I'm standing by what I said before. Masai is going to try to recreate Denver. He wants to create an all around team. No superstars. Just a deep, energy filled, hard working team.
"Masai WILL win us a championship"
- Tim Leiweke
Ujiri: "One thing I can say for sure is that we will not be stuck in the middle."
Reporter: "How can you say that?"
Ujiri: "Because I can say that."
He can very well not having a deadline or ... but he has to know what direction he wants to go. Right now, this team is wining and will continue to win. I just hope he does want to compete now because otherwise , he is just shooting himself in the leg and seeing the lottery balls drop by each win.
he never explicitly said that we were tanking. He said we will NOT be a treadmill team...and followed it with the Rudy Gay trade...which made us better
Until Lowry and Amir go we can't be certain of what our direction is.
What we do know based on everything Masai has done to this point is that he wants almost zero long term commitments, which suggests a roster in flux if not outright tank
I actually think he's more focused on clearing cap space and accumulating assets right now. He wants a young team with cap space, which allows trades, signings, and possible draft picks. Doesn't have to be considered tanking
From day one he has said his goals are very high. He also said he was going to be patient, evaluate, and make moves to make the team better, with long term in mind. Nothing he has done goes against what he said he'd do, and he has clearly won both trades he has made. Whatever path he ultimately decides upon, it seems clear he isn't dumping anybody unless it benefits the Raptors, whether that satisfies the tankers or not, and he needs willing trade partners to do anything.
Prior to the Dec 15 deadline, I was thinking that Masai's direction would likely be toward blowing the team up, not because of the overall record, but because of the lack of signature wins... the only early season win that looked big at the time was the Memphis game, which has turned out to be less impressive as the Grizz sink out of the playoff race. To me, signature wins are one key indicator of upside for a team.
But since the Gay trade, we've seen two signature wins. Can they get one more either tonight or during the early January grind (Indiana, @Miami, @Indiana)? At this point I'd wait until after January 8th to make a decision on what the potential is for the current group. After that, the schedule turns and it'll be hard to evaluate upside of this team against weaker opponents. One signature win could be an aberration. A pattern of signature wins and signature losses, like the Portland OT game, paint an interesting picture of what this group is capable of. (I wouldn't count the Houston game as a signature loss, that game was just a bizarro anomaly that doesn't deserve to be included in any sort of analysis beyond being a folkloric tale of the Rudy Gay era.)
If I was Ujiri this wouldn't be enough to change my mind about the team yet. But with everyone's trade value rising, I'd be patient about seeing how these patterns play out over the next 2 weeks. That'll give a sample of 7 games against winning teams, including 6 games against teams with a .750 or better winning percentage. Those seven games will give a solid sample to tell just where this team is at.
Big Al is out in Atlanta Indefinitely ... Are we the best 3rd team in the EAST NOW !!!
Few Small trades and upgrades here and there and we are the in our way to one of the best season's in the Raptor History.
Twitter - @thekid_it
Someone mentioned this article on Fan 590 when talking about the Raps -- Reading it, it's really flawed. Can one of the hardcore numbers people on this site dive into the numbers a bit deeper? It would be interesting to add statistics to this debate.
http://freakonomics.com/2013/10/29/l...gy-in-the-nba/In sum, nearly 90 percent of teams that win 25 or fewer games are not contenders five years later. This suggests that “tanking” is a strategy that is very unlikely to lead to NBA success.
Also, being at 34-49 wins is not indicative of mediocrity if the team has already torn-down and rebuilt around young, high upside prospects, which the article doesn't distinguish. As well, the difference between 49 and 54 wins is probably a bit flukey, so that's another confounder I guess.
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