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Thread: Signs Of Tanking?

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    That 2011 pick should be an allstar one day. But still, a pretty pathetic 8 years.
    If anything it shows what your ceiling is with just one all-star type talent.

    Notice that 2007 and 2008 are missing?

    Raptors have the opportunity of a decade to take a step back in the here and now to go many steps forward with JV at the centre of things (literally and figuratively).
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    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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    The only active team that had a multi-season tank work out for them was OKC (unless you think the Warriors tanked to get Curry, Barnes and Klay... the latter two of whom are the 5th and 6th best players on the team).

    In fact looking at the 16 playoff teams, the only ones you could say built by tanking are as follows:

    Miami: (Wade 5th in 03)

    Chicago: (Rose 1st in 08... probably the luckiest #1 pick ever, I think they finished just outside the playoffs)

    OKC: (KD, Westbrook)

    Spurs: (Duncan... this was an accident. They had D-Robb who averaged 25-12 the previous season on their way to a 59-23 record. They also added Nique before that year who was still a high teens scorer. That team was set to win 50+ maybe 60 games if not for injuries

    Clippers: Blake #1 in 2009

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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    If anything it shows what your ceiling is with just one all-star type talent.

    Notice that 2007 and 2008 are missing?

    Raptors have the opportunity of a decade to take a step back in the here and now to go many steps forward with JV at the centre of things (literally and figuratively).
    2007 is missing because the Raptors swapped prospects with the Bucks to fill a position of need (2nd year Villanueva for 3rd year TJ Ford).

    Usually a team with a #4 Pick (Bosh), #8 Pick (Ford) and #1 Pick (Bargnani) all under 23 who appear to have star talent, isn't just going to keep tanking. Especially if with those 3 leading the way you win 47 games.

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    Quote Xixak wrote: View Post
    What... how was their plan thrown off course?

    Did they not just finish 2nd last in the NBA last season (if that's not tanking idk what is), and get Zeller with the 4th pick?

    Charlotte has had:

    2013: 4th Pick
    2012: 2nd Pick
    2011: 7th and 9th picks
    2009: 12th Pick
    2008: 9th Pick
    2007: 8th Pick
    2006: 3rd Pick
    2005: 5th Pick
    2004: 2nd Pick

    And have zero playoff wins to show for it. In fact they have zero drafted all-stars as well.

    They basically tanked a decade and got nothing out of it.
    You are completely missing my point, but I'm not going to press it anymore.

    As for the rest the Bobcats did not tank for a decade. They were an expansion franchise, and by nature 'rebuilding' immediately. Then they were prematurely fighting to make the playoffs (and did make it one year) until they realized that their team was going no where.

    Don't confuse losing or not being successful with tanking - they are very different.

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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    You are completely missing my point, but I'm not going to press it anymore.

    As for the rest the Bobcats did not tank for a decade. They were an expansion franchise, and by nature 'rebuilding' immediately. Then they were prematurely fighting to make the playoffs (and did make it one year) until they realized that their team was going no where.

    Don't confuse losing or not being successful with tanking - they are very different.
    Great points.

    In reading the last few pages in this thread, a few other things have stood out to me, which really only serve to further muddy the water with regards to my own opinion on tanking.

    All those draft history examples that Xixak pointed out, show just how big a difference there is between a top-3/top-5 pick and a lottery pick beyond the top-3/5. It shows the uncertainty of drafting and just how easily/quickly a team can get stuck in the dreaded 'treadmill' or 'false hope' situation.

    Pro-tankers would take that fact as a reason to push even harder for tanking, especially in a deep draft year where difference makers should be available for the top 4-6 picks. Anti-tankers would take that fact as a reason why tanking is unproven, since there's no guarantee that the tank will be successful, or that the lottery balls will reward you (regardless of the 'success' of the tank).

    If anything, I think it proves that the draft can be extremely valuable to long-term team building, especially if you have one/multiple top-3/5 draft picks. However, given the uncertainty of the draft lottery and the uncertainty of the player you draft (several 'bust' picks in hindsight in those examples Xixak provided were widely considered 'good' and/or 'safe' picks at the time), the most effective, sustainable team building strategy should be one that doesn't rely solely on the draft to be successful.

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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    You are completely missing my point, but I'm not going to press it anymore.

