Monday, June 25, 2012

Danny Ferry Hired As GM

Danny Ferry's tenure as GM of the Cleveland Cavaliers is not impressive. He inherited LeBron James, Anderson Varejao, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. For the positive of the Mo Williams trade, there's the negative of signing Larry Hughes to a 5-year, $60 million contract as a free agent. For the positive of drafting Shannon Brown and Danny Green, there's the negative of neither playing useful minutes for the Cavaliers. Ferry traded for Ben Wallace and Shaquille O'Neal, but well after either could play significant minutes anymore. His last major move, trading for the 33-year-old Antawn Jamison, didn't work.

I fear it's this history, of drafting out-of-sync with his head coach, adding an above average player to an undisturbed core rather than making a move of profound and risky change, signing a player in the hopes he'll be something he hasn't been before, acquiring the fading, ex-famous rather than promising players and giving them a defined role to play, acquiescing to ownership's desire to win now, even the Cleveland franchise's futile fascination with the potential of Wheeler's JJ Hickson that makes him a natural fit with the Atlanta Spirit Group rather than an indication of a new direction.

Not that a new direction would be especially feasible for anyone to forge given the years of entrenchment represented by the franchise's current roster and cap situation.

Despite my general misgivings, Ferry's hiring offers one indisputable reason for optimism: a six-year contract. Danny Ferry's contract lasts longer than Joe Johnson's. Long-term planning could return to the Atlanta Hawks for the first time since Billy Knight mused as to how many wings could play at the same time. Given the fairly predictable and familiar near-future (unpredictability only coming via the potentially unsatisfying conclusion of Josh Smith's time with the team), the possibility of a long-term plan, even if it exists as a mirage for the time being, offers Hawks fans a reason for real, true hope.


E.J. 'Trey' Alverson said...

I know the blog is "run on pessimism" and all, but I'm pretty happy about the Ferry hire. It is easy to criticize Ferry in hindsight for his work in Cleveland, but he did put together a 66 win team and was in part responsible for the most successful run in that franchise's history. Teams he helped put together made the finals once and the eastern conference finals twice--things the Atlanta Hawks have never done.

Yes he inherited Lebron James and Big Z, but he put together some pretty solid teams.

Plus, he had pre-Cavs and post-Cavs stints in senior positions with the best front office in all of professional sports. Short of hiring away Buford, Presti o0r maybe Ainge, I can't imagine a better GM hire for the Hawks. I'm excited.

jrauch said...

I'm skeptical this represents a real sea change in ownership approach until we actually see some hard decisions being made.

Will Ferry find his own coach for this year? Will Joe Johnson or Josh Smith get shipped out in the offseason?

I'm not ready to squeal like a girl about this quite yet, but it seems like a step in the right direction.

Buddy Grizzard said...

Cleveland's first round draft picks from 2000 to 2004, prior to Ferry's arrival, produced Chris Mihm, DeSagana Diop, Dajuan Wagner, LeBron James and Luke Jackson. Once Ferry took over as GM, he had no first round picks in two of his first three drafts. Cleveland's 2005 and 2007 pick, along with Toronto's 2007 pick that Cleveland owned, were traded away prior to Ferry's arrival for Wesley Person, Jiri Welsch and Sasha Pavlovic.