Three Ways to Build a Contender in the NBA

In the NBA, terms like, "rebuilding" and "building through the draft" are thrown around a lot. In reality, there are only three, proven methods to building a championship team. Not each method is a surefire path to the trophy, and not every team has an equal opportunity to utilize each method.

Without further ado, here are the methods:

1. The Hollywood Method

This method involves superstar players flocking to a team because said team is popular. Those superstars are then followed by stud role players, who are excited by the chance to play with such great superstars on a popular team. This method is often successful but can fail when the egos of superstars clash or the team runs out of cap space to fill talent in around its stars.

Notable examples: The Los Angeles Lakers of the '00s and '10s, the current Heat.

2. The Dynasty Method

The dynasty method is all about the draft. Really bad teams get high draft picks in consecutive years, use their mid-first round picks wisely after their stars have been drafted, and make solid free-agent acquisitions. Usually, blockbuster trades are not involved. This method is extremely high-risk, high-reward. If done correctly and a team gets lucky, that team can dominate the NBA for a decade. Otherwise, that team will be stuck for a decade in perpetual mediocrity, or worse, be stuck in the bottom of the league, desperately clinging to what it once thought was a blueprint for success. Most teams in the NBA try to use this method, usually with no success. Currently, the Thunder, Bulls, Hawks, 76ers, Warriors, Kings, Bobcats, Orlando, and Bucks are trying to use this method--the Bulls and Thunder being the only teams with any success.

Notable examples: The '90s Bulls, the '80s Lakers, the '80s Celtics, '00s Spurs

3. The Veteran Depth Method

The Veteran method is when teams use trades and free agency to acquire as many solid veterans to put around one or maybe two stars. This method is most successful when these veterans are former all-stars, all-NBA-ers, and all-defensive team players. This method can make a team an almost instant contender, but any success is often short term, and the post-contender period can be a nuclear winter of sorts, as this method takes a long time to rebuild from. Still, many teams find success this way, and it is less risky than the Dynasty Method.

Notable Examples: '11 Mavs, '08 Celtics, '04 Pistons, '01 76ers, '94-95 Rockets

The Blazers really have no opportunity to use the Hollywood method. Despite what Darkstar wrote is his well thought-out article (read it here:, They do not have the exposure to attract big-name superstars like Howard and Williams from bigger markets.

The Blazers had been using the Dynasty Method, and using it quite well. However, their luck did not pan out. With the end of Brandon Roy's career, and the very plausible end of Greg Oden's career, the dynasty method did not pan out for the Blazers. Their best bet now is to add a bunch of veterans around Lamarcus Aldridge, with a few talented youngsters. The Blazers are on the right track with the Veteran Depth method. Picking up pieces like Wallace and Camby are great. The Blazers should continue to add former all-stars to this team, including Steve Nash.

The window of opportunity has not closed for this team, but it will not be a dynasty. That is OK. Most teams never are. However, through veteran depth this team can still contend for a title in the very new future.

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