As of right now, here’s how the RR poll stands:


That’s 74% saying they’d rather tank this season than make the playoffs. It’s not even about Andrew Wiggins anymore but anyone in the lottery. Is this normal? Are we normal people? Have we fallen so low that we’re actually hoping for the team to lose so that we can build all over again, as if that were any guarantee that things would be better than they currently are?

It’s as if we have suffered so much pain that suffering has become our joy. If so, Dostoevsky would be proud:

“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”

The part that bugs me the most is that somehow people have equated being in the lottery with becoming good. We’ve been through the lottery – with Araujo, Villanueva, Bargnani, DeRozan, Davis, Valanciunas and Ross, all lottery picks. Where has that gotten us? It’s gotten us to where we are today, and to think that somehow getting one more lottery pick will change our course for the better is foolish. If you want to target Andrew Wiggins, do it by becoming good enough so that he signs here as a free-agent, not by sucking hard enough so he’s forced to come here only to leave later.

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  • sitnonDfence

    “If you want to target Andrew Wiggins, do it by becoming good enough so that he signs here as a free-agent, not by sucking hard enough so he’s forced to come here only to leave later.”

    And for those about to say ” he wont sign here just because hes a hometown boy, or we cant attract free agents” I would argue the odds of signing him are much better than drafting him.

    Another note about our drafting. Everyone gives casey a hard time for benching JV. How soon we forget what coddling a 7 foot lottery pick does for us.

    “Tanking is a hard thing to do. It’s easy to say you’re going to do it, but when you’re going
    through the dog days of January and you’re 5-30 and there are 4,000 people in
    the stands, it’s painful. The other thing is that while Andrew Wiggins is a good prospect, he’s not the next LeBron [James] — or even Kobe [Bryant] when he came out back in ’96. He’s not that. He’s a
    very good player, but it’s not like when Tim Duncan was coming out of college.”
    Anonymous Exec.

    • Ion66

      Exactly. We finally are at the point in our teams history, where there’s some young players that grew up dreaming of being Vince Carter. Build something that will attract some of those guys, beyond the homer effect. Be a team like Houston before getting Harden. The odds are better than in the draft, and you hopefully don’t end up with a bunch of mediocre players surrounded by one star, ala Cleveland with LeBron. As for JV, I think he and Bargs ore totally different mentally. You’re not going to turn JV soft so easily.

      • You really think there’s a better chance of trading for a James Harden than drafting one? How many teams have been able to acquire their first elite player through a trade or free agency? Now how many have been able to do it through the draft? I think you need to take another look at those odds.

        • HogyG

          Wasn’t the rumor that OKC was interested in JV for Harden and that the Raptors didn’t want to do that? If so, wouldn’t that have made the Raptors “chances” pretty good at pulling that off theoretically?

          As far as going and looking again at the numbers, I think you forgot when I posted the breakdown for you in an older aticle here ( ) here’s an excerpt for those unwilling to go all the was to the bottom of that link posted to read it.

          “If you go back 30 years, only seven #1 picks in the draft have ever even
          won a championship. If you dig a little deeper, in the last ten years
          only FIVE top 10 picks have even won a ring (Wade, Bynum, Adam Morrison,
          Bosh and LBJ, with only Wade and Bynum doing it with the team that
          drafted them), and if you go all the way back to the Raptors inaugural
          season there have only been 19 total top ten picks that have worn
          hardware (Duncan, Dirk and Pierce did it with the team who drafted them,
          while T. Chandler, P. Gasol, Battier, Odom, Rip Hamilton, J. Terry,
          Billups, Allen, KG, Sheed and Stackhouse went to other teams to find
          that illusive ring.”

          If you want to add to the elite talent list of players that have been moved (some who have won titles, others who haven’t) then you can add: Kareem, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley, Scotty Pippen, TMac, VC, (more recently) Melo, D. WIll, CP3, Josh Smith, Al Jefferson, and a whole shit ton more both past and present, if I wanted to take the time to find them all. The era of team loyalty is becoming a thing of the past. It’s unfortunate perhaps, but a reality never the less. Therefore players are going to move around, elite or otherwise.

          Do I “really think that there’s a better chance of trading for [an elite talent] than drafting one?”, I sure do, and you all should too. You can name far more top ten busts in the last 18 years throughout the league than you can standout/elite players in the same time frame.

          • “If you go back 30 years, only seven #1 picks in the draft have ever evenwon a championship.”

            Of course, only 8 different teams have won a Championship over the last 30 years, so that puts that statement into some perspective. Besides, this isn’t about getting a #1 pick. This is about having the ability to draft the best player available.

            “If you dig a little deeper, in the last ten years only FIVE top 10 picks have even won a ring (Wade, Bynum, Adam Morrison,
            Bosh and LBJ, with only Wade and Bynum doing it with the team that
            drafted them)”

            Of course, the main reason is because most of the players who have won Championships in the last ten years were drafted more than 10 years ago. In fact, of the teams that have won Championships over the last 10 years, only the Miami Heat featured players drafted less than 10 years ago, so I’m not sure I see the argument, here.

            “If you want to add to the elite talent list of players that have been moved (some who have won titles, others who haven’t) then you can add: Kareem, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley, Scotty Pippen, Kobe, TMac, VC, (more recently) Melo, D. WIll, CP3, Josh Smith, Al Jefferson,”

            First of all, I would NEVER say Al Jefferson or Josh Smith were elite players. They’re not even All Stars. If they’re your best player, you’re pretty much screwed.

            There certainly is a list of elite players that have moved during their prime (so not Vince, Drexler, etc), but if you remove Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Houston and Boston from the scenario, how many teams have benefitted?

            And you also have to realize the landscape has changed, in regards to drafting elite players. Without high school players and with better international scouting, the likelihood of finding an elite player outside of the top five has become miniscule. No more Tony Parker, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowiztki, etc.

            “You can name far more top ten busts in the last 18 years throughout the league than you can standout/elite players in the same time frame.”

            How many of those “busts” were due to poor drafting and would not have happened with a better GM?

            Also, in the last two years, two teams have traded for an elite (or potentially) elite player and then regretted it: Lakers and Philadelphia, both of which gave up valuable assets only to have the player leave for nothing.

            Tanking is obviously no guarantee of anything, but at least in the draft, if you draft high enough, you’re not competing with other teams. With free agents and trades, you’re competing with the rest of the league. And elite players are in such short supply that it ends up being a sellers market.

            • HogyG

              My full quoted statement went back 18 years, not only ten years, so your point of “players who won championships in the last ten years were drafted ten years before” is unfounded or at the very least a poor attempt to skew the facts. Of those 8 teams, how many built their team from tanking? NONE.

              My numbers included all the teams in the NBA, why would you try to exclude the championship winning teams from the conversation? Would it be because none of those teams tanked in order to win? Could it be they prove you are fundamentally wrong? LA traded for Shaq, Kobe, Gasol the cornerstones of their Championship teams, Houston traded for Drexler (who you imply was washed up by then) before winning their back to back titles, the Celtics drafted Pierce sure, but they still sucked ass till they traded for KG and Allen, New York never won anything during that time or drafted anyone of consequence but fans finally started believing/got excited once they traded for Melo and acquired Chandler NOT drafted them. The Bobcats tried and failed to tank and finally decided to acquire Al Jefferson (who I’m willing to bet is going to be an All Star this year and prove to be an elite talent) in order to try a new approach since the “tank option” failed them.

              The leg you stand on, is holding itself upright with the illusion that you can only get elite talent through the draft. However, when looking over 18 years at the top ten picks (that’s 180 players) and seeing 19 of them were on championship teams means it’s about a 10% likelihood of drafting elite talent (of which close to half on my original list were not the main cog or even noteworthy in their championship endeavors and thus brings it down closer to 5%). When you add that to the yearly draft odds for even the worst team (which makes them the best team, haha) to be in the draft (25% chance of getting the top pick) that leaves us at a at best 25% chance to have a 5% to 10% chance that we will draft an elite talent that leads us to a championship.

              If the goal to tank isn’t to draft a championship contender (as you have used to argue against me in the past, that it’s only to get an elite talent and building and competing for a championship happens afterwards) then what would you be doing it for? To buy a lottery ticket that you can only hope will develop and translate into this hopeful game changing elite player, when history tells us that less then 10% of top ten picks mature into this type of player. Is it then, just to make the playoffs? We can do that now with tweaking (like for example, better coaching). We can find proven elite talent in this off-season when many elite talents will be free agents and could see a thriving Toronto team, fresh off a playoff appearance as a destination for their PROVEN talent.

              I wear Raptors gear with pride because they stand for the daily struggle to be accepted and respected. You don’t gain any respect for tanking, or talking about how tanking is the only way to build a team. It’s a lazy way to victory (if a way to victory at all, since you cannot give any examples of successful tanking), it’s a poor way to repay your loyal fan base, and if we see anything from history it doesn’t result in the most important piece… any championships! How do you know where you’re going if you don’t look back.

              Go Raptors!

              Be the round out tha tank!!

              • These are all points that we’ve already gone over, ad nauseum.

                The NBA is very different now that it used to be. No more high school players, better scouting both domestically and internationally means that there are fewer elite sleepers outside the top five or ten. So the chances of drafting an elite player outside of the top five is minuscule, as I said.

                If you go by ESPN’s list for top 20 players this year….
                …4 out of 20 were drafted outside of the 5. Four. And two of those guys (Parker and Gasol) are international players drafted before teams did a lot of international scouting. Only Paul George and Stephen Curry, both of whom were still drafted in the top ten.

                So I think that’s pretty good evidence that the days of finding Dirk at 9 or Kobe at 13 are over.

                You could also sign an elite player, but as we know, but without an elite player on your team, and without being in one of the prime NBA destinations, there’s little chance of a team like Toronto, no matter how many times they make the playoffs, can sign one.

                – Dwight Howard signed with Houston because of James Harden being on the roster.
                – LeBron and Bosh signed with Miami so they could play with Wade.
                – Shaq signed with the Lakers because it was the Lakers and Jerry West still ran the team.
                – You COULD argue that Amare was an elite player when he signed with the Knicks, but again, he wanted to play in New York.

                They could trade for and elite player, but the vast majority of elite player have a say where they want to go, and, like free agents, they choose to go to teams that either already HAVE an elite player, or is a prime NBA destination or both.

                – Garnett doesn’t agree to the trade to Boston without Pierce being on the team.
                – Howard had a short list of teams when Orlando traded him, and the Lakers, with Kobe, were one of them.
                – Carmelo demanded to be traded to either the Knicks or the Nets, because he wanted to play in the New York area.
                – Chris Paul agreed to a trade to the Clippers because of Blake Griffin and it being in L.A.
                – Deron Williams didn’t choose to go to the Nets, but was a free agent after a year and admitted that the team moving to Brooklyn was a big reason he re-signed with them.

                Sure, you could point to James Harden, as every one does, but the reason everyone points to James Harden is because he’s the exception. The chance of finding another James Harden trade is less than the chance of finding an elite player in the top five in a loaded draft.

                So no matter what you say against tanking, it all gets down to the same thing. How do you acquire an elite player.

                As for the Championship argument, I’m not sure the point of bringing it up. Tanking is not a strategy to win a Championship. It’s a strategy for a non-prime destination team to acquire an elite player. The strategy to build a Championship team comes AFTER that.

                • HogyG

                  So what franchises (if any) out there are or have been an example in your opinion of tanking successfully then? None still? Oh, okay.

                • None??? Lots of teams have tanked successfully. Cleveland tanked to get LeBron. New Orleans tanked to get Anthony Davis. Seattle/Oklahoma tanked after drafting Durant, and got Westbrook and Harden. Orlando tanked to get Howard. Denver tanked to get Carmelo. And you could definitely argue that the Spurs tanked to get Tim Duncan (after David Robinson went down). You could definitely make a VERY good argument that the Rockets tanked to get Yao Ming and the Spurs tanked to get Duncan. And that’s just in the last 15 years.

