Last week, I tried out the Liberty Baller Nightcap, a nightly newsletter on all things Sixers, NBA and whatever else. It received some positive feedback, so I’ll roll with it for now.
One of the NBA's most influential and dedicated owners, Portland's Paul Allen, has passed away after a battle with a cancer, Vulcan Inc., says in a statement. He was 65. Allen was the co-founder of Microsoft.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 15, 2018
Pacers center Myles Turner has reached an agreement on a four-year, $72M contract extension that could rise to $80M with bonuses, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 15, 2018
I like Myles Turner, but I wouldn’t pay him that much money. In theory, he’s a big built for today’s NBA, but I don’t know that he has any one elite skill. His per-36 numbers have been strikingly similar from age 19 to age 21. But Indiana doesn’t attract free agents, putting the Pacers under pressure to extend players who show any promise. Makes sense for them, I suppose.
Wizards are trading guard Jodie Meeks and cash to the Bucks, league sources tell ESPN. Bucks will waive Meeks.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 15, 2018
Mike Budenholzer adding 3PT shooting around Giannis.
THEY PLAY A GAME. THAT MATTERS. TOMORROW. THAT GAME IS AGAINST THE BOSTON CELTICS.
In Sixers-related news:
We, Liberty Ballers, are hosting a Sixers watch party tomorrow at Misconduct Tavern (1511 Locust St). Event starts at 5:00 pm, game starts at 8:00 pm.
Image of the night:
I’m referring specifically to the photo of Ben Simmons and Robert Covington. Ben: L for sunglasses on a cloudy day, points for Rick and Morty. Cov: showing luv, but please get a haircut.
Video of the night:
^^Our Adio Royster tomorrow night when Embiid dunks on Aron Baynes.
Today’s best comment exchange:
In response to Liberty Ballers community member OrangeNblacK’s comment (which itself was filled with great analysis) on Randy Cohen’s Fultz article, theanonymousduck writes:
Today on Liberty Ballers:
Putting it all together: it’s a bit of a bad-news, good-news thing. The bad news is, there’s almost no chance Markelle Fultz plays at a “third star” level this season, or really anything close to it. Frankly, among our sample only Kyrie Irving put up the kind of per-36 numbers in his age-20 season that people associate with “stars,” and it’s not clear from the on-off numbers that Kyrie was that huge of a contributor in terms of wins and losses to that pre-LeBron-return Cleveland team.
The good news is, players grow enormously after age 20. Markelle could be pretty ineffective this season while still playing in a way consistent with stardom or even superstardom. So, people should be slow to give up hope!
Embiid, on the other hand, works better in my opinion for fantasy owners looking for across the board production. Assists aren’t a great category for Embiid, but because they aren’t a great category for a lot of NBA bigs, his value isn’t radically affected. Most sites have Embiid in the 10 to 15 range, which feels appropriate based on what he contributes when he’s on the floor. Another advantage of picking him early is that you don’t end up pigeonholing yourself into certain strategies — you can still decide to punt on something later, but choosing Simmons early means you’ve had to make that punting decision right off the bat.
Will there be growing pains? Sure, especially with Fultz. Expecting to him to provide more than marginal value this year is probably exceedingly unrealistic. Integrating new pieces won’t be seamless. Someone will yell at Ben Simmons to shoot a three, you coward. But there’s an overwhelming amount of elite talent on the team, good coaching, and a formula for success. Expecting a decline because two bench players moved onto different teams, or because the schedule isn’t unreasonably front-loaded this time, seems like missing the forest for the trees. The Sixers are very, very good, because they have two very, very prominent star players, and we should be very, very excited about that.
What I’m drinking:
Cigar City Brewing Jai Alai Indian Pale Ale - Not a huge fan. Super bitter, pretty boring taste. Possibly my first Florida-brewed craft beer? 2.5/5.