    As for the rest the Bobcats did not tank for a decade. They were an expansion franchise, and by nature 'rebuilding' immediately. Then they were prematurely fighting to make the playoffs (and did make it one year) until they realized that their team was going no where.

    Don't confuse losing or not being successful with tanking - they are very different.
    Might be different mentalities, but the end result is the same... High draft picks. Intentional or not Charlotte got 9 top 10 picks and 5 top 5 picks in a decade and nothing to show for it.

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    Quote Xixak wrote: View Post
    Might be different mentalities, but the end result is the same... High draft picks. Intentional or not Charlotte got 9 top 10 picks and 5 top 5 picks in a decade and nothing to show for it.
    I think you've hit on 2 distinct discussions.

    One is the difference between tanking and being naturally bad, or bad as a result of injuries - intent.

    The trade deadline adds another dimension, where a team that was honestly competing decides that they're a 'seller', so they make a trade. Most trade deadline trades are definitely not a swap of equal current talent, but rather a swap of better 'now' talent (from the seller to buyer) for better 'later' talent (from buyer to seller, in terms of any combination of draft picks, young players and improved financial flexibility). I've been wondering if that approach, which is common every year in every major sport, isn't actually a widely accepted form of mid-season tanking?

    The second is the issue of scouting/drafting prowess. That's a whole other issue that could (and has) filled threads on its own!

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote Xixak wrote: View Post
    Might be different mentalities, but the end result is the same... High draft picks. Intentional or not Charlotte got 9 top 10 picks and 5 top 5 picks in a decade and nothing to show for it.
    They just made poor selections (in obvious hindsight), but they definitely had the opportunity to turn their franchise around.

    2004: Picked Okafor 2nd - Could've picked Deng or Iguodala
    2005: Picked Felton 5th & May 13th - Could've picked Bynum, Granger, or Lee
    2006: Picked Morrison 3rd - Could've picked Roy or Gay
    2007: Picked Wright 8th - Could've picked Noah
    2008: Picked Augustin 9th - Could've picked B.Lopez or Hibbert
    2009: Picked Henderson 12th - Could've picked Holiday or Lawson
    2011: Picked Walker 9th - Could've picked K.Thompson or K.Leonard
    2012: Picked MKG 2nd - Could've picked Beal, Lillard or Barnes

    Getting top picks is only half the story. The other half is having a competent management/scouting department.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Quote Xixak wrote: View Post
    Might be different mentalities, but the end result is the same... High draft picks. Intentional or not Charlotte got 9 top 10 picks and 5 top 5 picks in a decade and nothing to show for it.
    2012: MKG
    2011: Kemba, Biyombo
    2010: picks traded away (it got Minnesota Luke Babbitt)
    2009: Gerald Henderson
    2008: DJ Augustin (mostly a bust)
    2007: Brandan Wright, Jared Dudley (Wright traded away for Jason Richardson; Dudley traded WITH Richardson and pick for Boris Diaw + crap)
    2006: Adam Morrison (enormous bust)
    2005: Raymond Felton (left because Charlotte was hopeless), Sean May (bust)
    2004: Emeka Okafor (trraded in 2009 for Tyson Chandler, who the Bobcats then traded away for nothing)

    Put this another way: say you had a team, right now, just composed of Bobcats picks since 2004.

    PG: Kemba, Felton, Augustin
    SG: Henderson, Dudley
    SF: MKG,
    PF: Okafor, Wright
    C: Biyombo, Zeller

    That's honestly pretty close to a playoff team right there. It's lean at small forward, obviously, and it probably tops out at 7-8 seed without the star player Charlotte's never really had. But Charlotte kept trading away valuable and promising assets for win-now. Look how well that worked out.

  11. #210
    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    You are completely missing my point, but I'm not going to press it anymore.

    As for the rest the Bobcats did not tank for a decade. They were an expansion franchise, and by nature 'rebuilding' immediately. Then they were prematurely fighting to make the playoffs (and did make it one year) until they realized that their team was going no where.

    Don't confuse losing or not being successful with tanking - they are very different.
    Good points. Relating to the post bosh Raptors really only tanked in two seasons. 2011 went according to plan. 2012 they overachieved which was unfortunate.

