NBA notebook: Nets vs. Lakers headlines Christmas Day schedule

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Dan Halverson

August 19th, 2021

The NBA is in its summer lull, following the end of its annual Las Vegas tournament, but there is still plenty of activity off the court to discuss.

Let’s take a look at the top stories from around the league in this edition of our NBA notebook.

The Kings are the kings of Summer League

The NBA Summer League in Las Vegas is over and the Sacramento Kings are your 2021 champions. While Summer League shows no correlation to regular-season success, it gave us an opportunity to see the Kings’ first-round pick, Davion Mitchell, take the court for the first time as a professional.

Mitchell is a defensive stalwart who is also a proven winner as a member of the 2021 NCAA champion Baylor Bears. The Kings have plenty of offense but need help on defense, as they ranked last in defensive efficiency in 2021.

Playing time for Mitchell in 2021-2022 could mean fewer minutes for De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton, but his tenacity on the defensive end is fun to watch.

Embiid is staying in Philadelphia

There was never any doubt the Philadelphia 76ers would keep their All-Pro center, Joel Embiid, in the City of Brotherly Love.

On Tuesday, they solidified the assumption with ink and signed Embiid to a supermax extension, for four years and $196 million.

Embiid is one of the most skilled big men in the league, perhaps right behind MVP Nikola Jokic. The 76ers have made it clear — their run at a championship will feature Embiid as the centerpiece.

Beverley is on the move again 

Patrick Beverley spent the last four years in Los Angeles as a bulldog for the Clippers, and after a trade to Memphis that sent fellow veteran guard Eric Bledsoe to L.A., Beverley has been moved again.

In a trade for young Jarrett Culver and Juancho Hernangomez, the Minnesota Timberwolves acquired the veteran guard to pair with their young roster.

The Timberwolves now have a spirited defender to play alongside D’Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Anthony Edwards.

The Timberwolves’ acquisition is most intriguing side of the transaction, and it will be interesting to watch, if Beverley's addition injects the variable the franchise needs to reach the next level.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

The NBA regular season kicks off in October, but for the general public, things don’t really get started until Christmas.

The NBA has released its schedule for the holiday, and it features exciting matchups.

The Nets-Lakers game is the highlight, but the Knicks-Hawks matchup will be a fantastic introduction to the day.

For children, Christmas is all about the presents. For NBA fans, it's all about 12 straight hours of excellent basketball. Start counting the days.