Mike Tannenbaum discussed why the deal for Antonio Cromartie was so important yesterday.
"We thought corner was an absolute must," Tannenbaum said on ESPN New York (via Sports Radio Interviews). "We felt that we had to improve that position. So Cromartie was the key to the offseason because, looking at our options, it was the Cromartie trade -– or it was the 29th pick in the draft. To get that out of the way, we really enhanced our draft because now we can say that whatever happens in the draft, we can take whoever we want. Move up, move down we can get what we want. Without Cromartie, at the 29th pick in the draft, we would have taken a corner."
This is one of the reasons I like Mike so much. He understands the necessity of filling needs through free agency and trades. It's all about flexibility entering the Draft. When a team does not have needs, it can find the best player available. Teams get into trouble when they become fixated on one position and pass over better players capable of helping them more for a longer time. They often make picks they shouldn't.
Best example? In 1984 the Portland Trail Blazers were so obsessed with taking a center in the NBA Draft, they picked Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan. Don't you think they could have found some other way to address center?