Raptors VP of Basketball Operations, Jeff Weltman on 12-2, Trading Lowry, Considering Tanking, Keys to Success

Raptors VP of Basketball Operations, Jeff Weltman, was on TSN 1050 talking about the Raptors hot start, considering tanking, trading Kyle Lowry, and more. Here’s a quick summary.

Raptors VP of Basketball Operations, Jeff Weltman, was on TSN 1050 talking about the Raptors hot start with Macko and Cauz.  Here’s a quick summary:

  • Asked whether he and Masai Ujiri high-five behind the scenes, says no high-fives, too soon to celebrate anything, way too many games to go
  • Asked about whether he’s surprised that Lowry panned out, he said nobody in the organization had any doubts about Lowry panning out and that they all believed in his ability
  • Stated that the reason Lowry’s name was in trade rumours last year was because the Raptors knew that “if they went the other way” (i.e., tanked) they wouldn’t be as “bad as they needed to be” with Lowry. The questions at the time were all about “Are we good enough to put a team around [Lowry]?”
  • Asked about how serious they were about committing to tanking, he said, “hard to say” because they they couldn’t find a “partnership” in trade talks that would facilitate tanking. Says “they were 6-12 and were pretty serious that the team wasn’t good enough to get us where we wanted to get and needed to retool it. So, we had, in our minds, made that decision”.  A bit vague, basically I understand this as they wanted to tank but couldn’t find a partner so just stuck with it
  • Vasquez, on the trade, said that “we may have not gotten the four best players on the trade, but we got the four best people” and from that point it was all about building chemistry
  • Asked about what needs to be improved to make us a dangerous playoff team, say they can already be a “dangerous playoff team” and don’t need to do much; says that they need to stay healthy and focused. Points to the “three unfocused minutes” versus Phoenix where they blew the lead, and how that’s the type of lapses they need to avoid
  • Asked further about what it takes to be a good playoff team, comments on how valuable last year’s playoff experience was and how that’s helping them now in terms of their “approach to game, approach to practice, approach to one another”

Thanks to @LD10 for the heads-up.

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