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Will Philadelphia extend Joel Embiid? If so, at what price?

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The Philadelphia 76ers are in a difficult spot.

When you have a franchise cornerstone, potential superstar player it’s a no brainer to lock him up and give him a max contract extension off his rookie deal. But what if that potential superstar has played just 31 games in three seasons due to injury.

That’s the Sixers choice with Joel Embiid — in those 31 games Embiid was phenomenal, the Sixers played lock-down defense and looked like a playoff team, and the fans love Embiid. As their owner Joshua Harris told Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times, he would like to get a deal done, and other sources told Moore it’s not just about basketball.

“Look, I’d just say we want Joel to be on the team for a long time,” Harris said. “We want us all to grow old together.”

“He’s got the public on his side,” said a league source. “It’s a public relations nightmare (for the Sixers).”

There have been some rumors the Sixers would reach a deal with Embiid, and Moore thinks it will happen.

My sense is it’s likely that Embiid gets his extension by Oct. 16. The Sixers are in a tough spot because they really need him and have no other big man on the roster capable of having anywhere near Embiid’s impact.

 The question becomes the cost. A five-year max extension for Embiid would be worth about $147 million starting at almost $25 million a year. Knock that down to four years and it’s a $110 million deal.

That’s a lot of money for Philly to bet on a guy who has had two foot surgeries and missed the end of last season with a knee surgery. Could Philly get him to take less, let’s say four-years around $100 million (starting salary is say $22 million or a little more)? Your reaction may be “he’s played just 31 games, Embiid should jump at that offer,” but his camp knows if he plays 65 games or so this season he will get max contract offers as a restricted free agent next summer (and maybe even if he plays a little less than that). Embiid and his agent might play this year out and see if they can get maxed next summer (obviously, the risk there is another injury and what that would cost him financially).

Figuring into this, how much will the Sixers let him play? The team has 14 back-to-backs, will the team play him in those? He will want to play, could this lead to some tension?

There is no easy answer here. The sides will talk, but if Embiid and agent Leon Rose hold out for a max deal, expect the Sixers to let the season play out then make the call next summer (when they can match any offer). If the two sides can agree to something a little less, a deal gets done.

After losing to his father in golf, Stephen Curry leaps into Lake Tahoe

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Golf fanatic Stephen Curry was clearly enjoying himself on the links at the American Century Championship celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.

But he couldn’t beat his father, Dell.

The price? Curry (and his caddy) had to jump in the lake. Check out the video above.

For the record, Tony Romo won the event.

 

Spurs’ pick Chimezie Metu to miss time with fractured wrist

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Chimezie Metu showed some promise in the Summer League games he played for San Antonio, scoring 12.5 points a game on 55 percent shooting in Las Vegas, and 10.7 per game on 54 percent shooting in Salt Lake City. The second round pick of the Spurs (No. 49 overall) is raw and needs a lot of development, but he can get buckets. The potential is there.

That development is going to be on hold a while, as what was thought to be a sprained wrist has turned out to be a fracture.

From Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News.

After an examination Saturday, the Spurs medical staff downgraded second-round pick Chimezie Metu’s left wrist injury from a sprain to a fracture, a league source said Saturday.

Metu was injured late in the Spurs’ 95-90 win over Washington on July 8 at the Las Vegas Summer League, when he landed awkwardly after leaping to catch a lob pass at the rim. The 6-foot-10 big man finished the game but was sidelined for the remainder of the schedule.

After undergoing X-rays at the Thomas & Mack Center, Metu was diagnosed with a sprain. But Spurs’ team doctors suspected a possible fracture, which was confirmed after Metu returned to San Antonio on Saturday.

Metu should be good to go by training camp. Metu is hoping his summer and training camp play will earn him a roster spot, although the Spurs tend not to sign second-round picks the year they were drafted (they tend to let them spend a year or two in the G-League or in Europe). A lot of his chances on making the roster depend on any other moves the Spurs make this summer and what their roster looks like come the fall.

French NBA stars (and others) react to France World Cup win

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For the second time in it’s history, France is the World Cup champion.

Celebrations erupted all over France, and in French enclaves around the world — and the celebrations spilled over to social media. NBA players from France were posting their joy, as you’d expect.

Other NBA players, international and domestic, also were in on the party.

Even some NBA teams got in on the online congratulations party.

Watch best of Wendell Carter Jr. at Summer League

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I will own my mistake: Coming into the NBA Draft I was not high on Wendell Carter Jr., particularly how well he would defend at the NBA level.

I missed on that one — he has impressed me and everyone else in Las Vegas at Summer League. While nobody should ever read too much into Summer League perormances, he has shown potential on both ends of the court. Check out his highlights above

His offensive game is everything that was advertised — versatile and polished. He has nailed turnarounds in the post, can score with either hand, has a jump shot with real range, and he is a smart and willing passer. Defensively he has been physical, works hard and uses his athleticism to be dispruptive.

We will see how he fares against NBA-level competition (and how he pairs with Jabari Parker and the rest of the Bulls frontcourt), but the work ethic and tools are there. The Bulls may have something in Carter Jr.