Four real Raptors fans react, in an uncensored fashion, to what just happened on draft night and why it plays into all of our fears as Raptors fans. You may not like it, but you can always count on PhdSteve for the truth and the world wide round table for a good discussion to break down college ball and the Raptors.

The pod is below and there’s more to come during the day, but do check out RR’s coverage from last night:

Grab the iTunes feed or check us out on Stitcher on Android. There is also the plain old feed. You can also download the file (49:46, 47 MB). Or just listen below:

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  • Moewrawn

    Look, I usually respect what these guys have to say, but my god, this podcast is a god damn joke and makes them look bad, ignorant and foolish. Really? Do we really think Masai is so stupid he just throws away picks on nothing? I didn’t know all four guys on this podcast were paid professional NBA scouts who knew more then Masai and his team. Oh wait… Bruno may never be a great player, but I will sure as hell reserve judgement until I see him play. I’ll trust the gm and his paid scouts over a bunch of guys who watch and speculate on the draft as a hobby.

    • sleepz

      I agree with should reserve judgement on players drafted that no one has seen play yet, however this theme that “Masai can do no wrong and knows better than all of us” needs to stop. We all make mistakes, no GM bats a thousand and I don’t think it is unreasonable to have questions about an unknown player, playing in a remote league, against unknown competition.

      I hope the kid turns out to be a player and I have no problem swinging for the fences at #20 but it is also fair to question his long term prospects and abilities against NBA competition.

      • Moewrawn

        I’m not under the impression that Masai can’t/ won’t make mistakes, but I just trust the guy who scouted him several times and his team had seen several times. Masai started off in the NBA as an unpaid scout for the exact reasons he made the pick. I trust his judgement for now.

        • Ho Tep

          What’s the old saw, “think like a fan and you’ll inevitably end up sitting with them”…. I’m guessing Ujuri has no plans to host a podcast.

          • raptors phdsteve

            I hope not or else Ill be out of work. All kidding aside, you are right. Its a bold move and GMs are remembered either positively or negatively for bold moves. So, he does deserve credit for being bold. Today, I dont like the move but just like you, I hope that I am 100% wrong and that Masai is again right, awesome, and genius.

            • Ho Tep

              Take no offense, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ujuri has aims on the Secretary General of the UN. Some higher order, blue sky thinking going on with that one.

              Appreciate the wide variety of RR podcasts, enjoy the break.

    • raptors phdsteve

      I just wished that you would reserve judgement on whether or not were bad, ignorant, and foolish until you had seen him play. I mena it seems only fair since you are asking the same of us for Masai?

  • blackjitsu

    Guys, his last name is pronounced Kah–Bow-Klow. Pretty straight forward. Also, I disagree with your assessment that NBA teams are properly scouting South America. Most of the South American players drafted into the NBA were playing in Europe, or NCAA. Basically, the only leagues being properly scouted are Euroleague and China. South America, Africa, leagues in Japan, Philippines, etc., basically are scouted through BWB.

    This podcast is full of Chicken Little fears. I don’t think there’s enough info to judge things one way or another. Whether Lowry stays has more to do with the team’s reputation than the GM swinging for the fences.

    Question: Would you guys prefer a safe pick in a draft, over a high-potential gamble?

    Clint Capela would have been a big gamble, same with Slo-Mo. This is the same thing, with a guy none of us have heard of. Also, you guys said that Shabazz was worked out by the Raps — they never brought him in, or interviewed him at Chicago.

    • Korfan

      Plus, contrary to the podcast, it sounds like the Raptors did work out Caboclo. Multiple scouting trips by members of the organization, three trips by Masai himself, and a meeting/workout in Houston attended by Casey. That seems like due diligence to me.

      This whole podcast made the guys (especially Steve) look slightly ridiculous. Particularly the “don’t believe the propaganda; I’m a Truth-teller” rant. And saying the only available videos of him consist of missed layups. And a host of other false statements.

      I really appreciate the speed with which the crew at Raptors Republic produces content. You guys are great. But if there was ever a time to take a breath and wait for the confusion and misinformation to dissipate, this was it.

