Originally Posted by missionman
I don't post often here, but thought i had to respond to this one. The ONLY portion of this statement i agree with is giving your young guys playoff experience.
While Toronto is not the most attractive of destinations for financial reasons and because of ignorance by some americans, free agents WILL come if its a winning franchise or one that has promise.
Trades are great, but you need to have assets to trade.
I don't see how you get either scenario to happen (f/a signings or trades) if you don't draft well. Your odds are better of drafting well increase exponentially the higher you pick, and the worse you do in the preceding year.
FURTHERMORE, (its been said here before by others), history would demonstrate that the NBA champions have been developed around a superstar developed out of hte draft, surrounded by other great players that may have been drafted, signed or traded for. (Bird/celtics, Magic/lakers, MJ/Bulls, Duncan/Spurs, Isaiah/Bad Boys, Kobe/Lakers (ok, ok - they traded for Shaq and there is the issue of kobe forcing his way on to the Lakers, but still...). Even the Pistons, arguably, had to have assets from the draft to turn them into a champion (Ben Wallace in S&T fir Grant Hill, Stackhouse for Rip, Tayshaun was drafted...)
granted things have changed in recent years with players realizing that they make so much money they can take a paycut to be on winning team (a la Lebron and Bosh), OR maybe form another superteam like the Knicks if they can attract DWill or CP3.
If you want to argue whether or not its more interesting (or better for business) to finish 8th year after year in mediocrity, over going for the gold with a high draft pick, fine. But don't tell me that the 'correct' way to build' is through free agency and trades...