Bob Myers, Dennis Lindsey, and Masai Ujiri are each relatively new to their current jobs, having taken over as their respective teams' general managers within the last 16 months. Myers, a former agent, now works in the Warriors front office, Lindsey is the GM of the Jazz, and Ujiri was hired earlier this summer as the head of basketball operations for the Raptors.
All three GMs have made interesting moves this offseason, with Myers and Lindsey completing a blockbuster three-team trade that sent multiple expiring contracts to Utah along with a few of Golden State's future draft picks. Meanwhile, Ujiri dealt former first overall pick Andrea Bargnani to the Knicks, and shored up Toronto's bench by signing Tyler Hansbrough and D.J. Augustin.
Myers, Lindsey, and Ujiri each spoke to Jimmy Spencer of Bleacher Report about the offseason and how the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement dictates what teams can and can't do. The entire piece is worth reading, but here are a few of the more interesting quotes from the three GMs:
Myers, on how team-building has changed within the last year or two:
"I think people are being more fiscally responsible and maybe a bit more conservative. Teams were not as aggressive on spending. The top-of-the-line free agents weren’t able to demand high-level compensation, though some of that middle class did get compensated as normal. Overall, though, I think a pretty decent portion was paid less than in the past."
Lindsey, on the effects of the league's new CBA:
"Whenever there is a new collective bargaining agreement in any league, teams, capologists or lawyers are trying to get their arms around the rules. Mechanically, what’s different on a micro level? On a macro level, certainly the tax system and aggressive penalties have come into play within teams’ long-term planning and short-term planning because of repeater tax issues. Many teams were anticipating a set of rules with the new CBA and did some real pre-CBA planning. It’s more than a one-year thing; several teams have planned for this."
Ujiri, on whether he feels like he knows the CBA inside and out:
"You try to study as much as you can. In my mind, I think I know it all, but you never do — that’s the truth. You keep trying to learn and learn, and to be honest, there is so much to learn. We also all try to figure out ways to gain advantages through the language of the CBA and going around it. I used to always ask [former Nuggets assistant GM] Pete D'Alessandro: 'Can we really do that? Call the NBA and ask, make sure we can really do that.' It always happens, we are all so happy in thinking we have gone around it, and all of the sudden you can’t."
Myers, on whether certain types of players were undervalued or overvalued this summer:
"It’s in the eye of the beholder like anything; this is an art as much as it is a science. I tried, personally, not to speculate and make knee-jerk reactions to free-agent signings. You don’t know, to be honest, whether it’s your own player or any player assigned to any team, how that contract is going to play out. I can tell you most of the time it’s going to be different than what you envisioned. Whether you are going to get a great deal or a less-than-great deal, you don’t know. There’s a human element to this. It’s hard to say what contracts are good or not; all you can do is make the best judgement call you can and try to be fiscally responsible."