      I totally agree that we as fans should be skeptical and critical, but we should also not assume we know everything. We don’t know that he would have been there at 37. We didn’t know (by design) the extent of Masai’s scouting. We don’t know exactly what Masai was doing to try to move down in the draft or acquire another pick. We do know, however, that most of the guys selected at our pick or later will be out of the league in a few years.

      Every year people say things like (to quote Greg from elsewhere in this comment section) “I still think there were a lot of guys available who could have really helped this team next year.” That never happens. There are never a lot of guys picked after 20 that really help their teams immediately. A couple guys will turn out great, and we may regret passing on them, but it’s a crapshoot. I wish we could all just be a little more modest in our projections; most of these guys won’t be productive players in the NBA. Possibly including Caboclo. Let’s just wait and see.

      • Yep, all of this. I love the RR guys, but once they started making fun of his name, I figured that whole section wouldn’t have much substance. That really hurts any claim to journalistic quality.

        As you say, 20 is a crapshoot. There definitely were some safer picks who probably would have been reliable rotation players but not likely much more. Maybe he’ll be a complete strike out, but I don’t really blame Ujiri for going for the home run instead of the single.

        Also to add to one of your comments, according to Stein on Twitter last night, there was reason to believe that he would not have been there at 37. The Suns at least also wanted him.

        The more information comes out, the more comfortable I am with this pick. I would have loved a move up to get Ennis or something more radical for Stauskas, but ultimately I’m ok with the results.

        • raptors phdsteve

          my apologies (for real) about making fun of his name. I really wasnt trying to. I actually couldnt say it. But your right, its sounds rude and if you listen to the pod you know Im not that type of person and so I apologize.

      • raptors phdsteve

        yes, you are right. We are hearing today that the Raps have worked him out “Secretly.” I feel much better knowing that and admit my wrong on that point. This team did do their homework and didnt just pick him based on nothing.

        • Korfan

          Hey Steve. Thanks for taking the critical comments so well. Reading mine back, I hope I didn’t sound too harsh. I have really enjoyed your podcast all year.

          There was definitely some value in recording your immediate reactions, which I’m sure were shared by many fans. It was a genuinely shocking, confusing moment and there was a ton of information you guys had no way of knowing at the time. As you say, there was a lot done in secret, so it isn’t fair to criticize you guys for not knowing this stuff at the time. I guess part of my hope is that we all have a better, lasting understanding of our own ignorance as fans and assume there is a lot we don’t know at all times.

          When you call people defending the pick and Masai “uptight,” or basically sheep, it feels a little bit insulting to your audience. As far as I can tell, most people aren’t taking the position that Masai should be immune to criticism. They are just saying that the criticism should be fair and he is deserving of the benefit of the doubt. Until he proves himself to be Babcock-ian, let’s assume he’s smarter than that.

          I think there is a difference between having blind faith in Masai and taking the position that he has shown himself to be relatively competent, so if he makes a move we don’t understand, there is likely an explanation. That explanation may turn out to be totally wrongheaded and ill-considered, but we should at least hear the explanation and give it a chance before assuming he acts with no diligence or intelligence.

    • raptors phdsteve

      I disagree about the how global scouting works in the NBA. I know several scouts and you’d be surprised how closely every inch of this globe is being mined for 6’6 + guys with 7 feet wing spans.

  • Andrew

    2 issues I have with this draft.1) Phoenix seemed like they just wanted to chirp us with the Ennis pick (Though they had every right to). 2) During the press conference, I feel like MU would have made me feel better if he looked confident that this was a good pick. It just felt like he got his butt chewed beforehand(probably from Tim), or that someone in the family died or something . If you’re going to make a pick that is not a popular one, at least stick by it…….

    • That other guy

      Yeah, I felt the same vibes after watching post draft Ujiri talk. He looked upset to say the least. But mostly (I’m guessing) because Ennis was picked before the Raptors, not because of Bruno. I also worry that this has something to do with Lowry and maybe Ujiri thought Ennis would be an excellent replacement (will all the rumors going around).

