The Raptors have a dragon-sized problem that may not be resolved any time soon.
The cloud looming over the Raptors since last season’s end has continued to loom as the off-season moves through Summer League season — it’s just changed from possible Kyle Lowry destinations to Goran Dragic’s final destination. If he does not wish to play for Toronto, what’s holding back the trade discussions with his preferred destination in Dallas? If he’s staying, why does it feel like no one is including him in next season’s roster makeup? If/when the league comes down on the tampering involved, what punishment could befall Miami?
All of the drama off the court couldn’t distract Raptors fans at their first look at the future (present?) fan favourite, Scottie Barnes, and the rest of the newest Raptors during Vegas Summer League. There have mostly been glimpses into what had Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster swooning. Whether or not his success so far will translate to the regular season is a discussion for a later pod. For now, enjoy the latest episode of That’s A Rap!
In This Episode:
4:00 — A dragon-sized problem
Goran Dragic doesn’t want to play in Toronto. Correction, Goran Dragic wants to play in Toronto. Correction, Goran Dragic is currently scheduled to open his season with Toronto but could very well be traded before the season (or at the deadline). If he ultimately stays, how does he fit into the current roster construction? If he’s traded, what is his value, considering Toronto’s front office may not have enough negotiation power to fleece another team?
19:50 — Tamper-pedic Madness
As if the drama surrounding Dragic’s comments about Toronto wasn’t enough, the NBA is now investigating whether or not tampering was involved. It’s an ugly situation that may need to get uglier before reaching a conclusion.
27:00 — “I’ve had it up to here with your...RULES!”
The league has issued some new rules that hurt the effectiveness of offensive foul-baiting experts like James Harden, Trae Young, and Kyle Lowry. How will this affect the game next season? How will players adjust?
40:00 — Vegas Baby!
Malachi Flynn has looked like he’s too good for Summer League. Precious Achiuwa isn’t quite there yet, but he’s awfully close. Dalano Banton continues to impress (and has since been rewarded with his first NBA contract). On the flip side, Freddie Gillespie — whose contract is not yet guaranteed next season — has seemingly lost the mojo that had fans cheering his very existence. He’s in a close battle with Ish Wainwright, Sam Dekker, and Isaac Bonga for one of the final roster spots and, if his poor Summer League play continues, may fall right out of the league.