Eastern Notes: Raptors, Gilgeous-Alexander, Winslow

While we’ve heard a couple times already this offseason that the Raptors are open for business and won’t make anyone on their roster untouchable in trade talks, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca notes that the team may be especially focused on shaking up the “top end of its top-heavy roster.”

That could mean that a player like DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas, or Serge Ibaka is on the move in the coming days or weeks, since those four players are on track to earn nearly $100MM in 2018/19. For what it’s worth, one source told Grange that he believes at least one of the Raptors’ big – or “medium” – three won’t be back next season, referring to Lowry, DeRozan, and Ibaka.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference as we wait for the 2018 NBA draft to get underway:

  • ESPN’s Brian Windhorst suggests that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t interested in playing for the Cavaliers, reporting that Gilgeous-Alexander refused to work out for Cleveland and made a point to tell the team he didn’t want to be there (Twitter link). The Kentucky point guard is considered a candidate to come off the board in the top 10.
  • The Heat, who have explored the possibility of trading back into the draft, have made Justise Winslow available in their discussions, tweets Jake Fischer of SI.com. Like the Raptors, the Heat have suggested no one on their roster will be off-limits this summer, so that doesn’t come as a real surprise.
  • The Pistons are making a “hard push” to hire Bucks assistant Sean Sweeney for Dwane Casey‘s new staff in Detroit, league sources tell Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). Stein notes that Sweeney has worked as closely with Giannis Antetokounmpo as any coach in Milwaukee.
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10 thoughts on “Eastern Notes: Raptors, Gilgeous-Alexander, Winslow

  1. If I were the Raptors I would ride it out in the week East rather than attach a first round pick or young asset to unload one of those Albatross contracts. Two more years with this cast and see what they do. Really no other option in Toronto. I don’t think rebuilding would be wise, they won number one seed in the East last year. I think in a city like Toronto you have to settle for being very good and roll with it. Don’t mortgage your future and regret it four years from now when you don’t have a first-rounder rounding into shape as a great Pro.

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  2. knickscavsfan

    I really wonder why Shai GA doesn’t want to be drafted by the Cavs? If LBJ comes back then you’re automatically on a playoff contender. You get to play with all-stars like LBJ and Love as opposed to teams rebuilding. You get to be mentored by LBJ who is basically a PG. I mean, I know it was said Toronto and that’s where he’s from but they don’t have a 1st rnd pick. Is it better to be drafted by Charlotte (Walker), Clippers (Rivers), Denver (Murray), Wizards (Wall), Suns (Ulis, Payton), Bucks (Brogden)? Maybe he’s hoping he’ll slip down to the Spurs at 18?

    These kids and there telling teams not to draft them is crazy.

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      • hiflew

        It didn’t hurt Kobe’s career, but it, in effect, killed the Hornets franchise in Charlotte. At least for a while. I would think the NBA should care more about the health of ALL 30 franchises ahead of the whims of a 19 year old.

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      • knickscavsfan

        It’s not about how it will effect the player at all. I just think it’s disrespectful. Pay your does, make your million, embrace the idea of turning a franchise around and once your rookie contract ends, walk away from a huge extension and go where you want to.

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        • formerlyz

          Team could just do their research and take a player regardless. Just b/c someone steers themselves away, it doesnt mean you cant take them anyway

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          • knickscavsfan

            Of course. That’s understood. I’m just speaking to the idea that these unproven guys have the minimals to tell teams not to draft them. Many have said that ultimately, Alexander could be the best PG. However, I’m very happy with Sexton. I think he’s more what the Cavs need.

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  3. Cannot blame SGA for not wanting to play in Cleveland, I mean it is Cleveland, the only reason to go there would be LBJ & he might not be back, so is safer to stay clear of it.

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    • pihc

      Name one eastern team that’s made it to the NBA finals in the last 4 years besides Cleveland.

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    • knickscavsfan

      Yeah because the Clippers are an example of a winning organization? And he’s playing behind the coach’s son who also happens to be the starting PG. Fun fact, NOT counting the years with LBJ both franchises have the same amount of +.500 seasons. Better weather but that’s about it.

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