    The last line in quote ties in to the point I was making above about 2007/08. The raptors weren't tanking. They were poorly run - which is easy to proclaim in hindsight but a number of people around here were right at the time, I ws not one. Once they extended Vosh and TJ they had little to no room to manoeuvre. A ceiling was set and reached in very short time. I feel current Raptor squad is in similar position but with older core pieces (gay/Lowry) and cap killing contracts with much less value (dd/fields/gay).

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    Quote Nilanka wrote: View Post
    They just made poor selections (in obvious hindsight), but they definitely had the opportunity to turn their franchise around.

    2004: Picked Okafor 2nd - Could've picked Deng or Iguodala
    Okafor won ROTY and was considered either the best or second best plyaer in the draft at the time depending on whether you wanted potential or a guy who could contribute right away.
    2005: Picked Felton 5th & May 13th - Could've picked Bynum, Granger, or Lee
    Bynum wasn't projected to go top 5 and they already had Okafor. Granger was the 17th pick so again not projected that high, same goes for Lee who was picked 30th.
    2006: Picked Morrison 3rd - Could've picked Roy or Gay
    One of the worst picks of all time, I'll give you this.
    2007: Picked Wright 8th - Could've picked Noah
    Still had Okafor patrolling the paint putting up 14-11 and 2.6 blocks, wtf would you take another C for?
    2008: Picked Augustin 9th - Could've picked B.Lopez or Hibbert
    Again still had Okafor, why go for a center? Felton was struggling shooting 41% FG and 28% from 3 also.
    2009: Picked Henderson 12th - Could've picked Holiday or Lawson
    Already had 2 rookie-contract PGs on the roster so no.
    2011: Picked Walker 9th - Could've picked K.Thompson or K.Leonard
    Actually Walker was a good pick tbqh.
    2012: Picked MKG 2nd - Could've picked Beal, Lillard or Barnes
    Almost everyone had MKG rated as the 2nd best prospect in the draft, and the other name being tossed around was TRobb not so much those other 3.

    Getting top picks is only half the story. The other half is having a competent management/scouting department.
    Coulda, shoulda, woulda but they didn't. All of those selections were considered good at the time (except Ammo), sometimes the draft is just a crapshoot, and you don't get what you're expecting.

    Quote magoon wrote: View Post
    2012: MKG
    2011: Kemba, Biyombo
    2010: picks traded away (it got Minnesota Luke Babbitt)
    2009: Gerald Henderson
    2008: DJ Augustin (mostly a bust)
    2007: Brandan Wright, Jared Dudley (Wright traded away for Jason Richardson; Dudley traded WITH Richardson and pick for Boris Diaw + crap)
    2006: Adam Morrison (enormous bust)
    2005: Raymond Felton (left because Charlotte was hopeless), Sean May (bust)
    2004: Emeka Okafor (trraded in 2009 for Tyson Chandler, who the Bobcats then traded away for nothing)

    Put this another way: say you had a team, right now, just composed of Bobcats picks since 2004.

    PG: Kemba, Felton, Augustin
    SG: Henderson, Dudley
    SF: MKG,
    PF: Okafor, Wright
    C: Biyombo, Zeller

    That's honestly pretty close to a playoff team right there. It's lean at small forward, obviously, and it probably tops out at 7-8 seed without the star player Charlotte's never really had. But Charlotte kept trading away valuable and promising assets for win-now. Look how well that worked out.
    Lol and you think it's acceptable to ALMOST create a playoff team with NINE top 10 picks? Thanks for proving my point man.

  13. #212
    Raptors Republic Veteran Nilanka's Avatar
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    Quote Xixak wrote: View Post
    Coulda, shoulda, woulda but they didn't. All of those selections were considered good at the time (except Ammo), sometimes the draft is just a crapshoot, and you don't get what you're expecting.
    In this case, it's either a crapshoot, or an inability to project long-term career paths (or a bit of both).

    As I mentioned in a different thread, "projections" are just opinions of self-proclaimed internet experts. A good management team puts let's emphasis on DraftExpress, and more emphasis on their own hands-on research.

