The Raptors are a very good team with almost no chance at winning the NBA finals. Currently Bet365 posts them at 50-1 odds, meaning considerably LESS then a 2% chance to win (net of casino commission).
How hopeless is 50-1? There are 24 NHL teams with a BETTER chance to win the Cup than the Raps have of winning the NBA finals. There is a BETTER chance that the Bills win the Super Bowl (40-1) then the Raps win the NBA finals. The Bills – who have NO QB, haven’t made the playoffs in 20 yrs, and share a division with Brady have a BETTER chance of winning their championship than the Raps.
BUT things are NOT hopeless. In fact the Raps could pull off a SINGLE MOVE that would give them a REALLY GOOD CHANCE to win the NBA finals. Impossibly you say? Humour me.
Out in LA, the Clippers are in a spot similar to the Raps – strong team, with almost no chance of winning a championship. They are listed at 70-1 and are vastly inferior to their west rivals: Warriors, Spurs, and Rockets. They must know this, just as the Raps know they can’t compete with Cleveland.
BUT, the Raps stars are 2 guards, Lowry and DeRozan and the Clips stars are 2 bigmen Jordan and Griffin. A super-team starring Lowry, DeRozan, Jordan and Griffin, with depth that includes Beverley, Gallinari, Rivers, Ibaka, Valanciunas, Miles, and Powell would compete and arguably be one of the favourites to win the NBA finals. This combined team leapfrogs everyone but the Warriors and all of a sudden the 50-1 shot is approximately 4-1 to win the NBA finals.
How does this happen? Simple. The ultimate coin flip. Steve Ballmer, owner of the Clippers, and Larry Tanenbaum, owner of the Raptors, are both successful businessmen who understand if you aren’t at the top of your industry, either get there or get out. Basketball is no different. If you can’t compete for a championship, and neither of their teams can, FLIP A COIN – win and compete, lose and re-build. Both options are superior to the current state of affairs.
I know teams will NEVER do this because right now both teams can ‘pretend’ to compete, win 50 games, sell some playoff tickets and hope Lebron, Curry, and Durant all get the plague. BUT, rarely in life do you get a chance to go from 50-1 to 4-1 by winning a 50-50 coin flip. CAPITALIZE!
NOTE: I know there are logistics involving salary caps, NBA trade approval, etc, but this can be done, and the coin flip loser could get lots of picks from the winner and better contracts, especially since the excess depth could also be partially traded away to a 3rd team with the benefits going to the coin flip loser.