Update (July 13): Cleveland is gone, and most of the teams updated. I’ve also added a (See new in bold)

Update (July 8): Milwaukee moves down.

Update (July 7): Detroit removed from list due to Josh Smith signing, Sacramento moves down, Milwaukee, Cleveland sign free agents.

And just to stir the pot a little, here’s a recent Hoopshype article that some might find interesting regarding how most stars ended up on their team. (Thanks to Kupooo)

Update (July 6): Utah Jazz added, Atlanta Hawks moves down, Milwaukee Bucks move down.

With the 2014 Draft having as many as eight possible All Stars, according to NBA scouts, as well as the ultimate prize of Andrew Wiggins, who is considered the best high school prospect since LeBron James, and several others who have the potential to be franchise players themselves, there has been a lot of talk about the number of teams that are tanking in order to take advantage of what most believe to be the most talented draft in a decade.

Without a scorecard, it’s difficult to tell who is and who isn’t, so we’ve compiled this information to help.

Interestingly, despite all the talk of tanking, there don’t seem to be nearly as many teams blowing things up as first believed. In fact, a lot of teams seem to be actively trying to improve their teams instead of tearing them down, including the Kings, Pelicans, Cavs and Pistons, the last two improved so much they were removed from tanking contention. Also, the Hawks and Bucks appear to be trying to stay where they were, playoff teams with little hope of getting past the first round.

And it’s hard to say what team a team like Boston or Toronto’s plans are. I think we’ll see a lot happen once the season starts.

Toronto Raptors

Raptors

Recent Moves:

Traded Andrea Bargnani for Steve Novak, Marcus Camby, Quentin Richardson, a 2016 first round pick and two second round picks

Signed Tyler Hansborough to a 2 year, $6 million contract

Signed Dwight Byucks to multi-year deal

Recent Rumours:

There have been very few rumours since the initial ones at the beginning of July.

Analysis:

Ujiri has preached patience and apart from some cryptic interviews that didn’t really say a whole lot, he hasn’t given really any indication of what his plans are. The Hansborough signing is simply an acquisition of of a low impact asset, and really not much more. He adds toughness, but won’t add many, if any wins.

Tanking Rating: 30

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Philadelphia 76ers

76ers

Recent Moves:

Traded All Star Jrue Holliday to New Orleans for Nerlens Noel and their 2014 first round pick (top 5 protected)

Traded for Royce White for “future draft considerations”

Recent Rumours: None

Analysis:

Absolute textbook tanking. And if you’re going to tank, you can’t really do it any better than this. Not only do they trade away their best player, they get a very good center prospect who will probably miss half the season and a pick in draft you’re tanking for.

Acquiring White is an asset grab for a team that doesn’t care about winning. If he works out, great. If not, no big deal.

Tanking Rating: 100

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Utah Jazz

utahjazz

Recent Moves:

Lost Al Jefferson to Charlotte and Paul Milsap to Atlanta

Traded Kevin Murphy for Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins, Brandon Rush and Golden State’s 2014 and 2017 first round picks and possibly a second round pick or two

Sign and traded away Randy Foye

Recent Rumours:

Probably won’t re-sign Mo Williams

Analysis:

Welcome to the tank, Utah! For people who think that cap space is only used for signing free agents, I give you the Utah Jazz. They knew they wouldn’t be an attractive destination for free agents, so took on $23 million in expiring contracts and sent out less than half a million. And as thanks for taking these salaries, so they could sign Andre Iguodala, the Warriors also sent Utah two first round picks.

Believe it or not, losing Al Jefferson isn’t a big deal for the Jazz, as he is such a horrible defensive player and the Jazz played better with Derrick Favors, anyway.What hurts them is by losing three starters (including Williams) their front court depth, which was a strength, is suddenly gone. And now they have a rookie as their starting point guard.

Tanking Rating: 90

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Orlando Magic

magic

Recent Moves:

None

Recent Rumours:

Are in discussions to buyout Hedo Turkoglu’s contract

Analysis:

The Magic are going to rely on their pure lack of talent, rather than fancy trades, to tank. Still the Magic aren’t as bad as you may think. Jameer Nelson is only 30 and a decent point guard, and Arron Afflalo should bounce back after a poor season, Nikola Vucevic is on his way to becoming one of the better young centers in the league and Tobias Harris made everyone immediately forget about J.J.Redick.

In fact they may need a trade in order to really be bad next season.

Buying out Turkoglu won’t actually help them either way, since he is beyond making a positive impact on the court. Getting rid of him will clear playing time for younger players.

Tanking Rating: 90

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Charlotte Bobcats

charlotte-bobcats-primary-2013

Recent Moves:

Signed Al Jefferson to three year deal, $40 million contract
Amnestied Tyrus Thomas

Recent Rumours:

Are looking into sign and trades with Gerald Henderson

Analysis:

By signing Jefferson to that huge deal, the Bobcats have signalled they are not trying to tank. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, acquiring Jefferson isn’t actually going to prevent them from losing, so whether they want to be or not, Charlotte is still a threat to get a top pick next year. Jefferson is certainly a very good scorer and rebounder, but his defense is horrible and despite his scoring talents, his True Shooting Percentage is actually pretty poor.

If they truly want to win some games, they will need to make more moves than this.

Tanking Rating: 80

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Phoenix Suns

phoenix_suns-primary-2014

Recent Moves:

Traded Jared Dudley for Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler

Recent Rumours:

None

Analysis:

The Suns aren’t necessarily trying to get worse, but as long as Michael Beasley is putting on a Suns uniform, they’ll certainly be in the hunt for last place in the league. Honestly though, it’s tough to figure out what exactly the Suns are doing and I’m not even sure they know. If they were smart, they’d be trading away guys like Marcin Gortat, Luis Scola and Goran Dragic who are in their prime, past their prime or simply redundant respectively. Those guys obviously aren’t helping them win, and holding onto them does nothing.

Tanking Rating: 70

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Boston Celtics

bostonceltics

Recent Moves:

Traded Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to Brooklyn for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Marshon Brooks, Keith Bogans and first round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Hired Brad Stevens as head coach for 6 years and $22 million.

Recent Rumours:

There have been rumours of both Dallas and Detroit being interested in Rajon Rondo, but none that Boston has considered moving him.

Apparently Boston MAY be looking to move Humphries and Wallace. Good luck with that.

Analysis:

“We’re not tanking”, said Danny Ainge. “This is the Boston Celtics.”

