If one player was going to break out of this draft and be a true foundational player, most teams thought it would be Joel Embiid.
Until news of his broken foot came out.
One surgery and two screws in the navicular bone later, his stock has fallen some. The Cavaliers are not going to take him with the top spot, their GM David said Wednesday it’s a two horse race between Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. The Bucks owner has said they are not taking Embiid at two.
But that’s about it — the potential of Embiid is so high teams are willing to take on the risk that he is never fully healthy. Embiid could go to the Sixers at No. 3 or one of the next several slots, and teams are trying to trade up to get him, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.
Several teams, including the Sacramento Kings at No. 8, have called teams ahead of them in the lottery to propose potential trades to move up and select Embiid, a league source with knowledge of the conversations told CBSSports.com….
After news of the injury — and the subsequent surgery and 4-6 month recovery timetable — teams holding picks behind Milwaukee have been forced to re-evaluate their draft strategy and risk tolerance. The Sixers (No. 3), Magic (No. 4), Jazz (No. 5), Celtics (No. 6) and Lakers (No. 7) are all considered potential landing spots for Embiid. An Eastern Conference executive said Wednesday that Embiid, despite the medical red flags, would not get past the Kings at No. 8 — and probably wouldn’t fall that far.
It takes elite players to really win in the NBA. A team drafting in the later lottery could get a solid rotation player. Nothing wrong with that. But a few GMs would be willing to roll the dice on a potentially great player, even if it costs them a little in a trade.
It comes down to how highly the team had Embiid rated and the cost of moving up (or trading for him after he’s picked). But don’t be surprised if this happens.
Or the Sixers just take him at three, they’d sit a guy out for a year again.
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Anyone else getting weary of the spin wars between the Kyrie Irving and LeBron James camps?
Irving thinks LeBron and his camp leaked the trade report and are trying to drag his good name through the mud. LeBron — the man who led the way in teaching other players they should take control of their destiny and where they play — is angry that a player took control of his how destiny and is about to leave him high and dry. Right now both sides are trying to control the story — does Irving really envy Damian Lillard and John Wall‘s roles over his own, or is that spin? — while fans come up with trade proposals. (No, a Kyrie for Carmelo Anthony trade is not happening.)
About the only thing that is clear is that this relationship is beyond repair. As evidence, we bring you the latest bit of spin, this from Stephen A. Smith’s sources, which are almost certainly are in the LeBron camp.
The full quote was: “If Kyrie Irving was in front of LeBron James right now, LeBron James would be tempted to beat his ass.”
I imagine if they were face-to-face right now it would look like every other NBA “fight” — they would push each other then make sure other guys jumped between them and held them apart so they could jaw but not actually have to throw a punch.
Right now, the fight between them is the sides trying to control the narrative.
No doubt LeBron is frustrated, he is in the legacy building part of his career and the Cavaliers were the consensus best team in the East with a shot at a ring next season. No Kyrie — almost no matter who Cleveland gets back in a trade — means the Cavs take a step back (while the Warriors and every other team in contention got better). LeBron feels hurt and a little betrayed and is spinning that.
Irving is within his rights to ask out. There are certainly a variety of reasons he wants out, but at the top of the list is he wanted to control his own destiny before LeBron left next summer (probably) and Kyrie was left as the star on a team built to go around LeBron. Not that Cleveland did anything wrong, that is exactly the kind of team the Cavaliers should have built, LeBron will go down as an All-Time top 5 player, and this team brought Cleveland its first ring in 54 years. That doesn’t mean Irving can’t read the writing on the wall and want out.
For now, the drama will not stop between these two — nor will the spinning.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are doing some work on their home arena, the Target Center, and it just so happens they had a special brick layer that got them started in 2013.
That extra helper was none other than comedian Dave Chappelle.
The team released a video on their social media platforms this week featuring Chappelle taking a bunch of jumpers on their floor in 2013. With a shot form somewhere between Shawn Marion and Stephen Curry, Chappelle wasn’t exactly a long range gunner.
I mean, it seems a little ridiculous to put up a video of the guy from four years ago hitting bricks and equating that to helping you remodel your home arena, but I feel like Chappelle can probably take it.
Either way, good work by the social team over in Minnesota.
Last summer, just before going to camp for the Rio Olympics, Draymond Green got into some kind of altercation with Michigan State University football Jermaine Edmondson. Green allegedly slapped him during this. Green was arrested, but the prosecutors had better things to deal with, so Green’s charges were reduced to a noise violation, where Green had to pay a $500 fine and $60 restitution fee. Because it was a civil infraction, there is no “guilty” or “not guilty” plea entered. And that was the end of it.
Or so we thought.
According to Marc Spears of ESPN, a civil suit is about to stem from this.
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, facing a civil lawsuit believed to be tied to an incident last July in which he allegedly slapped a former Michigan State football player, is confident things “will be resolved soon.”…
The expectation from Green’s camp is that the lawsuit is in response to a sequence of events last July that culminated in Green allegedly slapping then-Spartan player Jermaine Edmondson. The alleged slap followed a verbal dispute outside an East Lansing bar in the early morning of July 10, 2016, and was preceded by an encounter two nights earlier allegedly involving Edmondson, his girlfriend, Green and two of the NBA star’s associates.
I’m not going to speculate on the validity of the claim, or the motive for the suit, I was not hanging out in a Lansing bar last July and I am not in the plaintiff’s head.
I can say, as someone who spent years as a young reporter covering courts and police, these kinds of cases are tough for the plaintiff to prove his/her case and get paid. While in a civil case the standard to reach drops to “a preponderance of the evidence,” the plaintiff has to prove damages. The fact prosecutors wanted nothing to do with the case usually is a sign it’s a difficult case to make.
Larry Nance Jr. is now a professional athlete for the Los Angeles Lakers, but back in 2003 Nance was just a 10-year-old kid with a dream of playing in the NBA.
During that time, Nance was apparently a pen pal with a U.S. soldier named Bianca Snow. Snow recently posted old letters from Nance to social media that shows the interaction between the two.
It’s pretty cool to see a moment in time like this.
The letters read as follows (transcription via SB Nation):
March 19, 2003
Dear U.S. Soldier,
My name is Larry Nance. I have 1 sister, 1 brother that annoy me all the time. My dad played in the NBA.
Thank you for fighting for us in the war. You must be brave and miss your family.
I hope you get home soon and see your family soon. Good luck.
Dear U.S. Soldier is the war almost over? Where is Saddam? How are you? I’m fine. Thank you for writing back. Where are you?
Are you good at basketball? I like the Lakers too they are wining there series with the Timberwolves. Who is your favorite player? Mine is Shaq. Who do you want to get LeBron James? I want the Cavs to get LeBron, that is because my dad played for the Cavs. His number is retired in the Gund Arena.
And again Thank you!!
Nance saw the post on social media and responded to Snow, inviting her to a future game.
Pretty neat stuff.