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Atlanta’s move would have been fine if they made better draft picks. Luka isn’t guaranteeing any championships by himself, so I actually agree with the thinking that leads to trading down and getting more picks. The problem is that Young is the only player they drafted who has any chance of being great.
Phoenix was wrong because their owner is the worst owner in the NBA and Sacramento are cowards. Luka didn’t want to go there (and somehow no one is mad at the white boy for being disrespectful to a front office during draft proceedings) and the kings drafted the first player who openly talked about wanting to be a king despite everyone saying he’s not going to be a good player.
Atlanta has a plan and their gm is fine. You’re allowed to make mistakes. Vlade divac is bad but he’s doing what his owners want. That’s how he has a job. Same situation in Phoenix. Sometimes, and this is hard for people who believe they know more about basketball than everyone involved daily in the sport of basketball, but sometimes people have bosses they have to answer to and considerations to make that we are not privy to.
People can look at rich cho and say he is a bad general manager, but if he was allowed to give Batum a rapidly declining contract the way he wanted to and pay the tax the first year and then be out of it charlotte wouldn’t look as bad as it did over the end of his tenure. Ownership had strict guidelines he was following.

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There’s some reporting out there, from Tim McMahon on Woj’s Podcast, so a little bit shaky, that Vlade and Luka’s dad don’t like each other, and that was an influence in why Luka didn’t go to Sacto.

Also gotta give James Dolan the nod for worst owner in the NBA

Not drafting the best available player because you dont like his dad is 100% insane

If you think Lamelo is the best player next year watch it happen again

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At the end of the day, the buck stops with ownership. I agree that a lot of discourse around evaluating front office/coaching performance doesn’t really take into account meddlesome owners who either aren’t acting in bad faith (prioritizing short-term profitability over long-term success) or don’t have the stomach to deal with short term pain with focusing on player development over being competitive on a season-to-season basis.

Sarver is obviously a terrible owner. Dolan is even worse. So while there’s no arguing that the likes of Vlade Divac and Ryan McDonough were/are poor stewards of their teams, they’re doing what ownership wants. Ultimately, ownership of teams dictates the direction they go in. Herb Kohl, when he owned the Bucks, mandated that they always be as competitive as possible from season to season, which meant a solid few decades of perennially chasing a 6-8 seed in the East. The various GMs over the years made a lot of short-sighted, crappy moves (hello to trading Tobias Harris for a half-season JJ Redick rental!) in service of that, but ultimately, they were executing the mandate from ownership.

TL;DR NBA ownership needs to maybe get out of the way and let smart basketball people just do their jobs, and we’ll have a lot fewer dumpster fires of organizations.

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