Odds & Ends: Embiid, Boozer, Turner

Jeff Goodman of ESPN released his report about Joel Embiid “strongly considering” a return to Kansas for his sophomore season, noting that while the Cameroon native recently stated he didn’t feel ready for the NBA, those feelings could change depending on his development over the rest of the year. Earlier this evening, we noted that Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog relayed the first scoop from Goodman via Twitter.

After tonight’s game against Baylor, Embiid spoke with reporters: “I’m not even thinking about (going pro) right now…I’ll make a decision after the season, but I’m definitely considering coming back to school.”

Many NBA executives told ESPN.com that Embiid is their frontrunner to be selected first overall in June, according to Goodman. The Kansas center – who admittedly thought of redshirting prior to the start of the season – is averaging 11.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG, and 2.7 BPG thus far during his freshman campaign, and is reportedly shocked at the impact he’s been able to make.

Here are the rest of the notable links we’ve gathered up tonight:

  • Carlos Boozer hasn’t been happy with being benched in favor of Taj Gibson once the fourth quarter rolls around, letting reporters know about his frustration on Monday: ‘‘I think I should be out there, but it’s [Tom Thibodeau’s] choice,…He makes the decisions out there. I play; I don’t coach. He coaches, so he decides that. But, honestly, he’s been doing that a lot since I’ve been here, not putting me [in the game] in the fourth quarter. Sometimes we win. More times than not, we don’t. But that’s his choice’ (Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times).
  • Boozer continued: ‘‘It’s very frustrating, especially when I’ve got a great game going or what have you. Obviously, as a competitor, you want to be out there to help your team win. Especially when the game is close, you can do things that can help your team win. And not being out there, all you can do is really cheer them on. But that’s [Thibodeau’s] choice.’’
  • Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweeted that nothing has changed since the beginning of the season regarding the Timberwolves’ interest in 76ers guard Evan Turner. Although Minnesota covets Turner, President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders is still not willing to include a first rounder that Philadelphia would want in return.
  • During his chat with readers, Eddie Sefko of SportsDayDFW downplayed the possibility that the Bucks would deal Larry Sanders. Additionally, Sefko doesn’t believe that the Mavericks would be interested in pursuing the Milwaukee big man, especially with frontcourt positions already occupied by Samuel Dalembert, DeJuan Blair, and Brandan Wright.
  • Sefko doesn’t foresee the Mavs making a huge splash on the trade market, saying that if any move is to be done, it’ll involve players at the bottom of the roster instead of the top. One deal he thinks would make sense involves trading Wayne Ellington for an expiring contract, thus allowing Dallas to free themselves of $2.5MM next season.
  • As for the Pau Gasol sweepstakes, Sefko gets the sense that Dallas has at least made cursory inquiries and labels their chances at landing him as a “long-shot.” As for LeBron James potentially becoming available this summer, Sefko says that not being among the top on the list of preferred destinations won’t deter the team from making their free agent pitch.
  • With the Thunder owning and operating their D-League affiliate Tulsa 66ers, it has allowed Oklahoma City to create an infrastructure which maximizes player development, writes Anthony Slater of NewsOK.
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