Here’s to the weekend, everyone. The playoffs kickoff tomorrow with a full slate of games all day and night beginning with the Cavaliers hosting the Pacers at 3 p.m. EST on ESPN. Until then, check out the links below!
Awards picks: MVP, Rookie of the Year and more
30 ESPN writers sent in their selections for the various end-of-the-season awards. The most noteworthy race among those to Sixers fans is obviously the Rookie of the Year crown. Among the 30 writers here, 16 chose Joel Embiid as the Rookie of the Year, while eight picked Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon and four others backed Embiid’s teammate Dario Saric. This is a positive sign for Embiid’s overall chances of winning the award.
You can see each individual writer’s selections within the article.
Luwawu-Cabarrot eager to play for France at FIBA EuroBasket 2017
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot has yet to be invited to play for the French national team in this summer’s EuroBasket 2017 competition, which takes place from August 31 through September 17, but is eager to play. With a productive rookie season behind him, Luwawu-Cabarrot might have ascended enough to take the court alongside fellow French NBA standouts Rudy Gobert, Nic Batum and others at EuroBasket.
It’s still up in the air whether Magic guard Evan Fournier will be a part of the French team come August, but his absence on the wing could open up a spot in the rotation for Luwawu-Cabarrot.
New Sixers mural unveiled at Broad and Federal in South Philly
— SIXERS STRONG (@SIXERSSTRONG) April 13, 2017
"Art ignites change," @muralarts Executive Director Jane Golden said at today's @Sixers themed mural unveiling in South Philly! pic.twitter.com/T7brjIMTnx
As a South Philly native, I love this blending of the mural art style with legends from the Sixers’ past. This joins a similar Phillies mural on 24th and Walnut and an Eagles mural on Darien Street across from Lincoln Financial Field as other recent pro sports-themed murals in the city.
Orlando Magic fire Rob Hennigan
In his five years as Orlando’s general manager, Rob Hennigan had neither put the Magic on a path to stability nor drafted a franchise-changing superstar. His firing, especially in the aftermath of WhiteboardGate, is unsurprising. This, however, is cringe-worthy:
Sources: Ex-Magic GM Rob Hennigan took the photo of Patricio Garino signing w/whiteboard of FA info in background. Might've been last straw.— Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) April 13, 2017
No one should ever be happy that a person loses their job, but there is a bit of irony that Hennigan was fired after making no semblance of progress in five years after being consistently praised for Building the Right Way™, especially in comparison to the Sixers’ own rebuilding process.
The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the Magic are pursuing former Orlando All-Star Grant Hill, who has no front office experience, to become president of basketball operations. I can’t say I’d feel too encouraged about that if I was a fan of the Magic.
Justin Jackson To Enter NBA Draft
North Carolina’s Justin Jackson, fresh off a National Championship win over Gonzaga, has declared for this summer’s NBA draft. Jackson seems to be a consensus lottery pick with DraftExpress mocking him to the Nuggets with the 13th pick.