                  All of those teams tanked successfully because the goal of their tanking was to acquire an elite player. What they did AFTER they tanked doesn’t matter because the tank was simply to acquire the elite player, which they all did. All had varying degrees of success trying to build various ways around their elite talent. If your GM makes poor decisions, it doesn’t matter WHAT you do because you’re probably not going to be successful.

                  Cleveland had the best player in the league, but Danny Ferry drafted, traded and signed so poorly that they only got to the FInals once and then he decided to leave because of Ferry’s failures.

                  On the other hand, the Spurs made brilliant moves and won four Championships.

                  And this from Bill Simmons Big Book of Basketball:

                  “With Hakeem and Jordan looming as draft prizes, both the Rockets (blew 14 of their last 17, including 9 their last 10) and Bulls (lost 19 of their last 23, including 14 of their last 15) said, “Screw it, we’ll bastardize the sport,” and pulled some fishy crap: resting key guys, giving lousy guys big minutes and everything else. Things peaked in Game 81 when a washed-up Elvin Hayes played every minute of Houston’s overtime loss to the Spurs. Since none of the other crappy teams owned their picks, only Chicago and Houston controlled their destinies (hence the tanking).”

                  Both Chicago and Houston ended up winning multiple Championships, so even if you insist on the Championship argument, tanking still has worked.

                  Whether people like it or not, tanking works, so that’s not the anti-tanking argument. I would love and NBA where tanking doesn’t work, but it does. So the Raptors might as well use it to their advantage.

                • HogyG

                  So you only had to go back 30 years to try and find a successful tanking to an eventual championship in Chicago and Houston. However there’s a problem with it, Houston finished with 15 MORE wins than the year previous (1982-83 = 14-68 followed by 1983-84 = 29-53) these numbers do not show tanking, in fact they suggest the exact opposite in a desire to be better. The Bulls were stuck as an awful team for several seasons leading up to the 1984 draft, and were not competing for anything as their records from the three seasons would indicate (1981-82 = 34-48, 1982-83 = 28-54, and 1983-84 = 27-55) this isn’t tanking, this is just a woeful team. Of course, you’re simply drawing from the words of the infamous Bill Simmons, known for being incredibly opinionated, a pro tanker, often wrong in his opinions, and perhaps most importantly was only a 13 year old boy at the time when he was watching them supposedly tank! But even IF we can take his adolescent recollection as fact, he also clearly states that they only tanked the last 14 games of the season after all hope was lost. NOT FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON as you and all your pro-tank “Raptors fans” on here suggest the franchise does.

                  The San Antonio Spurs didn’t tank to get Duncan, they had their only elite player at the time go down with a season ending injury and couldn’t compete with the tough western conference, when their best players remaining were Sean Elliott and Vinnie Del Negro. Their record of 20-62 exactly reflects what that team could do (without the admiral who only played in 6 games that season) in the western conference. They just happened to make the most of a bad situation and drafted wisely, but again we are not in that position currently. All of our top talent is healthy and ready to compete.

                  While I will agree that Orlando, Cleveland and Denver certainly appeared to tank (which is absolutely despicable) both Orlando and Cleveland were inevitably left in shambles and have yet to recover from their top talent leaving. They are now left with no other choice but to continue the tanking option, as their franchises have been seen by all quality players as a “no fly zone” for their talents to land (other than the ones they force there through the draft)

                  Maybe this is the way you all want to build a team, but it’s not the way winning franchises do it (as your Houston and Chicago examples fail to hold water). Being a true fan of a franchise is about having “unconditional love” for your team through thick and thin. Even this site’s log line is “win or lose, here we stand” which implies the desire to support your team and it’s players unconditionally…yet that is hardly being done by you or your “tank nation mob” who support your ridiculous claims of tanking from the start of the season as the only viable way to grow.

                  If there are 14 games left in the season and we have 25 or less wins, then at that point, sure, perhaps the team should consider the tank method. But, to suggest to do it from the beginning of the season IMO you should all be forced to hand in your sports fan card, because you’ve lost what sports are all about… Competing on a nightly basis regardless of your personnel.

                • WHY DO YOU KEEP TALKING ABOUT CHAMPIONSHIPS????? As I’ve said NUMEROUS times, tanking IS NOT a strategy to win Championships. It’s a strategy to acquire elite talent. The strategy to win a Championship comes later.

                  And winning a Champship is INCREDIBLY difficult, which is why only 9 teams have done it in the last 30 years, and not one of those teams was able to acquire their elite players in a way that is repeatable.

                  What happened after LeBron left Cleveland has NOTHING to do with how they got him. Their collapse was because Danny Ferry did a poor job of trying to build a team around LeBron. And keep in mind, he wasn’t the one who drafted him.

                  You can argue that the Spurs didn’t tank, but did you watch them that season? I did. I followed them since David Robinson was on the team. And while Robinson was a great player, the team doesn’t go from 59 wins to 21 because one player goes down. They have never admitted it, but you don’t play a 37 year old Dominique Wilkins 30 mpg if you aren’t trying to tank.

                  Lastly, your comments on being a “true fan” and such is distasteful, to say the least. It reminds me far too much of the American right’s attitude when other Americans dare to criticize something they like. They call them anti-American. It serves no purpose except to try and insult the other person.

                  We certainly disagree on the tact the Raptors should take, but to suggest you’re a fan and I’m not simply because we have different opinions on how things should be done has no place in intelligent conversation.

                  In the end, this is basketball. It’s not anything more important than that (and I LOVE basketball). Let’s not pretend that disagreeing with someone’s opinion on basketball is somehow a personal insult. It’s not. And too many people around here seem to forget that fact.

                • HogyG

                  I keep talking about championships because they are the ultimate result of success. You tried to make a point (which failed) that there were teams who tanked their way to a championship. I responded to it to show your theory was flawed.

                  I did watch the Spurs that season (as well as the rest of the league) as I’ve been following basketball avidly since the mid 80’s. What’s your point, do you simply implying you were the only one watching them at the time? Look at it like this, how many wins did the Cavs have the year after they lost LBJ? Well, they went from 61-21 with him to 19-63 without him. That clearly shows the impact on a team when their elite star is missing from the lineup.

