Joel Embiid is not going to fall very far in this draft — prior concerns about his back and current ones about the two screws in the navicular bone of his foot wisely scared the Cleveland Cavaliers off him at the No 1 slot, and Jabari Parker is all but locked at No. 2.
After that it’s wide open.
A number of teams are targeting him in the draft, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The Sixers would prefer to move up and grab Andrew Wiggins in the top spot but if they can’t they could draft Embiid and would not be afraid to sit him an entire season — they just did it with Nerlens Noel. Yes, the Sixers would take Noel and Embiid, Philly is in asset acquisition mode, wants to get as many of the best players as they can, then worry about fit (or trading some of them).
The Celtics and Lakers are in the same boat in this sense — both are big brands in big markets with big fan bases, and both have money, meaning both could take the gamble on Embiid and if it didn’t pan out they recover with free agents they can recruit. The Lakers and Celtics can afford to misfire in the draft in a way that the Bucks or Jazz cannot. It’s just the reality of the market. The Lakers and Celtics could gamble on Embiid, they can absorb the risk (and both could let him sit a full season).
There are other teams to watch here — the Sacramento Kings, for one, want to trade up and get Embiid. They can offer the No. 8 pick and either future picks or players. They are not alone, you can bet the Magic and Jazz (picks four and five) are getting calls from teams who have interest in Embiid.
Bottom line, the Lakers may want him at No. 7 but he’s not going to be on the board at that point.
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When you ask Lakers fans for bold predictions, you get the delusional to come out of the woodwork.
Most Lakers fans I know — remember, I’m a former Laker blogger living in So Cal, even my optometrist wants to talk Lakers during my eye exam — are realistic about where the team is in the rebuild process. Like me, they want to see a healthy season of Kobe Bryant where he can choose whether or not to continue his career on his terms, not Father Time’s.
But Lakers exceptionalism is a thing, and there are Lakers fans living in a fantasy land.
That’s what Jenna Corrado and I get to in the latest PBT Extra: There are Lakers fans that think they are playoff bound. And there are people who expect even more than that from this team this year — like Kobe Bryant to return to MVP form. Those people need to stop taking so much glaucoma medication.
NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.
Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.
Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.
A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”
Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.