    Why TRob was ever considered a top-5 pick, I'll never know.
    "I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder

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    Quote Xixak wrote: View Post
    Might be different mentalities, but the end result is the same... High draft picks. Intentional or not Charlotte got 9 top 10 picks and 5 top 5 picks in a decade and nothing to show for it.
    well I think its alot more complex than just 'high draft picks'. But none the less I'll just quote myself:

    Bad management will make bad decisions, and at that point its really irrelevant what decisions/direction a team makes. Charlotte did a real good job of tanking (collecting assets while losing), but has done, what I'll generously call a questionable job with what to do with their proceeds. Which is what really matters in the end.
    .

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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    well I think its alot more complex than just 'high draft picks'. But none the less I'll just quote myself:



    .
    Right but are they considered bad management in hindsight because they made bad picks, or do they make bad picks because of bad management?

    EDIT: Did Pat Riley who's considered one of the best GMs in the NBA not select Beasley right before two all-NBAers in Westbrook and Love?

    If LBJ stays in CLE and Wade walks to CHI as a result of not wanting to be surrounded by garbage any longer, are the Heat considered a team with bad management?

    Is Presti considered a good GM if Portland takes KD and he gets stuck with Oden?
    Last edited by Xixak; Wed Aug 14th, 2013 at 02:15 PM.

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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    Bad management will make bad decisions, and at that point its really irrelevant what decisions/direction a team makes. Charlotte did a real good job of tanking (collecting assets while losing), but has done, what I'll generously call a questionable job with what to do with their proceeds. Which is what really matters in the end.
    I think that nicely sums up the risk/reward with a tanking strategy.

    When a team lands a stud like LBJ, Durant, Griffin, Irving, etc... with a top-3 pick, then tanking is genius. When a team lands a solid starter later in the lottery, the rebuild is a success and scouts/GM get kudos. Same goes for a team getting a rotation player with a 2nd round pick.

    The flip-side is that for every 'good' pick, there's at least an equal number of 'bad' picks. That's the real risk of tanking... but ohhh man, the potential reward is sometimes too good to resist.

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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    I think that nicely sums up the risk/reward with a tanking strategy.

    When a team lands a stud like LBJ, Durant, Griffin, Irving, etc... with a top-3 pick, then tanking is genius. When a team lands a solid starter later in the lottery, the rebuild is a success and scouts/GM get kudos. Same goes for a team getting a rotation player with a 2nd round pick.

    The flip-side is that for every 'good' pick, there's at least an equal number of 'bad' picks. That's the real risk of tanking... but ohhh man, the potential reward is sometimes too good to resist.
    This is false, there are way more bad picks than good picks. I can't remember where I posted it but there's something like an average of 2 stars in every draft. If you're in the top 5 and fail to get one while another team does, it's gonna be considered a bad pick.

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    Quote Xixak wrote: View Post
    Lol and you think it's acceptable to ALMOST create a playoff team with NINE top 10 picks? Thanks for proving my point man.
    As many have said before: Charlotte isn't very good at drafting (three busts in eleven top ten picks is really quite bad). Combine that with being not good at most other aspects of managing a basketball team and you've got a problem. Go back and look at past Bobcats trades: they overpay on trades all the time.

    But here is also my point: that proposed team in many ways mirrors the Raptors. At point guard they're better (Felton/Kemba probably better than Lowry/Buycks, and Augustin cancels himself out). At SG they're better (Henderson/Dudley is much better than DeRozan/Ross). At PF they're better (Okafor/Wright is better than Amir/Hansbrough). At centre Toronto is better (JV/Gray over Biyombo/Zeller). But all of these "betters" are not terribly dramatic either way unless JV really explodes this year (as we hope).

    The only position where one team is definitively better than the other is small forward and that's mostly because of Rudy, and like I said: add a good small forward to Team Hypothetical Bobcats and they'd be competing for the low end of the playoffs. That would probably be their ceiling. It's definitely ours.

    Now, take Team Hypothetical Bobcats but instead of having Michael Jordan's idiot-of-the-week drafting for them, maybe you have Masai and his draft team making decisions. In 2006 they draft, say, Rudy instead of Adam Morrison. In 2008 they draft just about anybody other than DJ Augustin - it could be Brook Lopez, could be Roy Hibbert, could be Serge Ibaka, could be George Hill, could be Nicolas Batum - hell, go into the second round of 2008 and there's Nikola Pekovic, DeAndre Jordan, Omer Asik, Mario Chalmers, Goran Dragic and Luc Mbah a Moute and all of them would be better than Augustin.

