loss for Embiid in the next four years including $4,554,960 of guaranteed salary. (You also might be Danny Ainge.)

Lost salary from No. 1

Pick Guaranteed Four years
2 $1,186,320 $2,610,531
3 $2,214,720 $4,869,216
4 $3,105,600 $6,830,783
5 $3,876,600 $8,524,817
6 $4,554,960 $10,018,983
7 $5,139,720 $11,304,280
8 $5,654,040 $12,434,776
9 $6,107,400 $13,431,730
10 $6,365,760 $14,000,743
11 $6,610,920 $14,413,809
12 $6,843,720 $14,815,321
13 $7,065,120 $15,202,945
14 $7,275,120 $15,574,192
15 $7,475,160 $15,933,749
16 $7,664,640 $16,376,938
17 $7,845,000 $16,797,215
18 $8,016,240 $17,196,575
19 $8,162,640 $17,537,627
20 $8,286,960 $17,827,018
21 $8,406,240 $18,030,141
22 $8,520,600 $18,226,386
23 $8,630,520 $18,418,058
24 $8,736,240 $18,605,683
25 $8,837,400 $18,787,554
26 $8,918,160 $18,986,475
27 $8,985,960 $19,154,302
28 $8,999,880 $19,187,875
29 $9,016,440 $19,229,006
30 $9,032,760 $19,269,898

Lost salary from No. 2

Pick Guaranteed Four years
3 $1,028,400 $2,258,686
4 $1,919,280 $4,220,252
5 $2,690,280 $5,914,286
6 $3,368,640 $7,408,452
7 $3,953,400 $8,693,749
8 $4,467,720 $9,824,245
9 $4,921,080 $10,821,199
10 $5,179,440 $11,390,212
11 $5,424,600 $11,803,278
12 $5,657,400 $12,204,790
13 $5,878,800 $12,592,414
14 $6,088,800 $12,963,661
15 $6,288,840 $13,323,218
16 $6,478,320 $13,766,407
17 $6,658,680 $14,186,685
18 $6,829,920 $14,586,044
19 $6,976,320 $14,927,097
20 $7,100,640 $15,216,487
21 $7,219,920 $15,419,610
22 $7,334,280 $15,615,855
23 $7,444,200 $15,807,527
24 $7,549,920 $15,995,152
25 $7,651,080 $16,177,024
26 $7,731,840 $16,375,944
27 $7,799,640 $16,543,772
28 $7,813,560 $16,577,344
29 $7,830,120 $16,618,476
30 $7,846,440 $16,659,367

Lost salary from No. 3

Pick Guaranteed Four years
4 $890,880 $1,961,566
5 $1,661,880 $3,655,601
6 $2,340,240 $5,149,766
7 $2,925,000 $6,435,064
8 $3,439,320 $7,565,559
9 $3,892,680 $8,562,514
10 $4,151,040 $9,131,526
11 $4,396,200 $9,544,592
12 $4,629,000 $9,946,105
13 $4,850,400 $10,333,729
14 $5,060,400 $10,704,976
15 $5,260,440 $11,064,532
16 $5,449,920 $11,507,721
17 $5,630,280 $11,927,999
18 $5,801,520 $12,327,359
19 $5,947,920 $12,668,411
20 $6,072,240 $12,957,801
21 $6,191,520 $13,160,925
22 $6,305,880 $13,357,170
23 $6,415,800 $13,548,842
24 $6,521,520 $13,736,466
25 $6,622,680 $13,918,338
26 $6,703,440 $14,117,259
27 $6,771,240 $14,285,086
28 $6,785,160 $14,318,658
29 $6,801,720 $14,359,790
30 $6,818,040 $14,400,682

There is good news for Embiid.

Quality players stand to make much more on their second contracts. If Embiid falls below the developmental wastelands that have been the Cavaliers (No. 1 pick) and Bucks (No. 2 pick), he might be better positioned to excel and command more on his next contract. Quite possibly, that offsets his losses on his first deal.

More importantly, Embiid is taking a healthy approach.

https://twitter.com/JoelEmbiid/status/479993795937718272

Thunder drop 148 points on defenseless Cavaliers, win in rout

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If you wondered why Cleveland is so active in the trade market as the deadline nears — and why they are hunting out guys who can play defense — all you had to do was watch the Thunder dismantle the Cavaliers on Saturday afternoon on national television, 148-124.

The Thunder went into Quicken Loans Arena and list of offensive accolades is long (and ugly if you’re a Cleveland fan):

• Oklahoma City dropped 148 points.

