Would you rather be the Raptors or Sixers?
Old 04-02-2014, 05:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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There are a seemingly infinite number of ways to approach the great tanking debate, case studies gold—24-carat and fool’s—to be found in the lottery. But with the 2013-14 regular season almost at its conclusion, one question stands out in particular: Which group would you rather your team fell into?

On one side, the group currently containing the likes of Philadelphia, Orlando and Utah: teams that knew they were lottery bound, accomplished that mission and will now wait to see how the lotto balls fall on May 20. On the other, the one that Toronto and Phoenix belong to: teams that thought they were lottery bound, but have instead managed to turn in successful seasons. The Raptors are a playoff team with a chance to win the Atlantic Division, the 76ers equalled the longest losing streak in NBA history and now have a chance to win the Wiggins/Parker/Embiid/Exum/Randle sweepstakes. From which spot would you rather be building and moving forward?

There is, of course, no one answer. Even general managers have divergent views on where they would like to be. One current NBA GM said there is more certainty and clarity finding yourself in the lottery-bound boat. You have young pieces that you are working to develop and you have a chance to add more in the draft. Players like Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic and Victor Oladipo or Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams are all great building blocks. But in the NBA, young players don’t win, so patience is key as their development usually walks hand-in-hand with loss after loss.

Toronto and Phoenix have both seen young players grow into bona fide stars, though not necessarily on the current front office or coaching staff’s watch. DeMar DeRozan was an all star, Goran Dragic very well could have been and Eric Bledsoe was turning heads until he was stopped by an injury. Though DeRozan had to suffer through seasons of 22, 23 and 34 wins before this year’s individual and team success, this year’s breakthrough—like the one in Arizona—has raised expectations and reinvigorated the fan base. Once fans have seen the light go on, they don’t want it turned off.

So it’s better to get young players in place and build around them then, right?

Not necessarily.

A second GM holds the opposite view. Citing the common refrain, he points out that there are “no guarantees” a young player will develop into a breakout talent and points out that current assets in Phoenix and Toronto look better as established pieces on a winning team than they did as unproven potential. With your team further down the road to playoff success, trading when a player’s stock is at its highest comes into play, which allows for more informed decisions and, potentially, much greater returns. True, you can trade young assets and picks (like Boston did) but in that scenario, you have to find a trade partner willing to believe in the potential they possess—and you can’t be totally sure what you’re giving up.

Once your team has started to win and the expectations have suddenly been raised, patience almost becomes even more crucial. You have to decide what pieces fit your system and the way you want to play, and build around them. And while you are building, you always have to keep in mind the one element of success that simply can’t be quantified: chemistry.

(If you’ll excuse a brief side note: I wonder if the Indiana Pacers have irreparably destroyed their locker room chemistry by making moves at the trade deadline. With the signing of Andrew Bynum, what is going through Ian Mahinmi mind? How has Evan Turner’s arrival impacted Lance Stephenson? Despite the team’s past success without him, it sure appeared from the outside that Danny Granger was fine with his role even though he wasn’t always a major contributing factor on the floor. All of these elements—not to mention that the team’s lost three straight and six of their last 10—point to the dangers of tinkering with a good thing.)
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Ask a free agent the question that kicked off this article and you’ll get an easy answer: Give me the winner.

The thinking is pretty easy to follow. He doesn’t know how long his career will last. If he goes to a rebuilding team and wins don’t follow, there could be a change in coaching or management and he could be traded—taking a decision that was once in his hands out of them. As our second GM pointed out, there are never any guarantees. But a winning team is always more attractive to a free agent who sees his father time gaining ground.

I’m with the free agent. I’ll take winning every time. Sure, we don’t know where all of the aforementioned teams will be in five years. But one thing is certain: Right now, fan bases in Phoenix and Toronto are being sold winning. In all of those lottery-bound cities, all they can sell is hope.
Would you rather be Sixers or Raptors? - Sportsnet.ca
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Who wouldn't want all those 8 2nd round picks!

As for the 1st pick this year I think this really says it all....

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... the 76ers equalled the longest losing streak in NBA history and now have a chance to win the Wiggins/Parker/Embiid/Exum/Randle sweepstakes.
Its not the "LBJ sweeps" or whatever... its the one of 5 players with no hugely clear cut game changer sweeps.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Who wouldn't want all those 8 2nd round picks!

As for the 1st pick this year I think this really says it all....



Its not the "LBJ sweeps" or whatever... its the one of 5 players with no hugely clear cut game changer sweeps.
MCW/Noel/Wiggins/Wroten is a decent start to rebuilding imo. Still prefer our position though.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A lot of it has to do with the management of both teams, not just the position that they're currently in when you just break down tanking vs a middle of the line team with potential.

Having the middle of the line team with potential and a genius behind that team makes all of the difference, and our 'rebuild' is looking like its going to be super quick WHILE we win, whereas they may have to wait 2 more years to get anywhere. They also look like they have a good GM on the frontlines from Houston, so I think both teams are where they want to be, but crazy as it is, I'd rather be us right now.

It hurts to say it being on team tank for so long, but I have such faith in Masai, I think it's different now vs 5 years ago because we finally have a guy who seems to know what hes doing. It's refreshing, and feels good as a fan.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Who wouldn't want all those 8 2nd round picks!

As for the 1st pick this year I think this really says it all....



Its not the "LBJ sweeps" or whatever... its the one of 5 players with no hugely clear cut game changer sweeps.
they also get NO's pick though, two top 10 picks in a pretty good and deep draft. They could have 5 one/two year players with all star potential on that roster. It's all about the draft, if they nail it, they'll be better than us easily.

