What Makes a Good NBA GM?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by DudeWah, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. DudeWah

    DudeWah Contributing Member

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    There's been a lot of back and forth lately in the GARM about whether or not Morey is overrated or a great GM. There seems to be some valid points on both sides. There is also a lot of emotional backlash at the moment.

    Worse than that, I think, is the fact that the actual grounds for the argument have not really been laid out. What actually makes a good GM? Unfortunately there are no quantifiable statistics that accurately portray the entire picture of what an executive has to deal with similar to how we can judge a player based on points, rebounds, assists, etc.

    So perhaps in this thread we can clear that up a bit.

    Those clamoring that Morey needs to be fired, in my opinion, are not fully understanding the complexities that a GM faces. There are a lot more variables in play than they would like to admit.

    I'd like to gain a clear understanding of the arguments against Morey as a GM so perhaps they can actually be discussed in a better way.

    Let's list just a couple of things that have had to be dealt with since Morey has been GM here and equate them to other franchises.

    1) Injuries to key superstars -

    As Morey took over this team, we severely lacked in role players around McGrady and Yao. He did an excellent job bringing in amazing role players to compliment them. Sadly, we all know how this story turned out due to injuries. This is a huge variable. Our team lost both superstars in the span of 6 months.

    Somehow though, in less than 4 years Morey managed to turn that roster into two more superstars in Howard and Harden. (And no one wants to play in Houston, right?)

    -Celtics after losing the big 3 have been a lottery team even with Rajon Rondo still there
    -Utah after losing D-Will and Boozer have been a lottery team
    -Pelicans after losing Chris Paul have been a lottery team
    -Orlando is still a lottery team after losing Dwight
    -Cavaliers have been a lottery team since losing LeBron even after all the top picks they've had. Without LeBron coming back it was likely they would have remained that way for quite some time.
    -Minnesota has been a lottery team since losing KG almost 7 years ago

    There are more examples such as those. So, losing two superstars and turning that into two more superstars while remaining a competitive playoff team is a bigger feat than some of you would like to give credit to.

    2) Not tanking

    Above I mentioned the Pelicans. They have a superstar now. But they only achieved that through tanking. It's quite a well known fact that Les Alexander issued the "no tank" mandate a long while back. To have the roster we've had now without tanking is remarkable.

    3) Luck

    This goes almost hand in hand with injuries. But it's easy to forget that just 5 years ago we had our 3 stars in Yao, McGrady, and Artest. We had the role players for them as well. Fate just was not with us. This is probably my biggest reason to believe in Morey. He has done it once before. After the key pieces are there, he does know how to surround them with pieces that fit. He's already done it.
    <br>
    That being said,

    I do think there are probably a few legitimate criticisms, but many on the bbs lately have been thinking of this in very simplistic terms. The question of "what makes a good NBA GM" is a complicated one.

    As much as others would like to make it sound like we have a bad front office, I would posit that it's probably in the top tier in the league. Perhaps only better is the Spurs front office. Arguments can be made for Miami's, Philadelphia's, and a few others.

    So what are the legitimate arguments against Morey? And if you were to replace him, who would you replace him with?
     
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  2. DreamShook

    DreamShook Member

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    in before:

    let Parsons, Lin and Asik go for nothing

    Royce White.

    Mchale.

    Dragic.

    Players are people not assets...
     
  3. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    I wished you would have posted this in The Dish. We'd get better play out of this thread over there.

    The one fact about the Rockets that Morey stated, is how hard it is to maintain a competitive team between eras. He wanted to tank, but Les wouldn't let him. Morey said it has never been done -- wrt rebuilding without getting high draft picks.

    He forgot to mention one team: The Trailblazers remained a playoff team after the Drexler years to get back to the WCF against the Lakers, with a blown 16pt lead in the 4th Q of game 7 preventing them from winning the title.

    We can whine that we didn't make the playoffs for three yrs, but we didn't tank, and remained above .500, better than many East playoffs team, resulting in #14 picks, while many cfnetters wanted him to tank.

    He went with Les's orders, and landed Harden and Howard. Morey didn't lose the first round...the players and coach did.

    So, he did achieve something rarely achieved. He made us relevant without tanking or any top picks in the draft.
     
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  4. JHarden713

    JHarden713 Member

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    In Morey I TRUST
     
  5. DreamShook

    DreamShook Member

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    I really still cant wrap my head around why some people think Morey is so bad... This will be an interesting thread for sure..
     
  6. DudeWah

    DudeWah Contributing Member

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    Yes, I thought about that as well. It probably would have been a better overall discussion without some of the generic GARM responses that will inevitably rear their head in this thread. I figured though that this was too relevant to a current Rockets discussion to go in the Dish.

    You're right the Blazers did do well to construct a team that stayed relevant after that. In an ironic turn they even got (I hate this guy) Pippen to further help their cause.

    But doing what they did and what the Rockets have done is very difficult to accomplish.
     
  7. sTeKcOr22

    sTeKcOr22 Rookie

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    Don't be Billy King.
     
  8. A_3PO

    A_3PO Member

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    Good results make a good GM.
     
  9. jordnnnn

    jordnnnn Member

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    Have an account on clutchfans. Lots of experts just ripe for the picking.
     
  10. DudeWah

    DudeWah Contributing Member

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    In my opinion, this is not true. Would the Cavaliers GM be considered a good GM if LeBron did not have hometown nostalgia and go back there? 4 straight lottery seasons begs to differ.
     
  11. sTeKcOr22

    sTeKcOr22 Rookie

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    Already has a better track record than Morey.
     
  12. getbloodyred

    getbloodyred Member

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    Yeah I wonder why. Are you serious?:rolleyes:
     
  13. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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    A general manager's job generally has a few components:

    A.) Talent Evaluation - this includes the free agency pool and the draft, and even players who are under contract on other teams and may be potential trade candidates. I would say Morey is in the top 3-5 GM's in the league in this regard, along with Presti and Buford.

    B.) Negotiation - both with agents and with other general managers, for contracts and trades respectively. I think we know by now that Morey is notorious for his negotiating prowess, both in his ability to stay persistent when there is a deal he senses that is to be made, as well as his ability to walk away from the table as soon as his price limit is reached. As a Rocket fan I sleep comfortably at night knowing Morey won't be making stupid commitments out of the blue. We can count on one hand the number of trades or signings he followed through on that we would today consider "too expensive". I.e., the first Trevor Ariza signing, trading for Terrence Williams, giving Jeremy Lin the poison pill deal.

    Note that this does not consider the number of moves (*cough* Dragic) that he DID NOT make. That has more to do with the talent evaluation side of things.

    C.) Reputation - This is the most amorphous and perhaps difficult trait of the job to master. Of all the things, Morey may be most deficient in this and may still be learning it as he goes along. Lots of great GM's approach this differently. If you look at the best, however, you have two types. First is the Pat Riley kingpin style, where he is unabashedly the face of the Miami Heat management, overshadowing both the coach and the owner.

    Right now this is also Morey's style, except he is much less tactful at it. In Houston he's just our affable, pudgy Daryl, but to the rest of the world he is Dork Elvis, Master of Ping Pong and Captain in Chief of the Sloan Conference. Candid to a fault, we at Clutchfans love him because he maintains a regular and outspoken presence on the radio waves here in Houston. Those words get out to the rest of the country, however, and when they do they are almost certainly taken out of context. Now you have a situation where enemies (Cuban, Bill Simmons, the entire Grantland staff to be honest) have begun to perpetuate this myth that Morey is arrogant, and that everyone despises him and wants him to fail as a result.

    Over time, Morey may find the second type of reputation more to his liking. The greatest trick the devil played was to convince the world he didn't exist, and this is what RC Buford does. We never hear from him at all except in moments of necessity. Therefore, no one has any reason to hate him. It smoothens the negotiating pathway much more than being the imposing presence would. Now when you place a call to another organization, they are just as artless as they would be if, say, David Kahn were calling in. Every time Morey calls, however, it's like a Mexican standoff happening on the other line.

    Maybe if we want our GM to truly be at the top of his game, we should accept that we too might receive less disclosure than we've been getting so far.
     
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  14. DudeWah

    DudeWah Contributing Member

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    Lol. This is exactly what I mean by quite a number of posters thinking about this in an overly simplistic way. You can't account for someone like LeBron James just doing something based on emotion and nostalgia. That's pure luck.
     
  15. getbloodyred

    getbloodyred Member

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    Not true. Good results make a good player or a good coach. A GM's job is put talent on the roster consistently for ALL YEARS OF TENURE. Not tank 4 seasons, contend for 5. Not contend for 7 years, lost best player, tank for 4, get best player back, contend again.

    Say what you will about Morey, but he always made the best out a situation. Even during the mediocrity years, we always had an exciting team that was fun to watch. He took the Yao/Tmac disaster, turned it into a decent team, with lots of talent that was raw at the time, turned that into a team with a supterstar, turned that into a team with two superstars, and is now looking either add a superstar or to round out the roster.

    Morey is very good at what he does, we just never had a good coach that helped him out. I like McHale btw, but you give me Carlisle and Rockets are in the Finals last year, and would possibly win too. We have a lot of talent on this team.
     
  16. ThisIsOurCity

    ThisIsOurCity Member

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    In the words of the OP, "many on the bbs lately have been thinking of this in very simplistic terms."
     
  17. shastarocket

    shastarocket Contributing Member

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    I want someone to explain to me what "people are not assets" means and then show me a successful NBA GM who doesn't embrace that policy.

    BESIDES the Spurs and their anomalous organization
     
  18. Easy

    Easy Contributing Member

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    Morey is one of the top GMs in the league hands down.

    Is he flawless? No
    Is he infallible? No
    Is he god? No
    Has he done great things for the team? Hell yes

    I figure Morey has obtain a Linsanity like status on cf.net. There are some posters who worship him like god and defend him every way they can, very similar to the LOFs. Because of that, some posters subconsciously criticize him whenever he makes a mistake.
     
  19. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Uh...Chris Grant was fired as GM by the Cavaliers February 6th, 2014.

    Can you even name the new GM? So, is this new guy, great?

    Maybe we should say Dan Gilbert's son is better than Morey...for his lottery MoJo.
     
  20. sTeKcOr22

    sTeKcOr22 Rookie

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    It was probably planned for all we know.
     
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