Sixers Rumors

Nets Upset By Joel Embiid’s Antics

Some bad blood may be brewing in the first-round division match-up between the Sixers and Nets, according to Stefan Bondy of the Daily News, who writes that several of the Nets’ players, including veteran forward Jared Dudley, swingman Caris LeVert, and guard Spencer Dinwiddie, are upset with perceived disrespect being displayed by Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid.

For Dudley, it was apparent that Embiid crossed a line in Game 2 when he elbowed Nets’ center Jarrett Allen and proceeded to show no remorse (i.e. he was laughing) when asked about the incident during his post-game press conference.

“I felt a certain type of way about it. Just because you’re laughing when somebody could’ve gotten really, really hurt,” Dudley said. “That’s been Embiid’s personality. But just because it’s your personality doesn’t mean it’s right.”

Embiid, who has created somewhat of a secondary story line in this series through the constant media attention on his availability while he plays through knee tendinitis and as a result of the cell phone incident, doesn’t appear to be impressing LeVert with his antics either.

“We didn’t really like (Embiid laughing),” LeVert said. “We thought that was kind of disrespectful especially after the elbow he threw. It is what it is. There’s no love lost.”

Further frustrating the Nets is a perceived favoritism, or star treatment by the referees for Embiid, which manifested itself when Embiid was not ejected from the game as a consequence of his elbow to Allen’s head/face. Embiid was only charged with a Flagrant 1, and Dinwiddie says that if the roles were reversed, Allen would’ve been assessed a Flagrant 2 and ejected.

“If J.A. throws the same elbow and hits Joel, he’s getting ejected. That’s just kind of what it is,” Dinwiddie said. “But we can’t play that game. All we have to do is go out there and play our game and be who we are, and we’ll be fine, just like we were in Game 1.”

Game 3 between the two teams is scheduled for Thursday night at 8:00pm EST on TNT. Given the above, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see another flagrant or two during tomorrow’s contest.

NBA Teams That Can’t Trade/Acquire Cash Until July

During each NBA league year, teams face limits on the amount of cash they can send out and receive in trades. Once they reach those limits, they’re no longer permitted to include cash in a deal until the following league year.

For the 2018/19 NBA season, the limit is $5,243,000. The limits on sending and receiving cash are separate and aren’t dependent on one another, so if a team has sent out $5,243,000 in trades and also received $5,243,000 in separate deals, they don’t have a clean slate — they’ve reached both limits for the season.

Thanks to reporting by cap experts like Bobby Marks, Eric Pincus, and Albert Nahmad, we’ve been able to keep tabs on the cash sent and received in trades by teams during the 2018/19 NBA league year, so we have a pretty clear idea of each club’s flexibility heading into the draft.

Being able to send or receive cash on draft day is particularly useful, since it can provide a simple means of acquiring – or moving – a second-round pick. A year ago, five of the trades agreed upon in June that featured 2018 draft picks included cash.

Of course, three of those five trades weren’t actually completed until July, which highlights a simple way to work around these restrictions. A team that can’t send or receive cash at this year’s draft could still technically agree to a deal involving cash, then officially finalize it sometime after July 1, when the cash limits reset for the 2019/20 league year.

Still, the 2018/19 restrictions are worth noting, since in some cases a player’s changing cap figure or contract status can make it impossible to wait until July to make a trade official.

With that in mind, here are some of the limitations facing teams until July 1:

Ineligible to receive cash:

  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Toronto Raptors

The Hornets reached their limit less than a week until the 2018/19 league year, having received $5MM from the Nets in their Dwight Howard trade and $243K from the Thunder in a deal involving Hamidou Diallo.

As for the Bulls, they reached their yearly limit in three separate transactions, acquiring approximately $2.63MM in a pair of swaps with the Rockets involving Michael Carter-Williams and Carmelo Anthony. Chicago then received another $2.61MM from the Thunder in a Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot salary dump.

Based on the reported figures for the Raptors ($5MM from the Spurs in the Kawhi Leonard blockbuster, plus $110K apiece from the Sixers and Nets in deadline deals), they could technically acquire another $23K. However, $110K is the minimum amount of cash a team can include in a trade this season, so Toronto can’t actually acquire any more.

Outside of these three teams, every NBA club is eligible to acquire at least $2MM before July. The Magic ($2,226,778), Sixers ($2,743,000), Mavericks ($3,148,049), and Hawks ($3,187,090) are most limited.

Ineligible to send cash:

  • None

No NBA teams have reached their limits for sending out cash this season, though some are close.

