Waiting for Next Year had a post up Sunday afternoon citing reports from an NBA source that the Denver Nuggets GM Mark Warkentien is the winner of this year’s NBA Executive of the Year Award. Warkentien had a solid year to be sure, but he was not as deserving of this honor as Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry.
Maybe Ferry lost out because some of his work started at last year’s NBA trade deadline. While those moves didn’t pay true dividends until this season, trading Larry Hughes, Donyell Marshall, and Drew Gooden for Ben Wallace, Wally Sczerbiak, Delonte West, and Joe Smith did this year.
But if you don’t want to credit Ferry for moves he made last season, the moves he made this year – and the moves he didn’t make – should have been enough.
Mo Williams for Damon Jones
If Ferry would have traded Damon Jones to Milwaukee for a box of basketballs, that would have been a good move. However, in return for the services of Damon Jones, the Cavaliers got an All Star PG, and the best second option that LeBron has had in his NBA career. Sure Joe Smith was part of that deal too – initially -but Ferry ended up getting him back later, for nothing. Oh and by the way, they have that All Star Williams locked up for years to come.
The role of Delonte West
There are a lot of GM’s in this league that would have never paired a 6’1″ PG (Mo Williams) with a 6’3″ SG (Delonte West) as starters in today’s NBA, but Danny Ferry and Mike Brown did just that. A lot of people thought Delonte West would go to the bench, or be moved, upon the acquisition of Williams, but that didn’t happen. They started him from day one, and it paid dividends. How player is that man?
I mentioned it earlier, but the Cavaliers traded Smith in the off-season, only to get him back for the second half of the year, and the playoffs, without giving up anything.. Joe Beast has been more than productive in his time as a Cavalier, and after spending time during the second half of last season, he stepped right in to a locker room, and system, that he was already familiar with.
The moves he didn’t make
Over the last couple seasons everybody in Cleveland had an opinion of what move Ferry should make. The majority of people wanted Mike Bibby. Ferry didn’t pull the trigger, and looking at it now, there is no way that Mike Bibby would be a more productive player than Williams. Beyond that, people were clamoring at this year’s trade deadline for guys like Amare Stoudamire, Shaq, Brad Miller, etc, etc. Instead Ferry held serve, and preserved a locker room that had a developed a camaraderie, and chemistry unrivaled in the league. Good or bad, a major shake-up at the deadline would have changed that chemistry, and Ferry made the correct decision to not meddle with that.
Danny Ferry was the General Manager who put together a roster that won an NBA best 66 wins, a total that was up from less than 50 the year before. That does it most years, but apparently not this time. Instead, Denver’s second place record in the West was good enough.
JD Shaver is a featured columnist at Midwest Sports Fans who also runs Shaver Sports, where they discuss everything you ever wanted to know about Cleveland sports.
JD Shaver’s contributions to Midwest Sports Fans are sponsored by BigTimeGameBoards.com, the company that helps you tailgate like a champion with our high quality cornhole boards, sets and accessories. And if you don’t know what cornhole is, you aren’t a Midwesterner.