Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Embiid quickly re-asserting claim to # 1 pick here. Added muscle, still has quick feet & a beautiful jumper. No evidence of back issues
— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 23, 2014
Watching Joel Embiid in workout for league executives in Santa Monica. Impossible to imagine passing on him at No. 1. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 23, 2014
How the top of this draft shakes out will have an impact on the rest of the league. It’s not just three teams divvying up the top 3 players and moving on. And how impressive Embiid and others are in their workout will have a definite impact on any potential Kevin Love trade. While the Celtics have an impressive array of assets to offer in the way of picks and non-guaranteed contracts, no one can trump the #1 pick in this year’s draft. If Embiid becomes impressive enough, leverage in a potential deal for Love evens out a little bit. Yes, Embiid is still an unknown because any athletic 7-footer can look good throwing down uncontested dunks like in that YouTube video… but if Minnesota’s scouting department and front office determine Embiid is a franchise-changer, then they’ll give in on some of the other demands in an effort to get him. Cleveland is already seemingly trying to get Love on cheap…
Hearing the Cavs are trying to get Kevin Love without giving up Kyrie or No. 1 pick.
— Shaun Powell (@Powell2daPeople) May 24, 2014
… and while getting him that cheaply isn’t possible, getting him with the #1 pick that’s rocketing to the top of everyone’s charts will make it a bit easier.
Beyond the Love trade scenarios, where Embiid falls could trigger other trade talks. Would Cleveland try to move Anderson Varejao if they go big with Embiid? What about Larry Sanders if Embiid slips to Milwaukee? Or Thad Young/Nerlens Noel if Embiid goes to Philly?
Of course, Andrew Wiggins hasn’t gone through is workout yet. Neither has Jabari Parker, and they could similarly impress and we could go back to the coin toss.
Regardless, it’s worth watching those top guys very closely because where they go and the interest they draw could change the Celtics as well. And we haven’t even really discussed the possibility of the C’s moving up yet.
Related links: CSNNE: Maxwell: Ideal World? Celtics would get Embiid
(h/t: Pro Basketball Talk)
Page 2: So does Serge Ibaka get Durant’s MVP trophy now, or what?
OKLAHOMA CITY – Serge Ibaka pointed to the sky, soaking in the cheers from the adoring home crowd moments before coming out of a game that, just a few days earlier, he never imagined he could play.
He scored 15 points in a dramatic return from what was thought to be a season-ending left calf strain, helping the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 106-97 on Sunday night in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.
Ibaka started after missing the first two games of the series. The Thunder originally said he would miss the rest of the playoffs but changed course Friday. His presence helped the Thunder dominate and cut the Spurs’ lead in the series to 2-1.
Ibaka’s impact was evident very quickly when he blocked Tiago Splitter and Tim Duncan within a minute of each other on looks that were normally clean this entire series. The open jumpers he was nailing helped a little too, because it forced San Antonio to pay attention to another legitimate offensive player on the floor.
Ibaka is definitely hugely important for the Thunder, and his presence makes this series very interesting. But he was limping pretty good out there at points, and I’ll be curious to see how much more he can do as the series rolls on. At the very least, he’s bringing life back into a series that looked to be going badly very quickly for the Thunder. It’s hard to come back and win four of five games from the Spurs, and I trust San Antonio more than any other team out there to make adjustments, but I’m glad this is a series again.
Enjoy your Memorial Day. I know a lot of you will be out there grilling and drinking… which is a very glorious existence indeed… but please do it safely. And most of all, let’s remember that today isn’t just about day drinking and steak tips… it’s about remembering the sacrifice of those brave men and women who defended our right to do all the things we do. So please take a moment to raise a glass to them.
And we here at Red’s Army would like to say our own thanks to those who we’ve lost in service to our country. We hope your heroic efforts are properly recognized.
The rest of the links