David Kahn and the Worst GMs in NBA History

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIIJune 25, 2012

David Kahn and the Worst GMs in NBA History

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    David Kahn is the worst GM in the NBA today.

    The Minnesota Timberwolves GM is a constant subject of ridicule from fans and insiders. His performance in the 2012 NBA draft will be something to watch.

    Of course, Kahn is not the only bad GM to be at the helm of an NBA team.

    GMs can have the ability to make their team perennial contenders, with shrewd moves and savvy draft picks. 

    On the other hand, some GMs can perform so badly that they set their franchise back for years. Their tenure makes their teams so bad and they are constantly the source of head-scratching moves.

    Where does Kahn stand amongst some of the worst GMs in NBA history? 

David Kahn

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    It started pretty good..and then quickly went downhill.

    In his first move as GM, David Kahn drafted Ricky Rubio. Pretty good. 

    Right after that, however, he drafted Jonny Flynn over such players as Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings and DeMar DeRozan. Later on in that round, he drafted Ty Lawson.

    Three point guards, two of which are no longer on the team. 

    Yet that's not all.

    He got nothing in the trade for Al Jefferson, as Kousta Koufos and Donatas Motiejunas have not been big contributors in the NBA.

    The Timberwolves then signed Darko Milicic to a four-year, $20 million deal. No, that is not a typo. 

    Some picks, like Wesley Johnson, haven't panned out. The jury is still out on Derrick Williams.

    Kahn is routinely mocked by NBA fans and media. To most, he's a joke. 

    Kahn was lucky to inherit Kevin Love; otherwise there would be no way he would still have a job.

Isiah Thomas

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    Isiah Thomas is one of the best players of all time.

    The same cannot be said about his skills as a general manager.

    Thomas has been the GM of the Raptors and the Knicks in his executive career and while there have been some successes, there have been mostly misses.

    In Toronto, Thomas drafted Tracy McGrady out of high school, as well as Marcus Camby and Damon Stoudemire. His time there was largely non-controversial.

    However, in New York, it all went downhill. 

    His first move was to trade for Stephon Marbuy. While Marbury had some good moments in New York, his tenure was mostly marked by controversy and ineffectiveness. In that trade, Thomas gave up two first-round picks.

    Yet that's not all.

    He signed Jerome James to a five-year, $30 million contract. James started 20 games for New York and averaged 2.4 points a game in his Knicks career.

    Thomas then traded Tim Thomas, Mike Sweetney, Jermaine Jackson, a 2006 first-round pick (which became LaMarcus Aldridge), a 2007 first-round pick (which became Joakim Noah) and some second-round picks for Eddy Curry.

    Curry was a major disappointment in New York, never playing up to his potential. Meanwhile, the Knicks would have much preferred Aldridge or Noah. 

    He then traded Trevor Ariza and Penny Hardaway for Steve Francis. Francis was on the last legs of his career, while Ariza has turned out to be a useful player.

    Thomas' era in New York put the franchise back a few years, and it took a complete makeover by Donnie Walsh to get them back into contention. 

    Since his time in New York, Thomas has not found a gig in the NBA. Not too hard to figure out why. 

Scott Layden

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    Scott Layden started his career as the GM of the Jazz and was decent.

    Then he went to New York and things went downhill fast.

    His first move was trading Knicks legend and NBA great Patrick Ewing to the then-Sonics for Glen Rice and others. That will get you in trouble with the fanbase quickly.

    That wasn't it. He traded Marcus Camby, Nene and Mark Jackson to the Nuggets for Antonio McDyess and Frank Williams. Williams did nothing and McDyess played 18 games in New York before getting injured.

    In 2003, Layden passed on guys like Boris Diaw, Josh Howard and David West to take Michael Sweetney, who was a complete bust.

    He also signed Allan Houston to a monster $100 million contract. It was a contract that made Houston untradeable, and he suffered through injury problems after signing it.

    Layden was fired in 2003. He's back with the Jazz as an assistant coach. 

Elgin Baylor

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    Elgin Baylor became GM of the Clippers in 1986 and stayed until 2008.

    That doesn't mean his tenure was any good.

    Baylor took Lorenzen Wright instead of Kobe Bryant.  Bryant is one of the best of all time. Wright averaged eight points per game in his career.

    Baylor passed on Scottie Pippen, taking Reggie Williams instead. Pippen is one of the greatest of all time. Williams played only two seasons for the Clips.

    To make matters worse, Baylor took Michael Olowokandi instead of Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki is a legend. Olowokandi averaged 8.3 points per game in his career. 

    That's not to mention trading Antonio McDyess for Brent Barry and Rodney Rodgers, and selecting Darius Miles, Chris Wilcox and Melvin Ely in the lottery.

    Baylor did win Executive of the Year in 2006. But in his 22 years at the helm, the Clippers were 607-1,153 and had only two winning seasons. Yikes.

    Baylor is another great player who just couldn't get it done as an executive. It's still a mystery as to why he stayed in control for so long. 

Wes Unseld

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    Wes Unseld is only the second player in NBA history to win the Most Valuable Player award and Rookie of the Year Award in the same season.

    He was not nearly as good as a GM.

    Unseld traded Rasheed Wallace for Rod Strickland and Ben Wallace for Ike Austin.

    That's not to mention trading Chris Webber for Mitch Richmond. 

    Trading three great players and getting almost nothing in return is just not right.

    Unseld completely mismanaged the Wiz. His only good move was drafting Richard Hamilton in the first round in 1999. 

    Unseld was a great player. But he could not manage a team and the Wizards suffered for it.