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Thread: "How to cure tanking"

  1. #61
    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    The change, I think, is down the stretch of the season you get teams paying their top guys who are actually earning their pay cheque. How many phantom injuries occur down the stretch?

    The NBA delivers a product. If the best ingredients are not in that product, fans get annoyed for shelling out for what they thought was a premium product only to realize it is a watered down version - after they have paid. For example, I NEVER would have shelled out money for that NJ/TOR game to end 11-12 season. That is an embarrassment to the league.

    No doubt some teams (Philly - looking at you!) enter the season looking to do sh!t from the get go. However, the rule of thumb in the league is the first 25-30 games is to see where you are and what you have. If teams are giving it their all and plain old suck, well, that is not tanking.

    I must say, I really like this approach. The correlations are pretty close between 30, 60, and 82 games. If anything I'd look at making the window for the games smaller. Instead of 30 game window (30 to 60) - go 15-20 game window and lower the upper end from 60 to 50 (before all-star break/trade deadline) making the window 35-50/30-50.
    The only concern I have about that plan is that it may wind up backfiring, by encouraging more bubble teams from choosing a 'tank' strategy in the offseason, rather than remaining hopeful to start the season. If more teams openly tank from the start, they'll inevitably trade some talent away to the teams that are playoff-hopeful, which could create a wider gap to develop between the "haves" and "have nots". Basically, more teams might decide it's in their best interest to have a bad record sooner, as opposed to waiting for the trade deadline to make that choice to be bad (in order to go for more ping-pong balls and build through the draft).

    I'm not sure I'm entirely on-board with all non-playoff teams getting equal lottery odds either, but perhaps the worst teams (ie:worst 3 regular season records) in the league just need to get a lower % (but still better than equal, to help those legitimately bad teams improve) chance to win the lottery and/or a top-3 pick.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    The only concern I have about that plan is that it may wind up backfiring, by encouraging more bubble teams from choosing a 'tank' strategy in the offseason, rather than remaining hopeful to start the season. If more teams openly tank from the start, they'll inevitably trade some talent away to the teams that are playoff-hopeful, which could create a wider gap to develop between the "haves" and "have nots". Basically, more teams might decide it's in their best interest to have a bad record sooner, as opposed to waiting for the trade deadline to make that choice to be bad (in order to go for more ping-pong balls and build through the draft).

    I'm not sure I'm entirely on-board with all non-playoff teams getting equal lottery odds either, but perhaps the worst teams (ie:worst 3 regular season records) in the league just need to get a lower % (but still better than equal, to help those legitimately bad teams improve) chance to win the lottery and/or a top-3 pick.
    It could happen but if you start a tank from the beginning of the season - like a really obvious one - then good luck getting the fair weather fan in. I think most of us as Raptor fans are spoiled when it comes to attendance. The Raptors - no punches pulled - have sucked for the overwhelming majority of their existence yet they still are a upper tier team in attendance year in and year out. Compare this to perennial playoff teams like Atlanta that hover in the lower third and one has to wonder.

    The reason a team like Milwaukee never truly rebuilds/tanks is because if they lose any of the fan base or miss out on the playoffs they are likely to lose money. No owner wants to lose money unless they are a billionaire who has a hobby (Mark Cuban, for example). The reality is the majority of the league ownership is not made up of Mark Cuban's or Bell/Rogers.

    I think only the teams with the richest owners or best markets are likely to employ such a strategy as you suggest. For the majority of the league in smaller markets or with more cash strapped owners, I don't think you see this until the end of the season which is why this strategy eliminates such tanking aspirations for the majority of the league - in my opinion nothing really to back this and gladly welcome any statistic/fact based analysis that speaks to the contrary.
    "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them."
    Tim Leiweke

    Basketball has clear winners every night --
    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Craiger's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    It could happen but if you start a tank from the beginning of the season - like a really obvious one - then good luck getting the fair weather fan in. I think most of us as Raptor fans are spoiled when it comes to attendance. The Raptors - no punches pulled - have sucked for the overwhelming majority of their existence yet they still are a upper tier team in attendance year in and year out. Compare this to perennial playoff teams like Atlanta that hover in the lower third and one has to wonder.

