This is going to get a little bit lengthy. But it is, IMO, a great sports mystery. And I want to get to the bottom of it. If not for the board, then for myself. 2000-2001: -Joe Dumars was named GM prior to the 2000-20001 season. Just one season removed from being a starter on the team!! And that's pretty insane/unique, isn't it? The roster he inherited--he actually played with 4/5 starters, and 4/8 reserves the previous season. ***So.. he knew the team he inherited very, very well; and from such a unique perspective. He also, obviously, knew the rest of the league at this time quite well, and again, from a very unique perspective. -His first draft. Mateen Cleaves in the 1st rd. Brian Cardinal in the 2nd rd. I'm guessing the head man Joe-D had a lot more to do with that first pick (which sucked), and I'm guessing he let his assistant GM John Hammond and scouts have a lot more input on the second (which was good). ***From the start, Joe-D wasn't very good at scouting players he hadn't played with. But with later picks, where assistants had more input, he started off well. -In his first major move, after failing to resign Grant Hill, he executed a great sign and trade with the Orlando Magic to acquire Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins. ***He'd played against both and knew their games. ***Hammond was there to help him execute the deal. -He then made a series of great salary-saving moves. ***Establishing that he was not going to be keeping "friends" around for the sake of keeping friends around; that he was a professional. And it's also important to note that Hammond was here to help him execute these deals, this plan. He shipped Lindsey Hunter (his best friend, as I understand it). Former teammates Lattener and Mills. Former teammate Vaught. Former teammates Montross and Williams (*in an important move that returned Corliss Williamson). -The team did not make the playoffs. 2001-2002: -Joe Dumars second draft. Rodney White. Mehmet Okur. Again, the pick Joe-D probably had more influence on was terrible. The pick John Hammond and co. probably had more influence on was great. Joe-D as a scout = bad. Not that he can't recognize talent. He obviously recognized it in guys he went up against. But perhaps to suggest that he didn't put in enough time in the film room, or in interviews. -He hired Rick Carlisle. A great hire. But a brainy one? Rick was Chuck Daly's former assistant. And I'm sure he was suggested strongly. I'll give Chuck the credit on that find. ***Joe-D finding great coaches? The skill was never there. Chuck found him this one. -Traded former teammate Jed Buecheler in an important deal that brought back Cliff Robinson--who Joe-D had of course played against. Traded some 2nd rd. picks in a good deal to land Zeljko Rebraca~~in a deal that smells of John Hammond. Was quick to abandon a bad draft pick (with Hammond and co. around) in shipping Mateen for a 3-pt. specialist he'd gone up against in John Barry. -Team made it to the second rd of the playoffs. 2002-2003: -Joe-D's third draft. Tayshaun Prince. A great pick. Not a lotto-pick. I presume this means Hammond might've had a little more input than in previous 1st rd. picks. But I will give Joe-D some credit on this one. It was an old-school pick. A 4-yr proven college star. Available late because of the league's growing obsession with young potential. -Signed Chauncey Billups--who he'd gone up against, and who'd been compared to him--in a great signing. Made the great Stackhouse (who he'd played with) for Rip Hamilton (who he'd played against) deal. Again, with Hammond around, was quick to give up on a bad pick, moving Rodney White for a 1st rd'er. And, again, it should be noted that Hammond was here to help him execute these trades. -Team made it to the ECF. 2003-2004: -Joe-D winds up with another lotto pick. Darko Milicic. One of the worst picks ever. Carlos Delfino--who did have some nice seasons elsewhere, eventually--was picked in the late 1st. A pick I presume Hammond had more input on. Then a big Greek who never amounted to anything was drafted almost last. -Joe-D fires Rick Carlisle (showing his first sign of impatience with coaches). He brings in first-ballot Hall of Famer Larry Brown. A move that paid off. But not a move that required a great deal of insight, as Brown was so widely respected and well regarded as being one of the best coaches of all time. -Elden Campbell was signed in a smart deal, Hammond around. Cliff was traded for Bob Sura in a questionable deal. Curry was traded for Hunter in a whatever deal that ended up being beneficial. Then there was the BIG deal. The 3-team deal. We gave up Atkins, Hunter, Rebraca, Sura, 2 1st rd. picks. We got 'Sheed. Hammond was there. -Team won the NBA championship. 