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duke dynamite
06-19-2008, 03:33 AM
As the confetti fell from the rafters and covered the Boston Celtics in glory for the 17th time in the organization's rich history, fans in the other NBA cities were left to ponder the same question:
Why not us?

Why were the Celtics, an average team through the early part of the decade and a horrific one (24-58) last year, able to swing two monstrous trades to acquire two of the Big Three, notably Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen . . . and (pick your team) could not?

Well, at the risk of coming off as a Pacers apologist for one of the first times in recorded history, there's a very good reason Indiana didn't make those kinds of deals, why the Pacers couldn't have made those kinds of deals and why it's still out of the question.

They don't have players that other teams desire.

There's Danny Granger and there's, um, er, hmmm . . . there's Danny Granger.

Let's stop for a second and look at how the Celtics pulled off the two mega-trades:
They acquired Allen from Seattle in exchange for the No. 5 pick in last summer's draft. (There were also some other odds and ends involved in the trade.) Now, where was the Pacers' first-round pick? That's right: The Pacers didn't have a first-round pick, having foolishly dealt it away in the Al Harrington trade. And just for the record, that wasn't a Larry Bird idea.

Now let's look at the Garnett mega-deal. The Minnesota Timberwolves got two commodities the Pacers lack: They received four cheap, low-risk players under the age of 24 (Al Jefferson, Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes and Gerald Green), they acquired another valuable piece in the expiring contract of overpaid Theo Ratliff ($11.66 million), and the Celtics' 2009 first-round pick.

In the world of rebuilding NBA teams, there is no more valuable chit than an overpaid stiff whose bloated salary number is soon to come off the books -- another reason the Pacers would have been better off keeping Austin Croshere for one more season instead of dealing him prematurely for Marquis Daniels.

So the Wolves got younger and cheaper and obtained more cap flexibility. Jefferson, clearly, will be an excellent player down the line. Telfair has been an enigma, but he's a low-risk proposition and will be a restricted free agent this summer. Same thing with Kirk Snyder, who was acquired for Gerald Green in a deal with Houston. Gomes is not currently under contract for next season.

What did the Pacers have that Seattle or Minnesota could have wanted?

Granger, maybe. And the Pacers are not moving Granger. Period.

Jermaine O'Neal? His trade value is as low now as it has ever been, and while it would be preferable to move him this offseason so rebuilding can commence, the truth is, the Pacers might have to hold tight and wait until next season's trade deadline to get full value for him. That's assuming he's healthy at that point.

After that, the Pacers have a lot of overpaid, ordinary players with long-term deals. Who wants Troy Murphy? Who wants Mike Dunleavy, even after a breakout year? Who wants Jamaal Tinsley? No, really, I'm not asking, I'm begging, does anybody want Tinsley? Please?

One of the primary reasons the Celtics were in this position is because Danny Ainge, who looked like a complete dope until last summer, was not afraid to let his team go in the dumper for a few years.

They already had Jefferson in house, having taken him at No. 15 in the 2004 draft. Then, in 2005, they drafted Green at No. 18 and Gomes at No. 50. (Another reason to mention how the Pacers threw away a second-rounder on James White.) Then, in 2006, Ainge acquired Telfair and Ratliff from Portland.

The moral of the story is, the Celtics willingly if grudgingly fell to rock bottom, drafted reasonably well (traded for draft rights to Kendrick Perkins at No. 27 in 2003 and Rajon Rondo at No. 21 in 2006), added some young talent and an expiring contract, and put themselves in a position to make two seismic, offseason deals.

Lucky? Yeah, there was some of that. A decade ago, Pierce dropped to the Celtics at No. 10. And it's helpful that Ainge and Minnesota GM Kevin McHale have a relationship -- and yes, McHale deserves another Celtics championship ring for this most recent Boston championship.

Even knowing that Bird and McHale have a history, both sides know the Pacers had nothing to offer in a deal to get Garnett and Allen.

No first-round draft choices. No intriguing young players, unless you're intrigued by Shawne Williams. No expiring contracts. Nothing.

The Celtics made their championship deals because of drafts and trades they made during the franchise's dark period. The Pacers are still waiting for that first glimmer of light. Unless somebody wants Tinsley for, say, LeBron James. Somebody? Anybody?

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080619/SPORTS15/806190433

I just quit reading after like the third paragraph...

blanket
06-19-2008, 03:43 AM
:deadhorse

wintermute
06-19-2008, 04:11 AM
One of the primary reasons the Celtics were in this position is because Danny Ainge, who looked like a complete dope until last summer, was not afraid to let his team go in the dumper for a few years.


well it is true. bottom line is, ainge pursued a classic rebuilding strategy - trading vets for shorter contracts and picks - which eventually paid off when kg and allen hit the market for relatively little value.

what's amazing is that ainge did it with relatively low picks (#5 last year was the highest in that span) and that he didn't give up his current superstar (pierce).

can we pursue a similar strategy? well if we continue to suck for the next 3 years (after which we'll have huge expiring contracts) and manage to draft well, then yeah we'll be in a position to acquire the next batch of disgruntled superstars.

Tony Valente
06-19-2008, 04:13 AM
Excellent article. I USUALLY quit reading after like the third paragraph, but this one caught my attention.

And frustrating is that this guy is right and it is not like it was all plain bad luck. I guess 90% of the guys on the forum knew it was wrong to deal the 2007 pick for Al Harrington. If we picture this scenario, then there would have been no GS trade at all or at some other dimensions. And we ended with our pick.

I still don't understand why Granger dropped to 17th that year though ... We clearly where NOT completely unlucky throughout these last years.

d_c
06-19-2008, 05:19 AM
well it is true. bottom line is, ainge pursued a classic rebuilding strategy - trading vets for shorter contracts and picks - which eventually paid off when kg and allen hit the market for relatively little value.

what's amazing is that ainge did it with relatively low picks (#5 last year was the highest in that span) and that he didn't give up his current superstar (pierce).

can we pursue a similar strategy? well if we continue to suck for the next 3 years (after which we'll have huge expiring contracts) and manage to draft well, then yeah we'll be in a position to acquire the next batch of disgruntled superstars.

Ainge didn't get Ray Allen cheaply. He traded the #5 overall pick in what was said to be a strong draft for a 32 year old SG. In just about any other circumstance, that's absolutely the wrong trade to make.

Al Jefferson isn't a superstar, but he's a very solid building block. He's 23 years old and already a 20 and 10 player. He'll probably be an all-star at least a couple times in his career. He was clearly the best thing that was offered for KG (unless McHale turned down Bynum and Odom).

The key for Ainge was that he still had a 5 time all-star player who just happened to have one injury plagued year, he had a 23 year old PF who was already very productive and he got the #5 pick in the draft after sucking for one season where Pierce was injured.

The other key was that KG and Allen were at the tail end of their primes. Still in their primes to be plenty productive, but near enough to the end of their primes that their respective teams were willing to unload them for less than they would have in years' past.

Credit Ainge for making a bold move when he saw an opportunity that doesn't come along very often. During the summer, a majority of Celtic fans said they would not include Jefferson in any KG package.

Mourning
06-19-2008, 06:00 AM
And frustrating is that this guy is right and it is not like it was all plain bad luck. I guess 90% of the guys on the forum knew it was wrong to deal the 2007 pick for Al Harrington.

You would be surprised how many people supported that deal at the time. I was against, but seemed to be a pretty small minority.

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

Vince Neil
06-19-2008, 07:18 AM
I do not understand why so many people get riled up over Kravitz's columns. I genuinely find them funny/entertaining. He is just throwing his opinion out there and I take them for what they are worth. No need to get the panties in a bind people!

Raoul Duke
06-19-2008, 08:09 AM
That pick that we gave up went from being Harrington to Diogu or Dunleavy. I'd rather have either of those guys than Acie Law, who was picked at that spot and all Pacers fans wanted for some reason. He's worthless. Time to move on.

Unclebuck
06-19-2008, 08:41 AM
Bob kept referring to the Celtics reaching rock bottom, and seemed to imply that reaching rock bottom was the reason they were able to make the trades last summer - and or turned the team around. The highest draft pick they had was the 5th pick, beyond that they were barely making the playoffs every year. So it just isn't correct to suggest that the Celtics were aided by reaching rock bottom

BillS
06-19-2008, 09:17 AM
I also fail to understand the conviction that so many people (including Kravitz) have that Indy would support a team that sucked huge rocks for 5 years or more because the fans somehow knew that it would be worth it later.

Given the screaming and mass desertion after 2 years of no playoffs, imagine what would happen after 5? Heck, folks around here (not naming any names) were screaming after we made the ECF too many times without getting the championship.

Patience is not a common characteristic around this city, especially under circumstances where better basketball can be found elsewhere regionally.

Justin Tyme
06-19-2008, 09:29 AM
That pick that we gave up went from being Harrington to Diogu or Dunleavy. I'd rather have either of those guys than Acie Law, who was picked at that spot and all Pacers fans wanted for some reason. He's worthless. Time to move on.

Not everyone wanted AC Law. I, personally, never wanted him. Those that did were wanting him for a position of need not the BPA.

The reason the Hawks drafted Law is that they unwisely passed on taking CP 2 years previously, and didn't draft a PG in 06 either. They were feeling the heat "of their fans" to take a PG, not to mention they needed one. They still do.

Yes, it IS time to move on! The 07 pick by the Pacers NEVER had to be AC Law. Harrington wouldn't have been here thus neither the albatross contracts of Murphy or Dunleavy. The Pacers wouldn't have the Zircon of the trade, Ike, either. The Pacers could had:

Thaddeus Young
Julian Wright
Al Thornton
Rodney Stuckey
Nick Young
Sean Williams
Marco Belinelli
Morris Almond

and others to just mention a few.

jcouts
06-19-2008, 12:08 PM
Excellent article. I USUALLY quit reading after like the third paragraph, but this one caught my attention.

And frustrating is that this guy is right and it is not like it was all plain bad luck. I guess 90% of the guys on the forum knew it was wrong to deal the 2007 pick for Al Harrington. If we picture this scenario, then there would have been no GS trade at all or at some other dimensions. And we ended with our pick.

I still don't understand why Granger dropped to 17th that year though ... We clearly where NOT completely unlucky throughout these last years.

Granger dropped to us that draft because people had concerns about his knee.

Naptown_Seth
06-19-2008, 12:16 PM
Reason 10034 why Bob is an idiot when it comes to the NBA.


One of the primary reasons the Celtics were in this position is because Danny Ainge, who looked like a complete dope until last summer, was not afraid to let his team go in the dumper for a few years.

They already had Jefferson in house, having taken him at No. 15 in the 2004 draft. Then, in 2005, they drafted Green at No. 18 and Gomes at No. 50. (Another reason to mention how the Pacers threw away a second-rounder on James White.) Then, in 2006, Ainge acquired Telfair and Ratliff from Portland. (Seth edit: what did they have to give for them?)

The moral of the story is, the Celtics willingly if grudgingly fell to rock bottom, drafted reasonably well (traded for draft rights to Kendrick Perkins at No. 27 in 2003 and Rajon Rondo at No. 21 in 2006), added some young talent and an expiring contract, and put themselves in a position to make two seismic, offseason deals.
What part of drafting 15th and 18th is "tanking"? Gee Bob, the Pacers are already doing the same things. The difference is that their TE + first round pick became Al Harrington. Had it become Ray Allen then that's step 1.

Next they just need to draft Al Jefferson at 11, trade he and JO's expiring for one of the top 5 players in the NBA, and perhaps shift Murphy and Dun for different contract structures (break into 2 players, change length by trade, change amount slightly by trade, get a pick).

Hell, they don't even have to deal away Tinsley to do this. And on top of that what makes anyone think that Danny was "letting" the Celtics stink? Hey, the Pacers have been well below .500 for 2 years themselves, so apparently Bird isn't "afraid" to let the Pacers stink too. It's called bad GMing and Ainge, like Doc, got pretty lucky to get out of a bad spot. Plus he gave up on Al Jefferson which is WORSE than trading Danny Granger.


I'm so F bombing sick of Kravitz just walking his way right back to "blow it up". But to do it in an article that says 100% that the Pacers ARE NOT IN A POSITION TO BLOW IT UP makes Bob look incompetent.

And to dismiss the fact that Ainge got really freaking lucky after his horrible tank plan backfired when they lost badly in the lottery, ruining months of "not intentional" losing (yeah right), is just icing on the Kravitz BS cake. Not to mention skipping over the "you got KG for WHAT!" aspect that has plenty of people questioning McHale's own GM skills. Jefferson being a great prospect but still risky for team that has KG to deal. Why not have KG be your Paul Pierce and do your own reversal?

So all we need is a couple of foolish or desperate GMs to give us sweet deals in order to have a limited window shot that involved ALMOST LOSING IN ROUND ONE to an 8th seed. Yeah, where was this article after game 6 versus Atlanta, Bob?



STOP WRITING ABOUT THE NBA KRAVITZ, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND IT.
Still waiting on you to find out who KYLE Lowry is, or perhaps you have some other "who's that guy" names you'd like to add to your list of NBA expertise.

Naptown_Seth
06-19-2008, 12:26 PM
You would be surprised how many people supported that deal at the time. I was against, but seemed to be a pretty small minority.

Regards,

Mourning :cool:
The team had CHARACTER issues, Al was seen as a big fan favorite (he was) and a high character guy (good enough I'd guess). He also was good friends with JO.

The problem was fitting him into the actual roster with Rick as his coach. That part of it didn't work well. And even still the Pacers got him below what his open market value probably would have been due to the TE limits and no other teams left.

As mentioned the pick became Ike basically so what's the problem. If Ike was Al Jefferson you'd be trading he and JO in a year or so for West or Howard or some other star big ala KG.

There is NOTHING different in the how right now, it's the WHO that's the problem. Betting doesn't mean you lose, betting on the wrong horse means you lose. But if you don't bet you can't win either.


I also fail to understand the conviction that so many people (including Kravitz) have that Indy would support a team that sucked huge rocks for 5 years or more because the fans somehow knew that it would be worth it later.

Given the screaming and mass desertion after 2 years of no playoffs, imagine what would happen after 5? Heck, folks around here (not naming any names) were screaming after we made the ECF too many times without getting the championship.

Patience is not a common characteristic around this city, especially under circumstances where better basketball can be found elsewhere regionally.
Exactly. It didn't even take two full seasons of only modest losing, not the full-on 22 win classics of Pacers years gone by (not that attendence back then was worth a crap either, even after they drafted Smits and Miller and Tisdale and Person).

Hicks
06-19-2008, 12:35 PM
Reason 10034 why Bob is an idiot when it comes to the NBA.

What part of drafting 15th and 18th is "tanking"? Gee Bob, the Pacers are already doing the same things. The difference is that their TE + first round pick became Al Harrington. Had it become Ray Allen then that's step 1.

Well, careful. You just lectured him on where the picks were, but you then made it sound like Boston and Indiana traded an identical pick away and one of us got Allen, the other Harrington. Remember they used the #5 (their one true "dump" year) to get him, not #11.

croz24
06-19-2008, 12:40 PM
well, hitting "rock bottom" is essentially what i've been calling for for 2+ years. the best and only sure fire way of acquiring talent is with high draft picks. sure there will be some busts, but history shows you can't be great without being bad first.

Putnam
06-19-2008, 01:05 PM
the best and only sure fire way of acquiring talent is with high draft picks.


You wouldn't say Boston acquired talent through trades, at all?

And the draft is far from being "sure fire."

duke dynamite
06-19-2008, 01:17 PM
Naptown Seth, I couldn't agree with you more.

Trader Joe
06-19-2008, 01:33 PM
Reason 10034 why Bob is an idiot when it comes to the NBA.

What part of drafting 15th and 18th is "tanking"? Gee Bob, the Pacers are already doing the same things. The difference is that their TE + first round pick became Al Harrington. Had it become Ray Allen then that's step 1.

Next they just need to draft Al Jefferson at 11, trade he and JO's expiring for one of the top 5 players in the NBA, and perhaps shift Murphy and Dun for different contract structures (break into 2 players, change length by trade, change amount slightly by trade, get a pick).

Hell, they don't even have to deal away Tinsley to do this. And on top of that what makes anyone think that Danny was "letting" the Celtics stink? Hey, the Pacers have been well below .500 for 2 years themselves, so apparently Bird isn't "afraid" to let the Pacers stink too. It's called bad GMing and Ainge, like Doc, got pretty lucky to get out of a bad spot. Plus he gave up on Al Jefferson which is WORSE than trading Danny Granger.


I'm so F bombing sick of Kravitz just walking his way right back to "blow it up". But to do it in an article that says 100% that the Pacers ARE NOT IN A POSITION TO BLOW IT UP makes Bob look incompetent.

And to dismiss the fact that Ainge got really freaking lucky after his horrible tank plan backfired when they lost badly in the lottery, ruining months of "not intentional" losing (yeah right), is just icing on the Kravitz BS cake. Not to mention skipping over the "you got KG for WHAT!" aspect that has plenty of people questioning McHale's own GM skills. Jefferson being a great prospect but still risky for team that has KG to deal. Why not have KG be your Paul Pierce and do your own reversal?

So all we need is a couple of foolish or desperate GMs to give us sweet deals in order to have a limited window shot that involved ALMOST LOSING IN ROUND ONE to an 8th seed. Yeah, where was this article after game 6 versus Atlanta, Bob?



STOP WRITING ABOUT THE NBA KRAVITZ, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND IT.
Still waiting on you to find out who KYLE Lowry is, or perhaps you have some other "who's that guy" names you'd like to add to your list of NBA expertise.

I'll co-sign this.

Trader Joe
06-19-2008, 01:34 PM
Not everyone wanted AC Law. I, personally, never wanted him. Those that did were wanting him for a position of need not the BPA.

The reason the Hawks drafted Law is that they unwisely passed on taking CP 2 years previously, and didn't draft a PG in 06 either. They were feeling the heat "of their fans" to take a PG, not to mention they needed one. They still do.

Yes, it IS time to move on! The 07 pick by the Pacers NEVER had to be AC Law. Harrington wouldn't have been here thus neither the albatross contracts of Murphy or Dunleavy. The Pacers wouldn't have the Zircon of the trade, Ike, either. The Pacers could had:

Thaddeus Young
Julian Wright
Al Thornton
Rodney Stuckey
Nick Young
Sean Williams
Marco Belinelli
Morris Almond

and others to just mention a few.
:cry:

Unclebuck
06-19-2008, 01:43 PM
I would love to have Rodney Stuckey - he's extremely impressive. If the Pacers can draft a guy like him next Thursday night I'll be doing cartwheels.

Trader Joe
06-19-2008, 01:57 PM
I would love to have Rodney Stuckey - he's extremely impressive. If the Pacers can draft a guy like him next Thursday night I'll be doing cartwheels.

Same, when there were discussions of the Pacers possibly getting back into the first round last year I was hoping he would be there and that we would take him.

Justin Tyme
06-19-2008, 02:12 PM
I would love to have Rodney Stuckey - he's extremely impressive. If the Pacers can draft a guy like him next Thursday night I'll be doing cartwheels.

And to think he was drafted at #15.

I'm beginning to feel, if the Pacers don't get a no brainer falling at 11, maybe trading down 7-8 spots wouldn't be that bad of a situation. I can see some nice players at 17 on down. Depends on what the inducement would be. Maybe a team really wants a player and would be willing to make a good deal for the Pacers #11. Say the Nets #21 and a Williams, Wiz #17 and Blatche, or Cleveland #19 and West for instance.

Mourning
06-19-2008, 02:38 PM
The team had CHARACTER issues, Al was seen as a big fan favorite (he was) and a high character guy (good enough I'd guess). He also was good friends with JO.

The problem was fitting him into the actual roster with Rick as his coach. That part of it didn't work well. And even still the Pacers got him below what his open market value probably would have been due to the TE limits and no other teams left.

As mentioned the pick became Ike basically so what's the problem. If Ike was Al Jefferson you'd be trading he and JO in a year or so for West or Howard or some other star big ala KG.

There is NOTHING different in the how right now, it's the WHO that's the problem. Betting doesn't mean you lose, betting on the wrong horse means you lose. But if you don't bet you can't win either.


Oh, I have no problems with the franchise taking risks. I do have a problem with the franchise if it starts making deals that predictably won't work out. That was what the Harrington signing was to me.

Then making it worse by not just signing this dude, but then also dropping our next first round pick to get this guy who just didn't fit in the make up of the team made me feel very uncomfortable at the time, not too mention pretty pissed off a few weeks into the season and livid at the end of the season.

But, hey, I'm sure it was a good deal and it didn't matter that much...

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

croz24
06-19-2008, 04:00 PM
You wouldn't say Boston acquired talent through trades, at all?

And the draft is far from being "sure fire."

how did boston get kg? with jefferson...how did boston get allen? with the #5 pick...how did boston get pierce? with a top 10 pick...

PaceBalls
06-19-2008, 04:14 PM
You would be surprised how many people supported that deal at the time. I was against, but seemed to be a pretty small minority.

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

I don't think that was a bad deal, and Al would've played great with Jim as coach. The deal that sucked was when they traded Al and Sjax for MDjr and Murph.
the w/l record doesn't lie...

count55
06-19-2008, 05:28 PM
how did boston get kg? with jefferson...how did boston get allen? with the #5 pick...how did boston get pierce? with a top 10 pick...

Jefferson was drafted with the 15th pick in 2004.

Pierce was drafted with the 10th pick in 1998.

Your exact quote was:


the best and only sure fire way of acquiring talent is with high draft picks.

In a league where a large percentage of 1st rounders bust, it's hard to note anything outside of a Top 5 pick as a "high draft" pick. The 10th pick is on the fringes and 15 is most definitely middling.

Besides, Boston got KG with Jefferson...and two young prospects (Green & Gomes) and two future first round picks and over $14 million in expiring contracts.

I give you the following since 2000:

--The Lakers won three straight titles with Shaq (Free Agent) and Kobe (Draft Day trade, Kobe taken 13th overall)
--The Spurs have won three titles anchored by #1 Tim Duncan, but heavily reliant on Tony Parker (#28 overall), Manu Ginobili (#57 overall), and Bruce Bowen (undrafted). They may not win the title without Duncan, but they also probably don't win those titles without the other three, either.
--The Pistons had only one player that they drafted (Tayshaun Prince) among their 2004 Champion Starting 5, and he was drafted 23rd overall. Both Wallaces and Rip Hamilton were acquired through trades, while Billups, I believe, was signed as a Free Agent.
--The Heat did have a Top 5 pick in Dwyane Wade, but were not serious contenders until they acquired Shaquille O'Neal via trade.
--The Celtics drafted Pierce at number 10, but acquired both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett via trade, (though the #5 pick this year was used as part of the package to get Ray Allen).

Some other items on Top 5 picks:

Since the 1979-80 season, there have been 29 championships. Twenty-five have been divvied up between the Lakers (8), Bulls (6), Spurs (4), Celtics (4), and Pistons (3). These teams have had a combined 23 top 5 picks in that time frame, while the Clippers have had 12, the Hawks have had 6, and the T-Wolves (only in existence since '89) have had 5, equalling that amount.

It should also be noted that the Bulls had 10 of the 23 Top 5 picks, and 6 of those came after their title run was over.

Of those 23 guys, only 7 played on their franchise's title teams (6 if you don't count Milicic, who was little used).

On #1 picks:

Of the 29 #1 overall draft picks, only 8 have won titles. Of those 8, only 5 won them with the team that drafted them. Of that 5, there were two pairs that were on the same teams: Magic/Worthy playing for the Lakers, and Duncan/Robinson playing for the Spurs. (Olajuwon was the fifth player.)

Of the three that won titles for teams other than the team that drafted them, only Shaq was a cornerstone of the championship. Aguirre was basically a hired gun that played a role on the Detroit Bad Boys, while Glenn Robinson was nothing more than a glorified benchwarmer when he picked up his ring with the Spurs.

There is no "sure fire" way for aquiring talent, and there's no overwhelming evidence that there's even a clear cut "best way" to acquire talent.

"Blowing the Team Up" relies far too much on the "then a miracle occurs" part of the equation. It's not only a matter of losing, but you have to pick the right time to lose. Here are some of the #1's over the years:

Andrea Bargnani
Andrew Bogut
Kwame Brown
Kenyon Martin
Michael Olowokandi
Joe Smith
Glenn Robinson
Larry Johnson
Derrick Coleman
Pervis Ellison
Danny Manning
Brad Daugherty
Mark Aguirre
Joe Barry Carroll

These are guys you go in the tank for?

