I am reading about strategies that general managers use to rebuild an NBA basketball team. By rebuilding I mean the process of letting go existing players and signing new young players with the aim of making a competitive team in the future.
I was reading about the rebuilding process by the Boston Celtics, which seems to be centered around getting draft picks:
In the meantime, Ainge has been doing a great job accumulating future draft picks, and that can only help accelerate the restocking of his roster. When Ainge traded Jordan Crawford and former Net MarShon Brooks to Golden State this past week in a three-way deal with the Heat, the Celtics picked up two more draft picks. Between Ainge’s deals with the Nets and Clippers and other moves, the Celtics now have 17 potential draft picks over the next five seasons. Some will be used for their drafts, but others are likely to be included as sweeteners in deals for established players.
My question is: how important is it to accumulate draft picks in a rebuilding effort compared to any other available strategies? And are there examples of teams that have built competitive teams without giving up important players? For example, I would think the San Antonio Spurs as an example of a team that has had competitive teams without going through a rebuilding phase in many years.