    The reason a team like Milwaukee never truly rebuilds/tanks is because if they lose any of the fan base or miss out on the playoffs they are likely to lose money. No owner wants to lose money unless they are a billionaire who has a hobby (Mark Cuban, for example). The reality is the majority of the league ownership is not made up of Mark Cuban's or Bell/Rogers.

    I think only the teams with the richest owners or best markets are likely to employ such a strategy as you suggest. For the majority of the league in smaller markets or with more cash strapped owners, I don't think you see this until the end of the season which is why this strategy eliminates such tanking aspirations for the majority of the league - in my opinion nothing really to back this and gladly welcome any statistic/fact based analysis that speaks to the contrary.
    But here's the thing. That fair weather fan may not show up while you tank, but they will when you are good again, and they'll show up in droves paying more and paying it more often than when you were 'middling'.

    I think every tanking team realizes the financial risks associated with tanking - but they are expecting the payout to come at the back end. If you get a superstar, that alone rockets the value of your team - if you parlay it all into playoffs, particularily deep play off runs, thats pure gold.

    I agree with you that are some owners who are unwilling to lose money in the short term, and therefore do not tank - and they are (aside from the good demographic markets such as Toronto ofcourse) always just breaking even and often just waiting for the day they sell their team.

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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    But here's the thing. That fair weather fan may not show up while you tank, but they will when you are good again, and they'll show up in droves paying more and paying it more often than when you were 'middling'.

    I think every tanking team realizes the financial risks associated with tanking - but they are expecting the payout to come at the back end. If you get a superstar, that alone rockets the value of your team - if you parlay it all into playoffs, particularily deep play off runs, thats pure gold.

    I agree with you that are some owners who are unwilling to lose money in the short term, and therefore do not tank - and they are (aside from the good demographic markets such as Toronto ofcourse) always just breaking even and often just waiting for the day they sell their team.
    I think the non-stop tanking vs. building debates have shown this summer that nothing is a sure bet.

    I don't think the proposed draft system will increase or decrease tanking. I think it keeps it the same, to be honest. The majority of teams are counting on free agency, continuity, or player development to make them better each year. Only a select few each year start the year thinking, "We're gonna be shiiiiiit booooooi!"

    What I think this does is increase the quality of the game as the season winds down among the bottom feeders. For teams that already have their playoff position set up, it does nothing, but that is usually only the last few games of the season anyways.
    "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them."
    Tim Leiweke

    Basketball has clear winners every night --
    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

  5. #65
    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    2014 is shaping up to be an exciting draft class. The talk about the changing draft format to a randomly selected game in mid season still appeals. When looking at this upcoming season where there are more teams purposely trying to tank or not accelerating their growth progression I get this:



    Teams that made moves to specifically tank:
    Philadelphia


    Teams that are in the rebuild and are just going to be bad - period:
    Orlando
    Utah
    Phoenix
    Sacramento


    Teams that are trying to get better but are likely to still be in lottery:
    Charlotte
    Detroit
    New Orleans
    Dallas
    Cleveland


    Teams that are one trade away from joining the tankers:
    Toronto
    Boston
    Minnesota
    Portland
    "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them."
    Tim Leiweke

    Basketball has clear winners every night --
    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

  6. #66
    Raptors Republic Starter S.R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    But here's the thing. That fair weather fan may not show up while you tank, but they will when you are good again, and they'll show up in droves paying more and paying it more often than when you were 'middling'.

    I think every tanking team realizes the financial risks associated with tanking - but they are expecting the payout to come at the back end. If you get a superstar, that alone rockets the value of your team - if you parlay it all into playoffs, particularily deep play off runs, thats pure gold.

