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Thread: Changing Circumstances: A Tanking Argument

  1. #41
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    Quote p00ka wrote: View Post
    I didn't shit on him. I said he makes mistakes too, in reference to your reverence of him, period.
    I don't think it's fair to call the Harden trade a mistake, because Presti knew perfectly well that he was gambling. He was specifically gambling that Harden had already hit his ceiling and that given more minutes would not turn into a superstar, and that he would get an equivalent return on Jeremy Lamb, our pick which became Steven Martin, and the Dallas pick OKC has forthcoming.

    His return on the trade wasn't bad at all - Kevin Martin was a major factor in getting the team the #1 seed, Lamb shows signs of being a legit sixth man option or even a starting SG, Martin is impressing in summer league and hopefully will replace Kendrick Perkins in the long term, and the Dallas pick might show up as soon as this year if Dallas makes a good run (which they most likely won't, granted). So not the BEST payout, but far from a bad one.

    And both Durant and Westbrook got better because they got the opportunity to use the looks which Harden was taking and they made the most of them, so there's a reasonable argument that Harden was superfluous on OKC because he excelled in Houston as the primary option who got the most looks, and as good as Harden is, he's not the primary option when you have Kevin Durant and never will be because Durant is simply better than Harden is.

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    Quote Mediumcore wrote: View Post
    "Get back to where we are today"? We're a 34 win team, where exactly is that?
    Every time I read this "34 win team" thing, I do a big *head shake*. That's what happened last year, not where the team sits right now. There are so many reasons why this should be a better team, and different than the one that struggled through last year, that I can't imagine people ignoring them.

    I'm not going to attempt to point them all out, but one of the big things tankers speak of is the need to develop young players, and have them grow together. There's development, and growth to be expected all over this team, and leaving it exactly as is (pending moves by Ujiri) makes it not the same team it was last year. Not comparing teams or specific talents, but as an example of what I speak of, in KDs 2nd year and Westbrook's 1st, OKC was a 23 win team. Were they a 23 win team the following year? No, they won 50 games.

    Do I suggest the Raps can make a similar leap? No, I'm saying the team coming into next season is not the team that started last season, for many reasons, including the development of our young players.

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    Quote magoon wrote: View Post
    I don't think it's fair to call the Harden trade a mistake, because Presti knew perfectly well that he was gambling. He was specifically gambling that Harden had already hit his ceiling and that given more minutes would not turn into a superstar, and that he would get an equivalent return on Jeremy Lamb, our pick which became Steven Martin, and the Dallas pick OKC has forthcoming.

    His return on the trade wasn't bad at all - Kevin Martin was a major factor in getting the team the #1 seed, Lamb shows signs of being a legit sixth man option or even a starting SG, Martin is impressing in summer league and hopefully will replace Kendrick Perkins in the long term, and the Dallas pick might show up as soon as this year if Dallas makes a good run (which they most likely won't, granted). So not the BEST payout, but far from a bad one.

    And both Durant and Westbrook got better because they got the opportunity to use the looks which Harden was taking and they made the most of them, so there's a reasonable argument that Harden was superfluous on OKC because he excelled in Houston as the primary option who got the most looks, and as good as Harden is, he's not the primary option when you have Kevin Durant and never will be because Durant is simply better than Harden is.
    IMO, you need to get past this belief that you know what's in the minds and hearts of people you only know through the media.

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  6. #44
    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    The recent signing suggests that they're not tanking.

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    Quote Apollo wrote: View Post
    The recent signing suggests that they're not tanking.
    Nope. And a press conference is not usual for a player they are looking to ship out:


    "You donít know the Bruno Caboclo......"
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    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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    I don't think we'll know whether the Raptors are tanking or not until the Bynum situation gets resolved. If Cleveland misses out on Bynum, they will have to spend that money on someone, and a near all star who fits a position of need and is relatively available fits the bill. That man is Rudy Gay. If Cleveland makes a push for Gay, they have young assets than will set the Raps up nicely for the future (TT), draft picks, and the ability to absorb the majority of Gay's salary without sending much back.

    Trading Gay wouldn't be an all out tank, but would probably guarantee we aren't good enough to make the playoffs. That would free us up to move someone like Amir or Derozan to a contender around the all star break to really kick the tank into gear (most tank jobs don't start until after the all star break). Alternatively, if Gay starts the season white hot then he will become much more attractive to other teams and we could get an improved return for him around the all star break. We can try our best with the current lineup, but if it returns as expected, a .500 ish record, then we could ship older guys to contenders before the trade deadline and make the second half of the season developmental (aka tank job).

    So to sum things up, we won't know for sure if we're tanking or not until after the trade deadline, because there will still be plenty of games left to lose and a bigger market for our players.