The same Boston Celtics that tanked for Tim Duncan and failed, and tanked for Greg Oden and Kevin Durant and failed, the latter when Danny Ainge was actually in charge, so it’s kind of hard to take him at his word.

The way the team is currently constructed, Ainge might WANT to tank, because with Rondo still on the team and if Jeff Green plays anywhere close to how he did at the end of the season, then this is a team that is good enough to compete, but probably not make the playoffs, putting them in that dangerous no man’s land the Raptors usually find themselves.

Trading Rondo will put them clearly on the tank track, but as it is they could go either way.

Tanking Rating: 50

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Sacramento Kings

king

Recent Moves:

Offered, then rescinded 4 year, $56 million offer to Andre Iguodala

Signed and traded Tyreke Evans for Greivis Vasquez

Sign Carl Landry to 4 year, $26 million contract

Traded two second round picks for Luc-Richard Mbah a Moute

Recent Rumours:

Had been in talks with Jose Calderon but he rebuffed them because did not want to play for a still-rebuilding team.

Analysis:

The Kings aren’t trying to tank and with the trade they may actually be better than last season. That is unless DeMarcus Cousins has a complete meltdown and pulls a Latrell Sprewell on his entire team which, let’s be honest here, is probably a good bet.

Vasquez will help the team more than Evans probably would have. Evans was a bad fit in Sacramento, and clearly not the PG they were trying to turn him into. Vasquez, for all his flaws, is a starting calibre PG who should be able to get the ball to the players that can score better than anyone else on the Kings roster.

Adding Landry and Mbah a Moute probably won’t make much of an impact, but show the direction the team wants to go. There’s no way they make the playoffs with their current roster, especially in the deep Western Conference, but they look they’re at least trying.

Tanking Rating: 20

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Milwaukee Bucks

milwaukeebucks

Recent Moves:

Lost Mike Dunleavy to Chicago via free agency

Signed O.J. Mayo to 3 year, $24 million deal

Signed Zaza Pachulia to 3 year, $16 million contract

Signed Carlos Delfino to 2 year, $6.5 million deal

Traded Luc-Richard Mbah a Moute to Sacramento for two second round picks

Lost Monta Ellis to Dallas via free agency

Acquired Luke Ridnour by helping the T-Wolves sign Kevin Martin

Recent Rumours:

None

Analysis:

Losing Dunleavy hurts, because the Bucks were a better team with him on the floor, but replacing Ellis with Mayo might actually be a lateral move for the Bucks because, despite Ellis’ offensive talents, he never meshed with Jennings, very well, and his defense has always been beyond bad.

Signing Pachulia is more peculiar than anything. He’s a good defensive player and rebounder, but they’ve already got a fairly deep front court.

Atlanta matched the offer sheet that the Bucks had given Jeff Teague, so unless they want to go into the season with Ridnour as their starting PG, we might see some negotiations with Brandon Jennings. If they sign Jennings, the Bucks are pretty much in the same position they were last year. A team without an All Star and with a ceiling of a first round team continuing to fight for a playoff position. 

Tanking Rating: 20

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Atlanta Hawks

atlantahawks

Recent Moves:

Re-signed Kyle Korver to four year deal, $24 million contract

Signed Paul Milsap to 2 year, $19 million deal

Signed DeMarre Carroll to 2 year, $5 million contract

Lost Josh Smith as a free agent to Detroit

Matched Jeff Teague’s offer sheet of 4 years and $32 million

Recent Rumours:

None

Analysis:

They lost out on Dwight Howard, but signing Paul Milsap isn’t a recipe for tanking. He’s not a big difference maker, but he will basically replace Josh Smith’s production, should he leave as expected. Atlanta appears to be trying to remain competitive, instead of tanking. The Hawks won 44 games with Josh Smith, and if they replace him with Milsap, they should win a similar number of games, again.

By matching Teague’s offer sheet, they are obviously out of the running to sign Brandon Jennings, but may add another free agent.

Tanking Rating: 10

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Washington Wizards

wizards

Recent Moves:

Re-signed Martel Webster to four year, $22 million deal
Signed Eric Maynor

Recent Rumours:

Washington has been quiet on the rumour front, the only time their name has really come up was with the two signings.

Analysis:

The Wizards have had three top 5 picks in the last 4 years, and their only misstep was when they took Jan Vesely at 6. Their record last year when Wall was playing was impressive and there’s absolutely no reason to believe they aren’t going to go all out to make the playoffs in an Eastern Conference basically begging for playoff teams.

Tanking Rating: 0

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New Orleans Pelicans

neworleans

Recent Moves:

Traded Nerlens Noel and their 2014 first round pick (top 5 protected) for Jrue Holiday

Traded Greivis Vasquez and Robin Lopez for Tyreke Evans (sign and trade, 4 year $44 million)

Re-signed Al-Farouq Aminu to 1 year, $3.7 million deal

Recent Rumours:

Were interested in Corey Brewer, but that may have changed with the acquisition of Evans.

Are now interested in acquiring Omar Asik, made available with Dwight Howard signing with the Rockets, and Houston will most likely be after Ryan Anderson in return.

Analysis:

Like the Pistons, the Pelicans gave up their 2014 first round pick, so are also bound and determined to make a run for the playoffs next season. They have talent, in Holiday, Evans, Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson and the perpetually injured Eric Gordon. In the East, they’d probably be a lock, but in the West, it’s doubtful.

If the Pelicans get Asik, an Asik-Davis front line would grab every available rebound and stop more penetration than a case of genital herpes.

Still, the only way this team gets a top five pick is if they beat the odds and jump up from the teens.

Tanking Rating: 0

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  • Brandon Ellis

    I’m interested to see what the Bobcats do next. Do they make a run at Rudy Gay or someone else to bolster their team even more and commit to not tanking, or do they make smaller moves. To me they need to make another move. would also be a potentially interesting trade partner for Toronto. Have a few potential picks in the next two drafts, some cap space and moderately attractive young assets. Also Cleveland, Detroit and Sacramento potentially make sense as trade partners for Toronto as far as fits go.

    Cap space is so important also, not for free agency, but because it lets you take on other peoples bad contracts and acquire assets for eating up your cap space. look at GSW potentially trying to clear space for Dwight Howard right now. With Cap space Toronto could take back one of their bad contracts, and potential get a pick or Harrison Barnes back in return.

    • smh

      How about Gay + Lowry to Cleveland for Bennett and filler/assets?

      • Brandon Ellis

        Not sure Clevland does that. I was thinking for Tristan, maybe Alonzo Gee and picks. Not sure they do that as well. Obviously hard to guage what their interest is. But Tristan with Amri and Jonas would be a very good young big rotation. All good defensively as well.

        • smh

          No, but it was a pipedream kinda choice. Still, there are teams out there who may think Rudy is the player that gets them deep into the playoffs.

  • raptorspoo

    Mentioned this before but if we trade Gay, DD and cut Lowry, we’d get a perfect score and could out do Philly while picking up some really good assets.

    For starters, I’d counter offer Det to include next years pick and Knight. If their tank meter really is a ‘0’ as Tim suggests then that would still be a good deal for them.

    If my calculations are correct, they’d still have tons of cap space left to steal Jennings away. Monroe, Drummond, Gay, Jennings… pretty sweet team in my opinion.

  • SR

    I think we should redefine “tank.”

    I don’t think aiming to be the worst team in the league (a long shot) to get a 25% chance at Wiggins is worth it, and I think most Raptors fans would agree.

    However, as has come up in a previous thread, capped out teams who have limited roster flexibility and a low ceiling unload their biggest contracts for picks and prospects all the time. Some recent examples have come up:

    – The Celtics had a playoff team with Walker and Pierece, but no flexibility and they had peaked as a first-round-out playoff team, even though they won a division title with that roster. They unloaded their second best player (Walker) for expirings and a first round pick. In the next draft they picked up Al Jefferson, Delonte West, and Tony Allen. A couple years later they used those prospects and their new cap space to make moves for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

    – The Pacers had plenty of success in the Jermaine O’Neal era but had peaked and were beginning to have off-court/chemistry issues. They unloaded still productive players from a playoff-calibre team and reloaded around draft picks Danny Granger, Paul George, and Roy Hibbert.

    – The Grizzlies were miserable and unloaded their franchise guy, Pau Gasol, who was still plenty productive. They got 2 first round picks and the rights to Mark Gasol. They used their picks and their cap space to acquire players who took them on deep playoff runs just a couple seasons later.

    – OKC drafted KD and promptly dumped Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, even though that was a playoff-calibre team that had just won the division a couple years prior. They got Jeff Green for Allen and then drafted Westbrook, Harden, and Ibaka in the following years. They went from a 20 win team after unloading Allen and Lewis to the NBA finals in just five years (of course they had a guy named Kevin Durant, but the strategy is sound even if the results aren’t guaranteed).

    A few key points here:

    – All these teams unloaded good players, several of whom went on to win championships with new teams (Gasol, Walker, Allen, Lewis). I’m thinking of Rudy Gay, DD, Lowry, even Fields or Amir here.

    – These teams had actually achieved some success. Two of them won division titles with the players they unloaded, and all but the Grizzlies had been playoff teams (first-round-exit playoff teams). The Raptors aren’t even as good as this, but for some reason fans are intent on hanging onto this roster. If the Sonics and Celtics dismantled division-winning rosters, why are we so fired up about protecting a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in 5 years?

    – They didn’t “tank” in the traditional sense of aiming to be the worst team in the league to land James/Wiggins/whoever. They just reloaded with picks, prospects, and flexibility rather than moving forward with a capped out roster with a low ceiling.

    I think this is exactly the situation the Raptors are in. They’re capped out. They have a low ceiling. A few players are still good players who can get value in a trade, but they’re on high contracts that are contributing the the Raptors cap problems.

    You don’t have to be the 30th team in the league. You don’t have to spend years in the basement – the above teams went from dismantling a roster to being title contenders in 5-6 seasons, total. You can stick with your picks and let them develop (OKC) or you can use your prospects and picks to acquire new talent (Celtics, Rockets with James Harden) and accelerate your turnaround.

    The time is now if you want to build with Val. Unload Gay/Demar/Lowry/whoever for picks and by the time JV’s rookie contract is up, the roster should be making positive growth with quality young pieces that, you’re hoping, are more talented than the current roster. If you wait and tread water, or decide to rebuild post-Gay/Lowry contracts, Val may not want to stick around.

    Of course nothing is guaranteed and there are loads of variables in the above examples. But is the strategy sound? Is the strategy the Raptors’ best shot at success?

    I’d imagine Ujiri being fine with making moves like this – isn’t that exactly what he did with Carmelo? He unloaded him while he still had value and totally reshaped that team around picks and prospects.

    Thoughts?

    • smh

      Positive

  • ItsAboutFun

    This obsession with tanking is becoming an illness.

    • raptorspoo

      Being a loser sports town is a more severe illness.

    • Copywryter

      I’d rather be sick with that than consumptive disease that is a mediocre, first-round-exit, better-luck-next-year team

      • Spinner

        If you had any brains, you would realize that trading away all of our assets doesn’t guarantee anything.

        • raptorspoo

          There’s no guarantees in anything buddy…even that our ‘assets’ are even really assets.

          I guarantee you one thing though… if we continued on this path that we were going then there would be absolutely no chance in the world of winning the championship. Guaranteed!

  • JHP

    It’s a time honored tradition to tank in the NBA. Why people think it does not exist or is a horrible idea baffles me. The Celtics are in total tank mode and yes we will gather a couple wins over them this year but believe me 3 years from now they will be back on top. BC hated the draft and avoided it like the plague but all franchise players come via the draft. So lets wish him well in his next adventure and move on.

    Personally am not a big fan of the current core players (no playoffs in how many years :-) ) and welcome any changes they have in mind.

    Don’t be surprised the team stays healthy and makes the playoffs.

  • mountio

    Time to put Utah at the top of the list, taking on a bunch of shitty contracts ($25 mm worth) from GSW in exchange for two first rounders. Thats classic tank .. they will be right at the top of the list .. I love it

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Taking on Jefferson and Biedrins doesn’t make Utah worse. They’re just making good use of their cap room, which they probably wouldn’t get a good free agent with, anyway.

      I may need to add Utah to the Tankometer list, though. I debated whether to put them on. They’ve still got talent, but it’s young.

      • mountio

        true. but letting Big Al (and looks like Milsap too) go for nothing does. They have some talent .. but a core of favors, marvin williams, kanter and hayward (and I guess Biedrens/RJ) smells pretty tanky ..

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          Getting rid of Jefferson was necessary for the Jazz either way, with Favors and Kanter waiting in the wings. Both a very talented big men and need minutes. Besides, losing Jefferson doesn’t really hurt the Jazz, much. His defense was beyond awful and the team was better with Favors.