The Nets ($243,000) and Spurs ($243,000) can barely trade any cash after sending out $5MM in deals last July. The Thunder ($411,294) and Rockets ($565,513) are also nearly tapped out, having made a handful of moves aimed at reducing – or in Houston’s case, eliminating – their luxury tax bills.

The Wizards ($2,365,456), Grizzlies ($2,660,069), and Celtics ($2,737,090) are also somewhat limited in their ability to trade cash, but no other teams have less than $3MM available.

Stein’s Latest: Lakers, Sixers, Myers

Lakers GM Rob Pelinka appears to be gaining more power inside of the team’s front office, Marc Stein of the New York Times writes in his weekly newsletter. The former agent is reportedly running Los Angeles’ search for a new head coach.

It’s curious that the team is searching for a coach before settling on an official head of basketball operations. Many organizations set up their front office structures prior to hiring a coach.

Stein provides more on the situation and passes along some additional nuggets in this week’s edition of the newsletter. Here are the highlights from his piece:

  • There’s chatter within league circles that Sixers assistant coach Monty Williams’ candidacy for the Lakers‘ gig is as strong in part because some within the front office fear giving the job to Tyronn Lue would hand too much control to LeBron James. Williams met with Pelinka to discuss the position earlier today. Lue and Juwan Howard are among the other candidates rumored to be in contention for the position.
  • The Sixers attempted to pry Warriors team president Bob Myers away from Golden State last offseason before deciding to promote Elton Brand to the role, Stein reports. Philadelphia also attempted to bring Rockets GM Daryl Morey to its front office.
  • Morey’s recent contract extension from the Rockets is estimated to pay the executive in the neighborhood of $8MM annually, Stein hears. Magic Johnson‘s salary as the Lakers’ team president was estimated to be $10MM per year and Stein argues that Los Angeles could feasibly offer a candidate double that salary if they wanted to lure a prized rival executive.
  • Stein writes that there is both “shock and relief” within the league that the Lakers haven’t attempted to poach a decorated rival executive, such as Myers, Spurs GM R.C. Buford, or Thunder GM Sam Presti.

Lakers To Interview Juwan Howard

2:28pm: Members of the Lakers’ front office will travel to meet with Williams sometime after Game 2 of the Sixers’ playoff series, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

2:14pm: The Lakers have received permission to talk to Heat assistant Juwan Howard about their head coaching vacancy, tweets ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. An interview will probably take place next week, she adds.

Howard is the third name to appear in the Lakers’ coaching search since they parted ways with Luke Walton on Friday. L.A. also plans to discuss the job with former Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue next week and has gotten permission from the Sixers to interview assistant coach Monty Williams.

Earlier today, we told you that Howard and Jamahl Mosley will interview to replace Larry Drew in Cleveland

Sixers Notes: Embiid, Brown, Williams, Harding

The playoffs opened with three upsets, but nobody had a worse day than the Sixers, writes Michael Lee of The Athletic. Philadelphia’s problems go beyond the final score, as nearly every fear about the team heading into the postseason came true. Joel Embiid‘s sore knee, Ben Simmons‘ limited shooting range, the lack of a bench, defensive concerns and chemistry issues were all on display as fans booed loudly in a loss to the Nets.

Some observers believe the Sixers compiled the most talented starting unit in the league by trading for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, but those five players only took the court together 10 times in the regular season. And with Butler, Harris and J.J. Redick all headed for free agency, the team could easily break apart if the postseason doesn’t go well.

An even greater concern might be Embiid’s physical condition. Bothered by tendinitis in his left knee that limited him to eight games after the All-Star break, Embiid wasn’t sure if he could play until 15 minutes before Saturday’s contest began. He lumbered up and down the court for much of the afternoon, settled for outside jumpers and was frequently targeted by the Nets on defense.

“I tell him all the time, it’s about him being healthy,” Butler said. “Yeah, he can help us but at the same time, he can hurt us if he gets worse. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely want Jo out there. But we want him healthy.”

There’s more this morning out of Philadelphia:

  • Managing partner Josh Harris passed on a chance to give coach Brett Brown a vote of confidence before yesterday’s opener, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Harris has commented before that it could be “problematic” if the team doesn’t make a long playoff run. “What I meant by it is that all of us – Brett, [general manager] Elton [Brand], me, a lot of us, the players on the team. We have high expectations. So that is what I meant,” Harris said when asked about Brown’s future.
  • The Sixers won’t stand in the way of any assistant who gets a head coaching opportunity, Brand told Pompey in the same story. They granted permission yesterday for Monty Williams to interview for the open job with the Lakers, where he and Tyronn Lue appear to be the top candidates. “We respect that, the chance to have more responsibility and be a head coach,” Brand said. “For anyone on our staff to have a deeper role, we will honor that. We don’t want dysfunction, we don’t want distractions, but it is what it is.”
  • Lindsey Harding was promoted this week to player development coach, the team announced on its website. She joined the organization prior to this season as a pro personnel scout.