    I agree with you that are some owners who are unwilling to lose money in the short term, and therefore do not tank - and they are (aside from the good demographic markets such as Toronto ofcourse) always just breaking even and often just waiting for the day they sell their team.
    Yeah, this anti-tank argument is only true in a couple of low-attendance markets. Most NBA teams can maintain decent attendance even with a lottery team.

    As for "What are you selling?" aka there's no hope for fans - I disagree completely. What are obvious treadmill teams selling? Milwaukee likes to "compete every night." What does that mean? That's garbage - the Bucks suck now and at this rate they're going to equally suck 5 years from now. You call that hope? I'd rather watch 2-3 lottery seasons with the *hope* that you're going to land a great pick, or you're already watching high picks develop on the court even as you continue to head back to the lottery for another year or two (Cavaliers). Your hope there is in the promise of upcoming picks, the development of young players with high ceilings, and the long-term hope that you're building a team that can challenge the best in the league.

  7. #67
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    The thread title says "How to cure tanking" and the obvious way is to end the draft, period. No more rewarding teams for poor performance. Scrapping the draft can't be done without the players union approval but that could achieved through negotiation.

    I say bring on the super teams and the smartly run teams like San Antonio and Houston that find away to compete without being in the lottery much. Money, as in the Lakers case last year, doesn't necessarily buy championships.

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    Quote stretch wrote: View Post
    The thread title says "How to cure tanking" and the obvious way is to end the draft, period. No more rewarding teams for poor performance. Scrapping the draft can't be done without the players union approval but that could achieved through negotiation.

    I say bring on the super teams and the smartly run teams like San Antonio and Houston that find away to compete without being in the lottery much. Money, as in the Lakers case last year, doesn't necessarily buy championships.
    No draft, means no rookie scale? In that case, money will definitely buy championships. The Lakers have enough cap space this summer to offer Wiggins and Randle max and still re-sign Kobe to a reasonable deal. Why wouldn't that happen? Los Angeles, max money. Then two years from now the Knicks give Exum a max deal.

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    All I know, is that whether its through a tank, or a trade, or something shifty and unethical, Toronto absolutely needs to find a way to get Wiggans on to this Roster. He's a local kid with potential to be a Top end player. If that means paying the kid 20 million bucks to simply quit basketball and become a free agent after a couple years....fuck it, do it.


  10. #70
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    The players association would have to agree to scrapping the draft and why wouldn't they be able agree to a rookie scale also? The max for a first year player could be right around 2 million for the first season which is more on average than the first year first rounder makes now.

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    Quote stretch wrote: View Post
    The players association would have to agree to scrapping the draft and why wouldn't they be able agree to a rookie scale also? The max for a first year player could be right around 2 million for the first season which is more on average than the first year first rounder makes now.
    Then you are making it even easier for the major markets. I assumed max because at least that way Lakers/Knicks/Nets/Bulls have to position themselves cap-wise. They'd have to give up something to get something. If it's 2 mil then it's just free for all. Would the Bucks have any chance of signing a top prospect in that system? Very unlikely.

  12. #72
    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    A friend of mine who doesn't follow basketball in particular, had an idea to cure tanking in all major sports; assuming it's all about the league and fans first, with all players being employees of the NBA:

    - at the end of every season, all the rosters are emptied*
    - in the offseason, a league-wide draft is held for all players (fantasy draft style, random order)
    - players are paid according to a pay-scale, based on the round they are drafted in
    - every team has an equal chance to build a winning team every year
    - opportunity for fans to let their team know which player(s) they'd like to see drafted (great for fan engagement)
    - eliminates such a thing as the 'haves' and 'have nots' (being a small market is no longer a problem and money doesn't buy championships)

    * another idea would be for the championship roster to stay as is, as a reward for winning, to be able to defend their title


    Negatives
    - with such roster turnover every season, it's hard for fans to be loyal to players (should it be team-first anyway?)
    - sucks for players, because even though they are employees, they could live in a different city every year (do all their families live permanently in their team's city now?)


