Eastern Conference Outlook w/ Blake Murphy


welcome to another edition the premium who spied cast. I am your host mark schindler as always before we get started. If you've not already please be sure rate and review us over on apple podcasts. That really helps us with growing this thing. Expanding on getting some more exposure We always wanna hear feedback. Get your thoughts on what we're doing and how we can make it better taylor at more to you but we have some really exciting stuff. I mean we just put out our offseason perspectives. Podcast covering every single team with team. Experts will definitely go. Check that out. Those a pretty hefty fun process so Nate is not with us today. While he's he's still alive don't worry but he currently has cogan feels like crap so he is not going to be on the pod today but i'm really psyched to be joined by one of the writers. I really look up to. Who does some fantastic work Blake murphy from the athletic covering the toronto raptors Blake how're you doing today man. Good man how are you. I'm good. I can't complain. We're about to get a snowstorm in ohio. So i'm a. I'm currently just qiuping hoping my power doesn't go out. But how are things on your own then Rainstorm here. It's surprisingly not cold enough for all this rain to turn to ice just yet we did have one pretty good snowfall and then it went back to being warm. So it's very like not wintry in canada yet. Which is a this is usually around the time that changes so i look forward to all this rain being ice very shortly. Yeah definitely so. I guess the first question i gotta ask you before we jump into what we're doing today. How how much did you enjoy your talk with the aron baynes fan club. Because we've had him on the pod before very fortunate to be one of the six hundred sixty six followed. So what was your experience like talking to him. And how excited are you for him to be part of the raptors twitter sphere now. Yeah it was great it was. He does such a great job with that account and like. I've always been a fan of the account since it came up. And obviously you know. I follow enough celtics people in an nba. People have seen it and it was always one of those things. Where like you know as a full-time being it was. It was funny but it was funny on one offs right like i don't need that much aron baynes in my time line when the sun's but now these in toronto it's perfect and like you know after after i spoke to him for that story i like shot him some of the best pictures i had saved that i think might be useful for him for future. Memes bret hart and a raptors jersey. You'll he hits the for me. It's great because like i'm a. I'm a wrestling guy. And people roll their eyes when i work wrestling references in and he's just like full bore like no. No everything is going to have a wrestling references. Very excited to be a part of it and hopefully get the bounce. Some things off of them and You know i did that story on them. But i'd i'd hope at some point. He comes on the podcast or something after aron baynes is first of many forty point nights. Oh yeah i mean. We're expecting a lot of them. I think yeah i mean. That's a perfect launching point to to go in and talk about the raptors right away so what we're going to be doing today i we're just kind of looking at it. We're not gonna look at every single team because exotic take too much time. We're gonna look like kind of the playoff contenders and where they're at in. Did they improve. Did they lose something where they at. And why so. I think you know in looking at the raptors. Obviously mentioning earned baynes projected to be the new starting center. Alex len affiliate backup to chris. Boucher resigned as well on a new deal I think just right off the bat for me. The raptors definitely lost something This offseason a loss. Logan punch market all answer baca What are your thoughts kind of. Just right away on both of them heading out toronto. After being part of the championship team and you know what they brought last year Kind of how that that hole's going to be filled. Yeah it's tough when the raptors got coli Two years ago. It was kind of something that i said at the stars. Like look you know this is all in push and those all in pushes. Sometimes come with what i have. Come to call legacy costs Which is you know it's in less. You've built a long-term title contender. You know quietly have one year left on. His deal is very likely that he was gonna leave. And then you're going to have to not rebuild from rubble but like you're gonna have to take a step back. There's gonna be a couple of transition years you'd have to figure out what to do. The bucket and ghazal does lower age. does he. not age al Family g grow. And i think you know the fact that last year has been dragged out so long as maybe eroded some of the patients for that and to the raptors credited during the regular season last year they outperformed expectations. So i think people may be lost not lost sight of like having quite but like that. This always set up a transitional period. Now i certainly understand that people who feel that too much is left riding on twenty twenty one free agency the way things line right now where fred. Pascal and malachi. Flynn are the only players under contract for twenty twenty one you know. I don't think it ojea sentence going to get done to maintain a the most possible cap flexibility next offseason. And the people who you know that that doesn't feel right to them and i get that so Now i mean i guess it's tough because i get why people don't love consecutive unsexy off seasons but like it was always going to be this way they haven't had cap space yet to to kind of re tooling and it's about shifting more and more of the responsibility to the younger guys as they enter their early prime years and seeing what that ceiling looks like. Yeah that's a great point. I mean i think just coming from a non raptors perspective. I mean messiahs always been pretty. Open that the you know even into that championship window years different. Because they got a y. But i mean that entire time. With with the rosen. Lowery and all those teams with dwayne casey actively. I mean thought that they weren't trying to win but messiah always active been looking to. Okay what can we do to become that championship team. Are we going to tear down. How are we going to figure out. And they just kept getting better I think i don't want to say telegraphed but like he's never really come out and been like. Oh yeah we're going to go for it all this offseason and i think it like you're mentioning with legacy costs with salt. Lake do really. It's not even a risk. But you like you're mentioning. Those guys probably wanted long-term deals early bachan did I don't he didn't end up getting one. But i mean do you end up overpaying those guys loose on your flexibility or do you just kind of say okay. Well if we want to get back to that spot we have to make some changes and just kinda suffer the consequences a little bit. Yeah and that's you know it's not an easy decision to make i. I understand it's You know you you have to. There's a lot that goes into that and ceo baca had been willing to do what baines in boucher ambery bambi did with this larger non-guaranteed second year that doesn't guarantee until a couple days after the moratorium ends. You had of willing to do that. I could see the raptors having gone to like fourteen fifteen sixteen million because such a valuable trade chip but i also completely understand a bacha not wanting to be negotiated with where part of the conversation is about turning into a trade chip You know and sometimes these relationships just end right like like obama had a really good stint hair. You don't use pretty safely. Played himself into like probably top fifteen raptor of all time in terms of performance even with a shorter stint and then also like how much the fans love him Any sometimes sometimes. That stuff ends. And i i think you know. The gazelle one's a little more interesting because he did time for the minimum and it makes me question if the raptors really made much rerun at all on one year deal But also like if this gazelles last season before he heads back to spain. Like signing on with the lakers is a pretty a pretty savvy approach. And it's great. We're gonna get casale against the buck on the playoffs. Maybe it'll be. That'd be a lot of fun that will be really funny So i think Another thing to point out even just looking at the bigs. I mean you wrote a really good article that came out today on what the rotation might look like in kind of projecting that out I think it was funny because last year like you. You mentioned the article. They started off with not a lot. Adapt you know and Throughout the year guys really grew in the rotation like rhonda house. Jefferson was one of my favorite kind of surprise guys. Lascaux is really didn't understand the nets letting him go still surprised he's not signed. Exactly that's one thing where i've been very confused on. Why hasn't been signed because he was fantastic coming in and playing for the raptors this last year. But i mean guys you can look at it like okay i think maybe they developing a rotation guy especially considering raptors ninety five is probably the best development track record league team in the league I mean malcolm miller who's been there pretty much forever. It seems like now is really the time he's gonna get a chance to step in. Paul watson looks really good last year in in some stretches. I mean there are like you can squint new like okay. I see guys being built up. Who is there like one guy that you think would maybe pop a little bit more this year. That or somebody who is under the radar that you're you kinda fat expectations for going into next year. Yeah mean watson's a fun one. That's like way down the board. Because he is this like of development success story and like not in the like the raptors have had a bunch of