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Article: Ujiri Resting Heavily On Maintaining The Status Quo

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  • Article: Ujiri Resting Heavily On Maintaining The Status Quo

    Wild-ling#1 wrote: View Post
    The problem with the piece is that being "active" (as opposed to "conservative", or "status quo") is (partially implicitly) defined as making a "move" that may have been impossible. Just not there. Like signing a legit "max" player, for example. As a crap team, when Masai came on board, we weren't going to be considered by the big FA's. You are aware that they're not available like consumer goods at the stores we visit.

    What Masai has been doing, I suggest, is trying to create "Goldilocks conditions" or a "critical mass" for the next step. That is, working with the pieces you have, and pieces that are available to you to improve your franchise - to the point where big-name FA's do become available to you. Seems there's no other way - unless you happen to draft a couple of "the next big things".

    Some seem to want to write off any and all positive developments that have occurred, since Masai took, over as "luck". I'm not going to list all of these (D-league team, etc., etc.) but the fact is that we are now a perennial play-off team. Kyle Lowry re-signed with us instead of bolting for Miami or L.A. Same money. Great contract. LaMarcus gave us a meeting. There are rumblings about KD liking our team, our town and our global ambassador. We have picks, prospects and cap-space. And a "buzz".

    So there are reasons for optimism - aren't there?

    Well, no. Certainly not ... if you insist that (i.e.) we cannot possibly progress with our current coach - or assume Masai is ignorant of any of his weaknesses. That sort of thing.

    But the problem with Snooch's reply to my post is that he is inclined to assume that a) DeMar played his best season in 2013 and b) we could do better with the cap-space we would forego. Fine as opinions ... maybe. Irritating, to many, as relentless, insensitive argument or assumption.

    What I said, however, was unassailable: We could paint ourselves into a corner either by extending or by not extending DeMar. He may already be better than some give him credit for (and the stats reveal). He may improve. He may help attract other FA's ... or he may not. Of course.

    And how "large" an extension, by the way, Axel? I called JV's nearly precisely. "Nice work, Masai" was the universal view (though a few some thought it not a bargain deal).

    As far as DeMar goes ... I suspect we'll see ... I expect I'll be pleased. But I suspect I'll be told, repeatedly, that Masai and I are simply wrong-headed.
    All those fancy words and yet the bold still makes no sense to me.

    I can understand the logic that resigning DD limits what additional moves can be made and is therefore "painting ourselves into a corner".

    But if DD is gone (either walk or trade), then Masai has more cap space and many of the positive attributes still remain; so more options for the team's direction. He can sign a cheaper version of DD (Henderson), he can slide Carroll to SG and add another SF, slide Ross into SG and sign a PF, trades galore, and draft picks. So by maintaining cap space/flexibility and finding ways to replace DDs scoring, isn't that by definition the opposite of "painted into a corner"?

    You read Snooch's comment for what you wanted/expected, but that is really on you more than Snooch.

    As for your question regarding DD's extension; been discussed plenty of times but anything north of $17M would be large for his production.

    Edit - oh and it's important to note that nothing posted on a forum is unassailable. By virtue of being on a forum, anything can be contested/questioned/defeated. If you think that's the case then I suggest you start a blog.
    Last edited by Axel; Mon Aug 31, 2015, 10:14 PM.
    Heir, Prince of Cambridge

    If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

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    • Scraptor wrote: View Post
      That's just it. The evidence will only be inarguable proof after the fact, unfortunately, because no one ever thinks they're on a treadmill while they're on it.

      Individually most of his moves look fine, but take a longer-term, bigger-picture view and they don't look like they're going to move the needle enough. If you believe the core is flawed and unable to compete at the highest level, then incrementalism won't get us anywhere.

      I mean there was a lot of talk about how this was a super important summer for Masai because of the capspace and the opportunity to bring in a new coach.

      Among all the free agents available, very few were advocating for Carroll, who is largely viewed as a role player and was considered to be worth by some $10mm/yr:
      http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/forum...ptors&p=468661

      And the one upshot of losing in the first round was having the excuse to bring in a better coach.

      Now we're shifting the goalposts yet again into the summer of 2016. And with DeMar taking part in the recruiting of Carroll, I would bet good money that he'll be back for a large sum of money. It just looks like we're trying to swim in settling concrete.

      But a safe strategy is pretty unassailable. There are no wrong glaring moves, only renewed hope into each season as time passes you by.
      Treadmill = good. 3 of the 4 conference finalists this year, including the NBA champ, were treadmill teams. The other team lucked out and had the best player in the game come home.

