This is triggered by following the lengthy, nuanced discussion that came with the post about the johnson trade. one factor to me stands out in this: role of gm (and thus ownership).
what's the biggest frustration and take home in this? ted had a chance to hire a new gm to oversee our rebuild and did minimal due diligence (my assumption, so could be wrong) and instead re-hired the guy who has a losing track record in the east as a gm with the wizards. the hawks, meanwhile, hire a great gm (who has experience in the spurs system--a model if ever one existed) and within a week that gm has opened the flood gate of possibilities, while sacrificing a short-term first round flame out in the playoffs. OKC similarly has a great gm--their issue is now to retain their coach.
while eg has made some decent moves post-abe ownership, just this summer ted had the chance to start fresh. i read his blog about nhl/nba free agency and was not impressed. what ted failed to mention is that his money is not restricted when it comes to spending on a franchise outside of salaried athletes. in other words, ted could spend 6$million a year on a superb gm, and another $10million a year on a superb coach (nothing against wittman--actually, a few things, most of all his lack of winning % as an nba coach), and another $5million combined on training and medical staff and facilities, and on an international scouting team, and even better, on a big man coach--these are in ted's power and his means as a wealthy owner. to build a business portfolio involves learning from the successful models of competitors and investing money to make money. instead, he kept eg. meanwhile, the hawks made a great hire for gm, and that gm created cap flexibility and opened up a new future for their franchise, all in one week. point of this: ted's money can make a difference, as can ted's final decision as owner of the wizards--instead, he hired eg again and hired wittman. to me, this is a big difference in looking at the okc vs. wizards, and now vs. hawks, versions of a rebuild. different ownership, or at least it seems other owners who understand the nuance of the nba much better than our owner, who must be drinking the eg-kool aid.