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Good morning, Joel Embiid's injury ruined everything

That and so much more in the final NBA newsletter of the week.


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Good morning. Let's basketball. (Sorry we're late. The Official Alarm Clock of GMIB is in offseason mode.)

EMBAAD: Joel Embiid has a stress fracture in his navicular bone in his foot. He'll have surgery on Friday, and his status as an almost obvious No. 1 pick is in shambles. Basically everything we knew about the top 10 has changed. The navicular bone is the one that cursed Yao Ming and Bill Walton, in case you're curious.

The Cavs were expected to take Embiid No. 1. Fear The Sword reacts to the news.

DraftExpress has a new post-Embiid mock that shows Joel slipping to No. 4 and Andrew Wiggins going No. 1.

TOP FREE AGENTS: I spent some time ranking the top 75 free agents available this summer. A few of those will likely (or have already said they will) opt into their contracts, but we listed them just in case. Chris Bosh over Carmelo Anthony at No. 2 seems to be most controversial decision to this point. I stand by it.

A TERRIFYING JOURNEY: Ramona Shelburne takes us inside the world of Donald Sterling. There are some incredibly weird stories in there, plus more tick-tock details about the current situation than you can shake a stick at. R-Shel has blown by BBWA awards, by the way, and might be on her way to Pulitzer consideration for her writing on this topic.

LOVE AFFAIR: The Warriors have reportedly put Klay Thompson on the table, meaning the Warriors are probably going to get Kevin Love because Klay Thompson is super good. Tim Kawakami looks at the details.

BLATT NOT BLART: Hugely respected American-in-Europe David Blatt, who has recently coached top team in Israel and Russia, has been offered the Cavaliers job, according to reports. Tyronn Lue was the other finalist. Fear The Sword reacts.

I'm a big fan for Blatt for two main reasons: he played under Pete Carril at Princeton (yes!) and he had beef with Coach K. Catnip for Zillers, basically.


PAT RILEY GOES NUTS: The Heat president gave a gripping presser basically telling everyone to eff off and challenging LeBron not to run away from the battle. Pat Riley does not mess around at all.

WARRIORS LAND GENTRY: I would have liked to see Alvin Gentry be a head coach somewhere this season. But he'll back up Steve Kerr in Oakland. Great hire.

(It's such an odd thing for an associate head coach to pick a team, truth be told. The fastest route back to a head coach job is to pick a place where the head coach could get fired soon. Or you pick a contender where you'll have a high profile. Kerr's going nowhere. But the Bay Area is a great place to live, and you get to work with Stephen Curry. And rumor is G.S. doubled his Clips salary. What an odd market!)

THE MINUTES ISSUE: Brilliant piece by Ethan Strauss on the Spurs' playing time strategy and whether that will become a leaguewide trend.

CLICK: Brian Phillips at the World Cup. Nothing more need be said.

Happy Friday. See you on Monday.


Get news, links and Ziller's #hottakes in your inbox every weekday morning.