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Listen to That’s A Rap #51: The Chinese domino effect

Basketball is a global game. But what if 20 percent of the globe cut ties with the NBA? All this and more on the latest That’s A Rap.

Toronto Raptors v Houston Rockets Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

While the Raptors were in Asia dealing with the Rockets on the court, Adam Silver’s been dealing with NBA China and Rockets GM, Daryl Morey off the court. Impact of the former is minimal (except for the Terry Davis hype train), but the latter is already creating stir worldwide.

As NBA fans, we’re now accustomed to the NBA news cycle running all year. What we’re not used to, though, is when the drama pours out onto the global stage with political ramifications. The latest episode is thought-provoking and as insightful as we’ve had. Make sure to chime in with your thoughts or questions on the developments from China.

On This Week’s Episode:

Where were you on June 30? Were you eagerly awaiting Kawhi Leonard’s decision? How many times did you refresh Twitter for the latest mind-blowing move? The first few hours/days of NBA Free Agency are an absolute frenzy of player news and movement. It’s very easy to forget who has moved where because so much movement is happening. Now that the pre-season is underway, a bit of that shock reappears when you start seeing these new faces in new places. C.J. Miles is a Wizard? DeMarre Carroll is a Spur? Andre Iguodala is... still a Grizzly? We kicked off the show with a fun game of Trading Spaces.

The meat of the episode centered around the media frenzy (or lack of it) surrounding the NBA in China. Jason did an excellent history lesson on what’s been happening to China — enough to provide context for what Morey (in)famously tweeted about. The fallout from that tweet is still being felt a week later, with no end in sight. Sponsors are dropping like flies, streaming platforms have halted broadcasting NBA games, and retail sales are being negatively impacted. What are the financial implications of these moves? How does this affect the NBA and all its teams?

Masai Ujiri answered a large question before it really got asked. By re-signing Kyle Lowry to a 1-year, $31 million extension, there’s one less expiring contract to worry about. The deal eats into the huge cap space the Raps will have next summer, but Lowry would have been one of the most popular free agents anyway. What does this extension mean for Fred VanVleet? Does this make it more or less likely that Lowry ends up on the trading block?

4:00 - Trading Spaces

15:30 - Big Trouble in not-so-little China

44:30 - O Captain! My Captain!