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View Full Version : Who is the best GM of all time?



PurpleLynch
09-11-2013, 05:47 PM
I want to know who do you think is the best Gm of all time.

I'm biased,but I'd choose West,even if a lot of work of him was not made in the formal gm role.

Based on Executive of the year,Colangelo is probably the best,but I want to know who do you judge the complex role of the Gm.

jerellh528
09-11-2013, 06:04 PM
jerry west

amos1er
09-11-2013, 06:35 PM
Easily Jerry West. Not even debatable. Pointless thread because everyone will agree with this. Thats why it breaks my heart that Jim Buss is such a far cry from his greatness. Jim needs to step out of basketball operations because he is clearly not fit to do the job. Time to let the trained experts handle this and stop acting like this some experiment he is conducting in his basement that doesn't affect anyone else. I apologize for the rant. Lol it's just so hard to be accustomed to someone like West and then have to settle for a douche bag like Jim Buss.

abe_froman
09-11-2013, 07:12 PM
auerbach or west

bagwell368
09-11-2013, 08:18 PM
Easily Jerry West. Not even debatable.

Really?

Red is the answer. Architect of 16 Championships. Head Coach, defensive coach, offensive coach, film coach, advance scout, traveling secretary, asst trainer for 11 of them to boot... Please...

Traded for Bill Russell, drafted over a dozen HOF players. Drafted early eligible Bird. Traded pick that was for Joe Barry Carrol for McHale and Parish. Stole DJ for Robey. Got Paul Silas who helped the C's win a title. Snagged the cut Don Nelson, snagged Walton, and quite a bit more...

Jamiecballer
09-11-2013, 08:24 PM
yep. as far as NBA basketball goes nobody has come close to Auerbach.

jp611
09-11-2013, 09:56 PM
Red and it's not even close

Enzo
09-11-2013, 10:13 PM
Isiah Thomas by a landslide! :rolleyes:

PurpleLynch
09-12-2013, 06:19 AM
Nice debate and looking to Auerbach,he really is a strong contender. R.C Burford is a gm also that's underrated.

b@llhog24
09-12-2013, 10:25 AM
Red

b@llhog24
09-12-2013, 10:26 AM
Really?

Red is the answer. Architect of 16 Championships. Head Coach, defensive coach, offensive coach, film coach, advance scout, traveling secretary, asst trainer for 11 of them to boot... Please...

Traded for Bill Russell, drafted over a dozen HOF players. Drafted early eligible Bird. Traded pick that was for Joe Barry Carrol for McHale and Parish. Stole DJ for Robey. Got Paul Silas who helped the C's win a title. Snagged the cut Don Nelson, snagged Walton, and quite a bit more...

Can't say that I expect much from the guy.

todu82
09-12-2013, 10:49 AM
Jerry west

Six-8-TheWizard
09-12-2013, 01:51 PM
Historically Red Auerbach, but in modern NBA history Jerry West for sure

strahan92osi72
09-12-2013, 01:55 PM
Give me West.

JasonJohnHorn
09-12-2013, 02:13 PM
Red--- 60's
West 80-00's
Popvich/Buford 00-present

I think Burford gets a lot of credit for Pop's work, but he's done very well himself.

I mean... Red put together the greatest dynasty ever.. and then got them back to winning with Cowens and then helped build the 80's Celtics... that is three dynasties he build...

West build two.. 80's lakers and 00's lakers, but he also made SO many great draft picks in the late first round and second round and filled up the 80's roster with great guys... nobody built teams through the draft as well as West


Those three are all great answers though

Red
West
Pop/Buford

Lake_Show2416
09-12-2013, 02:44 PM
Jerry West is the GOAT

bagwell368
09-12-2013, 03:16 PM
Jerry West is the GOAT

Your evidence seems to be lacking. Opinions w/o backing is as easy to come by as bad breath.

bagwell368
09-12-2013, 03:20 PM
Red--- 60's
West 80-00's
Popvich/Buford 00-present

I think Burford gets a lot of credit for Pop's work, but he's done very well himself.

I mean... Red put together the greatest dynasty ever.. and then got them back to winning with Cowens and then helped build the 80's Celtics... that is three dynasties he build...

West build two.. 80's lakers and 00's lakers, but he also made SO many great draft picks in the late first round and second round and filled up the 80's roster with great guys... nobody built teams through the draft as well as West


Those three are all great answers though

Red
West
Pop/Buford

LA is a magnet for stars, it's easy to sign FA's, and have lopsided trades just for the trading team to get pennies on the dollar?