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  10. #47
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    Quote magoon wrote: View Post
    I don't think it's fair to call the Harden trade a mistake, because Presti knew perfectly well that he was gambling. He was specifically gambling that Harden had already hit his ceiling and that given more minutes would not turn into a superstar, and that he would get an equivalent return on Jeremy Lamb, our pick which became Steven Martin, and the Dallas pick OKC has forthcoming.
    I don't think that's what happened at all.

    I think the owners told him they're not willing to spend money on 3 max players and go into luxury and they're also not willing to amnesty Kendrick just to get under the tax because to them it's still money lost.

    Presti had the option of waiting to trade Harden but figured that was the best offer he could get. I don't blame Presti, I blame people who buy sports teams actually wanting to make money. Treat it like the Russians and use it as a fantasy team people.

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  12. #48
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    OKC's owner was cheap, and Presti traded Harden at the wrong time. If he waited until this summer, OKC may have had a better run last season with Harden, and they could have gotten the 2013 #1 pick (Cavs were willing to move it for Love for example).

    I am so glad the Raptors are not a small-market team.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote planetmars wrote: View Post
    OKC's owner was cheap, and Presti traded Harden at the wrong time. If he waited until this summer, OKC may have had a better run last season with Harden, and they could have gotten the 2013 #1 pick (Cavs were willing to move it for Love for example).

    I am so glad the Raptors are not a small-market team.
    Don't forget he would have been a RFA this summer meaning to sign some place he would have to agree to the extension.

    Presti made the choice to have control over the returns he received and ensured the team did not face the luxury tax (if Presti had matched any deal he was unable to trade Harden for one year without his consent).

    It is not an easy game to be a GM.
    "You donít know the Bruno Caboclo......"
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    Basketball has clear winners every night --
    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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    Quote p00ka wrote: View Post
    I'm not going to attempt to point them all out, but one of the big things tankers speak of is the need to develop young players, and have them grow together. There's development, and growth to be expected all over this team, and leaving it exactly as is (pending moves by Ujiri) makes it not the same team it was last year. Not comparing teams or specific talents, but as an example of what I speak of, in KDs 2nd year and Westbrook's 1st, OKC was a 23 win team. Were they a 23 win team the following year? No, they won 50 games.
    Yeah, but there you're talking about two young players who were primary options going from their first and second seasons to their second and third, Durant having played about 5500 minutes and Westbrook having played about 2500. Plus they also had Serge Ibaka and James Harden both have excellent rookie seasons, and that made a bigger difference than their respective improvements.

    We've only got one young player who's a primary option at an early stage in his development (Jonas). Otherwise, we have DeMar (going from fourth season to fifth season, having already played nearly 10,000 minutes), Rudy (seventh season to eighth season, over 18,000 minutes), and Kyle (seventh season to eighth season, over 10,000 minutes). At a certain point, a player is who he is and further dramatic improvements become unlikely (not impossible, but unlikely). And we don't have any new, amazing players coming in (Julyan Stone and Tyler Hansbrough do not count).

    Your theory just seems very unlikely on its face. I agree this team will be better than last year, because Bargnani effectively crippled the team for most of his play time. But even without Bargnani, this was a .500 team at best, and a .500 team at best is barely a playoff contender.

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    Quote Apollo wrote: View Post
    The recent signing suggests that they're not tanking.
    The Psycho T signing - even though I hate him - is a classic Ujiri move. Hansbrough's PER and advanced metrics are excellent and he's a hustle player. Either you get a good player if you need him, or you have a cheap piece who can be moved later in the season for a team looking for additional bench strength (say a second-rounder or two), which means you're effectively converting salary into draft picks. It's a win-win scenario.

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    Quote Apollo wrote: View Post
    The recent signing suggests that they're not tanking.
    I wouldn't go that far. It's a small money deal on a very short term, for a player who will likely be somewhere between 7-10 in the rotation.

    Since it's a team option for the second year, you can pitch it as an expiring contract in any of the next two seasons if you wanted to include it in a trade.

    I can see Hansbrough being valuable if they choose to gun for the playoffs... But I could also see him being used as a warm body if they strip the roster down before the trade deadline and "tank". I don't think you can take anything definitively away from the signing either way.

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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    Don't forget he would have been a RFA this summer meaning to sign some place he would have to agree to the extension.

    Presti made the choice to have control over the returns he received and ensured the team did not face the luxury tax (if Presti had matched any deal he was unable to trade Harden for one year without his consent).

    It is not an easy game to be a GM.
    and

    I don't think that's what happened at all.

    I think the owners told him they're not willing to spend money on 3 max players and go into luxury and they're also not willing to amnesty Kendrick just to get under the tax because to them it's still money lost.

    Presti had the option of waiting to trade Harden but figured that was the best offer he could get
    I think these are much closer to the truth than anything else.