    Talk about a crazy idea, but it could actually be quite a bit of fun for fans. It just throws the whole notion of team-building out the window, and I doubt the players would like becoming such nomads.

  13. #73
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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    A friend of mine who doesn't follow basketball in particular, had an idea to cure tanking in all major sports; assuming it's all about the league and fans first, with all players being employees of the NBA:

    - at the end of every season, all the rosters are emptied*
    - in the offseason, a league-wide draft is held for all players (fantasy draft style, random order)
    - players are paid according to a pay-scale, based on the round they are drafted in
    - every team has an equal chance to build a winning team every year
    - opportunity for fans to let their team know which player(s) they'd like to see drafted (great for fan engagement)
    - eliminates such a thing as the 'haves' and 'have nots' (being a small market is no longer a problem and money doesn't buy championships)

    * another idea would be for the championship roster to stay as is, as a reward for winning, to be able to defend their title


    Negatives
    - with such roster turnover every season, it's hard for fans to be loyal to players (should it be team-first anyway?)
    - sucks for players, because even though they are employees, they could live in a different city every year (do all their families live permanently in their team's city now?)


    Talk about a crazy idea, but it could actually be quite a bit of fun for fans. It just throws the whole notion of team-building out the window, and I doubt the players would like becoming such nomads.
    Hehe. Fun idea but the whole ownership system would have to change. Right now, players are employees of their teams, not the league. You'd basically be removing free agency with this system, so you'd need a single entity system, otherwise it's illegal. All the teams would have to be owned by the league, and owners would be league shareholders instead, i.e. instead of owning the Mavs Cuban owns 3% of NBA shares and gets some rights to manage the Mavs. And those rights would have to be limited enough to convince the court that this isn't all a scheme, that Cuban is indeed just a shareholder, not a de facto owner.

    So I'm not sure owners would want it.
    And I'm not sure it's financially good for the league because like you say, what about loyalty? It's kind of fun to hate Kobe, but it would be weird to hate him one year, root for him next year, then hate him again. NBA is a very star-focused business, and this new system would inevitably make it team-first, so we'd be looking at an entirely different marketing strategy than the one that made the NBA popular.

    Also, imagine a situation like Derrick Rose. He's missing a year. He'll get picked at the end of the draft or not picked at all. Therefore, he's going to get the minimum under this system. In which case, doesn't he just go to CSKA Moscow or Real Madrid, and sign for 3 years? I know I would. Kirilenko got something like 4 mil euros in Europe, tax free. Which is equivalent to some 9-10 mil NBA salary. So, should Rose take the minimum and hope he gets more next year? Or look for a team in Europe that would take a chance and give him security, in exchange for him staying in Europe for multiple years? Well, maybe the shoe endorsement deal would prevent Rose from leaving. But I imagine a lot of players would face similar dilemmas. Especially the foreign players like Dirk, Pekovic, Marc Gasol, etc. Right now they prefer the NBA in part because the NBA = more security. If there's no security, and they are forced to move their family every year, and they aren't even guaranteed that they don't end up on a crappy team... they'd have good reasons to stay away.

    But it would be a fun experiment for a league like MLS, since they already have single entity or very close to that.

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    Quote BobLoblaw wrote: View Post
    Then you are making it even easier for the major markets. I assumed max because at least that way Lakers/Knicks/Nets/Bulls have to position themselves cap-wise. They'd have to give up something to get something. If it's 2 mil then it's just free for all. Would the Bucks have any chance of signing a top prospect in that system? Very unlikely.
    I did mention the Spurs as the model for small markets to compete. Under the current system the big market teams have an advantage in recruitment but that has not been a guarantee for a championship.
    Last edited by stretch; Thu Sep 19th, 2013 at 12:49 PM.

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    Quote stretch wrote: View Post
    I did mention the Spurs as the model for small markets to compete. Under the current system the big market teams have an advantage in recruitment but that has not been a guarantee for a championship.
    Do you think San Antonio still gets David Robinson or Duncan if they could choose any team?

    Yeah, big markets have advantages anyway, but at least they don't have an advantage in recruiting youngsters. Your idea clearly helps the big and "sexy" markets like LA, NY, Miami, Chicago. Maybe Wiggins would choose Toronto because he's Canadian, maybe LeBron would still end up in Cleveland because he's from around those parts. But in the long run it's hard to imagine a situation where the most desired markets don't benefit from this system tremendously.

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    I am offering up a sure fire cure for tanking. The problem of big market imbalance is much tougher to solve and I don't see the point of it. There is a salary cap in place, after all, and the NBA typically makes its' biggest profits from the big markets so it is a natural progression that many of the top players will gravitate to those markets.

  17. #77
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    Quote stretch wrote: View Post
    I am offering up a sure fire cure for tanking. The problem of big market imbalance is much tougher to solve and I don't see the point of it. There is a salary cap in place, after all, and the NBA typically makes its' biggest profits from the big markets so it is a natural progression that many of the top players will gravitate to those markets.
    basically perennial losing > tanking?

    At what point do we say there is no difference between tanking and being completely unable to compete? Or even - its better for teams to tank and have a shot at competing then being unable to?

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    Quote Craiger wrote: View Post
    basically perennial losing > tanking?

    At what point do we say there is no difference between tanking and being completely unable to compete? Or even - its better for teams to tank and have a shot at competing then being unable to?
    Or "at what point do we" acknowledge that no team has ever won a championship through tanking?

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    Quote p00ka wrote: View Post
    Or "at what point do we" acknowledge that no team has ever won a championship through tanking?
    It's not true.

    It's also kind of unrelated to what Craiger is talking about. He's talking about bad teams using the draft as a way to get better, regardless if they are bad intentionally or not. Your question should be, how many teams used the draft to build a winner? It's clear that the draft is important and a pure free agency model would shift balance towards the big market teams even more.

    Also tbh, I think focusing on rings isn't the best stat. A lot of franchises build contenders, championship worthy teams, but a lot has to go right for them to actually win a ring. So many teams have failed because of an unfortunate injury at an unfortunate time, or a bad matchup, or a few 50/50 calls not going their way. A couple different calls, and the Shaq/Kobe Lakers only have 1 title. That's not about management strategy, that's pure blind luck. So it would make more sense to talk about building a contender, a championship-capable team.

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    Quote BobLoblaw wrote: View Post
    It's not true.

    It's also kind of unrelated to what Craiger is talking about. He's talking about bad teams using the draft as a way to get better, regardless if they are bad intentionally or not. Your question should be, how many teams used the draft to build a winner? It's clear that the draft is important and a pure free agency model would shift balance towards the big market teams even more.

    Also tbh, I think focusing on rings isn't the best stat. A lot of franchises build contenders, championship worthy teams, but a lot has to go right for them to actually win a ring. So many teams have failed because of an unfortunate injury at an unfortunate time, or a bad matchup, or a few 50/50 calls not going their way. A couple different calls, and the Shaq/Kobe Lakers only have 1 title. That's not about management strategy, that's pure blind luck. So it would make more sense to talk about building a contender, a championship-capable team.
    I have no idea what the reply to me was.

    But 'bad teams using the draft to get better' is exactly what I was speaking about (it wasn't a pro tank vs anti tank statement).

    Eliminating the draft + a max salary will funnel young talent into certain markets, which will, as you stated earlier, be even more benificial for a few. Instead of having teams 'tank' we'll just be left with a bunch of bad teams with little to no chance of getting out of the basement. While they may not be intentionally losing, they'll simple be forced into it instead.

    Really seems like 12 of one or a dozen of another.

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