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View Full Version : who are the best 5 GM's?



Arcadian
02-20-2004, 05:46 PM
I remember when Brad was traded, dealt or whatever non-offensive term should be used for the transaction there was some debate on how good Brad really was.

I believe it was Peck who said Brad was a top 5 center and challenged anyone to name 5 better. (Oddly enough I seem to think that the ones named were O'neal, Yao and Curry. Its funny what a half of a season will do.)

So in the wake of yesterdays disappointment at the non-trade that went down I would like to know who people think are the top 5 GM's (or organization's with the best front offices since the GM isn't always the person who makes the desions and DW isn't even a GM for that matter.)

I believe that Donnie is in the top five. I believe that any executive placed under the microscope that many place Donnie under will come out just as badly--and it is worse for Donnie than say Dumars because Joe hasn't had as many years to make mistakes or looked back upon as what could have been.

My list would be Sac, San Antonio, Detriot, Indiana and Dallas in no particular order.

Kstat
02-20-2004, 05:47 PM
I think Zeke deserves honorable mention.

ChicagoJ
02-20-2004, 05:55 PM
(1) Jerry West
(2) Donnie Walsh
(3) Joe Dumars
(4) Gregg Popovich
(5) the guy in Sacremento that keeps winnng the award just because his owners have bottemless pockets.

Honorable Mention: Mitch Kupchek and Isiah Thomas (their franchises make it easy for them to be good.)

waxman
02-20-2004, 05:59 PM
I know alot of people are unhappy with DW because of the Brad miller deal and the lack of a deal at the deadline this year....but he is considered among the top executives in the league and rightly so....

To completely rebuild a small market team that was in the finals only a few years ago...without missing the playoffs is quite astounding really... our team is young, deep and talented and will be a contender for the forseeable future.

MSA2CF
02-20-2004, 05:59 PM
Billy Knight
Larry Bird
Danny Ainge
Bernie Bickerstaff
John Paxson
Jim Paxson
Donn Nelson (Yes, 2 n's.)
Kiki Vandeweghe
Joe Dumars
Garry St. Jean
Flip Saunders
Jerry West
Randy Pfund
Carroll Dawson
Elgin Baylor
Mitch Kupchack
Larry Harris
Rod Thorn
Isiah Thomas
John Gabriel
Billy King
Bryan Colangelo
John Nash
Geoff Petrie
RC Buford
Bob Bass
Rick Sund
Glen Grunwald
Kevin O’Connor
Ernie Grunfeld

kerosene
02-20-2004, 06:03 PM
5 Best:
West, Bird/Walsh, Dumars, Petrie, Pop/Buford

Honorable mention:
Thomas, Vandeweghe, Nelson

5 Worst:
Ainge, St. Jean, Knight, Gabriel, King

Dishonorable mention:
Colangelo, Grunwald

Hicks
02-20-2004, 06:26 PM
5 Best:
Bird/Walsh

Worst:
St. Jean

And people wonder why I thought a Pacers/Warriors trade might go down? :cool:

tdeltdot
02-20-2004, 06:59 PM
5 Worst:
Ainge, St. Jean, Knight, Gabriel, King

Dishonorable mention:
Colangelo, Grunwald

What about Rod Thorn? He hasn't exactly had much success on the free-agent market lately - i.e. Mutombo, Mourning and Griffin. Which is, what, $48-50 million worth of salary over the next 2 years?

PaceBalls
02-20-2004, 07:08 PM
Donnie Walsh has to be one of the best ever, since the late 80s

kerosene
02-20-2004, 07:14 PM
What about Rod Thorn? He hasn't exactly had much success on the free-agent market lately - i.e. Mutombo, Mourning and Griffin. Which is, what, $48-50 million worth of salary over the next 2 years?