them. Obviously but watson was like spent two years in the next g. League system was like an average issue g league player and then suddenly gets in the raptors and actually even started before that he was part of that g legally team that went and played overseas and john me nine oh five coach was their coach and was like he went back to the ninety five. Gm gave me this guy. Like i think he's assistant fit and then point shooting took this enormous step forward. And you know it's funny because he checks raptors boxes like He's overage prospect slapped on smaller school works out. With rico hines in the off season like he just has all of these raptors things about him So i like him. He's on a two way. So i don't know that he's gonna play a ton of minutes out of the gate but i do think you know if there's a guy the average fan doesn't know on the raptors that could op- it's him more like higher up the chain. I'm really excited for. Oh jeez season yeah. I just think he flashed a lot in terms of offensive stuff from the skill side before the hiatus and then when the team was healthier in the relaunch many opportunities but he still had an occasional run a pick and roll and pull up in the elbow or across the guy up strand guy out at the end of the clock and pull up for three or beat a guy going left to the rim. He showed some of those things and obviously. There's a huge difference between doing it once in a while. I'm doing it regularly. But he's a guy especially if they let him go to our faa next summer you know finding out if he can jump from fourteen fifteen percent usage to like seventeen eighteen percent usage. That's the difference between you. Know your your. Dra bembry or obviously oh. Jeez defensive upside is higher but like that caliber like three d. is a very broad Description and if you can become you know as robert covington is he a little more than robert covington zia less than robert covington covington's kind of the ideal three d role guy at ten million a year. Or so. you know. Obviously oh jeez gonna make more than that because of his age and where the market's gone but like that that's kind of what you're trying to figure out with. His usage is like can you run some place for him. Can you create for himself and others a little bit or a spot up and defense which is totally fine and you know. He's an elite role player in that role but if he has a little more offensive juice to you know we saw what some other guys a older than him in a little less on. The defensive end got paid this summer in a year. we're very few teams had gap space. And i think you know part of a. I think they're not gonna get an extension done mostly because of the raptors catchy. But i also think if you're in your clutch you're sitting there and like wow joe harrison davis bertans and those kind of guys got this kind of money and jeremy grant you know. Og shows some offensive progression. What what are we talking about for a contract for him and obviously are faced with a little different but still i think i think it's a huge huge development year for him as a as offense creator rather than just a play finisher. Yeah definitely and i think the the hype train. I'm on is open and beginning post game because it his posters terrible last year but the the footwork. He showed in kind of improving that a little bit. Every you know every like two or three games. I'd watch there'd be like just one little pop that look nice. I think the improvements. He's made his ball handler been huge. So i'm here's a nice little like the corner a tiny into a post up. I know the kind of moves your taiba and like the finishing hasn't been there on those moves yet but like he's got the hard part down now it's just not rushing it when you get here. Yeah a lot of really good things to watch for I really liked the young guys or abroad in. I mean i'm friends with a ton of draft twitter people and they love malachi and jalen harris so obviously the raptors drafted well. And we'll see how they look on court. Freddie's obviously back which was huge considering the teams that were potentially going to make a run adam and offer the bag I think kind of flows into the next thing that i want to talk about right away. Who the raptors lost two in the eastern conference. Semis the boston have no memory of that. You have no memory. I wish i had no memory of it. It was a really good series but yeah obviously the boston celtics. Add canadian tristan thompson. An jeff teague But lose gordon hayward so i think very clear. Drop off Because gordon hayward is an incredible player regardless of what contracts got obviously. I don't think he's a thirty million dollar player I'm not sure charlotte's gonna think that in a year and a half either But just in regards to that since you were following this you re so closely. How much do you think tristan thompson really moves the needle for them and this is. I'm just trying to be objective with this. I obviously cover the pacers. So i have a soft spot for miles. Turner but I think tristan thompsons are really nice. Player he's been part of some championship teams but he slowed down the last couple of years. He's not the same. Switch guy that i think people still picture Still really good player. I think he's definitely a little bit better than daniel ties. But you look at what. The celtics were really lacking in terms of rim protection and Just having real sizing on the inside interest in brings some of that size. But i just don't know how much of an upgrade that really is over. Daniel ties so i struggled to say that they even held path. I would say that. If you lose gordon hayward you definitely get worse. Yeah and i think what was clear in the raptor series versus how the celtics looked with hayward obviously didn't materialize in the heat series. But you know they start to have some of the same problems that the raptor side in terms of half court shot creation. And obviously you know. Tatum played better in the bubble than Past outcome did jaylen. Brown is a little further along in that regard. Then kyle sorry then. Ojea nobias and you combine kyle. Kyle had the better series overall but more of a scoring threats so You know even with all of those advantages. They still struggled in the half and that was an unbelievable defensive series. But that's what you're gonna mess with hayward right and i think it's you know it's evident in how they drafted that they. They're worried about the to like air. Naismith is I'm not super high on him. But one thing he does is move off the ball and get himself in in in situations to shoot. I'm not peyton pitcher guy either. I didn't think that's a very good draft. I did not either. Yeah so you know. I think there's concerns there. An interest in tristan has quietly like improved a lot as a playmaker to where i think he can fit their offensive identity. And i think the nice thing with him is that you know if they wanna close again. I'm with you. I like daniel ties. I i didn't think he was bad You know. I thought he was a huge factor in the series against the raptors where he played the rapper centers and like obviously casale was a shell at that point offensively but thais won that match up. So i'm not you know crazy worried about it. for the celtics. But i think tristen you know. I i do wonder and this is always slippery with any older player. Who has a track record in new situation like. I do wonder how much tristan's defensive slippage was. Just taking the foot off the gas because the cavs were so bad the last couple of years in like do you really want to put it all on the line to increase this team from nineteen to twenty three wins Notice well enough to to know that. But i could definitely see him having like like him hitting the floor in having one more really good defensive year where he can be that switch you guy maybe not five position but maybe like three or four five and then because everyone else on the celtics is so switch switching that really opens things out by having you know a guy who can switch or five and keep you a little bigger But in within the same philosophy so i think he could be useful in that regard But yeah like the shot. Creation is just going to take a step back when the hayward and you it's it'll be interesting to see how stevens tweets the offense because one of the things that the celtics did so well last year and one of the reasons they were matchup problem for toronto was they had three guys who were eightieth percentile isolation players or better. And you know you don't wanna lean on that too much and it's not the most aesthetically pleasing but having a couple of guys that you can go to to just like get a bucket in tough situations you. That's really hard to defensively game plan for and there aren't a lot of teams like the raptors who have four plus defenders on the floor at all times you can really take advantage of some teams when you have that much individual shock creation. I think that's gonna take a big step back so they've got a kind of hope. Bet that defense is a top five defense. I think 'cause. I don't think dolphins will be quite as good in less. Tatum just tastes like a continues to take this kind of stratospheric rise. Yeah yeah definitely. I think i still think there'll be a top fourteen premiums. I don't wanna say easily. That's the weird prime and we'll get through with route. But i think the the the middle the middle of the east kind of slimmed down a little bit or like the middle kind of It changed ups. We had the bucks. Were way up here last year forever. I can't believe that. I'm using my hands to show stuff because nobody listening can understand what i'm doing. So the bucks were like on their own to your last year obviously historic in the regular season. I think you have the raptors right behind them. And then the celtics were kinda right in there. Almost at their own tier there were kind of inbetween And they've fallen down a little bit now along with the raptors