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Thread: Where the REAL tankers at?

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    Default Where the REAL tankers at?

    Just putting the question out there, just to separate the fair weather tankers from the real tankers, but are you ready to commit to a Charlotte Bobcats type rebuild (worse case scenario)? We all know the draft lottery doesn't guarantee anything. We can argue that they didn't have MU making their picks, but nobody can guarantee things will go any better for us than it has for them, and there is no denying that the pro tankers are advocating we do as Charlotte has done.

    I can tell you that there is more than a handful of Charlotte fans that would take a 50 win team without a prayer of contending over what they have right now (insert joke about them taking a 30 win team)

    I'm just asking 'cause lately with all the tank avatars and all the posters jumping on the band wagon is getting pretty crazy. How committed are ya'll?

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Bendit's Avatar
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    Please define a "Charlotte Bobcats type rebuild". The facts are that Michael Jordan the owner was at least uptil now been a very hands on selector/arbitrator of decision making on talent selected for that franchise. Even before his ownership there he has had a less than acceptable record of talent recognition.

    Q: Why did you not select the Seattle/OKC example?

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    I guess for me, the Ping-Pong balls are not the be-all and end-all of my 'tanking' rebuild/retool strategy. Really, they aren't even a part of the strategy itself, but rather a bi-product of it. For me, it's all about building a better team. Starting the rebuild/retool now, with an eye on the future, will likely result in more Ping-Pong balls as a residual benefit (I was pushing for it to start this past offseason because I felt the team was flawed).

    FACT: the Raptors are almost a luxury tax team this year and project to be a playoff bubble team at best, most likely winding up drafting in the #10-20 range

    FACT: the Raptors have approx. $56M already committed next year to just 9 players (assuming Gay, Johnson, Hansborough & Acy options are picked-up), before having a PG on the roster.

    FACT: Assuming all options are picked-up and Lowry is re-signed*, the only opportunity for improvement is the 2014 draft, partial MLE & min free agents, and organic growth. The only other option is to retool via trade.

    *If the plan is to let/hope Gay & Lowry walk in the offseason, I think it would be poor asset management to let one/both leave for nothing.


    Given the above, it makes sense that at least some degree of retooling will be necessary over the next year and a half, in order to improve this team. If trades are on the horizon, I would be in favor of starting now, to simultaneously take advantage of the loaded 2014 draft.

    RATIONALE
    - unload big contracts, especially players who might leave (ie: Gay & Lowry)
    - unload trade chips that aren't part of the team's future (ie: Novak)
    - amass assets; young prospects and draft picks
    - once a rebuild/retool is started, trading away DeRozan, Johnson, Hansborough and Fields is certainly up for consideration
    - the team is likely going to drop in the standings this season as a result, with the 'silver lining' being the Raptors gaining Ping-Pong balls related to their own pick
    - having additional picks is a great benefit (either on their own or as trade assets in their own right, be it to move up in the 2014 draft or acquire talent)
    - drafting multiple players in the 1st round of the 2014 draft, especially if even 1 pick is in the top-5, would be a significant influx of cheap, young talent
    - clearing cap space will allow the Raptors to shift from a near luxury tax team to players in 2014 free agency
    - rebuilding/retooling under competent leadership will allow the team to be built with better talent, better fit and better financial flexibility
    - arguably gives the team the best chance to become truly competitive, with a higher ceiling, more quickly (if the status quo is maintained and fails, a rebuild/retool happens anyway, either after this season or after next season - when Lowry and/or Gay leave)


    My personal 'tanking' strategy is not simply about losing more games this year. I want to see this team built more efficiently and more effectively, giving the Raptors the best possible chance to develop into a perennial playoff team and legitimate contender for deep playoff runs in the next 2-7 years. Improving the Raptors' lottery odds for the 2014 draft is just a residual benefit of starting this process ahead of the trade deadline this season.
    Last edited by CalgaryRapsFan; Thu Nov 14th, 2013 at 04:07 PM.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    Quote Bendit wrote: View Post
    Please define a "Charlotte Bobcats type rebuild". The facts are that Michael Jordan the owner was at least uptil now been a very hands on selector/arbitrator of decision making on talent selected for that franchise. Even before his ownership there he has had a less than acceptable record of talent recognition.