I considered Thorn but his team has been successful and he's made a couple of nice deals (Griffen for Houston's 3 first round picks of which Jefferson was one; not maxing out KMart when he can match a market offer this summer; getting Kidd to re-up). The Mutumbo and Morning deals were bad but I think he's more of a middle of the road guy right now. Some good moves, some bad.

Bball
02-20-2004, 07:35 PM
The answer to this would depend on your criteria. The 5 top guys you might pick from to get you a championship might not be the same 5 guys you'd choose to get your salary under control.... or who'd you pick to bring a perennial bottom feeder up to a respectable status.


-Bball

Arcadian
02-20-2004, 07:37 PM
Come on, Bball, don't skirt the issue with philosophy. Name the 5 you would want by your criteria.

Peck
02-20-2004, 07:49 PM
I'm just going to say this about who is the best. Jerry West.

It would have been easy over the years to say that Jerry really wasn't that good but he was lucky because he had the Lakers & an owner who would pay.

But he has gone to Memphis & totally turned that franchise around.

Hands down, best G.M. Probably ever.

Now here is where I want to step in & make another statement.

I think it's only fair to evaluate G.M. abilities based on what their circumstances are.

By that I mean how is their ownership, how is the local press, how demanding are the local fans, what did they have to work with to begin with, etc., etc.

In Indiana everybody lines up to :king: Walsh & he deserves a lot of it.

But to be honest, would he have had the time to work with the club if he were in say N.Y. or Philly or even Chicago. The local press here is mashmellowey soft & those markets are like great white sharks.

Our owners, God love them, are not what you would call demanding. He is a very good stewart of their money & for that I'm sure they are gratefull. But he doesn't have a Cuban or Reinsdorf standing over his shoulder demanding success.

Our fans are not what you would call demanding by any sense of the word. In fact one could argue that we are one of the easier markets in the world.

If a fan makes any form of remark suggesting that something should have happened or should not have happened, there are a gaggle of attack dogs that will swoop on them to accuse them of not being a fan.

The apologist for this franchise are legandary.

Now having said all of that I will say this.

Walsh is probably in the top 15 G.M. (I know he's not the G.M.) spots of all-time.

But, like Reggie, longevity has equalled success.

Now the question still remains would he have had this long if he were most other franchises?

PaceBalls
02-20-2004, 10:00 PM
Still, Donnie has always had this club in playoff contention ever since Reggies first few years. That's with many different players and core guys. That's quite a feat. When is the last year they didnt make the playoffs anyway?

sixthman
02-20-2004, 10:26 PM
Kiki Vandeweghe has been most impressive.

I know he has only been on the job three years or so, but the results of his decision making has been spectacular.

His only blemish might be the drafting of Skita, and that story has not nearly played out.

Drafting Carmello was being in the right place at the right time. But not so in acquiring the rights to Nene.

And the decision to unload all the salary in VanExel, LaFrentz, McDyess, Wahad makes him look like a genius.

Dumars and Pop seem to have a real handle on the realities of the luxury tax and the cap.

Anthem
02-20-2004, 11:39 PM
Kiki Vandeweghe has been most impressive.

I know he has only been on the job three years or so, but the results of his decision making has been spectacular.

His only blemish might be the drafting of Skita, and that story has not nearly played out.

Drafting Carmello was being in the right place at the right time. But not so in acquiring the rights to Nene.

Just think if he'd have done what I wanted him to, and drafted Stoudamire to go with Nene. A frontline of Stoudamire, Nene, and Carmello? :drool:

Simply unreal. I'd like him more, though, if he'd trade for Croshere.

Arcadian
02-21-2004, 01:29 AM
I just want to point out that out of the 29 GM's out there Donnie/Bird is in most people top 5. I think that it is telling that no one in the anti-Donnie camp has suggested that he shouldn't be there. I would like to this as evidence to make this statement--Donnie has done better as Pacer GM than most would have and that the next Pacer GM will most likely not be as good as Donnie.

