Toronto Raptors HQ Podcast — That’s A Rap #146: Dismiss & disillusion

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There’s never a dull moment with the Toronto Raptors.

Unfortunately, this week’s headline involves the dismissal of Jalen Harris, after a drug test discovered he had used a “drug of abuse.” The NBA was already having a rough PR week after Jason Kidd and Chauncey Billups — former All-Stars with a history of domestic violence — were hired as Head Coaches for the Mavericks and Trailblazers, respectively. The backlash has not been good.

The week wasn’t all doom and gloom as Chris Paul and Team Canada brought smiles to many basketball fans. It was an action-packed episode, with a sprinkling of trade ideas, so make sure to comment below.

In This Episode:

3:20 — Jalen Harris’ dismissal

The NBA has dismissed and disqualified Jalen Harris from the NBA for violating terms of the league’s anti-drug program. Harris is eligible to apply for reinstatement in one year. The list of Drugs of Abuse that would have been caught in Harris’ system does not include marijuana or PEDs but does include drugs like LSD, cocaine, and opiates (not to suggest that any of these were what Harris was taking). Regardless, we all hope he gets the help he needs and that he can learn from this incident.

13:12 — Why isn’t Becky Hammon a Head Coach?

Kidd’s history as a domestic abuser and the Mavericks’ recent history of workplace harassment seems like a marriage of epic (and evil) proportions. It’s so bad it (weirdly) makes sense for the two sides. Billups’ hiring — and the cringe-worthy press conference that followed — is truly head-scratching. How either of these men got head coaching positions while Becky Hammon “made it all the way to the ownership level” is beyond my comprehension.

29:53 — Trade rumours

I will typically roll my eyes whenever fake trades suggest sending Canadians to Toronto, but some recent whispers are starting to get louder. Would you trade Pascal Siakam to Golden State for the #7 pick, James Wiseman, and Andrew Wiggins? What about trading the #4 pick, along with Aron Baynes, for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander?

27:47 — Point God

Phoenix Suns booked their first trip to the NBA Finals since the Charles Barkley-led Suns fell two wins shy against Michael Jordan’s Bulls in 1993. This trip is especially, umm, special for Chris Paul. After 16 seasons, one of the greatest Point Guards of all time will have all basketball fans outside of Milwaukee or Atlanta cheering for him to hoist the Larry OB in his first Finals trip.

50:00 — The road to Tokyo continues

Don’t look now but Team Canada is two wins away from a trip to Tokyo! With solid contributions from Wiggins, RJ Barrett, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Dwight Powell, the Men’s National team reeled off impressive victories over Greece and China in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Victoria, BC. They next face the Czech Republic this afternoon and, if they win, proceed to face the Turkey-Greece winner for a spot in the Olympics.