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Liberty Links: Dario Saric continues to ball out at Eurobasket

Get it done, Dario.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Though it has been assumed for some time, the Sixers accounced training camp will officially start on September 26 on Thursday. That means we are exactly 18 days from actual, real life Sixers basketball going down in a little under three weeks. Thank the heavens.

But since we still have that time to kill here’s what you might need to get caught up on from yesterday...

Joel Embiid’s availability has nothing to do with his contract

As of September 7, Sixers personnel have also confirmed to Liberty Ballers that Embiid has yet to be cleared for five-on-five, but they maintain there is no concern from the team regarding his current availability or his progress toward getting ready for the regular season. Embiid continues to go through his recommended workout plan and medical procedures while gearing up for training camp, and one source even pointed out that Embiid was in the Sixers’ practice facility working out when this new report was made.

The Sixers’ focus re: Embiid has been the same since he underwent the procedure and began rehab earlier this year: have him ready to go for the regular season, and have him as ready as he can be to play deep into the season at that. Team sources insist that continues to be the case, and that any concern to the contrary is unwarranted as of now.

Stay calm, everybody.

Lottery reform could be on the way—Woj

Commissioner Adam Silver is a strong advocate to de-incentivize tanking by implementing lower odds on the NBA's worst teams to gain the top picks in the draft, league sources said.

The proposed measures would also increase the chances of better teams making a jump up into the draft lottery. The NBA's 14 non-playoff team compromise the league's annual draft lottery system.

As I expressed yesterday, I am perpetually confused by the league’s inability to settle on a belief system here. Pick something and stand by it, because the waffling is embarrassing.

A tale of two stories for the Sixers in Eurobasket

Furkan Korkmaz had a pretty forgettable game against Latvia, though part of the problem was simply a lack of minutes. The Turkish wing played just under eight minutes on Wednesday, failing to get on the scoreboard in his brief bit of action.

But The Homie had it all working on Thursday:

His flashy passing wasn’t necessarily at its pinnacle against the Czech Republic, but just about everything else was for Saric. He attacked the glass, kept the ball moving, and did all the little things en route to a blowout victory for his country. Sixers fans will take 18-10-3 on 5/11 shooting any day of the week.

The Cavaliers don’t really want to talk about Isaiah Thomas’ hip

I get that this is an unpleasant thing to talk about at an introductory press conference—especially after the team just dragged out your arrival—but man, how do you just push this to the side? This isn’t a team that just has time to waste! LeBron James could very realistically be moving on, and not having IT for any extended stretch of the season would loom large when the playoffs roll around, even if the Cavs still have the ultimate trump card.

O.J. Mayo, Banned and Forgotten, Fights to Save His NBA Career—Ben Golliver, Sports Illustrated

Mayo knows all the potential excuses and he chooses to reject them. Did he have too much, too soon in life? Sure, he admitted, his childhood and teen years were exceptional. “But if I had the same focused mindset I had at 15 and 16 later when I was 24 and 25,” he argued, “we wouldn’t be sitting here talking right now.” Could he have used a better father figure and more guidance? Mayo didn’t want to say that, repeatedly pointing out that his mother had “taught me right from wrong.” Did his friends, or fake friends, lead him astray? “I knew better,” he argued. “I knew guys in my neighborhood who should have made it somewhere but got stuck. I wasn’t raised like that.” Were the league’s drug rules unfair? “Every man writes his manner,” he said. “I just made poor decisions.”

I’m way late on this one, but I hope Mayo is able to get his act together, even if it’s not at an NBA level. It seems like just yesterday that his name was ringing bells in high school recruiting circles, and it’s a shame things have turned out this way.

Could the Grizzlies Be the Next NBA Team to Be Sold?—Haley O'Shaughnessy, The Ringer

When Pera was trying to buy the Grizzlies, the stock for his newly public tech company, Ubiquiti Networks, tanked from $34 a share to $9, according to ESPN. In an effort to fulfill his lifelong dream of owning a team (this is turning out to be a pretty common lifelong dream despite the exclusivity and price that come along with it), Pera recruited nearly 20 other minority owners to join him in the sale, including Justin Timberlake and Peyton Manning’s wife, Ashley. It weakened his share, but after paying the reported $45 million for 25 percent, Pera became, ever so technically, a majority owner.

Good info on another potential ownership change on the horizon. Here’s a friendly bit of advice: if the most you can afford of an NBA team is 25 percent, you probably shouldn’t strive to be a majority owner.

And one brief note of interest

The Sixers’ practice facility is (and will continue to be) open to the players whenever they feel inclined to use it, and yours truly may or may not have heard about a recent pickup game that took place in the gym. Without getting too hyperbolic about the details of the game, let’s just say the early reviews of Ben Simmons’ game are pretty excellent, and October can’t come soon enough.