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Rebuild or Re-tool? (thread merge in post #358)

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  • ebrian wrote: View Post
    Houston may not have done a proper rebuild, but if that isn't a blow-up, I don't know what is.

    -traded Chase Budinger and a future 2nd rounder for a first round pick (Terrence Jones)
    -drafted Jeremy Lamb
    -drafted Royce White
    -traded Samuel Dalembert and the 14th pick for the 12th pick
    -traded Lowry for our first round pick
    -traded Camby for Toney Douglas and 2 2nd round picks
    -signed Jeremy Lin
    -signed Omer Asik
    -traded Courtney Lee for another 2nd round pick
    -signed Carlos Delfino
    -traded Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two future 1st round picks, a second rounder James Harden

    Basically from the starting lineup from one season to the next, only Chandler Parsons survived.
    Terminology is key. Apollo described tanking perfectly above. What Houston did was not tanking. And "tanking" is not "rebuilding" -- it's a subset, or a methodology, for trying to accomplish "rebuilding". This is a rebuild along the lines of what Toronto might want to do with similar kinds of assets. But there's no guarantee these moves will help Houston win a championship in the next few years.

    Pro sports success is cyclical even for the best teams in the world, so rebuilding is always a reality that management has to consider. Even the Miami Heat will be forced to accept their closing window of opportunity within the next 3 years. Do they "blow it up" to rebuild (which also doesn't require "tanking")? Do they tinker around the edges between now and then, in the hopes that they can sustain *some* success as Lebron/Bosh/Wade are getting older or considering their next contracts? Do they land somewhere in between -- pick one of the Big 3 to trade in hopes of again, sustaining some level of success as the rebuilding process continues..

    The point is, there are many ways to skin the same cat. None offer guaranteed anything, or they'd be universally used. You guys are arguing, in some respects, semantics. In other respects, the discussion just proves the myriad of options available to try to improve a team.

    It all depends where you are starting from, and where you want to end up. How you value the players currently here, how they fit into the kind of team you are trying to build will provide you with your list of assets to move in trades. Then it's up to the GM to move them for pieces that are valued more highly by the front office, or that fit better, etc.

    All options require some degree of luck, but I'll agree with those who say "tanking" -- that is, full-sale dumping of assets without replacing them with equal or greater value, in an attempt to lose more games and get a higher draft pick -- requires more luck than any other options, requires less 'management expertise' than the others, and has a much higher risk of failure than the others.
    Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.

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    • Apollo wrote: View Post
      Did you read the next sentence?

      Allow me to elaborate further. Planning around the lotto turns into a reactionary exercise because you don't know what's going to happen and if the balls don't fall your way what then? Take a guy you're not happy with? Trade the pick for a player? Wait, doesn't that put you back a year because now suddenly you've added someone to your team who you didn't get in the lottery who will improve your team and hurt your odds next lotto?

      Building with the draft as viable option when the right opportunity presents itself, to me, is a scenario where you keep more control over your fate. In such a case maybe you move in, maybe you don't but at least if you do, you're doing so because the guy you're drafting is exactly what you're looking for.
      Fully already went through a bunch of examples, but just as a broader list

      A GM doesn't control:

      - what a FA wants
      - what other teams will offer
      - what other teams want
      - what other teams have
      - when other teams are willing to make changes
      - what changes other teams are willing to make
      - what any player will do with their change or changes
      - how any player will develop on the team/with a new team
      - what will happen to them as they develop/go forward


      All they can do is try to get the right set of conditions for them all to come together at once.

      It doesn't matter if you play poker on tuesday or wednesday. You need luck and skill to win a hand

      Comment


      • planetmars wrote: View Post
        I think a better system (but harder to actually implement I think) would be a free agency system for rookies. Perhaps create an upper cap as to how much you can spend on a rookie (say $10M with bonuses). This way the player can pick the team that makes the most sense for them similar to how they get recruited in school.

        Attractive cities like LA, NY and Miami may get first dibs which seems counter productive but if those teams are at the salary cap then they wouldn't get a shot at a pick.