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          Just to reiterate, take a look at Jefferson’s on/off defensive numbers as opposed to Favors’ and Kanter’s. It’s not the best stat, but does give a decent snapshot and with the eye test, it’s pretty damning.

          • mountio

            They won 43 games last year. You think they will be anywhere near that next year? Im guessing in the 20 zone .. you disagree?

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              Losing Al Jefferson and Mo Williams isn’t going to have a big effect on the win column. Losing dept won’t help, and if Milsap goes as well, then that’s going to hurt them. But it’s hard to tell what they’ll do. As they are now, I would see them in the high 20s.

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              Milsap is gone now, too. I’ve revised my opinion of them. It appears they’re tanking, and I’ve added them to the list.

              • mountio

                not to nitpick .. but I had said that in my original post and you seemed to still be disagreeing (which I had a hard time understanding). Anyways – I agree with what you posted above on the Jazz .. who are in all out tank mode and are starring at a bottom 5 (or at least bottom 10) finish

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  Just doing the trade with Utah, I don’t think was necessarily an indication of tanking. But Milsap signing elsewhere, as well as Jefferson, pretty much is.

      • onemanweave

        I’d like to see Raptors Republic tank by trading Tim W. and then drafting a contributor without a burning desire to be right 110 per cent of the time and the inner arrogance to believe he actually is.

        Also would like to see a moderator who clips the truly hurtful stuff without draining the juice from what used to be a lively board and turning it into a one-man dog and pony show.

        Just an opinion, Tim W. Axe away.

  • Jamshid

    What a Great Tweet in ESPN:
    tomhaberstroh Tom Haberstroh:
    “This time last year the Rockets’ best player was either Kyle Lowry or Kevin Martin. What a turnaround.”

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Apparently the Rockets are looking at turning Asik into Ryan Anderson, along with trying to sign Josh Smith. Wow.

      • SR

        Hey, look at what a franchise can do with prospects, picks, and cap flexibility!

        • Amigo

          Fast ! Fire MU and get this Rockets GM

  • ckh26

    Now that Howard has signed with the Rockets and Igudola has signed with GS.. that leaves Joe Dumars and Detroit with a pantload of cash to spend.. and spend it he will if he misses out on Josh Smith. He may be almost Colangelo like in his zeal to get a deal and perhaps we can take on the Stuckey/Charlie V contracts along with Drummond and Knight… No this is not a good deal for detroit.. but Joe D has done worse.

  • Deadallus

    Where is the guage for Utah at the bottom? They are clearly neck and neck with Philly.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      Arsenalist was doing the gauges, but he was otherwise occupied yesterday. They will be fixed and put under each team, soon.

  • Fernandez

    yay another tanking article

    but wait, breaking news! just heard famous draft guru Chazz F. saying class of 2015 will be the best ever! Emmanuel Mudiay is like Wiggins, just younger and better! Dante Exum is the new Magic Johnson! Can’t miss!

    please RR enough with this nonsense

  • Guy

    It’s been said countless times on this site that the only way, or best way, for the Raptors to get a true star player is to draft one….. but then we look at the Rockets. After both Yao Ming & McGrady were felled by injuries in 08-09, Houston’s win/loss record suffered for the next 3 years. While they didn’t make the playoffs those years, they didn’t bottom out either, always hovering just above the .500 mark. Meaning they weren’t able to bolster the roster with high draft picks. The highest being #12 last year, & that pick has been a bust because it was Royce White.

    Some would have looked at Houston back then & said, quite confidently, they were destined to a future of mediocrity if they don’t tank. But they didn’t, & look at them today. With Dwight Howard apparently signing on, Houston has not one, but two top flight all-stars & they acquired those players without ever picking in the top 10 & without ever posting a losing season.

    What’s happening in Houston must be a nightmare for tank nation.

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      No, it’s not. None of us have ever said that they ONLY way to build a contender is to tank. I know that doesn’t fit your narrative, but it’s true.

      Houston had two things. First they collected draft picks and young prospects (sound familiar?) and then they lucked out by being a) in a position to trade for Harden and b) having Harden available for a trade and c) having Harden turn into the player he has become. Without that trade, Houston doesn’t get Dwight Howard.

      What do you think the chances are of Toronto being able to repeat what Houston did with the roster they have and being in Toronto? Good? Better than 25%? Because if following that model will give the Raptors better than a 25% chance of building a contender, why don’t all team do that?

      • Guy

        Yes they traded young prospects & draft picks, but they didn’t tank. They never off-loaded every asset & suffer thru 3 years of losing.

        Saying Houston got lucky is essentially a kick to the collective groin of Houston Mgmt. I don’t see how you can’t give them one ounce of credit for that trade. It wasn’t luck, it was a phone call. It was well known that OKC was going to have a decision to make with Harden’s contract & salary cap considerations, so Rocket Mgmt called ’em up & made a tempting offer. It was a sly, bold move. Exactly what you want from your Mgmt.

        While Harden performed a bit better than expected, I don’t think there’s any way you can call his performance lucky. In fact, it could be argued that this is another feather in the cap of Houston’s Mgmt because they saw he was a bit marginalized in OKC with Durant & others, & thought he would really flourish if given a prominent role. Shrewd player evaluation.

        Can Toronto do the same? Don’t know. But Harden was acquired by dealing Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb & future draft picks. Toronto has future picks & I don’t consider Martin & Lamb much better than what TO has. I know you’re not a big fan of Rudy Gay, but he’s a pretty good player & TO got him by trading Calderon & Ed Davis. It can be done. That said, I’m not suggesting at all that Ujiri could simply snap his fingers & a top flight all-star appears.

        My point was, Houston has provided a great rebuttal to the tank argument. A team hovering around .500 isn’t destined to mediocrity if they don’t sell everything off, be a doormat & pin their hopes on ping pong balls. What Houston has done flies in the face of your tank theory so I’m not surprised you dismiss it as a fluke.

        • mountio

          I think people get caught up in the word “tank”. I think what most of the people who support tanking are saying is very much in line with what Houston did. Trade away players that arent getting the team anywhere for drafts picks / cap space and then use that effectively.

          Case in point, Houston would not have made the Rudy Gay deal. They would not have signed Fields (NO ONE would have signed fields for the record). They wouldnt go out and sign Carly Landry right now to a 4 year deal (which is a horrible idea btw)

          Prior to the Asik/Lin signings and the Harden trade, they barely had anyone under contract (and next to no one long term) and just had a shitload of draft picks and cap space.

          You can call that whatever you want .. but when you draw the analogy to the Raps now, its the equivalent of trying to get picks / prospects now (and play them btw, unlike casey who played the shit out of guys like AA last year) and not caring if that costs you a few wins this year. That IS what Houston did. It may not have resulting in them finishing in last place .. but its still the same thing philosophically.

          • Guy

            I think what you’re describing is a sugar-coating of the tank philosophy seen around here. From what I’ve seen by the various tank-nation bloggers on RR, there’s no way they would consider a team over .500 as tanking. Quite the contrary. I think they would view that as a missed opportunity, poor Mgmt & heading for a lifetime of mediocrity. They ripped the 2011-12 Raptors team for going 22-44 because they won too many games for heaven’s sake.

            Houston took another path. Instead of signing scrubs & being a doormat for a few seasons, they signed decent players to shorter deals to keep financially flexible & competitive. When an opportunity arose, they took it. Astute Mgmt, that some refer to as being lucky.

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              Without Harden, Houston is NOT a .500 team. If they don’t trade for Harden, they would have been lucky to win 30 games. Again, the only reason you can say Houston didn’t tank is that they were able to trade for Harden, and they did that right before the start of the season.

              • mountio

                Ive got to agree with you on this one. Without Harden, Houston wins 30 games max .. gets a high draft pick this year (to go with Lamb and the Raps pick they already had). From there, they try to turn all of those young assets into Harden and Howard this summer. Lets be clear .. this was Houston’s plan A when Harden fell into their lap. They didnt trade Lowry for a pick in order to improve their team.
                Would they have been able to pull it all off with cap space alone and a crappy team with Lin and Ashik? We will never know. In theory, since Harden would have been a free agent, they MIGHT have got him for less .. but of course if he played like he did on Houston this year for OKC, they might be the NBA champs and none of this would be possible.
                Bottom line .. do not mistake their STRATEGY for anything other than tanking. They just happened to execute it differently than some.

                • Guy

                  If you want to stretch the definition of ‘tanking’, be my guest. And by the way you’ve spoken about Houston, I’d have to say you’d consider the 2009-10 Miami Heat as pulling a tank job. They went 47-35, lost in the 1st round, then gutted their team & signed Lebron & Bosh. A tank, but executed differently.

                  For my money, tanking is the intentional losing of games. Period. Decisions are made with the expressed purpose of minimizing wins in order to improve the team’s position. Be it in the draft lottery, playoff position, whatever. I do not believe Houston fell into that category. Despite what may or may not have happened if Harden wasn’t acquired, Houston doesn’t sign Asik & Lin to a combined $50 million if losing was the priority. I refer to what they did as re-building. By making smart personnel decisions, they remained competitive, always staying above .500 & they remained very flexible financially by not having any large, long term contracts.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  I don’t think there’s a strict definition of tanking. What I want the Raptors to do is trade most of the players they have for prospects and draft picks, none of which would help the Raptors win immediately. If you don’t consider that tanking, then you can’t say I want the Raptors to tank.

                  And what Miami did was a MASSIVE gamble. If they don’t get LeBron, then maybe Wade doesn’t re-sign. THen they either have nothing, or end up doing what New York did and overpaying for someone they’ll regret giving the money to later. And if they don’t sign anyone, then they might as well tank because they have nothing else they can do. But unlike what I’m suggesting, then Heat didn’t have any assets going into their losing season.

                  And whether or not you want to call what Houston did tanking or not, the fact of the matter is that without Harden, they were a bad team that probably wouldn’t win 30 games.

                  As for them being smart by not having any large, long term contracts, then what you’re saying is that the Raptors need to get rid of their current players in order to be in the position the Rockets were in. For draft picks or prospects. Mmm.

                • Guy

                  You can spin it all you want about what you want the Raptors to do, but it’s well documented that your opinion of tanking is all about the draft. You’re convinced the only real hope the Raptors have is to bottom out & get high draft picks. As I said previously, if the Raptor’s GM kept the team hovering just above .500 you’d waste no opportunity to criticize him & share your oft used phrases of ‘no championship aspirations’ & ‘destined for mediocrity.’ From where I sit, & reading your previous commentary, I don’t see how you can argue that point.

                  As for what Miami did & Houston did, your ‘What if’ scenarios & ‘it was a gamble’ assertions carry absolutely no weight, none, because you can’t say with any certainty whatsoever about would have happened in Miami or Houston if those players weren’t acquired. It’s a completely useless & hollow argument that does absolutely nothing to help your cause, so please give it up.

                  And finally, I haven’t made one single reference to the Raptors in my other postings about what they should or should not do. I’ve never voiced any opinion about any current players, so assuming what I’ve said about Houston is exactly what I’m advocating Toronto should do, is a mistake. And, quite frankly, it’s a feeble attempt to endorse your own point of view.

                  Simply put, by acquiring two skilled all-star players in the manner they have, Houston has succeeded in the exact manner you’ve adamantly & confidently criticized. Too bad for you.

                • SR

                  Guy – you’re making up both sides of the dialogue so you can maintain your argument. You should listen to what people are actually saying – the discussion would be much more interesting that way.

                  Houston absolutely dismantled their roster, which is what the pro “tanking” crowd is advocating. Even with Harden, Houston has:
                  – the lowest payroll in the league at the moment (until July 10th – per basketballreference.com)
                  – the youngest team in the league

                  And they still made the playoffs. As you mentioned, that’s brilliant management.

                  But the fact that they jump-started their rebuild because Harden became available and they were able to land Dwight – that has nothing to do with the fact that they dismantled their previous roster, it means they took advantage of great opportunities – that’s what picks, prospects, and cap space allow you to do. Pro “tankers” are advocating only that – let’s turn this limited ceiling roster into picks, prospects, and cap space. You may as well, because the next draft is great, management just changed, and your most intriguing young player has 3 seasons left on his rookie deal. Also, the 2014 FA class will be phenomenal. This is a great time to unload contracts that handcuff your roster.

                • mountio

                  Could not have said it better myself. I wish we could change the word “tanking” to something else .. because people see that word, are offended by it, and turn off all logic …

                • Guy

                  How am I making up both sides of the dialogue? My opinion has been consistent & quite clear…I define tanking as losing to ensure a high draft pick(s). Intentionally fielding a team that will finish as low in the standings as possible. Houston didn’t do this. They may have gotten rid of a few players, but they then went out & gave $50 million to Asik & Lin. If that happened in TO, tankers(you) would have cried bloody murder. As I said earlier, I equate what they did as re-building. They had a plan & followed it. Go with youth, no high priced long term contracts but still remain competitive. By doing this, Houston was in a position to strike if/when an opportunity presented itself & that’s what happened. Smart Mgmt.