Lakers Get Permission To Interview Monty Williams, Will Meet With Tyronn Lue

The Lakers have received permission to talk to Sixers assistant Monty Williams about their head coaching job, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. L.A. is expected to meet next week with Tyronn Lue, another top candidate for the position, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Woj notes that Williams won’t fly to Los Angeles while his team is involved in a playoff series, so initial contact is likely to be made either by phone or by Lakers officials traveling to meet with him.

Williams, 47, joined the Sixers as lead assistant this season after taking a two-year break from the NBA following his wife’s death in a car accident. He compiled a 173-221 record as a head coach in New Orleans and has served as an assistant in Portland and Oklahoma City as well.

Lue, 41, would come with plenty of experience in coaching Lakers star LeBron James. They spent several years together in Cleveland and combined to bring the city an NBA title in 2016. The Cavaliers fired Lue in October after an 0-6 start.

Kings To Interview Walton; Messina Also On Their List

The Kings have formally requested an interview with Luke Walton, who parted ways with the Lakers on Friday, and also intend to request permission to interview Spurs assistant Ettore Messina for their vacant head coaching job, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. (Hat tip to USA Today’s Sam Amick).

Walton is reportedly GM Vlade Divac’s leading candidate for the job. Messina was a finalist for the Raptors’ job last season, which wound up going to Nick Nurse. He also met twice with the Bucks’ brass last season before Milwaukee chose Mike Budenholzer.

The Kings fired Dave Joerger on Thursday, even though they improved enough to win 39 games. Sixers assistant Monty Williams is also expected to get a long look from Divac.

The fact that Divac is already lining up interviews suggests he’d like to make the coaching hire quickly.

2019 NBA Draft Order Tiebreaker Results

The NBA’s draft order is determined by the league’s reverse standings for that year, with the first four spots in the draft up for grabs via the lottery. However, when two teams finish the season with identical records, an additional step is necessary.

In order to determine which of those tied teams will move ahead of the other(s) in the draft order, the NBA conducts tiebreakers via random drawings. The league completed the random drawings for 2019’s tiebreakers today, and we have the results below. Let’s dive in…

Tiebreaker No. 1:

  • Teams: Phoenix Suns vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (19-63)
  • Draft positions: 2-3
  • Winner: Cavaliers

Tiebreaker No. 2:

  • Teams: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks vs. Memphis Grizzlies (33-49)
  • Draft positions: 7-9
  • Winner: Pelicans
  • Second place: Grizzlies
  • Note: Grizzlies’ pick will go to Celtics if it falls outside top eight; Mavericks’ pick will go to the Hawks if it falls outside top five.

Tiebreaker No. 3:

  • Teams: Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Hornets (39-43)
  • Draft positions: 12-14
  • Winner: Hornets
  • Second place: Heat
  • Note: Kings’ pick belongs to Celtics (or Sixers if it’s No. 1).

Tiebreaker No. 4:

  • Teams: Brooklyn Nets vs. Orlando Magic (42-40)
  • Draft positions: 16-17
  • Winner: Magic

Tiebreaker No. 5:

  • Teams: Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs vs. Indiana Pacers (48-34)
  • Draft positions: 18-20
  • Winner: Pacers
  • Second place: Spurs
  • Note: Clippers’ pick belongs to Celtics.

Tiebreaker No. 6:

  • Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Boston Celtics (49-33)
  • Draft positions: 21-22
  • Winner: Thunder

Tiebreaker No. 7:

  • Teams: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets (53-29)
  • Draft positions: 25-26
  • Winner: Trail Blazers
  • Note: Rockets’ pick belongs to Cavaliers.

Teams’ lottery odds didn’t really change as a result of today’s tiebreakers. In instances where two or more lottery teams finish with identical records, the lottery combinations are split evenly among them, with the tiebreaker winner getting one extra combination if there’s an odd number.

However, today’s results were still important. As a result of ending up at No. 8, for instance, the Grizzlies now have a 57.4% chance of retaining their own top-eight protected pick, something they don’t really want to do unless it jumps into the top four.