    From the Grantland article:

    Keeping Harden on a deal just a bit below the max ó the Thunder's ceiling ó and sticking with Kendrick Perkins would have meant total payroll and tax bills between $100 million and $110 million in both 2013-14 and the following season under the stepped-up tax rates. That is a steep price to pay for a small-market club that makes only $15 million from its local television deal and may receive little help, if any at all, from the league's new revenue-sharing system.4 Small-market teams have paid hefty tax bills before during championship windows, but the Thunder's tax bill going forward would likely have been the largest in history for a team outside the New York/Prokhorov/Lakers/Mavericks/Blazers heli-skiing crew.
    In regards to amnestying Perkins:

    Just sign Harden and amnesty Perkins after this season! That was a viable alternative, but the Thunder payroll in 2013-14 and the next season would still have come in about $5 million over the tax line (at least), and they would have had to pay Perkins's full salary. The total bill would have been in the $90-95 million range, still a huge cost. And just as important: The Thunder, even in this scenario, would have had zero flexibility in signing players

    Waiting the season out on the deal:

    But there are problems with these scenarios. Suitors wanted Harden before the Halloween contract extension deadline so they could lock him up immediately rather than wasting valuable days in July waiting for restricted free agency to play out. Keeping Harden into next season would mean hefty tax payments for that season, since even dealing Harden for an expiring contract would leave that expiring deal on Oklahoma City's 2013-14 cap sheet. That would amount to putting off the same cost-cutting choice by a year, while in the meantime suffering potential losses and continued turmoil about the team's future. Harden's value probably wouldn't have fallen much over time, but Presti looked at all the variables and decided to act now.
    On trading Ibaka instead:

    the Thunder have taken a risk in dealing a proven All-Star-level player and betting on Ibaka developing into that kind of player. But it's an understandable one, given the skill overlap between Durant, Westbrook, and Harden, and the fact that none of those three is a proven plus perimeter defender at this point.
    and

    Harden is a very good shooter, but his best skill is ballhandling and playmaking on the pick-and-roll, and he was never going to be able to use that skill to the optimal degree on the same team as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook

    And according to Simmons (a different article) apparently Harden's agent stood firm on a 60 mil for 4 years deal, while Presti wanted a 53 for 4 years with no trade kicker. They couldn't offer him the 'franchise player' max (ie. a 5 year deal) because they already gave that to Westbrook (who did indeed receive the max that was available to him. Only Durant and Ibaka took 'discounts' to what they could have gotten.)

    As far as I'm concerned the entire deal was a very savy move by Presti given the circumstances. I'd bet in a perfect world he had NO interest in moving Harden. But sometimes being too good at your job comes with its own consequences, this one happened to be drafting 4 studs in 3 years.

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    If you haven't already, read Eric Koreen's recent article about the Raptor's situation and whether they should tank or not. We all love giving the example of the Thunder as a successful team through the draft but people forget other teams (see: Kings) who have not been so successful.

    Since 2007, the Sacramento Kings have picked 10th, 12th, fourth, fifth, seventh, fifth and seventh overall. Of those picks, Spencer Hawes, Tyreke Evans and Thomas Robinson have already been traded, while DeMarcus Cousins and Jimmer Fredette (acquired in a draft-day trade) are on the roster but very flawed.
    Here is the link to the article: http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/...pick-a-future/
    Don't follow me. @AngryRaptorsFan

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    The Kings were owned until very recently by the absolute worst owners in the NBA who refused to pay for front office talent of any kind; they're not the best example of how to do anything, really. It's not surprising that the moment the Maloofs left, Sacramento's front office started making much better deals.

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    Quote AngryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    If you haven't already, read Eric Koreen's recent article about the Raptor's situation and whether they should tank or not. We all love giving the example of the Thunder as a successful team through the draft but people forget other teams (see: Kings) who have not been so successful.



    Here is the link to the article: http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/...pick-a-future/
    Nobody is forgetting them. Tanking and failing in the draft is always a risk, but so is trying to win or just make the playoffs and failing (see Raptors for 4 of the past 5 years), so is making big time trades and failing (see Raptors), or making big FA signings and failing (see Raptors again).

    Every form of success is based on good management decisions. You don't have that, it won't matter what you do.

    As Magoon notes, Sacramento has been one of the most ridiculous run franchises in the past half decade. Ownership has had zero interest in doing anything other than trying to set the team up for a position to dump the franchise.

  22. #58
    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Default Improving the on court product is not tanking

    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    Nope. And a press conference is not usual for a player they are looking to ship out:


    Thanks for posting Matt.

    Quote magoon wrote: View Post
    The Psycho T signing - even though I hate him - is a classic Ujiri move. Hansbrough's PER and advanced metrics are excellent and he's a hustle player. Either you get a good player if you need him, or you have a cheap piece who can be moved later in the season for a team looking for additional bench strength (say a second-rounder or two), which means you're effectively converting salary into draft picks. It's a win-win scenario.
    I know what he is and I have an idea of what he can be as an asset but what does this have to do with tanking?

