Since today is indeed Black Friday, as you read this I’ll probably be out shopping for something I don’t need. That doesn’t I’m not also here to answer your Raptors-related questions for the week, so let’s just dive right in.
The questions for this week’s HQ Mailbag are fitting, given Friday night’s opponent. As you can see from the first one below:
would you trade JV and Powell for Otto Porter?— JD Quirante (@jdkeyrants) November 22, 2018
I figured out why I haven’t fallen in love with Otto Porter Jr. the way others have. They don’t let him play basketball! Game after game, the Wizards and their star point guard — who I once claimed was better than Kyrie Irving in an opinion I may now regret — do not feed Otto Porter his shots.
Porter’s three-point percentage is down this season to 35.6 percent so far. That’s good, but he’s shot 43 percent or higher in the last two years. The real problem is that Porter gets nine total shots a game. It’s third-option stuff, of course, but he’s got the length and shot profile of a guy who could stand to get a boost.
At the money Porter is being paid, he should be expected to do more. I don’t know if the Raptors have the role for him to do that this year. He’d be the third option still behind Lowry and Leonard. He’d plug in nicely on defense with his tools, but I’m not certain he’s ever been a great defender. He’s a fun player who hasn’t been unlocked yet, probably.
Jury’s out on this trade: I think the Wiz can get more for Porter than this, I think the Raps would really, really consider this, but I don’t know whether it moves the needle all that much. And of course, there’s the bigger dollar question: do you want to play Otto Porter $27 million (or more!) over the next three years?
Finally, I just can’t see Raptors players in Wizards uniforms. Ew.
With the Celtics underperforming, the Bucks thrashing the conference-leading Trailblazers, and the 76ers acquiring Jimmy Butler, what's your early season take on the competition in the east?— Nate S. (@Feurns) November 22, 2018
I’m sure the Celtics will figure it out, but for now, let me soak this in. The Celtics have things to figure out on the offensive end. Jayson Tatum = Kobe in his mind, but not on the court. Jaylen Brown has stagnated. Gordon Hayward’s on the bench? Everyone says Brad Stevens is too smart to not eventually figure it out with this roster. The personnel is probably there for that to happen. So, while they’re bad, I will enjoy it. When they are not, I will not.
The Bucks offense has been historically good thus far, and yeah, the thrashing of Portland was something that CJ McCollum had no fun with on Twitter the next day. They’re one of the only losses on the Raptors’ record thus far — and in a game without Giannis and Kawhi, that just means we’re going to get some great games from here on out.
Jimmy Butler ruining Kemba Walker’s 60-point night hurt me physically. Butler’s going to be good for the 76ers, as he is a good basketball player who once put a lot of points up against the Raptors in a single half. Sorry for bringing that back up, but I’m hurt that he’s back in the East. The only way I would’ve loved him in the East is if he was reunited with friend Kyle Lowry. They love each other.
Anyway, tangent over: The jury is out on locker-room problem Jimmy Butler. Basketball is better when more teams are better, so maybe the Sixers should be good. I am not a fan though of how quickly the 76ers turned “evil.”
I also like Indiana because I enjoy Victor Oladipo — specifically, his smooth singing voice.
what movie is at the top of your watch list ? #HQMailbag— jordan tepper (@jordandtepper) November 22, 2018
My friend Jordan is lucky that Reynolds manages this site. I think so far it’s for that reason I’ve been allowed an unusual amount of movie talk in my weekly Raptors mailbag. Do I have that right? [Ed. Note: Indeed.]
But here’s how it stands. I mentioned a couple of movies I wanted to see last week; I still haven’t seen them. I did see The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and I generally like the Coens. It was uneven, and some segments were better than others or whatever, but I really liked it.
Let’s go for some new watchlist options this week. I think Reynolds has seen Christian Petzold’s Transit, but it looks really, really good. If I’m not Black Friday shopping like I said I might be at the beginning of this mailbag, that’s possibly where I’ll be. (Note: I think Mid90s works better with my schedule.) (Further note: I have a lot of free time in the middle of Friday afternoons.)
OK one more, for good measure: I really want to see Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite. I liked The Lobster. He brings a nice, weird sensibility to his movies; it looks like this one will be a great time. If only for the correct spelling of “favourite.”
Are there ANY major trades you would consider for this year’s team (ie any players realistically available who would make a real difference) or is the team makeup pretty much set in your mind? Feels set to me (exact rotation etc aside)— Scott Bialo (@Scott_Bialo) November 22, 2018
I felt it was appropriate to bookend this mailbag with Wizards-themed trade questions. Now, I know this isn’t directly Wizards-themed but my answer is.
Because my answer is Bradley Beal. There are some questions as to whether the not-good Wizards will be trading the good Bradley Beal. They probably shouldn’t: He’s 25, the contract is good, and, again, three-point shooters and shot creators of his calibre don’t grow on trees.
But they are the Wizards, so I don’t know what will happen. I would like Bradley Beal on the Raptors for a few reasons:
- He is a Raptor Killer.
- A Lowry, Beal, Leonard core is spacing-heavy and dynamite shooting-wise. Three A-level options in the playoffs will be tough to stop — we know full well where depth can go come April and May (and June?).
Working through potential trade returns, salary-matching-wise, it’d be something like Ibaka or Valanciunas, Danny Green, and a young guy like an OG Anunoby-type.
And I don’t know whether it’s worth it to see all of those fan favourites I enjoy so much in those weird District of Columbia uniforms (Not worth it. At all.), and whether it’s worth it to see John Wall pout when he isn’t the one making magic happen. (Always worth it.)
I can dream about a Bradley Beal on the Raptors situation. But I can also see the rotation being super-set. I enjoy this Raptors team, I like watching them play, I’m enjoying watching this team grow. The Raptors are fun. The Raptors are good. They are fun and good as is. Here’s to more fun and to more good.