Friday, April 11, 2008

Why Danny Ainge Is In No Way, Shape, Or Form Executive Of The Year

This is in response to KD's excellent piece (as usual) that supposes a completely insane concept.

Update 3:09- After getting my lunch eaten by KD in the comments, I'll retract the "draft work mangled" comment. Lesson as always, kids. Don't mess with the big dog, big dog is always right.

So. Let me get this straight. This time last year he's a laughing stock. He is unable to formulate anything resembling a cohesive unit. He gives Doc Rivers an extension when the man makes more changes to his rotation than a D-League team. He managed to get Ray Allen from a Sonics team that was building for relocat....rebuilding. And then, even though there were other offers still being discussed that were undeniably better for the Wolves, he gets one of the greatest players to fall in his lap in a deal with a former member of his organization.

And he's Exec of the year?

I wasn't aware that one requirement for the award was having a shamrock shove up a... anyway...

I don't like Kupchak as a choice either, because of the highway robbery committed being the coup de grace of his season, but I can at least understand it, given the development of Bynum and the management of the Kobe disaster, and particularly with the Derek Fisher signing. But not Ainge.

People will tell you that it's some sort of genius move by Ainge and Kupchak to lure these great players out of these situations for little to nothing. That's a little short sighted. You're catching a desperate, sad team at the right moment with the right set of assets that you happen to have. There's more than one set of trading assets possible. Yes, large, movable expiring contract are one. But so are draft picks, affordable bench players, and foreign player rights. And those all come as an actual result of foresight and planning, not because you managed to overpay for a lot of useless players who's contract eventually expire. I will credit him with keeping Rondo because of his development and the drafting of Davis, but that's as far as the gravy train goes. Lucking into a team's desperate situation and being the one who happens to be there on account of your own previous ineptitude does not qualify you for an award.

I'm of the opinion that if you're bad at you're job, and you make no such indication that you have a plan in place, and then all of a sudden, something miraculous comes along, that doesn't mean you're good at your job. If I'm a car salesman, and I can't make a sale to save my life, and all of a sudden a guy comes into my store and offers to overpay for a porsche, that doesn't make me a good car salesman. It means I was in the right place at the right time. Cassell, same thing. It's not like Ainge had to sell him on the idea. He didn't work out some complicated trade. Cassell took care of it for him.

When you compare the work other franchises have done and put together, the risks they've taken, the cap management and the fact that their biggest move didn't result in one of the best players to ever play the game landing in your lap for peanuts, it's pretty obvious that Danny Ainge, while someone you should take to Vegas (as long as he's playing against Kevin McHale), is not the Executive of the Year. These other executives have managed to do more with less, as opposed to Ainge, who has let more do more with more.

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