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Philadelphia 76ers running out of time to click

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The Philadelphia 76ers are heading towards another season of disappointment unless the franchise is able to improve their form on the road. Brett Brown’s men made their intentions known ahead of the campaign that they were determined to kick on from the last time when they were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals for the second year on the bounce.

Although Jimmy Butler was lost in a trade deal with the Miami Heat, the Sixers emerged with Josh Richardson as part of the move. Tobias Harris’ contract was extended, while the franchise made a significant splash to sign Al Horford, robbing the Boston Celtics of their All-Star center.

Experience was a key factor in Philadelphia’s struggles in their back-to-back post-season exits, and the addition of Horford was supposed to provide guile and nous to a young side as well as stealing a quality player from a rival. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid were expected to take another step in their development to help the Sixers become the leading outfit in the Eastern Conference.

However, it has not proven to be the case as the stretch run of the 2019/20 season approaches. Philadelphia is well off the pace of the Milwaukee Bucks in the number one seed, while the form of the Celtics, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, and the Indiana Pacers has pushed them down towards the sixth seed. It would create a tougher road in the post-season for the Sixers to handle, although they are still backed in the betting NBA odds as second favorite for the Eastern Conference crown behind the Bucks, despite their issues on the court.

The main problem has been the form and the fitness of Embiid. At his best, the 25-year-old is one of the top players in the NBA – as proven by his third-straight All-Star berth. Embiid’s numbers on the court have been impressive, averaging 23.0 points per game along with 12.1 rebounds. However, there have been occasions where he has struggled to raise the level of his game, particularly against rivals in the East.

Embiid endured one of the worst performances of his career in a defeat to the Celtics, shooting just 1-11 on the night, with nine of his points coming from the free-throw line. A finger injury had ruled him out of action for nine games during January, although he was fine on his return against the Golden State Warriors. If the Sixers are to make a run during the final two months of the regular season they need their All-Star locked in and focused to find the peak of his powers.

Support has not been forthcoming elsewhere in terms of points. Harris has averaged 19.4 points per game, but it’s not quite the standard Brown would have been hoping for from the forward after a five-year $180 million investment in the off-season. Ben Simmons has been impressive around the court, although his production in and around the rim is underwhelming for a player of his ability. Richardson has just been solid, failing to raise the level of his game after leaving Miami.

Then there has been the form of Horford, who has not looked himself on the court. He has struggled to find a consistent role in the team, which has hurt the levels of his output. There could be the possibility at the age of 33 Horford’s skills are beginning to decline. It’s a concern for the Sixers given the contract they handed to the center in free agency worth up to $109 million over four years. He’s not going to improve with age and if this is the best of Horford, then it could be an expensive choice made by the front office.

There’s still ample time for the Sixers to click on the court, but the signs are not looking positive. Philadelphia has talent aplenty, although at the moment it appears that they are a group of individuals rather than a championship-caliber outfit.

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Looking For A Few Great Voices!

From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

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From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

We are considering adding new voices for the 2020-21 NBA Season, and what we are looking for is very specific.

Here are the criteria:
– A body of professional work that reflects an understanding of the NBA and basketball.
– Must live within 30 minutes of an NBA team.
– Must be willing to write two to three times per week on various topics as assigned.
– Must write in AP style and meet assigned deadlines.
– Be willing to appear in Podcasts and Video projects as needed and scheduled.
– Have a strong understanding of social media and its role in audience development.
– Be willing to work in a demanding virtual team environment.

Some things to know and consider:
– We are not hiring full-time people. If you are seeking a full-time gig, this is not that.
– This will be a low or non-compensation role initially. We need to understand your value and fit.
– We have a long track record of creating opportunities for those that excel in our program.
– This will be a lengthy interview and evaluation process. We take this very seriously, so should you.
– If you are not committed to being great, this is not the right situation for you.

If you are interested, please follow these specific instructions, Drop us an e-mail with:

Your Name:

The NBA Market You Live Near:

And Why We Should Consider You:

We do not need your resume, but a few links to work you have done under the above information would be helpful.

Please send all of this to: openings2021@basketballinsiders.com

 

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The 28 highest-paid players in the NBA for the 2019-20 season

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On-court NBA salaries are based on a player’s number of years in the league and accolades earned, such as awards like MVP which entitle players to a larger percentage of a team’s salary cap. Now let’s get down to it.

