Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Tatum, Nets, Thomas, Knicks, Kidd

Sixers center Joel Embiid and guard Shake Milton are among those who have expressed some reservations about the NBA’s restart plan, though both players will participate this summer, writes Derek Bodner of The Athletic. Embiid’s concerns stem from a suspicion that not all of his fellow players will follow the restrictions and protocols put in place by the league.

“There’s some guys that like to go out, there’s some guys that like to do stuff, there’s some guys that like adventure,” Embiid said. “I know myself. I know I’m not gonna put everybody else at risk. But the question is, is everybody else gonna do the same? Just being around this business, I surely don’t think so.”

Milton, meanwhile, was less concerned about the health and safety guidelines in place than about his belief that the resumption of the NBA might draw attention away from the ongoing fight for social justice reforms.

“I don’t really think we should be playing,” Milton said, per Bodner. “I feel like… there’s an issue going on right now in the world that is way bigger than the sport, way bigger than the game of basketball, and I feel like we’re on the cusp of finally having people tune in and really try to listen and try to understand more about the things that are happening in our country. I feel like the moment is too big right now, and I don’t want the game of basketball to overshadow it.”

Despite their apprehensions, both Embiid and Milton stressed they’re committed to helping the 76ers compete for a championship in Orlando this summer.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Celtics forward Jayson Tatum isn’t overly enthusiastic about restarting the season at the Walt Disney World campus and only recently finalized his decision to play, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “There’s a multitude of reasons why I wasn’t comfortable,” Tatum said. “… (I’m) still not excited about it, not thrilled. Obviously, what we’re fighting for (in society), against racism and social injustice and (for) equality. Obviously the virus is still very well and alive and continues to rise in Florida. For me, just being away from my son for two or three months, that’s what’s really bothering me. … Especially when they’re that young — their growth, they change every week. Just knowing I’m going to miss out on that.”
  • Veteran forward Lance Thomas, who was with the Nets last fall, is among the veteran free agents receiving interest from the team, league sources tell Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). Brooklyn is eligible to sign three substitute players to replace DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Taurean Prince, who all contracted COVID-19. The club is also said to be eyeing Amir Johnson.
  • Marc Berman of The New York Post explores Jason Kidd‘s candidacy for the Knicks‘ head coaching vacancy, noting that some insiders believe he’s the best “long-shot threat” to presumed frontrunner Tom Thibodeau. However, opinions on Kidd are mixed. “I wouldn’t hire Jason Kidd if he was the last coach standing,” one NBA source (who has worked with Kidd) told Berman. “It would be a terrible choice. There’s a reason Milwaukee is in the place where they are right now — coaching.”
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12 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Tatum, Nets, Thomas, Knicks, Kidd

  1. Sillivan

    I agree that Jason is the worst coach Knicks had interviewed
    The biggest need for Knicks is to bring up free agent superstars
    For last two July other New York team and LA teams have signed Kawhi LeBron and Durant for free

    • x%sure

      So? You would just want them traded for draft picks, ruining the Knick’s rep among players… wait, already shaky. Maybe work on that.

  2. Sillivan

    I understand Tatum Embiid Harden have concerns about restart but

    There is only one chance next 5 years to win a champion for 76ers Celtics Rockets
    That is this year

    All 3 teams have to cut costs asap because of luxury tax

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Houston is currently $7.3M under the luxury tax for 2021 which leaves them with enough space to fill out the roster with vets at the minimum.

      • Sillivan

        Rockets 6 contracts at 123.6 million

        The best assumption tax line at 132.6

        9 million for 8 players is not enough

        How about 6 million MLE and 2.6 millionTE?

        • harden-westbrook-mvps

          Assuming the luxury tax threshold stays the same.

          But it’s expected to be $139M, not stay at 132.6M

          So add another $6.4M making it $15.4M, not $9M.

    • I give no fox

      Teams like the warriors have proven that the luxury tax is not prohibitive immediately. The sixers have not yet paid any luxury penalties and they sell out regularly. I do not see them tearing it down to avoid the luxury tax. If it were truly a concern they never would have signed horford

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Funny how they always bring up. Giannis is Kidd’s guy. Yet he got much better when he left. No one is coming to Knicks till we fix what’s wrong. Rebuilding from draft is the best way to do that. We still have 2 yrs of that.

    You go over cap. When you have a contender. A team you believe can win. Or can win. You don’t get many opportunities. So when you got it. You better know it. I’ll never understand Rockets moving Capela. They got nothing in return. They really must have thought small ball. Was way to beat LA. Unfortunately they looked at wrong LA team ……

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