to have more of a solid middle tier. I feel like And then of course the bottom of the is risen up a little bit too. Which i think is different as well I don't know. I think the celtics will be good. But it's just the way the everything worked out with the hayward sign and trade was was whacking me. I don't know what your thoughts were. I I was almost convinced it was a done. Deal to to indiana just based on the reporting that we were hearing Him wanting to indiana from from everything we know and then charlotte just out of nowhere. I mean that was I remember getting that notification on my phone. I was like oh my god. Unlike the stretching to that's a. I think that will come back to haunt them. I know that yeah. They don't look given where the celtics have been the last couple of years and where the hornets were on their competitive time line. I don't know that spending fifty plus million on rozier and hayward was the right strategy you know and then that's before accounting for the eating the tomb contracts. So that's a that's that's another one nine million a year for the next couple years. That's yeah exactly. I mean it was it almost made me feel like i know that you have to clear up the money obviously to make it work but it's almost lake find some other way to do it because if you can just eat the rest of the tunes contract this year. Just be like okay. Well he's an expiring. Maybe we can move him for the trade deadline but like to to to wave in stretch somebody who isn't expiring like that's just. This was bad cap management. And that's again it's like it's my new show. You know it's small stuff You you make mistakes like that routinely and then that's when you become a bad organization I i'm definitely interested to see how that works out sneakily. I'm excited to wash earlier this year. I think they'll be kind of fun. I mean there'll be interesting. I don't know that they'll be good. Oh yeah oh trust me. I'm not going to be good. But i think they will be a fun team to watch. Plus they have the best jerseys in the league now and like. Pj washington cool. Bridges is cool. They've got some look. Just get cool. Players is the is the the devante graham school it just you know coup players and not not put them around a thirty to thirty five million gordon hayward that's yeah exactly so we'll see how that works out and then the last would have on the celtics like we mentioned pain pritchard and i think that was the biggest shock of the draft. Everybody other than doke buki for me was also major shock draft that road on that so so confusing to me but i wonder what your thoughts on like you know analysts and people watching league. Some of the smartest people i know. Obviously none of none of those people saw Even sniffing the first round and of course the celtics saw something and they took in. And i'm hopeful for them to work out for him. It will work alex. You never want to see somebody fail but I just always wonder like how how can to separates. Is this the coming from the same place view things so differently you know. I think that's because there was just a consensus. Like pain. pressure was not i round pick to the majority of people who know their stuff about the draft. It was just. It was also interesting because like the celtics had been a draft twitter ish team in recent years like like we all love grant williams And that looks like it's gonna it's gonna pay off. But i think a lot of us also like shimmy and that doesn't look quite as good. I still have a soft spot guy's biceps. You can play post defense own. Something for me. Look jaba was never going to be good. Nba player. he's a very funny leaguer. Awesome gotta have come off the bus. I right yeah maine red claws come on does yeah exactly games for great But no i. I don't know it's a weird thing where like there's so much that we're not privy to from the outside but like the draft people that i follow in read and trust watch a lot of college basketball and you know i think that a lot of them watch it like especially the prep the pros guys being guys cosmetics. Like they all watch college basketball not just for college basketball but through the lens of how can they translate and i'm not saying. Nba teams of do that. They obviously do their full staffs of people that do that But i think there are things that we don't. It's it's almost like there's obviously a benefit and a drawback to only being able to judge from the games in the numbers right like you don't get to do the interview you don't get to do the background checks you don't get to. Do you know the personality side stuff. One of the ways that the raptors have measured guys in the past and and. I don't think they could do this this year. With no summer league in camps and stuff like that is like the term. I've thrown on his developmental capacity right. It's like if you come in for a pre draft workout and you are doing this poorly and we give you coaching by the end of the workout. Are you doing that better. And then if we see you in summer league are you doing better and then you can measure that kind of stuff and get a feel for guys now. I think that that's too often that gets to be like Kind of like a blanket of you can't possibly criticize this organization because you don't know what they know and you don't see what they say but like full disclosure like the raptors have had success with a couple of guys. I didn't think i had come in the low forties. And i thought i was high on him and like obviously i didn't watch a ton of new mexico state but like the raptors had for workout. So i dug into some synergy stuff. And like i was like okay like i see why he would be a leaguer and then he starts forty games start the season and now he's now he's an mac contract player wall. Nobody saw that. But there are things like that and the way the raptors have had success of finding stuff where other people haven't seen it as well. has kind of shifted. How i think about the draft just like i don't know i obviously don't know the answers like i had flynn and harris higher on my board than they went in the draft and then some people had them on the draft. So i'm at least certain to get a handle on what the raptors are looking for but Yeah i mean to sit here and say like like the celtics made a bad pick. Because i don't like pritchard like i don't know nearly as much about pritchard as they do but i also don't know nearly as much about richard as the other draft twitter guys who i trust a lot so i'm at odds here and i don't know why those things are incongruent. I i think a lot of it comes down to personality in the interviews and stuff like that. That question of what this guy is now. This is what he could be. An what are the odds that he gets from a to b and. I think that's like that's kind of the black box of player development is like. Can you get the guy from where he is now to his upside because like upside doesn't really matter like anti randolph. Still has that upside but like if he can't get there and you can't get them. They're like christian woods another good example of like a guy who every time. He went down to the daily early in his career. He's putting up these bonkers numbers and then you talk to coach about him and it's like it's like. Oh yeah like. We can't get him to play within the offense he just put up huge numbers. Yeah it's like. Oh well that's why you know can a guy like that. Grower davis is another guy that i was really high on the raptors had nine twenty-seven that one year and it's like you know talent wise shirt but it didn't click and then you find out afterwards that there are some things that you can't see from the outside about how a guy my progress how he might fit or how. He might respond to not playing minutes for his first year. Whatever so there's a lot we don't know which is all to say peyton pritchard is probably not going to be worth that. Pick and neither s and yeah. We'll see what happens. I don't know. I still going to be a fun team to watch as much. I struggled to say that i'm going to enjoy watching the celtics play but it's basketball so all right the next. We talked about the milwaukee bucks They had maybe the funky est offseason off season. Just because of how everything went with the bogdonovich deal obviously that falling through and then Initially i remember thinking i was like okay. Well they're just leaking all this stuff saying that they're doing an investigation in That bogged looking elsewhere so that they can make it work through and no. He's an atlanta hawks now. So what were your thoughts. Kinda overall on that and how that worked out I guess we can dive into their little bit after that. Yeah i mean. I think look optically. It's never great. And i don't i don't know how much you honest ways a thing like that or or reads the the press on it or you know i don't even know the honest is camp like alex. Saratsis has built like a great stable there and done really well by He's aware of the fact that you look back to the last sixteen months and it's not only just the bogue damping like the buxom opportunities create trade exceptions that could have been helpful at the deadline are in the off season Poor a bog. Dan sign a trade. And you kind of botched this And then like you know you had the brogden luxury tax ducking and like maybe that a look okay because of brogden long term health or whatever but right now it looks pretty frigging bad Those are the those are the kind of things that maybe they don't matter because we're talking about a difference of like fifty million dollars but maybe if the bucks like if he doesn't sign a supermax extension and the bucks do poorly or not poor. They will do poorly this year. But they're out in the second or third round again like that's absolutely the kind of stuff that other teams are going to use ammo and that his agent might be like if he's actually torn be like who do we trust to build around you the next couple of years and i think you