Damian Lillard to the Miami Heat or Toronto Raptors? + some more love for FIBA's Team Canada

September 25, 2023
September 25, 2023

Welcome to Hoop Talks, your go-to source for everything NBA, the Toronto Raptors, and Team Canada. Today, the Hoop Talks crew was joined by Alex Adams, the host of the Behind the Play podcast and a dedicated journalist covering the senior men's national basketball team through Raptor Republic.

Adams had an incredible journey recently, travelling to Indonesia and the Philippines to cover both the Toronto Raptors and Team Canada. He credits Arash Madani for guiding him through this exciting endeavour. During his time there, Alex witnessed Team Canada's historic achievement of making it to the Olympics, a significant milestone accomplished by defeating Spain. 

Moreover, he highlighted Dillon Brooks' stellar performance, scoring nearly 40 points against Team USA, further cementing Canada's prowess on the global stage. One remarkable aspect Alex observed was Team Canada's remarkable growth as a cohesive unit. They gained valuable experience and adapted to the international FIBA game, which differs significantly from the NBA. The international game is more physical, with unique rules like no defensive three seconds and a closer three-point line. 

Team Canada's resilience and ability to handle challenging situations, like the intense game against Spain and their dramatic victory over France, are key takeaways. These experiences will likely bode well for their future endeavours, including the Paris 2024 Olympics. As we look ahead to the Paris 2024 Olympics, the question arises: We wonder what the expectations are for Team Canada. 

Adams believes that the primary goal is to secure a medal. Anything less would be seen as a disappointment. While unforeseen circumstances can affect outcomes, Adams and many others anticipate Team Canada's strong performance, especially with star players like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dillon Brooks, RJ Barrett, and potentially Jamal Murray and Andrew Wiggins. 

The team's aim is to achieve nothing less than a gold medal. Shifting gears to the NBA, the topic of Damian Lillard's future is a hot one. Adams discussed this with renowned NBA analyst Brian Windhorst on his podcast. The consensus is that Lillard's situation could reach a resolution by the start of training camp. While trade rumors abound, Lillard is not expected to take a holdout approach like Ben Simmons. A potential landing spot for Lillard is Miami, but the Raptors' rumoured interest might face salary cap constraints. Regardless, Damian Lillard's future remains uncertain but highly anticipated. 

Finally, we can't forget about the Toronto Raptors. Adams, a Raptors fan, provided his perspective on the team's upcoming season. With the departure of Fred VanVleet to Houston and the addition of Goran Dragic, as well as an entirely revamped coaching staff, the Raptors face an intriguing season. 

Adams is cautiously optimistic, acknowledging the team's need for shooting and the challenges they may face in the Eastern Conference. While patience is essential, questions surround Pascal Siakam's contract, OG Anunoby's player option, and the team's overall direction. 

The upcoming NBA season promises excitement and uncertainty, with Damian Lillard's future, Team Canada's Olympic aspirations, and the Toronto Raptors' evolution all in the spotlight. As fans eagerly await the season's tip-off, they can count on Alex Adams and his insights to keep them informed and engaged with the world of basketball.