    Q: Why did you not select the Seattle/OKC example?
    That's why I put worst case scenario in brackets because there is potential for tanking to go that way as well. I'm trying to highlight the concerns of anti tankers and also see how committed pro tankers are. Clearly Noskie is on board.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    ka-booom!
    "You donít know the Bruno Caboclo......"
    Bruno Caboclo

    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 Mediumcore's Avatar
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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    I guess for me, the Ping-Pong balls are not the be-all and end-all of my 'tanking' rebuild/retool strategy. Really, they aren't even a part of the strategy itself, but rather a bi-product of it. For me, it's all about building a better team. Starting the rebuild/retool now, with an eye on the future, will likely result in more Ping-Pong balls as a residual benefit (I was pushing for it to start this past offseason because I felt the team was flawed).

    FACT: the Raptors are almost a luxury tax team this year and project to be a playoff bubble team at best, most likely winding up drafting in the #10-20 range

    FACT: the Raptors have approx. $56M already committed next year to just 9 players (assuming Gay, Johnson, Hansborough & Acy options are picked-up), before having a PG on the roster.

    FACT: Assuming all options are picked-up and Lowry is re-signed*, the only opportunity for improvement is the 2014 draft, partial MLE & min free agents, and organic growth. The only other option is to retool via trade.

    *If the plan is to let/hope Gay & Lowry walk in the offseason, I think it would be poor asset management to let one/both leave for nothing.


    Given the above, it makes sense that at least some degree of retooling will be necessary over the next year and a half, in order to improve this team. If trades are on the horizon, I would be in favor of starting now, to simultaneously take advantage of the loaded 2014 draft.

    RATIONALE
    - unload big contracts, especially players who might leave (ie: Gay & Lowry)
    - unload trade chips that aren't part of the team's future (ie: Novak)
    - amass assets; young prospects and draft picks
    - once a rebuild/retool is started, trading away DeRozan, Johnson, Hansborough and Fields is certainly up for consideration
    - the team is likely going to drop in the standings this season as a result, with the 'silver lining' being the Raptors gaining Ping-Pong balls related to their own pick
    - having additional picks is a great benefit (either on their own or as trade assets in their own right, be it to move up in the 2014 draft or acquire talent)
    - drafting multiple players in the 1st round of the 2014 draft, especially if even 1 pick is in the top-5, would be a significant influx of cheap, young talent
    - clearing cap space will allow the Raptors to shift from a near luxury tax team to players in 2014 free agency
    - rebuilding/retooling under competent leadership will allow the team to be built with better talent, better fit and better financial flexibility
    - arguably gives the team the best chance to become truly competitive, with a higher ceiling, more quickly (if the status quo is maintained and fails, a rebuild/retool happens anyway, either after this season or after next season - when Lowry and/or Gay leave)


    My personal 'tanking' strategy is not simply about losing more games this year. I want to see this team built more efficiently and more effectively, giving the Raptors the best possible chance to develop into a perennial playoff team and legitimate contender for deep playoff runs in the next 2-7 years. Improving the Raptors' lottery odds for the 2014 draft is just a residual benefit of starting this process ahead of the trade deadline this season.
    Well thought out, but the major improvements hinge on the draft...both landing high and selecting the right players. MKG for example is a project, and hasn't had the desired impact yet. Kemba and Biyombo look like they've plateaued. As Bendit has brought up it could go the way of OKC, and we could hit the jackpot with a Durrant type player but there is plenty of potential for thing to the other way as well.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    ka-booom!
    Guess Matt is in for the long haul as well. This would have probably worked better with a poll

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    think about that last image

