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NBA trade deadline recap – part 4

The NBA has been busy with trades albeit with finances taken a toll with the pandemic, but trades were still taking place. A full list of trades can be found here.

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NBA trade deadline recap part 4

Transfer #15

Team: Portland Trail Blazers (receive)

Player: Norman Powell

NBA trade deadline recap part 4 Norman Powell
Chensiyuan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Both sides of this trade have seen early returns.

In a cinematic twist of events, the Portland Trail Blazers were playing in the “home” arena of the Toronto Raptors just three days after the trade deadline.

Norman Powell had spent six years with the Raptors, winning the championship in 2019. And while he was in Tampa Bay waking up in his own bed and traveling his regular route to the arena, it hit home for him that he was no longer a Raptor once he ran into his former team pre-game.

Powell exploded offensively this season once he was placed into the Raptors starting rotation. He has continued that trend with the Blazers so far, albeit against thin competition. He is currently averaging better than 16 points while shooting a scintillating 58% from the three-point line. 

Powell will be an important piece moving forward however with him starting beside the Blazers backcourt alongside Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum they will constitute one of the smallest starting line-ups in the league. It remains to be seen if Portland can pick up their 4th worst defence, which they’ll need to do if they have aspirations of making it out of the second round of the playoffs for just the third time in 21 years.

Powell is the final year of his deal and will likely command upwards of $20M this offseason.

Transfer #15

Team: Toronto Raptors (receive)

Player: Ridney Hood and Gary Trent Jr.

Gary Trent Jr. is considered the main piece of the trade while Rodney Hood was added as salary filler. 

Hood is still working his way back from an Achilles tear that occurred in December 2020. Traditionally being a double-digit scorer on good shooting percentages, Hood has a chance to become a regular rotation player with the Raptors who opened up more minutes by shipping out Matt Thomas and Terrence Davis II in separate trades. Hood is in the first year of a two-year, $21M deal.

At just 22 years of age, Trent Jr. is already flashing his potential with his new team. After struggling in his first two games with the Raptors, he lit up the Oklahoma City Thunder for a career-high 31 points, followed by 24 points against the depleted Warriors.

Trent Jr. will be a Restricted Free Agent at the end of the year, however it is important to note that his cap hit will be much lower than that of Norman Powell. This will allow the Raptors to sign other players for more money before signing Trent Jr. with his Bird Rights

Another positive point for the Raptors is that Trent Jr. already has three years of experience under his belt compared to Powell who was a rookie at the same age. The Raptors chose youth and a higher ceiling in this trade; adding Rodney Hood to the deal sweetens the pot.

Transfer #16

Team: Miami Heat (receive)

Player: Victor Oladipo

NBA trade deadline recap part 4 Victor Oladipo
Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Simply put, this trade was a steal for the Miami Heat. Oladipo had been continuously linked to Miami as a potential free agency destination this offseason, which likely spooked Houston into taking whatever offer they could get.

Victor Oladipo’s time in Houston indicates that he has returned in full force from a ruptured quadriceps tendon he suffered in 2019.

Miami’s defence has been stingy all year, giving up only 107.2 points per game. However, it’s the bottom six offense that needs improvement. Oladipo’s addition will bring a much needed scoring punch that will be vital to Miami’s push for a 4th championship. 

Transfer #17

Team: Houston Rockets (receive)

Player: Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk (2022 first-round swap)

NBA trade deadline recap part 4 Avery Bradley
Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

It certainly looks like Houston accepted a low-ball offer for Oladipo. What makes this trade look even worse is when you take into account that Oladipo was the headliner in the trade that sent out superstar James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets.

In exchange for Harden, the Rockets essentially obtained Brooklyn’s three first-round picks, the right to swap 4 first-round picks, an extra pick swap with Miami, Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley. 

Olynyk, the 6’11 forward/centre, has taken full advantage of his situation by increasing his scoring average by 6 points on high efficiency shooting. He also carries an impressive +/- of +3.5 despite Houston being 1-3 since the deadline.

Bradley on the other hand has seen his numbers dip across the board. His field goal percentage has dropped by 10 points while his three-point percentage has cratered from 42% with Miami to 18% with Houston. 

