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Sixers and Colangelos have a lot of Twitter egg on their faces

Plus: The NBA Finals are here! We have that and more in Thursday’s NBA newsletter.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers-Press Conference Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

As Twitter detectives continued their impressive and not at all concerning investigation of the so-called Bryan Colangelo burner accounts, a new consensus emerged: it may actually have been Colangelo’s wife running the most infamous of the burners (Eric jr).

A forensic analysis (this is all insane) of Eric jr’s timestamps (this is insane) and followers, which include two people who nominated Colangelo’s wife for a parents’ organization award (this is insane) revealed the Eric jr account was more likely to be Italian-born Barbara Bottini instead of Colangelo.

Yaron Weitzman talked to family patriarch Jerry Colangelo, meanwhile, and ... I still think there’s a non-zero chance Jerry was running at least one of the accounts. He acknowledges that he and Bryan had a conversation before the story came out — which allows for the timely locking of the accounts that were locked — and is one of a small cadre of people who would deeply care about Bryan’s reputation, University of Chicago basketball, and Toronto high school basketball. No word on what Jerry thinks of Bryan’s collars, though.

The Eric jr account is the one that could get Colangelo fired. It’s almost assuredly someone extremely close to Colangelo, if not Colangelo himself. Whoever it ends up being, the endgame is the same: Colangelo shared deeply sensitive information with this person, and this person disseminated it publicly under the guise of anonymity, bringing great shame to the franchise.

Unless this is all a frame job as Colangelo implied Wednesday. What an incredible and disturbing con that would be.

Happy NBA Finals!

In other, less interesting news: the 2018 NBA Finals begin Thursday! The tip is set for 9 p.m. ET on ABC. Andre Iguodala is out for Game 1, which boosts the Cavaliers’ chances by some margin. Still no word on Kevin Love, though.

I ranked all 30 players in the Finals by order of importance. You will be shocked to see who lands at No. 1. Harry Lyles Jr. addresses the general malaise around Warriors-Cavs IV and finds light amid the shadows.

Meanwhile, LeBron James says he asked the Cavaliers to not trade Kyrie Irving. Even if that’s true, that doesn’t absolve James of blame for Irving wanting out in the first place. The Cavaliers, roiled as they were by internal upheaval after David Griffin’s dismissal, felt they needed to trade Irving to perserve what could have been James’ final season in Cleveland.

Ivan Bettger considers the conundrum of Kevin Durant in isolation for Golden State of Mind.

Links Galore

The Magic have quietly wrapped up their quiet coaching search, hiring Steve Clifford. Clifford managed to turn an awful Charlotte squad into a playoff team before slipping back into mediocrity. That sounds pretty good to moribund Orlando.

Meanwhile, the Pistons are reportedly interviewing Juwan Howard and Kenny Smith for their head coach job. The Pistons have not hired a general manager.

Nike released a new ad starring a fake young LeBron. The concept is cool.

The legal consequences of the Colangelo scandal.

Underclassmen who had declared for the 2018 NBA Draft had until Wednesday to withdraw. Ricky O’Donnell sums up the winners and losers after all the decision day dust settled. No high-end prospects withdrew.

Brian Bowen, the player at the center of the Louisville scandal, will remain in the draft because the NCAA told him he’d be ineligible for at least next season.

Fun piece from Mike Rutherford on Donte DiVicenzo following Grayson Allen’s path to success ... but then bailing out for the NBA at the right moment.

How NBA jerseys became one of the hottest fashion items in Samoa, where no one watches the NBA.

Such a wonderful piece from Kelly Dwyer on the moments LeBron has ended.

It appears the Rockets are willing to spend on a large luxury tax bill to keep everyone around.

Brandon Ingram is the Lakers’ X-factor.

What’s wrong with the Minnesota Lynx?

Mo Bamba is not Hasheem Thabeet.

Be excellent to each other.