Here is my observation.
While many of us have given Ted and EG a good bit of bashing over many things, lets see what's left and what it looks like is different about the players they are adding. Look at the kind of players they used to add and what kind they are adding now. For me, I see something different in what they are doing since the Nene trade.
Over the years, EG never used to give enough weight to smart/personality. Gil, Crawford, McGee, Nick, Critter. I could even add D Sleez in there. Talent... yes but to much Sleez/Steez. Nick and McGee were just Gil was mentally special and I never though the team would go anywhere with him. Critter was pretty much insane. Bulter was solid. AJ was good but played zero defense. He would add players that had talent, but to many had questionable personalities regarding what works for a winning professional NBA basketball team. If you are trying to build a winning team, personality and smarts need to be considered first before talent, not after. Professionalism and character matter a ton on a winning basketball team. It's a small locker room and everyone on the court matters when there are only 5 players out there to get it done.
But for all we can complaining about Ted, it does seem that since he took over there is a different standard. Nene, Okafor, Webster, Trevor A, Beal. All of them are in a completely different class regarding personality type. Even Temple fits in with the second grouping. I would rate all of those players with A or B grades regarding the qualities of maturity, professional, good personality and smart.
With the removal of J Craw, it does look like the culture change pretty much complete. What remains is a group of players with no bad eggs with smart mature professionals leading them. The remaining younger players are good kids that will follow the lead of those players and the HC. Some are still questionable when it comes to smart. Kevin makes some very unwise decisions but he appears to be teachable and making some progress. He might not be an Okafor smart type of player but he does appear to be learning.
Example for Kevin. In yesterdays game I saw one sequence where they passed it inside to him after he got position. He tried to work for an angle to score. Took a dribble then passed it out. He reset. The ball came back to him. He tried to work it again and to my surprise, he passed it back out again then the PG worked it around the perimeter to another shoot on the corner. All of this happened very quickly without over dribbling. That is a new trick for Mr Kevin S. That shows he is learning.
Since adding Nene, I see a trend. Okafor, Trevor A, Temple. Even Livingston and Mack fit that personality mold, they just didn't have enough talent. Talent does matter, but personality have to come first. From here, the team needs to keep adding talent but only if that talent measures up to the personality and intelligence level of the new core. I have harped on this for a long long time and it finally looks like they are doing things differently.
As for young player, Beal is the standard. I was won over after watching my first interview of him. That was really all it took and I was locked in while his draft position slow caught up with what I saw. He was slotted 11th at the time and all the talk was about Anthony Davis and MKG. I said we need BEAL. He ended up going #3 and if Charlotte was smart, he would have gone #2. I know the position the team most needed to fill and what skills that player needed to have. It was his personality and maturity that lead me to believe he would be something special and would fit perfectly with this team that was looking to rebuild and needed a SG.
For vets, Nene, Okafor, and Webster are the standard. Nene for McGee was a huge huge win. He added exactly the personalty and skills they needed to add and in doing it, they removed McGee who was the opposite. McGee didn't have to skills they needed to anchor the D nor the personality. Considering they would have to commit to 10M plus over several year to keep McGee, getting Nene for him was a huge steal of a trade. Specially when you consider that one move was the anchor move in the culture change. Many my look to the Wall pick, but it was adding Nene that really started to turn this team around.
So I see this as a new team now. And if the trend continues, I feel pretty good that they will only add pieces that measure up to this new standard. The good news is, the draft seems to plenty of this type in it.
They have to find the best fit of personality, smarts, maturity, motor, need, and skills combination. To many people just focus on skill or need. First you have to measure up to the things in the beginning of that list.
So yeah, they could have done better in getting value back for Dray and Crawford. But lets focus on what is left and what is different about the players they have been adding since they added Nene. Something does appear to be different in their metrics. They now seem to be giving a much higher priority to personality/maturity/smarts over just potential, height or skill.