Luxury Tax: While last season was far more pressing with so many important players hitting free agency, Bucks ownership has another opportunity to prove it is willing to spend. Doing so would also make a material difference because Milwaukee is only about $11 million below the tax line, assuming Robin Lopez picks up his $5 million player option. If the tax is a hard line, Horst will have to figure out how to retain Matthews and whichever free agents the Bucks want back while ideally using the Mid-Level exception to add depth and also fill out the roster. One key indicator will be what happens with Ersan Ilyasova because the veteran has a $7 million salary that does not guarantee until shortly after the 2020 Draft.
January 25, 2021 | 6:01 pm EST Update
Noah Levick: Joel Embiid, just off Doc Rivers’ Zoom camera, on his pick-and-roll defense: “I’ve been doing an OK job. I can always get better.” Rivers said Embiid’s been “great, actually” in playing higher up this year. He thinks many NBA guards have figured out how to beat drop coverage.
Chase Hughes: The Wizards-Rockets injury report for tomorrow’s game is out. Russell Westbrook and John Wall are both good to go. Christian Wood, who has having a big year, is doubtful with a right ankle sprain. Raul Neto is questionable with his groin tightness.
Start-up financial tech company Goalsetter has raised $3.9 million in a seed round that includes top National Basketball Association stars and the billionaire chairman of investment firm Vista Equity Partners, Robert F. Smith. The company said the funds would be used to expand its mobile application platform and accelerate subscriber growth. The Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant and Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul are investors. Joining them is former NBA player Baron Davis, ex-New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia.
January 25, 2021 | 5:55 pm EST Update
Marc Stein: The NBA will institute All~Star voting this season with or without a game, sources say Proposals for staging an actual All-Star game include holding it on an HBCU campus in the Atlanta area in the March 6-7 range