      And when you mention long-term plan.... what is your definition of long-term? Masai's long-term vision appears to be building a stable franchise with a winning reputation and flexbility by the time Wiggins hits un-restricted free agency, which is 6 years from now. And in the interim, keep taking home-run swings for FAs and maybe steal a top draft-pick from some impatient loser team (like the Knicks). In this case, does it really matter if we're tread-milling for the next 2-3 years? If your timeline is much less than 6 years, that could be a bit short- sighted, unless you were already down with the tanking approach. IMO, if you're willing to wait 3 years, then does 6 years really make that much of a difference?

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      • Axel wrote: View Post
        All those fancy words and yet the bold still makes no sense to me.

        I can understand the logic that resigning DD limits what additional moves can be made and is therefore "painting ourselves into a corner".

        But if DD is gone (either walk or trade), then Masai has more cap space and many of the positive attributes still remain; so more options for the team's direction. He can sign a cheaper version of DD (Henderson), he can slide Carroll to SG and add another SF, slide Ross into SG and sign a PF, trades galore, and draft picks. So by maintaining cap space/flexibility and finding ways to replace DDs scoring, isn't that by definition the opposite of "painted into a corner"?

        You read Snooch's comment for what you wanted/expected, but that is really on you more than Snooch.

        As for your question regarding DD's extension; been discussed plenty of times but anything north of $17M would be large for his production.
        Letting DD walk only leaves you with more (well, viable) options if you can attract some combination of talent (with the money and without Demar), to improve the team.

        That might well be possible.

        But you seem, for the moment, incapable of imagining that it may not be possible. DeMar may go on to play for a championship elsewhere, for example ... while we might be left to imagine "what might have been", whilst reverting to some approximation of what we used to be ... before he played his first all-star game ... Because Demar was more important to us, on-court and off, than some realized ... and a lot of free agents start to look the other way ...

        Okay?

        (I guess there is a semantic issue here. Having more money should give you more "options". But the market you're going to spend the potential dollars in has a very limited number of players in it. They have to be better than DeMar and willing to come here ... without DeMar.)
        Last edited by Wild-ling#1; Mon Aug 31, 2015, 10:35 PM.

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        • Wild-ling#1 wrote: View Post
          Letting DD walk only leaves you with more (well, viable) options if you can attract some combination of talent, with the money and without Demar, to improve the team.

          That might well be possible.

          But you seem, for the moment, incapable of imagining that it may not be possible. DeMar may go on to play for a championship elsewhere, for example ... while we might be left to imagine "what might have been", whilst reverting to some approximation of what we used to be ... before he played his first all-star game ... Because Demar was more important to us than some realized ... and a lot of free agents start to look the other way ...

          Okay?
          I can imagine lots of things, but it is your posts speaking in absolutes that are "unassailable" when really, they quite assailable; any more assailable and they might as well be on a boat.

          Heir, Prince of Cambridge

          If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

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          • Article: Ujiri Resting Heavily On Maintaining The Status Quo

            Wild-ling#1 wrote: View Post
            (I guess there is a semantic issue here. Having more money should give you more "options". But the market you're going to spend the potential dollars in has a very limited number of player in it. They have to be better than DeMar and willing to come here ... without DeMar.)
            Not about the money it's about they flexibility. Resigning DD limits roster flexibility while not resigning him leaves Masai multiple directions to choose from.

            Unless "paints into a corner" means something completely different, you haven't provided any meaningful justification to support your claim.
            Heir, Prince of Cambridge

            If you see KeonClark in the wasteland, please share your food and water with him.

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            • Axel wrote: View Post
              Not about the money it's about they flexibility. Resigning DD limits roster flexibility while not resigning him leaves Masai multiple directions to choose from.

              Unless "paints into a corner" means something completely different, you haven't provided any meaningful justification to support your claim.
              We may have options to sign a premier player because DeMar is here. We may have fewer - even zero - if he is not here ... which, it seems, was the situation before he came.

              How did Sacramento, for example, do with all that cap-space they freed up this off-season? All that roster "flexibility". If you're talking about spending the money freed up by letting DeMar walk on common talent ... who cares?

              But this has become entirely semantic, I think. You may have fewer people who can interfere with your freedom of movement or action on the moon - but there's nowhere to go .... little to do. No worthwhile options

              And if anyone says "But I'd love to go to the moon!" I'd suggest that maybe we should put off this discussion until we can reconvene at that location
              Last edited by Wild-ling#1; Mon Aug 31, 2015, 11:03 PM.

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              • golden wrote: View Post
                Treadmill = good. 3 of the 4 conference finalists this year, including the NBA champ, were treadmill teams. The other team lucked out and had the best player in the game come home.

                And when you mention long-term plan.... what is your definition of long-term? Masai's long-term vision appears to be building a stable franchise with a winning reputation and flexbility by the time Wiggins hits un-restricted free agency, which is 6 years from now. And in the interim, keep taking home-run swings for FAs and maybe steal a top draft-pick from some impatient loser team (like the Knicks). In this case, does it really matter if we're tread-milling for the next 2-3 years? If your timeline is much less than 6 years, that could be a bit short- sighted, unless you were already down with the tanking approach. IMO, if you're willing to wait 3 years, then does 6 years really make that much of a difference?
                in this case treadmilling means bottom four seed and/or first round exit. teams that advance 1-2 rounds and a perrenial top seed arent treadmilling

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                • Snooch wrote: View Post
                  Its not that confusing actually...I dont think Demar is any better than Henderson and a top ten pick on his own. Demar and the top ten pick is not better for the team than henderson on a one year deal and the top ten pick.

                  working his ass of, that is all heresay, he has been doing the same thing for multiple years now, and there has only been incremental improvements over the course of those season in certain, yet not consistant, areas of his game. Like has been gone over far too long, history suggests that demar will continue to "work hard" etc, but at the end of the day, as a seventh year player, we are not going to see any new habits form and him come out as a new player taking fewer, more effecient shots fdrom better spots on the floor with far higher percentages than he has ever posted in his 6 years previous.
                  We have continuous improvement up until last year, where he still managed to close the season very strong. I think we're quite likely to see a higher percentage of shots from behind the arc, at a higher percentage, as we did the season before last, and even moreso.

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                  • Wild-ling#1 wrote: View Post
                    But one thing is certain here: Calling anyone who sees things differently hyper-sensitive and accusing them of burying their heads in the sand is a shitty rhetorical move.
                    I'm sorry, but a group collectively ignoring even the possibility that Chisholm is correct despite the fact that a) they can't know what choices Ujiri has juggled because he doesn't divulge that information and b) the premise includes the caveat that Ujiri's future actions will determine the argument's validity, is exactly what I would call being hyper-sensitive and burying their heads in the sand.

                    So many people here are convinced that just because Ujiri has done well that he couldn't possibly have done better, or that he couldn't possibly fuck it up in the future.

                    Thanks for my bi-monthly reminder of why posting on these forums are an exercise in futility. Back to lurking.

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                    • Lark Benson wrote: View Post
                      I'm sorry, but a group collectively ignoring even the possibility that Chisholm is correct despite the fact that a) they can't know what choices Ujiri has juggled because he doesn't divulge that information and b) the premise includes the caveat that Ujiri's future actions will determine the argument's validity, is exactly what I would call being hyper-sensitive and burying their heads in the sand.

                      So many people here are convinced that just because Ujiri has done well that he couldn't possibly have done better, or that he couldn't possibly fuck it up in the future.

                      Thanks for my bi-monthly reminder of why posting on these forums are an exercise in futility. Back to lurking.
                      I mean, the argument in headline of the article is pretty much untenable. Pretty hard to take a writer seriously when he's wrong right off the bat.
                      "Stop eating your sushi."
                      "I do actually have a pair of Uggs."
                      "I've had three cups of green tea tonight. I'm wired. I'm absolutely wired."
                      - Jack Armstrong

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                      • Lark Benson wrote: View Post
                        I'm sorry, but a group collectively ignoring even the possibility that Chisholm is correct despite the fact that a) they can't know what choices Ujiri has juggled because he doesn't divulge that information and b) the premise includes the caveat that Ujiri's future actions will determine the argument's validity, is exactly what I would call being hyper-sensitive and burying their heads in the sand.

                        So many people here are convinced that just because Ujiri has done well that he couldn't possibly have done better, or that he couldn't possibly fuck it up in the future.

                        Thanks for my bi-monthly reminder of why posting on these forums are an exercise in futility. Back to lurking.
                        What might he be "correct" about? That Masai might "fuck it up in the future"? That's a news-flash? It maybe/barely qualifies as an opinion ...

                        Or did Lamrcus write to you and confess that he would have come ... but for our 'fraidy-cat GM?

                        We're well-positioned. Much better positioned than when Masai arrived.

                        And saying "I'm sorry, but ..." and then repeating your accusations/insults is ... well it is what it is. Not edifying, in my book.
                        Last edited by Wild-ling#1; Tue Sep 1, 2015, 01:14 AM.

