From Alison Brie to Zach Randolph, and everything in between.
Bill Simmons has a well-documented relationship with NBA General Managers, from his bromance with Dork Elvis to his well-publicized feud with Isiah Thomas and even his failed campaign for the Milwaukee Bucks GM job. As you are probably aware if you’re still reading this, each of the last two Fridays Grantland published his list of the Best Bargains and Worst Contracts in the NBA. Because I have little better to do with my free time, I decided to compile this list, look up the GM’s behind all these deals, and determine if Simmons’ published thoughts on GM’s “passes the eye test” so to speak. I am entirely aware how silly it is to make a statistic out of a completely subjective listing, but small sample size and selection bias be damned. This list comes with several caveats:
Now, some key notes about the study:
And finally, here’s the full list, from best to worst:
Some interesting observations:
- RC Buford (1) on top should surprise nobody, the way he’s been playing musical chairs with the Spurs roster since he took over in 2002. Rob Hennigan (7) and Sam Presti (24) inspire confidence from their previous experience in the Spurs organization alone.
-Bill’s boyfriend Daryl Morey (4) was was the odds-on favorite to top the list, but a year of Trevor Ariza’s terrible contract weighed him down a bit.
- Warriors fans must be ecstatic over the recent hire of Bob Myers (ranked 6) who succeeded eight years of ineptitude from Larry Riley (32) and Chris Mullin (33), a regime during which they averaged a .423 winning percentage. Myers is still paying for the sins of his forefathers, with two years left of Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Bogut on the books.
- Simmons praised John Hammond (34) for Larry Sanders, Mbah a Moute and Tobias Harris, but he did pay Drew Gooden and Andrew Bogut an exorbitant sum of money. He does get credit for making the tough decision of trading fan favorite Bogut at the right time.
-Donnie Walsh (35) is ranked so low solely from the unfortunate Amar’e Stoudemire contract (even Amar’e superfan Waymond thinks it should have been insured). I vote him a free pass for cleaning up Isiah’s mess.
- It makes sense that this data is skewed towards the last 5 years or so, coinciding with the Joe Dumars’ (36) Pistons’ fall from power. Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Rodney Stuckey AND Jonas Jerebko? Joe Dumars wishes he could trade Greg Monroe and a 1st rounder for 4 more Amnesty clauses.
- Chris Wallace (5), for all the criticism he received for the Pau Gasol trade here, ranks highly- but some of that’s for trading Rudy Gay (at 50 cents on the dollar) before he becomes even more overpaid.
- If you were a Knicks fan interested in trading in MSG for the Barclays Center, allow Billy King (38) to help your decision. When Rod Thorn (27) stepped down after the above infamous picture was taken, Billy King was supposed to push this new Brooklyn team back into the playoffs. He’ll succeed at that this year, but at a hefty price- committing $250+ million to Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson over the next 5 years. (Insert obligatory Jay-Z song pun).
Questions? Something I miss? Leave a comment or tweet me @kramerkram. Be nice.
UPDATE 3/12/13 Noon: 1) Yes, Rich Cho is the current GM of the Bobcats. He was not responsible for the Tyrus Thomas contract.
2) The Cavaliers were mentioned once in both lists, for drafting Kyrie. As Bill wrote, it “didn’t take ingenuity” to fall into him. There was no other mention of a Cavalier contract, so Chris Grant was excluded. Sorry Cavs fans, it wasn’t my Decision.