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To think, we’re still two days away from the draft and whatever trades might accompany that and we’re more than a week away from NBA free agency and the frenzy that creates.
And we’ve got the best team in the East with no management to speak of, the best and most powerful player in the game ticked off about it and two all-stars perhaps on the trade block and teams scurrying to put deals together to perhaps acquire them.
Minor firestorm here last night that was fueled by the typical tweeter nonsense and we get to ask Masai questions this morning that I guarantee won’t yield a snippet of hard news.
You know what they say in some places about the weather?
If you don’t like it, wait 10 minutes and it’ll change.
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The same holds for the NBA these days and it’s a wonderfully bumpy ride that’s at least a wee bit tiring.
But I guess it beats being bored, although bored can be a welcome respite every now and then.
Getting back to the one leftover from the mail on Sunday, there’s this one that seems quite interesting given what’s transpired in the last 48 hours or so, league-wide:
Looking ahead to next week’s draft, decisions coming out of the free agency frenzy and any possible trades along the way, as a benchmark, who would you guess will be the starting 5 for the Raptors at the start of next season, and who will no longer be with the team?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that trying to guess in June before the draft what a team will look like when training camp begins in September truly is an exercise in futility.
But I’m a guy who likes a little futility in his life so what the hell.
First, the guess, and educated though it is, it’s still a guess:
Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Norm Powell, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas.
Now, the provisions:
Last season ended poorly and in mid-May everyone was tired of everyone. The players were tire of each other, Masai was tired of the style of play and the way things ends, Dwane was tired to some degree with everything and it was time for a bit of a break from each other and the situation.
They had lost ugly to a very good team playing out of its mind, Lowry was hurt and ended up watching the last two games and that sucked and they had the misfortune of getting Cleveland in the second round instead of the third.
This is not new, it is not unusual and five or six weeks since, maybe some feelings have calmed. Time and distance will do that. Thankfully.
But here’s one more thing: You never know. Maybe the disappointment at the end of the season doesn’t dissipate and when July rolls around there’s nothing to but change, either subtly or remarkably.
We’re not there yet and it truly is fluid. There are conversations going on all the time. Remember the dinner out in L.A. just before the Finals that we wrote about? Lowry and DeRozan and Dwane, Norm was around and so was Delon? Those types of chats are meant to test the waters, see how everyone feels about the circumstance and each other. It’s why Masai’s been talking to and meeting with players and coaches and agents almost daily since the day after the season ended, to see how everyone’s doing and feeling before deciding on his course of action.
It’s like it’s always been, though. A moveable feast of somewhat endless possibilities and that come and go almost daily.
What was true and possible yesterday might not be true and possible today and who knows what opportunities are going to present themselves tomorrow.
At this time yesterday, the Cavaliers were going to find a way to add Paul George or perhaps Jimmy Butler to create another zany Super Team to challenge Golden State.
Today? LeBron’s leaving at the end of next season to join someone – Jerry West? – in L.A. and the landscape is forever altered. See, things change fast.
The only thing anyone knows for sure is that no one knows for sure.
It’s coming, right?
Speaking of speaking, there’s another of the crazily entertaining Hoop Talks things going on tomorrow night in downtown Toronto.
Please let’s keep this between ourselves but if you go here to look for one of the few tickets left and use the promo code “Smith” you’ll get a break on the price.
And you can use that found money to perchance help a parched panelist quench his thirst, right?
Anyone else wish the Blue Jays and Texas played each other about 65 times a year? Just something about the games gives them an extra edge and a series is always full of drama or something and a welcome interlude in the never-ending season.
I don’t know which mock draft to work on first.
The one for Thursday night or the one for the Vegas pucks expansion team.
And give the NHL credit, they’ve dragged out this expansion draft for so long you can’t help but know about it.
Yeah, let’s start with the mail, although I suspect more than a few questions will arise out of Thursday’s draft.
But there must be more on your mind than basketball, right?
Unburden yourself at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get cracking on Sunday’s stuff in the next day or two.