It's always fun to get Smith's perspective on all things Toronto Raptors. He's a respected journalist with a wealth of knowledge on a team he's been covering since the very beginning.
With that being said, you know I have to throw my two cents in on some of the juicier questions he answered. That's just the kind of guy I am, folks.
Q: With a number of expiring contracts on the Raptors' roster, do you see us making a play for guys like David West? Teams with formidable players, at the 4 like the Pacers-West, that don't have 'bright' current futures, will gladly flip talent for expiring deals. Do you see the Raps targeting any big men/forwards through this 'flip'?
Smith: Not at the cost of long-term money; they're saving for big fish in a year or two.
Q: Another 20th Anniversary question Top 10 Raptors (based on what they did while playing here)...top 5 is easy (no order): Bosh, Carter, Davis, Demar, Stoudamire...who are the next 5?
Smith: Totally fast and without much thought answer: Oak, Calderon, Mo Pete, Lowry and I don't know
Walder: What? No David Anderson, Patrick O'Bryant or Roko Ukic? In all seriousness, I'd round out Smith's list with either Alvin Williams or Amir Johnson.
Q: What are your impressions on Lou Williams? Is he an upgrade over Salmons? Or will Salmons' defence be missed?
Smith: Pure scorer who will win at least a couple of games. He's a huge upgrade on Salmons in that regard and while he is a lesser defender, that's what they got Johnson for. Think of it as a two-for-one deal that gets both sides taken care of in Toronto. Salmons, for all the good he did for a few months, was done at the end.
Walder: Just when I'm about to start missing Salmons, I think of this....
Q: Is this the best Raptors roster overall in the past 20 years (Chemistry/talent/contract/couch/drama/contract/age/experience...etc)
Smith: Nope. Still that '01 team. Was older and wiser.
Walder: The 2014-15 iteration will need to win a playoff series to be in the discussion. Fair is fair.
Q: Try any good burger joints over the summer?
Smith: Hero Burger here. A new one to me that's good.
Walder: It's not necessarily a burger joint, but go try the Firkin Burger at Firkin on Yonge. Tell 'em Walder sent you [they don't know me that well].
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