Amit Mann is joined by Yahoo Sports Sr. NBA Writer Jake Fischer to discuss why the Toronto Raptors could be one of the most influential teams at the NBA trade deadline. Listen to the full episode discussing the latest rumours around the team on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed or watch on YouTube.
AMIT MANN: Yeah, how much are the Raptors going to be dictating what happens on Fab Nine?
JAKE FISCHER: Yeah, I think it's a great question, because the second the Raptors creeped into the equation for Kevin Durant, like, the market changed, right? And I think from a lot of what I've heard, some teams are a bit curious as to how much the Raptors have been talking, and wondering if they're trying to put blood in the water to kind of control the marketplace, and to kind of have all these calls coming in, and to really think about every team as a balloon, to hold all these balloons, and kind of then decide which ones to let go, kind of keep everyone wrapped up in what the Raptors are doing. And therefore, they can kind of control the market here, because all those guys we just talked about, Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent, OG Anunoby, and if you want to put Pascal Siakam in that conversation, you can, I'd be floored if they moved him honestly
I think he wants to be their international player who very much has been content, and happy, and thrilled to be in Toronto, and has embraced being the leader of this team in a post Kawhi situation. Obviously, Fred is kind of that leader in terms of spirit and mentality, but Pascal has been in terms of-- the ball is in his hands when the game is on the line in most scenarios, right? Or when this team needs someone to go get buckets, it's Pascal Siakam he does that.
All those guys are going to be either the best or in the top couple of players available at their position. So the Raptors will be able to hold those markets hostage a little bit as long as they're flirting, oh, we might-- oh, we're listening. So there could be a clear opportunity to your point, of the Raptors kind of playing the central figure of this domino effect here, which would be really interesting, because they're a front office that obviously has a ton of staying power, and a lot of support from ownership, and Larry Tanenbaum, that they'll have flexibility to do pretty much anything they want versus other teams, other executives, certainly have other pressures at play, other expectations, not as much of a rope. And that will create an advantage in a lot of scenarios in terms of just like we talked about, Kyle Lowry, they can decide to not do anything.
I don't think they will. No one's expecting that to be the case, but that's a threat that will loom on the table.
AMIT MANN: It's going to be interesting. When's your Raptor notebook coming out?
JAKE FISCHER: Tomorrow morning, Tuesday. So I tried not to dump everything out, but I said what I could.
AMIT MANN: That's fair. That's fair.
JAKE FISCHER: And we'll learn some more once we talk to the players today.
AMIT MANN: Sounds good, Jake Fischer.