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Thread: How to build a contender?

  1. #1

    How to build a contender?

    OK, I'm a basketball fan, but I'm much more informed (and opinionated) about football. I could probably give you a good summary about how to build an NFL franchise. My question is what is the best strategy, in your opinions, to go about building an NBA franchise? I ask this because that's where I think we are with the hornets right now. Benson has no long term debt (stadium issues with either team), and the team really is in a good cap situation, if what I read is true. Where do we go from here? I see teams with a "Big 3" such as Miami and Boston. I see teams like SA that seem to do it a little differently. I think we have a good front office in place, and we have a lease and all of that. I'm mainly concerned with player personnel. What's the best way to build a team that consistently contends?

  2. #2
    Great topic. My feelings are to become a very good team first you need to tank. Its almost impossible to go from a mediocre team to an elite team. Kind of what's held back the Knicks always. They have extremely high tickets and need to make it look like they're competing rater than tank a year or 2. So in essence its easier to go from an awful team to a great team rather than a good team to a great team.

    Most importantly its all about building through the draft, which helps by having high picks
    and by getting lucky. Look at okc they drafted Durant, westbrook, harden, and ibaka all within a 4 year window. Another reason to build through the draft is if you land a stud that other people want to play with, That player is still on his cheap rookie deal which allows you to get high priced, and hopefully high talent guys around him. Kind of like the bulls last year Rose was only making 4 million a year and they had the cap room to sign 2 Max players. Unfortunately for them they were only able to get the overpriced Boozer.

    So I feel like the hornets gave a great shot at becoming a great team with some luck. Gordon is a borderline allstar, we have 20 million in cap room which we hopefully invest smartly and 2 top 10 picks which could luckily land us one of those elite players. Not to mention we have cheap players with potential in Aminu, Henry, and Vasquez. Also in 2 years we have an other 20 million coming off the cap with okafor,ariza, and Jack when hopefully our 2 high end players we draft this year gave developed and an all star wants to come play with them. Could all be very exciting with some luck and smart investing.

  3. #3
    To become elite, you gotta have a Star Center imo.

    @DatPurpleHornet

  4. #4
    On a permanent Holiday! Purple Haze's Avatar
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    Start with your bigs, success will come. That's why Monty knows we need to go big with our first two picks.
    Wherehappens.

  5. #5
    The Mad Titan    Contributor   
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    Really good question and it's a hot topic See:What FAs would you want. There are a lot of differing opinions on it to be honest, but I think in this day and age there's two models despite the new CBA which (somewhat) evens the finacial battle field. It is important to know the CBA pretty well to be able to develop a plan as well as the landscape of the NBA. The two models, I believe are Large Market and Small Market teams (With Miami breaking the mold do to their coup).

    Small Market teams:
    This is your San Antonio Spurs and OKC mold which takes a little longer, and requires a little more talent in the front offices and the scouting areas to be sucessful. Through this model, teams build through the draft and take moderate chances on free agents. In the case of the Spurs (who have done it perfectly) their sucess hinged on drafting maybe the top PF of all time and picking up talent around him. They hardly ever overpay for a free agent (Stephen Jackson although he's back with the team after a trade or Jeff Green although IMO I think they overpaid for Perkins) and make quality picks (Ginobili). The scouting report is always in full effect (Tony Parker, Tiago Splitter, James Anderson, K. Leonard and that's just this year's roster). Seems to work best when they have a star that does not have a huge ego and doesn't need to have his face pasted everywhere (Duncan and Durant; The whole Westbrook dynamic has me intrigued on how OKC will pan out though).

    There are also teams that do this terribly (Toronto, i'm looking at you). Teams that draft that once in a generation athlete and put all of their cards on the table for that guy and get shafted (Hi Dan Gilbert). These small market teams will sometimes veer off and take a huge risk on a free agent thats certainly not a tier 1 basketball player, (Charlie Bell, Joe Johnson, Elton Brand, Peja, etc etc) and are irrelevant for years to come because they're cap strapped. In the case of Atlanta, they built a very talent team but their max money "star" has no heart. It's a huge risk to take these gambles, but at times teams are on the cusp from good drafting and are looking for that one piece (Hi James Posey).

    Large Markets:
    LA Lakers , NYK, Bos mold.
    Although all of these teams have all done it different, the one thing they all have in common are they are destination franchises. I don't think either model is blanket "right" choice, but i do think there is a "right model" for a particular franchise. For instance, a member for HR suggested the Hornets save up all of their cap space to pursue Dwight Howard in a year. I suggest that isn't a good course because we arent a destination franchises that will plaster your name and soley build your brand off of. Team like the Lakers can get free agents to take less money (although most contenders can) and stars to force their way to them. They have a huge advantage on the competition which is one of the big reasons we had a huge CBA disagreeance between the owners. They also usually take risks on players with higher contract because they simply can afford to pay the luxury taxes that other teams couldnt (before the new CBA).

  6. #6
    Rollin' Contributor Smirk's Avatar
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    a) Stockpile diverse, versatile TALENT. In the NFL, you can get away with some deficiencies in talent through scheme, and the fact that you have 11 players on the field. The NBA is all about talent. You want the talent to be diverse, so that you can trot out different matchups, lineups and diverse game plans, so you don't end up being the Hawks. You must stockpile as much "talent" as you can get, whether that be through the draft, trades or FA. UNTIL....

    b) You must find the STAR. Doesn't necessarily have to be a "superstar", but you must find a star player. All of the great teams have one, and with the lone exception of the Pistons from a few years ago, you need a true Star to win a championship.

    c) Get LENGTH and SIZE. You need some bulk to compete, its just a fact. You don't need a "true Center" as the true definitions of positions is fading rapidly. But you need guys that can bang down low and clean up the glass. They don't need to be your stars, they just need to do their best to neutralize teams like the Lakers that have great size, OR to create matchup problems (like Dirk).

    d) Manipulate the talent you've already stockpiled to compliment the star you now have. If you got the star first, great, you must surround him with complimentary talent. If you have to trade off guys, or tank to get more picks, or sell off veterans to clear cap space for FAs, you MUST surround that star with the right talent.

    e) Get DEFENSIVE. Have a coach that preaches defense, instills it in his players, and demands they keep up the defensive intensity. You can mask a team's talent deficiencies early a bit with Defense, but as the team gels and becomes talented, DEFENSE is the thing that transforms them from a good team to a great team.

    I'm convinced that the position of the players isn't that relevant. While traditionally its best to build with a SG and a PF/C, and that's the way I would probably want to do it, positions are really fading in today's NBA. You really just need to stockpile diverse talent, find your star, compliment that star with the right guys, and be defensive minded. Its just that simple.

  7. #7
    The Mad Titan    Contributor   
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    Smirk,

    Completely agree about the positions. I think it's more about what talents a person brings not what traditional position they play! Good point! If you have a great distributer at the 2 or 3 that cant shoot why do you need point that just distributes... just get a player that can defend a quicker guard and shoot at the "1 spot"

  8. #8
    This team is in a different situation than the thunder, it took a couple of years for the talent like Durant and Westbrook to turn from talented players to players that knew how to win. Gordon is ready to win NOW, and that is what makes this draft so important, this might be our last chance to pair a star with Gordon, because come next year, we'll be too good to be in the lottery.

    Easiest way to win a championship:
    Perimeter scorer, Post scorer, defensive big man, defensive wing, distributor, 3 point shooter
    almost every championship team in history has those 6 things.

  9. #9
    1) You have to have a closer. That is the #1 priority, hands down. No closer, no contender.

    -We have that with Gordon.

    2) You have to have an established post game. No post game, no contender.

    -We are working on that. Landry is nice off then bench, but he shouldn't be starting. A guy like Jared Sullinger would be a great addition.

    3) You have to have to play team defense.

    -There are ways to disguise a bad defender or two individually, but they must still be committed to team defense. We have that with Monty as our HC.

    4) You have to have shooters to spread the floor.

    -Gordon is one, obviously. Vasquez and Henry could develop into shooters. Marco is one, but he isn't clutch. Landry can shoot, and Okafor is developing a 12-foot jumper that he hit this season before he got injured. Still, need more shooters.

    5) You need one dominant defensive player - preferably in the post.

    - Anthony Davis would obviously fit in here. Okafor fits in here, although I wouldn't call him dominant, he is still one of the best defensive centers in the game.

  10. #10
    A Soulful Sports Fan Contributor Eman5805's Avatar
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    Build your team from the inside out. Control of the paint makes everything easier. Even the Heat with all their elite wings can be given fits by a team that keeps them away from the basket.

  11. #11
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    I think Smirk and Nolaslim are both spot on. Size and length inside, some shooters outside, and great team Def. I think a good draft and FA class and we'll be awesome.

  12. #12
    The Mad Titan    Contributor   
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    The funny thing is, when's the last team with a dominant Center won? And don't say the lakers because Bynum wasn't there for one and the other he was gimped and no where near of what he is now.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by BallSoHard View Post
    The funny thing is, when's the last team with a dominant Center won? And don't say the lakers because Bynum wasn't there for one and the other he was gimped and no where near of what he is now.

    He was still a 7 foot big body in the lane who was more than capable of scoring and defense. Maybe not dominant, but to say he was a non-factor is ridiculous.

    Gasol, same thing. Not SHAQ-dominant, but holds his own as a 7footer.

    07-08 Celtics- Garnett
    06-07 Spurs - Duncan
    05-06 Heat - Shaq

  14. #14
    Rollin' Contributor Smirk's Avatar
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    In this day and age you don't need a dominant Center. The Magic have had the most dominant Center in the game for a few years and while they made the Finals, they didn't win it.

    You do need size and length though. While Bynum wasn't a huge contributor to their championship teams, they DID have Pau Gasol, and he is what put them over the edge.

  15. #15
    The Mad Titan    Contributor   
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeauxCrazy View Post
    He was still a 7 foot big body in the lane who was more than capable of scoring and defense. Maybe not dominant, but to say he was a non-factor is ridiculous.

    Gasol, same thing. Not SHAQ-dominant, but holds his own as a 7footer.

    07-08 Celtics- Garnett
    06-07 Spurs - Duncan
    05-06 Heat - Shaq
    He wasn't a factor in the first one because he didn't play, and second i never said he was a "non-factor" I asked when the last time a dominant center won; so not sure where you're going there?

    07-08 garnett was a 4
    06-07 Duncan always says he was a pf (although thats negotiable)
    05-06 Shaq 6 years ago? NBA's changed a lot since.

    Just pointing out is the center position isnt as much of a shoe in as people think for championships these days

  16. #16
    The Mad Titan    Contributor   
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smirk View Post
    In this day and age you don't need a dominant Center. The Magic have had the most dominant Center in the game for a few years and while they made the Finals, they didn't win it.

    You do need size and length though. While Bynum wasn't a huge contributor to their championship teams, they DID have Pau Gasol, and he is what put them over the edge.
    Well said and was pretty much my point that the NBA has changed a lot.

  17. #17
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    We haven't seen the likes of Shaquille, Hakeem, and Ewing in a few years but I'm sure they'll come again. Hopefully it'll start with our first pick Drummond!!! Right now the league has athletic 3 and 4's that are the dominate players(Durant, Lebron, Dirk).

  18. #18
    There are multiple ways to build a contender. And other posters have made valid points about building a contender. But I would like to do more than contend. I want to see the Hornets actually win a championship, hopefully in the near future. But after looking at championship teams from the past 20 years one thing sticks out. You NEED a great hall of fame type player.to win a championship. Point, blank, period. Thats your starting point. Adding lengthy bigs, three point shooter, etc etc are all secondary. That hall of fame player is your building block for success. With the exception for the Detroit pistons this rule holds true and I'm sure will hold true this year. I'm sure OKC, san Antonio, or Miami will win it all. So we need to find that hall of fame player. I don't think its EG. Could he be maybe but I don't think so. That's how u build a true contender.
    Last edited by NOHsting; 05-15-2012 at 02:06 AM.

  19. #19
    Building a contender is about having a closer, and a team assembled around them that gels.

    I'm not yet a believer in Eric Gordon being a closer for a champ team, but I'm willing to see him try.

  20. #20
    OK, given all of that, and looking at our roster, where do we go?

    Looking at the roster:
    Bigs: Ayon, Landry, Okafor, Smith, Kaman?, Watkins?
    Wings: Ariza, Aminu, Thomas?
    Shooters: Gordon, Belli, Aminu?, X?
    Distributors: Jack?, Vasquez?, Dyson?

    It's safe to say that several of these guys won't be here next year. Who are they, and how do we replace them.

    I like to play with the trade machine as well as anyone else. Thinking strategically, looking at all of the posts above, what do we do to build a genuine contender?

    Starting with the draft, assuming we get something around 3-5, and 10, what do we do?

  21. #21
    Bigs. The Hornets will be good much sooner if they can re-sign Kaman
    "If all you're going on is my confession, forget it. I'm simply not credible." -Dale Gribble

  22. #22
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    we need a center

  23. #23
    Alot depends on who's in your way. Appears OKC will be who we need to go through for the next some odd years. I know people speculate they cant keep Durant Westbrook and harden but i wouldn't be surprised to see them find a way. especially considering Durant's reputation as a team first guy.

    Perimeter defenders will be key to our future success. Gordon and Ariza i'm comfortable with. Id like to see us add another guy in the draft who can be counted on to defend an elite scorer
    Last edited by hornets7; 05-16-2012 at 03:28 PM. Reason: typo

  24. #24
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!! Trell's Avatar
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    If there's a way we can get 2 bigs & Lillard or Marshall, where on the right track!
    2013-1014 is the season the Pelicans fanbase grows!!!!

  25. #25
    YOU NAILED IT!!! START WITH A OWNER CHECK! A GOOD GM CHECK! AND A GREAT COACH CHECK!!!GET A SMALL FORWARD AND RESIGN GORDON, WITH A LITTLE LUCK WHO KNOWS!!!

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