Whatever Happened to Good Ol’ Rebuilding?

Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony may be on their way out of Denver

In this modern age of internet, smart phones and high definition TV the idea of immediate gratification is one that can be achieved on so many different levels. Up to the minute stats, highlights and scores all in the palm of our hand seem to be leaving people with shorter attention spans and a want for that instant satisfaction.

What we are seeing in professional sports is the thought of building your team through scouting, drafting, developing and shrewd moves now turning into thing of the past.

Of course in all sports, the New York Yankees over the past 30 years have been the leading proponent in this regard, but in light of the Carmelo Anthony trade rumours once again surfacing, we can see that the NBA may be the league that has made the greatest transition to the hope of instant success.

With the best teams around the league sporting star-studded roster through big free agent signings and blockbuster trades the proof is in the pudding that rebuilding is not the road to take if you want to compete in today’s NBA.

However, for team’s putting all their eggs in one superstar’s basket, there is no doubt in my mind that creating the recipe for success from scratch would also allow them to compete with the NBA’s best.

These days franchise front offices are not willing to be patient enough to execute a solid 5-7 year rebuilding process.

Too often we see team’s overpaying for talent that could be found through other means. Very rarely do we see trades occurring without the transfer of expensive expiring contracts that at one point were given prematurely to these players.

After failing to acquire Lebron James this off-season, the New Jersey Nets, with their new billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov, are not willing to wait any extended period of time for their players to develop.

Currently, they are close to executing one of the biggest trades in NBA history where they would give up some of their best young talent in exchange for a fringe franchise player in Carmelo Anthony and a couple of aging, albeit, proven veterans in Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups.

If this trade does indeed go through, the Nets would sport a pretty decent roster, but it won’t be at quite the level that it needs to be in order to win, much less, contend for a championship. Although Brook Lopez is a very solid NBA center, for whatever reason his numbers have somewhat declined from last season, and by giving up Derrick Favors and Anthony Morrow they would be losing two potentially important role players down the road.

Prior to the season Chris Paul had expressed his desire to leave New Orleans

Even if the idea behind the deal is to a certain extent future focused, with the theory that getting Carmelo to sign an extension could possibly lead to acquiring one of Chris Paul or Dwight Howard in a couple of years, this school of thought is very wishful thinking and in my eyes is not the best method to go about in building a contending franchise.

The New York Knicks wasted/spent 2 full seasons clearing up cap space just at a chance to obtain the great Lebron James.

They had to settle for Amare Stoudemire. Granted, Amare has been a better acquisition that most people, including myself, had thought he would be. However, the Knicks do not have a roster that is going to contend for an NBA championship anytime soon. What’s even worse is that they do not have a first round pick until the year 2014.

If you don’t lay down a solid foundation then there is no way that you can build a great house.

It really is as straightforward as spending more energy on scouting, drafting and developing.

Just ask the Seattle Sonics/Oklahoma City Thunder who have built contending team primarily out of guys from within their system who they committed to developing. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green, James Harden and Serge Ibaka are all players that have been with the franchise since day one.

Despite these prime examples, GM’s continually focus on spending ill-advised big bucks on certain players when it is clear that their team is not ready to compete.

With his failed Allen Iverson experiment, Joe Dumars decided that paying a lot of money for Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva was going to take his team’s aging roster, with the exception of Rodney Stuckey, to the next level. Good move Joe, good move.

The patience of the Chicago Bulls has paid off as they have built around emerging superstar Derrick Rose. They did sign a marquee free agent this past season in Carlos Boozer, but the signing was warranted because they had the necessary pieces in place. Boozer has only played a bit over half of the season for the Bulls because of injury. Nevertheless they still sit at 25-12, no doubt due to the play of Rose but also his fellow Chicago Bull developed teammates Joakim Noah and Luol Deng.

There is no need for every team to feel like they have to follow in the footsteps of the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat.

Obviously, there is no guarantee that patience, commitment and dedication will be rewarded in a rebuilding process, but then again when are there ever any guarantees in sports?

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

14 Responses to Whatever Happened to Good Ol’ Rebuilding?

  1. PurpleSpam.com says:

    I hope the miami heat lose in the first rd. I hate teams that try to buy a ring. What do you think?

  2. good post. i agree completely, however there are a few teams who are using the rebuilding scheme, including the clippers…even though that probably has something to do with the cheap owner in Donald Sterling. But if you look at their roster, they sport Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan, Eric Gordon and some young talent in Eric Bledsoe and Al Farouq Aminu. This is a true rebuilding team. Also, you are on the spot with the Oklahoma City Thunder as they proved that through drafting correctly (albeit, trading Ray Allen on draft day for the rights to Jeff Green – same draft as Kevin Durant) they can become a legitimate threat to dethrone the others.