  • OakTree

    I was really worried Kyle Anderson would fall to the Spurs, he is an unbelievable talent, he could be scary good going through a great system in San Antonio.

    Also, Ujiri has a pretty good draft history, I think it’s worth waiting to pass judgement.

    I remember a similar reaction from Raps fans when JV was selected, and he turned out to be (probably) one of the best picks of that draft, though it’s still early to even evaluate that draft.

    One other observation. I think it’s always best to swing for the fences in the draft. You can always pick up a known quantity in free agency for the mid level every year.

    • raptors phdsteve

      fair enough. Just to point out for those who have been around the site long enough to remember: on draft night when BC took Valenciunas, I was THE ONLY person in Toronto media to defend the pick. Id seen him play (on tape) and I had spoken with several scouts who loved him! And Toronto was shocked he fell to them- but he fell because his contract had a buyout clause that was going to make it tricky for him to come to the NBA. More than 1 scout told me off the record JV would have gone #1 if there were no contract issues. This is totally different. Raps totally reached for a guy on next to nobody’s radar. Its not the same as draft a potential #1 overall who drops to #5.

  • Tinman

    20 is a crapshoot. There were no safe picks to take. All those what ifs, most won’t make it.
    Masai swung for the fences. The kid was on the Spurs radar, and that should encourage most.
    The fact that he is two years away, should put into perspective where our teams objectives currently are. Let’s not kid ourselves, we still won’t beat the Miami’s, OKC,s and Spurs next season. This is not the year to make a splash.

  • rapierraptor

    Greg from the pod here. After a night of sleep and more opportunity to watch videos, etc., I am less bothered by the pick. The guy’s length is truly insane, he moves his feet well and I like his shot. I still think there were a lot of guys available who could have really helped this team next year and that the Raps could have moved down and acquired assets once their targets (Ennis and Harris) were no longer available.

    • dwnin2

      never go apologetic for having good clean harmless fun. we are all here to enjoy ourselves and seeing (hearing) you guys yucking it up on the podcast was FUN.
      I can’t resist rechristening PHD Steve to NDP Steve after his “truth, justice and the American way of life” rant – hope you didn’t hurt yourself jumping off that soap box. I do miss Jamerio Moon and his ever present smile.
      bring on THE BRUNO

  • VanCity Raps

    This is what every Raps fan thought about the KD comparisons last night……

    We want answers!

  • Plus

    Tyler Anus? wtf lol…

    • raptors phdsteve

      I have pronunciation problems. Guys used to get on my pronunciation of Colangelo for years. Its a good thing Im not a real journalist. Ill have to work on that for next season.

      • Plus

        it’s funny though.

  • Feather Ruffler

    How can you have an opinion about a player you know nothing about? This doesn’t seem to be some knee jerk decision on the organizations part, they’ve scouted the kid extensively and frankly what were the alternatives? A bunch of known commodities. This wasn’t the 3rd overall pick that they’ve taken a flyer on, at 20, why not try for a home run rather than lay down a bunt single. I’m reserving judgment till Summer League, and the gentlemen on the podcast might come to feel really foolish if he pans out to be a Leonard or Antetokounmpo type player.

    • raptors phdsteve

      totally agree with your point that if Bruno turns out to be even a rotation payer (not even a starter or a star) within the next 4 years- then it was a solid return on the pick at #20 and yes, I will look foolish. Im ok with that. In fact, I hope he does become great and I look foolish. But my bigger concern as we talked a lot about on the podcast is what does a pick like this do the franchise trying to go from 45+ wins to 50+ wins and resign Lowry and attract FAs. Its hard to argue from that vantage point this is a great move when more “NBA ready” players were available and had dropped to them.

      • Feather Ruffler

        That’s a great point about finding a complimentary piece to a playoff team going forward, and I won’t argue with that logic. On a side note, when it comes to re-signing Lowry, I’m glad it didn’t influence Masai’s choice for #20. I remember the Raps picking up Jarrett Jack to pacify Bosh and some questionable trades/signings to make sure Vince was happy that ended up being lateral if not detrimental moves organizationally. We even saw it in this draft with Miami picking Napier because of a tweet from James, It seems more reactive that proactive in my opinion.

