For too long truly terrible management has not gotten the accolades it deserves. That is something we wish to rectify here at the Wages of Wins. That’s why we’ll be giving you periodic updates for the Worst Management in the League award throughout the upcoming NBA season. Also, unlike other most other awards, we recognize that it takes a team to make truly bad decisions. That’s why we won’t just be choosing a worst owner, GM or coach. No, only entire management teams are in the running for this award. Here is a breakdown of our criteria:
- Bad moves. This includes bad trades, bad signings, questionable drafts.
- Playing the wrong players. This includes playing the wrong players too much or the right players too little.
- Bad PR. While not graded as highly as the other two, we do accept our perceptions of management are influenced by how they act in the media. We’ll just admit here that it has an impact.
The Orlando Magic
This pick is actually deceptive. The truth is that, when you have one of the best players in the league, you can hide a lot of bad decisions. However, when we delve into the details, the 2010-2011 Magic made some amazing moves to get on this list. Here’s a quick rundown.
Instead of playing big they decided to shoot – The Magic could have mimicked the reigning champion Lakers and played a strong trio of bigs with Gortat, Anderson and Howard. While Howard did get minutes, the Magic decided such greats as Richardson, Turkoglu, Lewis and Carter were more worthy of minutes than the other bigs.
Traded Marcin Gortat and a 1st round pick for Hedo Turkoglu – Turkoglu is a mediocre, old, overpaid small forward. Gortat is an amazing center. This move almost helped the Suns back to the playoffs. On the other hand, the Magic got a mediocre player to surround one of the best players in the league.
Traded Rashard Lewis for Gilbert Arenas – Lewis had one of the worst and most expensive contracts in the NBA and was pretty much impossible to trade. Impossible, unless you are willing trade him for the only worse contract out there. Instead of benching Lewis behind their talented bigs they, they made a bad situation worse and traded for Gilbert Arenas. This saved a little cap space in the short run at the cost of an extra year and about $14 million in total salary. And this season, thanks to the amnesty, the Magic will only need to pony up $60 million to pay Arenas to go away.
Already in the running for next year
The Magic may not have made as many awful moves as other teams, but they made some of the worst out there. It’s no wonder Howard wants to leave the team. If the Magic continue with moves as bad as last year, they may be able to defend their title. They are certainly on to a smashing start with drunk dialing Dwight Howard!
The Magic were a tough choice and we’d like to give a nod to a few of their competitors.
- The Charlotte Bobcats – They traded away their only superstar, signed bad prospects and let Felton walk.
- The New York Knicks – They traded David Lee walk only to sign Amare Stoudemire. They also gutted their team for Carmelo Anthony and an aged Chauncey Billups
- The Cleveland Cavaliers – Not really in the running but Dan Gilbert’s letter to LeBron definitely gets a nod.
Hope you enjoyed this and we’ll keep you posted which managements are in the running this year.