This summer is going slow - which is not a bad thing - but it sucks for Raptors fans waiting for October 31. Because of this discussion has also been slow and in some cases agonizing. With little to talk many old arguments and debates have come up.
These old debates (Bosh and Colangelo, in particular) got me thinking about the Raptor teams of the post-Vince Carter era. This can basically be summed up as the "Bosh era" and the "post-Bosh era".
What I find extremely interesting is, while many things have changed from the 2005-2010 time frame compared to 2010-now, one thing has stayed the same. The big similarity is the ongoing battle to build a perennial contender. From this similarity comes 2 very different outcomes though.
In the Bosh era the team had its All-Star talent. It was Bosh. No, he was not a franchise piece but he was a very talented player who put up 20/10 a night. No, he wasn't going to single-handedly win many games - the odd one no doubt. No, he wasn't going to carry the team on his shoulders. I am not attempting to put Bosh down here, I am stating what I consider to be accepted facts. But one thing Bosh never had was a solid supporting cast. There were a couple of good pieces in addition to Bosh but the word 'depth' certainly was never associated with the Raptors during the Bosh era. The Raptors also lacked the means to add depth and help as they did not have valuable trade chips or cap space after the summer of 2006.
Since Bosh has left, no doubt the team has been busy getting an overhaul. This is the first time in the post-Bosh era that the Raptors are being talked about as playoff contenders without a prior hit off the bong. *The following is my opinion which is likely not to be the opinion of everyone but that is cool* The current Raptor team has depth that I cannot remember the team having since 2005. PG is solid, wings are not outstanding but better than recent years, and bigs appear to be deep and complimentary to one another. In addition, moving forward, the Raptors have the flexibility with their cap space to facilitate trades or free agent acquisitions should the opportunity arise. It is still an unknown but it appears likely the new CBA will benefit the teams outside the top markets. Really the only thing Toronto is missing at this time is a legit All-Star talent.... which leads me to my question:
Assuming the all-star talent is already on a max-contract, do you think it is better to build a team around the player or build the team and add the player later?
*Clearly the best option would be to draft your franchise/all-star player but a lot of luck is needed before the front office ever has a chance to impact the roster. So lets assume the all-star talent is already established and on a max contract, just for the sake of apples-to-apples discussion.*
**To avoid any confusion, what I am asking is: do you think it is better to have that max-contract talent first and build around him or do you think it is better to have the support and attempt to add the max-contract talent second?**
***Hopefully this isn't received as a stupid thread idea but I'm just trying to generate any interesting discussion as we approach the 2 month countdown to the start of the season***