We have been crap for several years now, unfortunately, this does not mean that the "rebuild" plan began several years back. If you look at the trade that fell through (Chandler, Diaw) it was apparent that the management was not in full rebuild mode. This was the first year that Colangelo admitted to being in rebuild mode... last year he called it something different, I think "retooling".
Can we pause to put some things in perspective?
For the life of me, I just can't understand all the warmongering and gnashing of teeth about "scrapping the plan after 1 year." For starters, don't give me this bull about "we've only been rebuilding for 1 year." We have been crap and we have been accumulating the according dividends of crappyness for several years now.
Where did JJ and Amir come from? TRADES. One was even acquired for a first round draft pick. I recognize that making moves is imperative (and Colangelo is no slouch in this department); however, more important than this is timing... knowing when to hold them and when to fold them.
Secondly, what is meant by scrapping the plan?? As Chisholm notes (in a fantastic article btw -- thanks Matt) you HAVE to make a move at some point, you just have to. There is no such thing as a purely sedentary team that just accumulates lottery pick after lottery pick indefinitely until it all of a sudden jumps from the slum of the league to the conference title. There is a middle ground, and unless you are the Miami Heat or the Boston Celtics you MUST traverse it. Hence acquiring a significant upgrade in talent by leveraging something other than, or in addition to, talent (its worth noting, anecdotally, that there is a reason why BC is always so damn smug when he talks about his flexibility this off-season, and the assets he has to work with -- guess what? They're one and the same thing. As nice as it is to think of JJ and Amir as significant assets, they really aren't; it's our ability to eat up salary that is currently most valuable to other teams - read: Memphis.)
Although very limited, our success and excitement has come from the draft (Camby, Stoudamire, Carter, McGrady, Bosh) and not from "big" free agent signings (Turk - and yes he was the big fish that summer) or trades (Hibbert gone for ONeal, Carter for scraps, etc.). I realize this is an over-simplified view of the Raps history and it's absolutely necessary to have trades, drafts, and free agent signings to build a contender. As well, the fan in me would love to see the Raps make trades and put together a fun team next year.. just like the year Colangelo came in and restructured this team in one year to get us into the playoffs; however, that didn't last long and I don't see a San Antonio Spurs type of dynasty beginning with trading away a very valuable pick for a player of Rudy Gay's skill level. If Lillard happens to be sitting at the 8th pick and we have traded it away, I think we will have regretted it by the time JV, our franchise player, is a major contributor.
Does improving to an average or above average team with the acquisition of Gay (I'll leave it at just Gay for the sake of argument - needless to say though, his acquisition certainly doesn't preclude more moves) mean we are doomed to mediocrity? I certainly don't think so. First, each of our core players has room to improve over the next few years, second, our draft picks aren't going anywhere, so if we are in fact middle of the pack and not superb next year, we still get a reasonable asset - some of you are making it out to sound like we're creating a self-imposed life long ban on drafting by trading ONE draft pick. Third, while we won't have tons of money to sign people next year (not that we'd have tons if we stayed the course either, things get interesting for everyone next year cap-wise) we'll have enough (e.g. MLE), but more importantly, we'll have a team worth coming to. No one wants to sign with a team gunning for their 7th consecutive lottery pick.
Ultimately, right now we have a chance to leverage a temporary asset for something real and significant, partly due to our circumstances and partly due to Memphis'. If we let this pass, I think we'll find ourselves in a much worse position, not just in the short term, but the long term as well.
To those of you wanting to "stay the course": what is the course? Not just in method, but in result. What do you realistically see for this team's future if it doesn't make a move this summer? Personally, I see something like the Kings or Wolves, with a little more discipline and a little less talent, and it doesn't look pretty.