        • Plus

          After hearing what MU had to say about what he envisioned in a draft player, he wanted a shot blocker. Bruno seems like he has some talent in that area. He definitely has the arms. Why are people so out of sorts. This is not a top ten pick. I don’t think you would get a complimentary piece at #20 in this draft. Time will only tell.

  • Feather Ruffler

    What’s with this “two years away” garbage I keep hearing from people? Frankly, most of the kids in this draft are two years away.

    • Very good point. I think it was mostly Fran’s phrasing last night: “2 years away from being 2 years away” which is hard not to laugh at and quote. If he said “he is a bit of a long shot but could be a star in 4 years,” people would think that’s ok for a 20th pick.

      • Xtremenator1

        He was just playing it up for TV, and two years away from being two years away is a good quote. It’ll generate more publicity than, “he could be good in four years”.

      • Feather Ruffler

        Great point.

    • Plus

      tru dat

  • Plus

    I’m trying to listen to this podcast and these guys are too giddy. Please don’t make any podcasts anymore.

    • OakTree

      I think it’s funny. I know I had a similar reaction.

      Right now, after seeing some tape of the kid, I’m a lot calmer. Bruno definitely has first rounder athletic tools – I don’t see anyone with his combination of length and athleticism in the second round.

      We’ll just have to wait and see. Masai could look like a genius if Bruno does well in Summer League.

      • Plus

        Summer League means crap all, but we’ll get to see a first glimpse. Drafting after Tyler, you are taking a gamble with any player. Look how far Napier was drafted. That says something. Time will tell and I can’t wait to see who Bruno is.

    • raptors phdsteve

      wish granted. have a great summer.

      • Plus

        Well it’s sounded like you guys were high on something. lol laughing like little girls…hehehe *snort hehehe omg… hehehe. hahaha guess you guys were having too much fun. But geesh get a grip. Sometimes listening to Tim and Sid is annoying as they too can get corny, but they are good. Til next season! Keep makin the podcasts.

  • DL1119

    If Phoenix was looking to draft this kid with the 27th pick, then it might be a strategical move by Masai to draft Bruno, and package him with something and trade for Ennis, who was drafted by…Phoenix.

    • raptors phdsteve

      maybe- but everyone close to Pheonix is saying Ennis is not moving. they wanted him and it had nothing to do with Raps. They are pretty sure Bledsoe is going ot get a huge RFA offer sheet and they see Ennis as being able to come in right away and take his place for a fraction of the cash.

  • Rap fan 2

    No guts no glory!! I love Masai’s pick. He did what he had to do in the circumstances. At 20 you don’t just want to draft a role player. You’ve got nothing to lose. Draft someone with the highest upside. It’s all about player development especially at the 20th pick it’s going to take some time. The primary attributes of my draft prospect short list that I assembled all had to have the top physical tools first. That is high in athleticism, lateral quickness, length, wingspan. Other things like motor, great work ethic and drive also matter a lot as well. If the Raptors found someone who is off the charts in a couple of these categories then I’m all in. A wingspan like JaVale McGee? That’s like 7 feet 6 inches on a 6′ 9″ wing player. Ka-ching!! One of the top athletes in the draft. Ka-ching!! I’m looking forward to summer league this year. I’m sure they are going to put on their roster players on their list that didn’t get drafted this year. Next on the list, is Kyle going to re-sign?

    • raptors phdsteve

      fair enough. It is a bold move and your analysis of it and hope for the best attitude seems fair. I hope you are right.

  • lino

    I noticed the ESPN thing, happens every year. It really pissed me off. They started to talk about Lakers and Julias Randle.

  • Jeff Smith Mktg

    What a horrible un-informed podcast…My first time listening. hopefully your awake and you can watch the Draftexpress video of Bruno. They have worked him out and seen him multiple times.

