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Good day! It is the day of the transaction.
Joel Embiid is his next business candidate
In the Age of NBA Superstar Trading, assets are everything. How many valuable players do you have? What about the youth? Contracts about to expire? draft picks? It used to be limit spacebut now we spend our offseasons looking for who could acquire the next superstar on the market.
The current award: Damian Lillard, although he just wants to play for another team, Miami. So who’s next? Karl-Anthony Towns is ready to move, but that’s not moving many needles right now. James Harden technically qualifies, I suppose, but no one seems to want him that much. However, there is one name that dominates the whispers: Joel Embiid.
Hope for? The reigning MVP has not requested a trade, to be clear. But he is 29 years old, in his prime and with a team largely in disarray. Time is running out for Embiid, who has made it abundantly clear this offseason that he wants to win, in Philadelphia or “somewhere else.”
Is this for real, or just leverage? It feels real to me. I don’t know what other leverage Embiid can get. Sam Amick wrote an intelligent column on the whole situation yesterday. In it, he reiterates the report that Harden has no intention of staying. Sixers general manager Daryl Morey is already as aggressive as he seems. What other move can you make? Lillard has no interest in Philadelphia, although, ahem, the Sixers absolutely have the assets to acquire him.
So who’s waiting to catch Embiid? The Knicks are everyone’s first pick. They have the capital draft and young players to take the plunge. If the Heat lose Lillard, they are also the main candidates. Every team, maybe outside of Denver, that has a chance to acquire Embiid will try.
Is this something that will happen tomorrow? No. But what if Harden gets his wish and the Sixers start off badly next season? It gets real, fast. Zach Harper has a deeper analysis today Bouncewhich will be out later this morning.
Runners lose, again
Year after year, trend after trend, we look back on the last downward spiral in the NFL: running back value. Like quarterbacks, they’re arguably most valuable during their rookie deals, when salaries are low and production is high. Unlike quarterbacks, the position is so physically demanding that they rarely get a second or third contract.
Yesterday, the franchise tag deadline, was a stark reminder:
- The Giants and Saquon Barkley, 26, I did not agree in a long-term deal before the deadline, which means the two-time Pro Bowler will earn $10.1 million (less than half what elite wide receivers, offensive linemen and defensemen make, but close to the top of the market for running backs) while playing under the franchise tag.
- SI love it for Josh Jacobs, 25, and the Raiders. Jacobs could be the biggest surprise here after leading the NFL with 1,653 yards last season.
- Tony Pollard, also 26, join them as he and the Cowboys failed to come to a long-term deal.
Pollard has already signed his tag, so he will play without protest. However, Jacobs and Barkley could hold out, and both have made no secret of their displeasure.
Reminder that 27-year-old Dalvin Cook is still unemployed even though he also had another productive year last year. Ezekiel Elliott, also 27, signed a long-term contract in 2019 (worth $15 million per year) and is also out of a job, largely because of that big deal.
This is how the league works for now. Sorry, runners. Let’s look at Colts star running back Jonathan Taylor, who didn’t mince words about his position situation yesterday:
NU players hire lawyer
Eight former Northwestern football players plan to take legal action against the school, according to a statement from a law firm representing the players. The group stated that more players, from multiple sports, are expected to join the lawsuit and “expose extreme and abusive hazing” at the school. Read more about the developing story here.
49ers take Leeds
49ers Enterprises, the investment arm of the NFL team, has completed the acquisition of Leeds United, becoming the latest American-owned company to purchase an English soccer club. It comes at a strange time, too, with Leeds boiling.
Would you trade Shohei?
Last night, Shohei Ohtani was busy hitting a game-tying home run, in a game they actually won, no less, last night and produced this NSFW bat toss:
I wasn’t thinking of a trade, at least not right now. But for the next two weeks, prepare to be inundated with more Shohei Ohtani business talk than you can handle. I have made my feelings known about it. Logic says this is an easy choice: you trade the HUGE player before he’s gone for nothing.
But I’m not the one making those calls. Leads us to our next Pulse poll: What are you doing if you’re Angels owner Arte Moreno and general manager Perry Minasian? The choice is simple, but heavy. You:
- Trade Ohtani for a big ransom, but to be forever known as the team that traded the most talented player in history? EITHER:
- Keep himand you tell yourself that you never gave up because it leaves your team in an unbelievably worse situation?
I’ll admit that becoming the 1920 Red Sox, aka The Team That Sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees for $100,000, is unenviable. I’d pass the business paperwork, but I’d shudder along the way.
Jim Bowden agrees with Option 1 and already has a list of potential business partners Ready to go. Sam Blum reports live from the clubhouse, where players not named Shohei Ohtani cannot avoid the media firestorm: or his role in it.
Future Commanders owner Josh Harris has given The Process the green light as owner of the Sixers. How is The Process in the NFL? ben standig Explain.
Dane Brugler evaluate next year’s receiving classincluding Marvin Harrison Jr., who he calls one of the best WR prospects he’s ever seen.
The NBA Summer League concluded last night and the Cavs are its new champions. John Hollinger chose your highlights here.
Add Oklahoma’s Brent Venables to coaching roster insulting Deion Sanders.
As part of our week-long (and a lifetime, actually) lecture realignment series, Nicole Auerbach has five realistic ideas of the realignment trends that are coming. worth reading
Meanwhile, David Ubben has a great companion article: What if common sense governed the realignment of the conference? I support all these ideas.
I also enjoyed Justin Williams Inside story on Cincinnati’s long road to the Big 12which still feels like a strange sentence to write.
Cristiano Ronaldo believes that the Saudi Professional League is “much better” than MLS. Commissioner Don Garber had a great replica.
(Photo: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)