Mike Prada of SB Nation recently unveiled his rankings of the league’s best GMs. Joe Dumars came in at No. 20:
20. Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons (last year: 24)
STYLE: Mover and shaker, stymied only by the uncertain ownership situation.
THE GOOD: His work getting the Pistons to the conference finals for six straight years without a superstar and without breaking the bank is one of the greatest general manager accomplishments of the past 30 years.
THE BAD: The disastrous summer of 2009, during which he signed Ben Gordon to a five-year, $54 million deal and Charlie Villanueva to a five-year, $35 million deal. Runs through coaches like lottery tickets, having now employed seven in 10 years.
BOTTOM LINE: Dumars’ lack of action recently and the unrest it has caused is not his fault because of the ownership situation, but he will pay for that summer of 2009 for a very long time.
I don’t disagree with Prada’s analysis, that’s a pretty solid summation of Dumars’ career. I do, however, disagree with the ranking. These are the GMs I think should definitely be ranked ahead of Dumars right now: Sam Presti, Pat Riley, R.C. Buford, Donnie Nelson, Gar Forman, Donnie Walsh, Mitch Kupchak.
Dumars belongs in the conversation somewhere after them, although I’m not exactly sure where in that 8-15ish range I would put him. But in no way does Dumars belong lower than Otis Smith, Ernie Grunfeld or Ed Stefanski.