    • Xtremenator1

      Which everyone last night didn’t know was the case. Theyve been following him since 2013, which means they know more about him than probably everyone else outside of the Suns and Spurs (rumored).

      • raptors phdsteve

        no truth to that yet confirmed by anyone other than the Raps and their daily beat guys for the main papers. No beat reporter from Pho or SA, and no one form ESPN or other sources Ive talked to around the league have confirmed this to be true.
        If it is true, then sure- you take him at 20. But Im trying to get it confirmed from somewhere else and everyone I speak to says – “nope”

        • Xtremenator1

          Rumors are rumors, you never know if anything is true. Just yesterday Ric Butcher all but confirmed that Kyle Lowry had been traded to the Heat. He’d player go on to say that he was completely wrong and ashamed of himself.

    • raptors phdsteve

      oh, you mean the Draft express video of him in what looks like an empty high school gym against a 4th division Brazilian league opponent. Total joke. Thats even lower quality then the AAU high school tapes you can see online of guys. There is no tape on him, he’s not even in synergy.If you did scout, ever scouted, or spoke to scouts, then you would know that this guy is a total reach. He may be great someday (same can be said for any 18 year old athlete), but a total reach today.

      • Jeff Smith Mktg

        I’m sorry you weren’t able to see the proper video, I know exactly which video your talking about, but this video is not the same enjoy You say summerleague doesn’t mean, so Jonas winning MVP last year meant nothing? You used the word “Great” which players in this draft will be great someday? slo-mo? shabazz? You can’t teach a 7″7 wingspan or athleticism. People fear what they don’t understand and reject what they don’t know. I don’t know how he’s going to play or how long it will take him to develop but to pass on him for shabazz doesn’t make sense when this summer is full of free agents and it’s still possible to keep lowry. Not every 18 year old athlete can be great, and if he’s great 3-4 years from now he’ll be 21-22 I’d say that’s pretty good foresight. But hey look at Masai’s track record he’s horrible at scouting talent *sarcasm*

        • raptors phdsteve

          you are 100% right in all of your comments above. I agree with everything you have said. cant really argue with any of it.

          • raptors phdsteve

            also, since you noted in your first comment it was the 1st pod you ever listened to- it also makes sense why you think what you think about us. Last nights unedited/ off the cuff/ immediate post draft reaction podcast is different in form and structure than the usual format. I still dont like the pick, but if last nights pod was the first one Id ever listened to, Id be wondering “who are these guys” too.

            • Plus

              Who would you pick instead Steve?

  • DerekHologram

    Have not listened yet but I hope they ripped several new assholes in Babcock 2.

  • Feather Ruffler

    Honestly, I feel that with a pick that late in the draft, you can either play it safe and find a decent role player or you say F*** it and gamble on something special. I love that we have a GM that doesn’t give a s*** about public perception and just goes for it. After the politics and pandering of the Colangelo era, this is a breath of fresh air. Boon or bust, I’m with Masai.

    • raptors phdsteve

      this is a great comment. See folks, you can have an opposite opinion from ours, think ours is not very good, and yet still voice it in an intelligent and good nature way.

  • Real Talk No Gimmicks

    They keep talking about “trading down” like they know where this guy was going to get picked or like there is always teams willing to trade…idiots!!!

    If San Antonio or Houston etc. makes this pick then it is genius but because these guys don’t know anything about him it is a bad pick? Youngest player in the draft 6’9 SF with 7’7 wingspan…like seriously get a clue you idiots, Masai is swinging for the fence and GOOD FOR HIM!!!! It was the 20th pick, which is always hit or miss.

    Also, I love how one of these idiots spent most of his time talking about the ESPN coverage of the pick being negative and that this would impact American players coming to Toronto in the future…what a clown, does he really think that is how NBA player movement works???

    So disappointed and will never listen to another one of these podcasts again.

    • raptors phdsteve

      teams were willing to trade- Miami traded 2 picks to get #24 from Charlotte. Analysis that disagrees with you or the GM doesn’t make us idiots. And given the nature of your comments, Im not too worried about you never listening to another podcast again because its probably the only one you ever listened to.

