Although Danny Ferry resigned as the Cavaliers GM today, there was little chance that owner Dan Gilbert was going to offer Ferry a new deal. According to the press release, Ferry “led the team through the most successful period in franchise history.” Really? It seems more like LeBron led them through this successful period if you ask me.
LeBron came in 2003 and Anderson Varejao was drafted in 2004. Ferry’s tenure as GM revolved around pulling the trigger one season too late. LeBron got the Cavs to the 2007 NBA Finals only to get swept by the Spurs. To begin the 2007-08 season, Ferry acquired Wally Szczerbiak, Ben Wallace, Joe Smith and Delonte West. It was clear that these four players were not the answer and the Cavs lost in the second round of the 2008 playoffs. Ferry then traded for Mo Williams hoping that Williams would be the missing piece that the Cavs needed to win championships.
Sure Williams made the All-Star team last year, but it was evident that he could shoot the team out of games and was a defensive liability against the quicker and more built point guards that dominate the league today. When the Cavaliers lost to the Magic last year in the Eastern Conference Finals, the criticism was that the Cavs had nobody to stop Dwight Howard. The Cavs had the opportunity to acquire Shaq that season, but Ferry did not do enough to bring him in. Instead, Ferry traded for Shaq last summer, and although he was too hurt to be effective in long stretches this season, he played well when given the opportunity in this year’s playoffs.
Ferry again balked at pulling the trigger on deals to acquire Amar’e Stoudemire during this year’s trade deadline when it appeared as though Suns GM Steve Kerr was trying as hard as possible to get rid of him. After the deadline passed, Amar’e went on a tear and after a strong playoff performance, Amar’e is again considered one of the Top 5 unrestricted free agents this summer. And although Antawn Jamison was a steal at the trade deadline, he too failed to live up to the hype.
Ferry will certainly get another chance to be a GM in the League, but he must return to the fundamentals of his position. After retiring a Spur at the conclusion of the 2002-03 season, Ferry worked in the Spurs front office for three seasons. The Spurs have had the best front office this past decade – and Ferry was integral to their success. But he did not bring this same savvy to the Cavaliers. Instead of drafting raw talent and proven college players, Ferry played catch-up the entire time in free agency and at the trade deadline. For his own sake, Ferry would be smart to latch on to the Thunder or Blazers organization before seeking a new GM job.
What do you think?
Follow Adam on Twitter at @FloBombin.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.