How dumb do they think we are? Larry Riley claims that he hasn't been given any orders to cut costs. Really? Expiring contract of Raja Bell, and next year's expiring contract of Vlad Rad are not the reason for trading our second best player? Trading Belineli for Devean George was meant to improve the team, not save money? They really thought that Speedy Claxton (a guy who played less than half the time he was here the first time, and didn't even get added to the team when we dressed eight and played six) and Acie Law were better for this team than Jamal Crawford? (Yes I know Larry Riley wasn't responisble for all of those moves, but I'm not even sure he really has been responsible for anything since he got here).
In the season after We Believe, we traded away J-Rich and still put together a 48 win team. Anybody remember that beautiful trade exception, that we did NOTHING with? A chance to pick up a $6-8 million player was ignored on a team that ulitmately fell one win short of the playoffs. Then, take a look at the free agent signings.. Ronnie Turiaf has been the only legitimate free agent that we signed. Maggette was a knee jerk reaction meant to piss off the Clippers and Baron, but clearly missed the point. (When you already have two guys that play the same position - Azabuike and StackJack, and have high scoring Monta on your team, it makes no sense to go after a high scoring SF - teams that are looking for that extra scoring punch like San Antonio or Orlando need Maggette, he's wasted here). Azabuike and Watson were restricted Free Agents that were forced to return to the team and then burried into a bizzare rotation.
Every move we have seen since the end of We Believe has either been a cost cutting measure, or a move made to show somebody up instead of truly fitting the need of the team. Fine, they resigned Monta and Biedrins - should we really heap praise onto management for resigning two young stars entering their prime? Oh, and they drafted Randolph and Curry, who are great players, but Randolph duplicated Wright, and Curry duplicated Monta and Crawford (who we conveniently got rid of for nothing). Stack Jack was right to ask for his way out of this place - there is no visible plan for improvement or direction of this team.
As I sit through another game where we fail to dress more than 5 guys that played in the NBA last year, I can't help but wonder what this team would look like if we had management that actually cared more about winning than saving face. But who is left to save face to? We have already sat through the Billy Owens trade, Billy Owens trade 2.0 (JRich for Wright), and Bellinelli for George. We kept coming through stay of Bimbo Coles, Nick Van Exel, and the DunMurphy Sisters. We've even kept coming as formerly hated Lakers, Fisher and George, came to our team. For the ones that kept coming through all of that, the lies won't matter and just feel like insults to our intelligence. For the ones that come because they got a free ticket for buying a sandwich or for test driving a Kia, I'm not really sure it matters to them either. So.. who's left? Who are they trying to impress?