If I'm going to cheer for my team to lose. If I'm going to encourage the franchise to violate the most basic belief that says you give everything you've got and try to win every time you hit the floor, I'm going to need much, much better odds than that.

Justin Tyme
06-19-2008, 05:53 PM
Jefferson was drafted with the 15th pick in 2004.

Pierce was drafted with the 10th pick in 1998.

Your exact quote was:



In a league where a large percentage of 1st rounders bust, it's hard to note anything outside of a Top 5 pick as a "high draft" pick. The 10th pick is on the fringes and 15 is most definitely middling.

Besides, Boston got KG with Jefferson...and two young prospects (Green & Gomes) and two future first round picks and over $14 million in expiring contracts.

I give you the following since 2000:

--The Lakers won three straight titles with Shaq (Free Agent) and Kobe (Draft Day trade, Kobe taken 13th overall)
--The Spurs have won three titles anchored by #1 Tim Duncan, but heavily reliant on Tony Parker (#28 overall), Manu Ginobili (#57 overall), and Bruce Bowen (undrafted). They may not win the title without Duncan, but they also probably don't win those titles without the other three, either.
--The Pistons had only one player that they drafted (Tayshaun Prince) among their 2004 Champion Starting 5, and he was drafted 23rd overall. Both Wallaces and Rip Hamilton were acquired through trades, while Billups, I believe, was signed as a Free Agent.
--The Heat did have a Top 5 pick in Dwyane Wade, but were not serious contenders until they acquired Shaquille O'Neal via trade.
--The Celtics drafted Pierce at number 10, but acquired both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett via trade, (though the #5 pick this year was used as part of the package to get Ray Allen).

Some other items on Top 5 picks:

Since the 1979-80 season, there have been 29 championships. Twenty-five have been divvied up between the Lakers (8), Bulls (6), Spurs (4), Celtics (4), and Pistons (3). These teams have had a combined 23 top 5 picks in that time frame, while the Clippers have had 12, the Hawks have had 6, and the T-Wolves (only in existence since '89) have had 5, equalling that amount.

It should also be noted that the Bulls had 10 of the 23 Top 5 picks, and 6 of those came after their title run was over.

Of those 23 guys, only 7 played on their franchise's title teams (6 if you don't count Milicic, who was little used).

On #1 picks:

Of the 29 #1 overall draft picks, only 8 have won titles. Of those 8, only 5 won them with the team that drafted them. Of that 5, there were two pairs that were on the same teams: Magic/Worthy playing for the Lakers, and Duncan/Robinson playing for the Spurs. (Olajuwon was the fifth player.)

Of the three that won titles for teams other than the team that drafted them, only Shaq was a cornerstone of the championship. Aguirre was basically a hired gun that played a role on the Detroit Bad Boys, while Glenn Robinson was nothing more than a glorified benchwarmer when he picked up his ring with the Spurs.

There is no "sure fire" way for aquiring talent, and there's no overwhelming evidence that there's even a clear cut "best way" to acquire talent.

"Blowing the Team Up" relies far too much on the "then a miracle occurs" part of the equation. It's not only a matter of losing, but you have to pick the right time to lose. Here are some of the #1's over the years:

Andrea Bargnani
Andrew Bogut
Kwame Brown
Kenyon Martin
Michael Olowokandi
Joe Smith
Glenn Robinson
Larry Johnson
Derrick Coleman
Pervis Ellison
Danny Manning
Brad Daugherty
Mark Aguirre
Joe Barry Carroll

These are guys you go in the tank for?

If I'm going to cheer for my team to lose. If I'm going to encourage the franchise to violate the most basic belief that says you give everything you've got and try to win every time you hit the floor, I'm going to need much, much better guarantees than that.


I was waiting on this post. Great post!

count55
06-19-2008, 06:07 PM
It may have come off a little obnoxious. I'm not sure I was trying to change anybody's mind. I was just trying to articulate why I have such a hard time with the idea of tanking, for lack of a better word.

I don't mind gambles. They are necessary from time to time. However, I don't really think that tanking is a gamble. I think it's about doing something very basic and very contrary to my core beliefs in return for what amounts to magic beans.

Therefore, I don't buy into the "Blow it Up" theory if your plan after you "Blow it Up" is to hope to get a savior out of the draft. I also will never criticize one of my teams for losing a draft position by winning a game. I may lament the missed opportunity of a player I'd like, but certainly less than the regret I'd have if I thought my team was intentionally losing.

It's hard to tell how far off-topic this has gotten, but, again, sorry if it came off incredibly obnoxiously.

EDIT: Since the Lakers won some titles at the front of this, I rolled back an extra 5 years to see if these teams had any Top 5 picks in that time frame. The Lakers did, in 1974, draft Dave Meyers with the second pick. He was later packaged with Junior Bridgeman, Elmore Smith, and Brian Winters to get Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. In 1976, the Bulls drafted Scott May at 2 and the Pistons drafted Leon Douglas at 4, neither of whom factored into any of those teams' titles.

croz24
06-19-2008, 07:10 PM
and you know what, if a team can't acquire "talent" with a top 10 pick in regardless of the draft, then that team's scouting department should be fired...but count, don't be stupid. the pacers will never be able to lure in top free agents being the small market, midwest team that they are. and the chances of the pacers trading for a top player without any assets is slim to none. therefore, the only way the pacers and most teams of our market size become good is via the draft. history proves this.

if the nba is about winning championships, here are the facts...

championship winning teams since nba finals mvp was awarded

year team - top players(draft #)

68-69 celtics - havlicek(7) howell(2) jones(8) russell(2)

69-70 knicks - reed(8) frazier(5) debusschere(territorial)

70-71 bucks - kareem(1) oscar(1)

71-72 lakers - goodrich(territorial) west(2) wilt(territorial) baylor(1)

72-73 knicks - reed(8) frazier(5) debusschere(territorial)

73-74 celtics - havlicek(7) cowens(4) white(9)

74-75 warriors - barry(2) wilkes(11)

75-76 celtics - havlicek(7) cowens(4) white(9) scott(106)

76-77 blazers - lucas(14) walton(1) hollins(6)

77-78 bullets - hayes(1) dandridge(45)

78-79 sonics - williams(20) johnson(29) sikma(8)

79-80 lakers - kareem(1) wilkes(11) magic(1)

80-81 celtics - bird(6) parish(8) maxwell(12)

81-82 lakers - kareem(1) wilkes(11) magic(1)

82-83 76ers - malone(ud) erving(12) toney(8) cheeks(36)

83-84 celtics - bird(6) parish(8) mchale(3) johnson(29) maxwell(12)

84-85 lakers - kareem(1) magic(1) worthy(1) scott(4)

85-86 celtics - bird(6) parish(8) mchale(3) johnson(29)

86-87 lakers - kareem(1) magic(1) worthy(1) scott(4)

87-88 lakers - kareem(1) magic(1) worthy(1) scott(4)

88-89 pistons - thomas(2) dumars(18) aguirre(1) laimbeer(65)

89-90 pistons - thomas(2) dumars(18) aguirre(1)

90-91 bulls - jordan(3) pippen(5) grant(10)

91-92 bulls - jordan(3) pippen(5) grant(10)

92-93 bulls - jordan(3) pippen(5) grant(10)

93-94 rockets - hakeem(1) thorpe(9) maxwell(47) smith(6)

94-95 rockets - hakeem(1) thorpe(9) drexler(14) smith(6) maxwell(47)

95-96 bulls - jordan(3) pippen(5) kukoc(29)

96-97 bulls - jordan(3) pippen(5) kukoc(29) longley(7)

97-98 bulls - jordan(3) pippen(5) kukoc(29) rodman(27) longley(7)

98-99 spurs - duncan(1) robinson(1) elliott(3)

99-00 lakers - shaq(1) kobe(13) rice(4)

00-01 lakers - shaq(1) kobe(13)

01-02 lakers - shaq(1) kobe(13)

02-03 spurs - duncan(1) robinson(1) parker(28)

03-04 pistons - hamilton(7) billups(3) r wallace(4)

04-05 spurs - duncan(1) parker(28) ginobili(57)

05-06 heat - shaq(1) wade(5) walker(6) williams(7)

06-07 spurs - duncan(1) parker(28) ginobili(57)

07-08 celtics - pierce(10) garnett(5) allen(5)

croz24
06-19-2008, 07:15 PM
history is your guarantee count. no, history does not guarantee that a top 10 pick as your best player will win you a championship, but history does guarantee that WITHOUT a top 10 pick being your best player, you will not win a title.

Robertmto
06-19-2008, 11:38 PM
The Pacers wouldn't have the Zircon of the trade, Ike, either. The Pacers could had:

Thaddeus Young
Julian Wright
Al Thornton
Rodney Stuckey
Nick Young
Sean Williams
Marco Belinelli
Morris Almond

and others to just mention a few.

Kids gonna be one hell of a player

MillerTime
06-20-2008, 12:12 PM
No first-round draft choices. No intriguing young players, unless you're intrigued by Shawne Williams. No expiring contracts. Nothing.


http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080619/SPORTS15/806190433

I just quit reading after like the third paragraph...

what about granger?

Naptown_Seth
06-20-2008, 03:34 PM
the pacers will never be able to lure in top free agents being the small market, midwest team that they are.
Yes, because they pay with dirt here and all the "fun" cities are always flush with tons of cap space for every FA available. Why just ask Al Harrington about his choice between LA, PHX, DAL, NY or MIA.

And lord knows that OKC (at the time) smelled like good times to Peja.

Billups, key part of the Pistons, signs to play in Detroit which says good weather, great economy, happy times all over it.



Croz - ALL TEAMS have top 5 players on their roster. I mean your logic says the Pacers are all set. Just having Dunleavy means it's in the bag.

Top 5/10 players tend to make it in the NBA and over 10 years of drafting that's 50/100 players. Simple math proves that at least 4-5 teams MUST have some top 5 talent even if those teams are made of nothing but picks that high.

Reality shows that talent is spread to some degree, especially when top 5 guys end up being less than stellar. Without even looking I'd suggest that you could go back and show the WORST 5 teams for all those seasons and list a few top 5 draft picks that were on those rosters. Thus "proving" by your messed up logic that a top 5 pick means you're team is probably going to finish in the bottom 5.


I've had to say this before, if EVERYONE has something then it's presence doesn't indicate anything. All title teams also wore shoes, played to at least 5,000 fans a night, used a basketball during their games, had a scoreboard in their arena, and won at least 1 road game. None of those items indicates that a team is a champ because it's true for every team.



BTW, do you even know how the Lakers got the pick for Magic? It sure as heck wasn't tanking into a top 5 pick.

croz24
06-20-2008, 03:43 PM
the difference naptown, is that the pacers organization has felt the need over the past however many years to rely mostly on picks OUTSIDE of the top 10 to try to improve their chances at a title. when acquiring talent, history says it's the top 5-10 picks that deliver. not mid-late 1sts.

Fool
06-20-2008, 03:47 PM
The small market argument has always been ridiculous in an age where the Spurs are the best team of the decade.

Naptown_Seth
06-20-2008, 03:49 PM
the difference naptown, is that the pacers organization has felt the need over the past however many years to rely mostly on picks OUTSIDE of the top 10 to try to improve their chances at a title. when acquiring talent, history says it's the top 5-10 picks that deliver. not mid-late 1sts.
Bigger impact - Reggie or Rik
Bigger impact - Dale or Tisdale
Bigger impact - Jackson or Person
Bigger impact - Croshere or Bender

And Dale, not a top 10, gets you JO, also not a top 10, and the Pacers end up with 2 all-stars at different points, first Dale and then JO. No top 10 pick involved at all.

Naptown_Seth
06-20-2008, 03:54 PM
history says it's the top 5-10 picks that deliver. not mid-late 1sts.
History also says that top 5-10 picks flounder, flop and cost your team badly. Going for a top 10 pick for your reasoning makes as much sense as avoiding it because of guys like Kandi-taser.

croz24
06-20-2008, 06:02 PM
The small market argument has always been ridiculous in an age where the Spurs are the best team of the decade.

and who on the spurs was signed via free agency? duncan (1) parker (28) ginobili (57) were all draft picks by the spurs.

croz24
06-20-2008, 06:04 PM
Bigger impact - Reggie or Rik
Bigger impact - Dale or Tisdale
Bigger impact - Jackson or Person
Bigger impact - Croshere or Bender

And Dale, not a top 10, gets you JO, also not a top 10, and the Pacers end up with 2 all-stars at different points, first Dale and then JO. No top 10 pick involved at all.

and you know what, the pacers are still without an nba championship...

Bball
06-20-2008, 06:25 PM
I'm not sure the argument should be about whether to just set a date on the calendar and then decide to start throwing games...

It seems to me the idea would be to look at your team and realize when it's about to go nowhere, options are limited, etc and then simply not put a bandaid on it and try to milk out a few extra games.

IOW... Get with the coach and ownership and lay out the plan to accept some losses because you're going to be losing anyway. The main thing is to let the coach know it's OK to use the bench and try and develop some players even at the risk of losing a few games. Set a bigger and more longer term goal than just making the playoffs at all costs.

The argument shouldn't have to be "The fans won't accept losing" when the reality is the fans are going to have to accept losing because the team at most is a 39 win team. So you TRY to win within certain constraints, and you do it while developing players and a system rather than giving minutes to vets who won't be part of the future anyway and whose input might get you a couple of extra games in the win column... at the expense of getting minutes and experience for some young guys on the team. Players who either will be part of the future or you need to see their growth for evaluation of just where they do fit in (or how they can be used in future trade).

You also don't need to make lateral trades that might net a couple of extra victories if all goes well.

Once you are already in a bad place, you can try and make some lemonade from it or you can throw the kitchen sink at the season and prolong the drought by setting a goal of being the worst team in the playoffs.

Justin Tyme
06-20-2008, 06:59 PM
If Croz's view of having to get top 1-5 picks is indeed true, then the Sonics are locks in a couple of years to win it all.

08) #4 Bayless?
07) #2 Durant
07) #5 Green
06) #10 Sene

And when they stink again next year, they'll have another top 10 pick to go along with their 08 #24 pick. They are on the fast track laying the ground work to be surefire great in a couple of years, IF you choose to believe this view.

croz24
06-20-2008, 07:05 PM
they're not a lock, but they sure as hell will have better assets and a better chance at it than the pacers with our yearly mediocrity. all anybody has to do is look at the list i provided. the vast majority of championships were won with top 5 draft picks being the team's best player with top 10 picks also winning their share. not sure why people continue to argue history.

BillS
06-20-2008, 08:19 PM
IOW... Get with the coach and ownership and lay out the plan to accept some losses because you're going to be losing anyway. The main thing is to let the coach know it's OK to use the bench and try and develop some players even at the risk of losing a few games. Set a bigger and more longer term goal than just making the playoffs at all costs.

The argument shouldn't have to be "The fans won't accept losing" when the reality is the fans are going to have to accept losing because the team at most is a 39 win team. So you TRY to win within certain constraints, and you do it while developing players and a system rather than giving minutes to vets who won't be part of the future anyway and whose input might get you a couple of extra games in the win column... at the expense of getting minutes and experience for some young guys on the team. Players who either will be part of the future or you need to see their growth for evaluation of just where they do fit in (or how they can be used in future trade).

That's all well and good if you are a team with a captive fan base. For a professional team competing for eyes and bucks, not playing your fan draws for some weeks at the end of the season might get you a bigger draft pick who will come into his own - after the team moves to another city.

I really think the team laid a better base for next season from the fan's perspective by showing they were trying to get that last playoff spot rather than laying out and trying to convince a public who have never seen a Pacer #1 pick that somehow they might get one by being worse losers than they already were.

Everyone seems to sneer at the idea that there have to be butts in the seats, but you can't pay an FA or hold onto your huge draft pick once he developed if you can't get more than 8,000 people in the Fieldhouse.

count55
06-20-2008, 10:34 PM
they're not a lock, but they sure as hell will have better assets and a better chance at it than the pacers with our yearly mediocrity. all anybody has to do is look at the list i provided. the vast majority of championships were won with top 5 draft picks being the team's best player with top 10 picks also winning their share. not sure why people continue to argue history.

