I try to be polite once in a while, what can I say :p
Calls for tanking courtesy of Blair at the Globe and Mail:
DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay and the one useful piece left by former GM Bryan Colangelo – Jonas Valanciunas – aren’t going to grow anything for the Raptors; an eighth- or seventh-place finish and first-round playoff exit won’t grow this team past the 905 area code.
There is precious little to attract the next generation of basketball fans inside or outside of Toronto to the Raptors.
It is pie in the sky to dream of Toronto as being a destination for NBA free agents, especially when this generation of stars thinks nothing about taking less money to hook up with another star and go for a title. When you can’t appeal to an athlete’s greed, you’re screwed. So teams like the Raptors need to build through the draft, and for many it will seem a no-brainer Ujiri’s priority ought to be throwing away the 2013-14 season for a shot at Wiggins.
He seems to forget #2 and #3 are lottery determined as well.Quote:
There are other issues, too. Even finishing last doesn’t guarantee the lottery coming out in your favour – although early indications are the 2014 draft is deep enough that a club can make out just fine with the Nos. 2 or 3 pick. Trading up is a possibility, providing a team has future draft picks and young, cost-effective players.
For the Raptors, a strategic kissing away of the 2013-14 season at least gets them in the conversation. Call it “tanking” if you want; there are those of us who see it as being the exact opposite.
Better to aim high for Andrew Wiggins and fail, than to settle for Rudy Gay.
Time for more Air Canada and less Err Canada. And if that sounds too cynical, you can thank Bryan Colangelo.
It is also evident he doesn't follow much ball if he thinks trading up is simple.
Finally, giving up future picks and young cost effective players is the exact opposite of tanking. It is a great way to get stuck on the treadmill with a superstar talent - just as Minnesota (Garnett) or even Cleveland (LeBron) or thinking back 5 years Toronto (Bosh) all showed.
Moving up by using future picks and cost effective players, isn't the opposite of tanking (maybe rebuilding is the better term here) atleast not if you have additional ones.
So for the Raps, with few players on good contracts and only their own future picks in hand, trading those away to move up may not be a smart move. But it the Raptors could move Gay or Lowry or whoever for those types of assets, those assets could then be packaged while attempting to move up, while not giving up Toronto's existing future assets.
(Hypothetical on its way) The Raps land 7th in the lottery, while a Gay trade had landed the team the 12th pick, and the number 3 or 4 team would trade that pick for 7 and 12, I think thats a quick no brainer deal. Atleast next year.
There are all sorts of extenuating circumstances that could come in to play.... none of which make a simple situation.
But you are right, he did not say it was simple. He said it was a possibility in a very nonchalant manner.
Blair's point is, putting yourself in the best position possible to obtain the talent necessary in the NBA. It has nothing to do with ease or simplicity.
"Even finishing last doesn’t guarantee the lottery coming out in your favour – although early indications are the 2014 draft is deep enough that a club can make out just fine with the Nos. 2 or 3 pick. Trading up is a possibility, providing a team has future draft picks and young, cost-effective players."
So, tank and get the first, second or third pick in next years draft, unless you wind up with the 6th, 7th, or 8th pick because of a bad ping pong ball. And you will have traded away " future draft picks and young, cost-effective players" of which the Raptors only have JV and future draft picks.
He is advocating tanking because tanking "at least gets them in the conversation." And what conversation is that? The one where, after two years of lousy bball, they commiserate with themselves about their bad luck in the draft and how their draft picks didn't work out?
Very easy to advocate tanking and then wave the magic wand of maybe getting a franchise talent as the justification. A lot harder to accomplish. People can always point to one or two teams for whom a run of bad years are accompanied by getting lucky in the lottery and picking high, and then also getting lucky by having those picks turn into franchise players. But it is easy to do so in hindsight. Much harder to make that kind of a run of luck happen.