                  As for your statement “Let’s not pretend that disagreeing with someone’s opinion on basketball is somehow a personal insult. It’s not.” …but yet you are the one who took it as such. My quote reads “Being a true fan of a franchise is about having “unconditional love” for your team through thick and thin. Even this site’s log line is “win or lose, here we stand” which implies the desire to support your team and it’s players unconditionally…” how is that distasteful?

                  I’m giving my opinion, that’s all it is. I don’t have to justify it, I only have to give it. That’s the beautiful thing about opinions. You are the one who was insulted by it, perhaps that is because it struck a nerve deep within yourself that knows there is something fundamentally and morally wrong about the tactics of tanking from the beginning of the season.

                • My point didn’t fail. You either didn’t understand it or disagreed with it. Championships are the ultimate goal of team building, but what you seem to fail to understand is that tanking is not a part of team building. It is simply a way to acquire an elite player.

                  Your suggestion that I am not a true fan is distasteful. Should I question your fandom because I could say that you must be happy with a perennial mediocre team? That you aren’t willing to sacrifice a few years in order to build a Championship contender? No. I don’t say that because it’s crap. We simply approach being a fan of the team two different ways. Your way isn’t right just as my way isn’t right.

                  To me, tanking is an emotional issue for you, and there’s no way to have an analytical discussion about something emotional. It’s not emotional issue for me. It is what it is.

                  I don’t like that the way the NBA is constructed the majority of teams seem to have little to no shot of acquiring an elite player unless they are really bad, at some point. And that a handful of teams have a major advantage over the rest of the league.

                  I don’t like that tanking has become a necessary evil for a lot of teams who are so desperate they’re willing to throw away entire seasons for a shot at a franchise player.

                  But that’s reality.

                  I don’t think what Miami did was “moral”, but they won back to back Championships. There’s a pretty good bet that those three players colluded to team up. It’s unfair, and illegal (in regards to the CBA) but that’s reality.

                  I’m sick to death of the way the team has been so bad over the course of it’s history, that lots of fans yearn for mediocrity just to try and get the stench of losing out of their mouths.

                  The team, as presently constructed, is horribly flawed and needs to be completely gutted. That doesn’t mean I’m not a true fan. It just means I’m a fan who doesn’t want to want the next ten years be similar to the last ten years.

                • HogyG

                  “Championships are the ultimate goal of team building, but what you seem to fail to understand is that tanking is not a part of team building. It is simply a way to acquire an elite player.”

                  Why else do you want to acquire an elite talent, if not to build a team around? I’m sorry, but your statement just doesn’t make sense. I believe you’re contradicting yourself here.

                  Furthermore, I was not trying to say you weren’t a true fan, in fact quite the opposite, I was calling out to the true fan I know you to be, to plead with you to see clearly on the subject at hand. I find the stand you take on tanking to remind me of a snake eating itself (I don’t know how else to describe it, my apologies) Allow me to lay out your argument from my perspective.

                  1) Fans of your ilk are fed up with the mediocrity of this franchise (at best, being able to compete for a playoff position, not a championship)

                  2) Implementing the tanking strategy is NOT for winning a championship, it is ONLY to acquire an elite player in the draft.

                  3) Only after you successfully acquire an elite player should you try and build a team to compete for a championship.

                  4) If step 3 is not successful, the tanking is still to be considered a success because acquiring an elite player was achieved.

                  My thoughts #1) If step 3 is not achieved then does that not put us back into the position of mediocrity? (competing for a playoff spot at best, not a championship) and isn’t that what “tank nation” is trying to tank to get away from?

                  My thoughts #2) If step 2 is not achieved (acquiring an elite talent) wouldn’t that put us in a spot far worse then we are now? (As your current strategy for tanking this season is to trade all our current assets away for draft picks and hope to land an elite talent.)

                  I will agree with you that there are no guarantees of acquiring elite talent with either of our ways (sign/trade vs. draft). I’m also completely on the same page as you with the majority of your last post, including your opinion of the low-class collusion that happened in Miami to bring those players together and how disgusting that all is. I’d also add that of course this is an emotional thing for me, what sports fan isn’t emotional about the sport they love? That’s why we come on here to give our opinions, that’s why we scream at the television while we watch the game (come on, you know we’ve all done it). I guess I’m going to have to just agree to disagree with you on what we feel is the best actions for our favorite team. Both of our strategies stem from opinion, both can be supported and refuted through examples and with numbers and history. However, there is one guarantee that comes with your tank strategy, in that the fan base will suffer while tanking is in effect.

                  Here’s my biggest concern…

                  What if we tanked and failed to acquire an elite talent though the draft this off-season, what then? Would you expect fans to continue to accept another year of purposeful losing (not to be confused with competitive losing, which our team has done over the last few years now)? Maybe this lasts for 2 or 3 or even 5 years. How is the franchise supposed to survive something like that in the long term? Season ticket holders won’t give their money for a team not trying to compete (our teams in the past may have been, let’s say, a bit away from championship contenders, but they always left it, as they say, on the floor. Isn’t that what we love about our favorite Raptors, whoever they may be? That they gave it their all!). The nightly fans most likely wouldn’t pay to watch either. Television fans wouldn’t waste their time to tune in (which poses a problem for our new owners Bell & Rogers) because ultimately, loving sports at its roots, is about loving the passion of competition. Unfortunately, competing is not something that you want to happen with a team in full-on tank mode.

                  Something that isn’t being mentioned in these purposed tank scenarios is the number of fans who came out to the games and the lack of money generated by the organization to inevitably build from. Granted, the fan base would of course be there (as would the money) if your tank strategy was successful, but it’s all about what if it wasn’t for me. As a true fan, would YOU want that (a team with no chance to compete) to be the product you give to your fan base. IMO the reward is not worth the risk.

                  I guess it’s fortunate for the teams that ARE in the position to take advantage of tanking this season, I just believe we are not one of them and would instead find greater success, as of now, in creating a winning culture and trying our luck through trades and signings. I feel it is the safer method.

                  Whichever one MU decides to roll with, I hope the result is that we are blessed by the basketball gods with a team so devastating that they compete for the best record in NBA history and become the first champion in MLSE history since the birth of the Raptors!

  • Marc

    When I answer this question what I’m saying is I’d rather win 23 games than 33 which is roughly what I expect them to be capable of. Frankly I’m only interested in winning 45+ or less than 25. Anything else is pretty much a wasted season. I could handle one season in that murky middle if we were loaded with young talent and cap room and if it was part of clear plan to get better. It really seems like every season is in that 25 to 40 win range for this franchise.

    • WhiteVegas

      I was on board with going for the playoffs until a few games into the season due to Casey’s boneheaded coaching and a lack of improvement from Gay. Judging by the way we’re playing I think we’d have to scrape by just to get the 8 seed.
      Basically I’m massively dissappointed in our team and I’ve resigned myself to the fact that tanking and getting a good pick has become the best case scenario. I’d also love to see Casey fired while we’re at it. That’s the one move we can make right now without having to deal with other teams.

  • nocasey

    Only Bargs and Val were top five picks from that group and Val has proven to be a huge asset and a possible cornerstone player. You can build (to a certain extent) from the draft, if you draft well. We have had average success in the draft. Most of our picks were in the 8-12 range because we were never bad enough to be in a position to get a top five pick. This year, if we are bad enough, a top five pick will get us a serviceable rotation player (at worst) and a possible future all-star. But raptors fans should be worried because this team is poised for another 8-12 draft position year. That is the problem. If you are going to suck, do it properly.

  • theswirsky

    “as if that were any guarantee that things would be better than they currently are?”

    Was the question asking for guarantees? Are we guaranteed to be better if the team doesn’t tank? Are we guaranteed to not be successful if the team does tank? If we are limiting ourselves to future guarantees, the only guarantee is we will find none.

    “Where has that gotten us?”

    Vince, McGrady, Mighty Mouse, Bosh, Val, and what would have been Drummond if the team didnt have an ego driven GM with an agenda to save face.

    Given that we now supposedly have a good GM, why shouldnt we believe he will make good selections rather than poor ones

    “It’s as if we have suffered so much pain that suffering has become our joy.”

    I ask the exact same question. Except as I see it, its been the status quo that caused suffering. Are we so desperate to feel that pain yet again that we refuse to accept change…..

    “do it by becoming good enough so that he signs here as a free-agent”

    the nine year plan!

    “so he’s forced to come here only to leave later”
    is that guaranteed……

    • albertan_10

      So wait for his four year rookie deal to end and then be a restricted free agent whose team will match any offer and then wait another 3-4 years for that to end so he can be unrestricted? In 7-8 years then. What do we do in the mean time? Play mediocre ball and hope we magically start winning? I’m sick of watch ineffective guys play with minimal effort every night. I don’t even care if we get wiggins. Just one of these highly touted freshman. Heck I don’t even care if we win through trades. We’ve just seen colangelo trade ad trade and trade to get us no where

    • Name

      the 9 year plan seems good compared to the 20+ year plan we are on now. lol

    • As has already been stated, that means waiting around for 7 YEARS, treading water until there’s a CHANCE Wiggins leaves his team and signs with the Raptors. And then what if he doesn’t? What do you do then? Wait until his next contract expires and try again in another 3 or 4 years?

    • Moe

      no one saw Drummond being that good like stop with this. He was 9th! We didn’t feel we needed a center cause BC felt Andrea would be that 10 game Andrea when he was avg 24 points

  • albertan_10

    It’s a gamble. In all those drafts we’ve missed john wall, kyrie Irving, Blake griffin, Anthony Davis etc. you need to get lucky to have the lottery pay off. We haven’t been.

    But here’s the question that makes people want to tank. How are we going to get better otherwise? Derozan isn’t his preseason self. Rudy is ineffective, valanciunas is still only developing, and our bench … Lol. We need draft picks.

    I’m sick of losing and I don’t know the answer. The draft just seems like it’s the best way to go.

    I should mention I didn’t even vote but the way the seasons going, I’d like to get a pick or two in the draft. (I’m not referring to win/loss but overall effort from players, coaching, etc.) winning is obviously what we want to see but it’s not going to happen until we have better pieces

    • albertan_10

      Also can I add that tanking would have gotten us at least Harrison Barnes, maybe Damian lillard.

  • thegloveinrapsuniform

    Changed man?? Here, here! If your “franchise player” is shooting 37% and has 11 asts in 7 games, you’d want to go into tank mode behind everybody else. I really dont buy this “well, he’s doing other things to compensate” because he SHOULD be doing those things ontop of scoring efficiently and making his teammates better.

    Tank mode, count me in.

  • Ion66

    It’s like the old people you see at the slot machines. One more pull and this time, it’s going to pay off big….OK, one more pull. OK, I won 15 dollars. I lost 25 dollars (the players I had) to win the 15, but now I have 15 dollars to develop into more money. One more pull and I could have something to build on the money I lost, and come out ahead in the end. I could hit it big and win the 50 dollar pay-day prize. All I have to do is get rid of (trade your best players to tank) the money I just won. Hey! I won the 50 dollar prize! I lost 75 to get it (just have to trade for/draft more quality players to actually go with the new guy), but hey! I got the prize! Then you look over and someone who played only 5 bucks just hit the 1,000 dollar big win. Now you’re pissed, because you just gave away 75 dollars to make 50….Which you could develop into a payday. One more pull. Take the 50 and blow it up, because this time, you might really get lucky. Put it all on one pull, because big risks always (It’s got to be like…75% right?) lead to big rewards….right?

  • Matt52

    “We’ve been through the lottery – with Araujo, Villanueva, Bargnani,
    DeRozan, Davis, Valanciunas and Ross, all lottery picks. Where has that
    gotten us?”

    The difference is new management. The current team is a construction of a previous failed regime. The current roster is designed for a stretch 4. The roster is made up of mismatched pieces with no future as a whole. The roster is made up of only one value contract (Hansbrough who was brought in by Masai) and numerous bloated contracts (Fields, Gay, JV).

    Araujo should have been AI – everyone on earth had that pick except Robbie.
    Villanueva turned in to Ford who had his career blindsided by injuries.
    Bargnani was the #1 pick in a draft that had no true #1 – bad luck sadly.
    DeRozan was the athletic slasher to compliment the stretch big Bargnani – sadly SGs should be able to shoot.
    Davis turned in to primary piece to land Gay – but Gay is not going to do it on his own… like Bosh but Bosh was much better.
    JV is still to be determined but an average starting C appears to be his floor.
    Ross was debatable selection and his career has hardly been given every opportunity thus far.

    This upcoming draft has multiple franchise talents. The people in charge have made their careers through scouting. The money side is overseen by the guy the NBA used to devise the CBA.


      “The difference is new management.” There is absolutley nothing new about it. Same roles, same mentality, different names. Tim is a salesman, MU is a yes man and Casey out of his depth. And all three got their jobs based on the success their former teams experienced and success they have very little to nothing to do with. You can hang on to the headline making quotes all you want, but nothing has changed in the slightest.

      • Matt52

        Maybe you are right. I certainly was fooled with BC. Maybe I’m on the fast track to being fooled again. I sure hope not.

        Regardless, by your own description, BC was a fail and the cast he has assembled is a fail.

        Lets #BlowItUpAlreadyMasai and have the new boss see if they really are different than the old boss.

  • mike, prague

    Masai Ujiri

    • Ion66

      DJ Augistin.

  • Jimi

    The whole premise of your article is flawed. It isn’t a matter of “make the playoffs, feel good” vs. ‘tank, feel bad”. If this team makes the playoffs (which isn’t even guaranteed), there is a 99.9999% that they will lose in the first round and lose badly; if you challenge that assertion, then I’m sorry, but you just have no clue about the NBA. Watching a lame-duck 6, 7 or 8 seed is a worse experience, a more painful experience, for me, than watching a team develop young players as management builds for the future.

    • Ion66

      At some point in this building you speak of, don’t these young players eventually make up a team capable of getting into the playoffs? Unless the young players suddenly hit their potential, and all at the same time, and the team goes from lottery to contender in the same season, you’re going to have to face the playoffs and an early exit at some point. If the team is full of players who will never get any better, and you’re floating on the line of making or missing the playoffs, then by all means, blow it up. Blowing up any team that isn’t in the hunt for 1-5 in the standings is a bit much for me.

      • Jimi

        Didn’t make this clear: not only is this team a 6 six seed at best this year, it is a PERRENIAL six seed, and first round knockout. Therefore, to NOT blow it up for assets is just a waste of time. If you disagree with this notion, fine; there’s no way to prove it either way, and there’s nothing left to talk about.

      • There’s a difference between being a low playoff seed with the potential to become a contender, and a low playoff seed who has hit their ceiling. If the team makes the playoffs this year, they will be the latter. Without a better foundation, making the playoffs will be the goal each year. Not a step to something better.

        • HogyG

          Don’t you think that is a short sighted view? Making the playoffs this season would give essential playoff experience to, DeMar, JV, T Ross, Acy (if coach actually played him during it) not to mention being a bonding catalyst for the core that does stay beyond this year. That’s right, while you and Jimi talk in absolutes (that this team will never chance from this lineup in the future) the truth of the matter is that EVERY season, regardless of management, the Raptors have changed players in their roster. Today’s team does not necessarily reflect the Raptors team of our future.

          On top of that, making the playoffs shows the growth of our franchise, a true willingness to compete, which creates a destination to serious contenders who must be sickened by franchises willing to tank for potential rather than pay for proven talent.

          • Playoff experience only makes sense if you can build on it. Without the right talent, the playoff experience isn’t going to help and you’re just going to end up doing what the Bucks have been doing. Hovering around the playoffs, but never good enough to build on it.

            • FanGM

              Amen to that, I can’t believe people can’t see this. As if any Superstar wants to play for the Bucks the way they were hovering with a low seed. I rather would like to see if we can build something like The Thunder did. If we get a Potential future Super star THAT ACTUALLY WANTS TO PLAY HERE like Wiggins. I think he’ll give us enough time to try to build something either though the draft or free agency. Rather than piling bad contracts hoping that a Superstar will come. The Thunder were eliminated out of the playoffs by the Lakers early one year and ever since then they’ve been on a roll, unlike how the bucks look today. Currently Tanking! Tanking now while there’s great potential rather than later. I honestly don’t want to be compared with the Bucks, I think we have a great city that deserves more in the long run. If you think we can do what the Lakers do by getting superstars with a sub-par team you are mistaken, they have a Lore and a culture of winning and a plethora of NBA Championships. Kobe has always loved the Lakers even though he like Jordan, his dream was to play for the Lakers. That’s why he has stayed with them throughout everything. In the end if it doesn’t work out at least we know that front office is serious about trying to win. I’m done with the mediocre trying that has gotten us nowhere for the past 8 years. I actually want to win a Playoff series.

  • Mr.Poland

    Because 3 raptor fans watching on PC, only 1 is watching at ACC – thats what I think.

    I don’t know how to be fan of team and want crash another year. Im from Europe. We can’t go watch this team live. We sleeping only 2-3 hours / day because of watching NBA. And we see americans who want to let this team and those players lose another year. I’ll never understand you.

    Playoffs? We don’t know. They can, but everything can happen. But we have all team. One player is let’s say 10% of chances. If DeRozan fails, there are others who can get up.

    If we will tank, we have ONE player who is 100% of our chances to win. If he fails, all tank fails. I don’t want to say that if we will tanking, DeRozan, Lowry, Gay go out. Raptors will be 0. Without guns. It’s not only one year. YEARS guys, YEARS.

    • Mr.Poland

      Sorry, I mean TV not PC.

  • Andrey

    Doesn’t matter what we want. We’re arguing as if we have a choice in a matter. Question: If Masai doesn’t blow it up then what? He’s going to become new BC? You will complain about how our management sucks and has no balls. It’ll be the same thing all over again. Oh we should’ve tanked back then in 2013-2014. We should’ve drafter Drummond. These what ifs are getting hella annoying

  • Milesboyer

    The plan was to more or less see what the team could do constructed as is. Seven games into the season is still too early to deviate from that plan. Every game is part of the evaluation and once Ujiri reaches his set time, whether it was Christmas or a certain amount of losses, he can decide which way to steer the ship. There is value in making the playoffs, no matter what anybody says. I’ll let the team decide which way it will go. The tanking question will become self-evident sometime in the next two months, until then, enjoy the ride.

  • One relaxed fella

    The way I see it, tanking is a high risk thing but sometimes there’s no other way to improve. Although it might never take you were you want to be. Earlier I was all in with this idea, but there are examples which show that you can build a strong team without tanking or without acquiring top picks (Houston and Indiana, however, take a look how long it took for these teams to be where they are now). There’s too much aspects that you can’t control. I really like the way lon66 wrote about it. You can spend years by trying to catch some sort of luck and that might lead you absolutely nowhere.

    One thing is clear though. Current roster has no future. Get this, current Raps are a team which is fighting for 7-8th position in East and they arewill be struggling to reach even that kind of goal. So basically the goal is to be proud to finally be a playoff team for one year and then drop out after 1st playoff round (even if they make it to the playoffs which is doubtful). The best thing is that Raps are a probable playoff team only because of teams like Boston and Sixers who actually tank. So in next two-three years this team will be where they were for five consecutive seasons – outside playoffs.

    Since guys who are in charge said that they want to build a title contender, there will be big changes. I would much rather support the idea of reshaping or rebuilding or whatever you call it instead of complete destruction. The problem is that current Raptors don’t have the right pieces to just reshape, turn everything around and become a strong team out of nowhere, Either this team joins the tank nation this season or Ujiri will look to free up salary cap space, draft players and sign new players in a free agency in the next two or three years hoping that this model will eventually work. Ujiri has a good eye for talent and both T. L. and M. U. will manage to bring some star level player to Toronto through free agency. Either way, I don’t expect anything positive fast.

  • Yes, the Raptors have been through the lottery, but Araujo, Villanueva, DeRozan, Davis and Ross, but those were either bad picks or low lottery selections. I don’t think ANYONE is suggesting making bad picks, and the whole reason for tanking is to get a HIGH lottery pick. Not a low one.

    I think the reason 75% of the fans voted to tank is because tanking would actually give them HOPE, something few have now. At least if you tank there’s the hope they can draft an elite player, which would be the first step at turning the franchise around.

    Right now, most fans look around at this team and see very little to get excited about. And the idea of building a mediocre team full of mediocre players is not an enticing one. I also think most of us have realized how little chance the Raptors have of being able to sign or trade for an elite player, without already having one on the roster.

    • onemanweave

      Tell me — the Raps handled Utah easily. Philadelphia and the Suns are playing decently but will likely crash and burn. There are other weak sisters like Boston, etc. Toronto has mid-level talent in the east. Without purposely trying to lose, how do they get into the bottom five? By throwing games? Is that what you’re proposing?

      • I agree that this team has mid-level talent, which is why I’ve always suggested trading players for picks and prospects. Players aren’t going to lose games intentionally. It doesn’t work that way. And you can’t expect coaches to do that, either. Both are playing/coaching for their next job (although a coach can focus on developing young players rather than winning every game). The GM is the only one who can afford to think long term.

  • Rap fan 2

    Firstly, this survey is based on what the fans want to do. It’s not necessarily what Ujiri has in mind. He’s in the Captain’s seat and privy to inside information that we don’t have. Having been a pro scout and having access to a full scouting team has an advantage. As fans we do have the internet. We all have our reasons for voting the way we did. Personally, I voted for tanking for Wiggins. Again, we all have our ideas or visions of how it should be done. My mindset is we don’t have enough developed talent to win a championship this year and no GM is going to trade up something for nothing. GM’s are very reluctant to give up their prized players. What would it take for OKC to give up Kevin Durant? What would Indiana want for Roy Hibbert? Houston kind of got lucky and opportunistic when they got James Harden. Of course, they had the foresight to turn a bunch of draft picks into prospects that OKC was interested in. Another thing I believe in is you don’t want to be mediocre. It’s either be very good or be very bad. You don’t want to be in limbo land. Just look at the Leafs as an example. Since the Ballard days they’ve never really developed their prospects. How many top elite superstar talents have they had? Looking at the Raptors draft picks over the years how many are going to be top 50 all time players? It’s certainly possible and has happened to pick and develop a player later in the draft. What is the best way to draft a top 50 NBA player and how often are they available? Looking at the history of the NBA you have only a limited select teams winning it all. You have the two dominant franchises in the Celtics and Lakers with 17 and 16 each, next is the Bulls with 6, the Spurs with 4. The Heat, Warriors, Pistons and 76rs all next with 3 each. Then you have the Knicks and Rockets with 2 each and a bunch of teams with single championships. Looking at some of these multiple winning teams we can list some legendary players on the roster. The final reasoning in my decision to go into the lottery to get a potential superstar like Wiggins is that by drafting high and developing them adds value to your franchise. Developing every player on the roster adds value. Maximizing the resources to develop the players don’t go against the cap right? The key is to capitalize on that value if the player can be used to add more value or push you to the top.

  • Christopher Bird

    Sometimes I think the worst effect Bargnani had on this franchise is convincing certain of its fans that the draft is meaningless, as opposed to the true lesson which should have been learned, which is “Bryan Colangelo was not very good at drafting or building winning teams.”

    • WhiteVegas

      Bosh + Aldridge would have been a hell of a lot more fun to watch than Bosh + Bargs….. COLANGELO!!!!

