Before the season, if I told you the Raptors would acquire Jakob Poeltl — already knowing back then that the team had a glaring hole at the Center position — at the trade deadline without sacrificing any rotation players, wouldn’t you be overly ecstatic?
What if I told you Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were also traded out of the conference?
What if I told you that Pascal Siakam would have a career year that resulted in his second All-Star appearance?
What if I told you the Trae Young-Dejounte Murray duo was a failed experiment, that Miami has mostly disappointed, and that Toronto has owned the Cavaliers in all 3 matchups so far?
Despite all of those bits of news, what if I told you the vibes around the team have been akin to the Tampa Tank season? The level of trust in the Raptors' front office has never been lower during Masai Ujiri’s tenure. He’s doubled down on his belief that there’s a playoff contender lurking underneath this double-digit-seeded team. What do you think?
In This Episode:
1:38 — Jake Puddle returns
The Trade Raptor that once gobbled up Jake Puddle has finally brought him back to Raptors’ Landing (or whatever they called it in Game of Zones). Toronto finally has its Center! Christian Koloko showed signs (albeit tiny) of what this team could look like with a rim protector. Now the Raptors have one-third of the season left to make a playoff push with a more seasoned — and familiar — Center manning the paint.
9:15 — Trade dud-line?
For a good portion of trade deadline week, Toronto was the centre of the basketball universe. Teams with higher playoff aspirations were calling about every single Raptor. Scouts were showing up at all Raptors games. Every single rumour seemed to include a player from Toronto. Yet, the Raptors would reach the deadline with only Poeltl to show. Was this a missed opportunity for the front office?
31:05 — Is LeBron the GOAT?
After 20 seasons, you’d figure LeBron James was finished writing his name in the record book. Instead, the King continues to exceed expectations and defy logic. By averaging 30 points per game, James was able to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time scoring list well ahead of when it was originally predicted — in a March game against the Raptors! Does his latest accomplishment change your opinion on his status as the GOAT?
45:25 — More like BEST-ern Conference
With Kevin Durant joining the Phoenix Suns, the Western Conference has never been more stacked. Steph Curry, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Andre Iguodala, and now Durant, make it 10 of the last 11 NBA Finals MVPs all residing in the Pacific division. Who’s your favourite to come out of the West? Would you favour the West’s best in a finals matchup against Boston or Milwaukee?