Scouting, securing and signing the whole of an NBA roster takes quite a bit of work. It also involves quite a bit of room, or "the room," as NBA GMs work in concert with scouts, analysts, capologists, lawyers, the coaching staff, player agents, and eventually the owner. But the buck does stop, at some point. It's the GM, and the GM alone, that has to take his proposal to the owner for approval.
And because one, and then two men are making the decisions, individual prejudices come into play, despite the influence of however many people are in "the room." And, as Henry Abbott of TrueHoop found out recently, that room is often headed by someone who should be wearing the dunce cap.
I got a phone call from another with this story:
I was asked to get involved in a negotiation with a certain player. I did a little homework on the guy, and then went back into the GM's office, and asked how we should handle the guy's injury history, specifically a torn ACL that had kept him out of the league for a year-and-a-half.
"He tore his ACL?" asked the GM, sounding surprised. "Where'd you learn that?"
I told him I had just googled the guy.
This was in the last couple of years.
He said "ok, you're going to have to show me how to use this google thing."
Another current NBA general manager is not comfortable using any device with a keyboard.
It sounds apocryphal, but then again ... you follow the NBA, don't you? You don't have to be a cynic in assuming that this particular GM might run or have run your favorite team.
Be cynical. This is why you fill up message boards, comment sections and talk radio airwaves. There are certainly teams that know what they're doing, but even the smartest in the room can fall victim to his (because we're talking about NBA GMs, here. All dudes) own prejudices.
Just something to think about when someone like me prattles on about an NBA GM forgetting more about hoops than you'll ever know.