      • Real Talk No Gimmicks

        Yeah Masai should have risked losing the one guy left on the board that he wanted because maybe he could have picked up the #56 pick in the draft by trading down. But you would know better than him PHD CLOWN

        • Blair Miller

          Only a CLOWN likes their own comments.

          • Blair Miller

            REAL sneaky un-like, there, “Real” Talk.

            • Real Talk No Gimmicks

              Got anything to say about my comments? or are you just lashing out like child cause your podcast was weak/knee jerk reactionary and you guys are now getting rightfully called out for your blatant HACKERY!!!

              • Blair Miller

                No, I don’t need approval from trolls to feel okay about my opinions. I simply thought that it was embarrassing that you’d call yourself real and then like/un-like your own comments like you did. Kinda egotistical. Other than that, your comments more than speak for themselves.

                • Real Talk No Gimmicks

                  Still got nothing of substance to respond to regarding my comments I see.

                  Typical HACK move to obfuscate the comment section into BS about trolls, likes etc…when you got nothing to address the points I was making.

                  Also, nice work on the podcast with the “insights” about the ESPN coverage of Toronto’s pick will “impact” player movement to Toronto, simply brilliant, you should be a NBA agent. Keep up the fine HACKERY and petulance, you’re really good at it!!

                • Blair Miller

                  Such anger, kid.

                • Blair Miller

                  Try a bubble bath and candles, or some whale music.

        • raptors phdsteve

          Hi Cullen (aka Real Talk aka IP 2*6.1*4.*3*. 2).
          Look, we dont have to agree but I find your comments now rude and frankly uncalled for.
          have deleted your last comment and will now go back and delete the
          others. I will continue to delete every comment you ever make again on
          any RR posting I host. If however, you would like to make a donation to
          Raptors Charities in the amount of your choice and tweet me the receipt
          of you donation with an apology, I will be happy to remove the ban.

  • Xtremenator1

    This allows them to go after Ariza while comfortably signing Patterson, Vasquez, and Lowry as well, so… I am alright with it. If we do add Ariza to the current team with Bruno four years down the line, with Ross off the bench, were looking at the SF position being settled for the next ten years or more. Even if Bruno doesnt become a great scorer, he could be great when it comes to his defensive ability on the wing which is hat the Raps desperately need. Ariza could fill that need for the time being, but he isn’t a long term guy.

    I should say that I am worried Lowry won’t re sign. Guy seems to be really flaky whenever the question is brought up. Bosh also loved Toronto before he left for Miami, and with all the reports coming out its sketchy. Sure, if they don’t sign him and Ariza, they would have enough to go after a max guy, but honestly guys like Melo, Love, JAMES, or even lower tiers like Deng, Bledsoe, and others wouldn’t come here.

  • raptors phdsteve

    Hi everyone!
    On behalf of myself and the crew thanks for listening to the pod each and every week and thanks for your comments. We appreciate the forum that Raptors Republic and you, the listeners, provide for us.

    We can all agree that the pick at 20 was a surprise and our podcast last night was, as advertised, unedited and off the cuff. We can all also agree that today the pick doesnt look as crazy as it did last night (although it is still- at best- a stretch). But I think the pod was a very real representation of how many Raptors fans felt when the pick went down and as I said on the pod, thats what we have always tried to do here: represent the fans and all their different perspectives and views. Some weeks we are criticized for being too “big a homer” and others for being unfaithful- but thats what makes us fans! We love this team and are passionate about it and want it to do well. So while we can agree to disagree on whether or not we liked the pick, hated the pick, or want to wait to reserve judgment: I think we can all get behind the GM and the team today and hope for the best this off season. 2013-2014 was a great ride and hopefully when we speak next in fall 2014 this team will have been big, bold, and brave in the off season and we are on our way to 50 wins and a deep playoff run.

    Again, thanks for all the chatter over the last 9 months. Have a safe and restful summer and we’ll talk again in October. Signing off until the opening tip of 2014. Phdsteve. Out.

    • Tinman

      and thanks to you and your crew. Was an great season to talk about.

      • raptors phdsteve

        thanks Tinman. our pleasure.

    • Raps Loyalist

      AKA: Sorry about all those texts I sent last night, I’d been out drinking and got caught up in the moment.

      • raptors phdsteve

        Im not sorry. and I wasnt drinking. Im trying to thank the people who support the site and the pod and offer a olive branch to the basketball internet moralists who get so uptight whenever anyone criticizes the GM. Was just trying to leave for the summer on a positive note- even if the draft and the pick sucked hard.

  • Blair Miller

    To the haters – Moewrawn & Co.,

    For the record, I said that we have to wait to see Bruno play before making much judgement, so please don’t be a selective listener. I must admit, too, that I was laughing as much because of the intense reaction of people online and elsewhere as I was in criticism of the draft pick.

    It’s true: None of us are professional scouts, but you know what? Professional scouts took Shawn Bradley at #2 overall. Same with Sam Bowie, and numerous other flops. Obviously we don’t know as much as those scouts, but I’m just saying that all draft analysis amounts to predicting an unseen future until hindsight comes into play. Whether or not Bruno or any other prospect has been scouted a certain amount does nothing to change the player he will or won’t become with pro training and instruction after being drafted, and even the paid experts will tell you that if you think your opinion on a player is a doorway to the future, you’re dreaming.

    Have you read what at least one PAID basketball pundit said about Toronto’s draft on this site? (via ESPN) Here’s the link:

    If you want to sound like a Leafs fan by trying to defend a decision that the majority of the basketball world – many of whom ARE paid professional scouts – is shaking their heads at, that’s quite all right. This is Toronto, after all.

    To repeat, I did say we have to see the guy play. In the pros. Whenever that happens.

    I stand by my comments from the podcast, most importantly that this franchise was on the cusp of being able to recruit better players than ever based on their improving status in the media, and then ESPN (and others, I’m sure) went and made fun of the Bruno pick extensively on live television that many, many players in the NBA were watching and tweeting about – which might have taken that hopeful position of recruiting away. We know now for sure that Ujiri has the balls to make what he thinks are the right decisions without being sensitive to public backlash. BUT he was also un-sensitive to that aspect of the team’s currency in free agency, and that sucks, because at the end of the day another Toronto sports team has tried to get too fancy and could very well fall flat on its face while doing so. You can bet Kyle Lowry raised an eyebrow at that pick; that it will figure into his assessment of whether or not he’ll be playing for “a contender” (his stated desire) if he re-signs here. You can also watch in the years to come how good some of the players taken in the 20’s overall will be, because #20 isn’t a crapshoot in arguably the deepest draft of this generation.

    FOR THE RECORD: I’m not sold on Lowry, especially at his asking price. He simply takes too many bad shots and doesn’t respect all of the options out of the pick-and-roll. But I think him re-signing with the Raps would be huge in helping the franchise get more talent in the years to come.

    GMs have a very challenging job. They have to try to keep their teams good in the present moment, while at the same time try to build for the future. Sometimes one of those tasks takes priority over others. In my opinion the window of success (for contending in the conference) is open now, and it might not be open for long. It’s also the first time Toronto has had a first round pick since 2012. It’s not the time to pay that pick forward; it’s time to take advantage of the open window. Instead, it might have come a lot closer to closing than we should have expected. NOT because Bruno won’t turn out to be a good player, and perhaps not even because Ujiri made the wrong decision at 20, but because the rest of the NBA world will still look at Toronto as a less desirable place to play. And that might be no one’s fault but the media, but it’s a definite possibility. It’s frustrating. Hopefully I am wrong.

    I don’t plan on getting into any debates here – that’s for you guys, our faithful followers, who help make our job the fun one that it is. I just wanted to emphasize my thoughts from last night’s podcast (which was also very raw and in the moment, recorded just as the draft was ending) – AND thank everyone who has downloaded us for listening all season. Remember – this is predicting and analyzing sports. Consensus is rare; no opinion is gospel. The substance is in what happens out on the court, and the debates about it.

