The Toronto Raptors are not going to be tanking the 2013-14 season, at least initially. I can’t promise you anything, but everything Masai Ujiri says continues to hint at a ‘go for it’ campaign rather than a #TankForWiggins effort.
“We are going to be aggressive out there but we also have to see what we have on our team instead of doing something stupid, like quickly. But if something reasonable comes our way and we feel that it’s something that’s going to help the Toronto Raptors, then I will do it. But other than this, this is our team and we’ll keep plugging away.” Ujiri said in an interview.
“I think it’s a tough call right now,We have to continue studying the team and then studying what’s out there. What are we going to do? Throw players away? We’re not going to do that.“I think winning is what you want to build around.” was another quote, indicating wanting to build that important winning culture “I’m not sure the karma is great when you do stuff like that. I understand the whole big picture and we are putting all the options on the table.I think the smart way to do it would be to wait. We haven’t made a decision yet but we don’t know what kind of trades will come our way; the next four or five days you’ll be able to tell because a lot of the free agents are gone now and teams will be looking to make decisions.”
“Right now we’ve got a good team. We’ve got good players. By adding a Tyler Hansbrough piece, we want to get this team in Masai’s eyes a little tougher and a little more combative so that we can can complement some of our existing players. And we feel like we’ve got a strong group right now. The fact of the matter is, when you pick a path to go down you’re really relying on your trade partners and other teams around the league. So a bit part of this first couple weeks for Masai is figuring out what’s available, how the league views our players and make that assessment and go forward. But right now we feel like we could have a good team this year. So I think the path is to say how can we be as good as we can be, how can we add value whether it’s draft picks, and go forward? We don’t want to sacrifice the future for the present, but if there’s a good present, can we do both? That’s what we’re trying to figure out.” Jeff Weltman, VP of basketball operations said, and I really do think that’s a fantastic way of putting it.
The bottom line is that this team is good. Say it with me! This team is GOOD! We haven’t had a chance to see the full potential of the Rudy Gay – DeMar DeRozan duo, and it would be utterly foolish to part with them before even giving the tandem a shot. It’s evident that this team will not be blown up unless things really go south next season. And by the all-star break, if this team isn’t fulfilling expectations then that’s fine – blow it up and tank the second half of the year.
With that being said, I think Ujiri has a very good understanding of the situation and will not do anything that he may regret in the future. The trick really is building off the current squad without giving up a significant piece – something Weltman pointed out.
That’s where the job gets tricky, but adding somewhat insignificant pieces this offseason are likely just fillers to evaluate this team, and once Ujiri understands that this team is worth building on he will bring in additional core pieces. This is the best course of action because nobody, not even master Tim Leiweke has seen the full potential of this team, and I personally think they can surprise a significant amount of people
We have made tons of posts with regards to the situation, so rather than re-iterate those, check some of them out: