All 17 Raptors rostered players are in Naples and scheduled to begin league-mandated COVID-19 testing on Tuesday. Raptors aren’t expected to make any roster moves before playe begins.
— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) June 23, 2020
Shawn Marion fits in the same category, albeit with the credentials to support his attitude. Marion was only here for a few months, acquired once the Raptors pulled the ‘chute on the O’Neal experiment, so nobody in Toronto ever got to know him too well. But Marion did exude a casual cool. Kevin Durant was in his sophomore season that year and was the NBA’s next big thing. When the Thunder came to Toronto late in the season, Marion shut him down, holding him to 4-for-13 shooting. Marion even outscored Durant that game, 20-18.
Marion showed up to locker cleanout day in sunglasses, odd since it was taking place inside the Air Canada Centre. I mentioned locker cleanout day last week — the day after the season ends when notable players and the coach discussed the present and future of the franchise. Due to the extreme amount of transcribing that is necessary that day, the Toronto press corps often opts to split it up in order to make the load more manageable.
Marion was a free agent, and nobody really thought he and the Raptors were a long-term fit. Still, a reporter asked Marion about his thoughts, and he declined to say anything declarative.
The quote from Marion that found its way into a few different outlets was that if people wanted to know what his intentions were, they should “follow me on tour.”
How long ago was that? Well, the reporter heard “tour” because the thing Marion had actually said made no sense to him: “Follow me on Twitter.”
Honestly, the mistake was understandable at the time.
Gasol’s name has been mentioned in connection with the Warriors a few times over the past month or so and it makes sense for numerous reasons.
While the Warriors desperately need wing depth, they could also use an athletic big man who provides an outside shooting threat at the five. None of the team’s center options offer much in the way of floor spacing.
Marquese Chriss impressed this past season, but it’s unclear if the Warriors view him as a true starting option. Meanwhile, Kevon Looney‘s future is in doubt due to countless injury issues.
Gasol would provide the Warriors with a veteran, experienced center option who can offer excellent floor spacing on offense. In many ways, he’d be a perfect fit for Steve Kerr‘s system.
And at least one source agrees as Dan Favale of Bleacher Report recently named Gasol an “ambitious free-agent target” for the Warriors. Favale had the following to say about the potential pairing.
The Arkells and Raptors coach Nick Nurse surprised a music teacher with a big reward for her students.
Even though the on/off numbers point to the Raptors being the better team with Gasol on the floor, you can’t ignore what Ibaka has brought to the table this season. Ibaka has been far more efficient and there’s no argument as to who’s the better scorer or rebounder at this point in their careers. Defensively, you can call it almost a wash with what both of them bring to the table. The slight edge that Gasol used to own from 3-point range is now even as Ibaka has been consistent from deep this season.
For my money, Ibaka is the better player right now, which would force me to take a long hard look at moving him above Myles Turner and/or Brook Lopez, both of whom Rafferty has ranked above Gasol.
Again, I have nothing wrong with where Gasol lands, but if Ibaka was part of the conversation he’d have to be ranked ahead of Gasol in my opinion, and then the discussion as to where he would land on Rafferty’s list would be very interesting to me.
Adams had the task of ranking the entire league’s starting centres. While on the surface it may look like he’s in lockstep with Rafferty in terms of thinking Gasol is closer to the middle of the pack than leading it, I’m left with questions.
At first glance, ranking Big Spain 13th out of 30 NBA starting centres didn’t seem crazy to me, but who I saw on the list in front of him made me scratch my head.
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