Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Discussion of the league and of our favorite team.
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In2ition
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by In2ition » Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:45 am

Superbone wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:19 am
In2ition wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:14 am
Indy wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:29 am
Superbone wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:03 am
People learn from their mistakes and get better. Who knows?
I think people can learn from their mistakes, but he repeated the same mistakes over and over here. If it takes you multiple similar mistakes to learn, you probably aren't going to be one of the top 30 people in the world at your job. And that is the level you need to be a GM in the NBA.
To me, it felt like he wasn't learning from his mistakes and actually getting worse as the time went on. I could be wrong about that, but I also think there is a good amount of evidence for that.
I'm mostly talking about since he was fired. If it were me, I'd reevaluate every move I made and think of how I would have done things differently. He's had a lot of time to think about it. He's still young. Maybe he never gets there or gets another chance. Maybe he has to start out again under a GM. I just think it's a little early in a person's life to write them off.
Hopefully for his sake he did that, but listening to snippets from him, I don't know if he has internalized anything he did. I get the feeling that he thinks it's someone else's fault, and maybe it was. Idk.
"30 wins would be an extremely disappointing season" yeah, I said it and I mean it.

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Mori Chu
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by Mori Chu » Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:47 am

McDo was often quite savvy about using trades to turn existing mediocre/tainted assets into better future assets such as picks, cap space, and promising young players. He wasn't particularly good at drafting, which doomed our team. And when he was pressed by ownership to start making a team that was competitive, he made bad trades to try to get better right away. I think he'd be a very good GM for a team that wants to reset, rebuild, clean out their bad contracts, get some picks, tank for a year or two, and set things up for the future. Once you start wanting to get good, he may not be a good fit. He may also have learned from his time here and might be better at that later phase of the rebuild in his next role. I think somebody should give him another chance.

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ShelC
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by ShelC » Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:09 pm

He also failed, IMO, in creating a culture and atmosphere from within the club that started at the top with him. He just put players together on a roster, hired a coach and that was it. Maybe he's a good administrator in getting the work done, but there has to be a defined culture. I think Jones understands that having played for winning teams in Indy, here, Miami and Cleveland. That kind of thing seemed lost on McD and was evident in how he handled some personnel issues.

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O_Gardino
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by O_Gardino » Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:23 pm

He should be an assistant GM somewhere that can use him to negotiate trades.
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Indy
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by Indy » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:13 pm

Superbone wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:19 am
In2ition wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:14 am
Indy wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:29 am
Superbone wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:03 am
People learn from their mistakes and get better. Who knows?
I think people can learn from their mistakes, but he repeated the same mistakes over and over here. If it takes you multiple similar mistakes to learn, you probably aren't going to be one of the top 30 people in the world at your job. And that is the level you need to be a GM in the NBA.
To me, it felt like he wasn't learning from his mistakes and actually getting worse as the time went on. I could be wrong about that, but I also think there is a good amount of evidence for that.
I'm mostly talking about since he was fired. If it were me, I'd reevaluate every move I made and think of how I would have done things differently. He's had a lot of time to think about it. He's still young. Maybe he never gets there or gets another chance. Maybe he has to start out again under a GM. I just think it's a little early in a person's life to write them off.
I hope that is true for him. He spent 10 years in the NBA as assistant GM or GM, and didn't seem to be any better his last year here than his first. And Ainge wouldn't have let him leave if he thought he was a great hire. He would have created a new role for him to give him more of the responsibilities in Boston.

As others have said, maybe he just isn't cut out to be a GM in the league and should focus on assistant jobs.

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ShelC
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by ShelC » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:20 pm

Just because some people can do the job, doesn't mean they're actually good at it. If he gets a shot in Detroit, we'll find out either way.

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Superbone
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by Superbone » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:26 pm

I agree with everybody. He was basically awful here. Maybe I'm trying to give him a chance because I met him once and he was a nice guy. He was decent at making moves but didn't know how to put a team together or deal with personalities.
Wormwood/Superbone 2019/2020 season bet: Suns win < 30 games, Wormwood wins, else 'Bone wins. 1 month avatar shame starting July 1st of winner's choosing. (Note: Requires full 82 game season.)

Drewsprocket
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by Drewsprocket » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:31 pm

ShelC wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:09 pm
He also failed, IMO, in creating a culture and atmosphere from within the club that started at the top with him. He just put players together on a roster, hired a coach and that was it. Maybe he's a good administrator in getting the work done, but there has to be a defined culture. I think Jones understands that having played for winning teams in Indy, here, Miami and Cleveland. That kind of thing seemed lost on McD and was evident in how he handled some personnel issues.
Looking back, he should have built around a peaking Dragic instead of chasing cheap PGs. Booker would be further along as a competitor playing in more meaningful games.

