Basketball Insiders Publisher Steve Kyler will hold the inaugural chat for Basketball Insiders on Friday at 10:30am EST. Drop in your questions regarding NBA trades, the NBA Draft, roster moves or questions about your team.
Hi Steve. First off I just want to congratulate you and the new website. My first question for this new website is: where will Andrew Bynum end up?
First I want to thank all of you that made our launch night so successful. I am not going to get into numbers, but I will say broadly 27 minutes into the launch we had more people on the new site than we had last year on trade deadline day. We were blown away. Thank you. For my first trick of the day… I am going to try and answer every question asked in this chat. So pull up a chair.
Unfortunately for Bynum he does not offer nearly as much upside as he does risk. He can still play. I still think he can contribute to a team, but there are so many stories about him that I think he’s got a long road ahead of him in getting back on a team.
Now. He could change that by saying he’d do a ten-day contract to prove himself, but I don’t think he’ll do that.
Short answer. I am not sure there is a team that will sign Bynum this year unless someone gets injured and he is their only option.
The way the San Antonio Spurs have been playing, do you really think they can get all the way back to the NBA finals this year?
I do. Its how they do things that make them so good. Everyone plays their part. They genuinely like each other. Nothing from the outside is allowed into the process. They are truly a special organization.
They have to stay healthy and thats always the big issue for the Spurs.
Will Pau Gasol ever get traded?
Unlikely. The Lakers have THOROUGHLY shopped him. The problem with moving $19 million in salary is almost anyone that can take that kind of money has to send back a player with years on their deal and the Lakers won’t do that. Pau is worth more to them in cap space and future flexibility than anything the Lakers can get in return for him.
That might change at the deadline, but the Lakers seem more than happy to let this play out, let their contracts expire and build a smarter roster going forward that insures they can acquire the players they want down the line.
Congratulations on the new venture. I still am trying to digest the Wizards crushing of the Heat on Wednesday and what their future holds. What do you think the upside of the current roster is? That’s an important question given that after this year Gortat, Ariza, Harrington, Vesely, Singleton, Temple are free agents and Booker and Seraphin are restricted free agents. Do you think Grunfeld survives and if so who do you think he’ll try to retain?
I think all of us here pegged the Wizards as a playoff team. I caution to read too much into any wins in January. Every team will win 20 games and lose 20 games… historically it plays out that way.
I am not sure on Ernie G. I think he’s made lemonade out of lemons for a while, but some of those lemons are his own choosing. I think if the Wiz don’t make the playoffs there will be changes.
What is the one thing you’ll miss about Hoopsworld? What’s your fondest memory of the old website?
Not much. We sold it in 2008 so it has not been mine for a very long time. I am not a “look” back kind of person. I can’t change yesterday. I can change tomorrow and I hope we proved that when we launched this new home.
That said I would not change anything we’ve done in 16 years. All of those decisions – good and bad, brought us here and I am really pleased with what here looks like.
I don’t think anyone will tell you they truly do their best work being in one place for a very long time. Change is good for the soul.
Watching how my team responded to all of this has been truly amazing, humbling and inspiring. We did not leave anyone behind, so there is nothing lost but a name someone else owned and controlled.
What are your thoughts about the sleeve jerseys for this years NBA All-Star game?
I understand sleeves.
Go to any park, any rec center, any high school gym, college practice, NBA practice… players were sleeves. When given a choice, more players workout, practice and shoot in sleeves than don’t. So why do we wear tanks? because thats how its always been.
Adidas was nice enough to send us some sample sleeved jerseys during the summer. I have worn them and they are surprisingly comfortable.
I think like all dogma and tradition – I don’t think anyone can tell me “why” we were tanks, we just always have.
My issue with the sleeved jersey is that they have all of these zany designs AND sleeves. Just put sleeves on my normal jersey so I don’t look like a can of biscuits busting open on the sides.
Hi, Steve. Congrats on the new venture. Right now the top 8 teams in the East are Indy, Miami, Toronto, Atlanta, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, Brooklyn. Do you see them all being playoff teams when the season ends? If not, who is most likely to rise up, and who is most likely to drop?
Also, what chance do you give Joakim Noah of being named an all-star reserve? No Lopez or Horford should help his chances, I’d think.
That seems about right… I think Charlotte could sneak in. Detroit has a ton of talent, but boy are they streaky.