While having a stockpile of draft picks can be an asset, too many times we’ve seen teams draft someone they believe will be a star when in fact they turn out to barely crack regular rotations. Potential is a double-edged sword and the Rockets are betting the house they won’t fall on theirs.

With Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving at the helm it stands within reason that Brooklyn should be drafting fairly low in the foreseeable future.

Transfer #18

Team: Los Angeles Clippers (receive)

Player: Rajon Rondo

NBA trade deadline recap part 4 Rajon Rondo
Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Clippers are looking to finally rid themselves of their playoff-choker label. What better way to accomplish that than to bring in proven playoff performer, Rajon Rondo. 

Rondo helped lead the Lakers to a championship last year and is in the unique position of trying to do the same for Los Angeles’ other team. The Clippers opted for leadership, playmaking and defence in exchange for Lou William’s dynamic offense.

Transfer #19

Team: Atlanta Hawks (receive)

Player: Lou Williams (two future second-round picks)

NBA trade deadline recap part 4 Lou Williams
Keith Allison, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Lou Williams returns to his hometown Atlanta Hawks in the midst of a possible playoff run.

Williams, the former sixth man of the year, is well known as a walking bucket and showcased his abilities by pouring in 19 points on efficient shooting, while adding four rebounds and eight assists.

The Hawks already had the 9th best offense but the 24th ranked defence so it looks like they’ll be hoping to blow more teams out of the water offensively with the addition of Williams.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Born and raised in Canada, with a love for all things basketball.

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Daily Brief

More than 90 Women Sue the FBI for $1Billion For Mishandling the Nassar Case

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  • More than 90 women and girls, including Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, who were sexually assaulted by the disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar plan to sue the FBI for $1 billion for mishandling the credible sexual assault complaints. 
  • The FBI agency’s own watchdog found that the FBI disregarded allegations about Nassar, and in a long-awaited report from the US Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, it was stated that various missteps and cover-ups by FBI agents allowed Nassar’s abuse to continue for more than a year after the case was opened in 2015.
  • The FBI field office took very limited action against Nassar and did not document any investigation or alert other authorities. Also, just two weeks ago, the US Justice Department decided not to prosecute the two FBI agents accused of mishandling the Nassar case. 
  • The plaintiffs’ claim is being filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which allows people who have been harmed by negligent actions of the federal government to seek recompense for damages. The plaintiffs are all seeking different amounts for damages, but the total claims amount is expected to surpass $1billion. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Daily Brief

Liverpool Fans Tear Gassed by French Police Before Final Match: UK Calls for an Investigation

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  • French police are criticized for firing tear gas and pepper spray at Liverpool fans waiting to get into the stadium in Paris.
  • The French sports ministry has called a meeting with Uefa (the French Football Association), stadium officials, and police to “draw lessons” from the event.
  • French interior minister Gérald Darmanin appeared to blame British supporters, tweeting on Saturday that thousands were without valid tickets and had forced entry while also claiming that some fans had assaulted stewards.
  • However, Merseyside Police said its officers who were stationed in Paris and attended the match “reported the vast majority of fans behaved in an exemplary manner, arriving at turnstiles early and queuing as directed.”
  • Liverpool FC also called for an investigation into the event and said they would be asking fans to contact them directly with their experiences.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Sport

The untold stories of Qatar and the FIFA World Cup

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Qatar Airways Boeing 777

While many acknowledge deep problems within the host country, one expert says the overly negative attention on Qatar overshadows much of the positive change the games are creating. 

Sports often bring people together, but that doesn’t seem to be happening with FIFA this year.

“Having the world cup in Quatar (sic) just makes me sick and not interested,” said one Twitter user, decrying the alleged abuses against workers who built the stadiums for the World Cup. “Those guys could never afford a ticket to these games, even though they loved the game and worked hard.”

“Give me a free final ticket if Germany played in it, I still won‘t go there. Never,” said another.

Qatar is hosting the World Cup in November, the very first Middle Eastern country to do so. Since Qatar was awarded hosting rights for the sporting event, there have been controversies over the way the country was chosen (including allegations of bribing FIFA) as well as scrutiny of the country’s human rights record (over the country’s alleged treatment of migrant workers and LGBTQ+ rights). 

But while many acknowledge deep problems within the country, some say the overly negative attention on Qatar overshadows much of the positive change the games are creating. 

“There’s politics with FIFA and World Cup organizers of Qatar,” said Luv Randhawa, an international singer based in British Columbia, who still hopes to attend his first World Cup this year. “For us as fans, we want to see the best sport.” 

He has conflicting feelings about the “beautiful” stadiums built by migrant workers.

“I look at it in two aspects: I pledge the pride of the people of Qatar for what they’ve done, but I’m also somber about the people who have lost their lives and livelihood because of the building of these buildings that the world is coming to see.”

Umer Hussain, who has a PhD in sports marketing, says while the controversies around Qatar are concerning, they’ve detracted from the positive aspects of the first World Cup since the pandemic.

“One of the goals of FIFA was to grow its own fan base, so that’s why when the FIFA World Cup was awarded to Qatar, it made me very excited,” said the postdoctoral researcher at Texas A&M University. 

He noted this World Cup generated around five million jobs. Qatar also changed some of its laws to support the rights of migrant workers and to prevent wage theft. Muslim women are also being encouraged more to play sports as a result of the Cup, Hussain said.

But he added the media has only been focusing on the negative aspects of the host country. 

As far as allegations of corruption go, Hussain points to the Global Transparency Index, whose Corruption Perceptions Index in 2021 ranked Qatar as less corrupt than the three previous FIFA hostsRussia, Brazil and South Africa. (Russia also faced controversy over alleged bribery and human rights violations.)

Hussain says the negative portrayal of Qatar as a corrupt country reflects historical stereotyping of Arab countries as inhumane. 

“People think … Qatar wanted to take soft power in the Arab world, that’s why they’re holding this World Cup,” Hussain said, noting Qatar has however lost more than it’s gained from this Cup. 

“There has been a lot of damage already done.”

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Society

Double Olympic Champion: Losing to Trans Women is About Biology – ‘I Feel Let Down’ 

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Screenshot 2022 04 22 at 09.45.26
Nicola, Wikimedia Commons via Wikimedia Commons

Katie Archibald, the double Olympic champion has criticised the International Olympic Committee and other sports bodies for their transgender policies saying they have not only let down female cyclists by underplaying biology but also left trans women like Emily Bridges to face intense scrutiny. 

“It is my opinion that the international governing bodies of several sports have let down transgender athletes, in particular transgender women, with their inclusion policies,” Archibald said in a statement.

According to Archibald, it was wrong for governing bodies to ignore the science that shows trans women who have gone through male puberty have a retained advantage in strength, stamina and physique. She made it clear that she and other females were also being let down by the unwillingness of sports to accept the importance of biology. 

Sadly, this is just an extension of the policies we have chosen to enact in our society without any regard to their consequences. Following the law for some such as trans results in rights being taken from others such as female athletes in sports. 

“These policies have put the athletes, their involvement in sport, and their personal lives under intense scrutiny when all the athletes have done is follow the rules and enter a category they were encouraged to enter.”

“I feel let down by the International Olympic Committee who tell me there should be no assumed advantage for an athlete with a gender identity different to their sex,” she said.

“I read this and hear that my world titles, my Olympic medals, and the champions jerseys I have at home, were all won in a category of people who simply don’t try as hard as the men. That losing to male androgenisation is not about biology, but mindset. They are wrong.

It’s ironic that women had to live under the tyranny of men for so long but now in a so-called liberal society, we are allowing men to become women and oppress women as women. Katie has shown incredible courage to point out something so obvious that our society continues to ignore with no real questions or fair solutions on offer!

She continued: “The retained advantage of people who have gone through male puberty in strength, stamina, and physique, with or without testosterone suppression, has been well documented.

“Cycling’s global governing body, by its president’s own admission, knows this. But they chose to delay action until it became sadly personal for one rider. That wasn’t fair.”