• Oklahoma City shot 58 percent overall.

• Oklahoma City shot 46.7 percent from three.

• Oklahoma City got 44 percent of its shots within four feet of the rim.

• Oklahoma City’s big three of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul George combined for 88 points.

• Westbrook had 23 points and 20 assists.

• Paul George had 36 points on 12-of-19 shooting.

Steven Adams had 25 points and 10 rebounds.

• Westbrook, George, Adams, and Anthony combined for 113 points on 66 shots.

To be fair, this was also about the Thunder playing one of their most complete offensive games of the season. They moved the ball beautifully, there wasn’t the “your turn/my turn” issues from earlier this season.

For a team still unsure of its identity and looking for validation, this game provided it.

It also provided another glimpse into the troubles in Cleveland.

Last season the Cavaliers counted on an exceptional offense to cover up for a defense that was decent when they cared and horrific when they didn’t, but when it got time in the playoffs Cleveland was able to flip the switch (it just wasn’t enough in the Finals). LeBron James has another gear and was able to lift his teammates up with it.

This season, they don’t seem to know where the switch is. The good defensive habits they had built over time seem lost and forgotten, as they run out a litany of minus defenders in their regular rotation.

Cleveland looks like a team that needs help at the trade deadline to ensure it gets out of the East. The question becomes will they throw in the Brooklyn pick to do it? And even if they did, would DeAndre Jordan really solve their issues right now?

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo out a couple of games to manage sore knee

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It’s not discussed much, but Giannis Antetokounmpo has a chronically sore knee that has been an issue since last summer. It’s not debilitating, it doesn’t require surgery, but it’s something Antetokounmpo and the Bucks need to actively manage.

Hence, Antetokounmpo is sitting out the next couple of games. From Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Milwaukee Bucks all-star Giannis Antetokounmpo will sit out Saturday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers as well as Monday’s home game against the Phoenix Suns as the team actively manages the health of Antetokounmpo’s sore right knee….

Antetokounmpo’s injury, which is not considered to be tendinitis, is regarded as something that is always going to bother him to some extent, according to a league source. There will be days where the discomfort is higher and some when it’s lower, and the team’s goal is to manage that on a daily basis to keep the injury from becoming severe or significant — something it is not considered to be at this point.

Antetokounmpo is going to get eight days of rest this way, which is the smart long-term move for the Bucks.

The challenge is the Bucks may be sixth in the East as you read this, but they are just one game up on the nine seed Pistons. They need to get wins without Antetokounmpo, which is hard because they have been outscored by 10.6 points per 100 possessions. However, they could be without him a lot longer if Antetokounmpo’s knee isn’t managed now.

Kristaps Porzingis: “Players know” he’s All-Star starter

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When picking the East All-Star starters, two of the three frontcourt choices were obvious: LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

For the third slot there were a few players who could make a case. The fans chose Joel Embiid third, Kristaps Porzingis fourth, and Kevin Love fifth. The media also had Embiid third and Porzingis fourth, but Al Horford fifth. That was enough to earn Embiid the starting nod.

The players voted Porzingis third, Embiid fourth, and Andre Drummond fifth. Needless to say, Porzingis thinks the players got it right, as he told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

“Players know,” he said. “That’s all I’m going to say.”

If one were cynical, one would note the players also voted for Tyler Cavanaugh and Tyler Zeller, so how much do we trust their vote? Fortunately, we’re above such crass things.

Porzingis is a lock to make his first All-Star Game this year as a reserve (picked by the coaches).

What separated the two? Embiid has been a little more efficient this season, he’s stronger on the boards and had been a bigger defensive presence. Also, the Sixers have a better record than the Knicks, who have stumbled of late. Or, maybe the fans just like Embiid’s big personality more — he’s blowing off Rihanna.

Both of these guys should have a lot of All-Star starts in their future. This year it goes to Embiid.

 

Lakers make 14% of their free throws, win

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Jordan Clarkson‘s free throw rattled around the rim before falling out late in the first quarter. The Los Angeles crowd groaned. The Lakers missed their first five free throws, and the visiting Pacers led by seven.

It appeared to be one of those nights.

And it was. The Lakers shot just 2-for-14 (14%) on free throws Friday. But they still won, 99-86.

That’s the worst free-throw percentage with at least eight attempts by any team and the worst free-throw percentage regardless of attempts by a winning team in the Basketball-Reference database, which dates back to 1963-64.

Here’s the “leaderboard,” winners in purple and losers in gold:

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The Lakers are shooting an NBA-worst 69% on free throws, but last night took the cake. The offenders: