Thursday, July 27, 2006

A GM's dilemma

Why are NBA GMs so stubborn when it comes to dealing superstars?

Look, I’m fine with building around one guy. But after 10 years with that plan, and zero rings to show for it, why not move said star while there is still value so you can rebuild the core nucleus of your roster.

To me, it’s becoming more and more apparent in the NBA that championship caliber teams have deep units, with key contributing pieces that can spark a victory on any given night. I don’t think there’s any question that the last three title winners (Detroit, San Antonio, and Miami) all fit the description here.

But apparently Kevin McHale and Billy King see the league differently, or they’re just so afraid of making the wrong move that they continue to kill their franchises in the process.

There is no way King and the Sixers can look at their roster and say they have a fighting chance with Iverson back. It’s just not there.

So why not rebuild by moving him? If Boston was serious and willing to package Szczerbiak and young talent like Al Jefferson and Gerald Green, why not roll the dice? The Sixers get two young guys that hopefully develop and become the core of your franchise, and had they done it by draft day, they probably could have had Randy Foye, who appears to be a star in the making and would have helped box office coming out of Villanova.

Instead, it’s the same old Sixers roster that continually disappoints and finishes either just out of the 8th spot or bounced in the first round. Philly fans deserve more than this, and as much as they love Iverson, even they realize it’s in everyone’s best interest to move him.

Up in the Twin Cities, the Timberwolves continue to tread water around Kevin Garnett. It is crystal clear at this point that he can’t do it himself. They tried to surround him with Ricky Davis and that hasn’t worked. Now, it’s Mike James and Randy Foye who are supposed to help. But they won’t.

That’s why McHale should have moved Garnett to the Bulls before the draft. He could have taken either Tyrus Thomas or LaMarcus Aldridge with the #2 overall pick. He probably could have had Ben Gordon or Luol Deng along with Tyson Chandler to join Foye, James and Davis. I think the Bulls would have jumped at the deal, since pairing Ben Wallace with Kevin Garnett makes them legitimate title contenders. Does that make Minnesota good? No. Does it give them a direction and some pieces to make future moves with? Yes.

We’ll see where Philadelphia and Minnesota go from here. It’s possible King and McHale will move their stars at some point during the year. But they owe it to their fan bases to give them a sense of hope, and right now, their stubbornness in regards to their stars is hurting their respective franchises’ long term future.

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