Unavoidable trade chatter, more NBA Finals and who’s in for Canada in Ye Olde Mailbag

Fresh off Basketball Night in Scarborough, here’s a somewhat brief Ye Olde Mailbag for you to digest.

Enjoy.

Q: Hello Doug:

I know one win means nothing, but that was a terrific display of three-point shooting by Boston in the 4th quarter last night plus stifling defense.

Think the Warriors were shell-shocked. Celtics kept the Warriors from scoring for five minutes. WOW!

You have indicated Warriors in 5 games, but I will disagree with you on that prediction. I think the Celtics are on a mission, and under-rated. They defeated the Nets, Bucks and Heat and did it with timely shooting and great defense.

They are a young team with very talented players.

So, my prediction, Celtics in 6 games. Looking forward to Sunday’s tilt and the adjustments made.

Liking the Blue Jays these days and a fun team to watch. If Vladdy gets hot, look out.

Reading some suggestions that the Raptors might be inclined to trade OJ Anunoby with several different teams interested.

Do you think this is a good move? I know he has struggled with injuries almost every season, but seems to me he has more upside to be developed.

Not sure about Ontario’s direction after the election, but I fear for the medical profession, teachers and long-term care, to name a few things.

Have a good day, and thanks for your reporting.

Raven

A: I’ve resisted any thoughts of even mentioning the OG thing for this reason.

OG’s a very good young player with a very good contract. That teams call about him is news like a story saying “Saturday follows Friday” is news.

That the Raptors take the call is even less surprising. If they didn’t, they’d not be doing their jobs and they’re very, very good at their jobs.

Do I think the Raptors will trade OG, or should? Come on, yeah. A thousand times no.

Do I think the Raptors get calls on him – and Fred and Siakam and Trent and Achiuwa – on a regular basis? Yes, yes, yes. A thousand times yes.

Is any of it news? Yeah. Is it clickbait and “hey, look what my anonymous sources tell me” nonsense. Yes.

I think the best thing we can all do here in the next four years is to incessantly keep politicians in check and accountable. It’s not enough to simply get worked up during a campaign.

Q: Hi Doug:

In your recent story about Canadian NBA players making long term commitments to the national program, I noticed Chris Boucher’s name wasn’t on the list.

Is he likely to be part of the program?

I’m also a bit unsure about the supposed three-year commitment. What’s to stop any of them from changing their minds after a year or two?

Dave

A: Chris is not likely to be part of the program, hasn’t been since pulling out of the 2019 World Cup so it’s not a big surprise, I don’t think.

There’s no “penalty” for withdrawing but players have given their word and that should mean something.

Q: Doug,

Forgetting about the math, do you think the raptors would entertain a trade of Anunoby for Gobert? If Doug Smith were GM, what would he have to say about it?

Tony Baer

Albany, NY

A: No. Gobert’s a very good defender, Anunoby’s a very good defender. Anunoby is younger and has a far more varied offensive game. That one-for-one swap, even if was possible, makes the Raptors different but I’m not sure better.

Q: Hi Doug

I have a question regarding the three-point shot. There was a time when players only got two points for a basket no matter where it was shot from. There have been some writers that bemoan how the game has become too dependent on the three-pointer. I don’t remember when the three-point rule came into effect.

Do you think that the NBA needs to revisit the three-point rule or do you think that the three-point rule is here for good? What are your feelings regarding the three-point shot?

The Celtics did come back in the 4th quarter with the three-point shot but is that a good thing or should we return to the day when it was the inside game that decided the outcome?

Gary from Kearney

PS I went to Annandale for 4 years. Did not know they amalgamated with Glendale into one. Yes Kearney is a good place to retire. I expect you to visit this summer to see for yourself. I would be pleased to give you the grand tour.

A: Oh, the three-pointer is here to stay and while I think there’s too much reliance on it some nights, it does serve a purpose in that it tends to open the floor. I think what we’ll see is defences more aimed at and successful at it as time goes on and that won’t be a bad thing. It is a great equalizer and lets teams get back in games really quickly.

But going back to the olden days isn’t going to happen.

I was in Tillsonburg when the amalgamation occurred, it was quite the shakeup in a small town.

Q: Doug

Celtics in fewer than 7

Celtics are the team that the Raptors want to be. If Celtics lose, Raps are totally on the wrong track.

Bill

A: I’m not really getting your point but, the Celtics can win in fewer that seven. And they can lose, too.

