Game Theory w/ Sam Vecenie

Sam Vecenie is joined by friends to discuss the NBA, NBA Draft, college basketball, high school basketball, and everything in between. Oh, and they'll randomly talk about movies and more.
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Game Theory w/ Sam Vecenie







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Apr 19, 2019

In this episode, I chat with Michael Pina from over at SB Nation about a lot of different NBA playoffs stuff. We spend the first 25 minutes on the Ben Simmons explosion, Embiid being out, and the 76ers general strategy of team building. Then we talk about the Celtics and Pacers series, and then bounce around a bunch around the rest of the NBA playoffs. This includes a fire take from Pina on who will win the title. 

Apr 15, 2019

In this episode, I chat with Dieter Kurtenbach about every Game 1 in the NBA Playoffs series. We frame each series with a Panic Meter: a 0 to 5 rating of how panicked each team should be after Game 1 of the series, and then discuss what we saw in each game.

We start with Utah-Houston, then go to Indiana-Boston, then Orlando-Toronto, then San Antonio-Denver, then Oklahoma City-Portland, then Milwaukee-Detroit, Clippers-Golden State, and finish on Brooklyn-Philadelphia. 

The podcast is sponsored by Robinhood. Go to 

Apr 12, 2019

In this episode, I chat with Dieter Kurtenbach about the BANANAS last few days of the regular season. We start with Magic Johnson's hilarious, impromptu, WTF-level resignation. 

Then, we talk about the last couple of days of the regular season. Jamal Crawford goes for a 50-piece, Dirk and Wade are done, and more, including the most absurd Trail Blazers box score in the history of box scores. 

Then, we talk about playoff series, and preview the ones we're most looking forward to. 

Finally, we talked about Us, the Jordan Peele movie and the last film I've seen in theatres before my absurd trips took me away from the podcast. 

Mar 20, 2019

In this episode, I hop on with Chris Stone from Sporting News, and we preview every matchup in the NCAA Tournament from an NBA Draft perspective. What games and prospects do you need to watch? What should you be watching for? What are the fun games to look out for? When should you be glued to your TV? 

We go in order of the bracket, starting with the entire left side then moving to the right side. 

Mar 11, 2019

In this episode, I chat with Dieter Kurtenbach, where we break down the people across the NBA that will shape the league most in the calendar 2019 year. Obviously it includes both on and off the floor personalities that will play a critical part in creating the future of the league, including Kevin Durant, Rich Paul, Kyrie Irving, Magic Johnson, and more, then additionally guys like Bradley Beal, Mike Budenholzer, Zion Williamson and Kemba Walker. 

Mar 6, 2019

In this episode, I chat with Dieter Kurtenbach about the Celtics-Warriors game last night, the ultimate narrative game of this NBA season thus far. We chat about Kyrie Irving's weird media stuff, the effect that the off-court stuff has had on the Celtics, and where there's still time for the season to turn around. Then, we chat about DeMarcus Cousins struggling a bit for the Warriors. 

Then we move to the Lakers, and the mess that is their season. We chat about Jeanie Buss' comments, then we also chat about the idea that teams are out to get the Lakers. 

Finally, we chat about some Western Conference teams who have impressed, including the Trail Blazers and the Nuggets, even if the Nuggets have scuffled a bit recently against good teams. 

Then we talk about the Oscars, because of course I needed to talk about the Oscars. 

Mar 4, 2019

In this episode, I chat with friend of the program Rob Dauster about college basketball. At the Game Theory Podcast, we understand that conference tournament season starts this week, presenting ample opportunity for you guys to gamble on college hoops. So to help you figure out exactly what you want to put your hard-earned dollars on, Rob and I basically re-set where we are in college basketball. We gave out our favorite picks for futures on who will win the NCAA title, then discussed the top-10 teams in-depth. 

Then, we moved onto some of the more interesting teams like Kansas, Indiana, and others. Then, we played a game that Rob and I have been playing over text message for the last couple of weeks, where I read a quote from an assistant coach from my NBA Draft College Coaches Poll survey, and he tries to guess who the player is. 

Sponsors:, promo code CLNS50


Feb 22, 2019

In this episode, I get with Doug Gottlieb from Fox Sports, where we chat about a lot of different topics centering around one all-encompassing force of takes, basketball, and fun: Zion Williamson. We talk about the should he sit the rest of the year take, the amateurism takes inherent to his situation, and whether the NCAA should upend the system. Doug and I disagree on a lot of this, which makes the talk fun. 