I think Joakim could get in. Coaches love that guy.
Hey Steve, any news regarding the Sixers trying to move Hawes, Turner or Thad? Any interest from the Thunder?
Last I had heard Thad was off the market.
As for the Thunder. Having talked to them recently. I am not sure they want any real change. To get Hawes/Evans they’d have to give up something real and I am not sure they would do that.
What’s the deal with Andrew Wiggins? I know you guys have him as #1, you are one of the few who think so. He was described as a “Once in a generation talent” coming out of high school. He’s not even top 3 on some mock draft boards, why do you think that?
I wrote about this: http://www.basketballinsiders.com/early-red-flags-in-the-2014-draft-class/
The problem with Wiggins is he has not been ” a once in a generation” college player. In fact unless its a major team he tends to take the night off. He has proved his critics correct – he is a streaky in the effort department and he takes plays off.
As I wrote… don’t think that Wiggins #1 means that Jabari Parker isn’t 1a and Julius Randle isn’t 1b and Dante Exum isn’t 1c. The gap between prospects in the top 5 to 7 is so small its negligible. Its about who fits a specific teams need.
What can you expect the Denver Nuggets to do come trade deadline with Andre Miller and how big of a threat are they come playoffs?
They are trying to trade Andre, but there just is not a huge market for him.
As for threat in the playoffs… No. Not in the West. I think they are good enough to get in and a win a game or two, but they are not a team thats going to dominate in the post-season. Not unless someone really breaks out.
What moves are the kings looking to make as we near the trade deadline
They are playing with baseball cards. They really are. They are still active in talks and I think outside of the core guys – Cousins, Thomas and McLemore. I think they’d do almost anything that would make them better.
Also, one of the most repeated questions but how will the Knicks finish out the year? (Record wise but also with roster changes and personal) will they keep the mid-2000’s Denver Nugget squad together?
Hard to call that one. They are massively dysfunctional. They have players and they have talent so thats enough to get to the 8th seed, especially if they can string together something. But they can’t seem to get out of their own way.
As for keeping the squad together. I really think Melo removes the emotion and sits down and does business. Where can he truly win? Who can pay him and whats his roster look like? Steve Mills has his work cut out for him.
What road did youtake to becoming an NBA writer and insider? Any advice to an aspiring journalist? Before you tweet out what a source tell you, do you try and get it confit needs?
First… this happened to me. It was not a plan.
In short I devoted everything to this. I tell my new guys this idiom – You do not get to the NBA taking 100 jump shots a day. You get to the NBA taking a 1000 jump shots a day. If you can not find the time, effort or energy to work that hard – you will not make it.
That’s true of this business. It is extremely hard to make money in sports journalism. Its hard to get noticed and more importantly its hard to create the relationships that make you valuable.
I am here because I work extremely hard. I am here because I worked at my craft.
As for sources… that one is sticky. I try not to tweet “sourced” material but I also try extremely hard to make sure that anyone that shares information with me is insulated and protected.
Affalo doesn’t really fit into Orlandos rebuilding mode along with limiting the development of oladipo. Are any teams interested in him? He’s having the best year of his career I just think there’s a lot of teams that could use his scoring ability
He actually does. But to answer your question – yes. The Magic have gotten a lot of interest in Arron. So much that they think he could help them around the draft to move up or get guys they want.
I don’t think Orlando trades Arron in-season. Not unless they get exactly what want for him. As for Oladipo. You make is sound like Arron is sitting on him. Vic is doing just fine. In fact he has someone to learn from and challenge him in practice.
How do you see the Blazers going on the upcoming 4-game “Texas Swing” road trip?
Good teams when home games. The good news all of the Texas teams have lost between 5-6 home games already so they are far from unbeatable at home and Portland has been a decent road team.
If you go .500 for Texas you have done pretty good.
Do you think it makes sense for Miami to rely on Greg Oden? I know he’s not a landmark free agent but don’t you think it would make sense for them to take a chance on Andrew Bynum if he would except the minimum? (And yes I know Pat Riley recently said there was nothing going on with that situation)
I don;t think Miami is relying on Greg. They will use Bosh and Birdman at the five and Greg will play a role in that too.
