The Wizards got good when Grunfeld took over, who is a very smart basketball guy.
MJ was bad with personnel decisions, was toxic in the lockerroom, backstabbed the front office, and badmouthed his own boss (the owner).
Trading away Juwann Howard wasn't nearly that hard because Cuban and Nelson were in free spending mode and had some bad contracts to swap out.
Trading Rip was a big mistake.
Using the Chicago argument as support on why not to trade the No. 1 pick for Brand is a stupid argument.
A trio of Brand, Rip and Jordan would have made the playoffs.
A good move he did make, which you didn't mention, was signing Larry Hughes.
He's like McHale - a great player, but a bad GM.