The Hawks have a good, but not great team and an ownership group that won't go over the luxury tax. They're not winning a title anytime soon, that's for sure. Yet Sund seems so committed to bringing back the same core of players that have proven they can't get it done.
I'm not even talking about the ridiculous Joe Johnson contract, which we'll get to in a second. I'm talking more about all the moves that led up to it. There's little collective rhyme or reason to the contract handed out to Mike Bibby (three years), Zaza Pachulia (four years), Marvin Williams (five years) and Jamal Crawford (a trade, mind you, but two years). The contracts by themselves make sense, but taken together, they demonstrate a lack of planning. That's four key role players making a combined $25 million per season that expire in four different years.
Let's go back to Johnson now. Yes, his contract is terrible, no doubt. But Sund really got himself stuck by not thinking ahead with his other contracts. He put himself between a rock and a hard place because he did not think to give his role players contracts that all expire around the same time. He limited his options to "sign Johnson, ride it out and maybe rebuild in five years" or "don't sign Johnson and fail to rebuild for a couple years because all of Johnson's role players are clogging up our cap flexibility." Under those circumstances, it's more understandable that Johnson got what he got.
I strongly believe that a lack of creativity and long-term planning with smaller decisions ultimately leads to a lack of creativity and long-term planning with bigger decisions. Bad process leads to bad process. Rick Sund and the Hawks are the best example of this.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
SBNation: Ranking All 30 NBA GMs
Mike Prada ranks Rick Sund in the top 75% of NBA general managers: