What do Portland, Indiana, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Miami have in common?

Well, this one is obvious: winning. The aforementioned teams all have a combined record of 120-30. That’s a winning percentage of 80%. Parity in the NBA? I’ve never heard of it either.

There’s also another reason thing they have in common. Every one of the aforementioned teams also have excellent front offices.

This is where it gets murky. Everything in the organization – the front office, the training staff, the coach, the scouting department – everything works towards the final product on the court, which makes it hard to parse out the effects of talent, coaching, and managing. If the team wins, everyone wins. A whole slew of coach and GM of the year awards have been dolled out on this basis.

However, the five aforementioned organizations most certainly benefit from excellent managing.

The teams came about in very different ways. Portland and Indiana built largely through drafting, developing, and signing complimentary free agents (Wes Matthews, David West). San Antonio and Oklahoma City have relied more heavily on drafting (Duncan, Durant, Westbrook all top-5 draft selections), and obviously Miami built their dynasty through free agency. There are many roads to Rome.

In large part, all five organizations have followed four general steps in the life-cycle of NBA teams. Dave Deckard of Blazer’s Edge outlined these four stages in his morning column, and they are as follows (btw I apologize for hijacking his entire article. You should really go back and read his. It’s much more concise. I want to firmly state that the credit of this idea is Deckard’s, not mine):

1. Asset Acquisition

2. Foundational Building

3. The Apex Run

4. Decline and Divestment

Imagine the first three as a pyramid – you can’t build on 2 and 3 without 1. After you’ve reached the apex (championship contention), you get to step four, and you eventually restart on stage 1.

Asset acquisition is rather straight forward. When you don’t have a foundational talent to build around, you dump your veterans in favor of flexibility and draft picks. In essence, you liquidate your assets. You trade present assets for future value, be it in the form of draft picks, prospects or cap space. Indiana did this when they conned Bryan Colangelo into taking Jermaine O’Neal’s bloated contract for cap space and draft picks. They were later able to use that cap flexibility to sign West and extend Paul George. That draft pick gave them Hibbert. Miami also did this, but they elected to take maximum cap space over tangible prospects. They jettisoned Beasley, acquired O’Neal’s huge expiring contract, and went into free agency in 2010 with only Chalmers’ rookie scale contract on the books. The rest was history.

Once you’ve fished around and got yourself a cornerstone, you’re at the foundational building stage. You can make out the outline of your future team. Your cornerstones are front and center, and you concoct a plan to build around them. You’re still interested in maintaining flexibility and draft picks, but you have your blue chippers in hand. You can choose to add a guy to your team that will help out in the long run. Indiana did this by trading Kawhi Leonard for George Hill. OKC tried to do this by grabbing swapping Jeff Green for Kendrick Perkins (remember the West used to be dominated by bruisers like Pau, Bynum and Duncan).

After you’ve developed your cornerstones and your core, you make a couple of runs to the playoffs. You inevitably fail, but you earn valuable experience and tribulations reveal your weaknesses (I might have gotten this in a fortune cookie one time). You enter the market with that valuable cap space and the assets you acquired from earlier stages and you get yourself a “final piece to the puzzle”. You grab a guy like David West to give you an added dimension from the mid-post. You add a Wes Matthews at the right price. You acquire a consistent center in Robin Lopez to help out with Aldridge’s rebounding deficiencies. You grab Ray Allen, Battier and Miller to give Wade and Lebron space to operate. With everything locked in, you enter the playoffs with serious title aspirations. You make a couple of runs – maybe you win it all, or maybe you fall short because Lebron James doesn’t play for your team –  either way you’re at the apex looking out at the NBA’s golden vista. You’re at the zenith. You’re Kanye West looking out from the top of the mountain. It’s time to sip the fountain.

And of course, nothing lasts forever (except San Antonio, apparently). Things eventually fall apart. Cap limitations puts a financial strain on your roster. Battle tested companions break down and opt for change. Age and injuries seep into the joints of your strongholds. When this happens, you cash in your chips and you try to get back to stage 1. Through tearful goodbyes, you trade away your former heroes for future soldiers. You jettison a Jermaine O’Neal for flexibility and prospects. You trade an aging Shaq for more palatable contracts. You bottom out, trade away your veterans and grab a guy like Duncan or Aldridge. You trade away your former cornerstones like Allen and Lewis for draft picks and cap space.

flowThis last step is really fickle because getting a cornerstone is really tough in the NBA. By nature of the game, the impact of one individual player is tremendous as compared to other sports. There’s only 10 guys on the court at one time;  one Durant or Lebron makes a huge difference. Therefore, by virtue of scarcity, there simply aren’t that many true cornerstones. You can’t really “moneyball” your way into grabbing a roster full of undervalued and quality players who combine for the greater sum than the parts. The sum falls short.

Therefore, since the draft has such a high degree of randomness, many teams are trapped in a perpetual stage 4/1. Franchises like Cleveland (post-Lebron), the Bobcats, Kings and sadly, our Raptors, have never truly gotten claws into a franchise player, and so we’re stuck in limbo. It’s a fine line between landing Aldridge versus landing Bargnani, or Durant versus Oden.

And that fine line, like the entirety of the process, is made of two parts – luck and management. You need an incredible amount of fortune to have things go right, and that’s not to be understated, but there’s also managerial guidance. There’s due diligence with scouting. There’s innovative data-crunching from the analytics staff. There’s careful video-combing from your video staff, but most importantly, you need a person atop of the franchise with the correct vision, and the courage and freedom to act upon them.

Yes, OKC could have very easily drafted Oden instead of Durant, and they’d probably not be as strong of title contenders as they are now. But they also had Sam Presti at the helm of the battleship and he was willing to build as he saw fit. He boldly tore down the last gasping ruins of the formerly proud Supersonics and turned them into an opportunity to succeed. He maximized his odds and waited for the turn. Pat Riley did the same in Miami. Gregg Popovich did the same with the 96-97 Spurs.

But in addition to pulling the trigger at the right time, there are also the roads less traveled. There’s Neil Olshey resisting the temptations of trading away Aldridge. There’s Gregg Popovich and RC Buford not hitting the reset button on their aging core after getting bounced in the first round by the Grizzlies. All of this requires stringent, but clairvoyant management. Management is what allows you to move from one stage to the other. Without it, you’re left to your players taking a substantial leap, or you’re trapped.

So how does this pertain to the Raptors? Well it’s up to Masai to discern which stage the Raptors are in. Is Valanciunas/Ross/Johnson/Derozan enough of a core? Is there a cornerstone in that bedrock? If so, perhaps it’s time to move into foundational building and try to retain a player like Lowry. If not, the best move should be to keep fishing for potentially elite talent, either by bottoming out or by trading present values.

And this is not the equivalent of tanking. The goal is to get an elite talent, a cornerstone to build around. Tanking is just one possible way to get one via the draft. I will say nothing of which method is most effective because I really don’t know. Teams have both drafted Lebron, and signed Lebron. Teams have both drafted Harden, and traded Harden. It’s far from cut and dried.

The early returns on Ujiri’s tenure have been promising. He’s already gotten to work on the tear down. He liquidated Bargnani and Gay’s black-hole contracts for smaller, easily digestible parts. He’s also netted some decent prospects and draft picks along the way. By all accounts, he’s executing steps 1/4 to a tee.

But that’s where it gets tough. Almost everyone can tear down an NBA team. While it’s incredible that Ujiri was able to move Gay and Bargnani, let’s not forget that even Bryan Colangelo was able to trade Hedo Turkoglu. The tricky parts are yet to come. Is Ujiri the right man for the job? He might be. I personally can’t get a read on his grand plan based on his time in Denver, but his actions so far have been smart, and representative of that of a smart manager, a necessity when it comes to building team contenders.

Hopefully the Masiah, through his guidance, can lead us to the rarefied promise-land.

  • http://skritch.blogspot.com/ Nathan Ng

    Are you suggesting that we have a parody of parity in the NBA? :)

    • DDayLewis

      Shit. Thanks for pointing it out.

      • webfeat

        Conned not coned. Also, I assume you mean by “acquired the O’Neal’s huge expiring” you meant “acquired O’Neal’s huge expiring contract”.

        • DDayLewis

          Grammar? I hardly know her. Thanks.

  • sleepz

    What do they have in common?

    They all have, all stars or HOF’ers on their teams

    • MalcomX

      Toronto Raptors acquisitions since 1997 include Tracey McGrady, Vince Carter, Mo Peterson, Jose Calderone, Chris Bosh, and Andrea Bargnani and they have an average age similar to the average age of the San Antonio Spurs but none of them still play for the Toronto Raptors. Greg Popovich would have the same number of NBA championship rings with the above Raptor on his team as he’s had with Duncan, Ginobli and Parker et al.

      • Tracy’s Junkyard Vinsanity

        Is this a joke?Theres no guarantee that T-Mac and Vince mesh like Bron and Wade/ Jordan and Pippen. Don’t underestimate Duncan’s greatness he is top 10 all-time IMO . Vince and T-Mac are top 75 at best. Nor Parker/Ginobli , those guys could have much more gaudy stats had they been allowed to play in an up tempo system earlier in their careers.

  • KJ-B

    Very well written William Lou…very well! #Bravo

    About this I couldn’t agree more. Masai has shown his hand–he’s looking to create a team with depth (i.e. quality 9/10 man rotation) that can sustain adversity/injury that is NBA life, season in season out. Here’s where I feel it gets tricky to read.

    My preseason on this forum had the Raptors trading Gay in 2013, Lowry before All Star, DeRozan having a real sniff at becoming an All Star and being near .500 post All Star, then tanking out because of a lack of depth causing injury to key starters (see: 17 Games in January and minutes — they’ll need a Popovich type approach to accept losses and rest starters in the 4th which will skew a lot of boxscores… “Healthy Scratch” anyone on MLSE hoops side?)

    So, here’s how I read the hard to Ujiri. He wants to upgrade at least 7-8 players of his key 9/10 man rotation to become a contender. Obvious players on the move would be Lowry and Johnson–vets on good contracts who will immediately add value to any of the NBA’s other 29 teams. DeRozan, I think stays as one of those 2 core players with Valunciunas.

    Masai, has to evaluate this team and hope to sell high on draft night (which is the only scenario I can see DeRozan being moved for Raps #1 picks in exchange for a top #5 2014 ping pong ball). So, Ujiri is in win/playoff mode right now because his assets are appreciating for him to sell high on draft night and over the summer.

    His challenge is how many of those 7 parts can upgrade and move this year to replace with a long term guy. TRoss, here becomes his most tradeable piece. I can see his rookie contract having serious value in the summer.

    So over the next three trading periods, trade deadline, draft night, offseason I expect an overhaul save for Valunciunas & DeRozan. Next year’s Raptors will look very different than this year’s. Ball out Lowry you gone make a ton in the offseason–just not with the Raps unless they win 2 rounds of the playoffs by an absolute miracle or injuries.

    • Mihkel Bafter

      Your not going to get a top 5 pick in this draft for Derozan or anything on the Raptors for that matter. Just put it to rest.

      • KJ-B

        In the test tube of the blogisphere this might seem accurate. However, a la Pat Riley, “College glory fades fast in the pros.” Remember Anthony Bennett? There are more lottery busts than there are superstars.

        Don’t underestimate DeRozan’s consecutive game streaks, consistent improvement, professionalism and community involvement. I believe Houston Rockets traded Rudy Gay in 2006 for Shane Battier…

        The NBA is not all about marketing, it’s also about production…look again.

        • Dr. Scooby

          I Like DD, but the Raps have barely been average with him as 1st or 2nd option…how much longer do we have to wait for him to be a top dog?

      • Dr. Scooby

        Agreed.

    • jjdynomite

      IMHO TRoss offers a fair bit more value than DD, regardless of the rookie contract vs. 9.5 mil a year:

      – Far better spot up/long distance shooting than DD
      – Greater defensive potential than DD
      – Far less iso-ball stickiness than DD

      When you trade rising players on rookie deals you are very liable to get burned (see: James Harden). Not saying Ross is Harden-like but I’m kind of tired of the slobbering over Presti; this was a HUGE error and even with Perkins manning the paint OKC got smoked by Dallas and Miami and now their championship window is a lot smaller without 3 bona fide All-NBA players on their roster. Other than that, nice piece DanielDayLou.

      • KJ-B

        The only thing consistent about TRoss is his consistency. Think about it as an employer. Woker A) employee shows up day in, day out, shift in, shift out and you basically know what you’re gonna get and is slowly becoming more and more effecient. Worker B) is way more naturally talented but calls in sick, and when they don’t call in sick, very often works as if they’re sick and a couple weeks a year works like a superstar.

        I don’t have to tell you that most employers and the NBA is a business 1st chooser worker A) aka DeMar DeRozan.

        TRoss just doesn’t have much of a track record. Trade him while his stock has a green arrow.

  • Captain_Dog

    Great article William, however, I think 1985-86 Spurs is a typo.

    • DDayLewis

      Good call. Duncan isn’t in his late fourties

  • Mihkel Bafter

    If he decides to build this team with this core, it’ll be very similar to what he did in Denver. Which to point out has resulted in 1st round exits.

    • albertan hoopster

      Yeah, I know. It would be a similar approach. They would have derozen and lowry locked up for a few years, ross and val on rookie deals and picking up amir’s team option. They have no max contracts. It will be interesting to see what happens going forward. I wouldn’t mind seeing them give qualifying offers for Vazquez and Patterson. They probably have to let salmons go at the end of the year. I think they will probably trade Hansbrough and Novak to western conference contenders and get one year contracts and second rounders in return.

    • jimmy

      but thats in the west

    • John Pinsky

      Denver never made it out of the 1st round under Masai’s management because of their up tempo, run n gun playing style. Just look at Nash’s Suns, arguably one of the best up tempo team ever, yet never won a championship. The Raptors are muh closer to Memphis stylistically, and slow paced inside-out teams that play D generally fare pretty welll in the post season (although they dont win as many regular season games as up tempo teams might). What’s more, the Raptors have more players who are still improving, including 2 sophmores who could still make dramatic improvements as they continue to receive consistent PT.

  • albertan hoopster

    Yeah, it’s very interesting and complex for the raps going forward. 2 years from now the raps will be free and clear of some of their more annoying contracts like fields, novac and chuck hayes, whom I all like, but for obvious limitations are not rotation guys. I have no problem having them stay on next year in whatever role they fill, as they are all high character guys.
    Salmons pretty much has to be bought out to save seven mill, as hopefully fields can slide in and do that job next year, health permitting. Ujiri is patient and I think that this team has good building pieces. Cap space, a mid teens pick and a a core of players under the age of 27. With the right pick they could build and be a solid playoff team for years to come.

  • theswirsky

    Its easy to say “this is the cycle” of effective management. Its a whole other thing to do it.

    Its a whole other thing for 1 simple reason – not all assets are of equal value, and even the exact same assets have different values in different locations.

    So Masai is collecting assets? Sure he is – and exactly how valuable are those assets? I can go out and pick up nickels off the street, or beer bottle to return to the beer store and I’m collecting assets. So I must be setting myself up for a good retirement by doing so right? After all I’m collecting assets.
    Ofcourse not. Its about collecting the right assets, valuable assets, and then investing those assets effectively. That is what good management does. That is what elite management does.

    “The goal is to get an elite talent, a cornerstone to build around. I will say nothing of which method is most effective because I really don’t know”

    which is fine, but we do have historic evidence to show exactly where that elite talent is most likely found, and where it is almost always ONLY found for the non-preferred markets in the NBA.
    The value of a high pick is of greater value than the assets on this roster. Its of greater value to Toronto than to a NY or LA.
    Doing things like trading Bargs and Gay weren’t ‘smart’ moves… they were simple moves. They were obvious moves, because they were so stupidly done in the first place
    I know 7 years of Colangelo has disillusioned some of us around here… but not being an self motivated narcassist only concerned about your appearance and ability to network, doesn’t make one smart. So far Masai’s worst moves are the moves he has neglected to make. They are going to be the ones that define the future of this franchise. Decide just how much luck this franchise needs to become a contender.