28. CJ McCollum

Team: Portland Trail Blazers

Salary: $27,556,959

27. DeMar DeRozan

Team: San Antonio Spurs

Salary: $27,739,975

26. Al Horford

Team: Philadelphia 76ers

Salary: $28,000,000

25. Nikola Vucevic

Team: Orlando Magic 

Salary: $28,000,000

24. Kevin Love

Team: Cleveland Cavaliers 

Salary: $28,942,830

23. Paul Millsap

Team: Denver Nuggets

Salary: $30,350,000

22. Khris Middleton

Team: Milwaukee Bucks

Salary: $30,603,448

21. Kyrie Irving

Team: Brooklyn Nets

Salary: $31,742,000

20. Mike Conley

Team: Utah Jazz 

Salary: $32,511,624

19.Gordon Hayward

Team: Boston Celtics 

Salary: $32,700,690

18. Tobias Harris

Team: Philadelphia 76ers

Salary: $32,742,000

17. Kahwi Leonard

Team: Los Angeles Clippers 

Salary: $32,742,000

16. Kemba Walker

Team: Boston Celtics 

Salary: $32,742,000

15. Jimmy Butler

Team: Miami Heat 

Salary: $32,742,000

14. Paul George

Team: Los Angeles Clippers

Salary: $33,005,556

13. Black Griffin

Team: Detroit Pistons 

Salary: $34,449,964

12. Kyle Lowry

Team: Toronto Raptors

Salary: $34,996,296 

11. John Wall

Team: Washington Wizards 

Salary: $38,199,000

The Top 

Rankings for NBA stars salary are largely determined by their off-court income – with sneaker contracts making up the majority of those earnings. We’ve included endorsements in the Top 10 according to Forbes to give a clear picture of the kind of money these NBA stars are earning. 

10. Damian Lillard

Salary: $29,802,321

Endorsements: $14 million

Oregan-based Damian Lillard signed a 5 year contract with Portland Trail Blazers and has endorsement deals with Adidas, Powerade, Spalding, Panini, Foot Locker, JBL, Biofreeze, Moda Health, and Hulu. Lilliard would not have made our top 10 based on salary alone, in 2014 he negotiated a 10 year deal with Adidas worth up to $100 million, seeing him come in at number 10 for the 2019/20 highest paid NBA players with an estimated total of $43.8 million.

9. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Salary: $25,842,697

Endorsements: $20 million

Greek-born Giannis Antetokounmpo who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks on a 4 year contract makes our number 9,  at an estimated total of $45.8 million, where without endorsements he would only have been the 41st highest paid player. Giannis has endorsement deals with Nike, Hulu, T-Mobile, JBL and 2K Sports. Signing a deal with Nike in 2017 reported to pay an estimated $9 million in the first year. Nike released his first signature shoe in 2019. His second edition dropped just a few weeks ago.

8. Chris Paul

Salary: $38,506,482

Endorsements: $8 million

Oklahoma City Thunder’s point guard Chris Paul’s salary of $38,506,482 is the second highest NBA salary in the 2019/20 season. Paul has endorsement deals with Nike, Spalding and Walt Disney, as well as being a regular in commercials for insurance giant State Farm. We estimate his 2019/20 salary at a total of $46.5 million.

7. Klay Thompson

Salary: $32,742,000

Endorsements: $15 million

Known as one of the best shooters in NBA history, Golden State Warrior Klay Thompson finds his place at number 7 on our list. Making 72.42 percent more than in 2018/19, and with endorsements from Panini, BodyArmor, Anta Sports Products, Electronic Arts, and Gillette, we estimate this NBA star at a total salary of $47.7 million for 2019/20 season.

6. Kyrie Irving

Salary: $31,742,000

Endorsements: $20 million

Kyrie Irving signed a 4 year contract with the Brooklyn Nets, seeing his on-court salary come in at $31,742,000 this season. Irving endorses major brands including  Nike and Pepsi, seeing his total estimated income at $51.7 million. His Nike shoe is among the NBA’s top sellers, and Irving donated $1.5 million to help cover the salaries of WNBA players sitting out this season.

5. James Harden

Salary: $37,800,000

Endorsements: $17 million

One of the NBA’s most prolific scorers, James Harden cements the top 5 on our list. Three times league MVP runner up in 2015, 2017,and 2019, and 2018 ‘s MVP, Harden has partnered with Amazon to share his go-to workout products, and has endorsement deals with Adidas and BodyArmor. This season his estimated salary comes in at $54.8 million.

4. Russell Westbrook

Salary: $38,178,000

Endorsements: $18 million

Nine-time NBA All-Star, Russell Westbrook, signed a 5 year Super Max contract with Oklahoma City Thunder and was traded to the Houston Rockets. A year after signing the largest contract in Jordan Brand history in 2017, Westbrook got his own signature shoe. Apart from Nike, Russell endorses global brands like Samsung and PepsiCo, giving him an estimated total income of $56 million for the 2019/20 NBA season.