Nobody's arguing with history.

I think everybody will agree that great players win championships, and great players tend to be high draft picks.

The problem is that high draft picks don't really tend to be great players. This is where the real argument lies: tanking to get a higher pick.

I wanted to address this:


BTW, do you even know how the Lakers got the pick for Magic? It sure as heck wasn't tanking into a top 5 pick.

This is really interesting, because the Lakers have won almost a quarter of the titles listed in croz' earlier post (9 of 40). Of their key players who were named, only West and Baylor were taken with their own pick. That is to say, the pick that they earned based on their prior year's record. These two get great big asterisks because (A) they were drafted at a time when there were only 8 teams in the league, so everybody got a top 10 pick (and some got two) and (B) they were drafted in 1960 and 1958 respectively...long before the title in 1972. (And, somewhat to BillS' point, Baylor was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers, while West was taken the summer after the final season in Minneapolis).

Goodrich was a Territorial pick, and every other key player mentioned in your list (Wilt, Kareem, Wilkes, Magic, Worthy, Scott, Shaq, Kobe, Rice) was acquired through trades. Yes, the Lakers did make the selections for Magic & Worthy, but the picks actually belonged to the New Orleans Jazz and the Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively, and were acquired through Trade/Free Agent (Goodrich) compensation.

So, no tanking to be seen...at least none that helped the host city's (Minneapolis) fanbase.

The Celtics and the Bulls each claimed 6 titles during this time frame.

The Celtics acquired 6 of the 12 Top 10 picks listed with their own pick (Havlicek, Jones, Cowens, White, Bird, Pierce). Havlicek and Jones get the same * as West and Baylor above (they were both actually the last picks of the first round in their years), while Jo-Jo White was drafted 9th in 1969, after they won a title. The other six (Howell, Russell, Parish, McHale, Garnett, and Allen) were all acquired through trades.

The Bulls basically had 2 of their own Top Ten Picks: Jordan and Horace Grant (for first three peat). In 1987, the Bulls had the #8 pick (Nugs traded it to the Knicks for Darrell Walker, then the Knicks traded it to the Bulls for Jawann Oldham (for chrissakes)), and drafted Olden Polynice, who they then traded (straight up, as far as I can tell) to Seattle for Scottie Pippen.

Of these teams, the Bulls might make the strongest argument for "becoming good by being bad" if it weren't for the fact that they've spent the last decade being a poster child for how badly tanking can go. In the 10 years since their last title, they've managed only 3 playoff appearances, 1 playoff series win (in four tries), and a combined record 289-499 (.366). Since 1999, they've had 9 top ten picks, two of which (Jay Williams & Marcus Fizer) are already out of the league (though they get a pass on Williams). Last year's 33-49 team had 7 (count 'em, 7) Top 10 picks play for them at one time or another (Gordon, Hinrich, Noah, Deng, Joe Smith, Gooden, Hughes).

Now, you may wish to use Boston as the poster child for why tanking works. After all, they blatantly tanked last year, then won the title this year. Problem is, they succeeded in much the same way Christopher Columbus did...an unbelievably fortuitous **** up. Had everything gone according to Danny's "blueprint" last year, the Celtics would most likely have been sitting here with either Oden or Durrant, debating whether they should take OJ Mayo or Jerryd Bayless. Where Columbus blundered into the New World, Ainge blundered into Garnett.

If you look over the course of the last 40 years, building a champion has required a combination of good drafting, smart trades, and deft player development. While, as acknowledged earlier, there is ample evidence that champion players make champion teams, and champion players are often high draft picks, there is very little, if any evidence to say that tanking leads to championships.

The Pacers are not in a position to win a title in the near future. They will need to make smart moves to even return to contention, and it will take time. However, I feel much better picking 11th and knowing that the players that will surround our newest draft pick play hard and are committed to winning than I would feel bringing the 6th or 7th or 8th pick into a locker room that had spent the last year being told it was OK to lose. That, for sure, is not going to win you a championship.

rm1369
06-20-2008, 11:44 PM
I think BBall has hit the nail on the head. The idea in the Pacers situation shouldn't be to squeeze out a few ultimatley meaningless wins, it should be to develope and evaluate for the next season. If that means a few additinal losses so be it. Especially when you are in a situation where you expect there to be some roster turn over.

Shouldn't the team have been playing Williams, Diogu, and Graham bigger minutes to see what they can do and to give them more game experience? I don't want the team go out there and purposely lose. I do want to know they are looking at the long term improvement of the team and not short term ticket sales. If they could wins somes games with the younger guys playing big minutes, then that would be something to get excited about.

As for the fans, I don't believe a few meaningless wins make much difference. If next season starts out poorly it won't matter if you won 3 out of your last 4 the previous season. That will be long forgotten. The best way to get butts in the seats is to win consistantly. It really isn't a complicated formula. As we've seen with the Colts, no one really cares about Rhodes, Harrison, or Keiths issues. At least not to the degree they aren't going to show up and watch the team.

The Pacers need to be focused on improving the team - not appeasing the fans.

rm1369
06-21-2008, 12:41 AM
Croz - ALL TEAMS have top 5 players on their roster. I mean your logic says the Pacers are all set. Just having Dunleavy means it's in the bag.

Top 5/10 players tend to make it in the NBA and over 10 years of drafting that's 50/100 players. Simple math proves that at least 4-5 teams MUST have some top 5 talent even if those teams are made of nothing but picks that high.

I don't think you are accuratly addressing Croz's argument. He isn't just stating that championship teams have a few high draft picks on them, he's stating that the best players on championship teams tend to have been high draft picks. Thats a big difference and one that totally negates your Dunleavey reference. I believe the argument is that even if you acquire those players by trade you need attractive assets to use to get them.

I think I fall in the middle in this argument - I don't think you want or need to become a horrible team to get there, but I also don't believe you'll get there drafting between 11 and 22 every year.

I also don't think looking at how teams were built 20 - 30 years ago has much bearing on the way to do it now. IMO only the last 8 - 10 years probably matter when looking for a blueprint.

We should see if the full tank scenario works at all. Miami has played that game perfectly.

Jon Theodore
06-21-2008, 01:15 AM
WE COULD HAVE DRAFTED RODNEY STUCKEY OR MORRIS ALMOND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

INSTEAD WE GOT IKE DIOGU.

Worst move ever.

Merz
06-21-2008, 01:26 AM
WE COULD HAVE DRAFTED RODNEY STUCKEY OR MORRIS ALMOND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

INSTEAD WE GOT IKE DIOGU.

Worst move ever.

There's been worse moves. I'm not to keen on trading you for Thomas Pridgen (he's not bad but he's no Theodore).

As for who the Pacers could of had in last years draft, I thought they said Law would of been the guy they drafted anyway. I might be wrong, but I thought I heard that.

croz24
06-21-2008, 01:46 AM
just look at the top 5 picks recently who completely changed the direction of the franchise they were drafted by...williams in utah...paul in new orleans...ming in houston...howard in orlando...james in cleveland...carmelo in denver...bosh in toronto...even horford in atlanta...

my point is that the most realistic way the pacers can expect to be in yearly title contention is by acquiring a "franchise player". the pacers don't have the assets to make the trade for one, nor do they have the market or cap to sign one. thus our hope is the draft. and pick #11 is not the most ideal spot to acquire such a player.

here's another example of this years playoff teams and their top players and where they were drafted...

hawks - johnson(10) smith(17) williams(2) horford(3) bibby(2)

celtics - pierce(10) garnett(5) allen(5) rondo(21)

cavs - james(1) big z(20)

mavs - dirk(9) howard(29) terry(10) kidd(2)

nuggets - iverson(1) anthony(3) martin(1) camby(2)

pistons - billups(3) wallace(4) hamilton(7) prince(23)

rockets - ming(1) mcgrady(9) battier(6) alston(39)

lakers - kobe(13) odom(4) gasol(3) bynum(10)

hornets - paul(4) west(18) peja(14) chandler(2)

magic - howard(1) turkoglu(16) lewis(32)

76ers - iguodala(9) miller(8) dalembert(26)

suns - stoudemire(9) nash(15) barbosa(28) hill(3) shaq(1)

spurs - duncan(1) ginobili(57) parker(28)

raptors - bosh(4) calderon(ud)

jazz - williams(3) boozer(34) okur(37) kirilenko(24)

wizards - jamison(4) butler(10) arenas(30)

Bball
06-21-2008, 02:00 AM
I think BBall has hit the nail on the head. The idea in the Pacers situation shouldn't be to squeeze out a few ultimatley meaningless wins, it should be to develope and evaluate for the next season. If that means a few additinal losses so be it. Especially when you are in a situation where you expect there to be some roster turn over.

