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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    ka-booom!
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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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    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.
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    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.
    Let's hope if a tank happens it's not for the long haul, but I get this impression that a lot of the tank supporters think it's going to be all roses.

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    Quote Mediumcore wrote: View Post
    Let's hope if a tank happens it's not for the long haul, but I get this impression that a lot of the tank supporters think it's going to be all roses.
    Fair enough but I get the impression a lot of the stay the course supporters think this team is good which means that there are not flawed players, there is good head coaching, and the team is only going to improve. That line of thinking has been wrong for the better part of 18 years - and the last 7 for sure.

    I think a change will do us all good. A clean slate. A fresh start. Dig up the weed and plant some roses already!
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    Quote Mediumcore wrote: View Post
    Let's hope if a tank happens it's not for the long haul, but I get this impression that a lot of the tank supporters think it's going to be all roses.
    Yeah, I think people need to appreciate that even if you're tanking, the odds of it turning into a championship someday are ridiculously low. Here's all the things you need to go right to develop a championship-contending team:

    1. Your attempt to gut the team needs to result in the team earning significantly more losses than their current pace. (Reasonably easy to ensure they'll drop to bottom 8 or so, but bottom 5 or better may be much tougher.)
    2. You need to get lucky in the draft. (The only part of the process where you actually know the odds, and they are rarely in your favour. Only a bottom two slot is going to guarantee you a top 5 pick. Odds of getting a top 5 player while finishing out of the top 5 are remote, around 20% at 6 and dropping rapidly).
    3. You need to actually draft a superstar-calibre player with that high draft pick. (Lots of arguments can be made here, but I think we can all agree that right now this draft appears reasonably deep with exceptional top-end talent. On the other hand, even the best drafts usually have at least one bust and a lot of average players near the top.)
    4. You need to develop him well, so that he reaches his potential relatively quickly, giving you a decent window of winning with him before he hits free agency.
    5. You must surround him with complementary young pieces and veterans. (Some of which the Raptors already have, but there's still going to be a long and difficult process of finding the right complementary pieces. This is a very market-specific thing when it comes to veterans, with some teams much more successful at attracting useful veterans than others.)
    6. You need to keep this core together long enough to allow them all to have multiple shots at winning a championship. (Every year around your superstar's peak increases your odds of a championship, but each year you fail to win a championship increases the odds that he's going to leave. You need to be prepared to contend at the close end of his prime rather than the tail-end.)

    (It's difficult to separate these and say, in retrospect, whether teams drafted poorly or mismanaged development when a high pick doesn't work out. Sometimes there are obvious draft busts, but often a bad draft choice and a poorly-developed player end up looking the same.)

    You apply this to the incredibly strong draft in 2003: All of the first steps went right for Cleveland: they tanked correctly, they won the lottery, they drafted a superstar calibre player, their superstar reached his potentially relatively early in his career, yet they failed at surrounding him with the right personnel, ultimately didn't give him a large enough window to win a championship, and he left relatively early. Detroit drafted a bust. Denver and Toronto both drafted well (although with talents arguably a notch below superstar), developed well, and but failed utterly to surround their stars with enough talent and coaching to contend in the playoffs for more than a season. In the end, both players left before their teams had a significant window to compete. Miami drafted well, developed well, signed an additional superstar through free agency, won a championship early in Wade's career, which basically ensured his loyalty and gave them additional shots at winning a championship. After Wade, there were no franchise-altering talents in the draft. The Clippers' perpetual draft ineptitude and bad luck might have come to and end were in not for Detroit getting lucky on 1/5 odds. Clippers entered the lottery with an 80% chance of a top 4 pick, potentially Wade or better. They ended up with Kaman.

    So, I'm all for tanking. It might very well be the best odds the Raptors have at winning a championship. But even so, all it does is move their odds from remote to slightly-better-than-remote.

    You can see why teams who have that luxury prefer the 'building through free agency' route. You reduce yourself to only a couple variables: you're already getting superstar or near superstar talents; your window to win starts immediately, or after a brief gelling period; you don't need to worry about draft odds, development, and all these other low probability variables are removed from the equation.

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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    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.
    What happens when your high draft pick does not pan out? You are worse off with both on court product
    and continued erosion of fan base.....Blake Murphy's article today is on point.

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    Quote psrs1 wrote: View Post
    What happens when your high draft pick does not pan out? You are worse off with both on court product
    and continued erosion of fan base.....Blake Murphy's article today is on point.
    What happens when your 2free agents/2 starters/2 best players leave?

    What happens when we keep waiting for potential to emerge and growth from guys who have been in the league 5-6-7-8 years that never happens?


    I read Blake's article. He makes good points. If you're content to hope for an average team, go for it. If you're content to be forced in to a rebuild in another 3-4 years as JV is entering his prime, go right ahead, stay the course. He can riddle off all his warnings and each one can equally be countered. It comes down to are you sick of hoping to be one of the teams that might make the playoffs? I am. I deserve more as a fan. I want more. I want the opportunity to be great. I put too much time in to following this team to be happy to be a speed bump for the truly elite. Toronto has a corner stone (JV) already in place... not even OKC started their rebuild with that.


    As for worse on court product and continued erosion of the fan base.... ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The Toronto fan base continues to be one of the best in the league as one of the top 5 worst teams of the last 18 years. Can an already bad on court product get worse - yes - but we're talking a borderline playoff team at best here anyways.
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    Quote psrs1 wrote: View Post
    What happens when your high draft pick does not pan out? You are worse off with both on court product
    and continued erosion of fan base.....Blake Murphy's article today is on point.
    Nothing he said in it was a surprise to any of those advocating a drastic rebuild in the forums. You also missed his two references to the fact that he is wavering in his stance. I think many in your camp have a sporting "moral" issue and its misplaced because players are not and never will be losing games on purpose. Rather, management finds doing nothing to the current roster is going to be more injurious to this franchise than peeling back. If this results in more losses this season so be it.

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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    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.
    This, if done right we could have a franchise player, 2 all-star caliber guys (Val and someone else), some solid role players (maybe DD and Amir) and a bevy of cap space in 2016 to go after Durant or whoever.

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    Quote Nosike wrote: View Post
    This, if done right we could have a franchise player, 2 all-star caliber guys (Val and someone else), some solid role players (maybe DD and Amir) and a bevy of cap space in 2016 to go after Durant or whoever.
    That is the plan.

    Is it foolproof? Hardly.

    Is it better than sticking with this core and hoping to squeeze in to the playoffs each year - and likely failing? Absolutely... in my opinion.
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