Fishing for a Front Office
May 8, 2012, 10:28 am
The Trail Blazers’ search for a general manager has accelerated to the point that owner Paul Allen has conducted a face-to-face interview with a candidate, according to team president Larry Miller. Chris Haynes, Dwight Jaynes and Antonio Harvey weigh in on where the Blazers go from here.
Miller would not divulge the name of the candidate, but he said the interview with Allen last week was with a former general manager who has a long history in the NBA.
It was the first time a candidate has been brought to Allen since the team suspended its search in November 2011. The position has been open since May 23, 2011, when the team abruptly fired Rich Cho 10 months into his tenure.
Miller said at least three candidates will be brought in front of Allen before a decision is made.
On Monday, longtime and highly respected front office executive Donnie Walsh said he was not the man who interviewed with Allen. He also indicated that he has not even had contact with the Blazers.
The Blazers gave the possibility of hiring at GM by May 30th, when they will know where they’ll pick in the draft, and said that the ultimate goal is to have a man in place to make the decision who to draft on June 28th.
Miller said the process includes three stages: Miller makes initial contact and conducts a casual interview. If the candidate passes that, a more formal interview is set up with Miller and Bert Kolde, Allen’s confidant and the head of the Blazers’ board of directors. If a candidate passes those two stages, he is brought to Allen.
So far, Miller said he has interviewed three candidates: agent Noah Croom, former Phoenix general manager Steve Kerr and the unknown candidate who interviewed with Allen. Miller said he has more interviews lined up this week at out-of-town locations. At some point, one of Miller’s interviews will be with Indiana general manager David Morway, who was granted permission to interview with Portland by Pacers president Larry Bird. Morway on Sunday said he was “flattered” by the Blazers’ interest while adding that his main focus right now is on the Pacers’ playoff run. He said no interview date had been set.
Miller said one kink in the process is having potential candidates, such as Morway, involved in the playoffs. The Blazers have also been linked to having interest in Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and Boston general manager Danny Ainge.
Miller said the position is drawing strong interest from qualified and experienced candidates. The Blazers will have between $15 million and $20 million to spend on free agents, could have two lottery picks, and the general manager has the unique opportunity to make his own coaching hire.
Chris Haynes and the Godfather, Dwight Jaynes of Comcast Sports Net and Blazers radio analyst Antonio Harvey joined the program to break down where the Blazers go from here.