Greg Oden is not the answer at the five, just part of the puzzle. As for Bynum. I think he brings more luggage with him than Miami is will to take on at this point in the season. Had they had training camp and 30 games to get him on their page it might make sense, not sure it does now.
What happened to hoopsworld?
I am honestly not going to try and duck this question, but there are a lot of things I can not comment on.
1st — We sold HOOPSWORLD in 2008. In 2012 the company we sold it to was acquired by USA TODAY.
We did not have a say in that and we had not owned HOOPSWORLD for a long time.
2nd — Not all marriages are what they seem on many levels.
Personally, as the person who built it, its hard to see something you gave 16 years to, go away. But at the same time. It was not mine. When you sell things you stop having control over what buyers want to do with them.
On so many levels it was time. It was time for me to get back in control. It was time for us to shape our own future and to build something bigger and better.
I really wish I could share the whole story, because some have already tried to, but thats not productive for anyone.
I am thankful to the great people I worked with a USA TODAY. It was an experience I would not trade, but at the same time, freedom is a wonderful thing.
Danny Ainge has acquired a plethora of picks for the upcoming drafts. Rondo returns Friday night. Do you foresee Ainge packaging Rondo and/or picks this season?
If you look at the timing. Ainge has several weeks to figure out if Rondo is who they think he is. If he can not be Brad Stevens floor leader, then I think the Celtics trade him. If Rondo flourishes and really meshes with Brad. I think they keep him and build around him.
Congratulations and welcome. Best idea for CH Bulls team, a)rebuilding b)retooling and c) keeping this core group? Can you trade Tom Thibodeau for a first round pick if you get the opportunity? How you can fix CH Bulls team to bring championship opportunity in the future? Thanks you.
Injuries have again de-railed… Like I covered this morning: http://www.basketballinsiders.com/nba-am-the-chicago-bulls-finding-new-glue/
The Bulls will have a change to re-tool quickly. They have a lot in place and another draft to add talent.
I would not go nuts. You have a lot that works and will have the flexibility to solve a lot of things in June and July.
Do you see the Blazers making any moves on the trade deadline? Lots of Blazers fans seem to want a veteran big to add to the roster, any realistic candidates?
I do not. The Blazers have a lot going for them. Change might “mess up their game”.
Glad to be back with you guys on the new site!
As a long-time Hoopsworld reader, I wish you guys the best of luck in this new venture! And I’m also glad to see the chats continuing on this new platform.
I’ve been watching the Pelicans and in spite of their low standing in the Western Conference, I think they’re a pretty good team. Do you see them as a similar team to the Blazers, a team that exploded onto the scene after two years of consistency with the same roster under the same head coach? Is this team going to be a top-4 team in the West in 2 years as currently constructed or do you believe they might need extra pieces or a coaching change?
I agree. There is a lot to like about NOLA. They just have had a bad run of injuries. I don;t think they have had their entire squad for more than a week all season.
They are a very young team. They have loads of talent and they’ll grow together. Maybe not Blazers good. But playoff good in sort order.
What trade do you think the Denver nuggets will pull off
The only name I really hear in a serious way is Andre Miller. Lots of teams trying to pry other things out, but Miller is really the only named guy I think they’ll move.
First off congrats! Have followed your writing religiously from OZ since Bskball.com. Anyway everyone is speculating that the Bulls should amnesty the Booze in the off season. I think they would be better either keeping him for the last year as an expiring option, trade him now for space or try to upgrade utilising some of the multitude of picks they own. If they amnesty him he most likely walks to Miami, which further divides them from the Heat in the future. I also believe they should keep the amnesty in their back pocket as insurance for Rose. Your thoughts?
You should go bang that URL after you read this… follow the yellow brick road.
As for Booz… expiring contracts, especially hefty ones are not what they once were. With shorter contracts its so much easier for teams that want to get cap space to get there, they don;t have to take bad ending contracts. I think you’ll see the Bulls try and shop Boozer in trade around the draft. If they can not find a taker they’ll amnesty him and re-stock with his money.
Hey Steve, Do you agree with Noah’s No Tanking? I applaud Noah. Owners should be ashamed having fans pay tickets to see their team trying to lose.
Having been in that locker room recently… everyone gives you the stink eye when you even mutter the syllables “tan…” they are not having it.