What does Boston have? Bad/cold weather, high taxes, vicious fans, unmerciful media... The Celts have hardly ever gotten a good-> great FA, it's all draft and trades. Put that in your pipe and think on it.

How many titles does Red have something to do with? 16. If Bias isn't a moron and Havlicek doesn't get hurt in the Finals vs NYK it's 18 or 19.

How many for West?

What was the Celts record in the Finals vs LAL when Red had something to do with it? 11-1 sticks in my mind.

tr3ymill3r
09-12-2013, 03:21 PM
Jerry West as far as all time, but if the Rockets win 2 or more titles and a dynasty is created in Houston, Daryl Morey jumps into the discussion as well, definitely most creative with the hand he was dealt.

beasted86
09-12-2013, 04:22 PM
Daryl Morey? How many times have the Rockets been out of the first round since 2007? Oh yeah, one. He hasn't done anything noteworthy other than keep his team out of 1st lottery pick contention. Aside from that from since 2007 3 out of the total 7 years the team hasn't even made the playoffs.

Popovich? Can you people please GTFOH. Poppovich traded prime Rodman the league leading rebounder who went on to help the Bulls win 3 in a row for Will Perdue... STRAIGHT UP!!!!. He realistically gets little credit for drafting Duncan who was the consensus #1. He made no significantly positive moves for the 5-6 years he was GM. He is a good coach, but a very average GM.

RC Buford gets a lot of credit for picking up two future HOF players like Manu and Parker so late in the draft, but otherwise he has only picked up decent comp guys, nothing over the top. He signed some duds to double digit contracts too... see Richard Jefferson, etc. You also look at some of his moves of what he put around his stars and you wonder if it was luck or Pop's coaching that made the teams successful. I mean Malik Rose was starting how many years? Rasho Nesterovic? Fabricio Oberto? Are you going to convince me that they foresaw Bruce Bowen becoming long term starter material? C'mon, son. He was pretty scrubby with the HEAT and only started because we were rebuilding, I can't say he saw elite insight as a GM. They won a championship with Stephen Jackson starting then proceeded to dump him for nothing and he went on to have his best years with Indy/GS. He followed up that move by trading an old aging Danny Ferry for Turkoglu, but then didn't resign him and let him walk for nothing where he had his best years with Orlando. What Buford is really good at is managing payroll, but it still all relies on Duncan being Duncan. If Duncan wasn't himself his team would suffer like it did the couple years he was injured when they got swept by Phoenix and upset by the Grizzlies. Can't say he's the best GM from the past 15 years.

beasted86
09-12-2013, 04:29 PM
All time its easily Red Aurbach. After him Jerry West.

Honorable Mention Pat Riley. He's been the king of big blockbuster trades/signings the past 20 years. Mourning, Hardaway, Shaq, LeBron/Bosh. Always a big thinker. He loses credit though because of his inability/unwillingness to really commit to the draft and develop rookies. Also pretty much in the past 20 years never drafted an international player. That tells me he's not putting in enough effort in this area.

PurpleLynch
09-12-2013, 06:01 PM
LA is a magnet for stars, it's easy to sign FA's, and have lopsided trades just for the trading team to get pennies on the dollar?

What does Boston have? Bad/cold weather, high taxes, vicious fans, unmerciful media... The Celts have hardly ever gotten a good-> great FA, it's all draft and trades. Put that in your pipe and think on it.

How many titles does Red have something to do with? 16. If Bias isn't a moron and Havlicek doesn't get hurt in the Finals vs NYK it's 18 or 19.

How many for West?

What was the Celts record in the Finals vs LAL when Red had something to do with it? 11-1 sticks in my mind.

Is really Boston a shithole like you described it? I'm asking because I've never seen Boston(I'm italian)

Tony_Starks
09-12-2013, 06:22 PM
Jerry West by a landslide. A far distant second is Red. Then a far distant 3rd is Riles.

West got Shaq to leave Orlando which at the time was the hugest FA signing ever. Had the vision to trade a quality Center for Kobe when everyone else thought he was going to be Harold Minor Jr. Basically put together 2 dynasties and kept the team competitive in the interim.....

JasonJohnHorn
09-14-2013, 03:49 PM
LA is a magnet for stars, it's easy to sign FA's, and have lopsided trades just for the trading team to get pennies on the dollar?

What does Boston have? Bad/cold weather, high taxes, vicious fans, unmerciful media... The Celts have hardly ever gotten a good-> great FA, it's all draft and trades. Put that in your pipe and think on it.

How many titles does Red have something to do with? 16. If Bias isn't a moron and Havlicek doesn't get hurt in the Finals vs NYK it's 18 or 19.

