At last: NBA Mailbag Time!
You have questions about #thisleague. We have some long-awaited answers.
When I started publishing this Substack some 12 months (and change) ago, I envisioned establishing Reader Mailbags as a frequent feature.
Then I gradually realized something over the past year.
I take a lot of questions every week, radio-call-in style, during my frequent Spotify Live sessions. I also try to respond to every reader comment and question that subscribers throw at me at the bottom of my Substack pieces. Regular commenters know that we have lots of good back-and-forth down there.
(There likewise may or may not be a surprising new feature coming for fully fledged subscribers to The Stein Line that may or may not be revealed soon. Sorry to be so cryptic; that's as much as I'm allowed to say for now.)
My hope has been that I am providing plenty of avenues for your questions to be answered. A pesky culprit has likewise led to an occasional planned Mailbag (or three) to be placed on hold: News inevitably intervenes, as it is prone to do in the NBA, to delay publication.
Yet we have finally reached a point, in late July, that I was able to devote a good bit of my Sunday to putting together just the third extended Mailbag in the history of this Substack. I know the scarcity has disappointed a few of you — profuse apologies especially to Jonathan Saur — but, well, I would urge everyone to please take advantage of the many other routes to throw questions at me (Spotify Live, Substack comment section, Surprising TBD Feature) if there is a pressing curiosity.
Questions and comments, of course, are always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. If there's something on your mind and email is your preferred form of discourse, send it in! Just please remember to include your first and last name and the city you're writing in from to make the interactions more personal
And now for the first full-blown Mailbag of 2022 that Mr. Saur has been clamoring for ... with questions lightly edited and condensed for clarity:
Q: Why would the Pacers surrender two quality assets for potentially chump draft picks and a contaminated contract to create cap room next summer? Certainly Russell Westbrook, even at his best, would not suit up in light of Indiana’s youth surge.
Peter Vecsey (Springfield, Mass.)
STEIN: I normally restrict the questions here to those emailed to me. The Basketball Hall of Fame, furthermore, is only Mr. Vecsey's metaphorical address. Yet it made sense to start here, inspired by a Saturday tweet from the original NBA insider, since this is a topic that has so many readers curious.
The Pacers, as Peter's tone suggested, naturally want more in exchange for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield than the Lakers appear willing (or maybe even able) to give.
The precise draft compensation that the Lakers have pitched to this point …
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