Earlier this week, it was revealed that Isiah Thomas would not be able to become a consultant with the New York Knicks, due to NBA bylaws regarding his status as head coach of Florida International University, an NCAA Division I men's basketball team.
This consultant position, offered by Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan, was highly criticized by Knicks fans and management alike, with Donnie Walsh reportedly becoming furious over the potential reunion.
And although Isiah did a lot of horrible things (Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry trades, signing Jerome James) while he ran the Knicks as the president/GM/coach, but bringing him in to work strictly as a consultant wouldn't be that bad, would it?
I mean, after all, he did have a substantial level of success in his drafts, and talent evaluator was to be one of his primary responsibilities.
However, the consultant role might not have been what Dolan had in mind, due to the fact that it was believed that this role might have been a stepping stone on Isiah's return as Knicks' GM.
And Isiah's return as Knicks' GM would certainly not be a good thing.
However, when he was with the Knicks he inherited a bad team and didn't make them too much worse. Furthermore, at the time, no one could have predicted how terrible his acquisition of Stephon Marbury could have been.
Therefore, there could be worse candidates, such as these five individuals: The five people who would be a worse GM for the Knicks than Isiah Thomas.
Memphis Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace is responsible for what has been called one of the most lopsided trade in NBA history, in which he traded away franchise player Pau Gasol to the Lakers for Javaris Crittenton (who's most famous for his involvement in last season's gun escapade with Gilbert Arenas), what may have been the worst No. 1 overall pick in Kwame Brown, an aging Aaron McKie, the rights to Marc Gasol, and two of the Lakers future first-round draft picks (which would be late picks since the Lakers are now so good).
That trade, alone, qualifies Wallace to appear on this list. However, he has a few other mistakes to his name too.
In 2009, Wallace elected to pick UConn center Hasheem Thabeet second overall in the draft, before many other higher quality players. Then this past season, the rookie Thabeet made headlines as he became the first No. 2 pick to be sent down to the D-League.
Most recently, this summer, Wallace signed restricted free agent Rudy Gay to a massive five-year, $82 million contract, paying him much more than any other teams would have offered (and had they offered any large amount, Wallace would have been able to match it and keep Gay).
Needless to say, the Grizzlies' future does not look too bright, as they will be, at best, a low-seed playoff team, but likely, worse.
(photo from nba.com)
Current Minnesota TImberwolves GM David Kahn exploded onto the NBA scene during the 2009 NBA Draft.
With the fifth, sixth, and 18th picks in the draft, Kahn proceeded to pick three point guards.
And, even worse, his fifth overall selection, Spanish product Ricky Rubio, elected to stay in Spain rather than come to the US to play for Kahn's squad. Moreover, many believe that Rubio may decide never to play in Minnesota.
Additionally, Kahn ended up trading the 18th pick, Ty Lawson, to the Denver Nuggets for a future first-round pick. Therefore, it seems that he effectively turned a draft with three first-rounders into a draft where he only ended up with only one first-round player.
Then this summer, Kahn paid notorious first-round bust Darko Milicic an amount of money which no other teams would have been willing to offer, signing him to the tune of four years and $20 million.
He then went on to have a zany back-and-forth commentary with Chris Webber during the 2010 summer league, in which he attempted to compare Webber to Milicic, a comparison Webber certainly did not appreciate.
Kahn also traded away last year's big free agent signing, point guard Ramon Sessions, for troubled PG Sebastian Telfair, only to sign another free agent point guard, Luke Ridnour, to an identical four-year, $16 million contract.
Oh yeah, and Kahn traded away Al Jefferson, the Timberwolves best player, this summer, setting up the T-Wolves to be even worse than last season's 15-67 campaign.
So, in his short stint as Minnesota's GM, Kahn has made a bunch of moves, the majority of which can only be described as head-scratchers.
(photo from Yahoo! Sports)
Kevin McHale's career as general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves began very well with his selection of Kevin Garnett in the 1995 NBA Draft. However, it appears as though that selection may have been beginner's luck, as he regressed in his later seasons with the team.
McHale's most notable blunder was his illegal contract agreement with Joe Smith in 1998, which the NBA subsequently discovered and punished the team, fining them, stripping them of three future first-round picks, and forcing Smith to sign elsewhere.
Due in part to these crippling punishments, the Timberwolves only made it past the first round once, even with perennial All-Star and former MVP Garnett.
And finally, when McHale began receiving offers for an aging KG, he held on to his star for too long, passing up an offer from the Celtics which included both Al Jefferson and Rajon Rondo, and eventually forcing him to settle later on a deal with no Rondo.
McHale stepped down from his GM position in 2008, to fill Minnesota's coaching vacancy, but he was fired following the season. He now works as a basketball analyst.
NBA legend Elgin Baylor served as the general manager of the Los Angeles Clippers for 21 seasons.
However, his teams only had a winning record for two of those seasons, with Baylor amassing a career record of 619-1153.
Simply put, that is horrible.
New York Knicks former GM Scott Layden is the individual most responsible for the franchise's descent over the past decade.
He was notorious for his horrible drafts, with no notable players selected for the Knicks during his four-year period of employment.
Furthermore, he developed a pension for trading away first-round draft picks, as he did four times: One with Patrick Ewing and Chris Dudley in exchange for Glen Rice, some bench players, and two future first- and second-rounders, the second along with Erick Strickland and a second-rounder for Othella Harrington, the third along with Chris Childs for Mark Jackson and Muggsy Bogues, and the fourth with Marcus Camby and Mark Jackson for Antonio McDyess, Frank Williams, and a second-round pick.
Needless to say, none of these trades warranted giving up first-round picks.
Layden also began the trend of reckless spending at MSG, overpaying on players like Allen Houston (signed to a six-year, $100 million contract at age 30, when he was a one-time All-Star on the decline of his career), and taking on huge contracts such as those of role players Shandon Anderson (six years, $42 million) and Howard Eisley (seven years, $41 million).
Scott Layden ran the New York Knicks into the ground, sending the once-proud organization to the doldrums of the NBA. For that, he was fired in 2003, yet he still has not received the blame which he deserves.
He was given the reigns of a franchise, a year removed from an NBA Finals appearance. He left the team with no promising young players, a huge salary, and lots of causes for concern.
He set Isiah Thomas up for failure, and he, for sure, would be the worst possible candidate for the Knicks GM position
(photo from nba.com)