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History of contenders and importance of FA in building them

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Sweet Lou 4 2, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Look up Poe's Law before responding
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    Was just musing about the success of teams and how their primary components were built, it's an interesting look...

    Cavs: Built through years of high draft picks or trading high draft picks and one of those picks returning home.
    Warriors: Primarily draft (Curry/Green/Thompson)
    Spurs (2014): Draft - Duncan, Parker, Genobli, Leonard
    Heat: FA (Bosh & Lebron and others) Wade draft
    Celtics: Draft (trading drafted players / picks for KG, Allen). Pierce/Rondo drafted
    Dallas: Draft (Dirk) and Trade (Chandler/Terry). Barea was an undrafted signing
    Pistons: Draft/Trade
    Lakers 2nd edition: Mostly Draft / Trade (Kobe, Pau) but Odom was essentially traded for Shaq which was a FA signing
    Bulls: First 3 Draft obviously. Last 3 - mostly draft except for Rodman
    Rockets: Draft / Trade

    Looking at the modern era - it doesn't seem that FA signings really are useful for building a contender - it's worked for one team - Miami. It seems to have helped the Bulls of course for their last 3. And seems to work for the addition of role players.

    I write this because maybe we shouldn't be trying to build a contender through free agency but rather use free agency once we have a very good team and just need some key role players to take us over the top. Maybe there's a reason that the teams that consistently go for free agent signings like the Knicks never win a ring...

    Maybe it's best for the Rockets to think about how to get to being a great team without throwing all this money at players looking for a pay-day and actually try to build a contender instead of trying to buy one.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    Build through the draft? Leslie ain't got time for that.

    [​IMG]

    I know you're not talking about just this year but yes, the Rockets put themselves in a tough position this year, having to retool through free agency only. No first round pick (second round picks unlikely to contribute) and very few tradeable assets. So now they're left to do the heavy lifting in free agency. Not ideal.
     
    #2 J.R., Jun 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  3. JoeBarelyCares

    JoeBarelyCares Contributing Member

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    Great points, but Les won't let us tank and build through the draft. So we have to find another way.
     
  4. CometsWin

    CometsWin Listening to Tupac Westsiiiiide
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    Don't worry, Les will move this franchise to Shanghai soon and then we won't have to worry about this stuff anymore.
     
  5. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Look up Poe's Law before responding
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    Well, maybe we should think about taking a year to develop players who with playing time will put up better numbers and thus be more valuable in trade plus we will have a bad record and that will get us a high draft pick. Plus a year of losing might humble Harden a bit.

    I know Les won't do it, but if he did let Morey do his job I think we could be a contender the year after next.
     
  6. theDude

    theDude Contributing Member

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    Some of it is luck. You usually need a pretty high draft pick, and then you need to hit on it. Many teams get multiple chances and still don't do it. I don't think you should frame this with the Rockets' situation. They currently have a player that would be #1 in most drafts. Those players usually don't become available as early as Harden did. They need to try to build around him as quickly as they can, as most teams would. If he decides the efforts weren't worthy and bolts at the end of his contract... start over. But don't think you can't build through free agency. Especially when you have a cornerstone piece acquired as young as Harden was when we got him.
     
  7. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    Harden was essentially our # 1 pick. It was a long shot trade that we got after acquiring a lot of assets.

    Now we're just losing assets.
     
  8. baller4life315

    baller4life315 Contributing Member

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    Patterns and trends are obviously worth paying attention to, but we nearly had a superteam built primarily through free agency.

    Harden/Howard/Bosh/Parsons

    (Ignoring the fact that Bosh and Parsons ultimately ended up having severe health issues)
     
  9. theDude

    theDude Contributing Member

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    100% true. And we recovered nicely from what looked liek a debacle at first (following the Bosh 180). Lawson didn't work out, but it was a valiant effort coming off the WCF. So after losing Howard, we are starting almost competely over. Luckily, the cap expansion is going to help us out. Other teams will be maxing out the Conleys and Batums, while we will spend our money wisely. And while it looks bleak on the surface. I am confident we will be improved (maybe significantly) over last year.
     