Blair's piece looks like a throw away article anyone posting on this forum could have written:
"The Raptors suck and are going to continue to suck unless they get better. They only have one good player. Free agents won't come here even if you give them a lot of money. The Raptors should just tank, and then get a high lottery pick. And if they don't get a high lottery pick through tanking, just trade up and get one. They just have to trade away young cost effective players and future picks to trade up. And if getting a high lottery pick doesn't work out, so what...at least they tried."
Summarized. Effectively nothing there.
I get what Blair's point is. My point, in response to his, is tanking to get a high pick and then sending out other valuable pieces plus your own pick JUST TO MOVE UP is counterproductive. It is that type of mentality that ignited the team up with your buddies movement to win.
Exactly how do you intend to build a contender - even with a franchise talent - if you have sent out future draft picks and young, productive assets? To make this more specific to the Raptors, how do you do this when your current assets are overpaid, injured, flawed, or a combination of all three while you have no financial flexibility to perform financially motivated trades?
All star players come along at different positions in the draft. The Raptors have managed to have Carter, McGrady and Bosh, who came from the 4, 9 and 4 picks. Two of those players were near franchise talent.
I believe it makes more sense to trade up to those positions in any given draft than to count on getting higher positions in the lottery through tanking. A good management team should be able to achieve financial flexibility, cap space, and acquire resources that allow trading up. A great scouting team should be able to identify future picks with potential. Both of those strategies do not require blowing anything up and also allow the team to strive for respectability in the near term.
I think that this is what Masai intends to do. Look for advantageous trades. Work to see the team improve incrementally. Look for players whose value has dropped or who have been overlooked and them sign them to provide depth and trade chips in the future. 2014 is not the only year which will include all star players. I don't think the Raptors need to put all their money on 2014.
How do you trade up to those positions in the draft? What are these advantageous trades? Where does this team improve incrementally? Who are the players whose value will drop and are overlooked?
What your saying is a bunch of unforeseeable events can take place if management is good, we just don't know what they are or will be. But somehow its tanking that is 'waving a wand', 'lucky', 'unpredictable', 'easy' or whatever term one wants to use.
To re-word one of your quotes below:
The debate isn't whats guaranteed, whats lucky, what will or won't happen. Its whats the best opportunity to success. Feel free to disagree, but don't turn the argument into something its not. That was the point in my response.Quote:
Its very easy to advocate not tanking and then claim because 'a bunch of other stuff can happen' as justification. Alot harder to accomplish.
Just this week we witnessed the top 2 ranked players in the draft go around the 7th pick. You never know what happens during the NCAA season, so why join a race that you can't win? Try to win, create assets and then with a real scouting staff trade for a talent.
I think tanking is a terrible idea.
When the rest of the league zigs, we gotta zag.
:D We can agree to disagree. I think that tanking puts your fate in the hands of chance...you might call it taking a calculated risk. Taking the other route, where you work hard to improve your assets, try to manage smart, get through the next couple of years trying to win and shedding the bad contracts and drafting smart so you DO have assets when it is time to make a push just seems like you are taking more control of your future. Of course it isn't guaranteed either, but I think the basketball will be more enjoyable to watch.
I am getting tired of turning off the TV set in disgust, though I have had more fun the last couple of years than the two before them.
Tanking is a relatively knowable risk in that you have a good idea of what you're tanking for: a prized rookie contract (or more than one) that has intrinsic value around the league and where you have a reasonably good, albeit imperfect, idea of what the player's level is. It's frankly a lot more certain than assuming inherent player improvement, which is what the anti-tank faction seems to be asserting will happen.
A lot of top five picks paid off for their teams. But the Raps have had two #4 picks that paid off for a while then left the franchise in worse shape then before. So much for knowable risk. But if I am working with a guy every day, and that guy is putting in the work, I know that guy is going to get better. And if he is unwilling to work, I'm trading his ass and finding someone who is willing to buy in and commit.