know i don't know if you saw john hollander tweet bed. I had noted that alex lends deal with the raptors was for slightly more than the minimum. And it didn't make a ton of sense at first because it took away the raptors mid level exception the remainder of the mid level exception. So like say jalen harris becomes awesome. They can't sign them to a three year deal. They can only a two year deal. I'm like well. That's a weird loss of flexibility and then hauled or pointed out bet because lens a little over the minimum. He counts as more for salary matching in a trade and the raptors. Now have the exact contract mixed that could let them trade for jaanus and it's like that's probably not going to happen but i do wonder if that's like a wink. Wink kind of thing and like the heat or another team that had like managed that stuff really well and obviously they. They've done the bam move now so it's a little different but you know. I think there are things that we on. Mba twitter probably make much much deal out of than they are in reality but like these decisions and again you honest consigned supermax. So maybe like. I don't think these are fifty million dollar marginal decisions. But if he decides he wants to explore other options than maybe these are the kind of things that tilt something half a percentage point one way or the other and when you're talking about three or four five teams competing for max sky like that's a half percentage point the bucks might have just lost his a pretty big one Further like if both dan has a good season and then say the hawks flip them or something like that. you know. that's that's gonna and another team ends up with them for which the hawks make the playoffs and you know he plays wall on a one eight matchup or something like that like those are the kinds of things that that may be will stick with him. I don't know in general. I thought that getting drew was good. But i liked that movie love drew. That's obviously hefty price. I at move a lot more if bogged down is coming with it like on its own. It does not like to pay. All those picks. To upgrade. From george hill drew holiday george hill and eric bledsoe drew holiday. Like it just. I don't know it feels like a very small gain again. I love holiday. I think third best player. You're in you're in good shape but like like it's the same team otherwise it's hill and bledsoe for holiday and a by or he'll blood on a bunch of pigs for holiday basically in terms of if you look at what their playoff rotation looks like. Yeah you just love bobby ports. I won't i won't lie. Actually kinda liked it. Just because i know maybe could be some kind of picking popped right next to the honest. I know it sounds nice. Yeah i like florida's but like porta salat is like your third fourth. Exactly not as like your second big off the you're talking about like oh we're going to close with him at the five. Sometimes it's like what are we doing similar to dj. Augustine augustine is awesome regular season player. And if he's your backup point guard playoff series pie in like fifteen minutes. You're probably in good shape if he starts working his way into your hypothetical closing lineups. I don't know you solve the problems you had last year. Yeah no that's really very point. I mean i think. Ideally i think they're gonna end up making another move. It just seems not to speak stuff into existence but just based on where they're at. I agree they really their rotation did not change up that much But i do think drew was a huge get but i also think some people were way too low on eric bledsoe in the playoffs. You really can't stomach. The way he was that he was playing Just because offensively. I mean such a negative and you could tell it was all mostly mental But so obviously drew's and upgrade there. But i think that you could make a case. Eric's may be a better defender drew. Even though drew is just about the best point attack defender in the league that we're up a position extra think the other thing too is like if brook lopez shooting decline is like obviously he shot thirty seven percent the your prior but otherwise he's been a slightly below average shooter in the seasons that he shot a lot of threes and That's such a crucial part of their offense for like. Maybe you're right. Maybe bobby portis ends up playing a bigger role because brooks needs to be minimized or whatever And i still think broke like a phenomenal system defender and rim deterrent and stuff like that. So i'm not suggesting that brooke will be a negative player but You know they certainly in the playoffs. They certainly need him to be closer to thirty seven percent thirty one percent. But i guess you could say they have three guys on every team in the league so not not the sharpest not the most interesting of analysis to say brooke lopez's you gotta hit your threes man. Yeah well i mean. I think the biggest thing for me to it's i agree brooke needs to shoot like at least thirty four thirty five percent because after last year that i mean those rough and he's got three years left on his deal to right so it's not just like like obviously he's still this level of defender but he's gonna turn thirty three this year and like is he going to be that kind of defender at thirty five like we saw like having just watched what this all went through when he had a couple of hamstring injuries. Still a very impactful team defender but like you know like gonzales. The template of like what that player type looks like. It stopped shooting. Yeah and brooke has been even more injury. Prone throughout his career to salsa gusau shot better than brooke last year but like not nearly as willingly. And that's the. I guess that's a big thing as long as brooks taking them. You know maybe. It'll be okay. But i i think this is all of these things feel kinda little and almost petty to bring up because like i do feel like eastern conference twitter. You know it's kinda like when you're the number one presume number-one pick entering draft like everyone talks about reasons. You shouldn't be the number one and number two or number three or number four should be number one thing. I do feel like we fall into that. A little bit with the box and part of it is like we know already that they're going to be dominant in the regular season and we know that none of the questions about their playoff upside are gonna be resolved until the playoffs. We won't know. And i think that makes it really easy to to nitpick at the same time these kind of things that we're nitpicking or have question marks about are the kind of things like the league's a little flatter the last two years than it was during kind of the warriors. Lebron peak like like the lakers are entering the season. The favorite and the bucks favored in the east. Sure but like the gap between the lakers and the clippers and some of the other west is not exceptional and the gap between the box and the other teams at the top of the at least the playoffs isn't exceptional so this it feels like nitpicking. And then you get into playoff series in every series from the second round on league-wide comes down to those nitpicks so you know the balance of probabilities. The bucks price still the best team in the east. But it's far from like they're far from infallible. And we've seen that in. Like this is one of the most highest leverage season for a franchise that i can remember like this. Is it for them. I if if i mean if you're honest on supermax they get some breathing room. But he doesn't say it's december twenty second and you're playing your opener. And he's a lame duck superstar. I can't remember the last time a franchise had this much on the line with one guy like casey. I guess yeah no. That's that's a really great point. I mean i think the biggest thing for me is just will they actually get somebody else who can create in the half court because that was the biggest thing for me with ogden because obviously drew brings a guy who can at least He's going to be defended at three point. Line you're not super worried about that Like you are with eric But i think bogner was almost more important in that deal. Because you've got a guy who can create in the pick and roll who can Get his own shot in the half court and they still really don't have anyone. I'm confident in doing that. And i'm what. I'm hopeful for them is that they will stop treating you honestly. He's a point guard. Because i think that is like the biggest thing for me is is getting him off ball like obviously he's a fantastic player on ball. He can do some really great things with the ball hands but and it's not about being skilled or whatever i'm tired of that narrative because if you think you honest skilled frankly you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about like not to be a dick but that's just that's just honesty. You can't be is an that graceful in transition and not be skilled like just us. I mean even look at like the turnaround jumper. He's added who's his i. Bike product wrote about early last year. It's but i'm with you like it's not and i don't mean off the but like we don't mean off the ball like the dunker dump. Ben simmons like we're talking about you. It's like a roll man. Yeah if easier screener especially in. Those lineups were broke his in on the floor. Maybe that's a really hard to defend. Look and it was why i liked drew bogged down as a package because suddenly you have multiple guys who can run pick and roll with janas the screener and like there's just if there's a pull up drive and pass threat off of a yawn screening action like i just don't know what you do with it. Yeah exactly no. I feel exactly. I'm thinking do you tag the roller with two guys all they corners and like we talk about how good a romantic. Anthony davis is. We barely even get to see honest. Roll man because of how often he's the one running things so i think like yeah. We're totally on the same page there. But of course all these