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Mediumcore wrote: View Post
    Well thought out, but the major improvements hinge on the draft...both landing high and selecting the right players. MKG for example is a project, and hasn't had the desired impact yet. Kemba and Biyombo look like they've plateaued. As Bendit has brought up it could go the way of OKC, and we could hit the jackpot with a Durrant type player but there is plenty of potential for thing to the other way as well.
    I would argue it's 3-fold, actually:

    1 - 2014 draft, ideally with multiple picks to work with (either to draft with, trade up with, or a combination of both)

    2 - acquiring assets (prospects and future picks) can either help improve the team directly, or indirectly through subsequent future trades (similar to Houston's recent approach)

    3 - clearing cap space will allow the team to become active in free agency (or even take more salary back in trade) in the offseason, which currently is not an option


    Obviously I'm hoping this strategy winds up with the Raptors getting a top-3 pick in the 2014 draft and that whoever the Raps draft fulfills his potential to the max. However, by taking a step back and rebuilding the team efficiently and effectively (ie: a clear strategy that is stuck to, better fit of talent, no stupid $$$ moves, always improving the baseline talent level), the whole point is that the GM no longer needs to rely on all-or-nothing moves to be successful.

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    50 wins team? A team that can win 50 games several years in a row in my eyes is a contender. There's a difference between a Miami level contender and the Grizzlies but nonetheless, 50 wins is what I hope to get if the tank is successful.

    Sure, the Bobcats fans would want 50 wins, and I would want that for the Raptors, but it wasn't going to happen for them, so they blew it up. Similarly, it's not likely to happen for the Raptors the way they are constructed, so I favor a tank.
    So why should we discuss winning 50 games vs. tanking? It's easy to say 'win 50 games', hard to do.

    As for "guarantees"? Well, sports in general is a risk. There are no guarantees in anything sports. You can have Brandon Roy, Lamarcus Aldridge, Batum and Oden, and then the 2 most talented players in that group vanish because of injuries. I'm not supporting a tank because it's a "sure" way to succeed. I'm supporting that type of rebuild because I think it's a better bet. If it fails, it fails, anything can fail. Ever played poker? You can have pocket aces, call all-in pre-flop and lose. Regardless, it's generally a smart move to call.
    Last edited by BobLoblaw; Thu Nov 14th, 2013 at 04:39 PM.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Mediumcore wrote: View Post
    Guess Matt is in for the long haul as well. This would have probably worked better with a poll
    I don't see it being a long haul.

    I see a two year bottom feeding followed by an emergence in 2015-16.

    But maybe I am just a hopeless romantic stuck in a deadened relationship with the toronto raptors.
    "You donít know the Bruno Caboclo......"
    Bruno Caboclo

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

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    I Want them to tank, but i'll still cheer if they try to "compete".
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    Raptors Republic Veteran NoPropsneeded's Avatar
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    I have a question for you guys. What if, and this is a BIG IF, the raptors ended up winning over 45 games and made a strong playoff run. Lets say uhh losing in 6 or 7 games in first or second round?

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    Quote NoPropsneeded wrote: View Post
    I have a question for you guys. What if, and this is a BIG IF, the raptors ended up winning over 45 games and made a strong playoff run. Lets say uhh losing in 6 or 7 games in first or second round?
    There are 2 questions that I think MU needs answered this season, which will effectively determine which approach he takes, that's above and beyond the question of whether or not to tank.

    #1 - Is Lowry the PG of the future for this team?

    #2 - Is Gay going to opt-in, opt-out or be extended after this season?


    For me, if the answer to #1 is no, then Lowry should be traded by the trade deadline. I hate letting assets go without turning them into something useful, and I think Lowry would be a very valuable asset come the trade deadline (ie: as a veteran backup PG for a playoff team or as a starter on a playoff team that lost their starting PG to injury, on a relatively cheap expiring contract), likely returning at least a late 1st round pick (even if Toronto had to add a future 2nd round pick or something as sweetener).

