Good morning. Let's basketball.
THE BIG TEASE: Jeff Goodman reports that potential No. 1 pick Joel Embiid is "strongly considering" staying at Kansas for another year. (This is why all of us NBA writers like John Calipari more than Bill Self. Cal would never let me pass up being No. 1 ASAP.) At this point, if Embiid comes out in 2014, it's highly unlikely he'd fall below No. 5, and that's probably too loose. He is the least criticized top prospect in the country.
WELL, THAT STINGS: Pau Gasol is out until at least the All-Star Break. That's February 14-16. The trade deadline is February 20. Can anyone justify giving up an asset for him before seeing him back on the court?
AND ONE: Lance Stephenson goes flying, hits a layup, lands on his back like 20 feet away, is injured.
AND ONE MORE: Kevin Love also took a hard fall late in the Wolves' win over the Lakers. He stayed in the game after this. In fact, Rick Adelman left him in for a few minutes despite Love holding his back.
YIKESVILLE: The Bobcats just destroyed the Warriors.
PHOTO EVIDENCE: Steve Nash is back, and he seems to have aged 20 years in his absence.
NO TIME TO SHOWTIME: Fantastic work by James Herbert on Kendall Marshall, who went from lotto pick to out of the league to No. 2 in the NBA in assists per game in a couple heartbeats.
MEET THE NETS: They are actually pretty good now! Zach Lowe breaks them down in Zachlowian fashion.
CLOWNGATE: On Tuesday I explained why Mike Dunleavy and DeMarcus Cousins have beef, which culminated in Boogie declaring Monday night that Lil' Dun is scared and is a clown. Dunleavy responded on Tuesday: "He called me a clown? I mean, I'd like to respond but clowns can't talk. So (I can) mime or (give him) some animal balloons or something. Oh man." Then he actually did respond with some incendiary talk. The war continues ...
WEAPON OF CHOICE: How the Clippers use J.J. Redick for fun and profit.
XXXTREME ACTIVITY: The Pelicans are said to be "extremely active" as the deadline approaches. I like to imagine Dell Demps calling around looking for a center while bungie jumping.
DELAY BY THE BAY: Eric Freeman on what the delay in the Warriors' San Francisco arena project means.
'HIT THE COMMISSIONER WITH A PIZZA FOR A BUCK': Charles P. Pierce opens his piece on the end of David Stern's tenure with an incredible vignette, and ends with this: "He has made the league gleam, but he has sanded off its edges, and let that be his legacy."
TONIGHT: Heat vs. Clippers is the late-night special on ESPN. The Raptors visit the Kings in the Rudy Gay Revenge game, too.
Happy Wednesday. See you next time.