        Teams like Charlotte/Cleveland could attract rookies by offering more expensive contracts. Could be risky if the rookie doesn't pan out, but then that's why teams need good scouts.

        It would separate the teams that are run well versus the teams that are not. It would eliminate tanking and introduce savvy front offices to try and lure top ranked rookies.
        I think it would be way too hard to implement, even with some kind of cap rules. It's just too risky. Would San Antonio, a small market, have been willing to bid on Robinson or Duncan? Would Chicago, a big market with a cheap ownership group, ever pay for a high pick? Would San Antonio ever win a bidding war against other options if the bids were equal? or Milly, or Minny...I just don't know how it ends up shaking things up in a good way.

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        • Craiger wrote: View Post
          A GM doesn't control:

          - what a FA wants
          - what other teams will offer
          - what other teams want
          - what other teams have
          - when other teams are willing to make changes
          - what changes other teams are willing to make
          - what any player will do with their change or changes
          - how any player will develop on the team/with a new team
          - what will happen to them as they develop/go forward
          I'm confused, did I suggest that a GM has God-like abilities? Did anyone suggest that?

          I said a GM has far more control over his own fate when he elects to work with what he has instead of gutting for the sake of getting more lottery balls in a crap shoot.

          I'm not opposed to the team using the draft to find players but I am opposed to this faith in gutting for the sake of:
          1. Maybe getting a high pick who maybe turns out to be great
          2. Getting into a bidding war for free agents with LESS money to work with than they have access to right now.


          To me it's more logical to find maximum value for those components which don't fit and finding maximum value in the draft and free agency. There are many teams out there who have achieved this without having to clear the table and start over from scratch with their fingers crossed, hoping for the best.

          Comment


          • Apollo wrote: View Post
            Did you read the next sentence?

            Allow me to elaborate further. Planning around the lotto turns into a reactionary exercise because you don't know what's going to happen and if the balls don't fall your way what then? Take a guy you're not happy with? Trade the pick for a player? Wait, doesn't that put you back a year because now suddenly you've added someone to your team who you didn't get in the lottery who will improve your team and hurt your odds next lotto?

            Building with the draft as viable option when the right opportunity presents itself, to me, is a scenario where you keep more control over your fate. In such a case maybe you move in, maybe you don't but at least if you do, you're doing so because the guy you're drafting is exactly what you're looking for.
            You act like every second team that drafts in the lottery ends up throwing their hands in the air when it's their turn and saying "Oh god, I have to pick this guy!?"

            Not every tanking effort results in a franchise type talent. I don't think anyone who is advocating a rebuild thinks that it does. However every single draft gives you a chance to draft a very good player with a top five pick. Beyond that, I think you guys are still getting hung up on the concept of "drafting a superstar". Obviously it accelerates the rebuild process drastically but there's much more to it then just trying to get bad and putting all of your eggs in the Durant/Lebron basket. It's about carving out flexibility for yourself moving forward, and it just so happens that the best way to do that is with high value guys on rookie scale deals.

            The debate has shifted from "What should the Raptors do this offseason?" to the hypothetical argument of "Is tanking the best way to build a contender?". The problem is we're not talking about a hypothetical team that we are building from scratch... We are talking about the real life version of the Toronto Raptors in their present form, and with that comes their real life roster flaws, their real life scarcity of exchangeable assets, and their real life absence of salary cap flexibility for the next two seasons. Much to the same point, a lot of the hypothetical lottery downfalls that you are describing can be eliminated. This isn't a case of "you never know what kind of draft it's going to be". We know exactly what kind of draft it's going to be - one that has been dubbed as one of the more talent laden of all time.

            Pointing to teams like the Grizzlies & Pacers as "proof" that the Raptors can get there with this core doesn't make sense. They are all completely unique situations - a different mix of players making different amounts of money, different assets to improve yourself with, etc.
            If you really think the Raptors will become a 50 plus win team with some minor tinkering, then I respect your opinion but I vehemently disagree. In my eyes, the best avenue for this current team to become a contender in 3-4 years time is by essentially hitting the reset button on the cap and starting from scratch. It's not about giving away good players for nothing and saying it's Wiggins or bust. It's about moving pieces from a capped out but average team in exchange for future potential, whether it's draft picks, financial freedom or yoiung prospects.