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                        • Wild-ling#1 wrote: View Post
                          What might he be "correct" about? That Masai might "fuck it up in the future"? That's a news-flash? It maybe/barely qualifies as an opinion ...
                          He might be correct that Ujiri hasn't to this point in his career made the kind of big risk/big reward move that might be required to take this franchise from perrenial 2nd round fodder to championship contender if free agency and the draft can't. He might be correct to wonder if that's going to be a problem in the future.

                          Wild-ling#1 wrote: View Post
                          We're well-positioned. Much better positioned than when Masai arrived.
                          This seems to be the go-to response to the article, and no one is disputing it, not even Chisholm. Whether or not we're in a good spot isn't the point, the point is that getting from here to contender might require a GM with a different skill set. Just like we can criticize DeRozan for his inefficient game while lauding his ability to get to the line, or criticize Casey for his stale offence while acknowledging that he gets his players to play hard for him, we can criticize Ujiri for perhaps playing it too safe while building a damn fine roster.

                          That's what he's done well in his GM career, build a couple of rosters full of quality assets based on what he inherited. But he hasn't had to try taking a roster from treadmill to contender. The moves he's made so far have been largely low-risk moves designed to add value to the roster, but can those kinds of moves alone elevate this core? What if the draft doesn't yield a star and free agency just yields another solid starter and/or Ujiri is forced to re-up DeRozan due to lack of better options? In other words, what happens if the Raps have the same kind of offseason that most of the teams relying on cap space have every year, and then face the same lack of options that keeps so many teams on the treadmill and causes so many teams to try to avoid it? Is Ujiri the guy to make the risky trade, or to blow it up after a couple of years of treadmill, or to just continue making 'iterative progress'? Is he stalking in the grass or is he comfortable in the sun? Ujiji said firmly he wouldn't be caught in mediocrity, but unless he's willing to roll the dice at some point he might not have a choice. And given his track record, I agree that it's worth at least wondering what might happen if he's backed into that corner.

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                          • you can't point to how good a job someone could have done without any proof. if he had of changed the wording of his article and not been criticizing but more of a historic "what has masai done" type piece i think it would have been better recieved.

                            the exact same "can't know for sure" works on both sides of the argument and how good a job masai did or didn't do is up to each individual to decide. so lark, what hypotheticals didn't masai do that could have made the team better? coming on from "lurking" to insult a collective group of people who have an opinion, maybe just keep lurking.

                            hands up on who can tell the future with absolute certainty? hands up on who knows every detail about the universe that isn't immediately in front of them right now? is any one here THE LORD our GOD? no one can. chisholm opened himself up to this criticism. we do know from moves we have seen masai make that he has been a very good gm for us. which trade have we clearly lost since he got here? which contract has been horrible for the team since he got here?

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                            • i am just going to push the ridiculousness of the original pieces' assumptions to the extreme. "every single gm in the league could have done a better job if they just made the moves that they didn't that would win", indisputable fact.

                              "every single person on the planet could be better at everything in life if they just made all the right choices and added to the right ones that they have already made", indisputable fact

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                              • Scraptor wrote: View Post
                                That's just it. The evidence will only be inarguable proof after the fact, unfortunately, because no one ever thinks they're on a treadmill while they're on it.

                                Individually most of his moves look fine, but take a longer-term, bigger-picture view and they don't look like they're going to move the needle enough. If you believe the core is flawed and unable to compete at the highest level, then incrementalism won't get us anywhere.

                                I mean there was a lot of talk about how this was a super important summer for Masai because of the capspace and the opportunity to bring in a new coach.

                                Among all the free agents available, very few were advocating for Carroll, who is largely viewed as a role player and was considered to be worth by some $10mm/yr:
                                http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/forum...ptors&p=468661

                                And the one upshot of losing in the first round was having the excuse to bring in a better coach.

                                Now we're shifting the goalposts yet again into the summer of 2016. And with DeMar taking part in the recruiting of Carroll, I would bet good money that he'll be back for a large sum of money. It just looks like we're trying to swim in settling concrete.

                                But a safe strategy is pretty unassailable. There are no wrong glaring moves, only renewed hope into each season as time passes you by.

                                As I said originally, Tim's article is about 10 months early.

                                The table is set for big things.

                                If Casey and DD are back, then treadmill no doubt. The only part of core locked in long term is JV an Carroll - 2 starters who in 2017 are paid around $9m each in 2015 dollars.

                                And recruitment means little. Parsons fingerprints were all over Howard to Houston and he was gone the next summer. Your bias in the discussion has showed, just as mine always has, because you believe DD is going to be back for big money. If I believed that, I would likely feel same way.
                                Last edited by mcHAPPY; Tue Sep 1, 2015, 07:50 AM.

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