How much money Joel Embiid’s injury will cost him


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.

The time Chauncey Billups tried to trick teams into believing he’d be a bad teammate

AP Photo/Winslow Townson
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In 2011, the Knicks amnestied Chauncey Billups. Unlike traditional waivers, amnesty waivers didn’t require claiming teams to pay Billups’ full salary. They could bid a partial amount – New York on the hook for the rest – and the highest bid would get Billups.

So, it was practically a forgone conclusion someone would claim Billups. The only questions were which team and for how much?

But Billups didn’t want to go to the highest bidder. He wanted to become a free agent and choose his destination – even though his contract and the Collective Bargaining Agreement put him on a different course.

So, Billups – a consummate professional throughout his career – threatened to become a problem. Adrian Wojnarowski at the time:

Wojnarowski now:

I remember talking to Chauncey on a Saturday morning one day. He was very determined that no team would put a waiver claim in on him, because he was headed to Miami. He was going to go play with the Heat. He had his bags packed. But he needed a team not to claim him. And he and I were just talking about this. I read this quote back to him recently, and we were laughing.

He went on this two-, three-minute rant about that basically, “I’m just going to be a complete asshole wherever I go if you claim me.” And so, he went on this rant. And he read that, and he kept going. And finally he stopped. I don’t even remember if I asked him a question. He just started when I called him. And at the end, there was like this pause. And he goes, “Do you think anyone is going to buy it?”

The Clippers submitted the highest bid for Billups, and he quickly got on board. Even though they traded for Chris Paul at point guard shortly after, Billups of course was a model teammate and veteran leader. Late in his career, he couldn’t stay healthy enough to contribute much on the court. But the Clippers still valued his presence. He even re-signed with them the following summer.

This was such a readable bluff – which says plenty about Billups’ character.

Rumor: Magic expected to fire Frank Vogel

AP Photo/John Raoux
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Magic president Jeff Weltman inherited an expensive and bad roster, limiting his options to shape it.

He also inherited coach Frank Vogel, and maybe there’s something Weltman will do about that.

Marc Stein of The New York Times in his newsletter:

Orlando’s ongoing malaise, especially after the promise of an unexpected 8-4 start, make it a widely held assumption in coaching circles that Vogel will be dismissed after the franchise’s sixth successive season out of the playoffs.

Perhaps, these people in coaching circles are doing nothing more than connecting dots. Many coaches with poor records – only the Suns and Nets have been worse during Vogel’s two-year tenure – inherited by a new front office get fired.

Or it could be something more concrete, like Orlando putting out feelers for potential replacements. That possibility gives juice to this report.

Vogel has one more guaranteed year left on his contract, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. Will ownership pay to oust Vogel? That seems likely. The alternative is paying Weltman to sit on his hands.

This would be a tough break for Vogel, who coached well with the Pacers. The Magic’s roster is just so lacking. Vogel hasn’t impressed in Orlando, but his opportunity to do so has been narrow.

At least it’d be more understandable if he got fired by a losing team. Last time, he got fired by a winning team.

Rumor: Bucks, Jabari Parker could part after season

AP Photo/Morry Gash

Jabari Parker is a confounding fit on the Bucks now and in the future.

Could he and Milwaukee part ways this summer, when he’ll be a restricted free agent?

Gery Woelfel on 105.7 The Fan:

At this very moment, I’d say the odds are slim to none it’s going to happen … that he’ll be on this team next year.

I just don’t see a good fit there. I didn’t bring this up, and I’ve been meaning to do so, but I haven’t. He came very, very close to being traded at the deadline. And I think that spoke volumes of they think of Jabari Parker and whether he’s a part of their future plans.

Bucks executive Alex Lasry denied it:

So did general manager Jon Horst. Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Horst made it clear both on the radio and in a separate interview with the Journal Sentinel on Wednesday that the Bucks never had any intention of trading Parker

Teams often discuss trading players then deny it to avoid offending the player. Whether or not they nearly traded Parker, the Bucks would probably respond now similarly.

As far as Parker’s future in Milwaukee, it’s unclear where the well-connected Woelfel’s reporting ends and his analysis begins. There’s a huge difference between trading Parker for value and letting him walk for nothing. Just because the Bucks came close to trading Parker wouldn’t mean they won’t re-sign him.

Shedding Parker would not open cap space without additional moves. It would probably allow Milwaukee to use the full mid-level exception and stay beneath the luxury-tax line. But that’s unlikely to land a player who combines Parker’s age and talent.

Because Parker will be a restricted free agent, the Bucks hold the cards. If he’s upset about trade talks or anything else, he can’t unilaterally leave.

Milwaukee must determine how much to pay Parker and how to utilize him with Giannis Antetokounmpo. Those are hard questions. But the Bucks throwing up their hands and letting Parker walk in free agency isn’t the answer.

Tony Parker: My quad injury 100 times worse than Kawhi Leonard’s

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Tony Parker reportedly led a players-only meeting in which Spurs implored Kawhi Leonard to return.

Leonard injured his quad last season, has played just nine games this season and remains sidelined. The Spurs have reportedly cleared him, but he got second opinions and is waiting for his medical team to clear him.

Parker injured his quad last May then returned in November – and said at the time Leonard would return in 2-3 weeks.

Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News:

It’s not hard to read between these lines.

Though some Spurs reportedly told Leonard to return only once he feels ready, Parker is clearly applying pressure. It’s not working, but he’s apparently not stopping.

These comments don’t befit a healthy organization, which is just so stunning for the Spurs, whose excellent culture has been exalted for year.

Maybe Parker will get his wish, and a shamed-into-playing Leonard will lead San Antonio deep into the playoffs. But it seems more likely these quotes will just increase tension.