                  Based on the comments I’ve read on this site, in no way does this fall in line with what the tanking crowd has said. The main difference? Houston remained competitive, always above .500 & from what I’ve seen from tank nation on here, being competitive isn’t a priority. You can say all the pro ‘tankers’ want is picks, prospects & cap space, but that argument loses steam because those same people inevitably say ‘No all-star free agents are going to Toronto.’ Since you are backing up Timmie W, I’m going to assume you share his views & his view is that the Raptors have to get their all-stars thru the draft. In other words, draft really high for 1-3 years & high picks aren’t acquired by being over .500.

                  If you’re looking for someone that’s talking out of both sides of their mouth, take a look in the mirror.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  I don’t understand the short memories when it comes to claiming Houston as an example for pro-tanking. They never purposely dismantled their team. It was blown up for them by injuries to their two stars: Yao and McGrady.

                • Guy

                  By claiming what Houston did was a tank, the ‘pro-tankers’ are making a desperate attempt to claim that’s what they’ve always meant by tanking & that’s what they want Toronto to do, when all one has to do is read some of their previous commentary to realize that isn’t even close to being true. Personally, I think it’d be nice if they had the sac to say this….
                  ‘Ya know, Houston did acquire a couple of legit all-stars without tanking, but I still don’t think it’s a realistic option for Toronto. I believe they have to do it thru the draft.’
                  But I wont be waiting around for that to happen.

                  As I see it, here’s the main difference between someone who strongly advocates tanking & someone who does not. If the Raptors decided to tank, the anti-tanker says ‘I hope this works’ & if it does they’d be more than happy to have been wrong because the team will be better. Conversely, If the Raptors don’t decide to tank, the pro-tanker says ‘It’ll never work’. But if it did work out, they’d say it was a big gamble, they got lucky, & then they’d be pissed off because they were wrong. Both groups want the team to be a contender, but one group will be happy no matter how it happened while the other will be happy only if it happened the way they wanted it done. It’s a matter of putting team success above personal pride. One side does, the other does not & I think it’s obvious which is which.

                • mountio

                  I think weve beat this horse to death .. but one last thing .. is that I think the exact problem is that people read “tanking” and they think blind losing with no plan. Im not sure why .. but people do.

                  To be clear, I am a fan of tanking (ie trading away players that will help us win next year in order to get draft picks / young talent that will help us win in the future). However, when I go to raps games or watch on TV, I will be cheering for them to win every game. Thats what fans do. Im just rational enough to understand that those trades we made in the offseason are good for the team long term. To me, thats tanking.

              • Guy

                Well, in all three seasons before Harden arrived, Houston was above .500. Therefore, an argument can easily be made that would continue. But maybe they wouldn’t have. The truth is we’ll never know. So you can say as often & as loud as you want how they’d have done but it will never be anything more than hot air. I don’t treat unsubstantiated stories that will never have a chance to be proven true, as fact. I guess you do.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  Yes, and then Houston amnestied their leading scorer, let their second leading scorer go to another team as a free agent, and gave away their fourth leading for a draft pick.

                  Basically they did what I would like to see the Raptors do, except get more prospects and draft picks in return.

                  So the more I see it, the more I like what Houston did. Blowing the team up like they did after being in mediocrity. Nice.

                • Guy

                  That is re-building. They made all those moves in order to make a run at Howard last year, & when he balked, they were primed to take a run at Harden. It wasn’t a tank, it was an aggressive bold move that didn’t require any losing.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  You don’t think making a run at a free agent is a massive gamble? Especially for a team, like Toronto, that has had difficulty attracting impact free agents?

                  And the only reason they didn’t lose last season was because they were able to trade for Harden. If they don’t trade for Harden, then they lose. Period.

                  If you’re suggesting that Toronto should clear their roster in order to make a run at a free agent, then I disagree. I think that’s more of a gamble.

                • Louvens Remy

                  The draft is a bigger gamble than making a run at an established free agent.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  If you’re one of the prime NBA destinations, or are already a contender, then yes, that’s true. For most of the rest of the NBA, you just have to look at history to see that’s not true.

                  THe Raptors have had three All Stars in their existence. Not one was acquired through free agency. In fact, the “best” player the Raptors acquired through free agency was Hedo Turkoglu. I think that says a lot right there.

                • Louvens Remy

                  No Tim. With a draft you are taking a gamble because you don’t know if these guys are going to materialize into all stars. Once they establish themselves and become free agents, its no longer a gamble when you make a run at them. Plain and simple. The Raps had no clue that Mighty Mouse and Tracey would become All Stars. They took a chance. Vince was less of a gamble but he wouldn’t have been the first high flyer to flame out coming out of college. Besides they weren’t making such a big gamble on Turkoglu who had ESTABLISHED himself as a pretty good player in Orlando. The problem was he like nightclubs better than playing basketball.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  You don’t think clearing cap room and taking a run at free agents is a gamble? Ask the Nets how they felt after the summer of 2010 after going after LeBron, Bosh, Amare, Boozer, failed to secure Tyrus Thomas (after giving him a big offer sheet) and ended up with Travis Outlaw.

                • Louvens Remy

                  No. Not as much as drafting an 18 yr old immature kid out of college as opposed to an established proven player. What the Nets did was strategy. The Gamble was the act of clearing cap space and hoping LeBron picked them. Not the actual player.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  The point is they are both gambles. For a team like Toronto, though, that isn’t a prime NBA destination and doesn’t already have an elite player to attract a free agent, the chance of signing an elite player is almost nil. Way less than the chance of tanking and drafting one.

                • Louvens Remy

                  Agreed that they are both gambles. I still disagree that you are taking less of a chance by tanking. I don’t believe in tanking. When the Raps were good, they made some shrewed trades and loaded up on veterans who knew what the hell to do on a basketball court. I think the Raps just need to be smart and not tank. It doesn’t make any sense. Once you have smart management, stockpile draft picks, and have a great mix of veteran and young players that allow you to compete and make the playoffs year in year out then your team becomes attractive for a high caliber free agent. You can get a superstar at any point in the draft. It’s just that some years you have sure things like a Lebron, Rose, Duncan, Durant, Melo, Kyrie et al, but only one team can get that player and the chances of the worst team getting the 1st pick is at 25%.

