The consensus is that the trade for Wallace was poor. If we don't improve and we end up with the 5-7 pick in the draft we would miss out on some young talent that could be part of the foundation of our franchise. Therefore, the trade was horrible. Right?
Well maybe not. This trade was all about keeping Deron. We can argue for a higher protection on the pick, but that is tangential to what I want to focus on. Even if we miss out on a pick 4-7 but we keep Deron because he appreciates the win now approach, this trade will be 100% worth it.
Keeping Deron is all that matters. It's easy to forget that we almost pulled off the impossible. Billy almost created a title contending team in under 2 seasons. That is close to impossible, but it was only possible because of the Deron Williams trade and the attempt to get Dwight. If Dwight doesn't change his mind for the 100th time, we would have one of the best foundations (if not the best) in the league. Even if Deron leaves and we have to start over, taking that shot to try and go from worst to first was 1000% worth it.
To state the very obvious, building a championship team is not easy. Many who are extremely upset with the Wallace trade probably point to the excellent job done by the Oklahoma City Thunder. They used their picks and drafted well and will compete for the championship this season and for the foreseeable future. Why not follow that model? The answer is because it is almost an impossible model to follow. Their best 3 players (Durant, Westbrook, and Harden) were selected 2, 4, and 3 overall respectively in 2007-2009. If they got the 1st overall pick in 07 and took Oden, they aren't title contenders. If they were higher in the draft in 2008 and tood Beasley or Mayo instead of Westbrook, they aren't title contenders. If they took Tyreke or Curry instead of Harden, they aren't title contenders.
OKC got great picks and hit absolute homeruns to build themselves into a championship level team. It's not that easy. Ask the Washington Wizards when they expect to compete for a championship. They've accumulated 3 lottery or mid-1st rounders in the past two years including the 1st overall pick and remain one of the worst teams in the league. How many more years until they contend? 1? 2? 3? 5? Ever? It's easier to make the case that the Wizards will never win a championship in the John Wall/ Jan Vesley era than it is to say they'll compete in 3 years.
Likewise Minnesota has been rebuilding for 7 years. They've had 8 lottery picks (9 total 1st rounders) in the last 7 years. Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love, and Derrick Williams look like a nice foundation, but Wes Johnson, Johnny Flynn, Rashad McCants, and Corey Brewer aren't exactly lighting up the league. After 7 years of rebuilding, the Wolves are finally in contention...for the 8 seed in the West. Their future is bright, but a championship caliber team is not even close to guaranteed even with their young talent.
It's much easier to find teams like Minnesota and Washington than Oklahoma City. When you get your shot at making a team that can compete for a championship, you have to take it. Billy King made a tremendous trade for Deron Williams and I will stand behind it even if Deron laughs at us in FA and runs to Dallas. Billy was also 100% right to hoard assets and cap room for a run at Dwight. We almost had 2 of the top 10 players in the league on our team in just over 1 year. That's a nearly impossible feat but it was not only possible but likely before Dwight''s frail mind ruined us. I hope our front office takes that shot 100 out of 100 times. Similar logic supports the Wallace trade. If you have a shot to sign Deron Williams to a 5 year contract, you have to do whatever it takes even if it means making a trade for an aging vet and losing a potential lottery pick.
Building through the draft sounds straightforward, but it is extremely difficult to do. That's why it seems like you see the same teams at the top of the lottery every year. If you can get or keep a superstar, it is impossible to overpay.
I stand with Billy and his strategy thus far even if Deron walks. Do you?