I remind people of this a lot. Its rare that a locker room and a coaching staff will sign off on losing games. Everyone is auditioning for their next job, roster spot or contract. The Bulls are too prideful to lay down.
Hi Steve. If you are Masai do you extend Kyle Lowry or try and get what you can? I am of the opinion he doesn’t want to be in toronto long term. If you do move him what kind of return can one expect? Thank you
I would. I think you have to weigh this… can you get a better player at the position in the draft or free agency? The answer is likely no. Not unless someone gets you into the top 5 and even then finding a Damian Lillard-type game changer is rare. You take steps backwards when you go to the draft pool.
I would absolutely extend Lowry — at the right price.
Who do you guys think realistically would help the Bulls most at say the 15th pick in the 2014 draft?
I am big fan of James Young (Kentucky). I also really like Gary Harris (Michigan State)… those are guys I would look hard at in the 15 range.
No question today, Steve. I just wanted to say the site is great. I’ve been with you for a long time and I’m really excited about this. Thanks for all the hard work you and the staff put in.
Its appreciated… now make sure you buy our Magazine!!!
Its really hard to make a web business work on ads alone. We really do not want or feel like a subscriber model works. Especially not for us. So we’ve invested in building out a best-in-class digital magazine. We’ll do a Trade Deadline guide (110-pages) that drops on Feb. 8th…. We might do a season end/playoff preview kind of magazine (April), we’ll do a 110-page NBA Draft Guide (June)… we’ll do a Free Agency Guide (110-pages) late June… we’ll do a robust Season Preview (September) and a super deep Fantasy Basketball Guide (Sept/October).
We have made the commitment to get away from intrusive annoying ads, so we’ll need your support. If the Magazine does well we’re going to drop crazy prizes on our supporters… iPads, trips to Summer League.. all kinds of fun stuff.
Like the new site. Suns GM is quoted as saying he’d like to move some of the potentially 4 first round picks the Suns have for an established super star. If YOU were the GM, what players would YOU be targeting that you think could be realistically acquired with players and/or those picks?
There is no “super star” to be had, unless you lower the bar on what you call a star.
I’d be on the phone with Detroit about Greg Monroe. I’d see what Milwaukee wants for Ersan Ilyasova. Maybe of Orlando would part with Mo Harkless and or Arron Afflao.
There just is not that one guy that anyone is willing to move.
No real question, I’m just glad too see you and the guys (hopefully) back on the web. I would miss those chats!
Me too. This sort of came to a head in early January, so its been chaotic to say the least. Happy to be back doing what I do.
Good Morning Steve!
Loving the look of the new site and glad your whole crew came with you! Hope this year is positive for everyone involved.
Vanilla City is struggling to keep up with the West and may not even crack the playoffs.
You think now is the best time to move KLove for assets? The Celtics seem to have the most to offer trade wise, especially more than NY or LA. Could we see another stud PF heading to a Green jersey or is Daniel really going to draft 17 guys in the next 5 years and let all these ‘also ran’ men in green walk this summer? Seems like Boston could send a fantastic package to Vanilla City, one even better than the KG trade. Thoughts? Appreciate your time and good luck with the site!
I think if you are Minnesota you have to look at Kevin Love around the draft. You have to have an honest conversation with him about what he wants. if he is not 100% on board you have to move him. I don’t think the Wolves get anything for him mid-season, but could they flip Love into the top five of the 2014 Draft? maybe.
The good news is Kevin and Flip Saunders have a real relationship and I think Kevin and Flip will talk openly about the future and make decisions from there.
Love the new site. Especially a fan of the layout of the team salary section.
Now onto my question, do you think the Celtics will use Humphries contract to be the third team to facilitate a Eric Gordn trade? Humphries seems like a nice short term fit in NO.
On the same idea do you think the Bobcats have any interest in Humph, Green or Bass. With MKG under performing and Ben Gordon expiring could a Humph+Green for B Gordon and MKG trade be realistic?
I have been told this a few times… Kris Humphries is a hard guy to play with. He is great on the court, but its everything else thats problematic. I doubt NOLA imports that. Charlotte is changing their culture too, so I doubt they’d move for him.
If eliminating the auto play video’s and survey’s prior to being able to read an article had something to do with the “control” you had talked about, then you are off to a good start. I fully understand how important the advertising dollar is however insulating us from this as much as possible is a good thing. The new site looks great!