How many for West?

What was the Celts record in the Finals vs LAL when Red had something to do with it? 11-1 sticks in my mind.


Well... firstly, I got Red and West (and Pop/Buford) as equals.

As for West, I think the 'signing free agents' part, you are getting him mixed up with Mitch. Mitch is the one who just signs free agents. West is the one who drafts great players.

Looking at what West did for the team. He was with the team when they picked up Magic and worked a deal where they got a draft pick from Cleveland... that pick turned out to be James Worthy.

He then proceeded to use late first round picks and second round picks to grab players like: AC Green, Byron Scott, and Vlade Divac. In the post Magic era he drafted Elden Campbell, Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Doug Christie, George Lynch, Derick Fisher and Kobe. He put himself in a position to have the talent to lure Shaq away via free agency. And he made smart signings and trades, like picking up Sam Perkins and Geln Rice.

You have to remember as well, when Red was drafting guys in the 60's, the Celtics, EVEN IF THEY WERE THE BEST TEAM, were STILL top ten picks! There were only 8-10 teams in the league back then, so you always got what would amount to a lottery pick, even if you just won the championship!

When West was doing it, he was picking players in the late 20's in the first round... it was crazy.


Red was amazing. West was amazing. Pop was amazing and Buford seems to be doing as well as Pop did.

They all deserve respect.

JasonJohnHorn
09-14-2013, 04:09 PM
Popovich? Can you people please GTFOH. Poppovich traded prime Rodman the league leading rebounder who went on to help the Bulls win 3 in a row for Will Perdue... STRAIGHT UP!!!!.

Looking at that trade 20 years later, yeah, it seems dumb on paper. But Rodman wans't trade because the Spurs were trying to get better, he was being traded because he was a huge distraction. He was a problem on the roster. Sure, he grabbed rebounds and defended well, but he was hurting the team on and off the court. The Spurs traded him because they were building a certain kind of culture and Rodman simply did not fit. And NOBODY but the Bulls would even consider taking Rodman on via a trade. Maybe you don't remember, but the Pistons had traded him to the Spurs after he was found in the parking lot at the Palace with a loaded gun in his car and rumours (and I stress rumours) said that it was a suicide attempt that got stopped. Getting anything for Rodman was a miracle.




RC Buford gets a lot of credit for picking up two future HOF players like Manu and Parker

It was actually Pop that selected those guys.


Are you going to convince me that they foresaw Bruce Bowen becoming long term starter material? Again, that was Pop who signed him.


They won a championship with Stephen Jackson starting then proceeded to dump him for nothing and he went on to have his best years with Indy/GS. Again, this was a trade based on personality and building a certain culture. Stephen Jackson was the kind of level-headed, mature player they were hoping for. Besides, they had Manu for a shooting guard. And again, this was a Pop move.

It's like you mention great moves and the disregard them. Pop drafted TWO HOF players in a couple year in the late first round and second round. Who else has pulled that off? Then he drafts NBA starters and rotation players with spots in the draft that often don't even get NBA level talent: Louis Scola, Oberto, Splitter, John Salomons, and in recent years the Spurs have picked up guys like Blair, Dragic, George Hill, Udrih, brought in Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Considering that all he gets are late first-round picks and second round picks, that is pretty awesome work.




He followed up that move by trading an old aging Danny Ferry for Turkoglu, but then didn't resign him and let him walk for nothing where he had his best years with Orlando. Turk was offered more money than he was worth. Was Buford suppose to just overpay him and screw the team over for salary cap? Maybe you don't remember this, but teams were trying to dump his contract. Besides, Turk was never a great defender and the Spurs always try to fill their roster with solid defenders.


Trying to pretend like what the Spurs have done is nothing special is just ignorance. EVERY team in the league has tried to replicate what the Spurs have done with the exception of NY, LAL and MIA who have relied on free-agency to bring talent in. Do you know how many guys having head coach jobs now because they worked under Pop? Do you know how many front office guys have jobs with other teams because the got head-hunted from the Spurs?

NYMetros
09-14-2013, 04:14 PM
Red and it's not even close.

DreamShaker
09-14-2013, 08:51 PM
Red--- 60's
West 80-00's
Popvich/Buford 00-present

I think Burford gets a lot of credit for Pop's work, but he's done very well himself.

I mean... Red put together the greatest dynasty ever.. and then got them back to winning with Cowens and then helped build the 80's Celtics... that is three dynasties he build...

West build two.. 80's lakers and 00's lakers, but he also made SO many great draft picks in the late first round and second round and filled up the 80's roster with great guys... nobody built teams through the draft as well as West


Those three are all great answers though

Red
West
Pop/Buford

Good post. It is difficult to compare GM's of different Eras due to salary cap, free agency, and the way teams draft. But these 3 stand out.

