It really depends on the 'elite' talent that you are trying to go for. Elite to someone is meh to someone else. BC thought Gay was elite for example and look how that roster turned out.
Rondo has been thrown around but there are serious question marks there. There is so much risk but if Kyle is not coming back then Rondo would be a smart acquisition especially since the Raptors may not be in the position to draft a good PG at their spot. If Kyle wants to come back then you arguably have a cheaper PG that knows this team and the system and can do as much as Rondo could in his best years. Negotiating with Ainge is also not something that will be fun. Meaning you would have to give up at least 3 good assets to get him. Ainge will not be taking back contracts like Fields/Hayes or Novak.
Love has been mentioned. For Minny if you look at their roster I'm sure they would want to keep trying. How many years has it been since they saw playoffs? If you think a 5 year drought in Toronto was bad, look at Minnesota. And they are a small market team. So Minny probably wants guys that have been in the league for awhile. Probably looking at least at Amir+DD+future pick for Love.. How do people feel about giving up DD for KL? KL has a player option so this could be very similar to MU's deal with Orlando/Philly to get Iggy in return for Afflalo and their 2014 pick (which will be in the lottery).
If Love walks then the team could take a giant step back and may not have a pick to show for it. Really risky.
TL wants a name.. I would personally see what it would take to get Wiggins. Not this year but next year. Have some team draft him and then try to get him when his market value is a bit lower. Kind of like with Barnes and GSW. Wasn't the rumour Barnes for Amir?
Just hope that Wiggins has a bad rookie year and is being coached/developed by a terrible team (a team like Cleveland or Milwaukee).
They also have the cap space in 2015 to get a guy like Love without giving up an asset. Yes Love might go to LA but he may also want to win. LA is in no position to win and they are hamstrung by giving Kobe that extension. Being an Eastern conference team with an LA guy as one of its leaders might be enough for Kevin to really think about it. And I'm sure he's used to the cold by now so that shouldn't be an issue.
It's tough to find an elite level talent. It may come down to trying to move up the draft to snag a top pick, but there is no telling how a player will turn out and there is a lot of development time involved as well. I think TL and MU want established talent with an eye to being contenders by the time the All Star game comes to Toronto. It's TL's crowning acheivement and I don't think he wants to be the embarassment of the league like the Knicks will be when the world focuses on them for next years All Star game.
I guess my point in all this comes down to the idea of asset accumulation combined with the CBA/luxury tax and rich ownership angle.
Asset accumulation, in my opinion, is about getting Bird Rights.
Bird Rights, for those who don't know, allow you to go over the salary cap to keep your own players.
So rookie contracts and guys who have been on a contract for last 4 seasons or who are on a 4 year contract have a lot of value.
However if you give up all your assets (i.e. players who you can extend when their contract is up) to get your 'star' player then you're screwed. It is tough to obtain impact players outside of minimum contracts and exceptions. Your star then gets frustrated (like KG in Minnesota) and as the years (usually around 6-8 years based on recent history) they force their way out or leave when UFA.
Realistically there is almost always going to be a more attractive market than ours for a transcendent star who is an unrestricted free agent. The benefit of acquiring one via trade is if you can either:
a) extend him like Harden in Houston
b) use his presence to increase winning and parlay that into other acquisitions
We can talk all we want about patience and flexibility but there is a danger in being too thrifty in that you never actually acquire the high-ceiling asset.
And that's what it ultimately comes down to. Smart drafting and savvy trades are an unassailable strategy, but SA got Duncan in the draft and has yet to win a title without him as the key element. Indy acquired Paul George at 10 and is unlikely to draft there again.
I agree with your sentiment in principle but I suspect the realities of acquiring star level talent are far more tortuous than our pie-eyed idealism.
Transcendent talents haha. So funny how people love tagging on to word of the month.
If you build it they will come...
So fcking build it! People are looking at this management team through the same lens as the previous regime. Nothing is the same anymore. The goals, perspectives and ideas of this management/ownership team are different. It'll take time maybe a couple more moves but eventually I think fans will realize that were in completely different hands.
If we can't draft a superstar we will attract one. Toronto is a great city it has everything a superstar wants now it's about building a team as great as the city.
Transcendent Talent = Superstar = Elite Player = Franchise Player = Cornerstone = All-NBA
Take your pick.
"I don't lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation." - Fox Mulder
Three ways to get players: free agency, draft, and trade.
Free agency and draft do not require losing any assets.
My point is if you swing for the fences now you are left with bare cupboards and a skeleton roster with few assets. Looking at Houston with Harden, as an example, that wasn't the case. They had 4 guys left after the trade on their rookie contracts as well as 4/5 of a starting lineup, rotational players, they had a slew of 2nd round picks plus their own 1st round picks from 2014 onwards, and they had lots of cap space which they used to sign Howard the next summer.
The Raps currently have many good assets (players and picks) to work with. If MU waits too long to cash-in his assets, he'll have to start re-signing them (ie: Patterson, Vasquez, Hansborough and de Colo this offseason). When that happens, there are two issue: first, they probably have less trade value after re-signing because they aren't considered to be such values; second, it stands to leave the team with far less cap space to further build the team post-trade.
I think MU is in a great position to pursue a blockbuster deal this offseason, whether it's at or after the draft:
- JV & Ross are still on rookie deals and full of potential
- DeRozan is an all-star on a decent deal
- Amir still has a full season under contract
- contract options for Salmons & Hansborough are at peak value
- Hayes & Fields will be expiring contracts next season
- S&T options for Lowry, Patterson, Vasquez, de Colo
- their own 2014 1st round pick
- an early 2014 2nd round pick (almost a 1st rounder without the guaranteed money)
- a late 2014 2nd round pick
- all their 2015 picks
- an extra 1st round pick in 2016
Given the makeup of the team, all the draft picks over the next 3 drafts and all the salary set to expire over the next 2 offseasons, I'm not the least bit worried that a blockbuster trade to acquire a legit superstar player might gut this team. I think this offseason, next season or the following offseason is the ideal window to significantly retool this team. The fact that such an approach happens to coincide with TL coming on board, a franchise rebranding and hosting an all-star game can't be just a lucky coincidence...
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