            Last thing - the argument that a rebuild will deter any free agent from coming here doesn't fly. Players aren't going to be any more excited to come to Toronto just because Rudy Gay led them to the 7th seed and they lost their first round series 4-1, nor could the team afford them.
            Last edited by Fully; Tue May 28, 2013, 03:41 PM.

            Comment


            • Craiger wrote: View Post
              Exactly. And this is why 'luck' is a pointless argument - because its an attribute in all forms of team building/success.
              Prudent planning and decision making is the essence of creating your own luck or, as has become the catch phrase among many GMs, being 'opportunistic'.

              Tanking for a draft pick requires a lot of dumb, uncontrollable luck.


              I would think hiring good management to build a team with a clear vision and philosophy that is shared by management, coaches, and players while finding the right pieces to compliment vision/philosophy through free agency, trades, and drafts is much less about luck than hoping 1 number out of 1000 is assigned to your team and a) the draft pick you have been given has not had the top talents taken before your selection, and b) the top talent at your selection is a player you can build around is.

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              • jimmie wrote: View Post
                Terminology is key. Apollo described tanking perfectly above. What Houston did was not tanking. And "tanking" is not "rebuilding" -- it's a subset, or a methodology, for trying to accomplish "rebuilding". This is a rebuild along the lines of what Toronto might want to do with similar kinds of assets. But there's no guarantee these moves will help Houston win a championship in the next few years.

                Pro sports success is cyclical even for the best teams in the world, so rebuilding is always a reality that management has to consider. Even the Miami Heat will be forced to accept their closing window of opportunity within the next 3 years. Do they "blow it up" to rebuild (which also doesn't require "tanking")? Do they tinker around the edges between now and then, in the hopes that they can sustain *some* success as Lebron/Bosh/Wade are getting older or considering their next contracts? Do they land somewhere in between -- pick one of the Big 3 to trade in hopes of again, sustaining some level of success as the rebuilding process continues..

                The point is, there are many ways to skin the same cat. None offer guaranteed anything, or they'd be universally used. You guys are arguing, in some respects, semantics. In other respects, the discussion just proves the myriad of options available to try to improve a team.

                It all depends where you are starting from, and where you want to end up. How you value the players currently here, how they fit into the kind of team you are trying to build will provide you with your list of assets to move in trades. Then it's up to the GM to move them for pieces that are valued more highly by the front office, or that fit better, etc.

                All options require some degree of luck, but I'll agree with those who say "tanking" -- that is, full-sale dumping of assets without replacing them with equal or greater value, in an attempt to lose more games and get a higher draft pick -- requires more luck than any other options, requires less 'management expertise' than the others, and has a much higher risk of failure than the others.
                Nailed it.

                Comment


                • Mediumcore wrote: View Post
                  Just two things which caught my eye. When you mentioned we have the bones of a good team I instantly thought of what Chicago did this season and in the season without D. Rose, and then Deng and Noah in the playoffs. Now that team has the bones of of a good team. Toronto didn't even get a whiff of the playoffs with a mostly healthy team. I don't see the structure of a good team. Also, though I didn't highlight it from what you said, moving AB, DeMar, bringing in the right peices to fit with current core, JV taking a step forward, and to go further for chemistry, and coaching to all combine and make magic is a lot to ask for. Almost as many things need to go right as with the tanking scenario for us to hit the proverbial jackpot. The difference is with tanking we'll be well under the cap, and in striking position to acquire talent via free agency and trades should we acquire some solid talent through the draft.

                  Second bold is what concerns me about tinkering with the current roster. Being respectable again is something we all want, but ultimately are you going to be happy with being respectable and not being able to contend? As Matt's signature quote for TL suggests "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them".
                  I think the Raptors have an opportunity to get to respectability in the next 2 years and have all sorts of flexibility to contend after that. It is going to be much easier to make use of the cap space from a position of respectability versus bottom-feeder.

