The NBA offseason is all about taking risks. GMs can do this in a number of ways. They can make an unorthodox pick in the draft, trade a star player either to dump salary or acquire younger players or give a free agent a lot of money.
These rolls of the dice sometimes prove to be the right move, but not all gambles can result in a winning hand. More often than not, taking such risks proves to blow up in the decision-maker's face. One can only imagine how much egg there was on the face of former Portland Trail Blazers GM Stu Inman after he selected injury-prone center Sam Bowie over a guard named Michael Jordan.
Similarly, what was former Knicks GM Isiah Thomas thinking in giving center Jerome James a $30 million contract?
This past summer's NBA offseason was full of big risks, some of which have paid off immensely. After acquiring the heavy contract of guard Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks, the Nets were able to re-sign star point man Deron Williams and are now contending in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta has not been awful without Johnson, but the scoring void is clear and hurting the team.
As a result, GM Danny Ferry is probably breathing a sigh of relief at his team performing so well as of late. Other executives, however, are not feeling the same way about moves they made.