  • Jack Hodgins

    I have a dream that we get our Owner to pay for counselling betwen Kris Humphries and Kimmy K get them back together trade for Hump and get Kimmy on the sideline, then trade Rudy and Lowry for Nash and Swaggy P and let Nick Young take 15 step back midrange jumpers a game and watch him hit on Kim while Hump is on the bench. NOW THAT IS TANKING

  • The Mega Sage

    I voted tank because the current group of players are just good enough to be mediocre. This year is basically already lost, sadly. The Raptors will win a few and lose a bit more, and in the end they will be sitting 9th or 10th and out of the playoffs again.

    There is no magical trade that will net them a great player, given the assets they have. They are on the treadmill of adequateness.

    So blow it up. Get rid of Gay, even if it’s for pennies in the dollar. Trade derozen for a first round pick. Play your rookies all out and let them develop. And lose, but more importantly, develop.

    If the Raptors had a chance to even be decent, I would vote against tanking.

    Given the options, I vote for it.

  • Tyhudg

    76% of voters obviously have never competed for anything in their lives and are probably chair jockeys who see sports as nothing more than Xs and Os. The idea of tanking for anything is sad, pathetic, and goes against everything ‘Sport’ stands for. Plus I don’t think playing in Canada would be good for his development, just adds another layer of stress.

  • HogyG

    Our team doesn’t need to tank, it needs to be the round out the tank!

  • Raptors went and got a GM who had been successful at the art of the deal so they wouldn’t have to tank = 3 or 4 more years rebuilding.

    Raptors already have more than enough youth – tanking to get younger = getting worse and probably staying worse – but maybe that’s what most fans have gotten used to and actually want now?

    I expect more than just a tank job from Ujiri – anyone here could trade for crap and tank – why pay someone millions to do it?

    • Milesboyer

      Good point. Why pay top dollar to a GM to tank. I think the subtext coming from Lieweke is that they’ll pay for talent if and when they’re ready. A teams construction can change in the blink of an eye. If this team isn’t winning it will change and the Raptors have a very good GM to make those changes. Just because BC failed with most of his moves doesn’t mean Ujiri will.

    • The point of tanking isn’t to get younger. It’s to acquire better talent. The Raptors may be a young team, but youth isn’t nearly as important as talent, of which the Raptors have little.

      Anyone can tank. But it takes a smart GM to be able to blow the team up while acquire enough assets so that you aren’t losing for very long. THAT’S the difference a lot of people seem to be forgetting. Ujiri was brought into the organization to build a contender, and sometimes that means getting rid of the foundation.

      A great contractor isn’t going to try and save the building of the foundation isn’t good enough. He’s going to tear the place down so he can build a better foundation.


      ok then smart guy…who do you think that raptors will be able to “deal” for in the next 3 years that will honestly put us in a position to win the championship in the NBA and make getting top talent via the draft an inferior option?

    • Matt52

      You don’t read others opinions, do you? I know in the forums you just make posts to pump your own site.

      I’ve only read and heard a select few Raptor fans willing to trade away assets for crap. Most Raptor fans advocating blowing it up are looking to trade assets for any combination of draft picks, prospects, and cap space.

      Getting younger is not mutually exclusive to getting better. Talent matters, not age.

      The teams that get worse and remain in the lottery year after year also have horrible management. The draft is just one aspect of team building. Trades and free agency matter too. Sacramento and Minnesota have been horrible for years because they had awful management making awful decisions. Look back at their trades and free agent signings over the last 8 years in addition to their draft picks.

      None of building a team exists in a vacuum as you make it seem.

      I don’t think most fans have gotten used to getting younger and worse as you suggest. On the contrary, fans who wish to #BlowItUpAlreadyMasai actually want more that a playoff appearance. I think what most fans who oppose #BlowItUpAlreadyMasai have gotten used to is the stench of losing and will do anything to sniff at the playoffs without a care about ramming their nose in to a ceiling. Colangelo proved how difficult it was for him in Toronto but, in reality, over half the bloody league makes the playoffs each year. Think about that.

      I believe you’ve been brainwashed listening to BC and DC spin over the last few years. Dare to dream bigger than average. I can guarantee you Leiweke is not going to be happy with a first round ceiling.


  • Alex Vostrikov

    i just don’t see this group of players getting anywhere. if the raptors simply trade for some one, they will have to give a lot in terms of players and draft picks. there is no way current roster can be changed for something better… in a trade. also, with out high draft pick, they will have to keep rudy gay… and that’s mean getting no where.
    sorry, but this philosophy of “play it out and see what you have” is not a solution for Toronto. as a fan, I need a little of hope to watch this team play. I go to 3 games a year, and I choose games against “BAD” teams, like Utah last Saturday. it makes the experience so much better when home team wins. its sad when 5 minutes left in regulations, and 25% of people already left the arena. just to remind you, games are not cheap, and money doesn’t grow on the trees. fans deserve winning team.
    bring top pick, and see what happens. should I remind the “carter” era?????

  • Dino4life

    “Where has that gotten us? It’s gotten us to where we are today, and to think that somehow getting one more lottery pick will change our course for the better is foolish.” Yeah like we didn’t do any bad trades or bad signings to be where we are today. We should stop banking on those too to improve the team. #8 Araujo -» #9 Iguodala, #7 Villanueva-» #10 Bynum, #1Bargnani -»lets not go there. Because we made selections in the past we have to swear off Lottery picks ? How many Finals MVP were selected outside of the lottery in the lottery era ? 2 Tony parker & Joe Dumars. So yes the lottery is the best bet.

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  • Bendit

    This lottery is unlike any in the last decade or so and you would take your chances with Rudy & Demar? Right? We also have new management and a GM who comes with a player evaluation pedigree. I’ll take my chances with a remodel of this team however it takes in the shortest and most expeditious way thanks. .

  • ad

    I think its ludicrous to compare previous drafts to this one. This is likely going to be the best draft since 2003. Just because the raptors failed to properly evaluate talent in previous drafts with an idiot gm and scouting director, doesnt mean its not worth tanking for this upcoming one. How else will they get an elite star player?

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  • G’sUp

    I think the decision to tank comes out of intelligence

    You need a STAR to win a championship…period.

    We are going to be an average team for years to come if we don’t obtain a star. Yes we can make the playoffs if we want, but we want a CHAMPIONSHIp and nothing less!!!