Shouldn't the team have been playing Williams, Diogu, and Graham bigger minutes to see what they can do and to give them more game experience? I don't want the team go out there and purposely lose. I do want to know they are looking at the long term improvement of the team and not short term ticket sales. If they could wins somes games with the younger guys playing big minutes, then that would be something to get excited about.

As for the fans, I don't believe a few meaningless wins make much difference. If next season starts out poorly it won't matter if you won 3 out of your last 4 the previous season. That will be long forgotten. The best way to get butts in the seats is to win consistantly. It really isn't a complicated formula. As we've seen with the Colts, no one really cares about Rhodes, Harrison, or Keiths issues. At least not to the degree they aren't going to show up and watch the team.

The Pacers need to be focused on improving the team - not appeasing the fans.

Acquiring Flip Murray for a few months might be a prime example of trying to get some short term wins which ultimately are/were meaningless while doing nothing but hurting the draft position.

What would really have changed had the Pacers stolen a couple more extra games and made the playoffs? Outside of maybe recouping Flip's salary, would we have really been in a better place today... or tomorrow?

Acquiring Flip wasn't about making this team an EC contender... it was about a last ditch effort to grab the 8th playoff spot. So what?

To me, I don't want to see the team 'tank' and just throw games... But I don't see them having to go out of their way to pick up a few meaningless wins for a team that's several steps away from mattering anyway. I have no problem taking advantage of the down years to get young players some minutes and to work on the system. Let alone work with some lineup shuffling.... All the while getting a better crack at the lottery.

The problem I see, especially with those that say the team cannot afford to do that, is it is ignoring reality that the team will be down anyway. We're not talking about a potential 47 win team throwing wins away and becoming a 30 win team. We're talking a 36 win team accepting reality that just making the playoffs isn't the best long term thing for the team and if developing some players and staying away from the waiver wire costs us a few games... it's better in the long run than what those few extra wins means in the short term.

If you take advantage of the down years, with some capable front office moves you minimize how long you are down. If you just try to milk out wins to creep into the playoffs at all costs then you are probably just extending your run of staring up at .500.

-Bball

rm1369
06-21-2008, 09:19 AM
If you take advantage of the down years, with some capable front office moves you minimize how long you are down. If you just try to milk out wins to creep into the playoffs at all costs then you are probably just extending your run of staring up at .500.

-Bball

I couldn't agree more.

Peck
06-21-2008, 02:25 PM
I really just want to put on here that I think that this is an excellent thread and I have really enjoyed the back and forth between Count & Croz. Posts like these is what makes this forum special.

No one resorting to name calling or internet bullying hyperbole.

Both have presented good arguments that have made me change my mind a couple of times just while reading this thread.

Seth and Bball laid it down as well, but we've come to expect that.:)

Great job guys.

Hicks
06-21-2008, 03:36 PM
:bowdown:

BillS
06-21-2008, 05:19 PM
As for the fans, I don't believe a few meaningless wins make much difference. If next season starts out poorly it won't matter if you won 3 out of your last 4 the previous season. That will be long forgotten. The best way to get butts in the seats is to win consistantly. It really isn't a complicated formula. As we've seen with the Colts, no one really cares about Rhodes, Harrison, or Keiths issues. At least not to the degree they aren't going to show up and watch the team.

The Pacers need to be focused on improving the team - not appeasing the fans.

Now there's an argument for the Las Vegas Pacers.

The fans are the reason the team exists in the city in the first place. Yes, consistant winning will keep butts in the seats, but losing while keeping the best players on the bench in pursuit of some amorphous development of the young guys isn't going to fly, not with the fans or with the good players who want the playing time they deserve and not splinters.

The entire argument seems to be based on the idea that the only way to have a consistently winning team is to get high draft picks, but then once the team starts winning consistently you won't get high draft picks any more. Is the solution to have a championship contender for a year and then tank 2-3 seasons in a row to get back to having a championship contender? Is it to completely blow up any team that didn't win a championship?

As dedicated fans of the team, we tend to forget that the casual fan is very much going to make a support decision early in the season based on how the team was doing at the end of the last one. They aren't going to know from a draft pick unless it's one of the Media Anointed. They aren't going to care about the work in training camp (or will dismiss it all as local whitewash), or rookie league, or even pre-season. They are going to base their opinion on the current momentum. A team coming off not just a losing season but one where they looked awful for the last dozen games will fare much worse than a team that was on a rising note for those same games.

I suppose you simply can't convince me that a lottery pick is worth having the team look worse than it really is, especially from an effort standpoint. Add to it my absolute faith that the Pacers wouldn't get the #1 draft pick if we won 0 games in a season and you can see why I disagree with giving up a run for the playoff spot in favor of a possible 2 position improvement in the draft.

croz24
06-21-2008, 08:15 PM
basically, my belief is to tank until you finally find yourselves a "franchise player". once you have that, your team ought to be in contention most years and you build around that player with solid late picks, free agents, and key trades. i just want that franchise player and doubt very much that we'll ever find him drafting between 11-30 every year. just look at the colts. all it takes is one player to turn a franchise around, and you will almost never find a peyton manning as a late round draft pick.

rm1369
06-21-2008, 09:20 PM
Now there's an argument for the Las Vegas Pacers.

The fans are the reason the team exists in the city in the first place. Yes, consistant winning will keep butts in the seats, but losing while keeping the best players on the bench in pursuit of some amorphous development of the young guys isn't going to fly, not with the fans or with the good players who want the playing time they deserve and not splinters.

The entire argument seems to be based on the idea that the only way to have a consistently winning team is to get high draft picks, but then once the team starts winning consistently you won't get high draft picks any more. Is the solution to have a championship contender for a year and then tank 2-3 seasons in a row to get back to having a championship contender? Is it to completely blow up any team that didn't win a championship?


You mean the good players like Marquis Daniels, Flip Murray, and Troy Murphy? One guy that won't be here, one that everyone hopes won't be here, and one guy many wish wasn't here. Nobody is suggesting the team should have benched DG or Dun at mid season or the end of the season. I just don't see the point in Flip, Marquis, and Troy playing 30+ minutes a night for the last 10 -15 games while SW, Diogu, and Graham get DNPCD or 5 minutes max. I also don't see why Dun and Granger should be playing 38 -43 minutes a night during the same period. Go back and look at the minutes those guys were logging. 30 -35 mintues should be plenty.

I also don't believe a team should ever bow to the fans when it comes to player movement or developement. Yes the fans support the team, but let's not forget these are the same fans that wanted Steve Alford instead or Reggie and that would have ran Smits out of town after year two. When a team makes moves to appease the fans you end up with the GS trade. A trade that has now hamstrung the teams future. And guess what? The fans still bailed on the team. So now we want to put them in control of player development? That IMO is what will lead to the Las Vegas Pacers - a consistantly bad team, with a management that bases it's next move on opinion polls and popularity instead of common sense and a long term strategy and vision.

Naptown_Seth
06-21-2008, 09:30 PM
basically, my belief is to tank until you finally find yourselves a "franchise player".Bearing in mind that your response to my list of top 5 picks vs non top 5 picks implies that you do NOT think Reggie Miller was a franchise player. Think about that. He wasn't at top 5 pick so therefore was not capable of getting a team to the top. Ignore the many game winning shots or efforts. Ignore the fact that he WAS PAIRED with a top 5 pick, Rik Smits, also mentioned in my list.

Your issue is that you are discounting teams that fit YOUR MOLD after finding out they didn't win. Had the Pacers won in 2000 you'd be telling us that it proves you had to have SMITS in order to win because he was the top 5 pick.


and you know what, the pacers are still without an nba championship...
Yeah, it was the lack of a top 5 pick on the 98-2000 roster that kept that from happening. (***cough***Rik***cough)

Oh wait, in 2000 another TOP FIVE PICK PLAYED FOR THE PACERS IN THE PLAYOFFS. His name was Bender and the team sure as F bomb didn't get to the Finals because of him.