I'd still take Philly over us in the long run. We have our own long list of question marks, starting with lowry - lose him for nothing this summer and we'll be in deep shit.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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would rather be Raps rite now...
all the losing the past 5 years, now we get to play ball in late April and potentially May.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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MCW/Noel/Wiggins/Wroten is a decent start to rebuilding imo. Still prefer our position though.
with vucevic still that would be deadly, but insert vuc and they probably wouldnt get wiggins
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The beautiful thing about Toronto is that it legitimately feels like they are just getting started. There's so much they can easily improve upon just by playing together more. The difficulties in close games and OT's, and the habit of letting go of big leads - stuff like that can fade away as they continue to execute better on both ends, and there is lots of room for improvement in spite of seeing a lot of improvement already.

They have some good basics down enough to have weathered the ups and downs of two sophomores in the starting lineup, as well as through some injury problems, although they have been pretty lucky with those. Tonight they showed they can look pretty confident without the guy that they rely on more than anyone. It's not too hard to see them going beyond those basics.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Philly will be exciting to watch next season.

We need to tie down KL cuz if not we just lost the team's most important player.
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Toronto baby ... Feels like we are starter a true foundational culture to build on ... Front office is willing to spend to win
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Definitely the Raptors, losing sucks no matter what. I could see if the Raptors didn't have any talent or a bright future but they definitely have a promising group.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
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they also get NO's pick though, two top 10 picks in a pretty good and deep draft. They could have 5 one/two year players with all star potential on that roster. It's all about the draft, if they nail it, they'll be better than us easily.

I'd still take Philly over us in the long run. We have our own long list of question marks, starting with lowry - lose him for nothing this summer and we'll be in deep shit.
Lol. You would pick philly...I'm sure it justifies your love of the tank and makes you all warm and fuzzy. Still going...

We have 2 players in DD and KL that arrived. Ross and JV are arguably better prospects than wroten, mcw, noel and we have our first rounders every year and 2 next year.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:43 AM   #13 (permalink)
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they also get NO's pick though, two top 10 picks in a pretty good and deep draft. They could have 5 one/two year players with all star potential on that roster. It's all about the draft, if they nail it, they'll be better than us easily.

I'd still take Philly over us in the long run. We have our own long list of question marks, starting with lowry - lose him for nothing this summer and we'll be in deep shit.
Sounds like Cleveland
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The beautiful thing about Toronto is that it legitimately feels like they are just getting started. There's so much they can easily improve upon just by playing together more. The difficulties in close games and OT's, and the habit of letting go of big leads - stuff like that can fade away as they continue to execute better on both ends, and there is lots of room for improvement in spite of seeing a lot of improvement already.

They have some good basics down enough to have weathered the ups and downs of two sophomores in the starting lineup, as well as through some injury problems, although they have been pretty lucky with those. Tonight they showed they can look pretty confident without the guy that they rely on more than anyone. It's not too hard to see them going beyond those basics.
Agreed. I think it's important they develop some mental toughness when they against the wall, and gain more experience. The big question is Lowry, if he stays we have a pretty good foundation but if he goes it's back to the drawing board.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Agreed. I think it's important they develop some mental toughness when they against the wall, and gain more experience. The big question is Lowry, if he stays we have a pretty good foundation but if he goes it's back to the drawing board.
Unless we end up drafting a good pg (not likely, but it could happen)
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Unless we end up drafting a good pg (not likely, but it could happen)
Yeah, if somehow we get a good PG, I agree. I think MU sees GV as a fall back plan if Lowry walks. Not ideal, but better than having Stone or Buycks as your starting PG.
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Why do you trade a flourshing present and a future that seems bright for a prospect ?
I would not bear such a risk.
Derozan, Ross, JV and Lowery can make a good contending team with the right coach and the right bench.
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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As of right now I'd pick Toronto, but next year could be a different story depending on 2 things. 1) If Lowry re-signs and 2) Who the Sixers draft. Once these things are settled, then I'd have a clear answer moving forward.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:00 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Sounds like Cleveland
Yes, if the 76ers can't draft, they will end up like Cleveland. Or they could be OKC and draft well, and turn in like them.


This is a good question. I talked about it a few months ago how I thought 76ers future was still in good position. They went FULL tank mode and if done right, not far off to being a playoff team again with a lot of potential.

That said, they still have to hit on a few things
1. Is Noel going to be successful in the NBA? He is a talented big man but nobody knows if he is going to be great.
2. Will they get lucky in the lottery?
3. Will their other top 10 pick be successful?


If the answer is Yes to all 3 of those question, I might lean towards 76ers. But it is hard to predict all 3 of those things happening.

If they won the lottery, draft Wiggins, then say get someone like SG Gary Harris(like his game) with their other first rounder.

MCW/Harris/Wiggins/Young/Noel. That is a good young core to build around. A lot of talent at least.


I guess the question is, how good can Toronto really be? Can Toronto improve and be top tier team like the Pacers? Or is Toronto going to be the new Atlanta Hawks? Good talented team, makes playoff, but never makes it past 2nd round?


If you asked me right now, I probably take Toronto. But after the draft/FA, I might change my answer if was asked again.
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:30 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Sounds like Cleveland
I wouldn't be so dismissive of the cavs, they had a horrible season, but they have a LOT of talent and they'll get another pick this year. They didn't pick too badly either, thompson and waiters may not be the best players they could have had, but they're starting level guys. Benett is the big unknown of course.

And they have a ton of cap space, although they suffer from the same problem we do - nobody wants to go there.
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