The Portland Trail Blazers are a couple of steps away from either returning to the team of promise or……the Charlotte Bobcats! This summer will go a long way to figuring out which path the Rip City club will follow. As the team needs to rebuild, they must do it from within the front office before they even worry about the on court components.
With only a temporary architect, Chad Buchanan in place, the Blazers will spend the next two month leading up to June’s draft to secure a permanent general manager.
1) Mitch Kupchak
There is a good chance that one of these following gentlemen may be placing the title of GM next to his name starting next season.
The hottest name circulating the press wires has been Kupchak, the current GM of the LA Lakers. While Blazers team president Larry Miller has stated he would love to add Kupchak next season, he has yet to secure permission to speak to the purple and gold architect.
With grumblings of an unfriendly relationship between Mitch and the Buss camp in Staples Centre, a new challenge may be in Kupchak’s future.2) Steve Kerr
His first GM role with the Phoenix Suns may not have produced a championship banner and resulted in more twists and turns than the wooden roller coaster at Playland (Failure = Terry Porter, Shaq…Success = Jared Dudley, Jason Richardson…ok maybe the Steve Nash / Richardson rumor wouldn’t agree to this).
Kerr’s stint with Phoenix lasted only three years before he returned to his family commitments and a spot in the TNT broadcast booth. Kerr’s championship resume with the Bulls and Spurs along with his short run with the Suns, helps push him into the short list.
Mitch Kupchak is a good GM option after helping the Lakers reach success3) John Hammond
If Miller were to continue his pursuit of Hammond, who is currently trying to return the Milwaukee Bucks to prominence, it would be the second time in ten years that the position has been offered to the former NBA Executive of the Year (2010).
In 2003, Hammond was among the final candidates for the vacant GM role in Portland, but decided to maintain his position as VP of Basketball Operations for the Detroit Pistons.4) Rich Cho / Kevin Pritchard
All the parties involved in rehiring either of these two gentlemen would have to swallow a lot of pride if either of these former Blazer GM’s were to return to the front office.
While both individuals were successful during their respective tenures with the club (Pritchard – drafting Lamarcus Aldridge, trading for Brandon Roy, Cho – trading for Gerald Wallace, they were both released (unfairly, as thought by many).
When the positives for both Larry Miller and either of these two gentlemen outweigh the negatives, maybe eating a little crow might be on the menu.5) Chad Buchanan
The Blazers may not know it, but their best bet for their next GM might be their current interim GM. Having held down a position with the Trail Blazers for the past eight years, Buchanan has had the opportunity to learn the rights and wrongs from both Cho and Pritchard.
Judging from what has taken place with Buchanan at the helm, signing Wesley Matthews as a free agent, trading Wallace for a potential high lottery pick, clearing approximately $20 million in cap space.
While many want to target a big name to fill in the permanent role, it may be in the best interest of the team to hire from within and give Buchanan a chance to play out an entire off season.
Although some may question his latest transactions, blowing up the team of fan favorites, it may in fact turn out to be the best move the team has made all season.
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© Steve Lee for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |
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