Being an NBA GM is a rough gig at the best of times, but when the job's difficult decisions rear their heads, it can be downright miserable. With a bevy of tough calls looming on the offseason horizon, we're about to see just how unenviable the position can really be.
Unless you've been holing up in a doomsday bunker, you know there are some big-name free agents about to hit the market. Every one of those guys comes with a few question marks, though.
For example, if you're Philadelphia 76ers GM Tony DiLeo, it's going to be unimaginably hard to determine whether or not the injured Andrew Bynum is worth spending the max money it'll almost certainly take to keep him.
The same is true for Danny Ferry's "Josh Smith conundrum" in Atlanta.
There are plenty of smaller calls that head personnel men throughout the league are already struggling with, too. Does John Hammond retain J.J. Redick or Brandon Jennings—or both? And what about Donnie Nelson of the Dallas Mavericks? He's got O.J. Mayo headed for free agency this summer. Does he pay him, or save his money for bigger free-agent fish?
Before we get into the discussion of these and other tough offseason decisions, note that no-brainers are purposely excluded. It's not a difficult call to try to retain the services of Chris Paul or Dwight Howard, so those guys won't be discussed here.
Anyway, on to the ulcer-inducing choices NBA GMs are already facing.