Thank you all for your comments. Yes I did read the article, which was the latest symptom of a long observed disease. The video game analogy was apt, we're talking about real people with emotions, passion and a desire to get better and win, not clones that we can direct at a whim based on ridiculous hypothetical situations like, hey if we lose two more games we'll be a better team in the long run. If it doesn't work out in manager mode you can just simulate the season and acquire more talent. People should hate losing with a passion. Ask Kobe or MJ what they think of losing now to win later. MJ has done a hell of a lot of losing since becoming an owner, where's his OKC facsimile?
@Lark Benson - Thanks for your non-reply reply; a real paradigm shifter
@ebrian - Lurking sounds so sinister. I did read the article and I watch nearly every game. Care to add any substance to your critique or is a flippant remark all you can muster? At least I provided a detailed rationale for my stance.
Losing always sucks no matter how you dice it. I don't care what scenarios you try to come up with. Our window to draft big time talent has closed. To improve we'll have to utilize free agency and trades.
Here's the thing. Your window to draft big time talent never closes. You lose, you tank, you draft that talent if its there. Improving through free agency and trades is exponentially more difficult than accumulating players through the draft, and if you think BC is going to get the job done right, just look at his flimsy history of big swings and big misses. You'll be dead before the Raptors win anything by building through trades.
There are more "monsters under the bed."
Originally Posted by TSN.ca
Point Guard: BJ Armstrong (1995)
Armstrong was selected from the Chicago Bulls with the first overall pick in the 1995 Expansion Draft. Armstrong refused to report for training camp and the Raps eventually sent him to the Golden State Warriors for Carlos Rogers and Victor Alexander.
Shooting Guard: Kenny Anderson (1998)
The Raptors acquired Anderson, Alvin Williams and Gary Trent from the Portland Trail Blazers in the Damon Stoudamire deal. Anderson refused to report to Toronto, so just five days later he was shipped to Boston with Zan Tabak and Popeye Jones for Chauncey Billups, Dee Brown, Roy Rogers and John “Big Kitchen” Thomas.
Small Forward: John Salmons (2006)
In the summer of 2006, the 6-foot-6 combo guard had agreed to a sign-and-trade that would see Salmons leave the Philadelphia 76ers for the Toronto Raptors. But less than a week later, Salmons had backed out of the deal saying that the Raptors weren't a good fit for him. Salmons would eventually sign with the Sacramento Kings.
Power Forward: Alonzo Mourning (2004)
The Raptors acquired Mourning in the infamous Vince Carter trade. From the outset, Mourning refused to report to Toronto and many insisted that he was finished as a player. Toronto bought out the final two years of Mourning's contract, making him a free agent. Mourning promptly signed with the Miami Heat and would go on to win an NBA championship with Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal.
Centre: Hakeem Olajuwon (2001)
Ok, so Olajuwon actually did show up, but only in the most literal sense. The Dream played just 61 games for the Raptors, but he had checked out long before that. The Raptors sent the Rockets two draft picks for Olajuwon – one of which ended up becoming Bostjan Nachbar. Olajuwon, named to the 50 greatest NBA players of all-time, put up the lowest numbers of his career with Toronto, averaging just 7.1 points and 6.0 rebounds.
Herb Williams (1996): Williams was acquired with Doug Christie from the Knicks for Willie Anderson and Victor Alexander. At first, Williams refused to come to Toronto, but the Raptors informed him that if he didn't play the team would be forced to forfeit a game because it didn't have enough players. Williams ended up playing 31 minutes that night and was quickly waived so he could rejoin the Knicks.
The reason i bring up these painful memories is this...(quoting my post from Feb 3rd 2013 @10:30pm)
People are not demanding a trade to Toronto. Players run like a thief in the night or don't try. The ones THAT DO WANT TO STAY....we show no loyalty. I'd argue that we have one of the worst reputations in the league. You realize we are coming close to our 20 year anniversary & have NOTHING to show for it? We're just a bus stop. A one horse town. Players are just passing through. Keeping there stats up for their next stop. End quote.
We have no jerseys retired. We have no one to place a call to a player on our behalf to tell them what a CAREER is like in Toronto. Let's even create an imaginary scenario where we drafted the next "Hall Of Fame" player. What would keep that player in Toronto? This is why we should be looking at international players & combing the D league to put together a system/culture that ANY player would want to be a part of.
- For five years (2013-2017), the pick is protected for the Thunder so that they can only receive a lottery pick, meaning if Toronto makes the playoffs in 2013, the pick gets deferred to 2014, and so on and so on for five years. Should the Raptors shock the world and qualify for the postseason in five straight seasons, the Thunder (or whoever owns the pick at that point) will get an unprotected Raptors pick in 2018.
For the Raptors, the forfeited pick breaks down like so:
- Top-3 protected in 2013
- Top-2 protected in 2014 and 2015
- No. 1 overall protected in 2016 and 2017
Also, to answer a frequently asked question, once the pick lands in the unprotected range (4-14 in 2013, 3-14 in 2014 and 2015, or 2-14 in 2016 or 2017), that becomes the year the Thunder must use it.
The above demonstrates that the pick is as close to lottery guaranteed as possible.
We agree that OKC is in win now mode, but do you really think the 15th-16th player drafted this year is going to make any difference what-so-ever? They already have prospects like Perry Jones III (28th pick who was considered a lottery talent) and Jeremy Lamb (12th pick). PJ3 averages 7 minutes per game and Lamb gets 4.4. Why would they want a 15th pick in a weak draft when they already have 2 prospects, that are likely better than whoever they can get at 15?
