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Liberty Links: New projected cap numbers for 2017-18 released

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The cap number continues to drop, but that doesn’t really affect the Sixers.

NBA All-Star Game 2017 - Commissioner Adam Silver Press Conference Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Sixers may have lost to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night, but there are some other things working in their favor. The Orlando Magic defeated the Brooklyn Nets 115-107, tying them with Philadelphia for the fourth best lottery odds. If they were to end the season in a tie, there’d be a coin toss to decide the winner. Considering Philadelphia sports teams are 1-1 in winning coin tosses this year, bring it on.

Here’s what happened on Thursday:

Woj reports the 2017-18 cap numbers

The number continues to fall from previous projections. In 2015, the league projected the cap number would be $108 million, and by July 2016 the number dropped to $102 million. Regardless, that’s not going to be a real issue for the Sixers. They only have $35 million in guaranteed salary going into next season, giving them $66 million to play with this summer. I would expect the Sixers to be pretty active.

SB Nation wrote about the winners and losers of the new cap projection

Kevin Pelton picks Robert Covington for second-team All-Defense

Pelton has been showing members of the Sixers a lot of love lately. After placing Richaun Holmes in the top 10 of his 2015 re-draft, he includes Robert Covington on his All-Defense team. Covington certainly deserves it. He’s all over the defensive stat leaderboards, and the Sixers are five points better when Covington is on the floor. The accolade would be a nice get for him, and certainly something he could bring to the negotiating table this summer if the two sides were to discuss an extension.

Ben Simmons may be almost 7 feet tall

Sixers ambassador World B. Free and WIP’s Jon Johnson have both indicated that Simmons has grown nearly two inches since he was drafted last June. That means he’s just a smidgen under 7 feet, and it’s quite possible he could continue to grow. If you’ll recall Joel Embiid also grew two inches since he entered the NBA. The Sixers medical staff may not be able to help the players get healthy, but clearly they’ve found the secret to human growth.

Robin Lopez continues mascot feud with Franklin

Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez has had a long running feud with just about every mascot across the NBA. Franklin, the Sixers mascot, took him on before their game Thursday night and got him pretty good. I think Lopez was actually impressed, although he certainly didn’t look happy.

Three potential first-round big men declare for the NBA Draft

UCLA’s Ike Anigbogu, Kentucky’s Bam Adebayo and Creighton’s Justin Patton all declared for the 2017 NBA Draft and hired an agent, so they will not be returning to school. Adebayo and Patton seemed like givens, but Anigbogu is a bit more of a surprise. He played somewhat sparingly during his one season with the Bruins, but perhaps he’s banking on the fact that a team will see his potential as a great rim roller/rim protector and give him some guaranteed money. At least an already deep draft class gets even deeper.

If you’re looking for a list of players who have declared...

SB Nation has you covered. There’s still a handful of top names who haven’t made a decision yet.

Enjoy the start to your weekend!