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Liberty Links: If you didn’t watch Markelle Fultz play in college, you don’t get to whine about the Sixers’ trade

Enough said.

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

So, did anything notable happen in the basketball world this weekend? Nothing big, right? Just a report about a transformative trade for the Sixers that could result in them having three players with superstar potential, all of whom fit together perfectly?

The Sixers were the story in basketball this weekend, after Bryan Colangelo put himself in position to yet another No. 1 pick. Before we get to all the reactions from around the internet, a brief public service announcement.

Get informed, or take a seat

In general, we tend to use this space to share thought-provoking and enjoyable reads, and we’re not really in the business of unloading the clip on someone just because we disagree with their opinion. But this story—which I won’t even do the dignity of linking to—is an embarrassment.

If you want to challenge the credentials of someone who is considered one of the best guard prospects in the last decade, you’re entitled to that. But it takes some brass balls for anyone, let alone a full-time employee for a paper of record, to trot out this garbage. We have higher standards for the comment section of this website than this.

Imagine trotting out this horse shit in any other field. “I have absolutely zero knowledge of how the human cardiovascular system works, but you should definitely let me perform open-heart surgery on you.”

There are very real concerns about making the deal for the No. 1 pick. Could everyone’s draft evaluations be off? Could the Sixers miss out on a top-five pick from the Lakers next year? Will the core solidifying goad the front office into spending too much money too soon in free agency? All those questions must be answered over time.

But if you’re not going to go through the minimal effort it takes to watch a few games—or even A SINGLE GAME—of someone playing, I don’t care if you’re a blogger, a columnist, a sports radio host, a fan in our comment section, or the commissioner of the NBA, you do not deserve a voice in this discussion.

There are intelligent people who frequent this site and interact with the writers here daily, some of whom are not as high as Fultz as we are. Ranking him as the clear-cut No. 1 is not a requirement for entry here, and disagreements about rankings and skill sets are why this site exists at all.

But y’all know the deal. If you bring this type of weak shit into our house, don’t expect a warm greeting.

Anyway, back to the reason you’re here.

Markelle Fultz solves Philly’s Ben Simmons Problem—Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer

For this year’s draft, the Sixers needed a player who could offset Simmons’s weakness by providing another source of playmaking while also offering spot-up shooting ability and versatile defense. Fultz does all of that in ways no player available at the third slot could; that’s why losing one of their two valuable future firsts is worth it.

This can’t be stressed enough. Acquiring Fultz was a rare opportunity, marrying the best fit with one of your hopeful stars with the highest upside of any player in the draft. It is, in my mind, a no-brainer trade, and getting Fultz in here clears one of the biggest hurdles the rebuild was staring down.

Markelle Fultz gives Sixers a third chance at superstar upside—Marc Whittington

In case you missed it, we ran back Marc’s scouting report on Fultz, with a few new tidbits added post trade news. It’s worth your time.

Grading The Deal: 76ers Acquire No. 1 Overall Pick From Celtics—Christopher Reina, Real GM

Simmons is a better passer than Fultz and the optionality that will come with either player initiating the offense could make Philadelphia a top-5 offense, especially when factoring in the inside/outside game of Embiid.

The size, skill and versatility of this trio will be almost impossible for defenses to contain since switching won’t be as effective as it has been against the five-out offenses that have become so common over the past few years. You can see horns sets with these three being run on loop in the halfcourt.

The man used “optionality” in the write-up, how could I pass on including this?

Seeing the Sixers mocked at No. 1 is so glorious

via DraftExpress

Ain’t life grand, you guys?

The transformation of Markelle Fultz—Adam Himmelsbach, Boston Globe

While many elite NBA prospects have shuffled off to work with renowned trainers in splashy facilities in places like Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Fultz, 19, has maintained a more familiar and simple routine at home in Maryland. Twice a day he goes to whatever gym will have him, and he even has a key to the facility at his alma mater, DeMatha Catholic High, where his workouts have lasted until 3 a.m. before.

Fultz does not give off the vibe of someone who will earn a $6 million salary next season if he is drafted first overall. At his mother’s house, he still mows the lawn and does the dishes and sleeps in his childhood bedroom.

When the DeMatha staff honored him this spring, they could not find him to start the ceremony because he was busy playing basketball with children in the school’s gym.

This kid is going to win over the city quickly.

The 76ers' blockbuster trade validates Sam Hinkie's experiment—Tim Cato, SB Nation

Hinkie’s idea was simple: Use the draft and Philadelphia’s cap space to acquire assets, and then use those assets to acquire franchise-changing players who are required for any championship team.

The 76ers have done that. This isn’t us locking Philadelphia into the 2020 NBA Finals — though for all hype train passengers and Liberty Ballers residents, feel free. We’ve established the risks and the question marks that stand in Philadelphia’s way. But how many teams have a direct path to a championship-contending squad without adding another superstar or one miraculously emerging from their current roster? In Philadelphia, there are three potential stars.

Personally, I don’t think this trade needed to be completed to validate The Process, but the overarching point contained within this piece stands—we were right, and everyone else was wrong, suck it haters.

Markelle Fultz is better than a pro dodgeball team

Has it sunk in for anyone yet that Markelle Fultz is going to be a Sixer? I’m slowly moving past the stage of, “LOL DANNY AINGE” and coming to grips with what’s next. Life’s pretty grand right now, you guys.

You may have missed a bunch of podcasts, but probably not

The Sixers Beat crew recorded an emergency podcast on Friday night. Ditto for The Ricky. There was some stream crossing on Sunday, when Bodner joined the RTRS crew for a bit of a celebration over the team’s good fortune.

But I have to emphasize this—you probably already listened to these, because both podcasts were in the iTunes top-10 this weekend. Podcasts about the effing Sixers! It never ceases to amaze me how insane this community is, and I probably speak for everyone when I say thank you for being the best.

Retweet Armageddon is today

Ain’t no links involved for this one. Just get ready.

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