Originally Posted by jeffb
To become a playoff team in NBA doesn't have to take that long. To be Champion, sure I agree. I'm more talking about being a playoff team, and having some success in the playoffs (win a round). That's when you may be able to sign a bigger name and take another step forward. You say it takes 5-8 years, the fact is how many of your picks do you have before you start to aquire established players to take that next step? Let's say we draft Perry Jones or Irving, add him to Davis, Derozan, Bayless is it then time to add to the mix via FA, trade? And if so it probably takes you up a couple notches and you next pick might very well be #15 or lower. Looking at OKC, how many of their top 5 picks are starting for them?
I agree competing in the playoffs is not an 8 year project, but using OKC as your model is somewhat misleading. For one, they were rebuilding in Seattle long before they started winnning in OKC. Secondly, they were very fortunate to have a consensus top 2 pick which happened to be the winning pick fall into their lap. Finally, it's unclear at what point OKC becomes a legitimate threat to unseat the top teams in the West to even qualify for a true title shot.
I also think the question of a linear progression is often assumed. If we draft a top 5 pick this year, it's not unfathomable that theplayer is at minimum 2-3 years away from being a solid starter. Take a look at DD and Davis as proof of that. It's a man's league and the top teams are men among boys.
Building a winning culture, to me is more important than title aspirations at this point, because it's more than likely the Raptors
and many other teams won't be winning it all for many years. It's like 8 or 9 teams have won it over 30 years.... there is very little parity at the elite level of the NBA.