    However, you are correct in that most teams are looking for instant gratification but that also has to do with the economy nowadays. Over 20 teams in the NBA have been losing money each season and they feel they need to do whatever it takes to boost ticket sales, etc. That’s why so many teams have become so desperate to find talent via the trade rather than wait the 5-7 years rebuilding because, you must remember, the NBA is as much a business as anything else in this world.

    Keep it up, like the idea behind the post.

  3. chappy81 says:

    Good stuff Chris. I’ve been getting tired of all the Melo talks too. I really don’t understand why NJ would want to be the 8th seed so bad, just to be creamed in the playoffs, because that’s all they are getting with that trade… I think teams should learn how to rebuild. Unfortunately, I’m a Warriors fan, and rebuilding seems to take decades. That being said I like the young core we have right now. It has a lot of potential, and hopefully Udoh can make a defensive impact. I guess we’ll know more now that everyone is healthy for once… I hope they don’t sell off this team for a shot at some big free agent. That would make me lose confidence in the new ownership quickly…

  4. sebastiantsu says:

    I like what you said and how each team seems to be rebuilding for right now. I also like how you put teams that haven’t done this trend and rebuilt in time, like the Thunder. I see why it would hurt the Nets in the long haul. But maybe they’re better with Anthony on their roster. They’re last in their division; it worked for Boston. What do they have to lose?

  5. nrestivo says:

    Thanks for commenting on my blog, now I’ll return the favor. I don’t really think “rebuilding” is really what the NBA is all about. I wouldn’t exactly call the NBDL a minor league, like MLB has. It’s tough to keep a player on your team for more than four years unless you’re Dirk. The Thunder struck gold in the draft and I think they got more than expected from Westbrook. Regarding the Knicks I think they have laid down the groundwork to build. It literally took them TEN years to wait, but with a loyal fan base and expensive ticket prices the knicks can do it. They aren’t really shopping anyone and I think they offered gallinari, fields, and chandler to the nuggets not really expecting a bite. Knicks are on track with a superstar, solid PG, and players surrounding amare to build. Check back to my blog daily and I’ll do the same with you.

  6. tophatal says:


    Once Melly Mel’ signs that $65 million 3yr deal that’s on the table that’s been levied by the Nuggets then Prokhorov and the Nets will set the ball rolling . But for now make do with ‘Snooki’ talkin’ ’bout wanting to get down with some guido ’cause that’s the only things that’s going in and coming out of Jersey at present !

    tophatal ………….

  7. Pingback: Tweets that mention Whatever Happened to Good Ol’ Rebuilding? « Chris Ross' Painting the Black -- Topsy.com

  8. edanaharony says:

    Good stuff Chris, unfortunately this league is not build on building blocks but rather on superstars and I think David Stern likes it that way because it’s a much easier sell. In an era of free agency it’s inevitable. I think Chicago and San Antonio are the last of that breed. The Lakers got a mega super star as in Shaq then Pao and the Celtics took it another notch by acquiring 2 then the Heat said we’ll out do both of them. Edan Aharony.

  9. Pingback: Did the Celtics Ruin Rebuilding? « TD Tommy Points

  10. Pete says:

    Chris, needless to say this blog is awesome and it takes some really good angles…Thank you for inspiring a post of my own. It’s interesting and refreshing to hear this from a Raptors fan. I’m 20 and I’ve been watching the C’s since I was five. Believe it or not I know what its like to look forward to the draft lottery.

    How are the Raps going about their rebuilding? Planning a big trade? Or something more traditional?


    • Chris Ross says:

      Colangelo’s retooling/rebuilding process has been really odd to say the least. He is signing guys to, in my opinion, undeserving big contracts. He gave Amir Johnson 5 years $34 million and I like Amir it’s just he’s not worth that kind of money in a rebuilding effort. They claim to be focusing on youth but still are giving Calderon (i like him) big minutes instead of giving backup Bayless more of a chance to improve. I just think Colangelo has done a poor job in general for the Raptors, but maybe he can turn things around. Derozan is a very good, improving piece and Bargnani, although not a franchise player, is still a very good one.

  11. Yeah, but this is what we’ve come to expect from the modern era of sports.

    It’s a weird topic, because you have to figure that if YOU spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a pro sports franchise, you wouldn’t be very patient either because time is money, and it would be YOUR MONEY.

    As for the Bulls, I’m a huge Bulls fan and it’s crazy to see them basically run away with the division after the injury that Noah suffered. They’ve done it with a bunch of “nobodies” but “nobodies” are only that way for so long. People will know their names soon enough.


  12. Pingback: Not Even Billionaires Get Everything They Want… « Doin Work

  13. Pingback: Not Even Billionaires Get Everything They Want… « Doin Work

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