nitpicks the bucks are probably still undoubtedly the best team the east right now at least for the regular season. Like you're gonna eric korean. I'm michael kind of broke down the east years in one of our calms the other day just like off the cuff. And someone have a congress was wow still the faith in milwaukee. It's like look we're talking regular season. No one's going to touch them over seventy two games unless you're honest gets hurt which obviously you don't analyze under the assumption. Someone's going to get hurt but yeah yeah it's Over seventy two games. The bucks invest needs the most definitely What brings us to the team that that took them. Out of the east of miami They've been interesting. i. I don't think they got better but i don't really think they got worse I really likes i was. I don't know about you. But i was surprised. That mo- heartless was that gettable I think they only use the room exception and was like three. And a half mil Obviously jae crowder walks. But i liked the idea. I mean mohawk list obviously is willing of shooters jae crowder as portland would know from the eighteen or nineteen when he notoriously did not shoot the last four games of the year to preserve his contract. Bonus right yes. But i liked it. I mean i think just in terms of if you're okay if you don't wanna have to pay jae crowder. The three years full emily and you get more articles on a one year for three and a half. It's pretty good. It's an upgrade. But you're not really downgrading too much. So i liked that pressure. I know draft. Twitter was happy that he went to the heat. Because they think he'll i mean the heater. Great at developing guys yeah The the meyers. Leonard deal was confusing. The people at first. But i think it was more in terms of Just what the second year. Not being fully guaranteed. Yeah same stuff. The raptors right like they've got dragic dolla leonard. Bradley all with these gargantuan non-guaranteed small partially guaranteed second year. So like if you need to work a sign and trade for yoenis. You've got the salary matching right there. So yeah infinite. Picks but you with that after yeah. So why would you where you out on the heat and you think they improved or where. Where would you put them kind of. I think they're both the same. And i think obviously like the bubble suited heat culture and they were locked in than any other team favorite part about the finals ending not having to see hashtag culture anywhere. Yeah yeah showed up to the riffs man. But no i mean it's it's fine like they're obviously good and they they they're such. I have such an appreciation for certain parts of their culture with certain players. They brought in certain things they overlook and the raptors are not without sitting there as well and But i do think if we're talking strictly encore culture in terms of do guys by and you trust guys in a weird environment like this year like the bubble. Do you trust your young guys to continue taking steps forward. I think yeah. You probably do if you're the heat and i don't know i don't know that i'm on tyler. Herro as quickly as everyone else like like at the very good obviously but like i saw some people who maybe expects linear growth from the bubble. And i don't know that that's reasonable especially with compressed offseason but i like i like it. I like mohawk was cheap by. I don't. I don't think avery bradley's ever been like the impact defender that his reputation suggests but he's he's fine I really don't like kendrick nunn. But otherwise i well it was funny. I was talking to david. Ramiro from lockdown he'd about the other day It just the the move to bring an avery bradley Pretty much just. I don't wanna say it takes none out of the rotation but it shows their confidence in him to continue growing as a player. Felt like yeah. And i mean like the the issue with him was like he was kind of. He had like a bad team. Rookie season what i mean by that is like he got lots of opportunities to shoot and really matter that he was spotty defender in. It didn't really matter that he was an all that efficient. And it didn't really matter that everyone just glossed over the reason he was undrafted in the first place And tried to make story and then you know it got to the playoffs. And he's barely playing because some of those wards become more obvious when teams are kind of exploiting so You know. I i think obviously has talent offensively in the half court but i just like i have no time for the kind of whitewashing of his story and i i don't i actually don't on top of that. Just don't think he's nearly as good as his points per game suggests so he's not like especially with a adding avery bradley and the strides that robinson and hero took like i don't he's not a guy i'm really factoring in for them like he might playing at points but i don't think he's a ceiling razor for them. Yeah i guess the next question for you. How if you had to put a number to it. What ranks you're would you. Put duncan robinson. Beer now up there. I mean the the big thing for me with him as like it's always tough with with shooters right because like shooting is not enough like brady has slip has every g. league three point shooting record but he's my size and matt. Thomas has like matt. Thomas like lit the world on fire in college and then overseas and like had the best three point shooting percentage of raptors history this year. And everyone's like well. Why can't you stay on the floor. It's because with both of those guys they don't have an matt. Thomas is certainly bigger than brady hesse. They don't have size and associated with humor for debt. Yeah you look at jd rhetoric. And it's like okay. Well he doesn't have quite as much size but he's also lightning-quick and no one moves off the ball better than that and like to the extent that not to put like all white shooting guards in the same bonds with matt. Thomas has told me he watches tape of radical. Hit ahead moved to create extra space because reading doesn't have the same high release point and then you look at duncan robinson. It's like yeah. His game isn't like super well rounded but he's six foot seven and gets himself oakland really well and when you're six foot seven like that gives you some extra leeway not just as like a shooter who can get your shot but like when you're talking about some of these guys who were limited defensively and like joe harris is another good example. This is a guy would just just enough size to the nets. Had not a lot of good defenders and still don't have a lot of good unders but like You know he can do enough to be to not take away his offense. And you know. I don't think robinson's good defender and i don't know if he's going to be but at least like he's big enough that he's not he doesn't have to guard the point guard he can hang on the guy in the corner and you could try to hide him a little better but the big thing for me is like he has the size and the off ball ability to get that shot off and like i thought that the him and bam dribble handoff game was always. Just oh my god. I was like like as someone who covered the raptors trying to handle the red again. Be dribble handoff game the year before on the playoffs it was like like shit like the raptors had played the heat. I my full take was. Ogsm gar bam so you can switch that action like you. I don't mean to keep taking back to the raptors. No no it makes sense. But like that's what you need to be able to do against that. And that means either you downsized and that's tough because bam is not just a parameter oriented guy or you stick your center on jae crowder heartless as it were you know in that. Introduces other tough stuff. So i think. I mean i think he's great and i think if you can shoot forty four percent on eight three game when teams are like especially when it's not the starting lineup. Like team sent to to the ball on those dribble. Handoff actions alive I think that says a lot man. I think i think he's got to be top five shooter and you know a big part of shooting is can you get the shot up and stay on the floor and i think that that's a big thing with him. Being success in his off ball workers. You know you gotta. There are a lot of guys who can i mean. There aren't a lot of guys who forty four percent on threes. But there are a lot of guys who can shoot the ball really well. And you see like a nate darling go on drafted or justinian jessup Playing in australia and these guys have unbelievable shooting numbers in college. And you have to. You have to be able to project to get to to get the shot. It's like a you know a baseball player with all the power in the world who can't make contact like there's only so many adam dunn. The league has ruined for rece davis. Chris davis do what was the year he had this year. Where he led the league in home runs. And then you've got the deal. And then i think bad like one eighty the next year yeah component is a guy that like was an elite standstill catching shu-chi but once you know he i don't think he ever average more than three three point attempts to game because like he just didn't have the ability to get those off you know especially when he was in toronto like it was maddening. How infrequently so yeah. I i don't know i think robinson's like right up there man. I love him as an offensive peace. As like you know a guy you can shift a lot of usage to in in kind of hybrid bench starter units and then a guy who can just like let things than i know. Jimmy isn't the best spacer in the world and is in the best three point shooter and you know one of the good ways to handle that. Shift the ball onto jimmy hands and let let a guy like dunkin work off the ball And then yeah. I mean bam being such a good pass such an advanced passer for big man to up so much more that when sorry i'm rambling but the to know you're good. It's it's a fascinating action for like any team to have to cover all especially everyone and not everyone. Has