                  You can also get impact superstars in the middle of the draft or late in first or second round if management has a very strong core of scouts and personnel to get the job done. Tanking in my opinion is not the way to go. You may laugh but I loved how Glen Grunwald put the team together from 1998-2002. You can’t tell me if they hadn’t fucked with that and kept Tracey that another quasi superstar wouldn’t have come to Toronto. Anyway, Toronto is attractive for players once they start winning. Tanking is such a crapshoot. What if Wiggins and Jabari don’t pan out? Then what?

                • Guy

                  So you’re suggesting the better gamble is to put your faith in a lottery that will allow you to take some 19 yr old American kid(Wiggins being the exception) that may or may not develop into an all-star in 2-3 years & then hope he re-signs after his rookie deal is up instead of jumping to a big US market? As opposed to trying to trade for an established star that will provide not only an immediate upgrade, but will also provide incentive for current future free agents to consider TO? At best, that’s a pretty thin argument.

                • ItsAboutFun

                  Injuries to Yao and McGrady, their two stars, blew the team up, not some plan.

        • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

          If acquiring Rudy Gay is copying what the Rockets did for James Harden, then no thanks.

          And my point is that everything relies on timing and luck. Harden just happen to be available at the right time for the Rockets, and he just happen to turn into a superstar. If the Rockets don’t trade for Harden, they would not have anywhere CLOSE to the record the had this past season. In other words, they would be losing.

          Houston gambled just as much as teams that tank. But Houston gambled on something with less odds.

          And why does no one bring up the Milwaukee Bucks when talking about teams that didn’t tank and don’t have high picks? Because that’s the more likely scenario.

          • Guy

            I wasn’t implying Rudy Gay is on par with Harden, I was simply pointing out how a good player can be acquired with role players & a 2nd round pick.

            How did Houston gamble as much as a team that tanks? They were getting a known commodity, a very good player that would pay immediate dividends. But for the rare exceptions(Lebron, etc), a team that tanks takes a guy that hasn’t played one second of NBA ball, hopes he’ll be very a good NBA player… & they may have to wait 3-4 years to really find out. By calling Houston lucky for how Harden turned out, you do two things. 1) You fail to concede, even for a second, that the Houston brain trust suspected he’d breakout as the #1 option. And 2) You fail to concede that you under-estimated Harden. The only way you can call Harden’s performance ‘lucky’ is if you didn’t expect it. Clearly, you didn’t. Essentially, you’re covering your own ass. This way you can still claim victory, hollow though it may be.

            And since Houston did acquire Harden, whether they would be losing or not without him is completely irrelevant.

            • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

              Overpaid, overrated player can definitely be acquired for role players and second round picks. But the chance of getting an elite player for that is miniscule.

              Houston gambled because they went into the 2013 season after having overpaid Lin and Asik, and a team that would probably have won 35 games. Then Kevin Martin would be gone, and there goes that trade chip. Then they would be stuck with a mediocre team again. Dwight Howard certainly doesn’t sign with them, and probably no one else of consequence does, as well. So they go another year stuck at mediocrity.

              They were lucky that Harden became available when he did, because they just happen to have the assets that Oklahoma wanted. Speaking of which, without giving up Lowry for a lottery pick, they don’t get Harden.

              As for Harden himself, I, as well as many others, knew Harden was going o be good, but how good was the question. You can’t suggest that it’s not a gamble to bet that Harden is going to be great, but it is a gamble to bet that several of the 2014 prospects will be great. EVERYTHING is a gamble.

              And by the way, there’s a good chance Houston unwittingly tanks this past season without Harden. A team of Lin, Asik and Martin isn’t going to get you a whole lot of wins. So before you start touting the Rockets as a team that didn’t tank, remember that it was only the trade for Harden that probably prevented that.

              If the Raptors happen to stumble across a Harden-like trade before the start of the season, then great. Otherwise…

              • Guy

                Naturally, you can’t even admit Gay is a good player. No no…. You have to make yourself & your view appear better, so you call him overpaid & overrated. What a joke.

                Of course getting Harden was a gamble, every trade is. But it wasn’t the high-risk deal you’re making it out to be. Worst case scenario, barring injury, Harden doesn’t explode as he did, but remained the very good player he was in OKC. That wouldn’t have been a bad thing. He’d still be one of the definite building blocks of the team. And I most certainly can tout Houston as a team that didn’t tank…. because they never did. Even you agree they didn’t… & I quote, “remember that it was only the trade for Harden that probably prevented that.” I don’t necessarily believe a tank job was prevented, but you do. And, if you believe it was prevented, then it follows that you believe it didn’t happen.

                As for the rest of your posting….. all you’re bringing to the table in regards to what Houston did is speculation. Nothing fact based. If you had some hard evidence to back up your ‘what if’ scenarios, I’m sure you’d point it out. But you don’t. All you’ve got is what you think might have happened &, I hate to break it to you, that proves nothing. The fact of the matter is you don’t have the first damn clue what may have transpired. Maybe they’d have gone into the season as they were, or maybe they make a play for another player. Maybe they’d have won 30 games. Maybe 40. Maybe Kevin Martin would have gone, maybe not. Maybe the deal is dead without the Lowry pick, maybe Houston finds another way to get it done. Maybe Houston pulls a major tank withut the trade, maybe they don’t. YOU…DON’T…KNOW. And since none of it is going to happen, we’ll never know. It’d be no different than me saying, ‘Had the Harden deal fell through, Houston probably would have swung a couple deals to get Iguodala & Brook Lopez.’ It’s all unsubstantiated fantasy, but you’re pawning it off as some sort of factual evidence to reinforce your point. It’s ridiculous & insulting.

                You want to debate it further, fine. But in order to make an argument you need to have a point of view that can be backed up with actual evidence instead of wielding unsubstantiated, uncorroborated speculation as your weapon. It’s the equivalent of bringing a knife to a gun fight.

                • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

                  I’ll ignore the snarkiness and take this back to a polite level.

                  I’ve said Gay was a good player countless times. But he’s not nearly as good as some fans seem to think. It’s the difference between what he can do and what he actually does. And I don’t like taking chances on players who have been around the league that long, getting paid that much, on what they might be able to do even though they’ve never been able to do it consistently. I think that’s what bad teams do.

                  The big risk wasn’t acquiring Harden. It was acquiring him and then offering him the contract they did, which was basically part of the deal.

