NBA General Manager Rankings: Buford comes in at No. 3

Mike Prada of SB Nation, gave out the second edition of his annual NBA general manager rankings.

Compared to last year, there were a lot of movement in the rankings, some new faces cracked the top 10, while others move the way up or way down.

San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford again ranks near the top in his profession. He ranks third on Prada’s list this year, trailing former Spurs assistant general manager Sam Presti of the Oklahoma City Thunder at No. 2 and Miami Heat’s Pat Riley for the top spot.

Buford was ranked seventh last year.

Here’s what he have to say about Buford’s work.

STYLE: Meticulous planner.

THE GOOD: Almost everything, all the way down to making sure his team was as good as it was this past year.

THE BAD: Definitely overpaid Richard Jefferson, in a surprisingly non-Spurs move that has jacked their payroll up beyond what it should be.

BOTTOM LINE: Buford’s still one of the best GMs in the league, but he has slipped a tiny bit, and a couple others in the league have caught up.

The Spurs organization has been fortunate to have Buford and Gregg Popovich around over the years. Their work has helped orchestrate four titles over a nine-season period that ranks as one of the most memorable periods of success in modern NBA history.

Sure, the Spurs were lucky when they hit the jackpot and picked up David Robinson and Tim Duncan in the lottery. But Buford and Popovich have surrounded those franchise players with key contributors who helped bring home multiple championships. Moves like picking Tony Parker late in the first round, Manu Ginobili late in the second round and signing Bruce Bowen to a free-agent contract helped them get there.

They’ve made the right moves a lot more regularly than they have whiffed.

But the challenge for Buford and Popovich now will be to retool that core into a team that can contend for championships again without access in the draft to the very best talent like Robinson and Duncan to help in the turnaround.

It’s an extremely difficult, if not impossible, mission to accomplish.

(via Spurs Nation)


8 thoughts on “NBA General Manager Rankings: Buford comes in at No. 3

  1. Buford is a great GM but that trade for Jefferson and overpaying him, (He’s still overpaid with the his new contract) has really hurt the Spurs chances to pursue other big name free agents.

    And I still can’t forget how he and Popovich traded Luis Scola for nothing. 😦

    • Like any other human beings, Buford commits mistakes he is not perfect.

      But if someone can build a team than can compete at a high-level for a long period of time, I think he is doing something right. Buford certainly did that and maybe he has more tricks up his sleeve.

  2. Pingback: NBA General Manager Rankings: Buford comes in at No. 3 « Spurs World | | The Spurs StoreThe Spurs Store

  3. The bottom line is Buford is one of the best GM’s in the league today and he together with Popovich has helped the Spurs to stay competitive for so long that alone deserves a lot of respect.

    He should be at least number 2 on the list. Presti is good (He’s a former Spur), but I think Buford is the better GM.

    I agree with Riley being number only because he was able to convince 3 dumb founded all stars to play together. But if the Heat don’t win a title in the next NBA season, Riley should look dumb as hell! LOL!

  4. Burford is ranked # 3 behind Riley ? This whole thing lacks credibility ! The idiots behind the poll have the intelligence of a gnat !

    Riley can’t spot talent and much less assess it . Riley has only been known for coaching big names and that’s it . He’s never been able to nurture and produce talent at any level . Merely because he was able to persuade two self absorbed players to join the Heat that made him a credible candidate ? What a joke !

    As LBJ said ….” I feel that we have the potential to win multiple championships ……….. not one , not two , not three …….. whatever ! Let’s start off with one first LBJ and Pat ……… then work your way from there .

    tophatal ………

    • I think Mr. Prada gave too much credit on Riley for being able to unite Wade, LBJ and Bosh on one team. In the end they fell short, his ranking is based on what the GM’s did the past year so that’s that.

      However, in terms of long term accomplishments, I don’t have any doubt in my mind the Buford should be on the top of this list.

      Thanks for the comments and reads everyone.

      • Robby

        Prada reminds me of someone who’d simply reward the highly paid idiot executives on Wall St merely because they work there rather than for what they’ve actually accomplished . Hell what was it that Riley really achieved with the luring of Bosh and James to Miami ? Like I said when it comes to nurturing talent it’s not as if he’s accustomed to doing that over the course of his career in the NBA . If you’re building a team with alleged superstars at least have role players there also who actually know their role ! Could that be said of this Heat team ?

        And guess what should the Heat fail again to make it to the “Promised Land” then all eyes won’t just be looking at LeBron but also Riley himself and owner Micky Arison . Beyond the underachieving James and Bosh who on this roster beyond Wade would you say was actually worth a damn ?

        tophatal ………….

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