The NBA hasn't had a player serve as a team's general manager since Michael Jordan simultaneously ran and played for the Washington Wizards nearly two decades ago. Now Jordan's original team, the Chicago Bulls, is looking for a GM of its own, and Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie publicly lobbied for the job on Wednesday through Twitter.
That didn't just mean a statement of interest, though. Dinwiddie took things to the next level with an incredible 11-tweet thread detailing every step of his master plan to turn the Bulls into championship contenders. Here is an incomplete list of moves he would try to make:
- Trade Tomas Satoransky to the Nets for himself so that he could be his own starting point guard for the Bulls.
- Sign with Klutch Sports in an attempt to curry enough favor for Rich Paul to convince Chicago-native Anthony Davis to join the Bulls in an offseason sign-and-trade. Thaddeus Young, Cristiano Felicio, Wendell Carter Jr. and a first-round pick would go to the Lakers.
- Use a sweetener to dump Luke Kornet and Ryan Arcidiacano in order to create the cap space to sign Moe Harkless.
- Sign another 3-and-D veteran, ideally Terrence Ross or Marcus Morris. Where that cap space comes from is unclear.
- Offer Otto Porter to Cleveland for Andre Drummond so that Davis can play power forward, as is his preference. In Dinwiddie's scenario, the Bulls "are opening up transparent communication with AD, he gonna be running things on the low."
- Sign "Jared Dudley types" presumably for the minimum to help the locker room while keeping fan-favorites like Antonio Blakeney, Shaq Harrison, Chandler Hutchison and Daniel Gafford for the bench. Coby White, Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen are staying put.
At this point, you're probably wondering if this is tampering. The answer is complicated. Article 35, section (e) of the NBA's bylaws does lay out the definition of player-to-player tampering as follows:
"Any Player who, directly or indirectly, entices, induces, persuades or attempts to entice, induce, or persuade any Player, Coach, Trainer, General Manager or any other person who is under contract to any other Member of the Association to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services or negotiates or contracts for such services shall, on being charged with such tampering, be given an opportunity to answer such charges after due notice and the Commissioner shall have the power to decide whether or not the charges have been sustained; in the event his decision is that the charges have been sustained, then the Commissioner shall have the power to suspend such Player for a definite or indefinite period, or to impose a fine not exceeding $50,000, or inflict both such suspension and fine upon any such Player."
Here's where things get complicated. Dinwiddie isn't enticing, inducing or persuading someone who is under contract with a member of the association (a team in non-lawyer speak) to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services. He is not asking Davis to sign with his real team, the Nets, in a public forum. He is playing out a fictional scenario in which he becomes general manager of the Bulls, which is not going to happen for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the Bulls have zeroed in on Denver executive Arturas Karnisovas for the position according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
In any case, the NBA tends to turn a blind eye to potential player tampering. LeBron James literally said on national television "tampering rules do not apply on All-Star Weekend" after selecting every available pending free agent during the 2019 All-Star Draft. Dinwiddie himself has widely been reported as one of the driving forces behind Kyrie Irving joining the Nets after the two took a Harvard class together.
Now, onto the nuts and bolts of this plan, and we'll assume for the moment that the Nets willingly trade Dinwiddie for Satoransky (which they absolutely would not). The immediate flaw is the notion that Davis would join the Bulls. While he has Kawhi Leonard did just that in ditching the defending champion Toronto Raptors for his hometown Los Angeles Clippers, but Leonard didn't push to join the Raptors specifically as Davis did for the Lakers. Even if he decided to play for the Bulls, the Lakers wouldn't accept Chicago's bad contracts to facilitate it. They'd be better off letting him walk for free. It's an ambitious and worthwhile plan, but sadly, Dinwiddie probably isn't luring 2020's top free agent.of leaving the Lakers in free agency, the idea of leaving a 49-14 team after one year is pretty farfetched. Granted,
But the basic plan to build around if he had is fairly solid. He knows Davis well enough to know that he'd need to find a traditional center to keep him happy, and Cleveland's logjam of bigs makes them a reasonable trade candidate. He seeks out the right kind of role players for his high-scoring backcourt in 3-and-D wings and chemistry-oriented veterans. He even acknowledges the reality of superstars having an outsize influence on their teams' operations.
The premise of the plan is ridiculous and some of the details need to be fine-tuned (such as these Bulls having nearly limitless cap space), but all things considered, the Bulls could do worse than Dinwiddie if they committed to hiring an active player to run their basketball operations. He seems to grasp the fundamentals of roster construction and is clearly a creative basketball thinker. If nothing else, he really couldn't be worse than John Paxson and Gar Forman have been for the past several years. The Bulls are looking for a GM for a reason, and after several of their top candidates dropped out, Dinwiddie is at the very least their most enthusiastic applicant. He is not going to be Chicago's new GM, but the Bulls could do far worse.