In the wake of this offseason's talent-shedding, it's really obvious to me that Pax needs to be fired.
Now, a lot of folks will point to what a cheap bastard Reinsdorf is, and say it's unfair, and even penny wise and pound foolish to never pay the tax on principle. I'd be one of those folks, in fact. But to paraphrase Dennis Green, "he is who we thought he is".
The problem is that John Paxson doesn't seem to know who Jerry Reinsdorf is. John Paxson has been here 9 years as the head basketball guy. Before that he was a broadcaster employed by the team. Before that a coach and player. So he should know.
And yet, he keeps building teams and operating under a model that's financially unsustainable given the constraints imposed by his boss. His very first go around he drastically overpaid a used up Scottie Pippen. Paying the old guy at the expense of the younger guys. The next iteration of the team he built foundered when he overpaid for more old guys (Ben Wallace and Joe Smith) and non-core guys (Andres Nocioni), team to shed younger more talented players. Over the last two years, we've seen this happen a third time, when our young core guys were "augmented" with the much older Carlos Boozer and Rip Hamilton on exorbitant contracts compared to their performance.
If he understood Reinsdorf, Paxson would not be on his third or forth iteration of rebuilding this team along lines that are obviously not sustainable based on Reinsdorf's (self imposed) restraints.
If we had Jerry Buss instead of Jerry Reinsdorf, it might make sense to sign older and/or non-core players to expensive deals because the owner would give more slack on paying the tax. But Jerry Reinsdorf is not that owner.
And because of that, we need the sort of GM that fastidiously ignores the fools gold of the sort Paxson has routinely fallen for. Instead, we need a GM that errs on the side of youth, health, lots of picks, and only really locking in to paying core talents, not falling in love with marginal guys.
A GM who employed that strategy could be successful here, even with the constraints Reinsdorf imposes. But John Paxson is not that GM.