                • Kupooo

                  Tim W. I think if you read between the lines Guys is pro “tanking” he just doesn’t like to use that word and calls it “rebuilding.” Sounds better I guess since tanking seem to hint to be a for sure losing team (below .500) but rebuilding is the “unknown” but realistically highly likely a losing team still lol….just my 2-cents

                • Guy

                  Suggesting that I’m pro-tanking is completely incorrect, but don’t let being wrong stop you from chiming in.

    • Bouncepass

      What Houston did was a smart rebuild, without tanking. Period. You acquire and move assets at strategic times, with an emphasis on good assessment of players. There are a number of other teams that have developed the same way, including Indiana and Memphis. This year’s “final four” included two teams that built teams that way, one team that used nice weather and the collusion of star players in free agency, and one team that had built around an older franchise player (Tim Duncan) with smart drafting and a great coach. I understand people who want to have a crappy team with the hopes of drafting the next Tracy McGrady (averaged less than 3 playoff games per year during his career, and never past Round 1), or Carmelo Anthony (past Round 1 twice in 12 years) or Vince Carter (averaged 3 playoff games per year, and missed the playoffs more than he made them). In comparison, in three seasons Paul George has played in only 15 fewer playoff games than McGrady and 25 fewer than Carter did in their entire careers. My point is that I think that it is simplistic to suggest that getting a star play in the draft, or even two, is a sure recipe for a contending team. Why do you think so many stars are now abandoning the team that drafted them to team up with one or two other stars? Unless the Raptors are able to get into that sort of mode, their best strategy is probably more along the lines of Memphis, Indiana and maybe even the Spurs (with the fond hope that JV is the Raptors’ Duncan).

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        But as I’ve said, the only reason you don’t put Houston in the tanking category is they were able to draft Harden. They were prepared to go into the season with Jeremy Lin being their best player. They would have been lucky to win 30 games. Most likely it would have been closer to 25.

        If Houston had not blown the team up like they did, especially giving a very productive PG who started for a good part of the season for them for a draft pick, then they can’t trade for Harden and continue to run on the treadmill.

        Would it be better if the Raptors blew up the team for prospects and draft picks if they SAID they were hoping to make a Harden-type deal, but then can’t and end up losing?

        As for your question about why so many stars are abandoning the teams that drafted them, it’s because the teams that drafted them didn’t have good management, and the players could see that.

        Orlando failed to build a Championship team around Dwight because of poor management. Same thing with LeBron in Cleveland, Carmelo in Denver, Chris Paul in New Orleans, Bosh in Toronto. Just take a look at the players those GMs surrounded them with and the moves they made.

        Stars eventually see through all the talk and see the team for what it is. If the Lakers had built a better team with a better coach around Dwight, he probably wouldn’t have left. But that was a horribly mismatched roster with a one dimensional coach who has never seemed to understand the importance of defense.

        Give stars a reason to stay, and most will. Give them a reason to leave and most will.

        • Guy

          Unless you can point to some legitimate, credible evidence of what would have happened if Houston didn’t get Harden…FYI-your speculation isn’t evidence… your assertions of how it would have unfolded for Houston is not worth anything because it’s a situation that will never happen. It carries as much credibility as me saying, ‘If they hadn’t got Harden, they’d have picked up Steph Curry & Iguodala.’ It’s nothing but hypothetical musing, speculation, & it’s proof of absolutely nothing. How can you keep trotting this out as if it has any kind of relevance?

          The facts are this, despite losing Ming & McGrady due to injury, the Rockets always remained competitive & never finished below .500. In no way whatsoever, does this resemble what you’ve long advocated the Raptors do, not even close. Houston did not tank. It was smart, effective Mgmt.

      • Guy

        “What Houston did was a smart rebuild, without tanking. Period.”

        Thank you, the point I’ve been making all along.

    • Kevin

      Houston was able to sign Howard and convince Harden to sign long term because Houston has:
      1) A history of winning
      2) A favorable tax situation
      3) An attractive spot for free agents.

      The Raptors have NONE of these. The situation is COMPLETELY different.

      • Kevin

        Actually, I should add 4) A history of good management, as another thing the Rockets have and the Raptors don’t.

      • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

        Ya, but Toronto has Rob Ford!

      • Guy

        All I said was that Houston was able to acquire 2 legit all-star players without tanking. Nowhere in any of my comments did I compare Toronto to Houston. Nowhere did I say Toronto is in a position to do exactly what Houston did. Nowhere did I say it would just that easy for Toronto. Nowhere.

        In other words, your argument is completely irrelevant because it has absolutely nothing to do with the point I was making.

        • Kevin

          “t’s been said countless times on this site that the only way, or best way, for the Raptors to get a true star player is to draft one….. but then we look at the Rockets. ”

          That’s not a comparison to Houston? Do my eyes deceive me?

          You were addressing “tank nation” on a site called Raptors Republic. C’mon, Guy.

          If you weren’t addressing the Raptors specifically, replace them with any team that isn’t the Celtics, Lakers, Bulls, Heat, Knicks, Rockets, I guess Nets now, and mayyybe Mavs.

          Any team that isn’t a decent draw for free agents, and drafting top 5 is the only likely way of acquiring a superstar.

          • Guy

            Yes, your eyes deceive you. Tank nation’s view isn’t limited to the Raptors. They would advocate that strategy to many teams, (Phoenix, Utah, Sacramento, Orlando, Charlotte, Detroit, Philly, Milwaukee, etc). The point I was making was more general in that a team doesn’t have to tank to become a contender. If I felt the Raptors were in a position to do exactly what Houston did, I’d have said so directly. I didn’t.

            You’ve drawn your conclusion based on irrelevant information(Site name & logo?? Puhlease) & incorrect assumptions. (I never made any direct comparison to TO. None). But don’t let the facts get in the way. You believe what you want to believe.

  • Kupooo

    @ Tim W. I notice you linked the Hoopshype article that I linked 2 days ago when I was responding to someone in “Some Thoughts on Tanking and Rudy Gay’s Value” article before your update there. LOL…stealing my thunder =p. It so stirs the pot not just a little man HAHAH

    • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

      I just gave you props for the link in the article.

      • Kupooo

        Wow, thanks…which ever way the raptor goes will determine how happy of a fan I am for the next few years. Only gone to one game last year…in one of those nice private suites. The one against Clevelands and they won + pizza…would want to see more quality games in the future. Cheers!

  • Mo

    This was actually a hilarious article, nice job Tim.

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