On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by USA TODAY’s NBA reporter Jeff Zillgitt. They discuss whether the Brooklyn Nets mishandled ESPN’s story on Kyrie Irving, how teams will try to lure Giannis Antetokounmpo away from Milwaukee, why a certain All-Star guard may get traded this season and more. Time-stamps are below!
1:15: ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan wrote an in-depth piece on how the 2019-20 Brooklyn Nets came together and where the franchise goes from here. The article doesn’t paint Kyrie Irving in the best light, pointing out his “infamous mood swings” and tendency to alienate others. Jeff explains his take that the Nets botched this story and caused unnecessary drama.
4:30: The last thing that the Nets want is a strained relationship with their star point guard, so what should Brooklyn’s front office and coaching staff do to put this behind them?
10:15: This situation shows a lot of the non-basketball stuff that comes with running a super-team. The team must manage egos and personalities, deal with the media circus, try to limit distractions and scrutiny, etc. This is new to the Nets and they likely learned some valuable lessons this week.
13:25: Jeff recently wrote about how the Milwaukee Bucks are doing the right things to build a championship team around Giannis Antetokounmpo and keep the superstar long-term. Will Antetokounmpo sign a super-max extension with the Bucks next summer?
19:00: Teams will try to lure Antetokounmpo away from the Bucks, but that may be difficult since he loves Milwaukee and doesn’t seem to care about playing in a big market. One GM told HoopsHype that the only way to land Antetokounmpo is to give him a better shot at winning a title.
21:00: If Antetokounmpo does decide to weigh his other options, which teams could make sense as a dark-horse landing spot?
24:30: Quite a few teams entered the 2019-20 season believing they can seriously contend for a championship, which hasn’t been the case in recent years since every team was looking up to the Golden State Warriors.
32:15: One of Jeff’s bold predictions entering this season is that the Toronto Raptors will trade Kyle Lowry (even after giving him a one-year extension earlier this month). Alex and Jeff discuss why this move could make sense for all parties involved.
36:50: Jeff also predicted that Tobias Harris will become an All-Star. After signing a five-year, $180 million contract over the summer, does Harris need to make his first All-Star appearance in order to justify that payday?