FanPost

Praise Morey For Not Putting Us Through the Painful Process of Rebuilding Through the Draft.

It has now been 16 months (and two additional NBA Drafts) since I published my FanPost explaining how ridiculous it would have been for Morey to steer our beloved Rockets toward a rebuild that would have primarily used the draft as its rebuilding strategy. My main points were that the Rockets had too much KNOWN talent in Martin, Scola, Lowry, Dragic, Budinger, and Lee to even sniff a top 5 draft pick and I was adamantly opposed to trading most of these players away for POTENTIAL NBA talent in the form of draft picks. You can read the full FanPost here. Just a heads up - the original FanPost takes a good while to read; as does this one :-)

The other day I was reading an article on nba.com that caused me to go back and take a look at the FanPost I wrote back on April 7, 2011. The reason that this particular article sparked some interest is because the article outlined Sam Hinkie's plan to rebuild the 76ers primarily using the draft. You can read the article in its entirety here, but the following will give you a good insight:

"It's just a league that doesn't reward treading water." Those are the words of new Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie, as told to TNT's David Aldridge. And in an offseason when several teams are content with losing a lot of games and increasing their chances in the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes, no team has embraced the idea that it's better to be bad than decent (again) more than the Sixers. "So sometimes you have to take some risks," Hinkie continued, "and sometimes some risks are smarter to take for some teams, and less smart for other teams."

With the idea that the Sixers' own pick in 2014 is the key to their rebuild, Hinkie is going young ... and bad. And only time will tell if a plan that will almost assuredly result in immediate failure will ultimately lead to success.

If all four lottery picks work out, Hinkie will look like a genius. He will have plenty of cap space to add veterans (via trade or free agency) in the next couple of years, and new coach Brett Brown is onboard to instill a Spurs-like culture. But being bad isn't necessarily easy to recover from. Neither John Wall nor Kyrie Irving -- No. 1 picks in 2010 and 2011 -- has yet to make the playoffs, and both the Wizards and Cavs are at least two more big pieces away from contending for a championship. Hinkie has given the Sixers a higher potential ceiling, but to do that, he's taken them down to the floor. It's unclear if they'll even be able to get back to where they were 15 months ago.

I think the key statement that Hinkie makes, at least for this FanPost, is that "sometimes some risks [going young and bad] are smarter to take for some teams, and less smart for other teams." I know that Morey could have tried to go this route once it became obvious that McGrady's knees and Yao's feet were not going to be the answer, but I for one am soooo glad that I didn't have to endure three or four straight seasons of 17 to 22 wins before becoming competitive again. Praise Morey for his competitive rebuild strategy!

Below I have listed eleven NBA teams (all since the turn of the millennium) that apparently decided to use the "rebuild through the draft" model. Philadelphia makes the list because their GM states that they are going "bad" in order to be good and the other ten teams made the cut because they all had a minimum of three straight years with a top six draft pick (except for Sacramento that had five straight years of having a top 10 pick). Below the teams notable draft picks I have listed their yearly regular season records and how they fared in the playoffs.

If you don't care to read the meat and potatoes of the FanPost, I have condensed the data from each team so that you can get a feel of whether or not you would like to be a fan of these particular teams at these stages of their rebuilds. Me? Well I will take being a Rox fan right now over being a fan of any other team in the league.

Make sure to check out the poll at the end of the FanPost and vote for your favorite NEW team since you can't vote for the Rockets in this particular poll.

Phily: Even if they are fortunate enough to land this Wiggins kid next year, I am not sure if Wiggins, Noel and Carter-Williams + FA is a good enough nucleus going forward to really compete with the "super-teams" out there right now.

Atlanta: Four straight top six picks since 2004 and have never made it past the EC Semis.

Bobcats: Five top five picks in their existence (2004) and they still can't get it together.

Chicago: Seven top seven picks from 2000-06 but still couldn't get it together until they drafted Rose #1 and Asik #36 in 2008. But even after landing Rose they have three EC 1st round losses, one EC Semis loss and one EC Finals loss. Will this year be their year?

OKC: They hit on all four of their top five picks from 2007 to 2009 (Durant, J. Greene, Westbrook and Harden) plus Serge Ibaka who went #24 in the 2008 draft. Who can argue with a "rebuild through the draft strategy" with the results they have achieved?

Memphis: After three straight top five picks from 2007 to 2009 they still don't have that much to show for it. Can they take that next big step forward this year and make it all the way to the big dance?