    • Jamshid

      “So far Masai’s worst moves are the moves he has neglected to make. They are going to be the ones that define the future of this franchise.”

      Nicely Said …

      • calibremc

        You are both trolls

        • Nilanka15

          Ugh, people use the term “troll” faaaaaaaaaaaaaar too loosely.

    • sleepz

      +1.

      Succinct summary of the only argument that means anything, going forward with the Raps.

  • albertan hoopster

    The raps will not get a top five pick for derozen and their mid teens pick. The raps have young guys on cheap contracts. Ross and val could be steals and outplay their rookie deals. Amir is already outplaying his deal and Derozen with a few more strides will maybe outplay his deal. For what it is worth, and looking around the league for starting point guard play, I don’t see too many teams in need of a lowry as a starter. He fits well here and I would not be surprised to see Ujiri resign him for 3 years and 25 mill. I think he’s a good fit.

  • Mexiballer

    Excellent article Lou. Thankfully, at minimum Masai has made Toronto basketball fun again for the fans. We dont where its going but its sure better to enjoy the ride along the way.

  • AB4EYE

    While talking assets, we dropped the ball not playing DJ Augustin he’s got 8 assists and 3 steals off the bench at the break against Memphis, Lowery’s season high is 11 dimes! He’s either going to get his team in the playoffs or they’re going to flip him for a pick all while paying the pro-rated league minimum thanks to our mistake. We’re devaluing Hansbrough the same way when we could have bulit both these players value up with just PT and made them extra valuable assets due to tax friendly contracts.

    But instead we’re going to get next to nothing for them at best all while going the wrong way in the draft.

    • DDayLewis

      Seriously? Nobody wanted Augustin last offseason which is why the Raptors got him at the minimum. Then he stinks up the joint and gets released. Again, nobody even claims the guy. He ends up clearing waivers and signing yet another minimum deal with the Bulls.

      But sure, Masai was supposed to get something for him.

      • AB4EYE

        He had a bad year last year hence the reason we signed him to rehab his value but DC never gave him any PT. So rather than play he we played players even worse with no NBA future and cut DJ letting him go to the Bulls for the pro-rated league minimum.

        He was never even given a real shot here getting just 82 MP and the game DC called on him and he helped win us a game in the 4th he played just 4:25 before we cut him. that just dumping on a potential assets.

        In his 9 games with the Bulls he’s putting up 10.4 PPG and 6.2 if they fall out of the race and call it quits they can flip his pro-rated league min contract for a 2nd rounder or a young player with no problem what so ever.

        DJ is getting a PER36 rate of 7.3 assists per game with the Bulls, everyone here wants to extend Kyle Lowry and he’s at 7.1 a PER36 this year.

        • DDayLewis

          Suppose all of this is true, and DJA is actually a good point guard who didn’t get a fair shot as you described, how does that change the market for him? The market was clear: twice he was passed over for next to nothing, and yet you chide Ujiri for not getting something in exchange for him.

          • AB4EYE

            He signed here because he expected to get PT to rehab his value and go back for a NBA starting job!

            Its he same reason Tyler came here so and either they both were lied to by MU or DC is screwing the GM’s chances to signing guys in the future to pillow contracts because agents take notice of these type of issues and will send their guys to better situations in the US.

            Nobody is going to claim him on waivers if that’s what you’re talking about getting passed over twice since they would then have to pay him all the money rather than get him for the pro-rated league minimum as a FA.

            • DDayLewis

              You’re kidding. So you think DJA was dictating terms? No, Augustin had almost no leverage. Nobody takes 1.3 million for one year at age 26 unless that’s the best offer on the table.

              And this all doesn’t include the fact that DJ Augustin was ridiculously horrible in his short tenure as a Raptor. You seem to like per 36 stats, so here’s his from his time as a Raptor: 9.2 points, 4.4 assists on 29 FG% on 4.0 turnovers. That’s horrendous. Did Casey screw him by yanking his minutes, or did Casey yank his minutes because he made people’s eyes bleed? Based on how bad he was, both by the eye test and the stats, it’s probably the latter.

              And Masai/Casey lied to Hansbrough? How do you know that? Hansbrough is like Augustin; he signed the highest offer sheet. It’s not like he was “promised minutes so he took a paycut”. And come on, Hansbrough is already getting minutes. Sure, he’s lost some of his minutes to Patterson of late, but was he really going to get 30+ MPG playing behind Amir and Jonas, who the franchise actually values? Maybe Hansbrough doesn’t play because he kinda sucks at everything outside of rebounding and drawing free throws? Those are important, don’t get me wrong, but his contributions are negated by his clogging of the paint, inability to pass, inability to stay out of foul trouble. his inability to finish around the rim, his lack of height on defense, etc. I’m not slagging the guy – he’s a decent 3/4th big off the bench – but anything more than that is stretching it.

              Okay, let’s say we put Amir Johnson on waivers. Someone would definitely scoop him up because he’s too valuable to risk not claiming, and signing outright. If anyone really wanted Augustin, they’d literally be on the hook for just 500K over the vet-minimum, but nobody even wanted to pay that for securing him. It’s a pretty clear indication that the market for Augustin was basically nothing.

              • AB4EYE

                He could have easily got the same deal elsewhere he was looking for PT, same with Tyler who walked away from 4+ million and a winning team to search for PT.

                Most NBA players are going to have bad stats over 82 MP spread over 10 games, by the time you work up a sweat its time to come out but he still passed the ball better than the 2 other guys who got his PT and all DC ever preached was moving the ball.

                Amir would get claimed by a bad team who if far under the tax but no good team could claim him because it would cost them too much in tax. But nobody is putting guys with favorable contracts on waivers while they are playing the best they ever have in their career so the point isn’t even valid.

                The Bulls are big time Tax payers so what is better for them to claim DJ and pay far more money in LT or let us pay the most of his contract and save a a couple million off their steep tax bill?

                • DDayLewis

                  That’s pure speculation on your part. The market for Augustin has repeatedly shown that no team is really even willing to offer him the bi-annual exception. And when did Hansbrough get offered 4+ million? Do you have a source?

                  Yes, but few players perform as horribly as Augustin did in his tenure. He put up -0.108 WS/48 while he was here. Here’s a list of players who have played less than 100 minutes this season, as sorted by WS/48. Augustin would have ranked 52nd, inbetween Lance Thomas (WHO?) and Erik Murphy (doesn’t he write here?). http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=single&per_minute_base=36&type=advanced&lg_id=NBA&is_playoffs=N&year_min=2014&year_max=2014&franch_id=&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=99&height_min=0&height_max=99&birth_country_is=Y&birth_country=&is_active=&is_hof=&is_as=&as_comp=gt&as_val=&pos_is_g=Y&pos_is_gf=Y&pos_is_f=Y&pos_is_fg=Y&pos_is_fc=Y&pos_is_c=Y&pos_is_cf=Y&qual=&c1stat=mp&c1comp=lt&c1val=100&c2stat=&c2comp=gt&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&c5stat=&c5comp=gt&c6mult=1.0&c6stat=&order_by=ws_per_48

                  No, my point is that valuable players would get claimed on waivers. If a player isn’t claimed, it’s either because his contract is unpalatable, or he’s just fucking dogshit, which is what Augustin was.

                  Sure, so why didn’t a team under the tax, but with point guard needs claim Augustin? Warriors, OKC, Pistons, they all need a little backup PG help and they’re all below the tax (save for Warriors who are a bit over, but they’d face a minimal tax). It all goes to show that the market for Augustin’s services was near zero.

                • AB4EYE

                  How you ever heard of he tern :”Pillow Contract” players who are looking for more money long term will take a lower one year deal to go to a place to get PT reestablish ones value to go back on the market and get a better long term deal.

                  You have be foolish to think a player who was 25 at the time he signed and was drafted 9th overall and has started in the league with two 6+ assist per games seasons would only have our offer on the table. Its clear as day he came here to get PT as we had no establish backup PG and the starter was expected to get traded.

                  He was bad here but he got no real run, he’s getting run with the Bulls and putting up big time assist numbers despite the 2 best Bulls players not there to make the shots.

                  Hansbrough was a restricted FA he had a 4.1M QO all he had to was sign it to go back to the Pacers, he asked them to rescind his offer so he could explore getting a bigger role since he wasn’t happy with the Pacers and a many teams in the NBA don’t bother talking to restricted FA because all the time the take working out a deal can be wasted if the old team matches.

                  Valuable players if they had good contracts would get claimed but nobody it waving those players. If you want a guy who does get released it does you no good claiming him when you can wait and get him cheaper.

                  OKC didn’t need a PG when DJ was let go. The Piston have Will Bynun who puts up big PER36 numbers and the the Warriors are close to the tax so claiming DJ would killed any flexibility they would have come the deadline and with Curry getting so much PT why would they burn that room on that spot?

                  DJ coming here cheap and clearing waivers doesn’t mean teams don’t want him. The Bulls right now could trade him for a pick and several teams would want him since they could get him for next to nothing. But he’s playing a big part of them staying in the playoff hunt getting 10 and 6 off their bench.

    • TheSpiceTyrant

      Maybe… But there must be something more than not just giving DJ a chance. It was his # called at the beginning of the year but very quickly fell out of the rotation.

      When someone his experience gets the yank that fast, I get the vibe that something else is going on. Remember what the Masiah has preached : chemistry. That works both on and off the court, in and out of games.

      My guess is that he couldn’t be the player Casey wanted him to be or he didn’t like the fact that he was one of 14 PGs on the team. I’m speculating that it wasn’t just his game that resulted in him being dropped from the team.

      • AB4EYE

        His number was never really called he got 82 MP here which is 15th on the team. Julyan Stone has picked up 6 more MP than DJ had and Buycks 39 more but both have the same amount of assists with the team.

        This will shock most people but DJ is 10 months YOUNGER than Greivis Vasquez! With his contract playing DJ around 20 a night could have got us a late round pick or a 2nd rounder but we played guys with no NBA future and paid DJ to go to the Bulls and maybe keep us out of the playoffs while not have a bad enough year to get a elite draft pick.

        We are totally blowing our future this season, and is why I harp on it but many are too blind to see it or just would rather ignore it.

        We disrespect all our FA giving them less PT than they expected, Tyler and DJ both could have been given big PT and usage and flipped to get better longtime and now we’re winning enough our pick is going to suck and we also may not sell out off players like Lowry who could help us get better and we devalued assets like DJ and Tyler to levels worse than when they come here.

        The East isn’t always going to be this bad and we’re not making moves and playing time decisions to make this franchise better long term since the season started.

        People can down vote and roll their eyes all they want now but when this team still sucks in 3 years and the East is back to non-historic levels and no FA will sign here unless its an total overpay and we still can draw any star power then people will know my harping on these subjects were 100% justified.

        • cd hall

          WOW WOW the Raps don’t need MU they should just hire YOU!!!!!
          I’ll bet you would have signed for less then 1M—–wouldn’t you have? Boy did they miss the boat with YOU!!!

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  • FREEJV

    If you think about it ,other than Bargnani, Colangelo did a pretty good job of drafting from where the team was positioned. 2008: Hibbert 2009: Derozan 2010: Ed Davis 2011: Jonas 2012: Tross. but then again his biggest screwups were his free agent signings and his trades.

    • TheSpiceTyrant

      A pattern of trade/keep/trade/keep. That Oneal trade was a bad sign.

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  • Bendit

    You said/wrote it well. “Tanking” is really such a crude word.

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