    Quote magoon wrote: View Post
    The Kings were owned until very recently by the absolute worst owners in the NBA who refused to pay for front office talent of any kind; they're not the best example of how to do anything, really. It's not surprising that the moment the Maloofs left, Sacramento's front office started making much better deals.
    That Kings organization was noted as one of the very best in the league for half of the last decade. They had some reasonable success in the very competitive and dominate west. Then their window closed and they chose to demolish and start over from the ground up, to tank year over year. It's not surprising to hear advocates of tanking rub our faces in the few cases where a team has made it work(albeit not achieve the objective of all 30 teams) while denouncing the multitude of examples of where it hasn't worked.

    Quote Fully wrote: View Post
    I wouldn't go that far. It's a small money deal on a very short term, for a player who will likely be somewhere between 7-10 in the rotation.

    Since it's a team option for the second year, you can pitch it as an expiring contract in any of the next two seasons if you wanted to include it in a trade.

    I can see Hansbrough being valuable if they choose to gun for the playoffs... But I could also see him being used as a warm body if they strip the roster down before the trade deadline and "tank". I don't think you can take anything definitively away from the signing either way.
    They removed a player who's play was counter to winning and they added a few guys who fill needs, who improve the 34 win team right now. Right now they have a team that should win at least 34 games. I will go that far, they're not tanking based on what's happened so far.

    To fan tank lobbyists everywhere: Thanks but no tanks.


    One more point. Refusing to compromise does not mean they can't/won't trade into the lottery to get the guy they want. I realize people are going to say that it's not possible because that's what they see on TV but TV and reality are two different things. We should have learned that just by watching the 2013 draft night play out. The Raptors will have a pick in the teens and future pick(s), plus assets and so they may have enough to capitalize on a team looking to trade down; not every team in the 2014 lotto will be happy about being in the lotto due to various reasons(ie: job security, timing, misalignment to current plan, etc.)

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    just listened to weltman on the radio and what he said was pretty clear;

    -first we are going to have to get a real offer of some magnitude to trade dd or gay

    -second our strategy going forward will be to go into the season and see if our core holds enough promise to hold on to and continue to grow before we will tear it down completely

    -lastly(as far as this is concerned...) we are working on some trades right now to improve the team and what we do as far as signings/direction will depend on what we can get done in that regard

    tanking is just a word that i think is missing the point as far as what we are going to do,each player is going to be evaluated by the new management before we decide what to do with them. tanking is an all encompassing concept that implies we are going to just throw in the towel and get rid of all our players for whatever we can get and that will just never happen.

    if we play well and the core shows promise (which implies that MU is not convinced that it does at this point...) then getting the first pick is out of the question and this group will be held together...simple as that, we wont try to lose the games on purpose, thats just not the way it works at this level

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    Quote aaron.in.toronto wrote: View Post
    just listened to weltman on the radio and what he said was pretty clear;

    -first we are going to have to get a real offer of some magnitude to trade dd or gay

    -second our strategy going forward will be to go into the season and see if our core holds enough promise to hold on to and continue to grow before we will tear it down completely

    -lastly(as far as this is concerned...) we are working on some trades right now to improve the team and what we do as far as signings/direction will depend on what we can get done in that regard

    tanking is just a word that i think is missing the point as far as what we are going to do,each player is going to be evaluated by the new management before we decide what to do with them. tanking is an all encompassing concept that implies we are going to just throw in the towel and get rid of all our players for whatever we can get and that will just never happen.

    if we play well and the core shows promise (which implies that MU is not convinced that it does at this point...) then getting the first pick is out of the question and this group will be held together...simple as that, we wont try to lose the games on purpose, thats just not the way it works at this level
    I think that just about summarizes the feelings of a majority of RR posters, both pro-tankers and anti-tankers; the two sides have been arguing largely over semantics and I think the bolded section is a good benchmark to use, since it was provided by the Raptors management team. A lot of what he said has been embraced by RR posters on both sides of the debate, especially the first 2 bullet points.

    I can really get behind his 3-phase strategy, which is quite similar to a post I made yesterday:

    Phase 1
    - minor roster moves this offseason to improve the team, without hurting future flexibility
    - ie: Hansborough & Stone signings

    Phase 2
    - roster evaluation during 1st half of season, both individually and for team fit
    - if they aren't in a favorable spot in the fight for #6-8 playoff seed, I expect MU to be extremely busy at the trade deadline

    Phase 3
    - significant retooling of the roster, potentially starting at the trade deadline (would indicate shift towards 'tanking' as discussed on RR), getting into full swing next offseason (draft, trades and free agency)
    Last edited by CalgaryRapsFan; Wed Jul 10th, 2013 at 04:11 PM.

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