    For me, if Rudy is non-committal about his future, or if he says he's going to opt-out, or if Toronto just doesn't want to be on the hook for his $19.3M if he does opt-in, then he too should be traded by the trade deadline. At that point, having that knowledge that we currently don't have, even trading him for expiring contracts and 1 valuable piece (ie: lottery-protected 1st round pick and/or good young/cheap prospect) would be good asset management in my books.


    Obviously if both players wind up being traded, or even Lowry, then the tank is on whether you like it or not. Once the tank is on, tough questions about DeRozan, Johnson and Hansborough need to be asked and trade value of each needs to be assessed. I say this under the assumption that Valanciunas & Ross are the closest things to not-available on the roster, given their age, talent and favourable contracts.

    I think Novak is on the table as deadline trade bait regardless, and I'm sure Fields' contract would gladly be moved at the first hint of a decent offer.


    At the end of the day, the "to tank, or not to tank" question may never have to be directly answered. As other questions get answered, the tanking issue could very well resolve itself.
    Last edited by CalgaryRapsFan; Thu Nov 14th, 2013 at 06:11 PM.

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    Quote NoPropsneeded wrote: View Post
    I have a question for you guys. What if, and this is a BIG IF, the raptors ended up winning over 45 games and made a strong playoff run. Lets say uhh losing in 6 or 7 games in first or second round?
    My question back to you would be: what does exiting in the 1st round mean? What does it prove about this team and its ceiling?

    Most long-suffering fans want a real, legit chance to win a championship -- not annual trips to the 1st round, followed by mid/late-round draft picks as the only way to further improve. Which is what you resign yourself to, if you stick with this roster because, "hey, they made it to the playoffs -- surely they can go further next year." Only the 1st half of that statement is true. We just spent the whole offseason debating whether Demar had really improved heading into this season, and I think we've seen that he hasn't; in other words, improvement over time is nowhere near inevitable. At some point, you have to 'know what you have' and be realistic about where that can take you.

    If this current team somehow makes the playoffs and exits in the 1st round, what next? Do you re-sign Kyle? Rudy? If you do that -- and you might have to, because IF this team makes the playoffs, they'll be a big part of why, so letting them go would put you right back at square 1 -- then you're stuck, financially, and can only get better with trades or through the draft, not through FA. And as for trades, count that out as a means of getting much better, because again, you'll need to trade something to get something. Which then leaves us with the draft, and with a 1st-round exit, you're drafting 15-25 somewhere, so your GM better be a goddam whiz at finding hidden gems, even in the 2014 draft.
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    Raptors Republic All-Star wallz's Avatar
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    The idea behind the non-tankers, is that the Raptors can play at a decent level until they have the ability to make a major splash (through free agency or trade) tthat will make them possible contenders. It seems pretty unlikely with this core but it isn't impossible

    EDIT: of course, that is only possible if the current core stays together and settles for less money than elsewhere

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    Quote BobLoblaw wrote: View Post
    50 wins team? A team that can win 50 games several years in a row in my eyes is a contender. There's a difference between a Miami level contender and the Grizzlies but nonetheless, 50 wins is what I hope to get if the tank is successful.

    Sure, the Bobcats fans would want 50 wins, and I would want that for the Raptors, but it wasn't going to happen for them, so they blew it up. Similarly, it's not likely to happen for the Raptors the way they are constructed, so I favor a tank.
    So why should we discuss winning 50 games vs. tanking? It's easy to say 'win 50 games', hard to do.

    As for "guarantees"? Well, sports in general is a risk. There are no guarantees in anything sports. You can have Brandon Roy, Lamarcus Aldridge, Batum and Oden, and then the 2 most talented players in that group vanish because of injuries. I'm not supporting a tank because it's a "sure" way to succeed. I'm supporting that type of rebuild because I think it's a better bet. If it fails, it fails, anything can fail. Ever played poker? You can have pocket aces, call all-in pre-flop and lose. Regardless, it's generally a smart move to call.
    You're getting a bit caught up in the numbers and missing the point.

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