2004-2005: -About the last pick, Ricky Paulding. Whatever. -Signed Dyess in a great move. Hammond still around. Though, Joe-D knew of Dyess from his playing days I'm sure. Traded Corliss for Derrick Coleman in a really dumb deal~~which stinks of Joe-D, as Coleman was so well regarded during their playing days. Traded for Arroyo--who had some decent run--in a move that smells of Hammond to me. -Lost in the NBA finals. Always thought he could've done more to improve the team that season, in replacing Memo. 2005-2006: -The Larry Brown fiasco. I thought Joe-D handled it poorly. I thought he was to blame. No Chuck around to tell him who to hire = bad hire in Flip Saunders. -Ben Wallace leaves. It was a good decision to let him go for that contract, I guess. It was a bad idea to do NOTHING to help replace him. -J-Max in the 1st rd. Probably a co-Joe-D/Hammond-venture (as Joe-D thought he'd be Ben-like). So-so pick, I guess. Amir in the 2nd, which was great, and I'm guessing Hammond-influenced. Acker almost dead last, whatever. -Gave up on Darko, with Hammond around, netting a 1st rd. pick. -Team lost in the ECF (Wade/Shaq). Joe-D really did nothing to strengthen a team that could've easily won a championship in this season, I always thought. 2006-2007: -Drafted Will Blalock and Cheick Samb almost last. Whatever. -Really did nothing to improve the team, again. Nazr, Webber signings. Ronald Murray lol. Gave up on another bad pick (Delfino), probably a little too early considering all he got in return were 2nd rd. picks. -Team lost in the ECF (LeBron). 2007-2008: -Rodney Stuckey (I presume, mainly a Joe-D pick, perhaps part Hammond), Afflalo (Hammond credit), Mejia almost last. -John Hammond leaves to become the GM of the Milwaukee Bucks. -Nothing but stupid little moves the entire off-season, season. -Team lost in the ECF (Boston). 2008-2009: -The Walter Sharpe sleep-disorder draft. Deron Washington almost dead last. Both busts. No Hammond. -Michael Curry hire. Hooray. -Stupid moves, including Kwame signing. The awful Chauncey for Iverson deal that put the nail in the coffin. Traded Amir to Hammond for NOTHING. -Team lost in the 1st rd. 2009-2010: -The Daye draft. Summers, Budinger and Jerebko in the 2nd rd. Must have still been some good scouts here. Traded Budinger for nothing. -Hires John Kuester. -Signs Ben Gordon and Charlie-V. -Trades Afflalo for nothing. -Brings in Wilcox, brings back Ben, Chucky. -**Inspired by LeBron. I think he gets it in his head that all we need to do is spread the court out with long shooters (Charlie, Daye, Ben.. Tay, Rip too, I guess) and Rodney Stuckey can be LeBron. Sheed is center. Defense and toughness no longer matters, or is forgotten. -Do not make playoffs. 2010-2011: -Greg Monroe, Terrico White. I don't give him much credit for Monroe. We wanted a center. He was the only center left. He wanted Cousins but couldn't figure out how to trade up. -The seasons one and only move, signing T-Mac. -Do not make playoffs. 2011-2012: -Knight, Singler, Macklin. Singler was a solid pick (thanks, scouts!). Knight was a top-3 projected who slipped to us and wasn't that good. Bad pick. Not terrible pick, thus far. I give Joe-D no credit. -Hello Lawrence Frank. -No moves to improve. Buyout Rip. Give up 1st rd. to get rid of Ben--instead of using the amnesty clause, presumably to later use it on someone else, or not. -Do not make playoffs. 2012-2013: -Drummond, Middleton, English. Another case of a top-3 pick falling into our laps. No credit for Joe-D. Middleton-thanks scouts! English, whatever. -No moves to improve team, again. Prince and Daye shipped for expiring Calderon. -Do not make playoffs. 2013-2014: -KCP, Mitchell, Siva. KCP looks awful to me. Mitchell-thanks scouts. Siva, TBD. Needed point guard. Passed on two All-Star PG's. -Hello Mo Cheeks. -Hello Josh Smith, for some reason. -Horrible Brandon Jennings trade, for some reason. -Hello Mr. Big Shot, and Gigi Datome, for some reason. -Goodbye Mo Cheeks. Fin.