Minnesota: One would think that after having five top six picks in five years (2008 - 11) plus drafting Pekovic #31 in 2008 that this team would have at least made it to the playoffs. Nope, they haven't. They are the anti-OKC.

Sacramento: Since 2009 they have had five consecutive top ten picks (that's including three top five picks in a four year span) plus drafting Omri Casspi #23 and Isaiah Thomas #60. If I were a Kings fan I might rather them leave town after posting a 28 - 54 record last season. What has the front office been doing with this team for the past five years?

Portland: Oh, what could have been?!?!?! This team would have more than likely been the darlings of the NBA before the OKC received that title. They struck out when they drafted Martell Webster #1 in 2005 but then within the next three years they hit on Aldridge #2, Roy #6, Oden #1, Rudy Fernandez #24 and Batum #25. I guess taking Lillard #6 will help ease the pain a bit.

Cleveland: Is this team going to be able to do anything with four top five picks within three years (that includes two #1's)? Let's hope they can make a dent in that 24 - 58 record they posted last season.

Washington: Does this team have what it takes to take that next step? One would hope so after having the #1, two #3's and a sixth pick within the last four years. Can there be that much hope after having watched them post a 29 - 53 record this past season? I guess there is if you think LeBron may be returning home next year.

Ok, now for the meat and potatoes.

There is one team that has just begun their journey of "rebuilding through the draft."

Philadelphia 76ers (finished 34 - 48 in 2012 - 13)

The four lottery picks mentioned in the article above could quite possibly look like this: 2013 #6 Nerlens Noel and #11 Michael Carter-Williams 2014 Currently the SBNation rankings for 2013 - 14 would give the 76ers’ the #1 pick (their own) and the #15 pick (via N.O.)

2013 34 – 48 Before their top 6 pick

There are seven teams that have already tried this model: Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats (technically this was a straight build but I included them anyway), Chicago Bulls (who had 10 top 10 picks in nine straight years until they finally landed their SuperStar), Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Sacramento Kings.

Atlanta Hawks (finished 28 – 54 in 2003-04)

2004 #6 Josh Childress and #17 Josh Smith 2005 #2 Marvin Williams 2006 #5 Sheldon Williams 2007 #3 Al Horford and #11 Acie Law 2008 NA 2009 #19 Jeff Teague 2010 NA 2011 NA 2012 #23 John Jenkins 2013 #17 Dennis Schroder

2005 13 – 69 Before their first top 6 pick 2006 26 – 56 2007 30 – 52 2008 37 – 45 Lost in the EC 1st round 2009 47 – 35 Lost in the EC Semis 2010 53 – 29 Lost in the EC Semis 2011 44 – 38 Lost in the EC Semis 2012 40 – 26 Lost in the EC 1st round 2013 44 – 38 Lost in the EC 1st round

Charlotte Bobcats (expansion franchise since 2004 - did not have a record in 2003 - 04)

2004 #2 Omeka Okafor 2005 #5 Raymond Felton and #13 Sean May 2006 #3 Adam Morrison 2007 #22 Jared Dudley 2008 #9 D.J. Augustin 2009 #12 Gerald Henderson 2010 NA 2011 #9 Kimba Walker 2012 #2 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 2013 #4 Cody Zeller

2004 NA 2005 18 – 64 2006 26 – 56 2007 33 – 49 2008 32 – 50 2009 35 – 47 2010 44 – 38 Lost in the EC 1st round 2011 34 – 48 2012 07 – 59 2013 21 – 61

Chicago Bulls (finished 17 – 65 in 1999 – 00)

2000 #4 Marcus Fizer and #8 Jamal Crawford (had the #4, 8, 24, 31, 32, 33 picks this year) 2001 #4 Eddy Curry 2002 #2 Jay Williams 2003 #7 Kirk Hinrich 2004 #3 Ben Gordon and #7 Luol Deng 2005 NA 2006 #4 Tyrus Thomas and #13 Thabo Sefolosha 2007 #9 Joakim Noah 2008 #1 Derrick Rose and #36 Omer Asik 2009 #26 Taj Gibson 2010 NA 2011 #30 Jimmy Butler 2012 NA 2013 #20 Tony Snell

2000 17 – 65 Before their first top 5 pick 2001 15 – 67 2002 21 – 61 2003 30 – 52 2004 23 – 59 2005 47 – 35 Lost in the EC 1st round 2006 41 – 41 Lost in the EC 1st round 2007 49 – 33 Lost in the EC Semis 2008 33 – 49 2009 41 – 41 Lost in the EC 1st round 2010 41 – 41 Lost in the EC 1st round 2011 62 – 20 Lost in the EC Finals 2012 50 – 16 Lost in the EC 1st round 2013 45 – 37 Lost in the EC Semis

