Championship or Playoffs: How do we get there?

I think the difference in these forums is that some people strive for the Raptors to be successful in the playoffs, while some people strive the Raptors to win a championship. The ultimate goal of any franchise is to win a championship. I agree that the Raptors should build a roster that is built to win a championship, but there are many different ways to achieve this goal.

I think we can all agree that no superstar free agent will sign with the Raptors. Our best hope at that was Steve Nash, and he even declined. I'm not bashing Nash, but if Nash won't sign, who will? Truthfully, I don't think anyone with star-like talents will. Call it what you want, but it's the reality. We won't get our star-ready player in the FA market.

Now that I addressed that point, I feel like the only way to build a championship caliber team is through the draft, or through acquiring mid level talent and hoping they will develop into stars. The draft has not been kind to us, and the last time we got a first pick...we screwed it up (AB nightmares). Since the draft years, it seems like we have become a "mediocre" team. Mediocre teams can't draft star-like players because their draft picks are not that high. We could get better scouts or evaluators, but that won't really help us out too much (unless we get hugely lucky, but after our coin-toss loss with the Warriors, I feel very unlucky). Oh, and Casey doesn't drive tanks as evidenced last season.

So it seems like mid-level and mediocre players would be my final option. Those are the guys that are still young, but haven't blown teams away because of their high expectations. Guys like, Landry Fields, James Johnson, and Kyle Lowry are fine examples. These are good players, but they all have flaws that their old teams did not like.

I feel like we should be looking for players like these. These are good players, and may even have a chance to develop into great players given the time, coaching, and proper growth environment. However, the risk is we end up with busts. For example, Landry Fields had a great rookie season, but his sophomore season was disappointing. New York doesn't want him because he can't co-exist with Carmelo (side note: who really can?), but the Raptors might turn him into a solid player that New York was never really able to do. Worst case scenario is that we picked up a guy who really was on the decline and signed him for three years.

Young mid-level and mediocre players are risky, but they still have a good upside. Plus, their contracts can be somewhat reasonable if negotiated properly. Although they have a bad downside, the point I'm trying to make is: Do we really have a choice? We can't get superstars in the FA market, and we can't draft stars because we end up with a pick out of the high range (Casey can't drive tanks). I believe these are the young mid-level and mediocre players in their 2nd to 5th year are the guys we should be looking at.

As I mentioned at the beginning, there are people who want championships, and there are people who want playoffs. I want a championship, but I think the right way to do this is through the way I described in the article. I think this is the "rebuilding process" BC is leaning towards now, rather than the draft. For the first time, I like this rebuilding process. We used to take our "best guess" in who will be a top star, but no more. We can make more educated guesses on signing players with NBA experience already. I still call this rebuilding, just in a different way, and for the first time, I like this way. What do you say about this solution?

Does anyone else have an alternative idea to rebuilding this franchise? I already highlighted the draft, superstar FA signing, and developing young NBA ready players, but there may be more ways that I missed.

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