anthony davis. Lebron you throw at stuff. Exactly i mean. I think my my favorite part about their offense. They would run this really quick transition play where bam lowering the floor. Dunkin would come up the less. I ran right or less about. I just remember him from the left side. But i mean he would come off baseline straight up and just do a immediate hand off for three and that would just kill people because they weren't ready in transition and bama's so fast bringing the ball like i. I'm so excited for for what they're doing Love good basketball and bam is just man. He is fun but he is such a fun player to watch. Yeah he's awesome and it's It's easy gotta root for to its. I was surprised that they gave him the max out. Twenty twenty one but they he has the same agent as janas. so if If you're honest was ever going there you know they. They know what's going on there. That's a great point on our the next thing. We gotta jump into really quick The brooklyn nets. Obviously they're going to be better. The next year kevin durant is back and i think until proven otherwise kevin durant still a top ten player the league as far as i'm concerned By like you mentioned what their defense defense few. And far between or i guess we could say optional for this team. If you guys like But i think there'll be a fun team to watch or maybe not entirely fun to watch. But i think there'll be a good team for sure What are your thoughts on them going in. Because i i want to say that there's gonna be a lot more Bumpiness in the ride Before the team really takes off. That's just my feeling going in I don't think it's going to be picturesque in. They're just going to ascend to be contender right away. Yeah i mean the bumpiness kinda comes with kyrie but y- but also like the pieces don't fit super well here right like like obviously kyrie k. D. are such incredible offensive pieces that anyone can work with. Joe harris as a spacer is great. I don't know that it plays to spencer. Dinwiddie charissa verts straight super. Well you know the fact that the andre jordan's probably gonna start over. Jared will remind me makes sewing. Yeah like i. It would not surprise me at all. Jared islands a trade chip over the course of the year and someone should for free him He's a guy. I was so impressed with how much playmaking and approved in the bubble like. Oh he looks amazing in the bubble. Yeah m like was the only net left by fbi so But yeah i mean look katie and kyrie offensively like that's a free ticket to a top five offense when everyone's healthy and that leaves you some some breathing room to figure out the other stuff And i thought you know. For as much as steve. Nash is the first time coach it in that introduces some questions. He did the right thing in surround himself with a lot of high end coaches in sport Yeah but like who is like shirt. Kevin durant when kevin durant is locked in as an unbelievable defender. Your can be. He's also coming back from an achilles injury and is going to be carrying a big load on offense. So do you want that until the playoffs. Probably not how much can like timothy. The wildwood caparo was another guy. Who was really good in the bubble but like where do you find. Even twenty minutes a game for him to get his defense on the floor. And then if not him. Like jared allen. Is your best defensive player. But like who's who's your perimeter defender probably. Yeah that's a great point. I mean i guess bruce brown but you can't really play him on offense and also i can't believe the detroit justly shimao for that. I parts partially. Because i love bruce brown. Yeah i'm fairly. Yeah i was surprised at detroit and go for that much. But yeah i like you. Where like not all these guys gonna play right like you have harris errands. Shamet liuhua caballero. Bruce brown like they're only so many minutes for those guys and that's Generally that's a good problem to have but the issue that we've seen so many contenders run into like. It's not necessarily about like obviously for a team like this. All that really matters is the playoffs and getting their healthy but like a playoff rotation is about. Who are the best players that you can play. Who are the best offensive players that you play without their defense being a problem. Or who are the best defenders. You can play with other offense being a problem like you just can't play five on four when you get the second round of the playoffs and further and maybe in the east this year the first round. 'cause like i don't think brooklyn's a top two seed or a top one seed so they're going to have a tough first round match up so I don't know. But i do have a little bit of faith like. They added a lot of good people to their coaching staff I have trust in their analytics apartment in their front office. In general yeah. I don't know man it's a. It's going to be a stranger. Yeah they'll get any stranger in this past year. That's the surreal. But it's just like like when it comes down to like. I totally understand people who have the nets as high as like two in the east in the regular season. Because it's a free pass to an easy offense with this bras like they're gonna torch teams at times but also like i you can have them as low as six or seven and like because it's a regular season team because if i'm them i'm not playing kyri k. d. all seventy two games in this condensed schedule. Yeah and then like if they're gonna make their way to being a decent defense. It's certainly not gonna be early in the air with a two week training camp i have. I have a bad feeling. This might be like some of the lebron cavs defenses as a kid who grew up in cleveland. Those were not fun. Defenses to wash during the regular season and manda. They're like katie. And kyrie give you such a such room for error. If they're both healthy come playoff time so like there's a long time for them to figure this out but like as many ways as it can go right because they have two of the best defensive players in the world. There are a good handful away. That could go wrong to not even not even go wrong. Just you end up against a team that matches up with you will. Yeah i think the way to put it the kind of enclosing on them like they have. I think more questions going into the season that they have to answer before the playoffs than i think any of the other teams were even talking about because they just have so many directions that they could go and maybe have to because their roster just doesn't make a lot of sense At least from our view doesn't make a ton of sense yet going forward in terms of what their vision is in how they're gonna look to leverage moments. There a huge like will they make a midseason trade. Yeah obviously and like whether that's hard in or something else. But like you pair. Jared with one of the carousel avert or joe harris taurean prince contracts. And like you can get your way to some interesting guys in you. Know given the way katy perry deondraye kind of built this thing. Maybe it's going to be another guy that's not fit. But yeah maybe jared smith gets another deal. Who knows All right well onto the next team. Philadelphia seventy sixers. They had some nice addition by subtraction and actually made good moves. I mean they were probably draft twitter. Second favorite team. Were you know. Free agency in during the grizzlies. Yeah after the grizzlies. I think grizzlies had to be number one. Yeah calls wicker to put out a statement that he not result man. Yeah one of my group chats with a bunch of drafted where people they were like. Oh maybe kohl's part of this and then you released. oh no. he's not but no. That was priceless with philly. I mean their roster just makes sense now and i think that should be a little bit frightening for people are not frightening. Is the wrong word but just in terms of they actually are going to have real spacing. tobias harris will actually get to play the four on offense. Now i don't know. I think there's a lot there to to like or at least that is a positive for for the sixers. Yeah i'm mostly just excited for guy danny green who like we'll finally get the like shift into the eighteen minute a game. That is best for him at this stage and especially like coming off the deep playoff run like let the any be off until mid january february or something like that like he has played through so much with the groin. Tear in san antonio and like playing ba- really banged up to the raptors playoff ron and then another finals run and like obviously everyone gets them for the playoffs shooting but also it's because he's the only real shooter for that team like he just. He's in his thirties. He's not a guy who should have to be defending the top guy. The top opposing player for like thirty plus minutes a night for an entire season and playoff run back to back years like it's not like he needs a smaller role and or at least scale back a little bit and i think philly's a good spot for that. He's going to have lots of open. Looks obviously and he won't be the only shooter because they added seth curry and they added joe in the draft. And like you know they even. I don't think he's gonna play but like ryan broke up. Hey i as a g. league guy. And then like even their center rotation just makes more sense like like dwight makes more sense as a backup to mba than a guy who also has a play alongside ambitious bunch. And you know maybe white won't accept the minutes load but also they keep beats minute's pretty low and then like even tony bradley is like like pretty fine as a third center or a backup if someone goes down so Yeah i like what. They did their mana. And obviously there's a lot of chaos around that team. All the time and doc rivers for as important figure as he is in as good of a culture coaches. He seems to be you know. He hasn't had the best playoff track record. from a tactical perspective. And that'll be. That'll be a question again. It's a question. It's been a question. With ben. Simmons and joel embiid has a fit this whole time. You know but obviously the roster fits a lot better. i'm in a weird spot with The sixers because this'll be like the fourth year in a row where i'm like all this is it for the i think i'm the only person outside of seventy sixers twitter who's been bid on the pump fake more times with the seventy sixers. Then yeah so. Yeah i mean last year. I my bold one of my bold predictions going into your was that the six were going to have the best defense of the decade and mona finals. Yeah i add the eastern conference finals but losing to the box. And i think what it comes down to for me We had got titus maxi to sort exactly. No you're good. Like they. And paul read on to way like i mean i. I'm yeah they're going to be fantastic. Paul paul reed. It's a shame. That jacob goldstein got hired by monuments sports in washington. Because paul reid is going to break g. league. pi pm at any longer. I i was shocked that he felt that far. And that didn't even get drafted. I should say. I mean i mean it got drafted fifty eight but like him. Falling afar was weird. I mean covering the pacers cash stanley fallen fifty six. I thought was a little odd to it was just a weird draft but I think what it comes down to for me with the sixers Until i hate being hard on players. I'm always very player centric But i think it just comes down to embiid like when when when joel embiid is locked in engaged in shape he is just about the best player in the nba. I think he's shown that a. I think the reason i was so in on the sixers last year's because he came out was like the on sixers day When like it's felt like the entire national media circus was there for their media day And he was like i'm going to work for. Mvp wanna win defensive player of the year. I'm here to be the best player on the court. I'm going to do all these things. We're going to be great and then it just didn't happen. I mean he took games off really took a step back offensively. Just in terms of his effort You know from game to game and it showed you know. So i think unless joel embiid is Going to be the best version of joel. Embiid like ninety percent of the time I destroy the author is going to do it because he was. Your best player is not playing basketball. It's very difficult to win. Yeah i mean that's that's really like this is a tough thing because when we talk about the box we don't really have to talk about that with the honest and You know it came up a lot in the raptors playoff for him because of some of his circumstance during the hiatus like being a non. Us citizen and the restrictions being a lot tighter here You know but that's like it's reductive but like there are some superstars who you're we have to frame things around. Are the guys around them to step up and do enough and there are some superstars who they are. They going to be superstars for hole. Playoff series our whole season. And you know i think the world of nba at his best. He's pretty much on guard. -able yeah but it's also been shown that you can get him off his best and bats the challenge for him and like that's a challenge for a lot of guys as they kind of settle in and nba is not certainly not old so he you know we don't write him off yet certainly but he's gone through a couple of times now and you wanna see that that growth sooner than later for one hundred percent. But i'm still high. I think philly wound up top foresee this year dangerous and i just think philly if like phillies one of those if it clicks yes so we talked about developmental there they were never really is the the last three years affiliates andrew wiggins of of the nba except teams. Like if they click. They're going to be the best but it just hasn't happened yet but maybe this year. Yeah maybe i mean this. This is always the thing right is like what like that arrested development team. It hasn't worked or anyone else. What maybe it'll work for us like yeah All guess our last team. The indiana pacers. I of course saved the best for last First of all. I'm excited for you to get to cover johnson this year because first of all great dude. I love alyce second while i. I'm just like very apprehensive. As is going to totally pop for the nine five and make the patient look stupid for letting him walk. But he's a fun player man. I like why did he not get any opportunity last like he was one of the best and most well rounded g leaguers for two years straight yup. Well here's the thing erin holiday. Who is a fantastic young player. Barely even got a consistent rotation rotations by. That's been the thing for the last three years. And it's something it's really weird with the pacers because You also much was made out of a. And i always wanna point out navy. Melon is a good coach. I don't care what anybody says about the playoff resume for what he does. He gets the most out of the roster. But that's also why they're not good in the playoffs They play their brand of basketball. And it's going to be different this year. Because i mean we can talk on bjorkman second But the pacers did was. They attacked every single game. Like they prepped for it. They were there and they knew what they're gonna do and they're going to do it well but the problem is when you have that one mode flames like i hate making football analogies. But it's like if you're really dominant running team Or your triple option team and you just you can beat teams with that every night. Because that's i don't wanna say. Also gimmick i don't care it's a gimmick if you you have your your thing that you do And you're doing it one one night of the year or one of that month against the team and they're not used to playing it You can punk them that way or you can beat them more easily that way but when a team has an entire playoff series prepare for you. It doesn't work the same way So the the patients have really thrived off just having continuity in a frankly just a higher level of effort on defense And and i sound like. I'm just totally shitting on the team. Like the good teams still but I think that's why they were. They were they weren't developing young players As much as tj leaf is not an mba player. He's not an mba athlete. He doesn't have mba skill but the pacers would have known that sooner if they had actually played him Which is something. That was always frustrating. Because this was this year was the first year that Really got run in the nba. early consistent rox. I always want people getting two minutes in the end of a blowout. Nice like cool. That's something but you ask. The guys ministering leverage moments like actually playing in the game not. Just okay go get a bucket in the half court because were up by thirty. you know. there's there's a difference between that and actually playing when it counts So i think that's something that the pacers of really preached in their their off-season media ability in what they wanna do. They've been open about how they haven't developed players while enough and gotten them rotation minutes so i think Unfortunately house as not going to be one of the guys who do that moving forward but hopefully it'll happen with rapper. Ninety five yeah. I mean i think bjorkman is a good guy to bring in for that. Right leg comes from the g. League system any comes from a you know. He was only here for two years but like a pretty strong player development. Set up I think he took tyler marsh with them. Who's one of the player development guys I was actually a little surprised that they didn't sign any raptors free agents like they didn't bring in malcolm miller as like a culture builder guy But yeah i think you know obviously there in a bit of a weird spot where only depot situation hangs over things that you've paid brogden so bonus and turner and tj warren. Even and it's like okay. They're kind of in this weird like there's a little bit of pressure to win but also you gotta start developing for the guys who were going to supplement the next the next round guy. So it's a it's a tough season for them like obviously i think everyone kind of expects a miles. Turner trade at some point. I think if they underwhelmed like tj. Warren could get you something back. Pretty nice i know. He's got that thirteen million for for the year following but a lot of teams. Could you like drop him onto the bench of a really good team in canada as a second unit fulcrum and that's a nice fit A lot of places i love. Tj warren i only learned so yeah i mean it's it's interesting like and i almost wonder if the turner domino has the fall. 