Toronto Raptors HQ Podcast — That’s A Rap #88: What If Scenarios

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NBA basketball is returning! Or maybe not. Wait, what’s happening exactly?!

Businesses around the world are starting to re-open. Unfortunately for the NBA, there is no “curbside pickup” or “takeout only” option. With that in mind, it’s hard to envision NBA basketball returning in today’s climate, especially with COVID-19 numbers still fairly high.

What if a player contracts the virus, does the league shut down again? What if it’s a member of the coaching staff or a referee? With so many What-Ifs floating around, the boys of sat down and discussed some of their favourite What-If scenarios in franchise history!

On This Episode:

Practice facilities have officially re-opened. As players start shooting their shots, Adam Silver is still analyzing whether he should shoot his. What a return looks like and how timelines are decided have physical, mental, and financial ramifications.

Two largely discussed venues for a “Basketball Bubble” are Walt Disney World and Las Vegas. Both have amenities that could house all 30 teams and state laws that have looser social distancing restrictions.

What do you get when LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Steph Curry jump on the same video conference call? (Answer is NOT “superstars trying to figure out how to beat the Raptors”. Good on you for thinking that though)

The league plans on deciding the fate of the 2019-20 season in the next 2-4 weeks. Regardless of when NBA basketball returns, there will be tons of apprehension. If the season resumes, questions will be asked about it being too soon. However, if/when the second (and third?) wave of COVID-19 occurs, wouldn’t those same questions arise if the NBA returns in the Fall/Winter?

SB Nation’s What-If week allowed each of us to bring up our favourite scenarios. From Steve Nash to Chris Bosh to Kawhi Leonard, the direction of the Raptors franchise swung dramatically — positively and negatively — from their transactions (or non-transaction). This podcast was born from the Kawhi trade! You can already assume what our thoughts surrounding that event were.

Now, is there a What-If you’ve always pondered? Think about it and sound off in the comments as we get going on this week’s episode.

2:45 – Return of the NBA

5:15 – It’s a small world space between us after all

10:05 – Superstar group chat

14:00 – Motivation behind a possible return

16:00 – How late is too late?

19:25 – Apprehension is inevitable

25:00 – What if Chris Bosh stayed

32:30 – What if Steve Nash joined the Raptors

41:15 – What if the Kawhi-DeMar trade never happened