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Liberty Links: Is this the craziest week of NBA trade rumors ever?

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How do you keep up with all this?

NBA: Playoffs-Cleveland Cavaliers at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

I have never seen anything like this week of trade rumors in the NBA. We haven’t even gotten to the 2017 NBA Draft, and I feel like this offseason has been going on for half a year. There is nothing but pure chaos right now, and short of watching the Sixers dominate the league, this is the most fun I can imagine having following the NBA.

Let’s get to it.

How are we supposed to keep track of all this stuff?

Quick rundown of all the wild shit that’s happening.

Okay, nothing too crazy yet. The Lakers still have all their young pieces in place for the time being.

So, you’re telling me you want to trade for a star-level player, and then you decided to trade one of your best young players and most interesting assets simply to dump Timofey Mozgov? I know Mozgov’s contract was a burden for the franchise, but come on!

Okay, so the salary dump certainly makes a little more sense, but we’ve seen teams clear out cap space for stars—LeBron James specifically!—before, and they came up empty. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Any time you can trade away a young star and take a prospect who is significantly worse in almost any meaningful way, you have to do it.

I just started laughing when I saw this one. How the mighty have fallen!

And then on top of all this, there’s Jimmy Butler to Cleveland speculation, Jerry West officially starting with the Clippers, draft pick rumors, and all sorts of other stuff. My head is spinning, and any time the NBA wants to chill the hell out for 15 seconds, I’m here for it. Speaking of rumors...

The Sixers inquired about Kristaps Porzingis

Here’s what Jake P. had to say on this:

The combination of Porzingis and Joel Embiid in the Sixers front court be absolutely deadly given their athleticism and ability to stretch the floor, but a deal with Philadelphia seems hard to fathom. Their only “frontline guard” isn’t even on the roster yet, and the team certainly won’t trade the top overall pick they just acquired over 24 hours ago to get Porzingis.

I will add that I am less enthused by a Porzingis-Embiid front court, mostly because I think Porzingis needs to be playing at least a decent chunk of his minutes at the five. As the league continues to downsize, I don’t necessarily feel comfortable having Porzingis chase the tweener types that are playing at the four these days. It’s worth exploring, the Sixers are about to have a great core, I’m in no rush to turn this into NBA 2K franchise mode bullshit.

Mock draft shake ups, big board weirdness

The guys at DraftExpress made some big changes to their draft board to deal with some big changes in the order, and they now have Jayson Tatum headed to Boston at No. 3. I welcome this, because if he ends up in Celtics green, I won’t have to pretend I’m at all enthused by him anymore and can just unload the hot takes.

Here are some other, non-traditional big boards I think are worth taking a look at.

  • Cole Zwicker—I hope you have a lot of time on your hands if you want to dive into this one. Failing that, read Cole’s glowing review of Markelle Fultz
  • Ben Rubin—No intro necessary here. Similarly thorough, with plenty to chew on after a fairly standard top of the board.
  • JZ Mazlish—To break up the Fultz love, here’s a board from JZ, who is one of the few people who prefers Lonzo Ball at the top of his board.

A roll of the dice, part 1—Ben Falk

One example of this kind of luck: a team can get a draft pick correct, but for the wrong reasons. It was reported that, as GM of the Atlanta Hawks in 2007, Billy Knight wanted to select Al Horford (at least in part) because of the size of Horford’s butt. Horford, of course, has turned into a very good selection. But if that pick was made for a reason that seems tangential (if not completely unrelated) to Horford’s success, then that doesn’t make the person who selected him a “wizard”.

Not that I need to stress this to you all, but the process is important, you guys.