The Portland Trail Blazers have employed nearly a dozen General Managers in their 43-year history. We want to know how you'd rank them.
The following list is comprised of 7 Blazers General Managers, showing their tenure plus their greatest and most dubious achievements. After you've read through it, we're asking you to take to the comment section and tell us who you think did the best and who lagged behind the others.
A couple notes:
1. "Greatest" and "Most Dubious" are subjective labels. It'd be impossible to list every decision a given GM made so we're cherry-picking highlights and "lowlights" only. You can click on the name of each specific GM for a complete recitation of moves if you want to dig deeper while making your decision.
2. Though we referenced 10 General Managers above we're going to indulge a couple conceits. Rich Cho was here for a single season so we'll leave him off for lack of track record. John Nash and Steve Patterson technically served one after the other but their regime was intertwined--Nash as GM and Patterson as President--to the point that we're going to regard them as a single entity.
3. Technically Bucky Buckwalter was never a General Manager for the Blazers. He started as an Assistant GM then assumed the Vice President of Basketball Operations title. It's hard to know how to credit him properly as his tenure overlapped with General Managers Jon Spoelstra, Geoff Petrie, and Bob Whitsitt. We're going to add him in anyway because he's Bucky Buckwalter, semi-arbitrarily assigning his influence to the years from 1986-1992 and moving Spoelstra and Petrie aside for purposes of this exercise.
Here's the list...
Great Achievements: Helped bring the NBA to Portland, drafted Bill Walton 1st overall in the 1974 NBA draft, traded Steve Hawes and Geoff Petrie for the right to draft Maurice Lucas 2nd overall in the 1976 ABA dispersal draft, and presided over the franchise's only championship.
Biggest Blunder: Traded away future League MVP Moses Malone after selecting him 5th overall in the 1976 ABA dispersal draft.
Greatest Achievements: Selected Clyde Drexler with the 14th pick of the 1983 NBA draft. (Also Jerome Kersey in 1984 and Terry Porter in 1985.)
Biggest Blunder: Selected Sam Bowie with the 2nd pick of the 1984 NBA draft.
Greatest Achievements: Drafted Arvydas Sabonis with the 24th pick of the 1986 NBA Draft, traded Walter Berry for Kevin Duckworth in 1986, traded Sam Bowie and a 1st-Round pick for Buck Williams. (Also drafted Cliff Robinson and was named Executive of the Year in 1991, the only exec to earn that distinction in Portland.)
Biggest Blunder: Traded Drazen Petrovic for Walter Davis in 1991.
Greatest Achievements: Traded Harvey Grant and Mitchell Butler to the Washington Bullets in 1996 for Rasheed Wallace, signed Brian Grant as a free agent in 1997, traded 5 players to the Houston Rockets for Scottie Pippen in 1999. Assembled the 1999-2000 contending team, in part by trading for Steve Smith and Damon Stoudamire. (Also drafted Jermaine O'Neal and Zach Randolph.)
Biggest Blunder: Traded Jermaine O'Neal and Joe Kleine to the Indiana Pacers for Dale Davis in 2000. Traded for a bloated, expensive, and substance-influenced Shawn Kemp, also in 2000. (These two moves happened on consecutive days, in fact.) Watched his club devolve into the "Jailblazers" late in his tenure.
Steve Patterson and John Nash--2003-2007
Greatest Achievements: Dispersed the Jailblazers and rescued the team from financial ruin. Through a series of draft-night machinations converted Tyrus Thomas, Viktor Khryapa, Theo Ratliff, and Sebastian Telfair into LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy in the 2006 NBA draft.
Biggest Blunder: Traded the 3rd overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft (with which the Blazers could have selected Chris Paul or Deron Williams) for picks that netted the Blazers Martell Webster, Jarrett Jack, and Joel Freeland. Became embroiled in enormous public-relations scrums with the local paper.
Greatest Achievements: Traded Darrell Arthur and Joey Dorsey on Draft Night, 2008 for the rights to Nicolas Batum. Rehabilitated public image of the franchise.
Biggest Blunder: Selected Greg Oden with the 1st overall pick of the 2007 NBA Draft.
Greatest Achievements: Selected Damian Lillard 6th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Biggest Blunder: Too early to tell but most other draft picks and free-agent signings have underwhelmed.
There you have it. If you're up to the challenge, rank these GM's 1-7 in the comment section below and let us know why you came to your decision.