But the correlation between them and the Raptors escapes me. Isn’t the truth that the Celtics are actually trying to become the team the Raptors were? NBA champions.

Q: Hi Doug,

Hope you are enjoying the start of summer and the NBA finals. At least the telemarketing election calls have stopped (for those with landlines!)

So, a few questions …

1) I guess you’ve received a million OG questions since rumors leaked earlier this week! Did the emergence of Precious (and his 3-point shooting) ultimately push OG into trade discussions? (not from a personal / jealousy angle, but more regarding assets and team value angle) Is OG just the player whose trade would cause the least disturbance and give the best return?

2) On a related note, apparently the Raptors have been talking to players ranking in the top 10-15 for the upcoming draft, although our pick is # 33. That seems to imply that the team is willing to make some sort of deal to move up for a player (s) they find intriguing. Or is it common for teams to talk to draft-eligible players they likely won’t draft? I assume teams can discuss anything they want, or are there restrictions?

3) Another draft question: What main differences (salary, rights, etc.) for drafted vs undrafted players? If a prospect is considered to be a late second-rounder, are there reasons why a team (or a player) would NOT want to be selected in the draft (aside from disliking the team / destination)?

4) This season (and playoff run) did establish which players on the roster are our main rotation and who is on the bench. Is it time to clear out the bench? Aside from Justin, Malachi, and maybe Yuta, I could release / trade just about everyone else. i know, depends on whose available … thoughts?

Thanks again for keeping us afloat until next season!

Bernie M

A: OG, as I’ve said, is a good young player with a very manageable contract, that teams call about him is the least surprising thing on Earth. But nothing Precious did or does plays into it.

I’m not sure what players the Raptors “talked” to but it’s pure due diligence, all teams do it.

Many players in the 45-60 range would prefer not to be drafted. It gives them the whole league to talk to rather than one team.

Malachi’s got a contract and will be back, Champagnie basically played the entire season in the G League and they see some promise in him so I think he’ll get a shot. Yuta’s had two years and as good a guy he is, I think his time has passed.

So four or five new guys on the end of the roster would seem to be expected.

Q: Hi Doug – Great analysis of the last moments of the Heat / Celtics game. In the end I think the better Team won! I felt sorry for Lowry that he wasn’t granted a second Finals appearance by the Basketball gods. More of a comment then a question but the scoring drought that the Heat went through in the fourth quarter seemed reminiscent of some of the Raptors 4th quarters this past season. Always wondered why these droughts happen and are often followed by they just can’t miss sequences. Any idea why this often happens? Guess that’s what makes Basketball such a fun game to watch. Can’t wait for the finals !!!! Going for Golden State – How about yourself?
Great Rant – What a Putz! We really deserve better as we are blessed with an amazing place to live yet they (politicians) keep screwing with it! I spent nine Days in the Hospital last fall and felt lucky that we have Universal Care. How and why our Nurses and Dr’s don’t get more respect is beyond me! They were amazing! Skilled, always pleasant and understanding no matter how challenging the patient’s care was. They deserve to be paid accordingly and treated with way more respect from our elected officials!
Tim

A: Basketball’s truly a game of runs and there seems to be no logical reason why they start or stop as far as I can see. I guess the best explanation I have is that teams that get hot tend to maybe get a bit complacent, teams that are being battered tend to figure out small defensive adjustments.

And sometimes, good shots that were going in just don’t. But it is a fun part of the game.

Q: Hello Doug,

Always read your blog and articles. You are my cultural hero – along with Steve Kerr.

Let me have a small rant: it was not possible to watch the pre-game analyzes for the NBA EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL! Yes, there was an important baseball game but … really. And after the WNBA game on Raptors NBA channel, there was plenty of time to check in with the pregame coverage. Sigh

As for your rant on healthcare in Ontario (and elsewhere in Canada) I am old enough to remember as a child pre-universal healthcare and the effects on my family – father had job at Halifax Dockyard – just didn’t make enough to keep up with hospital bills. So, relocate to Elliott Lake to work in uranium mine and eventual silicosis.

Saw an amazing piece between Marci Ien and Fred VanVleet – they were great together and kind of interviewed each other and featured each other’s deep commitments to community.

best,

JM

A: How the two Canadian networks decide what parts of pre- and post-game shows they pick up or don’t is a bit mystifying but also has to do with their own regularly-scheduled programming. I can certainly see how it’s frustrating though.

The VanVleet-Len conversation was tremendous.

Here it is.

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