Oklahoma City Thunder (finished 31 – 51 in 2006-07)

2007 #2 Kevin Durant and #5 Jeff Green 2008 #4 Russell Westbrook and #24 Serge Ibaka 2009 #3 James Harden 2010 #11 Cole Aldrich 2011 #24 Reggie Jackson 2012 #28 Perry Jones III 2013 #12 Steven Adams

2007 31 – 51 Before their first top 5 pick 2008 20 – 62 2009 23 – 59 2010 50 – 32 Lost in the WC 1st round 2011 55 – 27 Lost in the WC Finals 2012 47 – 19 Lost in the NBA Finals 2013 60 – 22 Lost in the WC Semis

Memphis Grizzlies (finished 22 – 60 in 2006-07)

2007 #4 Mike Conley Jr. 2008 #3 O.J. Mayo 2009 ***#2 Hasheem Thabeet and #27 DeMarre Carroll 2010 #12 Xavier Henry and #28 Greivis Vasquez 2011 NA 2012 #25 Tony Wroten 2013 NA

2007 22 - 60 Before their first top 5 pick 2008 22 - 60 2009 24 - 58 2010 40 - 42 2011 46 - 36 Lost in the WC Semis 2012 41 - 25 Lost in the WC 1st round 2013 56 - 26 Lost in the WC Finals

Minnesota Timberwolves (finished 22 – 60 in 2007-08)

2008 #5 Kevin Love and #31 Nikola Pekovic 2009 #5 Ricky Rubio and #6 Jonny Flynn 2010 #4 Wesley Johnson 2011 #2 Derrick Williams 2012 NA 2013 #14 Shabazz Muhammad and #21 Gorgui Dieng (had the #9 pick but traded down)

2008 22 – 60 Before their first top 5 pick 2009 24 - 58 2010 15 - 67 2011 17 - 65 2012 26 - 40 2013 31 - 51

Sacramento Kings (finished 17 – 65 in 2008 – 09)

2009 #4 Tyreke Evans and #23 Omri Casspi 2010 #5 DeMarcus Cousins 2011 #10 Jimmer Fredette and #60 Isaiah Thomas 2012 #5 Thomas Robinson 2013 #7 Ben McLemore and #36 Ray McCallum Jr.

2009 17 – 65 Before their first top 5 pick 2010 25 – 57 2011 24 – 58 2012 22 – 44 2013 28 – 54

There is one team that has already tried this model and is seemingly trying to use it for a second time: Portland Trail Blazers (who are ranked 15th in the latest SBNation poll for 2013-14).

Portland Trail Blazers (finished 27 – 55 in 2004-05)

2005 #6 Martell Webster 2006 #2 LaMarcus Aldridge and #6 Brandon Roy 2007 #1 Greg Oden and #24 Rudy Fernandez 2008 #11 Jerryd Bayless and #25 Nicolas Batum 2009 NA 2010 #16 Luke Babbitt 2011 #21 Nolan Smith 2012 #6 Damian Lillard and #11 Myers Leonard and #40 Will Barton 2013 #10 C.J. McCollum

2005 27 – 55 Before their first top 6 pick 2006 21 – 61 2007 32 – 50 2008 41 – 41 2009 54 – 28 Lost in the WC 1st round 2010 50 – 32 Lost in the WC 1st round 2011 48 – 34 Lost in the WC 1st round 2012 28 – 38 2013 33 – 49

There are two teams that are in the process of using this model for the first time this millennium: Cleveland Cavaliers and the Washington Wizards.

Washington Wizards (finished 26 – 56 in 2009-10)

2010 #1 John Wall and #17 Kevin Seraphin and #23 Trevor Booker 2011 #6 Jan Vesely and #18 Chris Singleton 2012 #3 Bradley Beal 2013 #3 Otto Porter and #35 Glenn Rice Jr.

2010 26 – 56 Before their first top 5 pick 2011 23 – 59 2012 20 – 46 2013 29 – 53

Cleveland Cavaliers (finished 19 – 63 in 2010-11)

2011 #1 Kyrie Irving and #4 Tristan Thompson 2012 #4 Dion Waiters and #17 Tyler Zeller 2013 #1 Anthony Bennett

2011 19 – 63 Before their first top 5 pick 2012 21 – 45 2013 24 – 58

No cursing in title. No pirated material, such as links to online game streams. Do not cut/paste entire sections of content from other websites. Thanks.

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