in this league, you don't win without elite players. Just because it happened once, doesn't make it any less so. Every season, the top 4-5 teams are all anchored by 1-2 top 10 players. Always was, always will be. Anybody who questions that is, in my opinion, fooling themselves.
And, while it's possible to get that elite player through late lottery or free agency, chances are you will not. And it's not even a factor of your GM being great, because, for the most part, it's out of his hands. It's so rare for elite players to slip through the cracks and if there are no elite players where you draft, then you're out of luck. Not to mention that you have to miss the playoffs in order to have even that slight chance - can't recall anybody really good drafted outside lottery in recent memory. You can get very good players like bledsoe or rondo, but not top 10 talents.
So, if we don't tank this year, it's nearly certain that we will never get that type of talent. We'll just have to settle for East's version of Denver, a good team who wins 50 games and has a shot to win a playoff round every season. Which would make it the best Raptor team ever of course. And, in 6-7 years, we'll get another chance to rebuild and maybe we'll do it properly then.