There is no such thing as “elite general manager candidates.” Sam Hinkie is acclaimed as a forward thinking genius for saying “we should suck and get high draft picks for half a decade” and I see “Jahlil Okafor fitting better into the modern NBA than Kristaps Porzingis.” Of course, his MCW and Kings trade were steals, and he deserves some applause for that context of his GM.
Even if you do think of someone, like a Hinkie, as an elite general management candidate, he was just a guy on the Rockets a few years ago- there are no specific skills or traits that make him elite. There are plenty of bright people. (I know this was a relatively small part of your article, and it doesn’t really matter the phrase just irked me).
In reference to Orlando. Yes, I agree it is hard to run an NBA team, and even the best or most capable of GMs run the risk of not seeing how teenagers pan out. However, it is a results driven NBA, and even if unfair- which Im not sure- I am not surprised.