She also expressed deep sympathy for Bridges, who broke the junior men’s 25-mile record before transitioning in 2020, saying she was only following the rules of cycling’s governing body, the UCI, before it decided to block her racing as a woman last month.

In her statement Archibald also called on governing bodies of sports such as cycling, triathlon and rowing to come together to develop policies based on science, while also making their sport more welcoming for trans athletes. “But I’d like us to do all this without sacrificing one of the foundational pillars of sport: fairness.”

This is a key point, but it is not just limited to sport, in all aspects of society fairness should be a key consideration before making policies that allow individuals to act in a way that is legal but harmful to other individuals. We choose to ignore this principle at our own peril and decisions made in the past are slowly starting to unravel before us. 

When little 8-year-old boys start to transition and when a male swimmer who ranked 554th in men’s competition, becomes one of the top ranked swimmers in women’s competition, it tells us that this question of fairness should have been asked a long time ago! Not just from IOC but from governments and societies at large!

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Sport

Utah Governor Vetoes Bill Targeting Transgender Athletes

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Utah governor vetoes bill that targets transgender athletes
Utah Reps, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday, a republican-backed bill was vetoed by the state governor of Utah that barred transgenders from competing with girls in sports in schools.

Gov. Spencer Cox said in a statement that while “politically, it would be much easier and better for me to simply sign the bill,” he chose to veto it because he “tried to do what I feel is the right thing regardless of the consequences.”

Mr Cox was the second governor in vetoing the bill as on Monday, Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana, a Republican, vetoed a similar bill, saying it would likely have been challenged in court and would not have solved any pressing issue.

The two governors’ actions of vetoing the bill are at odds with steps taken in a number of other Republican-led states where transgender rights have become an imminent issue in a broader U.S. culture war over sexuality and gender identity. Whereas governors in states including Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Iowa have signed into law bills that ban trans girls from competing in girls’ sports.

In a series of tweets Cox made an emotional plea for compassion toward transgender youth Tuesday in explaining his decision to veto the bill. He said “No other state has done this, and we hoped that Utah could be the first. Unfortunately, that compromise fell apart in the 11th hour of the session.” Regarding transgenders he also tweeted “I am not an expert on transgenderism. I struggle to understand so much of it and the science is conflicting. When in doubt however, I always try to err on the side of kindness, mercy and compassion.”

Also in a letter to the state’s Senate president and House speaker, the governor said he was moved by the data that shows that among 75,000 kids playing high school sports in Utah, only four were transgender, with just one involved in girls sports.

“Four kids and only one of them playing girls sports. That’s what all of this is about. Four kids who aren’t dominating or winning trophies or taking scholarships. Four kids who are just trying to find some friends and feel like they are a part of something. Four kids trying to get through each day,” he wrote. “Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few.”

However Republican legislators plan to override the veto on Friday, as State Senator J. Stuart Adams, a Republican, mentioned in a statement.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Russia-Ukraine

Sanctions Against Russia Leave Chelsea Football Club Up for Grabs

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  • Former Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, was pushed to sell the Club amidst the hard sanctions against Russia.
  • Turkish businessman, Muhsin Bayrak, is set to bid 1 billion pounds for the football club, half of the 2.2 billion pounds he intended to offer Abramovich.
  • The British government will issue a license for the sale, despite not being directly involved in the sale process should they agree with the conditions.

Former Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, was pushed to sell the Club amidst the hard sanctions against Russia. Leaving room for potential buyers to submit bids in hopes of taking the Club at a fraction of the cost now that it was transferred to the government. The British government has set Friday as the deadline for any bids.

Turkish businessman, Muhsin Bayrak, is set to bid 1 billion pounds for the football club, half of the 2.2 billion pounds he intended to offer Abramovich. Strict sanctions connected to Russia’s occupation in Ukraine have hit multiple Russian oligarchs. This has caused an opening in the world market where many top Russian business owners held assets. 

Bayrak also intended on offering Abramovich $400 million of his company’s cryptocurrency and the transfer of certain real estate projects to the Russian billionaire. The Turkish investor is set to meet with Abramovich later this week in Turkey to receive his blessing for any deal. The British government will issue a license for the sale, despite not being directly involved in the sale process should they agree with the conditions.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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