OKC is in the perfect position to wait and be patient. Because they are in win-now mode, they can afford to wait for that pick because they are already the best team in the NBA. If they wanted to cash in on the asset for the immediate future, they would trade it because any player picked isn't going to be an immediate help.
Your argument defies logic. Perhaps you are secretly Rob Babcock?
"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying." - Michael Jordan, G.O.A.T.
a) the draft
b) trading for it
c) luring it in free agency
C requires not only a desirable destination (which Toronto has proven, fair or not, not to be), but also existing talent on the roster that top-level talent wants to play with.
B requires not only an exceptional amount of luck and timing, but again requires existing talent on the roster in order to have said talent resign, as top-level players are only ever traded when their existing clubs believe they won't resign.
That leaves A. It's unpredictable and it's difficult, but it has proven time and time again to be the most effective way of adding championship-calibre talent to a roster. Again, look at the standing, and how each of those teams added their talent, then tell me you can see the Raptors doing the same without the draft.
You're right that the draft window has closed, but that doesn't mean it was the right course of action, only that BC has pinned himself into a corner that cannot possibly lead to championship level results without an insane level of luck. Yes, losing sucks, welcome to the world of pro sports; you have to be bad before you can be good.
Not to say that Amir Johnson is suddenly going to revert back to his 6 fouls in 6 minutes routine, but the point is that at the time, he was definitely not worth the $30M contract he signed in 2010.
Point Guard: BJ Armstrong (1995)
Armstrong was selected from the Chicago Bulls with the first overall pick in the 1995 Expansion Draft.
Is there a higher number than one?
If that is the only thing your arguing i'll consider that progress.
I'll make my " " more bigger next time as well.
@Lark Benson - Don't accuse others of that which you clearly demonstrate. You say I have no grasp of history. Lakers repeatedly buy championships, as do the Celtics. The Heat bought one last year. I have an MA in history, don't try to give me a history lesson buddy. Just shows how out of your depth you are. Someone provide me detailed evidence of a team tanking, getting an elite talent, and keeping them long enough to build a championship team around them. Go ahead, Lark Benson's of the world, I dare you to substantiate your drivel.
@ebrian - go crack open a math text book, study it for a few days and then tell me again how Amir is getting $9 mill a year. Even if he makes all of the bonuses in the deal it's still only $34 mill over 5 years which is less than $7mill per. For someone to say Amir did "nothing" in his first two years of the deal clearly didn't watch any of those games. He was the only guy who gave 100% on every possession, regardless of the circumstances. The foul trouble limited his playing time but when he was in he was very effective.
@JimiCliff - I respect that that may be your opinion but I'm not convinced. Where is your evidence?
Wade (drafted 5th) with Miami.
Dirk (9th) with the Mavs.
Kobe (13th) with the Lakers.
Pierce (10th) with the Celtics.
Duncan (1st) with the Spurs.
MJ (3rd) with the Bulls.
Hakeem (1st) with the Rockets.
Thomas (2nd) with the Pistons.
And we'll stop there.
These teams were all assembled around that first future HOF player that they drafted (with the exception being the Shaq/Kobe Lakers; and I don't think I need to explain why we can't hope to build our teams like the Lakers did/do). That's the first domino that has to fall; after that, there are different ways to build your team.
Also, take a look at the teams that lost in the finals. Many were built around 'franchise' picks like Durant, Lebron, Howard, Iverson and Ewing.
It just seems to me that if there's a player coming up in a draft who is a consensus franchise player, like Duncan and Lebron were, and like Wiggins appears to be, then you should seriously consider tanking to give yourself the best possible chance at drafting that player.
*The only example of not building your team this way, and a lot of luck went into that team coming together like it did: Ben Wallace emerging out of nowhere as a once-in-a-generation player, Billups finally figuring it out after his fiftieth team, Rasheed Wallace being traded to them for nothing (one of the most underrated bad trades that I can think of). So I don't consider it a team building model to follow.
It's easy to say let's tank for this kid, but what are the chances that you actually get the #1 overall pick. I'm pretty sure you'd have competition in the tank battle and even if you finish with the worst record, it's still only a 25% chance. It's not a sure fire bullet proof plan.
To build a team, you need to establish a core of players that you will ride with. Next, you adapt your system in order to maximize the potential of that core. The system must be carried on by both coaches and management. Last, you surround the core with complimentary role players when fit the system.
Miami, OKC, Indiana and San Antonio are great examples of establishing a core & with it a system, then surrounding them with players who allow the teams to carry on with their system. Each situation is a unique combination of draft picks, trades and free agent acquisitions. Each situation has a different identity and culture.
If the Raptors are convinced that a core has been more or less established (Gay, DeRozan, Valanciunas and Lowry), then it's time to proceed with establishing a unique system that features the core. The main thing now is having the coaches and management to share the same vision in order to carry out the plan.
My biggest worry is that management may have one vision, while coaches have another. You have to evaluate now (speaking to the owners now) whether we have the proper personnel that can showcase our core the best way possible. That, I think, is the biggest hurdle going into the off season.
That he's become a decent starter on a team that will win 33-35 games is not proof that the contract was good. Rather, it's the silver lining to an otherwise poor business decision.
And even if I were to give you the benefit of the doubt by lumping the expansion draft process in the same category as the lottery draft (which I don't), that doesn't apply to any of the other names on your list which you seem to be basing your entire theory around.
Furthermore, there's plenty of evidence to support the contrary that is much more recent AND relevant. The Raptors 4 leading scorers (and 5 of the top 7) of all time were all drafted by the team. Pssst... most of them were lottery picks too.
Last edited by Fully; Fri Mar 1st, 2013 at 02:19 PM.
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