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[WHAT Podcast] Gina Mizell of the Athletic and Jill Adge on last year’s top draft picks

We talked to the Athletic’s Gina Mizell to find out how DeAndre Ayton is doing in Phoenix and Jill Adage to hear more about Marvin Balgley III. Does anyone regret not taking Luka Doncic?

NBA: Preseason-Phoenix Suns at Portland Trail Blazers Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

This week we are checking in with folks in Phoenix and Sacramento to find out how the number one and number two draft picks are living up to expectations. We start by talking to Gina Mizell of the Athletic about DeAndre Ayton, chosen first by the Phoenix Suns. What is Ayton like? How is he getting along with first time NBA head coach Igor Kokoskov? Will he and Devin Booker be a powerful force in Phoenix?

Then we reconnect with Jill Adage who joined us right after the 2018 draft to tell us about how fans felt about Marvin Bagley III. The Sacramento Kings are off to one of their best starts in years and people are still mad that they didn’t pick Luka Doncic.

Join us as we catch up with Gina and Jill and learn more about some of the league’s rising stars. Along the way we talk about LEGO robotics, NBA and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), we speculate about a possible Bagley and Dame Dolla collaboration, and ask how former Trail Blazers pick Harry Giles (traded along with Justin Jackson for Zach Collins) is doing in Sacramento?

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3:30 Sports and technology

7:45 Introducing Gina Mizell of the Athletic

9:10 Path to covering the Phoenix Suns: Houston, Oklahoma, Oregon, Denver and Phoenix

12:00 What is it like working with people you grew up watching in the media?

16:20 How is the Deandre Ayton experience going in Phoenix? Ayton is a double double machine so far, plus he’s shown growth. Nowhere near his ceiling but there are flashes.

18:20 Background on Ayton. Grew up in the Bahamas, moved to Arizona. Spent high school, college and his NBA start all in or around Phoenix.

20:15 Big and open personality. Writing a series about what he has learned from matchups against veteran centers.

22:00 What he is learning about the game from players like Jokic and Embiid.

26:00 Fans knew the young roster was going to have to grow together and there would be growing pains.

27:05 They only have a few wins but they have beaten the Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks.

28:40 Booker and Ayton’s chemistry is developing. Booker is trying to learn how to be a point guard or at least distribute the ball more.

32:30 Cassidy thought she was over the Trail Blazers picking Greg Oden over Kevin Durant but maybe she’s not . . .

33:40 Talking to Jill Adage about the Kings. Marvin Bagley’s ultra quick jumping abilities are real!

39:30 Does it sting at all not to have Luka Doncic? It is still a daily conversation. Not sure how he would have fit in with the style the Kings are playing now?

41:10 Bagley is easy to root for.

46:35 It is fun to actually hear people around the league talk about that the Kings are fun. Nice to not be the laughing stock of the league.

47:30 Outro

Some of the STEM stuff we talked about

Oregon Robotics Tournament Outreach Program

NBA Math Hoops

NBPA Internships at Google and Facebook

Chris Bosh Coding the Future

Get Social

Follow Blazer’s Edge on Twitter @blazersedge, WHAT Pod @HoopsAndTalks, Tara @tcbbiggs, and Cassidy @CassidyGemmet. This week’s guests: Jill Adge (@jilladge) and Gina Mizell (@GinaMizell)

Women’s Hoops And Talks (W.H.A.T.)

Join the Women’s Hoops And Talks Facebook group to talk about Trail Blazers with others who identify as women who love basketball.

Music used in the episode: “Happy Alley” Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License