SLY WILLIAMS
09-14-2013, 09:55 PM
Its Red, West, Riley in my opinion.


As great an organization as the Spurs became it was not because they got two steals late in Parker and Manu. Its because they lost enough games that Bob Bass could draft Drob #1 and then later they could draft Duncan#1. The Spurs organization was in horrible shape before Drob. I think Drob could have been a FA instead of signing with the Spurs after 2 years in the Navy but he basically saved that franchise.

bagwell368
09-14-2013, 10:13 PM
Is really Boston a shithole like you described it? I'm asking because I've never seen Boston(I'm italian)

In all frankness Boston is great, but it's an aquired taste. If you play for the Celts it's almost certain you have no roots nearby - Ewing and Ray Allen are the only guys I can even think of since 1980 with roots in the area, or played college ball nearby.

Great food, nasty traffic, wickedly expensive housing, great schools and hospitals, great history. I dunno, I won't want to make a firm statement here, but somehow your average big star in the NBA from the time they can go FA until they retire, somehow I don't see most of them seeing that as a "scene" that they would like - but I am sure there a few (very few) exceptions- and greenbacks might be the deciding factor.

Oh yeah, in NY, Chi, and LA a big player can get a lot more endorsements than Boston, if you don't think that matters, think again.

bagwell368
09-14-2013, 10:48 PM
Looking at what West did for the team. He was with the team when they picked up Magic and worked a deal where they got a draft pick from Cleveland... that pick turned out to be James Worthy.

Trading your 3rd guard for Len Bias isn't the equal of that move, or better? Can't blame him for the result, Red was courting Bias from when he was 15, and the family and the kid were solid.


You have to remember as well, when Red was drafting guys in the 60's, the Celtics, EVEN IF THEY WERE THE BEST TEAM, were STILL top ten picks! There were only 8-10 teams in the league back then, so you always got what would amount to a lottery pick, even if you just won the championship!

And the amount of viable players for the league were much less than in West's day. Also drafting is one thing, coaching, and team building another - he did it all. BTW, since they were winning it all most years and had later picks, how come the other teams couldn't push the Celts off the hill very often?

I didn't give the full list, here goes:

1950: Drafted Cousy in the dispersal draft
1952: Drafted Gene Conley (solid back-up) with the 90th pick in the draft
1953: Drafted Frank Ramsey (6th pick): HOF
1952: Drafted Cliff Hagen (24th pick): HOF
1956: Drafted Tom Heinsohn (6th pick): HOF
1956: Drafted K.C. Jones (24th pick): HOF
1956: Traded Hagen and Macauley (HOF) for Bill Russell (HOF)
1957: Drafted Sam Jones (8th pick): HOF
1960: Drafted Tom Sanders (8th pick): Celts retired number
1962: Drafted John Havlicek (9th pick): HOF
1964: Signed undrafted Larry Siegfried: key sub in last 4 Russell Championship teams
1965: Signed released by LAL Don Nelson: only player along with Havlicek to span two Celtic dynasties, 5 Championships, of which two probably not won w/o his play in the playoffs.
1967: Traded stiff Mel Counts for wiley vet Bailey Howell who flat out won one of Russell's last two titles as the best Celt, and probably the other one too.
1968: Drafted Don Chaney (12th pick), fine defensive guard
1969: Drafted Jo Jo White (9th pick), top 4 player on two Championship teams
1970: Drafted Dave Cowens (4th pick): HOF: top player on two Championship teams
1970: Drafted Charlie Scott (106th pick)
1972: Traded Charlie Scott and cash for Paul Silas: top 3 player on one Championship team
1972: Drafted Paul Westphal (10th pick):

Getting tired, finish tomorrow....

JasonJohnHorn
09-15-2013, 03:17 PM
Its Red, West, Riley in my opinion.


As great an organization as the Spurs became it was not because they got two steals late in Parker and Manu. Its because they lost enough games that Bob Bass could draft Drob #1 and then later they could draft Duncan#1. The Spurs organization was in horrible shape before Drob. I think Drob could have been a FA instead of signing with the Spurs after 2 years in the Navy but he basically saved that franchise.