Is Demar Derozan an All Star this year?. Seems that being above state line has him flying under the radar.
among many things…
Now here is the threat. If you don’t buy the magazine, those things are coming right back
It funny how DeRozan has changed in the public perception. I love that guy personally. He is a solid dude. The problem with naming DeRozan an All-Star is who does he bump?
I think he is the same mix as Arron Afflao, Lance Stephenson, maybe even Joe Johnson… so how many get reserve spots. I think he is deserving for sure and he leads the east at the shooting guard spot in scoring.
Do you consider a team like the Jazz to be tanking? To me, it looks like the Jazz saw what it had with Millsap and Jefferson, saw that they weren’t going anywhere and decided to go with the young guys – in a season that happens to be leading up to a potentially good draft. I guess I feel that rebuilding and tanking are two different things and wanted to get your take on it.
No… they are just young and trying to find their way.
Should the Pelicans consider a coaching change if the season continues in this direction? I know they have injuries but they were just playing super great before the injuries hit.
That is the big question. I love Monty and having spent a lot of time around that team. He has installed a lot of things that work. I think he need an offensive coordinator -type coach to maximize the offensive tools. That is the change I would make.
Has any team really done better within 3 seasons after tanking? Maybe OKC after getting Durant or Duncan in SA.
No its usually a long road back. Its rare that you can be bad enough to get a top three pick and get in the hunt quickly.
Can you see the Celtics trading Rondo for a package similar to what the Sixers did with Holiday or do they want to build around him? Only problem is a lot of the teams in the lottery seem to have their point guard of the future. I think he would be an interesting piece on the Kings beside Gay and Cousins.
I don;t know if anyone is parting with a first rounder for Rondo, but maybe. I do think Boston could get a real return of young rookie scale players for him.
Not sold they are there yet.
First of all, congratulation for the new project, may it have more success than the previous one My question is for the Bulls, do you think they should blow up the entire team, like trade Noah and let Thibbs go? They don’t want to lose, and the Bulls are going to lose a lot this season. With a healthy Rose, Butler, one good free agent, Mirotic, they will have a solid group next season.
Best regards from Macedonia.
I do not. I think they have a lot of the support pieces other teams will kill for. They need Derrick healthy and to use Luol Deng’s money wisely.
Also on Thibbs… good luck finding a coach better than that guy. Think of all the bad hires the Bulls have had before Thibbs. I’d give that guy an extension just for enduring all this.
Are the magic really stuck with Big Baby, or is he a mover at the deadline? any other chatter about Jameer Nelson? Thank you Sir,
I have not heard anyone mention Big Baby as a player they would like to acquire. I would not expect a Davis trade unless it involved packing in a Mo Harkless or an Andrew Nicholson to make it happen.
Hey Steve! Congrats on the new site! Should the Raptors be worried after losing an ugly one to Boston?
No. Don’t sweat games won or lost in January. Everyone wins 20, everyone loses 20… the fight is for those other 42.
Who’s the 3rd best team in the East in your opinion?
Atlanta? Hard to call that one. Toronto has found some swagger too.
I’ve watched every orlando and philly game this season and it’s clear to me that overall stats aside Oladipo is way more talented than MCW. Who wins ROY in your opinion and why and who will have the better career?
Better career is situational.
As for the talent statement… you are probably right, but they are also totally different players. Vic has a lot of potential but so does MCW.
I think its going to be a close one this year on Rookie Of The Year… remember we have had co-rookies of the year before.
Hello Steve. Congratulations to your new website. Already bookmarked this as my homepage. My question is if the Magic has the 1 or 2 pick, do you think Magic will take Embiid or Wiggins? Logically, if there is a big man with great upside, one would draft, correct?
I don’t think they’d take either… I still think its Parker and Exum for Orlando. Not taking Wiggins could cost a GM his job, so there is that.
Love the new site
As a prospect Willy Cauley-Stein doesnt seem to get a ton of love. However your site has him 7th in the Mock. I agree. How do NBA teams view him compared to Noel last year.
Really raw. Not an impact guy. He’ll go high, but he is a project big not a franchise big.
As a celtics fan Im waiting to see Ainge move Humphries, Green and or Bass. How or do you see this playing out?
Would the bobcats be interested? The blazers?
