so which is the better approach? in charlotte since the 04-05 season, we have had a little of both. this post is to discuss/debate which is the better way for charlotte to move forward. a case can be made that lots of trades and signings is exciting, and draws fan intrest, but does it lead to success? a case can also be made that low key calculated moves like acquiring picks and adding pieces can best apply to small market teams, but does that lead to any more succes either? more after the jump
here are the options we have seen>>
1) under bickerstaff we drafted high, made the cap space our gold standard and built from subtle trades and signings. (see okafor draft, adding wallace thru expansion, etc)
2) under jordan/bickerstaff transition, we used the cap space to add salary thru trades, resigned players we aquired thru draft and effectivley sought out players who were locked up so they HAD to keep playing here (see richardson draft day trade, resign wallace, okafor, trades for diaw & mohammad who had years on contract to go)
3) under brown/higgins regime, we added players for a coahes style, subtracted those who didnt fit, and mortagaged the future to keep the current team going, low key signings (see dampier trade, jackson trade, thomas trade, reggie williams type FA signings )
4) under cho/higgins we now have blown up the past model again, and gone full "draft/ assests" mode, adding contracts with the reward of 1st rounders for our efforts, back to a bernie bickerstaff type of approach of adding pieces slowly but surely.
while both approaches have merrit, I tend to favor the more trade/sign approach. this is not to say for every danny ferry out there you have a winner of championships, whose constant manuvers in cleveland and now atlanta dont always make the team better. some places like san antonio with rj buford have built thru draft MOSTLY, adding euro assests like ginubili and parker late, but they also have made a key trade here and there, without being known for the blend (see recent kwahi lenoard trade, earlier trades for vets like stephen jackson during 03 team). teams like the lakers have ALWAYS built thru the trade & sign type GM in mitch kupchick, but never forget they drafted valde divac late and found mid rounders like kobe and bynum in the draft. small market teams to fail often most tend to be ones who sit back and hope for the best, even if its calculated. example: sacramento has been known to do little and hope for the best in the draft of late with cousins and evans, but once upon a time they swung for the fences, and GM geoff petrie got chris webber, valde divac and they almost made the finals with those moves. utah always built from the draft in the 80's and 90's, but have gone for the trades and aquired young talent like jefferson and favors.
I hope GM dick cho isnt the type of guy who plans on hoping for a lebron type to fall into our lap in an upcoming draft and SAVE us and then ad reggie williams type FA's to get us a playoff run. we need to blend trades for YOUNG VETS ready to blossum after a 3+ year experience in the league who can score and defend, ones who can become leaders around our existing roster of VERY young talent. (mkg is 18).
so whats the right approach?