I am not suggesting that we should worship Donnie or even stop bemoaning this summers transaction or any other move or non-move--that's all about being a fan. But let's give Donnie his due.

It seems to me most criticisms are based on that Donnie hasn't made the right decision everytime without holding in mind the decisions which were very good. Which isn't fair because it judges him only on what he has done wrong without considering his record or what his peer's have achieved.

by the way, Peck, how did you decide on the top 15 all time front office people(gms). That is an odd number. Are there 10 gm's who are solidly placed in the top ten of all time?

bulletproof
02-21-2004, 01:51 AM
Still, Donnie has always had this club in playoff contention ever since Reggies first few years. That's with many different players and core guys. That's quite a feat. When is the last year they didnt make the playoffs anyway?

Exactly. Although my top pick would have to go either to Popp or West. Walsh is in the top 3 at least, in my unbiased and humble opinion. :D

Bball
02-21-2004, 03:16 AM
I just want to point out that out of the 29 GM's out there Donnie/Bird is in most people top 5. I think that it is telling that no one in the anti-Donnie camp has suggested that he shouldn't be there.

I think what it says most is nobody is in the mood or has time to debate it all over again.

Also, it is silly for Pacer fans to debate Walsh's inclusion on the list as long as things are 'working'.... A Walsh Warrior surely won't have his mind changed or look at any other angles right now. And I am sure the 'Anti-Walsh' crowd (as you named) has their concerns but see point #1 (things seem to be working out).

By standing pat in the face of some perceived needs we let some Eastern Conference teams close the gap on paper. We also didn't do much in the way of closing any perceived gaps with the West. But maybe those worries are silly? Maybe we have so much in place we had more to risk than to gain? I am fairly sure Walsh would say something like that. That's the fun/frustration of watching this all play out. It is also why they play the games.

I personally like Dumars' style and think it can pay dividends. It is a risk/reward scenario. I am not even sure it is 'high risks' he is taking. He's keeping the team flowing forward and keeping the fan base energized. That can't hurt the box office. As a matter of fact, IS Walsh keeping the fan base energized in Indy?

How can anyone argue against's West's inclusion on the list? I can't.

The Spurs have won a couple of recent championships and kept salaries in check. Can't argue with that.

Walsh has gotten the team to the playoffs and apparently kept the team self-sufficient (a prerequisite of the Simons?). He has some loyal followers (not hurt at all by a media that rarely sees the negative in any situation). Keeping the media happy is probably something else he's been able to do thru skill and personality. As long as fans aren't clamoring for rings or else and are happy with making the playoffs even if it means saying "Wait 'til next year" then he's been excellent.


In closing.... the stretch run should be fun... or frustrating... probably both.

-Bball

bulletproof
02-21-2004, 06:48 AM
By standing pat in the face of some perceived needs we let some Eastern Conference teams close the gap on paper. We also didn't do much in the way of closing any perceived gaps with the West. But maybe those worries are silly? Maybe we have so much in place we had more to risk than to lose? I am fairly sure Walsh would say something like that.


Really, what were we going to do as far as trades go? Management knew Ron was injured, so they couldn't trade Al, who was seemingly our only viable trading piece to net someone of considerable worth in return. But let's say Ron wasn't injured. We were (are) sitting on top in the East with the 2nd best record in the league at the time of the trade deadline. Despite some obvious weaknesses, do you tamper with that or do you see how it plays out? I don't know the answer to that. No one does. If Ron weren't injured and we traded Al and came up short in the playoffs, Walsh detractors would forever blame the "Harrington debacle" as a key factor. I'm still looking forward to seeing how they factor Brad's absence into this year's playoffs should we not get very far. I wouldn't be surprised if some already have their posts written and waiting.

indygeezer
02-21-2004, 07:28 AM
I would say Hear Hear to Sixthman comments. I MIGHT also add West...and yes DW too. But...I wish to also point this out in DW's resume...

<shudder> George Irvine twice.


he's not the best judge of coaches.

Will Galen
02-21-2004, 08:39 AM
I would like to know who people think are the top 5 GM's (or organization's with the best front offices since the GM isn't always the person who makes the desions and DW isn't even a GM for that matter.)

My list would be Sac, San Antonio, Detriot, Indiana and Dallas in no particular order.

I don't think you can make a definitive list of who's best in numerical order. The best you can do is name a group at the top like you did.

Everyone has different parameters. For instant the Pacers are only interested in good characters whereas other teams, like Portland was, seem to go after whoever they think best without regard for character issues.

Another for instant, whoever is evaluating talent for the Clippers (Baylor?)seems to be very good, but because they have penny pinching Donald Sterling as an owner they have different parameters than Isiah Thomas has in NY.

An organization needs several things to be successful. Good ownership is first, then you need someone to run the organization. Then you need a talent evaluator and a good coach.

Plus old fashioned good fortune has a lot to do with it. For instant San Antonio had the luck to get the number 1 pick in the collage draft twice. And both times the #1 pick was a no brainer. (David Robinson and Tim Duncan)

All that said, I would add Denver, Utah, and Minnesota, to your list.

Peck
02-21-2004, 02:51 PM
By standing pat in the face of some perceived needs we let some Eastern Conference teams close the gap on paper. We also didn't do much in the way of closing any perceived gaps with the West. But maybe those worries are silly? Maybe we have so much in place we had more to risk than to lose? I am fairly sure Walsh would say something like that.


Really, what were we going to do as far as trades go? Management knew Ron was injured, so they couldn't trade Al, who was seemingly our only viable trading piece to net someone of considerable worth in return. But let's say Ron wasn't injured. We were (are) sitting on top in the East with the 2nd best record in the league at the time of the trade deadline. Despite some obvious weaknesses, do you tamper with that or do you see how it plays out? I don't know the answer to that. No one does. If Ron weren't injured and we traded Al and came up short in the playoffs, Walsh detractors would forever blame the "Harrington debacle" as a key factor. I'm still looking forward to seeing how they factor Brad's absence into this year's playoffs should we not get very far. I wouldn't be surprised if some already have their posts written and waiting.

Guilty :dance: :dance: :dance:

Bball
02-21-2004, 03:54 PM
Really, what were we going to do as far as trades go? Management knew Ron was injured, so they couldn't trade Al, who was seemingly our only viable trading piece to net someone of considerable worth in return. But let's say Ron wasn't injured. We were (are) sitting on top in the East with the 2nd best record in the league at the time of the trade deadline. Despite some obvious weaknesses, do you tamper with that or do you see how it plays out? I don't know the answer to that. No one does. If Ron weren't injured and we traded Al and came up short in the playoffs, Walsh detractors would forever blame the "Harrington debacle" as a key factor. I'm still looking forward to seeing how they factor Brad's absence into this year's playoffs should we not get very far. I wouldn't be surprised if some already have their posts written and waiting.

I'd argue that as long as the trade made sense on paper then most would understand if it didn't pan out. There is a big difference trading your '6th starter' who doesn't exactly fit (is a bit redundant in face of bigger needs) for a known commodity that would seem to fit in better but in the end just doesn't pan out.. as opposed to trading him for a draft pick and then taking the biggest unkown in the draft.... especially in the middle of your championship window.... and for a position that had the least need.

As for the part about an early playoff departure and Brad's absence.... mine starts: "What did you expect?" ;)

If we do get bounced does anyone really doubt it will be because of lacking things that BMiller brings to the table? We know what our Achilles heel is. So does Detroit who set out to take a shot at exploiting it. But coaching and execution can sometimes minimize weaknesses.... OTOH... the same can sometimes exploit them.

But right now the playoffs are in front of us and homecourt throughout is in our grasp. So, that pretty much negates harping on the coulda/shoulda's.

-Bball