'cause like to to serve those ends like you gotta get some minutes right like you gotta. You've got to play these guys somewhere. I don't know man. They're in a tough a weird inbetween. Spot your i wrote about the rotation the other day like so. They talked about. They wanna play tj at the more. Because that's where he thrives in the bubble with sa- bonus out and they want to play more minutes while the only way that happens. If you either play doh less or you play miles less. Yeah so. I mean just with how. There's really not a lot of great playmaking on the roster. I mean i mean malcolm playmaker. But there's not i should say there's not a lot of perimeter bursts so without their miles not a good screener he just doesn't have. It's not a mentality thing. Just doesn't have the the band at all in his body To really be a good screener So it's it's hard to envision how he doesn't get his playing time cut to less than It'll be like his second lowest year in terms of minutes the other than his rookie year. So i mean. I don't know they have a lot of interesting things to go but also i mean you look at it. There's like twelve guys on the roster. Who would probably see ten plus minutes a game anywhere. So they're almost too much death Like the mood would be consolidate that that one hiring guy. But they're i think they're at the opposite like ironically like the move that they might end up making his older depot for several pieces. And then it like unless you're going to do a subsequent move or make that a bigger framework like do you think people get stealth here. Oh that's a good question Yeah we'll put you on spot on your own no good. Hey i like that. It's i think it's trying to wrap my head around a lot because it's a little bit different from the paul george situation. Because i think you know. Paul george does not want to be in indiana at all. He didn't care if he got paid. He didn't wanna be in indiana. I think victor if he gets paid what he thinks he's worth. He's finding in indiana but i think that's the impasse. I mean the pacers do not want to pay him that much. And i think that's fair. Victory hasn't been the same player he wasn't in seventeen eighteen a even in eighteen nineteen before gauge Got injured. He wasn't the same player because he was dealing with nagging injuries to I think if he's ninety five percent of what he was. Then then. I think you can maybe warrant paying close to the max. Don't know about the full max But it again. It's a weird spot. I think what ends up making the most sense because his trade value clearly was not there. Otherwise i think they're made managerial And just reports have come out on him not having trade value. I think this is the season for him. Like if you doesn't you know produce at a high level Than i mean. He's woohoo who's offering him that much money you know like the so. I think it's a huge season for the pacers and for him because if he does play at the high level i think the pacers are willing to pay him And that's not going to be a problem but if he doesn't play at that level then it's just an awkward spot for both because they're going to end up being less with pretty much nothing to show for For victor in then also there just in like their rosters in a spot like okay. What are we doing now like I don't envision demonise bonus becoming a top twenty player in the nba. As much as i love him and think he's a great player. I mean growth tracks funky. Anything could happen but they being spot you look at the roster right now if victory depot goes back to where it was okay. You can see this team being a legit. I don't wanna say quite contender but like a a team that could you could feasibly. You make a run at a conference finals. Things father wait right But victory will depots not back at that level. I don't see that So there are. They remind me a lot of the Like the fourteen fifteen hawks like that. That era team not not that they're gonna win sixty games but just they're in a spot where they really don't have a true superstar on the team and the path to getting one is unclear right. You're not you're too good to blow it up and it's not realistic to like as much as we can fire up to k. Like you can't yes exactly. You can end up. Trading tj mcconnell. Doug mcdermott for bradley. Beal just not like sometimes like that was the concern with the raptors before they got quite right and it was like you have to be willing to trade dhamar to do something like that and then be ready for quiet walk. And how often do those deals come up. They they don't. It's like once every couple years something like that comes up and you have to have the right fit and the right package and the the stomach for something like that. So that's i mean i don't dislike. What the pacers have them other building. But they are in an awkward spot. Where like you can't you can't be in both lanes forever like you. And i don't think they're at that point yet but like they're getting they're getting. They're definitely like this. Season's going to be a not sound dramatic. This is captured season like okay. If if you're going to make something happen. This is where you decide what's happening So yeah a lot of stuff to look after them. I still think they'll be good though. I think I i try not to be super productive because growing up in a small market. Light cleveland and following the pacers In covering them. Now like i think there's being a team that is just competitive and fun Yeah the season long. I like that. Watch good basket backley. Like i think. I get really frustrated with the should take not every market can do that. I wanna tank and then some of them will end up getting the twenty eighth pick. Exactly they're like like the one year. The rap is opening tank ended up a terrence. Ross look i don't need to go through that and look i'm speed fan for this chunk of it not a journalist or whatever but like the payoff is so far down the line and so on promised like maybe you end up with entree. Barney is the number one bag. Ross the next time you tank like this stuff is not like it was kind of maddening to me like one raptors fans would want blow it up after like this is the most successful run franchise history. Like you've been through the like tanking doesn't get you what you think route twice like for some teams sometimes but especially with the flat lottery odds now like like this the year to do it with kate cunningham. Coming in it's like if all goes well with your tanking. You have a one in seven shot kate cunningham like so you have a six and seven shot of burning this thing down and not getting that guy. Obviously the distract in the next good so it's not wouldn't be the end of the world but like there's a. There's a good good chance you don't get kate. Cunningham successfully knicks the knicks. Yeah exactly and i mean. I think i will get it the same way as with like face to trade exceptions like. They're really nice. They're employed for flexibility. But like like you just mentioned. They're they're twenty nine of the teams that have the potential cast space and that flexibility with trade exception so very rarely do the things that we envision tappan happening. You know like the knicks thought they were to get kevin durant and they ended up with bobby portis like and that's not to be a unfair to buy. That's just the point like it. A lot of things have to happen for things to work out the way you want them to so. I think there's definitely a point of being good team Will blake i. I wanna say first of all. Thank you for coming on and taking the time. This was awesome What are you working on her. What are you excited about in life right now that you want people know about yeah i mean just myself at the athletic all becoming the raptors again. This year i think remotely. It's sure doesn't sound like it's going to be worthwhile going down to tampa to sit on zoom calls there instead of here but we'll make do have over the athletic my raptors stuff up there. I also music podcasts. Called columbia house party that people could check out especially if they like Like pop punk anymo- like turn of the early two thousands era indie music That's awesome goal will all have Awfully description down below for that as well to everyone listening of course go fall blake and everything he does. The athletic is running right now for one dollar a month if you can't you ends at midnight tonight okay awhile all right so at all the people listening to this. You don't have the opportunity that hopefully you're doing it right now on talking in you you just for some reason you can hear me but yeah i mean. I bought the athletic at full price. So i wish. I got in on this now. Hopefully you are it also by at after the deals over some sure still going to be worth doing it. I live here and there was always yields. Just just a lot of people bitch about pay walls. it's the one place that i think is worth it. So i m not paywall payrolls the wrong way to put it paying for things so i think yeah it's more sorta you off. You know you're breaking news on the pod. Oh really yeah. The sixers signed limousine a. Oh really yeah gerald now. He's not shocking. But i don't typically like it's the closest comp. Yeah he's going to be a ton of fun with delaware. Of course daryl morey got with megyn a band that is awesome while watch him just like turn into an all star out of nowhere for philadelphia. Yeah that'd be one. I mean he's fun to watch anyway. Like oh he's like. Hey let's just hope the seventy sixers opt in to whatever the g. league thing is going to be so yeah. I was talking to my friend. i'm sure you know. Pd web from from draft. Where i was talking on a pod about johnny and we came to the conclusion that he doesn't play a position at least in college and he's just the genet you just doesn't and he plays basketball and those are my favorite kind of players to watch. I have no idea what the look at what i'm scouting. And but he is going to be. He's going to. He's going to be something. I don't know i have no idea what there are a lot of guys like that this year like it's obviously a g. league guy so i'm bias and want a lot of these guys. Spend a lot of g league time anyway. But like like as much as i want poku getting thunder minutes like i want poku down with the blue to right like i wanna see i wanna see what forty minutes of it in a long leash looks like and i wanna see that with jay and i wanna see that jalen harris with the raptors in so hopefully over there some form of g. league. I don't you know we've seen reports about his. I certainly don't think it'll be enough of a g. league for poku to get sent down but like you. We get jay for sure might get some paul read. Delaware's gonna be able to. They're going to be like the g. League pass honestly all man. They're going to have to watch. That will pass. Which isn't even available in canada because all the games are on. Espn plus now. oh There plus now a bunch of them were last year. I couldn't. I could only had missed some games last year. Because i just couldn't find a stream will rats okay. We'll we'll have to figure that out then but now while regardless the delaware eighty seven right. Yes yeah well. They're gonna be must see tv now. So i'm excited for that guys. Thank you for listening. Of course like i mentioned follow. Both of us. Just have a good day.

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