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Liberty Links: New 2017 NBA mock draft sends Jayson Tatum to Sixers

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Will the Sixers select the Duke freshman in June?

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-South Carolina vs Duke Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Tuesday here at the Liberty Links! Tuesday’s been scientifically proven to be the most miserable day of the week. If you’re reading a website about the Sixers, you’re probably somewhat miserable already. Enjoy the links!

Sixers-Pacers recap: Philly’s youngsters make the best of a bad situation

Here’s the recap of last night’s home loss against the Pacers from Jake Pavorsky. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot had a career-high 24 points to go along with five boards, three assists and one steal while draining four of his five three-point shots.

Luwawu-Cabarrot has certainly made his mark over the last month or two. He’s further along than really anyone expected at this point given his jump in competition from the Adriatic League last season and his age. Give him a full offseason to work with Brett Brown and get used to an NBA strength and conditioning program. Dishonest media wants everyone to believe that Malcolm Brogdon was the steal of the draft and not TLC. Very unfair!

New DraftExpress mock draft

The folks at DraftExpress rolled out a new mock draft yesterday morning, sending Jayson Tatum to the Sixers in the process. DX has Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and Josh Jackson going first, second and third, respectively. Landing at the fourth spot, and the fourth spot only, after next month’s lottery puts the Sixers in a bit of predicament. Gone are the two prized point guards. As I wrote in last week’s mailbag, the Sixers would likely be deciding between Tatum, Jonathan Isaac and Malik Monk at this spot. I’d much prefer the Sixers grab one of those latter two players over the Duke freshman.

Tatum feels a bit one-dimensional to me, similar to my feelings on Monk, but doesn’t present the same near-perfect fit with the Sixers’ current core as Monk does. Isaac is still the best forward in the draft to me. This would be the hardest draft decision of Bryan Colangelo’s young tenure in Philadelphia.

For what it’s worth, DX has Monk going sixth to the Knicks and Isaac going to the Kings with the ninth pick.

The Ringer’s 2017 NBA Draft Lottery Big Board, Version 5.0

Kevin O’Connor, Danny Chau and Jonathan Tjarks laid out their latest big board yesterday as well. One note of interest for Sixers fans would be that they have Isaac fourth on their board after the Fultz/Ball/Jackson trio. Tjarks has Isaac has high as second on his individual big board, available here.

The secret process of the King's court

ESPN has released an excerpt from writers Brian Windhorst and Dave McMenamin’s new book Return of the King, which comes out today. The book details LeBron James’ return to Cleveland and his first two years with the Cavaliers that culminated in the immortal comeback against the Warriors in the Finals last summer. The chapter in the excerpt details all of the intricacies of James’ decision to to sign with the Cavs in July 2014. I’ll definitely be getting around to the book sometime this spring or summer.

Early entry list - DraftExpress

OG Anunoby is the most notable player to recently declare for this summer’s draft. Check out the running list over at DX to stay updated on who’s in and who’s out.

Updated lottery standings - Tankaton

The Lakers are currently third in the standings after their dramatic win against the Timberwolves on Sunday night. The Magic suffered a pathetic 47-point loss to a Bulls team that all hates each other and wants their season to be over. They may be Building The Right Way™, but I don’t think it’s insane to wonder if they’re in the same tier as the Kings and Knicks among the worst-run franchises in the league.

Tonight’s biggest games with lottery implications are the Pelicans against the Lakers and the Suns taking on the Kings. The latter game is a jigsaw of sorts for Sixers fans who want the Kings’ odds to get better because of Pick Swapalypse, but the need for the Lakers to remain solely in third in the standings probably outweighs that at the moment.