DCZards wrote:...The trade scenarios you've painted look good in the fantasy world that we fans live in...
I want to comment on what I think (perhaps incorrectly) is the POV behind this phrase. I started thinking about this comment a month or so ago when Zards made a similar comment about opinions held by "guys on a message board."
This is, however, not intended as a criticism of Zards -- rather, it's about the strange & interesting world in which we live.
In 1983 I lived in SF & was a Warriors fan. That year, with the 6th pick in the draft, the team took a kid named Russell Cross out of Purdue. From the first time he stepped on the court in a Warriors uniform it was obvious that he would be a bust. For one thing, he had bad knees. For another, he was a complete stiff. The two facts might have been related.
It turned out that no one in the Warriors organization had ever seen Russell Cross play before drafting him! There wasn't much college basketball on TV back then. There was no video archive on players. There was no source of player statistics. NBA teams didn't employ full-time player-evaluation people. By and large teams relied on player reports from independent scouts. Professionals. Experts. & that's how the Warriors picked Russell Cross.
What's my point? Well, obviously, we live in a different world these days. Right now Dat (to use him as my example) has access to comprehensive statistics & powerful tools to analyze them. He can watch a huge amount of video of any player. Broken down just about any way to illustrate player pluses or minuses.
In short, Dat has more information about an NBA draft prospect than the Warriors GM had in '83. He has more or less the same information about a prospect as the Wizards FO has. Now, this is not just true about basketball, obviously. We live in a world in which everybody has instant access to an enormous body of information.
For that reason, when the Wizards pick Jan Vesely & Dat mutters "why not Kawhi Leonard, you idiots," when they pick Chris Singleton while he screams "Harris or Butler," when they pick Satoransky as he pleads "Crowder, Green, Barton please," when they trade an asset for a shot at GRIII, when they sell R2 picks that would bring them good players they need, when they swap a lottery pick for Kieff, etc. etc. etc. -- the response that Dat's just a guy on a message board is irrelevant. Even though, sure, it's true.
Of course, Dat can be wrong too -- which he wouldn't deny. & obviously there will also be individual instances where a FO has information that Dat doesn't have access to.
But neither of these facts affect the overall point: if Dat (or CCJ, or PIF, or Ruz etc.) can call 'em
over & over through the years, while Ernie & his staff stumble over & over, what this means, unambiguously, is that Ernie & his staff are basically incompetent. It's also a pretty good indication that Dat might be right when he opines that Troy Brown Jr. didn't rate high enough to be worth the #15 pick.
Above all, the response that his opinion is just another fan-world fantasy from some guy on a message board -- while Ernie & his crew are professionals dealing in "reality" -- carries no weight.
The fact that other franchises (e.g. the Warriors, the Spurs, etc.) do well in the draft, make trades that actually improve them, sign FAs that work out -- that, in essence, they can go from really bad to actually contending for and/or winning titles -- provides plenty of corroboration of the point. In 2009-10, two teams went 26-56. One of those teams rebuilt to great effect. The other... not so much.
To double down on this, there's a lot of whispers around that the reason the Hawks went full idiot with their trade down for Trae Young is essentially two fold: #1 to generate "excitement" and #2 to get their "Steph Curry". Over the years I've seen NBA teams draft two different point guards in the top ten and fail to draft the only one that was good (Curry), I've seen teams draft players for marketing purposes (Mugsy), I've seen teams forget to get their pick to the dais on time and lose the slot, I've seen teams let consensus #1 overall talents drop because of drug rumors, and take crap players over them instead that they never intended too (Dan Marino, Warren Sapp, and Tunsil), I've seen teams take inferior players just because they thought they'd be more likely to play for them than more talented players (MLB, all the time), I've seen teams that seem to have a Ghost in the Machine deliberately sabotaging draft after draft regardless of ownership/coaching/F.O.'s changes (NYJ), and I've seen teams hire analytics guys with a multi year plan to rebuild the team from scratch, only to s can the architect and hire a total hack to replace them, sabotaging the rebuild in the process (Sixers, and now the Browns, where their colossal dip---- GM, has already worked to destroy the cap space and massive draft pick haul the team under Brown built with grand Mal idiocy signings and trades (Tyrod Taylor when you're drafting Mayfield? Trading top 20 overall pick Corey Coleman, whose sole issue has been two season wrecking broken hands, for a conditional 2020 7th round hours before 4th round draft pick Callaway gets caught with weed in his car (about the 97th crime report/red flag for the kid in four years, he would have been a top 20 pick as well if not for the 8,372 arrests in his record, and btw, they kept drafted him to join a WR corps lead by all world Josh Gordon, whose played about 5 games in the past three years because of drug suspensions and seems ready to turn it around, but not exactly the best locker room for two guys who've been suspended 800 times for drugs) and horrible draft picks. So while the Sixers may still figure it out (hard not to with all that talent), the idiot they brought in to replace Hinkey totally botched the '17 draft, and then got s canned for his wife texting. All Hinke did was master the tank, fully understanding the law of the NBA: If you aren't contending, you better be tanking or finishing a superb rebuild that's about to have you contending), the Browns hired an idiot just like the Sixers did, who immediately set about destroying all the assets Sashi Brown had left in place for long suffering Cleveland Browns fans.