  10. DrNuegebauer

    DrNuegebauer Member

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    Lolwut?

    Cavs: free agency/ trade was their route to a championship (traded AWAY a high pick to get Love, and signed Lebron via free agency - note: when they drafted Lebron they didn't win, and then building via the draft after him didn't see them win, it wasn't until he returned as a FA)

    Warriors: The free agent acquisitions of Iguodala and the trade for Bogut were enormous for the Warriors. They didn't get their main stars via free agency, but hard to argue against them being influenced via free agency when they scooped up a max guy...

    Spurs Draft (nuff said)

    Heat Free agency (nuff said)

    I've run out of steam already in this reply!
    But the thing you're reaching for is that to be a championship quality team, you need star power, whether acquired via the draft, or via free agency, or via trade.

    I don't think the dots point to 'draft only' for most of those cases - in fact, for most of them free agency/ trade plays a bigger part
     
  11. MFG16

    MFG16 Member

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    The problem with free agency is bad teams throw big money at players and bring on championship expectations when the team is still bad. Basketball is so tricky though because one player can drastically change the performance of the team (unlike most sports).

    My personal opinion will always be to build the foundation of your team through the draft and add smaller pieces (but still pieces) via free agency. A majority of NBA dynasties all have their best players acquired via the draft. The day Les realizes this or the day the team is sold to someone who does will be the day the Rockets are true contenders for an extended amount of time. Kicking the can and aiming for big signings or trades gets us to where we are now... Only a couple of playoff runs that went past the first round for almost two decades.
     
  12. Williamson

    Williamson The artist formerly known as jmwilliamson
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    The best player on the first edition Lakers team with Kobe was Shaq. If they didn't sign Shaq through free agency it's possibly they would have never won a single championship. I definitely know Kobe wouldn't have carried those teams to a championship without Shaq, and those banners certainly helped attract other players.

    So while I think you're right - that most teams have built through draft and trades, there have been at least two examples of teams who bought their championships in free agency.
     
  13. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Look up Poe's Law before responding
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    That's true about Shaq. I will say this - Shaq and Lebron are once-in-a-generational type player. So yes acquiring them in FA makes a lot of sense. The other FA acquisitions for teams were meant to take a very good team over the hump.

    For us, there isn't a generational player we can get in this FA group - Durant is unavailable to us and no one else fits that bill.

    We're not a team that is a few FA to make a very good team the best team in the league - and that's what I am really trying to articulate here. Adding Shaq to Kobe would do that. Adding Lebron to Kyrie plus a team with the #1 pick in the draft and some good role players would do that.

    We have Harden but really no one else around him that would be a starter much less crack the rotation on a championship caliber team. Would Beverley get many minutes on the Thunder, GS or even the Cavs? Hard to see it. Would Ariza? Maybe. Would Dmo? Unlikely. Would Capella?

    I mean, the fact that our next best 4 players after Harden are question marks to even be in the rotation of the top contenders to me shows that we are not ready to be signing FA's. And frankly, I can't see them wanting to come to a team that is so far from contention unless they just want to get a big payday. And is that what we want?

    It seems to me that we should look to shed our scrubs and fill our roster with guys who can develop next year into quality players that can be an asset, and get a good draft pick. That plus a lot of cash - then you could try to build a contender in the summer of 2017 because you have a real foundation.

    Right now all we have is Harden and not much more. I just don't think signing a Horford or any of these mid-tier guys is going to do anything but secure us more years of playoff mediocrity.
     
  14. dmoneybangbang

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    Have you considered that by not being able to tank, the only way to build a contender is through FA and picks at the end of the lottery?

    We aren't the Knicks and we wouldn't squander having that type of destination advantage.

    We just got knocked on our butts but let's see how this free agency (since we have no choice) shakes out before we start acting like it's such a terrible thing to be where we are at.
     
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