Then, we chat about some of the prospects he's seen around the country this season that he likes more than others, and finish on RJ Barrett. 

Feb 16, 2019

In this episode, Sam and Cole chat about Dell Demps being fired by the New Orleans Pelicans, and why the time was right. The Demps era will be known for its missed opportunities as much as anything else. 

Then, they talk about what they're most looking forward to on All-Star weekend. 

Next, we discuss this question: is Zion Williamson the No. 1 asset in the NBA if he was thrown into a NBA 2k Fantasy Draft style setting? I discuss why I don't think he is. Cole thinks it's a little bit more of a question. 

Finally, they get into their bread and butter and discuss the draft. Why are we both so high on De'Andre Hunter? Why do they both like Brandon Clarke as much as they do? They then talk about the worst award list I've ever seen in my life, the Kareem Abdul Jabbar award top-10. Then, they bounce around to a lot of random prospects. 


Feb 13, 2019

In this episode, I talk to Dieter Kurtenbach about some NBA topics heading into the All-Star break. First, we talk about the Thunder, which leads into a conversation about the rest of the Western Conference. Do we believe in the Thunder? What are the other teams in the West we have faith in? Has Russell Westbrook been a top-12 player in the league this season? 

Then, we move on and talk about Anthony Davis, whose situation in New Orleans is quickly becoming untenable. I give my idea on how to end this entire farce. 

Then, Dieter talks about the Kevin Durant situation from up in the Bay Area. Kevin liked a lot of tweets calling something Dieter wrote trash after not liking any tweets since October. So we talk about that dynamic, and how weird the situation is in Golden State. 

Finally, we talk about some buyout candidates briefly, and if they can help NBA teams. 

Feb 7, 2019

In this podcast, Cole Zwicker and I break down a variety of trades. We chat about all of the deals in the order below. Then, we chat about Anthony Davis not getting dealt, and about Kevin Durant vs. the Media: 

TOR: Marc Gasol for MEM: Jonas, Wright, Miles, 2024 2nd

LAC: Temple, Green for MEM: Bradley — Clippers waive Gortat

MIL: Nikola Mirotic, NOP: Jason Smith, Stanley Johnson, Four future seconds, DET: Thon Maker

ORL: Markelle Fultz for PHI: Jonathon Simmons, OKC 1st, PHI 2nd

CHI: Otto Porter Jr. for WAS: Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis, and a 2nd.  — Portis wants 16M, got offered a 40-50M extension

NOP: Markieff Morris for WAS: Wes Johnson

SAC: Harrison Barnes for DAL: Justin Jackson and Z-Bo

PHX: Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington for MIA: Ryan Anderson

HOU: Shumpert, Stauskas, Baldwin, CLE: Knight, Chriss, 2019 HOU 1st, SAC: Burks

LAC: Zubac and Beasley for LAL: Muscala

ATL: Shelvin Mack for MEM: Tyler Dorsey

PHI: James Ennis for HOU: 2021 2nd

POR: Skal for SAC: Swanigan

HOU: 2nd for IND: Stauskas, Baldwin

PHI: Malachi Richardson, a 2nd, Emir Preldzic for TOR: Cash

Anthony Davis Not Dealt

Kevin Durant vs. the Media

Feb 6, 2019

In this episode, Dave DuFour joins and we chat about all the trades that have gone done 24 hours out from NBA Trade Deadline. First, we break down the Tobias Harris trade to Philadelphia. Why is that a deal that makes sense for them? Is there a reason that this deal might not work? Is there an opportunity cost? 

Next, we talk about the Memphis talks. What do we think of the potential Marc Gasol deal to Charlotte? What do we think of the offers for Mike Conley? Then, we chat about the Detroit-Milwaukee deal, the Detroit-Lakers deal, and the Rodney Hood trade to Portland. 

Feb 5, 2019

In this episode, Sam Vecenie is joined by Tony Jones, where they discuss the latest in As The Anthony Davis Rumors Turn, with Rich Paul leaks and information galore. Also, we play some game theory and play out some scenarios on why the Pelicans should wait to deal Anthony Davis. Also, we break down what the Lakers package is. 

Next, we move to Lonzo Ball. Why it's funny Lonzo thinks he has sway in where he ends up, why Lonzo is a great fit in Phoenix, and why we still buy him overall. Then, we move on to talking about the Kristaps Porinzigs deal. Re-visiting five days after the deal, why I still don't love if for the Knicks. 

Then, we move on to Mike Conley. Tony provides a bit of reporting on where the Conley talks stand, why Conley would be a great fit in Utah, why he'd make sense in a lot of places, and why the Pistons should go and try to get him, too. We also chat about Marc Gasol. 