    So now you have a roster of

    PG: Kemba/Felton
    SG: Henderson/Dudley
    SF: Gay/MKG
    PF: Jordan/Okafor/Wright
    C: Zeller/Biyombo

    We've just gone from "maybe a playoff team" to "definitely a playoff team."

    tl;dr the Bobcats are historically just bad, and there's a difference between rebuilding smartly and being bad, and you keep refusing to recognize that.

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    Quote Xixak wrote: View Post
    Right but are they considered bad management in hindsight because they made bad picks, or do they make bad picks because of bad management?

    EDIT: Did Pat Riley who's considered one of the best GMs in the NBA not select Beasley right before two all-NBAers in Westbrook and Love?

    If LBJ stays in CLE and Wade walks to CHI as a result of not wanting to be surrounded by garbage any longer, are the Heat considered a team with bad management?

    Is Presti considered a good GM if Portland takes KD and he gets stuck with Oden?
    Is the enemy of good perfect? Can someone who is 'good' at something not make mistakes or does that make them automatically bad?

    Does being 'considered' one of the best automatically make one the best?

    If LBJ stays and Wade walks, what does your machine that takes us to alternative realities tell you Pat Riley does instead? If Pritchard takes Durant, does Presti for sure take Oden? If he does, does he draft Westbrook and Harden or others instead? If he does he trade Harden or add other players?

    I really don't know how asking impossible to answer questions gives us any sort of insight. But I think we can fairly look at a body of work and get a good idea of an answer.

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    Quote magoon wrote: View Post
    tl;dr the Bobcats are historically just bad, and there's a difference between rebuilding smartly and being bad, and you keep refusing to recognize that.
    Your hypothetical scenario doesn't really make much of a point because it's unlikely a team would have the same picks if they drafted different players, so let's just put that aside.

    My point is that even when tanking for multiple years it is possible to get continuously screwed in the draft. As I already said, all of those picks except Ammo (and tbh some people were comparing him to Bird... Lord knows why) were considered good picks at the time. Basic probability dictates that it is much more likely to get unlucky in the draft than to get lucky. That's just the nature of the process. You can drop in the lottery, a team might take a star right before you do, you might have a need that you want to address that ends up costing you a good player. There's many more things that could go wrong as well.

    And of the playoff teams that acquired a star with a high lottery pick (MIA, CHI, OKC, SAS, LAC, GSW) only OKC actually deliberately tanked.

    Miami: Alonzo Mourning missed the entire 02-03 season due to kidney disease.

    Chicago: Bulls missed the 07-08 playoffs by 4 games, finished with the 9th worst record and won the lottery with 1.7% odds.

    Spurs: David Robinson 76 games in the 1996-97 season (spurs won 56 games the year before AND added Nique).

    Clippers: Elton Brand walked in free agency, after saying he would re-sign. They also signed Baron Davis who averaged 22-8-5 the year before. The idea was to form a tandem with Brand.

    Warriors: The aforementioned Baron Davis had just left the team in free agency. They also signed Maggette and Turiaf to try and compensate. The team was still decent but Ellis missed games due to injury and a suspension which allowed them to pick Curry 7th.

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    Quote Xixak wrote: View Post
    Right but are they considered bad management in hindsight because they made bad picks, or do they make bad picks because of bad management?

    EDIT: Did Pat Riley who's considered one of the best GMs in the NBA not select Beasley right before two all-NBAers in Westbrook and Love?

    If LBJ stays in CLE and Wade walks to CHI as a result of not wanting to be surrounded by garbage any longer, are the Heat considered a team with bad management?

    Is Presti considered a good GM if Portland takes KD and he gets stuck with Oden?
    Dude, if you haven't noticed yet, you're on a never ending merry-go-round. A part of me has the urge to jump in and level the competition field just a bit, but you're already making most, if not all, of the same points I'd make. The thing is, none of it has an impact on tank nation, as they'll always come back to 20/20 hindsight "well that was simply bad management". Hey, I understand if you're filling a void in the dog days of summer, but be aware that you'll convince nobody, and you'll keep being circled around to the same recycled arguments, only slightly re-worded, over and over.

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