    Have a great off-season and please follow me on my own sports website, We have our own podcast there, “The Sh^t Show”, which also analyses other sports, especially NFL and b-ball. An overhaul of the site (including a new web address) is coming very soon, and we’re excited to see what people think.

  • Nathan

    Ass coverage.
    You guys pretty much said that even if Bruno turns out to be a good pick it’s still a bad pick and that makes no sense. Your just trying to cover your ass for looking bad later by Bruno turning out and you not having any knowledge of him at the time. You mock the TV analysts for not knowing about him but you didn’t either.

    And to say that you should only draft players that you’ve worked out is also illogical. You work them out to see if they are any good. Masai saw all the guys on the board and didn’t like them. That’s the point of the workout.

    You guys should have waited a day to collect your thoughts before just acting like the ‘Know Nothing’ TV analysts. You couldn’t beat ’em, so just joined ’em.

    • raptors phdsteve

      actually no. I stand by what I said. I think the pick sucks and its amateur and the only people defending the pick right now are super pathetic Raptors fans and homer media with press passes who get their bread buttered by MLSE. Look around the league – no one else is saying its awesome.

      What I tried to say in my “nice” comment below was: that while I hate the pick, I love the Raps AND to continue to argue over it today is pointless because the pick was made. So its time to move on. Only time will tell, but Ill stand by my 200+ podcasts on this site that you can go back and listen to where Ive been right more times then Ive been wrong, especially with the draft. Just ask the veterans of the site.

      But having said that, Nathan, you and the 30+ others who have all commented here about the pod can not like it- and I dont care. There are no more pods until the fall, so you’ll get your wish then of not having to listen to “guys like me” and our “ass coverage” for a very long time. Guess you’ll have to troll Real GM for the summer.

      Enjoy the silence.

    • Blair Miller

      Here’s an excerpt from Andrew Sharp’s “NBA Draft Winners & Losers” at Grantland, in which the Raptors were deemed losers:

      “I’d actually heard of Caboclo before Thursday. Chau and Bartholomew were next to me in the office talking about a tip they’d gotten on the next Giannis. He was a giant Brazilian kid, still very young, freak athlete. Chau then added that they weren’t sure if he could actually dribble. This was like three weeks ago, and it’s when I started to worry that both of them had gotten in too deep prepping for the YouTube draft.

      But now … now it’s real.”

      ….”they weren’t sure if he could actually dribble”….. THIS is the sort of thing that happens when you spend a first-round pick on a player who is second-round value at best. ONE thing there is surely consensus on in this year’s draft: The rest of the prospects have proved that they could dribble.

  • Blair Miller

    1 last comment before the off-season. PhdSteve makes a GREAT point: Many of you are saying we need to reserve judgement on Ujiri’s pick of Bruno until he plays. Why not do the same with our assessment? Maybe we’ll look like idiots in four years…..But maybe you will instead for defending the pick.

  • Kevin S.

    They had Bruno work out multiple times for them and obviously saw something in him if they made multiple trips to Brazil to watch this guy

  • That other guy

    Since there are people complaining about the pod, I just think It was a very natural reaction, I don’t understand why fan based writers should reserve their opinions on a situation like this one. When happened something completely and insanely unexpected. I’d rather listen or read what independent bloggers/ writers have to say, than read what the politically correct newspaperish writers have on their mind. Don’t get me wrong, after reading more about Bruno, I’m ok with the pick and I feel strangely excited about the kiddo, but if you want to hear how everything is super awesome in raptors land, go listen to what Casey had to sell, emm, to say (obviously his hands are tied here). What I mean, is that I appreciate people who have their own opinion and who are not afraid to both declare it and stick to it. Thanks for your work guys and enjoy the rest of the summer. It was a WT* draft for Raps indeed. Let’s just hope Bruno will show some promise in the summer league.

  • Hassan Mehmood Khan

    when Bruno is averaging 22pts 8rbs 1.5 blocks 2 steals a game then you guys will know why ujiri picked him