Audacy Sports’ Ryan McDonough joined Trysta Krick on Heat Check on Wednesday ahead of the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday night.
The former executive spoke on a variety of topics on the show, mostly surrounding the impending draft, but he also touched on how the media plays a role in the NBA.
“One of the things that we’re seeing now is teams using the media to set the expectations for free agents,” he said (37:30 in above player).
McDonough used a very recent and relevant example in explaining the impact that the media can have.
“P.J. Tucker opts out in Miami with the Heat. We see that the Philadelphia 76ers will offer P.J. Tucker a three-year, $30 million deal and that the Miami Heat better be prepared to pay that amount,” McDonough said.
“I think a lot of it probably is the agent’s side. He’s doing what’s best for his player, that’s his job. But a lot of it’s the team side, too,” he continued.
McDonough then speculated on Tucker’s mindset heading into free agency.
Tucker has the opportunity to re-sign with the Miami Heat, who are in a desirable location and just went to the Eastern Conference Finals. However, it may be hard to pass up playing with a star like Joel Embiid (and possibly James Harden).
Nevertheless, the media plays a role.
“So that’s kind of the way the game’s played now. If Draymond calls it the ‘new media’ and I don’t think that’s a trend that’s going to change,” McDonough said.
“Not only with players doing media like Draymond and C.J. McCollum but with teams and agents and even players leaking stuff to try to manipulate situations the way they want it to go."