What Portland did at the trade deadline was start to wipe the slate clean… or mostly clean. There are guys you want to keep on the roster — LeMarcus Aldridge, to be obvious — and guys that still need to be moved (Raymond Felton). But Portland now has a lot of picks and some cap space to maneuver, to start to reshape the roster. It’s something they want to do fast, not build slowly.
Portland has a chance to pick its new direction and build toward it. Of course, that begs the questions what direction? And who is doing the choosing?
Right now acting general manager Chad Buchanan is making the choices, but ownership has said he is not the guy long term. They still need to find that guy. More than 10 months after letting go of former GM Rich Cho, the Blazers are starting their GM search up again, reports the Oregonian.
Team president Larry Miller said the team has reopened its search for a general manager. Go ahead, get your jokes in. What’s the rush, right? It’s only been 308 days since Rich Cho was fired.
Oregonian Blazers beat writer Jason Quick thinks they have their eye on Steve Kerr, the former Suns front office guy who now is back to broadcasting on TNT.
Whoever it is, Portland needs to find a coach and a GM that are on the same page and building toward the same style of play. Whatever that style may be. Just pick one and then get players to fit it, do not just assemble random talent.
While ownership takes its time picking a long-term GM, the short term one is the guy buying the groceries. And Buchanan told Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com (via IamaGM.com) that he is willing to trade those picks get good players who can help now.
“That’s definitely something that would be appealing for us,” said Chad Buchanan, the acting general manager. “A big part of acquiring that pick (first rounder this year from the Nets), we realize that there’ll be value not only to us in the draft but also to other teams where you might be able to flip that high pick into a proven player that is ready to help your team now.
“At the end of the day, if it’s two lottery picks in a pretty strong draft, we’re OK adding that to our team and trying to add the proven veterans through free agency. We like to have the flexibility to do either.
“We’re open to moving one of those picks for a proven player. But we also like a lot of the players that could potentially be in that draft range. We feel like it’s kind of a win-win for us.”
So to sum up, Portland has a lot of flexibility and draft picks and are likely to do just about anything with all of it. Also, they are starting to look for a captain to steer the ship in whatever direction is eventually chosen. Oh, and they need a coach for next year, too.
It’s going to be an interesting off-season in the Northwest.