L.A. Clippers

Joel Embiid wants to know if LeBron James is having second thoughts

Joel Embiid wants to know if LeBron James is having second thoughts

Having second thoughts, LeBron?

LeBron James shook up the basketball world on Sunday when he spurned the Sixers and Cavaliers to strike a four-year, $153.3 million contract with the Lakers.

While the decision was bound to create major buzz around the league, it was never going to shift the balance of power at the top of the NBA. The Golden State Warriors still hold the crown until someone proves otherwise.

And they don’t plan on giving it up easily.

According to reports, free-agent big man DeMarcus Cousins reached a one-year deal with the Warriors for $5.3 million.

No, that’s not a joke. The team that has won three out of the last four championships added a four-time All-Star who could have received a max contract elsewhere.

That got Sixers center Joel Embiid to thinking about James potentially reversing course on his Hollywood story.

Embiid is referring to the summer of 2015 when Jordan agreed to a long-term deal with the Dallas Mavericks only to change his mind and bolt back to L.A. All it took was Jordan’s Clippers teammates locking him in a house for some in-person coaxing and a bunch of emojis on Twitter.

Well, with the NBA's moratorium period not ending until 12:01 p.m. on July 6, Embiid and the Sixers still have some time to change James’ mind.

More on the Sixers

Rockets make sure win streak stays on the rise

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Rockets make sure win streak stays on the rise

LOS ANGELES -- James Harden scored 17 of his 25 points in Houston's dominant first quarter, and the Rockets rolled past the Los Angeles Clippers 105-92 on Wednesday night for their 14th consecutive victory.

The Rockets (48-13) matched their longest winning streak of the season and remained a half-game ahead of Golden State for the NBA's best record.

Clint Capela and Eric Gordon each scored 22 points for the Rockets, who made 13 3-pointers.

Tobias Harris led the Clippers with 24 points, with Montrezl Harrell added 22. Lou Williams and Milos Teodosic each scored 13.

The Clippers played the previous night in Denver and looked it.

They missed 16 of their first 19 shots, had 11 turnovers and trailed by as many as 27 points in the first quarter. Harden faked Wesley Johnson so badly on one move that Johnson fell to the floor. Harden stared at him as Johnson got back up, then sunk a 3-pointer for a 31-7 lead.

The Clippers shot 22.7 percent (5 of 22) for the period and trailed 34-12 at the end of the quarter.

The Clippers overcame a 19-point deficit to win in Denver on Tuesday, but never got closer than eight against the Rockets.

Schroder, lowly Hawks hold off Pacers
ATLANTA -- Dennis Schroder scored seven of Atlanta's final eight points to finish with 14, and the Hawks held off a late Indiana comeback to beat the Pacers 107-102 on Wednesday night.

John Collins had 16 points for the Hawks, who led by 23 before holding on late to end their four-game losing streak.

Bojan Bogdanovic led Indiana with 26 points while making four 3-pointers in the final period. His third 3 of the period cut the Atlanta lead to 97-91. A follow shot by Domantas Sabonis, who had 14 points, pulled the Pacers to 101-99.

Schroder answered with a layup with 44 seconds remaining, and then added another driving layup following an Indiana turnover.

Taurean Prince had 15 points, all in the first half, and Dewayne Dedmon also scored 15 for Atlanta (see full recap).

Streaking Pelicans rally after Aldridge injury
SAN ANTONIO -- Anthony Davis had 26 points and 15 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans rallied in the final two minutes to beat San Antonio 121-116 on Wednesday night, adding to the Spurs' misery after losing LaMarcus Aldridge to an injury in the first half.

New Orleans won its seventh straight after trailing by as many as 15 points.

San Antonio, which has been without superstar forward Kawhi Leonard for all but nine games this season, lost Aldridge to a sprained right ankle late in the first half. Aldridge landed awkwardly while defending a driving hook shot by Davis with three minutes left in the second quarter.

The injury would prove critical down the stretch for the Spurs, who've lost five of their past six. The team did not immediately disclose how long Aldridge will be out.

Jrue Holiday finished with 25 points and Rajon Rondo added 13 points and 12 assists for the Pelicans.

San Antonio had six players in double figures, including 19 from Rudy Gay and 18 from Dejounte Murray (see full recap).

Sixers interested in Lou Williams — should they make a trade?

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Sixers interested in Lou Williams — should they make a trade?

The absence of Markelle Fultz for nearly the entire season has left the Sixers shorthanded with scoring off the bench. Too many times this season we've seen the Sixers' second unit either struggle to hold a lead or turn a close game into a lopsided one.

It's why, ahead of the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline, we've seen the Sixers connected to several scorers. Earlier in the week it was Avery Bradley, then Tyreke Evans.

We can now add two more names to the list: Lou Williams and Marco Belinelli. The Sixers have expressed interest in both players, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic.

The case for Lou-Will
Lou-Will was so close to being an All-Star for the first time this season. It's unfortunate he didn't get the nod because he probably won't have another first half as impressive as this one. In 49 games with the Clippers, he's averaged 23.5 points and 5.2 assists, shot 44 percent from the field, 39 percent from three and 90 percent from the line. All this while coming off the bench in 35 of 49 games.

Williams is on an affordable, $7 million salary. He's a free agent after the season. The Clippers are likely looking for a first-round pick and could end up getting it. If they don't, they're in no immediate rush to trade Williams. The assumption is L.A. will trade Lou-Will and DeAndre Jordan after shipping Blake Griffin to Detroit, but owner Steve Ballmer might want to keep some excitement around. Lou-Will is certainly an exciting player and perhaps could be talked into staying with the Clips, where he's comfortable.

The Sixers obviously wouldn't trade the Lakers and/or Kings pick (whichever doesn't go to Boston) for Williams. But what about their own first-rounder? As of now, that pick would be 17th.

Aside from that pick, there's not much else of value the Sixers have to trade that they'd be willing to trade. They're not trading Dario Saric for a half-season rental. Aside from their pick, their most realistically tradable assets are Richaun Holmes, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot or guys stashed overseas.

Still, the opinion here is that Lou-Will would be worth it. He has defensive limitations but does so much else well in terms of creation and game-changing hot streaks. And the Sixers probably have enough size and defensive skill to make up for him. Even a lineup including Williams and JJ Redick could include Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Robert Covington, three players with length and good defensive instincts.

Cheaper option
As for Belinelli, he'd come much cheaper if the Sixers were to go down that road. He's in the final year of a contract that pays him $6.6 million in 2017-18. He has one legitimately above-average skill and that's shooting. Belinelli is shooting 37.1 percent from three this season and making 1.8 per game. He's also shooting 93 percent from the line.

Belinelli could probably be had for a second-round pick or two ... it's a situation very similar to what the Sixers had with Ersan Ilyasova last season.