The new superteam method
Three teams have bought/traded their way to the top. However, before diving into those, it’s important to understand what a “superteam.” Currently, I’m going to define is as a team with either two of the top 15 or three of the top 25 players in the league.
That said, the Warriors are one. The Nets, when healthy, Lakers, Clippers, Rockets and Sixers. This offseason, it was the Lakers, Rockets, Clippers and Nets that finessed their way to the top through signing top-tier free agents.
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How were they able to sign those players? Well, it’s because of their resilience and their desire to be the best team possible even without superstars. Both Brooklyn and Los Angeles made the playoffs last season without a top-tier superstar.
While both were also first-round exits, having that young core in place and then boasting that winning culture to those superstars was how these teams were built.
Do you think Kawhi Leonard and Paul George would’ve wanted to go play on the Suns, who’ve finished at the bottom of the West the last few seasons? The same goes with the Nets. Would Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving want to join a front office inept of putting together a successful team?
For both these franchises and even the Lakers as well, we don’t know the end result, obviously. What we do know is they didn’t tank to get top-tier assets.
Tanking has been popular even since the Sixers did it to rebuild their franchise. The Knicks and Suns have both been tanking yet haven’t found success. That said, it may be time for them to sign mid-level players and make a playoff push.
However, should this method of building a superteam disvalue that of building through the draft?