Well yes, because it will make following the team this season bearable but does clawing its way into the playoffs this year actually help the franchise over the long term?

What's the ceiling for this year's team? They get blown out repeatedly, have a team meeting and barely beat the Wizards - I'm not very impressed.

Let's say they keep putting in an effort most nights and improve their historically-bad defense. Where are they in April? A 6-seed? Can they win 4 games against Boston, Cleveland, Orlando or Atlanta? I really don't think so. So that's another first-round exit. Does Bosh stay after that? Even if he does, aren't the Raps looking at the same story the next year and beyond? Good player but it feels like he's just going to stagnate in Toronto.

So a bottoming-out and long-term rebuild seems to me like something a good GM has to seriously consider. And by rebuild I mean 2-4 years of missing the playoffs, drafting well and developing young players. It will suck for the fans but might be the franchise's only means of rising above mediocrity.