So since people are always debating potential moves, and direction for the team, I thought I'd put in the time to write a comprehensive plan (as opposed to one-off comments in various threads). I will put the caveat that a lot of what I am proposing will need financial approval. I am trying to make a plan of direction, funding would dictate how much actually gets achieved.

Franchise Direction1. Expand the scouting staff. The NBA regulates how much money you spend on players, but not how much you spend on scouting. The Raps should have as many talented scouts as they can get. They need to be deployed all over the world to watch and evaluate as many players as possible. Draft picks, and free agents from over-seas are the cheapest method's of acquiring talented players. You need to make the most of every opportunity. How good would the Spurs have been if they didn't draft Parker late in the first or Manu in the 2nd round? Gems can be found, but you need to look hard.

2. Build on the team culture by only acquiring players that fit at least one of the following three traits:
hard workers who play well defensively- regardless of position;
supreme athletes;
vets on short deals.

We want players that fit the new team culture of D-Fence. If we can become an elite defensive team, we can compete every night and would appear to be "one piece away", a positive light that we haven't been able to say since T-Mac & Vince.

Gusy who are super athletic can be taught specific roles/skills that will help the team. Also, the better the athlete, the better chance they have to become a very good defender. Surround those guys with Defensive guys, and the hardwork and defensively mentality should rub off. There is no surprise that San Antonio gets better defensively play out of bad defenders that other teams, because of the culture created with Pop, Duncan, Parker and Manu. A strong culture with leaders will reign in players (with the caveat that some players are just dumb - Blatche, McGee, etc).

Veterans are often the easiest way to get talent on the cheap. Young gems are hard to find (boom/bust), but a solid veteran prescence is much easier to predict. But the deals have to be short (3 yr max) and not expensive (no JO, Turk type deals). European league players are a great way to get experienced/professional players but with the hunger and drive of someone who hasn't had as much success. Alan Anderson has proven to be a great move, we need to scour the globe for other players. Rudy Fernandez from Madrid? Would he come back to the NBA? Maybe, maybe not, but this is the type of thign that needs to be explored.

Guys that fit these traits would be Lou Amundson (#1) - signed by Minnesota mid-season on min., Ryan Gomes (#2) - free agent still, Brian Cardinal (#1 & #3) - free agent still. The move I loved by another team this past year was Portland and JJ Hickson. Hardworker and a great athlete on a cheap one year deal. That is the type of player we need to target.

3. Continue to look at various technology advancements. Using the technology to track metric stats, and trends is something that can't be ignored. As a franchise, we need to be cutting-edge in this field. Better to have overlap than holes. Invest in tools that can give you the best information to make the best decisions going forward.

Here is how I would like to see the roster managed:
1. Trade Jose is priority #1. I have said it in several threads and will continue to say it, the Raps need to trade Jose. Any development plan involving Jose not being traded is foolish because he is the only asset we have with a short shelf-life. He has value as an expiring contract, but that is only true for a few more months. You need to pull that trigger or lose that asset. Players combined with picks that fit a need and style should be focused on.

2. Trade Bargnani should be priority #2, but this could take longer than some of the other tasks as his value is very low right now. Let him play out the season if need be, but at some point in the next 1.5 years, Bargnani should no longer be on the Raps. If you looking to make a move immediately, then a bad contract + future pick is your best bet. I highly doubt the Charlotte rumours are true (Gordon + 1st rounder? I'd take that), but a move that may benefit both teams is Washington - Okafor. Okafor is vastly overpaid. Washington knows this, plus they have a similar style of player in Nene who is better and cheaper. Washington needs to add a different dimension to their team, Bargnani is as different from Okafor as possible and would add spacing and scoring to compliment their young scoring back-court. Getting a future first rounder (certainly there would be some limitations on the deal - likely top 5 protected, so it's realistically a couple of years down the road) gives the Raps a future asset to build with. Okafor would fit the defensive style and bring some leadership. Yes, he's never won anything in the NBA, but he was a 4 year star in college who won the NCAA championship (which is better than most players who don't even get to or finish their junior years). He would provide rugged interior defence (the role currently held by Aaron Gray) and his deal expires a full season ahead of Bargnani. If a similar deal can't be done, then Bargnani comes off the bench until the off-season when we try again. Hopefully he could demonstrate better basketball in the interim and raise his value slightly.

3. Monitor the un-stables There are a few teams that seem the most likely to blow things up right now and those situations need to be monitored very closely.
Phoenix fired their coach and had a near player revolt when the interim replacement was named. Their top 2 assistants left the team. Their don't seem to have a solid direction or talent base. They look like a team that will likely be exploded and rebuilt in the very near future. Guys to watch on Phoenix - Jared Dudley (perfect fit), Shannon Brown, Luis Scola. I'd even take on one of their basket-cases (Beasley) if it gave me a good pick.
Dallas looks poised to start over and Cuban is aggressive. While their roster isn't full of young talent, they do have some vets that could help. Guys to watch - Kaman, Marion, Beabois, Wright, and even Vince Carter (note - I was previously against this very much and said as much during the thread that ensued from his interview earlier this season).
Orlando is in rebuild mode, but hasn't completely purged their roster yet. Guys to watch - Affalo, Redick, Vucevic. They also have a nice trade exception which would be useful in facilitating a trade.
Milwaukee is running out of time to decide what to do with their roster. Do they re-sign Jennings or deal Ellis or keep both? They donít seem to know any better than anyone else, so they could be poised to mvoe in a radical direction. Guys to watch - Ilyasova, Dalembert, Mbah a Moute, Dunleavy, Marquis Daniels. I doubt that whatever they do they would include Larry Sanders or Jon Henson. They also have a $2.5 million trade exception from the Stephen Jackson deal.
Washington has a lot of overlap and may be looking to move some pieces. Vesely seems to have fallen out of favour but was a lottery pick and is perhaps salvagable on the cheap. Guys to watch - Ariza, Vesely, Seraphin, Booker.
Atlanta made a lot of good moves last year and look to continue to be aggressive. They might be a difficult trade partner since they seem to have specific goals in mind but they have already suspended their most expensive and tantalizing player. They may decide to make a big move. Guys to watch - Josh Smith, Zaza, Morrow, Deshaun Stevenson, Ivan Johnson.
Charlotte has already been rumoured to be willing to make moves. Guys to watch - Gerald Henderson, Jeff Taylor. Gordon and Tyrus