I could go on and on across literally every sport.
In the NHL our very own GMGM, who built about 3/4's of a powerhouse with Ovy, sabotaged the whole offing thing holding too tightly to draft picks at the wrong time, and then selling off superstar prospects for peanuts at others (the worst trade in Caps History remains the deal that sent Forsberg, future All Star, and absolute stud, for a bag of peanuts, and 1 goal (literally, that's basically what we got), in the NBA, well, we've seen the Unseld, and EG years, is their anything more inept or horrific? Baseball's a more difficult nut to crack, but you always have the opportunity to see epic brain dead delusional trades made year after year, in the NFL, literally 90% of the teams are run by total idiots, deathly afraid of breaking the rules (going for it on fourth), and willing to sabotage a super bowl appearance for the sake of not going against cliched (and mathematically unjustifiable) old stand by's liking taking the points (Green Bay's unconcscionable performance against Seattle a few years ago in the NFC Championship, a tour de force in grand Mal dip---- idiot coaching.
Look, they are indeed, idiots. They are. You don't have to believe me. Just look. There are people, just math geeks, that can tell you exactly what the math says to do and yet these meatheads plug their ears and scream, "nanananananana, not listening" and meanwhile, Bellichek doublechecks with his math geek for decades on 4th downs, and punt, field goal, or go for it scenarios. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that bill couldn't give less of a ---- about second guessing and as a result, his decisions are actually based on logic, game theory, math etc.
In every way imaginable, we've now seen it. Guys drafted to fill the stands, for marketing, trades made, franchise decisions made in part based on a sense of what the public mood might be in response forgetting that winning is the only thing that ever guarantees anything in sports, not individual decisions and marketing.
It's been too long, too many years. Just watch the Elway/'83 30 for 30, that can get you inside as well.
They aren't geniuses, they aren't even better than us. Better than the typical fan? 9 out of 10? Definitely. Better than us? Um, no. I've been lurking and occasionally posting in the offseason for around 11 or 12 years. Needless to say, we can't even simulate the rebuild we would've had instead of EG's, because we would've gotten good too fast to actually have all the top 3 picks, and the other firsts that earnie systematically blew across the board (w/what, one exception in a decade?).
The only major difference between us and the F.O.'s is basically on the backstory with players (it's one of the reasons why the Bucs passed on Justin Blackmon-they had a PI watching him for months before the draft and word got back, guy can't stay out of bars, major, big time drinking problem), we don't have access to those sources, or necessarily the wealth of regional scout info that cam come too. To some degree, the depth area isn't always there in some sports, but the NBA? It's there.
How many of us would have gone full word I can't say in the '16 offseason after the delusional no chance in hell chance to sign Durant failed, and stumbled around like a drunken tourist in Vegas with way too much many to spend? The smart teams pocketed their money, the idiots went around throwing aircraft carrier sums of money at the FA equivalent of $2 hookers from the back end of the strip? Sure, a few would have, but most of us knew that failure to land Durant (obvious especially to those of us like me outside of DC, who don't get that halo effect that can delude locals) and Horford meant that the cap space was infinitely more valuable than the talentless hacks leftover who were about to get overpaid 4x over if not worse in future flexibility killing contracts by GM's looking to lock up job security, rather than future contention flexibility.
Again, I know these guys have info I don't have. I know they have contacts I don't have. I know they have information I don't have. I also know that most of them are flawed, self-entitled, talentless hacks, league lifers, just like the idiot who set about ruining the Sixers after the idiot ownership their fired Hinkie, ditto Cleveland. Ive seen too much in my 38 years of sports watching life to be deluded into thinking these guys have an edge on all of us. Some of us? Sure. All of us. No. And some of them are so incomprehensibly self-interested and idiotic it defies the imagination. For instance, Dallas, apparently missed out on multiple FA targets in part because of a family trip that put the Jones family out of touch with higher ups in the F.O. who couldn't act fast enough to address in part, WR issues. They couldn't reach the freaking Jones family in Carribbean. Literally that's part of the reason the Cowboys offseason was such a clusterflutch and as a result, their passing game looks likely to make Alex Smith seem like Dan Marino running the Air Coryell in comparison.
Yeah, not really so smart, are they?