Every once and a while there comes a time in sports when a GM just becomes too good at his job. When it happens, you are assured of two things. 1.) Every single one of their draft picks is somehow better than it looks, and 2.) If you make a trade with them, you are probably getting ripped off. Right now there are only two such GMs in all of sports. You can think of one easily, even if you aren't sure of his name. Scott Pioli, the Vice President - Player Personnel of the Patriots, has such a track record of excellence that even when he makes a seeming reach for a draft pick (Logan Mankins in the first round in 2005) the general reaction is not "Man, now that was a dumb move". No, the reaction is something more along the lines of "The Patriots drafted that guy? Ugh, how did we miss him?"
The other GM that has reached that level? None other than former Phoenix Suns GM and current Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo. Just think of all the moves he has made in the past few years that any other GM would have scoffed at. Signing Steve Nash to $65 million contract. Trading Joe Johnson for two first rounders and Boris Diaw, who at the time was considered a bust. Signing Anthony Parker and Jorge Garbosa for the Raptors. Trading big for small in the T.J. Ford/Charlie Villanueva trade. Very few if any of the other GMs in the league would have to had the guts to pull off even one of these deals, and yet Colangelo has come out on top every time. To put it simply: the man knows his stuff.
So why am I so interested in Bryan Colangelo today? Mainly because I saw this post on Need4Sheed earlier today. To summarize:
The Pistons made their first move of the off-season Friday, shipping Carlos Delfino to Toronto in exchange for second-round picks in the 2009 and 2011 NBA drafts.
So what has the 25 year old Delfino done in Detroit? In three years he has averaged 4.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in less than 15 minutes per game. So...why is Colangelo so high on him? Well, Delfino is best when driving to the basket, and his scoring mentality will fit in perfectly with the Raptors new mindset under Colangelo's watchful eye. Also, the trade probably spells the end of Morris Peterson's career in Toronto, as free agent's 20 minutes a night will likely go to Delfino. So essentially Colangelo was able to take a player that was withering away on Detroits bench for the price of two second rounders, and that player will allow the Raptors to save at least $2 million in cap space in replcing Peterson while being able to bring in a substantially younger player that better fits their system than Peterson did. A year from now, when Delfino is playing 23 minutes a night for the Raptors and playing effectively, everyone is going to turn to the Pistons and ask "How did you let this guy go?" The answer? They dared to deal with best.