Thats a big difference and one that totally negates your Dunleavey reference. I believe the argument is that even if you acquire those players by trade you need attractive assets to use to get them.I have to disagree with that because it still implies that you must be losing to get those players, and that upon getting those high picks you are bound to turn it around. It total ignores the far more powerful aspect which is GOOD DEALING. How did the Celtics get Bird? People think it's losing but that's not it. They took a risk on him not coming out and had traded for another pick in a standard steal (ala Gasol, Sheed, etc) where a pretty good team just happens to find their way to a top player. In this case it let the Celtics take that Bird risk since they knew they were getting another top pick.


Wasn't Dunleavy possibly the best player on the Pacers this year? Or second only to Granger who many think might be one of the 5-7 best guys in his draft class looking back?

You can't act like the difference between the Lakers and Pacers in 2000 was that the Lakers had top picks because they didn't. Shaq was an FA clearing house steal that blew people away and altered how teams looked at FA, and using Vlade to get a HS kid that wasn't even picked in the top 10 is nothing like tanking.

What is far more true is that teams that are around .500 find their way into a star on a lopsided deal, or maybe it's a team that's even better than that, and suddenly they are top dogs.


The biggest mistake is this, you are looking back after the fact like this stuff is obvious. It's not. Getting Dunleavy is just as smart as getting Jordan. It's a top 5 guy, so problem solved. But it's got nothing to do with top 5 guy and everything to do with picking the RIGHT GUY(S). The Pacers were at game freaking 7 against Jordan in Chicago (only time he went to game 7 EVER) and were leading.

So let's get the hell off this lame "it wasn't even close because they didn't have the horses" kick. That is a massive disregard for the nuances of the situation. Black or white, title or total failure is just dumb, that's not the way it works. That's the Steinbrenner method and that's how he took a 4 time title team slowly into the dumpster, as well as how he had the Yanks OUT OF THE PLAYOFFS for 15 freaking years.

Smart teams know that step one is being close. You have to get into the mix. After that it's chance, it's crazy plays and maybe even Heir Stern for all we know. But being the 98-2000 team, or the 2003 team for that matter, isn't failure. The 2003 team had home court without a serious top 5 pick contributor on the roster and played hella better against the Pistons than the Lakers did in the Finals.


I might as well go play 1 on 1 in a round robin with Lebron and Nash and when either Lebron or Nash lose to the other I can turn to them and say "well, you and I are equal because we both lost, we both got equally close to winning". The truth is that there are degrees of success at play.

Naptown_Seth
06-21-2008, 09:33 PM
Seth and Bball laid it down as well, but we've come to expect that.:)
I assumed you excluded me due to the name calling caveat and all that that implies. ;) Frankly my level of offensiveness had dropped like a Jack cold streak the last week. I'm drifting back into full-on debate mode. Old habits just won't die.

Hicks
06-21-2008, 09:58 PM
Would most of you be proud to have a team that gives the other contenders a run for their money, even if the Pacers themselves don't win it all?

grace
06-21-2008, 10:01 PM
Would most of you be proud to have a team that gives the other contenders a run for their money, even if the Pacers themselves don't win it all?


As opposed to not even contenting against a WNBA team? Sure.

count55
06-21-2008, 10:09 PM
Would most of you be proud to have a team that gives the other contenders a run for their money, even if the Pacers themselves don't win it all?

I'm not entirely sure I understand the question, but if you mean was I proud of the Pacers in the 1990's, when they were contenders that fell short, the answer is yes.

Satisfied? No.

Proud? Yes.

count55
06-21-2008, 10:25 PM
basically, my belief is to tank until you finally find yourselves a "franchise player".

Wow. That's like buying lottery tickets to pay the rent. You'll probably be evicted long before you hit the big one.


just look at the colts. all it takes is one player to turn a franchise around, and you will almost never find a peyton manning as a late round draft pick.

(I'm going to hate myself in the morning for doing this, but...)

Tom Brady.

rm1369
06-22-2008, 01:32 AM
I started out looking at each teams draft picks as awarded by record for the 5 years prior to them winning their first title with that group of players. I started with the 88-89 Pistons. The Pistons are listed twice because during this period they won with two completly different groups of players.

'88-89 Pistons: 22, 19, 17, 18, 20
90-91 Bulls: 22, 28, 19, 10, 9
'93-94 Rockets: 24, 11, 20, 12, 16
'98-99 Spurs: 24, 1, 26, 29, 22
'99-00 Lakers: 23, 26, 21, 24, 21
'03-04 Pistons: 25, 23, 9, 14, 20
'05-06 Heat: 29, 19, 5, 10, 20
'07-08 Celtics: 5, 7, 18, 15, 16

The Celtics, Heat, and Spurs all had enough high picks (1 top 5 and 1 top 10, or the #1 overall) that I say it's safe to say they were significatly aided by the high draft picks.

The Bulls, Rockets, and first Piston teams have very little lottery history the 5 years prior. Only the Bulls had lottery picks and those were at 9 and 10. I suppose it could be argued that the Bulls having two top 10 picks means they were significatly helped by the draft, but I don't feel the 9 and 10 positions quite meet the requirement. This got me wondering how these teams were built. Looking at a little more history shows that while they didn't completly suck in the 5 years prior, they were still greatly aided by their past futility. The best player on each of those teams was at least a top 3 draft pick selected with that teams awarded pick - the pick wasn't acquired by trade. Jordan (3), Thomas (2), and Olajuwan (1) all were the best player on the team that won the title and all were acquired by that teams draft pick.

I personally believe those teams have to also be considered as having greatly benifited from having very high draft picks. Another thing that is interesting about these teams is that in the 2-3 years prior to drafting their franchise player these teams also had very high draft picks: The Bulls had the #5 and #7 picks the years before drafting Jordan at #3. The Rockets had the #1 pick the year prior to drafting Olajuwan #1. And the Pistons had the #1 and #5 picks the years prior to drafting Thomas at #2. These picks were largely wasted in some form of fashion - either bad picks or traded for mediocre players.

IMO, that leaves the Lakers and '03-04 Pistons as teams that were not primarily built through high draft picks. I don't believe that the Lakers formula can in anyway be replicated by the Pacers. The two main players ended up on the Lakers primarily because they wanted to be there. Shaq obvioulsy as a free agent and Kobe by his reported threats about playing for anyone else. Because of the primary attraction being the location and history of the franchise, I don't see how the Pacers could ever hope to duplicate this method of team building.

IMO, only 1 team out of the last 20 years was truly built in a manner that the Pacers could hope to replicate without getting high lottery picks - the '03-04 Pistons. Certainly proof that it can be done, but also proof that it is a very difficult task.

Of course this doesn't show how any of the contenders were built which is IMO nearly as relevant. And other than the brief mention of the Bulls, Rockets, and Pistons prior lottery failures, it doesn't mention the number of teams that likely had many high picks with ultimatley little to show for it. Unfortunantley I think the truth is that no matter which way you go, you have to get very lucky before any skill in building a team matters. It seems obvious that without a cornerstone (regardless of how they are acquired) you are not likely to get to the top no matter how many good players you assemble. Again the last Piston team is the only one without that once in a decade type player. Truly depressing IMO.

croz24
06-22-2008, 04:05 AM
no, tom brady was not a top pick and you're much more likely to find a great talent in the later rounds of the nfl draft than you are any other sport, but i made a point to state "almost never". i've never said every top 5 pick was great, nor that players drafted outside of the top 10 have never done wonders for their teams.

any statistical figure you want to use, proves that top 5-10 draft picks in the nba turn out, for the most part, VERY WELL for their teams. check out draftexpress.com's recent articles on draft history. they pretty much prove my point for me.

there is always a risk when drafting players, which can be greatly diminished with proper scouting. but there is no better or easier way of acquiring talent than the draft. it's the one place where the small market teams can truly compete with the big boys. the spurs are proof of this. the pacers made a huge mistake by not tanking this year or the year before, and will be making another huge mistake if they attempt anything of significace record wise.