Originally posted by LA9erFan:
I see very few teams committing to a ground up approach. I see MANY more teams making moves in an overvalued market (Free Agency) and committing to mediocrity. For example, the Nash Era ends in Phoenix and what do they do? Throw $10M per year at Goran Dragic and try to sign Eric Gordon to a max deal. The Hornets...instead of being patient and using the appeal of Anthony Davis on his rookie contract + a ton of cap space to attract big time FAs, they give Ryan Anderson $9M and Eric Gordon a max deal. The Warriors...sign Lee to that ridiculous deal, then trade for Bogut & Jefferson & sign Landry & Jack. I could go on and on. These teams have committed to mediocrity. I've very curious to hear from you which teams have committed to a true ground up approach in your opinion, and have failed. The only team I can think of that fits that description is Portland, and that's because of terrible luck with injuries.
The Lakers got Howard because they had the best asset available on the market. Of course it was a no-brainer for them, but the only reason the other team said yes is because the Lakers had the most desirable trading piece. The part that I feel you're overlooking is that the Lakers had ZERO chance to acquire either Dwight Howard or Steve Nash via free agency. As a result, they had to give up assets in order to get them. The only reason that those is because they hit a home run on a draft pick several years before when they selected Andrew Bynum. The only reason Phoenix says yes to a deal to the Lakers is that they were willing to give up far more for him than anyone else would have.
You say that the Kings couldn't make this deal in the modern NBA, even with great ownership, and I'd say..."why not"? 14 years ago, a malcontented superstar was on the trade block, and you did exactly what the Lakers did...you put the best asset on the table (Mitch Richmond) and you were able to acquire him. He was a cocky kid from Michigan who had no interest in Sacramento, yet you were still able to keep him because he would have been crazy to leave that situation.
What's different now, sac? (aside from your ownership) Who are the teams in the NBA that have really tried to rebuild from the ground up, but it hasn't worked out? I'm someone who loves strategic games like chess, Warfish, and things of that nature, and IMO there are very few teams who know how to play the strategy game that is the composition of an NBA roster.
I don't feel like going through the NBA teams and determining which ones "did a ground up approach," but off the top of my head Milwaukee, Toronto, Charlotte, Sacramento. A lot of others also. If the "other" teams (that's what I'll refer to when I'm talking about the small and mid teams) sign a free agent it is not going to be ideal most of the time. A lot of guys are overpaid in this league. To compound it for the other teams, they may have to pay more to get these guys. I am in the minority that applauded Phoenix for at least trying to put a decent, watchable product on the floor instead of crap and then hope to get lucky. That puts your fans in years of garbage unless they get lucky like OKC. So what should these guys do? Not go after any above average FAs? That is the conundrum. Yes, they can try and build from ground up, but like I've said several times the odds are against them. Sure they aren't going to win a ring, but most of these teams never will anyway. At least the product will be watchable.
The Lakers wouldn't have gotten those guys in FA. But, Orlando and PHO knew they were leaving and wanted to get something for the players. The superstars inform most teams that they won't resign with them, so if they give up the pieces they will get screwed after a year. You say "the only reason" the former teams accepted the Laker deals is because of the assets. That is absolute BS. They accepted the deal because in large part those teams had an extremely small pool of teams to work with. The Bynum trade chip I agree with you on, but the Magic didn't even get him. As far as Nash goes, he really picked where the hell he went. The Suns were restricted with who they could work with. Not sure why you won't accept that this is a star made super team similar to the Heat. Yeah, LBJ choose MIA as a FA, but the stars in this situation choose the Lakers as well. I think you should admit that. Does not lessen your team, and it shouldn't make you feel "guilty" as a fan.
As far as the Kings go, I guess we can make a miracle happen again but like I said, since 1985 we've had a high caliber, legitimate contender for that one run. Teams like Sac don't really duplicate that magic on a consistent basis. But, you never know I guess. I think the big thing that has changed in the NBA is that players are using their power to decide where they are going to play more than ever. And this won't go away.