The following entry features two teams with opposing building goals become perfect trading partners - eventually coming to terms on a blockbuster. This trade effectively triggers one team’s rebuild, and actively attempts to complete the other team’s road to victory. Experience both views in detail and witness the results of their decisions.
Anatomy of a Blockbuster trade :
Team A – Our Win Now team that has committed to go all-in
Team B – Our rebuild team that has finally decided to go into a three year rebuild.
The rebuilding GM realizes that they are losing arguably the better tender in Lundqvist, and forward in Sharp. However, they are already looking ahead. A quick debriefing of the players should be done in order to gauge value and tradability:
Kulikov – Can be a favourite on any team due to age/value/ELC. Easily movable.
Pavelski – Young, on a strong team, and very nice contract. Easily movable.
Fleury – Leagues where deep playoff teams are major incentives, Fleury is golden. Easily movable.
Guaranteed a 1st and a 3rd Round draft pick - great for future and timeline.
And finally three project prospects to stock the shelves.
As a follow up, the rebuilding team can either sit on these pieces or continue to breakdown, essentially starting a snowball effect. With the latter, there is no time to get attached to pieces that are already on the move. Trading these newly acquired players, alongside other “win now” bodies, with the goal of scouting intriguing picks and prospects is key.
Once completed, the rebuilding team should have accumulated multiple 1st, 2ndand 3rd round picks within the next two entry drafts as well as acquired multiple top prospects, filling up a much needed cupboard of talent. In doing so, the rebuilding GM will have successfully reset their team’s timeline and the waiting game will begin.
On the other hand, the win now team sees the same deal in a very different mindset:
1) Downgrade Kulikov to Montador, who is still serviceable given the league’s playoff structure.
2) Have that difference spread out over upgrading Fleury to Lundqvist and Pavelski to Sharp.
3) In order to seal the deal, put in the conditional picks and project prospects.
Giving up future and potential is not easy, but a GM who wants to win now, will gladly make these decisions. The curveball to a deal like this is rolling the dice on those conditional picks, and it just so happens that the league in particular awards extra draft picks to Division (third), Conference (second), President Trophy (first) and Stanley Cup (first) winners.
The franchise in question has won back to back Conference titles and looks to be a favourite to repeat. However, like any other competitor, their primary goal and vision is to not only challenge for first place, but take home the honours as well. Should that happen, the conditional draft picks sent in the deal above will basically cancel each other out. A continuous cycle of this nature could have the franchise doubling its draft picks yearly, making it a decent gamble to take in order to get the job done.
Additional thoughts :
Many poolies, especially highly active ones, struggle with the idea of rebuilding. Not surprising. Accepting to rebuild and actively following through with it is arguably one of the hardest things to accomplish in fantasy sports. It takes commitment, patience, as well as the ability to seek out and strike at opportune moments.
Rebuilding is not caving. Rather than be in denial, take a good look at your team. If you are not in the top tier of teams or yourself continually out of contention year after year, then you are probably in limbo. It is your duty to accept what must be done.
The biggest mistake a rebuilding GM can do is assume that they can turn on autopilot and pay little to no attention to their team as it drops in the standings. Why? Because they will miss opportunities to accelerate the rebuilding process by playing off of the perceived value of players and eventually turning that stock around. I have seen some who were clearly on the path to rebuild, do a total 180, and build a contending franchise through dealing alone. Although, to complete a string of strong trades, proper time management, dedication and differing degrees of aggressiveness is needed.
Often times, there is a brief window of opportunity where a GM can truly maximize the return of a trade depending on the mindset and attitude of fellow managers. That return can be an extra pick, prospect or any other upgrade - usually due to streaks, signings, or injuries. This is especially true with veterans. Building teams can afford to gamble on vets or off year players, eventually turning them into trade fodder for competing teams. If the gambles fail, the rebuilding team simply drops further into the standings, collecting a better draft selection. On the other hand, if the veteran pans out, the builder can bring in additional assets trough a deadline deal... basically a win-win scenario.
Once the rebuild is complete, and all the “then” prospects have become emerging rookie contract players and the “then” picks have turned into decent prospects, the franchise now has an identity. It is time to put on a different thinking cap and gear up for competition. It is now you who must to supply the league’s new rebuilding teams with those future assets, while in turn, gaining valuable win now players to mesh with your young core. Be active, strategize and do what is necessary to get your franchise to the Promised Land. Remember, when going for the win, points now are worth a lot more than points later.
“If you want to win, you have to put the time in” - words that mean nothing without action.
If this is your year, and feel confident about going all-in, go ALL-in.
Disclaimer: These views cater to a large 30 team salary dynasty league; therefore the building methods expressed in this article will differ from those in partial keepers – explained in a later edition.
Know that there are as many different ways to win as there are to build and the paths shown above are not absolute. However, they can be used as a guide to build upon, giving insight on making the right decisions and applying them.
Part II of this series will dive into the world salaries and how they affect teams across the building spectrum. Until then, the chart below displays the up-to-date results from the teams mentioned in this report. Take a look and feel free to leave comments.