                  Comment


                  • Apollo wrote: View Post
                    I'm confused, did I suggest that a GM has God-like abilities? Did anyone suggest that?

                    I said a GM has far more control over his own fate when he elects to work with what he has instead of gutting for the sake of getting more lottery balls in a crap shoot.

                    I'm not opposed to the team using the draft to find players but I am opposed to this faith in gutting for the sake:

                    1. Maybe getting a high pick who maybe turns out to be great
                    2. Getting into a bidding war for free agents with LESS money to work with than they have access to right now.
                    And the circle continues......

                    Comment


                    • Priorities

                      Fully wrote: View Post
                      Not every tanking effort results in a franchise type talent. I don't think anyone who is advocating a rebuild thinks that it does. However every single draft gives you a chance to draft a very good player with a top five pick. Beyond that, I think you guys are still getting hung up on the concept of "drafting a superstar". Obviously it accelerates the rebuild process drastically but there's much more to it then just trying to get bad and putting all of your eggs in the Durant/Lebron basket. It's about carving out flexibility for yourself moving forward, and it just so happens that the best way to do that is with high value guys on rookie scale deals.
                      Does the flexibility add more value to the on court product? Right now in the next couple seasons they're going to have lots of flexibility. They'll have the ability to take back contracts in exchange for big expiring deals, a chance to eat up the talent of teams who want to gut, cross their fingers and ride the lottery to their championship.

                      This whole matter of gutting to create cap space is overrated in my honest opinion. How many teams have made FA signings which have led to great success? Most of the big signings that I can think of in recent years, which had major impact, have been S&T's. Right now the Raptors are sitting at $66M over the next two seasons. No matter what they do, they're entitled to allocate that much on salaries. If they gut suddenly they're capped at approximately $55M. I get that you spend less money on guys with rookie deals but is your goal for the Raptors to cheap their way to a championship? Or to get into a bidding war on a high profile FA(Hedont really mean that, does he?) Please elaborate more and tell me what happens if the guys don't turn into what you want?(Hoffa, Charlie V, Joey G, Bargnani and recent guys like DeRozan, Davis and maybe Ross?)

                      Fully wrote: View Post
                      Last thing - the argument that a rebuild will deter any free agent from coming here doesn't fly.
                      You're using the term "rebuild" too loosely. You're really talking about a gut-job to sink as far into the standings as possible. A rebuild could mean a lot of other avenues, avenues I personally endorse.

                      Fully wrote: View Post
                      Players aren't going to be any more excited to come to Toronto just because Rudy Gay led them to the 7th seed and they lost their first round series 4-1, nor could the team afford them.
                      If the Raptors were a perrenial 7th seed, losing 4-1 each year they would have respect. If they keep jockeying for a top five pick in the lottery they're going to continue to be the laughing stock that overpays for FA's and that never seems to be able to hang onto their talent(ie: Farm team of the smart clubs aka. The Toronto cRaptors).

                      A generation has now been raised with the constant throughout their childhood that the Raptors stink and their management sucks. Baby steps are required and I think the real way to long term success is first to maintain some moderate level of success, to stop the bleeding and show the league that they're serious about being a winning club. You do that by winning and being consistent.

                      I just went back 12 years but I think it this is enough scope:

                      RAPTORS Vs. NBA

                      Comment


                      • Conventional wisdom since even before the 2011 draft was that the 2012 draft was going to be absolutely stacked. Was it absolutely stacked? Or even clearly better than the 2011 draft?

                        I will temper my enthusiasm for the 2014 draft until after the next collegiate season is well underway.

                        Comment


                        • white men can't jump wrote: View Post
                          I don't think Charlotte IS purposely tanking. Look at their roster and explain to me how they could even be a top 25 team? They have such an incredibly deficient roster (that couldn't possibly be that much better through adding minor free agent pieces last summer). So do Orlando, Phoenix and New Orleans. Those 3 teams all just declined/lost a star recently. Should those 3 be punished for Charlotte repeatedly having bad seasons despite getting high picks?

                          Heck, Charlotte has made the playoffs more recently than Toronto (in 2009). And then they didn't blow it up and tank....they finished 34-48 (same record as Toronto this season) in 2010-11, the year they got both Walker and Biyombo from the draft. Last season, where they had their awful record and ended up with the 2nd pick (MKG), was the first year after cleaning house. SO considering all that, the fact that they've had 2 awful years in a row is not surprising at all. They did what any team should do when a playoff window closes: clean house and stockpile assets.

                          Again, there's just no way Charlotte would do well. Maybe they "tank" a bit, but that also gets taken care of in the groupings. Teams at the bottom couldn't fight for the top pick. There would be no incentive for them to aim for 15 wins instead of 20-25.

                          The thing that bugs me about some kind of more totally equalized system is that then you put no incentive on actually building a contender. Every team will become the Milwaukee Bucks. YOu'll get lots of mediocre teams refusing to spend to win, and just constantly hoping they'll luck into a legit franchise player in the draft.

                          And I certainly don't think a good team should be rewarded with a high pick. "you win so here's your next franchise player"....No. That makes no sense whatsoever. The reward for winning IS winning....that's why they give you a trophy and some rings. The challenge has to be sustaining that level of success knowing it will be difficult to add major talent. Doesn't make it impossible. Teams can still trade into the top of the draft. THat's how the Lakers got Magic. Or more recently, the Cavs got Irving due to a trade (they were bad, but their own pick was used on Thompson).
                          Charlotte is purposely tanking as they gutted their roster in about one season and a bit. In the 2009 season they had Felton, Tyson Chandler, Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace. They let em all go for scraps and/or draft picks.

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                          • Craiger wrote: View Post
                            I actually disagree with Memphis/Indy. I think they are perfect examples of tank, draft and rebuild.

                            memphis traded Pau Gasol for Marc + an expiring. Spent years in the lottery.

                            Indiana tore their team down. Added picks, Spent years in the lottery.

                            They still tanked and rebuilt, only to add their final peices once they had a rebuilt core. What they did, as I see it anyways, is precisely tank and rebuild. Not with a superstar, but still a successful tank and rebuild.


                            And just for sake of argument, the Raps still landed in a great spot to land a top talent (Drummond) yet chose not to, in my opinion, because Colangelo was never really tanking (or at best half assing it)

                            Just my 2 cents
                            What year did Indy pick higher than 10th? Indy rebuilt while still maintaining a degree of competitiveness.

                            Memphis acquired their dominant piece in that trade for Pau and the flexibility to acquire z-Bo as well.

                            They have their starting PG blossoming 6 years in to the league who was a #4 pick while their other top 5 picks turned into a bust (thabeet) and average starter (mayo) who have no trace left on current team.

                            People advocating the tank doing so on attaining all-star talent and building around them.

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                            • Soft Euro wrote: View Post
                              Charlotte is purposely tanking as they gutted their roster in about one season and a bit. In the 2009 season they had Felton, Tyson Chandler, Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace. They let em all go for scraps and/or draft picks.
                              It takes time to rip apart of team while not adding anything which will jeopardize maximization the lotto balls.

                              [Tongue in cheek]
                              The strategy must be sound because they have Michael Jordan running the show.
                              [/Tongue in cheek]

                              More than one team got a sweet deal in the process. The Raptor could be taking advantage of teams like the Bobcats in the near future.
                              Last edited by Apollo; Tue May 28, 2013, 04:54 PM. Reason: .

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                              • Apollo wrote: View Post
                                It takes time to rip apart of team while not adding anything which will jeopardize maximization the lotto balls.

                                [Tongue in cheek]
                                The strategy must be sound because they have Michael Jordan running the show.
                                [/Tongue in cheek]
                                That's why they selected Julian Wright last year. They were sure that it wouldn't improve their league worst offense at all.

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