Finally, we finish on NBA Prospects talk. Some Ja Morant, some Zion, and some sleepers to watch over the next year. 

Jan 31, 2019

In this episode of the Game Theory Podcast, Cole Zwicker joins and we break down what the hell just happened. Why did the Knicks dump Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks essentially in a salary move? Do they feel this confident on Kevin Durant? What is Kristaps actual trade value? Why is this a good deal for the Mavericks?

We also talk trading Anthony Davis and what such a deal could look like before we were rudely interrupted by the WojBombs. Finally, we finish on the NBA Draft, and discuss some of the prospects we've seen and been fans of recently, including the three prospects at Kentucky, Dylan Windler, Kevin Porter Jr., Matisse Thybulle, Aaron Nesmith, Aaron Wiggins, Neemias Queta, and more. 

Jan 28, 2019

In this podcast, Dieter Kurtenbach joins to discuss everything Anthony Davis. First, we chat about the Pelicans in general, and their direction. Then, we talk about Boston, the Knicks, the Lakers, and all of the other potential deals. What is the best asset in a potential deal? Then, we continue to discuss why the Pelicans should tear the whole thing down and trade Julius Randle, Nikola Mirotic, and look into Jrue Holiday offers. 

Jan 23, 2019

In this episode, Cole Zwicker joins the podcast and we preview the NBA's trade deadline. Who should be on the move? What teams could act as sellers, as a large portion of the NBA gears up to be buyers? What teams could realistically act as buyers? What names should be on the market? What are the Grizzlies going to do, and what is the market for their stars? 

Then, we move on to college. We break down what we liked in Virginia-Duke on Saturday, then move on to discuss Nassir Little's breakout week. Finally, we chat about Defensive Player of the Year in the NCAA, after the Naismith Award released its 15-person watch list for its award (an immensely frustrating list missing two of the top-10 defenders in the country)

Jan 19, 2019

In this episode, MGrads comes on the podcast and chats about James Harden's insane scoring run, on the media coverage surrounding rookies and Luka Doncic, on the new AAU and recruiting calendar changes, on the NBA's best fighters, and on Tre Jones and Duke. 

Yeah, MGrads and I really jumped around a lot. 

Jan 15, 2019

In this episode, Cole Zwicker joins and we do a split podcast. The first half is on the NBA, with us discussing the Clint Capela injury to start. Can James Harden possibly keep up this pace? Then we move to Robin Lopez. Should the Bulls hang on to him for a trade, or buy him out? We make the case that a trade between the Bulls and the Rockets could make a lot of sense, and also run through the other potential options for the Rockets to replace Capela over this stretch. 

Then, we move on to Chicago in full, where Jim Boylen got more money, including more guaranteed money next season. We, uh....riff on that. 

Finally, we move on and chat about the NBA Draft and some college prospect. Cam Reddish finally broke out again for Duke. Why that's important. Then, we run the gamut on Aric Holman, Terrence Davis, Tyrese Haliburton, Chuma Okeke, Rayshaun ammonds, Nic Claxton, Isaiah Roby, Jalen Pickett, and the weird Kevin Porter suspension. 

Jan 11, 2019

In this episode, Sam is joined by Dieter Kurtenbach, where the two of them break down their midseason picks for MVP, All-NBA, DPOY, 6MOY, ROY, Most Improved and COY. 

Jan 8, 2019

In this episode, I chat with Cole Zwicker about the Tom Thibodeau era ending in Minnesota, the Fred Hoiberg/Ryan Saunders of it all, and what we think of the Timberbulls being no more.

Next, we chat about Ben Simmons, and whether or not Ben needs to shoot to be a success in Philadelphia. 

Then, we move onto some news-y stuff, like Patrick McCaw's contract being waived in Cleveland and Chandler Parsons being waived in Memphis. 

Finally, we move on to draft stuff. Jordan Poole has broken out in a big way. What do we think of the Brandon Clarke archetype of player? Then, we talk about Jaxson Hayes, someone who we both like, but that Cole likes a considerable amount more than I do. 

Dec 31, 2018

This is a two-part year-end episode. In the first 40 minutes of the episode, Rob Dauster and I talk about UCLA and Steve Alford being fired. It's a realistic assessment of what he accomplished, didn't accomplish, where the job sits in the hierarchy of college jobs, and who are the realistic candidates to replace Alford as the UCLA head coach? 

Then, I spend an hour and 20 minutes with Cole Zwicker, where we jump around. First, a realistic assessment of where UCLA's prospects are from an NBA Draft perspective (hint: not good). Then, a discussion of the Patrick McCaw contract. Then, we discuss Dennis Smith Jr., and his role on the Dallas Mavericks. Why we're both a bit higher on Smith than most seem to be, and an interesting assessment of his trade value if the team decides to go that direction. Then, we have a theoretical discussion about big men in the NBA Draft. Finally, we talk about NBA Draft Risers for the last hour of the podcast. Who are the guys who have really helped themselves in the 2018 calendar year as it refers to the 2019 Draft? It includes Jarrett Culver, Ja Morant, Ty Jerome, Admiral Schofield, Grant Williams, Jaxson Hayes, and many more. 

Dec 28, 2018

In this episode, Dieter Kurtenbach joins the show and we break down all angles of the Pelicans-Anthony Davis situation. Given that Davis is making public comments about it, LeBron and Giannis are publicly courting him, and the Pelicans have fallen to 15-20, the time is right to start looking at this seriously. What should the Pelicans do to try to keep him? What should they be looking for in a trade? Who matches up best with what the Pelicans need when this potentially comes to fruition in the summer? 

Then, we move on and talk about the Warriors. Specifically, this is a two-star team right now that needs its other two stars to step up. Do we believe in Klay Thompson and Draymond Green right now? 

Then, we move on to the Celtics and Sixers, and proceed to freak out a bit about both. 

Finally, in the things we like section, Dieter talks about D.J. Wilson hours before the Bucks' sophomore went off for his first career double-double, and I talk about the unique path the Pacers have taken to building a team. 

Dec 22, 2018

Making a triumphant return to the podcast, Cole Zwicker joins to chat about a few interesting player development and evaluation topics. 

First, we chat about the Suns. The Suns had won four straight games at the time of this recording, and seemed tailor made for a long-form breakdown to start by Cole and I given the sheer number of young players on the roster. 

Then, we move into The Rookie Class. How insane has Luka been? What do we think of Jaren Jackson, Wendell Carter, Trae Young, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Miles Bridges, Marvin Bagley, and more. 

Then, we chat about the draft class. Where are we on the draft class? Is it as bad as everyone says? What do we think of Romeo Langford, Quentin Grimes, Cam Reddish and R.J. Barrett, and some of the elite players? 

Dec 19, 2018

In this episode, I chat with Dieter Kurtenbach about the NBA and life and technology apparently. 

1:30-11:00: Could Skip Bayless beat Tom Brady or LeBron in an eight-mile race?
11:00-24:10: LOL Trevor Ariza, what happened? Breakdown of the madness of Friday's non-trade, in addition to the trade that eventually happened sending him to the Wizards for Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers' contract. 
24:10-30:15: Spencer Dinwiddie Extension makes sense for everyone
30:15: 32:10: Intro to the Nuggets section
32:10-33:10: POLICY GENIUS AD
33:10-42:20: Nuggets section in full. Just how good are they? Are they legit the No. 2 team in the West? Do we buy the defense now?
42:20-44:15: ROBINHOOD AD
44:15-57:35: The 76ers have depth issues. What can they do to fix the depth issues? Also, why the Markelle Fultz situation just continues to be a bummer all around.
57:35-59:05: HIMS AD
59:05-1:11:20: Dieter goes on a rant about technology in today's day and age, spawned by Malika Andrews' piece on the Bucks and Bulls teaching their players spacing and the gamification of practice. I think that's about the best way to describe it. 
1:11:20-1:16:50: I like Emmanuel Mudiay! He's good, and why the developmental system in the NBA is kind of a little fucked right now.
1:16:50 to end: we chat about Little Drummer Girl and Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse.
Dec 14, 2018

In this episode of the podcast, Dieter Kurtenbach makes his triumphant return from his sojourn to South America. 

7:20-12:00 -- Dieter goes to Uruguay and Argentina, and likely avoids needing to be subpoenaed. 
34:00-36:15 -- RXBar ad read
36:15-50:30 -- The Lakers! They're good! The defense is good now. Kyle Kuzma has taken a leap. SHould they trade Brandon Ingram? 
50:30-52:45 -- Simple Contacts ad read
52:45-1:04:00 -- The Thunder are who we thought they were! They're super good!
1:04:00-1:12:40 -- The Top-12 Rookies in the 2018 Rookie Class have all been pretty good! That's weird. 
1:12:40-End -- Allonzo Trier signs deal, end of podcast. 
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