This is ridiculous. Firstly, the Spurs would not have won championships 2, 3 and 4 without Parker and Ginobili. not happening. Secondly, the Duncan and DRob pick ups did not lock in championships. Duncan and DRob could have left from free agency, but the front office convinced them to stay. If you are going to put Riley up there for convincing LBJ and Bosh to come over and Wade to stay, then why wouldn't you give Pop the same credit for convincing DRob and Duncan to stay? To give one credit and not the other is crazy. You could just as easily turn this around and say: They only reason Miami one the last two championships is because LBJ decided to save the organization, which is what you are saying DRob did for the Spurs.

Without JAckson and Bowen and Parker and Ginobili, the Spurs likely would have only won in 99. And without Green and Neal and Leonard, the Spurs would not have been in the finals this year. Period. And those are all moves the team made that were not obvious choices.

JasonJohnHorn
09-15-2013, 03:28 PM
Trading your 3rd guard for Len Bias isn't the equal of that move, or better? Can't blame him for the result, Red was courting Bias from when he was 15, and the family and the kid were solid.



And the amount of viable players for the league were much less than in West's day. Also drafting is one thing, coaching, and team building another - he did it all. BTW, since they were winning it all most years and had later picks, how come the other teams couldn't push the Celts off the hill very often?

I didn't give the full list, here goes:

1950: Drafted Cousy in the dispersal draft
1952: Drafted Gene Conley (solid back-up) with the 90th pick in the draft
1953: Drafted Frank Ramsey (6th pick): HOF
1952: Drafted Cliff Hagen (24th pick): HOF
1956: Drafted Tom Heinsohn (6th pick): HOF
1956: Drafted K.C. Jones (24th pick): HOF
1956: Traded Hagen and Macauley (HOF) for Bill Russell (HOF)
1957: Drafted Sam Jones (8th pick): HOF
1960: Drafted Tom Sanders (8th pick): Celts retired number
1962: Drafted John Havlicek (9th pick): HOF
1964: Signed undrafted Larry Siegfried: key sub in last 4 Russell Championship teams
1965: Signed released by LAL Don Nelson: only player along with Havlicek to span two Celtic dynasties, 5 Championships, of which two probably not won w/o his play in the playoffs.
1967: Traded stiff Mel Counts for wiley vet Bailey Howell who flat out won one of Russell's last two titles as the best Celt, and probably the other one too.
1968: Drafted Don Chaney (12th pick), fine defensive guard
1969: Drafted Jo Jo White (9th pick), top 4 player on two Championship teams
1970: Drafted Dave Cowens (4th pick): HOF: top player on two Championship teams
1970: Drafted Charlie Scott (106th pick)
1972: Traded Charlie Scott and cash for Paul Silas: top 3 player on one Championship team
1972: Drafted Paul Westphal (10th pick):

Getting tired, finish tomorrow....

Again.. I think we are splitting hairs here. I agree... Red was AMAZING!!! He was awesome. I say I have a top three: Red, West and Pop/Buford. I would not argue with anybody who had Red at the top. The guy's success rate speaks for itself, but back in the day the draft worked very differently. There were regional drafts which gave Boston access to some guys that other teams didnt have, and even when you finished first you still got a top ten pick. Even considering the talent pool was likely much smaller, that still gives you a VERY high pick. That is not to down play Red did, because all the GMs back then got that benefit and he still came out on top most times. I love Red, but I also think West has displayed some excellent scouting skills and picked up a lot of all-star calibre players and starters in the late first-round and second round when most other teams were drafting guys who weren't even making NBA rosters. Green. Scott. Jones. Van Exel. Divac. Campbell. He made shrewd moves and also worked in a far more competitive league than Red worked in during the 60's and 70's. West was competing against the Celtics of the 80's and came out on top more often than not (5 rings in that time to Boston's 3, so head-to-head, West came out on top of Red), and in the 90's had to deal with Jordan and the premature loss of Magic. In the 00's, he would have went on a tear had he not had to face Duncan and Robinson every year in the playoffs. And he turned Memphis into a playoff team. That was great work there as well.

Pop and Buford have worked together and it is hard to determine who is the genius there... so I lumped them in together.

Red had to work in a very different setting than West and Pop/Buford. Pop/Buford have a different set of problems to work with (money isn't as easy to come by in SA as it is in LA and like BOS as well).

The drafting process was different from generation to generation, as were the salary cap rules. And each team has different resources so GMs have to work within that context as well. It makes it hard to just look at these guys without taking those things into consieration. Comparing Red to Pop/Buford is like comparing Wilt with Jordan. It doesn't work. There is no finite answer.

torocan
09-16-2013, 11:04 AM
Going with Red. Can't argue with his track record which is so amazing it borders on the unbelievable.

Modern era is Jerry West.

rjkgr
09-19-2013, 06:31 PM
Jerry West is one of the greatest GM in any sport... not just basketball