The Celtics, who already have three first-round selections for 2019 and would prefer to roll that Memphis pick over to 2020, will get it if it falls outside of the top eight. There’s only a 42.6% chance that will happen. The Grizzlies’ result was the only good news today for the Celtics, who lost their other three tiebreakers.

The pre-lottery 2019 draft order for the first round is listed below. For more information on the lottery odds for the top 14 teams, be sure to check out our recap from Thursday, as well as our glossary entry on the draft lottery. This year’s lottery will take place on Tuesday, May 14.


  1. New York Knicks
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers
  3. Phoenix Suns
  4. Chicago Bulls
  5. Atlanta Hawks
  6. Washington Wizards
  7. New Orleans Pelicans
  8. Memphis Grizzlies
    • Note: The Celtics will receive this pick if it falls out of the top eight (42.6% chance).
  9. Atlanta Hawks (via Dallas Mavericks)
    • Note: The Mavericks will keep this pick if it moves up into the top four (26.2% chance).
  10. Minnesota Timberwolves
  11. Los Angeles Lakers
  12. Charlotte Hornets
  13. Miami Heat
  14. Boston Celtics (via Sacramento Kings)
    • Note: The Sixers will receive this pick if it moves up to No. 1 (1.0% chance).
  15. Detroit Pistons
  16. Orlando Magic
  17. Brooklyn Nets
  18. Indiana Pacers
  19. San Antonio Spurs
  20. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers)
  21. Oklahoma City Thunder
  22. Boston Celtics
  23. Utah Jazz
  24. Philadelphia 76ers
  25. Portland Trail Blazers
  26. Cleveland Cavaliers (via Houston Rockets)
  27. Brooklyn Nets (via Denver Nuggets)
  28. Golden State Warriors
  29. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors)
  30. Milwaukee Bucks

Information from Tankathon.com was used in the creation of this post.

Latest On Embiid, Griffin, George Injuries

With the 2019 postseason around the corner, three potential All-NBA players are battling nagging injuries that may threaten their availability for the start of their respective playoff series.

Sixers center Joel Embiid, who missed 14 of the team’s final 24 games due to left knee soreness, continues to deal with that issue and was only a partial participant in Friday’s practice. The big man called the situation “extremely frustrating,” and he and GM Elton Brand both indicated that there’s no guarantee Embiid will be able to play in Game 1 vs. the Nets on Saturday. His status will be updated soon.

Pistons power forward Blake Griffin, who was forced out of action for the club’s must-win regular-season finale on Wednesday due to his own left knee injury, is still considered day-to-day, head coach Dwane Casey said on Friday (link via The Associated Press). Like Embiid, Griffin isn’t necessarily a lock to play in Game 1. Detroit opens its first-round series vs. the Bucks on Saturday.

The news is a little more promising for Thunder forward Paul George, who is listed as day-to-day with right shoulder soreness. According to Royce Young of ESPN.com, George said on Friday that he intends to play in Game 1 vs. Portland on Sunday, regardless of his pain level.

“It’s playoff time, so it’s more than this, it’s about being out there with my guys,” George said. “As much as I can get it a hundred as possible, or close to it, you can expect me out there Sunday.”

Atlantic Notes: Leonard, Smart, Embiid

Kawhi Leonard played in only 60 games this season due to a team maintaince plan designed to preserve his health. He’s happy with how the Raptors have managed him in what could be his only season in Toronto.

“We did a great job just attacking the [injury] problem in the beginning during training camp,” Leonard said, as Ryan Wolstat of Toronto Sun tweets.“Laying out the schedule. I feel good. I wasn’t as healthy as I wanted to be this year, but, I couldn’t say I would have this type of season in the beginning of the year the way things started, the way I felt.

“I’m happy. We’re second place. We’ve got an opportunity to get where we want to get to.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Marcus Smart has suffered a torn left oblique and could miss the first two rounds of the playoffs, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports. The Celtics host the Pacers in the Eastern Conference’s 4-5 matchup.
  • Sixers GM Elton Brand said he’s “optimistic” that Joel Embiid will be ready for Game 1 of the playoffs, as NBC Sports’ Serena Winters relays (Twitter link). Including Philadelphia’s finale vs. the Bulls, Embiid has missed five of the team’s last seven games as a result of knee soreness and the staff’s management plan and it’s possible that the big man could sit in the
  • Jonathan Gibson‘s deal with the Celtics is only for the remainder of the season, per Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Gibson signed with Boston on Tuesday and didn’t see action in the team’s final game of the year.