The Superteam Model involves a top-heavy lineup. Superteams are built around minimum-wage veterans hungry for another championship. Teams that pull off the Superteam have rapid success. The injury of one of the team's main superstars can cause significant problems. Its vulnerabilities include the Chris Bosh Effect. The Tracy McGrady/Yao Ming duo's injuries brought much grief to their franchise.
The Celtics have enjoyed immediate success when they won the 2007-08 championship with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. They have a become a perennial Eastern powerhouse. Superteams are not a new idea. The 1980s Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics and 1990s Chicago Bulls had multiple All-Stars.
The Superteam Model is usually a venture of big-market franchises. But success is not guaranteed. The Brooklyn Nets hotly pursued the Superteam Model only to end up empty-handed.
The Traditional Team involves filling rosters with mid-level players that fit the system around a focal superstar. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) favors the Traditional Team direction.
Teams that have leveraged large chunks of their salary cap into two and three players are starting to find out that the new world drawn up in December is going to require smaller contracts and greater flexibility… in 2013 the teeth of the new CBA kick in. A heftier Luxury tax that penalizes teams based on various levels over the tax line they are. Reduced Salary cap exceptions; tighter trade rules related to what teams over the tax can take back and more importantly whether teams can do sign-and-trade deals.
The Dallas Mavericks won a title in 2011 on the Traditional Team, only to see it dismantled the next year in a quest for the Superteam.
An Orlando Perspective
The Free Agent Class of 2013 is especially appealing.
Chirs Paul and Josh Smith headline the class, which could also include Monta Ellis and Andre Iguodala if the pair exercise their Early Termination Options. And if Orlando strikes out on any of the above players, it could try signing a restricted free agent to an offer sheet; notable restricted free agents in the 2013 class include point guards Darren Collison, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, and Eric Maynor; and shooting guards Tyreke Evans and James Harden.
Either approach for success necessitates freeing this team from bad contracts. Although clearing the cap-space involves much head-ache, it can be done with a competent GM. It involves deft handling of the encumbering contracts of Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, Quentin Richardson, and Chris Duhon. Of course, the possible return of Fran Vazquez might ease the process. It entails good uses of the present 19th and 49th picks. The prospective contracts of Jameer Nelson and Ryan Anderson must be dealt frugally.
Obtaining an aging Back to the Future Steve Nash will put a cloak on Orlando's salary cap struggles. If there is a focus on the Traditional Team model for success, then Orlando will eye playmakers like Courtney Lee, OJ Mayo, Carlos Delfino, and George Hill. Spot-up shooters like Danny Green and Ersan Ilyasova will be appreciated, especially if Ryan Anderson is stolen away.