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

‘Tired’ Jimmy Butler sits out All-Star Game at his own request

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LOS ANGELES — Jimmy Butler leads the NBA in minutes played per game at 37.3. He’s ninth in the league in total minutes played and played 77:35 minutes in the two games leading up to All-Star Weekend.

Butler was tired and asked Mike D’Antoni to give him some rest, according to both parties (despite speculation this was really a win for the Los Angeles nightlife). Butler did not play in Sunday’s All-Star Game.

“Rest,” Butler said when asked why he didn’t play. “I have to rest. I have to rest my body up. This Timberwolves season is very, very important to me. I’ve got to make sure I’m ready to roll when I get back there.”

“He was tired and he just felt like his legs weren’t there,” Team Stephen head coach Mike D’Antoni. “He didn’t practice yesterday or play today. You have to respect that. He plays hard. Sometimes your body just needs a rest.”

Butler is having the kind of season that has him in the discussion for a place on the MVP ballot. He’s averaging 22.4 points per game with a very efficient true shooting percentage of 59.3, plus he’s playing strong defense. He and Karl-Anthony Towns have led the Timberwolves to a 36-25 record that has them as the current four seed in the West, poised to break an 11-year playoff drought for the franchise.

Still thankful, LeBron James breaks Michael Jordan’s record for years between All-Star MVPs

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Los Angeles – When LeBron James became the youngest-ever NBA All-Star MVP in 2006, he said during the trophy presentation: “I’d like to thank the fans for voting me in as a starter.”

Twelve years later, he sounds similar, maybe just a little more thoughtful: “It’s always been my fans who voted me in. For 14 straight years, my fans have voted me in as an All-Star starter, and it’s been up to me to go out and let them know and show them, listen, I appreciate that, and here’s what I’m going to give to you every time you vote me in.”

He plays similarly, too.

LeBron again won All-Star MVP, leading his team to a 148-145 victory Sunday. He finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

“Every night I step on the floor, I have to lead my guys or prove to myself that I’m still able to play at a high level,” said LeBron, 33. “I feel great.”

The 12-year gap between LeBron’s first and last All-Star MVP – he also won in 2008 – is the longest in NBA history. It tops the 10 years between Michael Jordan’s first (1988) and last (1998).

Here’s the difference between the first and last All-Star MVP for every multi-time winner:

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Players’ effort in this exhibition game comes and goes, but LeBron appeared invigorated .

When LeBron’s team trailed by 15 in the second quarter, he checked in and quickly led it back into the lead. When his team fell behind by 13 midway through the fourth quarter, he again led a spirited comeback. He hit the go-ahead bucket.

Despite playing a game-high 31 minutes, his intensity lasted all the way through the final buzzer.

His coach, the Raptors’ Dwane Casey, said he asked LeBron whether to foul or defend on the final possession while up three. LeBron said defend.

“If he says that, or any great players say that, you want to go with them because it was their idea, their belief, and he had it,” Casey said. “…He got the guys jacked up and juiced up as far as wanting to get a stop.”

LeBron and Kevin Durant swarmed Stephen Curry, who couldn’t shoot and could barely pass. Curry’s team didn’t even get a shot off:

“As you can hear in my voice, that tells how competitive it was,” LeBron said scratchily.

Again, his message echoed 2006: “We’re competitors, and our competitive nature kicked in and said let’s get some defensive stops.”

A lot will get made about the format change, and it might have mattered.

But maybe LeBron is just uniquely capable of dominating and embracing of this stage all these years later.

Defense? Dramatic finish? Team LeBron wins All-Star Game that’s worth watching

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LOS ANGELES — The NBA gambled its new format — with captains picking teams playground style — would produce an All-Star Game where the players showed some pride, played hard, and the showcase again would become something that resembled basketball (unlike last season).

It worked.

For proof guys were invested this time around, check out how Team LeBron responded to winning with a defensive stop, taking away Team Stephen’s attempt to get a clean look at a game-tying three in the closing seconds.

The THRILL of #NBAAllStar VICTORY!

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“It had a real game feel to it,” LeBron James said.

Team LeBron beat Team Stephen 148-145. LeBron was named MVP with 29 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. He also hit the game-tying and go-ahead shot that got the win.

“I played with (LeBron) a few times,” Kyrie Irving said of the play and pass that set up that LeBron game-winner. “I cut back door, (Russell Westbrook) was driving, I saw the opportunity. I saw, before even Russ even passed to me, LeBron was going to circle to the rim, and he’s one of the best finishers at the rim.”

Most importantly, this was an All-Star Game with some defense — it had 81 fewer points than the layup line game last year, and the fewest points in five years. It also proved to be the closest game in six years.

“We wanted to kind of change the narrative of the All-Star Game being a joke,” Kevin Durant said. “Today we wanted to make it a real basketball game.”

There was more defense than last year from the start of the game — for example, LeBron blocked an alley-oop pass in the first quarter. Of course, “better than last year” was not a high bar to clear, but there was some effort to not just have a layup line. Most of the time.

Also to start the game, Anthony Davis came out wearing the “0” jersey of injured teammate DeMarcus Cousins (he switched back to his own #23 before the first half was over).

On the night, Team LeBron got 19 points out of Kevin Durant, 16 from Paul George, and 14 from Andre Drummond. Team Stephen was led by 21 from both DeMar DeRozan and Damian Lillard, and 19 points and eight rebounds from Joel Embiid in his first All-Star Game.

The fantastic ending made up for what was a laughable opening skit/national anthem before tip-off that did something very rare — it unified NBA Twitter. It was awful.

Now all anybody is talking about is the game itself. And that’s what the NBA wanted.

LeBron James hits go-ahead shot in All-Star win (video)

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LOS ANGELES – LeBron James‘ team trailed by 13 midway through the fourth quarter of the All-Star game, but he led a competitive comeback.

This shot put his team up 146-145 over Stephen Curry‘s team, and Team LeBron held on for a 148-145 win:

Great penetration by Russell Westbrook, and he and Kyrie Irving moved the ball well. LeBron made it count.