Kind of covered this. You love Hump on the floor, but guys struggle with him in the locker room.
Who’s the 3rd best team in the East?
Kind of covered… but promised to answer every question.
Do the Raptors get homecourt + win a round in the playoffs this season?
They really could. One because the East is flat and the other is it does not seem either New York teams wants to break away.
It will be about matchup.
Do you see Kyle Lowry resigning with Toronto? Might be his only chance to be the leader of a team for the long run. He also gets along very well with the team now.
He has told us its about winning. He wants to be were he can lead a team and win games. That is what makes him happy. Toronto is doing both right now, so they have a shot.
Will Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan make the allstar game this season?
Sort of covered…
I think DeRozan has a real shot. Lowry on the other hand has to fight for a spot with John Wall, Kyrie Irving. Not sure both get in, but they are legit candidates.
Assuming Lakers get the top pick, which looks increasingly likely, who do you think they pick?
I think Embiid looks very likely but do you see more Hakeem or Hasheem (Thabeet) in him
We’ve never seen a player like Hakeem… so lets not go there. I like Joel Embiid a lot, not sure I’d take him #1, but I’d give him a long hard look.
Long term do the Bucks look to move Sanders to free up the starting center spot for Henson? They seem to redundant to play together.
Could that be a move down the road for the celtics
That has not been anything I have heard from Milwaukee. Sanders contract will be tough to move.
Its game game 7 2016,15 seconds left your down by 2.
Who do you want with the ball in their hands Parker, Wiggins, Exum or Smart
Smart… that my take today… ask me again in a year.
Who do you see trying to be buyers and sellers coming into the trade deadline?
Buy the trade deadline magazine… we will have all of that in there.
First, congrats on the new site. Wish you all the best. Question is a follow up on your piece on the Bulls this am: Do you really think GarPax will just add “mid-tier” players this summer and expect to 1)keep DRose and Noah happy? and 2) Compete for a title? Don’t you think they’re going to have to find a way to add a real impact player? And maybe Mirotic is that player?
I think its about who they add. They are not getting Carmelo or LeBron… so you are talking about maybe two $7 to $8 million a year players and pay Jimmy Butler. They need depth.
I think they have the players… they need to get healthy
Congrats on the new site. I read your article “6 things about the Orlando Magic” and it seems pretty dead on. My issue is with the playing time of Jameer and Davis. If they are trying to see what talent they have for the future, why are they playing so many minutes. Seems coaching decisions are inconsistant and desperate.
You have to play them to keep their value up.
Hey Steve, I’m loving the new site! Dante Exum vs Marcus Smart? NBA Comparisons? Who do you like for the Lakers?
Dante Exum — Michael Carter-Williams meets Penny Hardaway?
Marcus Smart — Eric Bledsoe meets Lance Stephenson?
Exum would be my choice for the Lakers.
Congrats on the new website Steve! Really like the feel of it! So much recent buzz about Joe Embiid. I really love Vucevic but if the Magic have the opportunity would they take Embiid? Also Harkless one shot in 40+ minutes. I love his potential but C’mon man!
Joel is getting hype because he is exceeding expectations where other in the class are struggling to meet them.
I have told Mo he has to be more aggressive, but I am not sure thats in his nature.
As for Vuc. I think he is a good serviceable five-man, but is he an all-world center? I think the answer there is no. But I am not sold Embiid is either.
Do the Lakers pursue Melo this year or do they wait for Kevin Love?
I think they kick the tires on everything. That’s what flexibility is about. I also don;t think Kobe is going to throw away a year waiting for 2015 on the hope of Kevin Love.
I think it’s obvious the Bobcats are trying to make the playoffs this year, but it would seem that they will need to make a move at the trade deadline to add shooting/scoring to this roster. What should we expect?
I think they’d love to move Ben Gordon, just not sure there is a taker for him.
big props on the new site, layout greatly improved, mobile in particular! Tip: please put name of writer at start of articles. Will T. Heath still contribute? Love his respective and writing.
What’s your take on this draft today, seems the hype was slightly exaggerated? Any surefire franchise guys? Depth after lottery?
Yes… we brought everyone.
And not sure I follow on names at the start of articles.
Guys… I answered every question and it only took 2 hours! Thanks for all the questions. Make sure you are following me on Twitter (@stevekylerNBA). See you all next week.
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