3. Kevin Durant

Salary: $37,199,000

Endorsements: $35 million

Power Forward Kevin Durant plays on a 4 year contract for the Brooklyn Nets. This ten-time All-Star earns an estimated $35 million from endorsement deals with Nike, Google and Alaska air group. Durant is also an avid investor with stakes in more than a 100 emerging companies. We see him at number 3 with a total of $72 million this 2019/2020 season.

2. Stephen Curry

Salary: $40,231,758

Endorsements: $45 million

Golden State Warriors’ point guard Stephen Curry, is the highest-paid NBA player of the season. Analysts and players alike have called him the greatest shooter in NBA history. Since 2014, Stephen has had a shoe deal with Under Armour, which contributes to his endorsement income (which has tripled in the last year), among other partnerships with JP Morgan Chase, Vivo and Brita. His total income this season comes in at an estimated total of $85 million.

1. LeBron James 

Salary: $37,436,858

Endorsements: $55 million

Based on salary alone, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers would otherwise have ranked in at #4 on the list, however, with Nike as his biggest backer, LeBron lands the number 1 spot for highest paid NBA player for the sixth year straight, coming in at an estimated $92 million for the 2019/2020 NBA season. James holds equity in a number of companies, including his own film and TV brand the SpringHill Company, which co-produced the upcoming sequel to Space Jam. 

 

Have your part

While you may not be an NBA All-Star yourself, you can still join in on the fun! Sportsbook casinos allow you to get in on the action of your favourite sports stars. Not into sports betting? Why not try something more up your alley like online bingo

 

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What Does Cloud Gaming Tell Us About the Future of the Industry?

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Cloud gaming is possibly the biggest trend to emerge from the industry in 2020. With Microsoft’s new xCloud (available through the Xbox Games Pass), Amazon’s latest project Luna, and Google’s own streaming project, Stadia, streaming looks ready to elevate the world of gaming to new heights in 2021.

As a result, there is a growing sense among the global video game community that we should anticipate significant changes to our gaming experiences in the near future, and that, from now own, all aspects of game development will need to work to keep pace with a new era for the industry.

So, what does the new wave of instant cloud streaming services for games suggest for 2021, and beyond? Read more below.

Variety Remains the Name of the Game

Though the digital and physical gaming libraries offered by the biggest names in the business have long offered an incredible portfolio of diverse and creative titles, never before have gamers been able to transition so easily (and instantaneously) between the games they love. This new move toward game streaming demonstrates just how important versatility and variation are to players, and how desperate developers are to capture – and cater – to this trend.

We can see this in all areas of the gaming industry. In the world of casino, for instance, the variety of sports-themed games is proof of just how hard developers are working to capture players’ interests, and to stand out among the growing list of competitors hoping for a slice of the market.

Digital libraries will need to corner every niche and genre to keep up with the demands of fans; the history of basketball games alone is testament to just how hard developers work to appeal to their market.

 Mobile Gaming Will Continue to Dominate

It’s no surprise that mobile gaming is so popular. Our phones offer the most versatile platform for pursuing our gaming habits – wherever we are, whenever we have the time. Microsoft’s xCloud coincides with the release of their latest console, the Xbox Series X, in order to ensure that they are catering to the priorities of the gaming market: powerful gameplay that is versatile enough to transition seamlessly between the at-home set up, and the daily commute.

In response, tech giants are already releasing a new line-up of phones optimised for a strong gaming experience, and the long-awaited release of 5G will only improve this experience for all of us.

We May Well See the End of Disc-Based Games

Disc-based games have been going out of fashion for many years now as subscription services from PlayStation and Xbox, APP store downloads, and digital releases have been steadily gaining momentum.

Now, with the introduction of instant streaming services, we can anticipate a much more rapid shift away from hard copies. Much like the decline of the CD following the release of music streaming services like Spotify, Google Music, and Apple Music, it looks likely that the future of the gaming industry exists in the digital realm.

What this means for the pre-owned video game market is unclear, but what is clear is that we can anticipate a considerable move away from the physical gaming library as players find it easier than ever to browse and play anticipated titles without purchasing each one individually.

Over the next few months, we should all brace ourselves for some significant changes within the industry. As xCloud and Luna gain momentum – and rapidly grow their digital libraries to accommodate the new generation of consoles – there will be plenty to look forward to and get to grips with as we head into 2021, and beyond.

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