I have no doubt that being an NBA general manager is a very tough job. Pax at least cleaned up the mess that Jerry Krause left behind, getting us into the playoffs and into the second round.
But one of the recurring criticisms is that he has never been able to secure a low post scorer. In 2006 he drafted Tyrus Thomas and in 2007 he drafted Joakim Noah. They've shown us glimpses, but seldom have they put together a number of impressive games as starters, and they have certainly never put up the kinds of big numbers that Marc Gasol put up yesterday.
27 points and 16 rebounds! He also tallied 1 assist, 1 steal and 3 blocks. Forget about the first couple of games in their rookie seasons--can you imagine Tyrus or Joakim ever doing this in the league??
In Paxson's defense, Marc was drafted well into the 2nd round of the draft, #48 in 2007 (the Bulls picked Aaron Gray with #49, and Gray is a horribly, horribly slow oaf of an NBA big man). So Pax certainly was not alone in thinking that Marc was not a top-shelf talent. But the reality of the situation is that Pax is being paid to spot talent where other GM's don't. Krause's big claim to fame was the swindling of Pippen from the Sonics, who failed to see what kind of special player he could be. RC Buford has time and time again selected future stars from the draft that other GM's passed on. Dumars has built a perennial contender by taking the castoffs of other teams.
So Pax shouldn't be judged according to what other GM's also failed to see. He should be judged on his ability to assemble a competitive team, which includes filling certain needs.
Pax has now had over 5 and a half years to find one decent low post presence. And it looks like the best he can do is Aaron Gray. Oh and by the way, your team is in disarray, your big stud small forward is playing like he's never been on a basketball court before, and if not for the sheer dumb luck of #1 overall, this team would still be looking for its first win.