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Superbone
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by Superbone » Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:43 pm

Drewsprocket wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:31 pm
ShelC wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:09 pm
He also failed, IMO, in creating a culture and atmosphere from within the club that started at the top with him. He just put players together on a roster, hired a coach and that was it. Maybe he's a good administrator in getting the work done, but there has to be a defined culture. I think Jones understands that having played for winning teams in Indy, here, Miami and Cleveland. That kind of thing seemed lost on McD and was evident in how he handled some personnel issues.
Looking back, he should have built around a peaking Dragic instead of chasing cheap PGs. Booker would be further along as a competitor playing in more meaningful games.
He hung on to the wrong horse. I think I only really enjoyed the one year of Bledsoe and he was hurt a lot that year.
Wormwood/Superbone 2019/2020 season bet: Suns win < 30 games, Wormwood wins, else 'Bone wins. 1 month avatar shame starting July 1st of winner's choosing. (Note: Requires full 82 game season.)

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3rdside
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by 3rdside » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:16 am

Hearing McD on Scal and Pals a couple months ago he was impressive with his grasp of players; their skills, physical dimensions, stats, contracts etc.

But a good analogy for him might be the use of data analytics in drafting players - once everyone's doing it, the value of data insight is diminished as everyone more or less reaches the same conclusions, so you need to come up with other reasons to draft someone.

So (and assuming you've accounted for your biases) you're down to raw decision making talent - an innate skill I'm fairly sure can't be taught to a world class level.


As applied to broader decision making, McD just doesn't have it:

- Dragic and the point guards fiasco / not understanding the value of team chemistry nor what players and their technical skills that lead to it
- Continually drafting low character guys and bringing in guys with too strong personalities that Phx couldn't handle
- Not realising the obvious that the league was going small by continuing to draft and recruit bigs
- Not realising the team needed 3pt shooters
- An amazing ability to annoy just about every player who left our club

He was able to sign decent players to good contracts - Isaiah Thomas, Morris Brothers, TJ Warren - so he has ability there (meaning he probably could clean up a roster) but do you really want to hire a C+ at best?

If he reaches even that level I'd be surprised, let alone surpass it.

But going back to Scal and Pals, with his knowledgeable and confident self and the obvious out of being able to blame Sarver, I would not be at all surprised to see him get the job as he presents as impressive, only for C+ results or worse to follow.

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3rdside
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by 3rdside » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:35 am

*Would not be surprised if he got the job as not all organisations are world class who can spot 2nd raters.

On this point, how many 1st raters are out there anyway? Maybe McD is better than most on that basis ..

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3rdside
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by 3rdside » Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:52 am

I'll rephrase that - there will be many people better equipped than McD, but there aren't many organisations enlightened enough to hire one, as they'll focus on experience - which is important, but not as important as talent. And that's where McD might be lucky enough to find himself with a job again.

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Ring_Wanted
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by Ring_Wanted » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:41 am

McD drafted terribly at the top as Len-Bender-Chriss-Jackson is an historically bad haul for what essentially amounts to three years of tanking, two of them consecutive.

But to me, the biggest blunder of his tenure, even worse than wasting high draft picks, was the inexcusable miscalculation of signing IT3 instead of building around Dragic-Bledsoe, because we had something already tangible going forward (in that sense, letting Frye go was as pretty underrated mistake, especially for a supposedly analytics guy; for all his flaws, Frye was a terrific stretch PF and Dragic-Frye were elite in the league at pick and pop productivity).

That single move wrecked the franchise for several years. It poisoned the locker room and the player-FO relationship, especially with your allnba guard. 13-14 was a magical season (btw, can't forget he didn't make a move at that trade deadline with Okafor's contract in order to improve his chances of keeping the playoff berth), but it turned into the dumb and ugly ball period. He then tried to fix it, but this is not NBA2k and you can't just undo damage of this caliber.

Problem is, he didn't seem to learn from the experience and he played with fire personnel-wise again, when he dumped Marcus. Getting rid of the player was not the issue per se, but if you do it, you don't keep his twin. Anyone could see Kief was not going to take it well, and that he'd create big trouble sooner or later.

I don't know if he will ever get another GM opportunity, but I wouldn't be surprised. Sarver is a pretty good excuse and McD can sell the angle that despite having one of the worst owners in the pro sports business, he managed to do some positive things such as winning trades and drafting in the middle of the first round; and after all, he is responsible for the last decent Suns team.

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3rdside
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by 3rdside » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:56 am

Agreed on Frye totally, and I forgot about the Morris separation .. "we've made bad decision by bringing them together, agitated the situation by signing them to undervalued FOE contracts, so let's compound the issue by separating them and keeping one of them".

That isn't marginal decision making, it's idiocy.

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3rdside
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by 3rdside » Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:02 am

That Brandon Knight and Josh Jackson were both statistically rated the worst players in the league at various points (or something like that, and Bender wasn't too far off ..) - maybe just sheer bad luck, maybe not.

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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by Flagrant Fowl » Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:21 am

ShelC wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:09 pm
He also failed, IMO, in creating a culture and atmosphere from within the club that started at the top with him. He just put players together on a roster, hired a coach and that was it. Maybe he's a good administrator in getting the work done, but there has to be a defined culture.
I disagree with putting the duties of creating a culture on McD's shoulders, that's on Sarver. We know Sarver is involved in the daily operations of the roster and it's right to do as the majority owner of the team, but his temperament and his character are all over this franchise. Also the owner is usually the only person in the organization who has more clout than the players because the owner is wealthier. From a players perspective, the Suns are Robert Sarver.

How do you think the players perceived McD? He looks like an owner, but he came up as a numbers guy who never even played college basketball. The players would treat him professionally, but a lot are probably looking right past him and want to see the real manager, Sarver. So how does McD implement his own culture on the team?
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Indy
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by Indy » Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:23 am

3rdside wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:56 am
That isn't marginal decision making, it's idiocy.
perfect summary

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ShelC
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by ShelC » Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:51 am

Flagrant Fowl wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:21 am
ShelC wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:09 pm
He also failed, IMO, in creating a culture and atmosphere from within the club that started at the top with him. He just put players together on a roster, hired a coach and that was it. Maybe he's a good administrator in getting the work done, but there has to be a defined culture.
I disagree with putting the duties of creating a culture on McD's shoulders, that's on Sarver. We know Sarver is involved in the daily operations of the roster and it's right to do as the majority owner of the team, but his temperament and his character are all over this franchise. Also the owner is usually the only person in the organization who has more clout than the players because the owner is wealthier. From a players perspective, the Suns are Robert Sarver.

How do you think the players perceived McD? He looks like an owner, but he came up as a numbers guy who never even played college basketball. The players would treat him professionally, but a lot are probably looking right past him and want to see the real manager, Sarver. So how does McD implement his own culture on the team?
So why is it different under James Jones now? Maybe Sarver is less involved but McD clearly struggled connecting with and communicating with players and setting a standard within the organization.

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Indy
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by Indy » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:26 am

ShelC wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:51 am
Flagrant Fowl wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:21 am
ShelC wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:09 pm
He also failed, IMO, in creating a culture and atmosphere from within the club that started at the top with him. He just put players together on a roster, hired a coach and that was it. Maybe he's a good administrator in getting the work done, but there has to be a defined culture.
I disagree with putting the duties of creating a culture on McD's shoulders, that's on Sarver. We know Sarver is involved in the daily operations of the roster and it's right to do as the majority owner of the team, but his temperament and his character are all over this franchise. Also the owner is usually the only person in the organization who has more clout than the players because the owner is wealthier. From a players perspective, the Suns are Robert Sarver.

How do you think the players perceived McD? He looks like an owner, but he came up as a numbers guy who never even played college basketball. The players would treat him professionally, but a lot are probably looking right past him and want to see the real manager, Sarver. So how does McD implement his own culture on the team?
So why is it different under James Jones now? Maybe Sarver is less involved but McD clearly struggled connecting with and communicating with players and setting a standard within the organization.
I think it is hard for a guy that has never played professional basketball, never coached professional basketball, and has basically no shared life experiences of the players he manages, to make a connection. Probably doesn't help that he and his family are boston guys.

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ShelC
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Re: Around the League: Week 20 3/9-3/15

Post by ShelC » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:37 am

That may play a part but Sam Presti doesn't seem to have that problem and he's created a winning/Spurs like culture regardless of which players are on the roster. I think McD really lacked communication/personal skills that you need with players. Felt like he more or less viewed them as assets, unless they were "his guy" like Bledsoe, whom he was overly attached to to his own detriment.

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