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Liberty Links: Sixers land Markelle Fultz and Malik Monk in new mock draft

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Two knockdown shooters? Sure.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

New mock draft lands Sixers Markelle Fultz and Malik Monk

In Ricky O’Donnell’s latest spin of the ESPN lottery machine, the Sixers landed picks number one and six thanks to the New Orleans Pelicans and New York Knicks making a leap into the top three. What’s more perfect than the Sixers getting both picks might be the Boston Celtics picking fourth, but I digress. O’Donnell has Philadelphia taking both Fultz and Monk. I’m not totally sure if I’d like that. Assuming Simmons is your point guard taking both Fultz and Monk may be overkill. On the flip side, drafting for fit instead of need isn’t the smartest approach that high in the draft, and having Fultz and Monk would allow them to experiment with Simmons as more of a natural four. There’s certainly pros and cons to that scenario.

The All-NBA teams will be announced early

To allow for its teams to have all the necessary information to make offseason preparations, the NBA will announce its all-NBA teams before its inaugural awards show in late June, according to league sources.

Because of the newly created Designated Player Exception, which relies on players making, among other things, one of the three all-NBA teams to qualify, decisions about whether players — such as Indiana Pacers star Paul George, for example — will be willing to remain with their current team or be open to being traded elsewhere could be based upon whether a player is voted on to one of the teams.

The case against Russell Westbrook

Sean Fennessey wrote an awesome piece for The Ringer today on the league’s most captivating player, and basically summed up all of my feelings about Westbrook. He’s a human highlight reel whose plays make you wonder what planet he’s from, but Westbrook’s style of play isn’t indicative to team success. His insistence on continuing to unconsciously fire away in crucial moments during the Durant era certainly attributed to that team’s demise (Fennessey touched on that as well). When people reflect on Westbrook’s season, they’ll probably only remember the tripe-double record he set and the MVP award he’s likely going to win. But a Westbrook-led team failing into the latter rounds of the playoffs may be the beginning of a recurring theme.

Where do the Indiana Pacers go from here?

After being swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer attempts to answer the question. They’re certainly not in an enviable spot. Indiana is in the epicenter of mediocrity, attempting to desperately cling onto a superstar who may have his sights set on Hollywood. Next season is going to be an important one, if they don’t move George before then.

Quade Green embarrasses his opponent

If you’re unfamiliar with Green, he’s Philly’s new basketball phenom. The Neumann-Goretti High School guard is the 23rd best player in the country, and will be playing for John Calipari at Kentucky in the fall. Here’s a sample of what he can do.

Air Congo takes flight

Toronto would go onto win this one handily and are now up 3-2 in the series. Might be hard for Giannis and the Bucks to come back after this one.

Today’s slate of games:

  • Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets - 8:00 p.m. (TNT)
  • Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs - 9:00 p.m. (NBATV)
  • Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers - 10:30 p.m. (TNT)