Believe it or not, we actually gave away out 1st round pick, lotto protected this year, NOT protected next year I think, to Cleveland for.......Lamond Murray!!!!! Another of Grunwald's unbelievable moves...like signing an aging Antonio Davis to a MAX deal. Cleveland moved it to the Bobcats for like Sasha Pavlovic...another impressive move.
Like I said, only the most optimistic Raptor fans would ever think we will lose that pick this year. In reality, we'll not make the playoffs yet, grab a money star and have a great foundation. TJ/Pick/Bosh/Bargs as the foundation for the next 10 years is pretty good to me. I would sacrifice a first round playoff exit and TV ratings for that.
I just can't believe it when I hear other Raptor fans not wanting a 2007 lotto pick. We could have a perfect foundation for a long term winning program. Yet, people would like us to scrape into the playoffs, lose our pick, get swept in the playoffs. All this is because we would then be able to attract free agents? With what cap money? One first round exit isn't making the Raps a hot free agent destination. A nucleus of TJ/Thaddeus/Bosh would though. That way we control our own fate. Banking on free agents isn't exactly the best strategy....especially since we won't have cap space for another 4 years (which is fine). We need to add through the draft, one more legit player, and 2007 is the opportunity to get the wing player we need. I would want that scenario any day of the week then making the playoffs this year, winning nothing, losing our pick, but picking up some ratings and revenue dollars.
I understand what your saying Rapsfan. Its a good point, we could add another piece and stabalize ourselves for the future. But if we hit the lottery again, ordinary fan's see it as disapointment, not the way we see it. The fans want to see a winning team as soon as possible. We can all speculate whether they make the playoffs or lottery, but only their record will dictate that.
I'm don't like the idea of being in the draft next year. I hear what you are all saying and it does make perfect sense. But if we decide, before the season has even started, that our one year goal is to be in the draft and pick up that one final piece to the puzzle, then we can basically send Brian Colangelo on vacation for the year.
I want to see a GM who is going to work tirelessly to improve this team to win a championship. A guy like Babcock might have hoped to build out of the 2007 draft, but you don't hire the reigning executive of the year to come in and wait for a draft which is going to net you exactly ONE player, who may or may not be the guy that you hoped for, or worse, may even get injured after you draft him and then what? Then you've wasted a year without any assets to show for it.
I want Colangelo to examine every possibility to build this team into a contender. If there are trade scenario's in December that make sense, I want to see him working those, if there are deadline deals to be made, I want the Raptors to be a part of those.
It's like Raptors fans don't believe that our team can actually compete for a championship. At some point our fans have to lose the mentality of drafting "The next big thing" and start thinking on a broader scale. We already have our base of young players, we can't waste another year waiting for that one final piece. The reality is, even if we were to draft the best player from next years draft, we still need to build a team around the core. There is a lot more to be done than just to add one more draft pick.
Let's stop talking about drafting that one saviour, and start looking at team needs and work towards something more exciting than another boring draft.
I definetly would want the team to keep the pick this year, all the Raps need is for this young deep team to gel together and compete day in day out but not make the playoffs and pick up an excellent player in the draft. Like RapsFan said, we will only play Miami, Cleavland, Chicago or Detroit and get demolished. why not save the embaressement and get a good young player for the long haul?
It totally depends on the sophistication of the basketball fan, like RapsFan4life said. Me saying I want a '07 pick has NOTHING to do with me not wanting or thinking we will be a title contender. In fact, it has EVERYTHING to do with me wanting that. The average fan thinks that getting close to the playoffs, or even being in the playoffs each year is great. Like Memphis Grizz fans probably think their team is the ****. Well in fact, I would much rather be in the Raps position then a team that perennially gets swept in the 1st round. I want a legit contender.....key word being legit. We are starting at the basement, and just because we have BC, fans expect playoffs. Is that really the best thing for the long term title contention? To a average fan with little basketball IQ or knowledge of the behind the scenes workings of a team. To many of us, we see 2007 as a unique draft year. The arguements about a player you draft getting injured mean nothing....as Bosh, Ford, any trade asset or myself could get injured at anytime. Now, I definitely don't want BC doing nothing and he won't. If there is a deal to be made, he'll make it. But I guarantee he won't sell off young assets to get an aging veteren just to push us to a 1st round playoff exit. We want to win, long term.
Of course the Raps won't tank games to miss the playoffs. But I personally and pretty excited about the roster. I think we'll miss the playoffs, not on purpose but because we're simply not the 8th best team in the east or better. We will improve though, and we'll get another piece to the puzzle, before we start making some 'real' noise.