At some point, the Portland Trail Blazers are going to need a general manager. And if that time is sooner rather than later, well, they are in trouble.
More than four months after the Trail Blazers started their search for a new general manager after firing Rich Cho, after interviews with at least four candidates, the team is restarting the process. They are going back to square one.
A league source said the Blazers have decided against hiring any of the candidates they have interviewed to date and that Blazers president Larry Miller spent Thursday calling them to relay the news they were no longer being considered for the job.
The Blazers have compiled a new list of candidates, with a strong emphasis on people with extensive general manager experience, and will, essentially, restart the search.
That means former Warriors GM Chris Mullin, current Clippers GM Neil Olshey, Thunder executive Troy Weaver and Spurs executive Dennis Lindsey are out of the running.
Reportedly on that new list is current 76ers GM Ed Stefanski and former Hornets GM Jeff Bower.
The problem in getting them remains the Blazers track record — they fired two good and well respected GMs in Kevin Pritchard and Rich Cho within 10 month of each other. In both cases reportedly because they didn’t mesh well enough with owner Paul Allen, not because of how well they did their jobs. Then a four month search that led nowhere. This looks from the outside like a team in front office disarray.
So if you are head hunted for this job, you are going to be hesitant. You’ll want to know what you are really getting yourself into. And you’ll want assurances.
This isn’t the first rodeo for Stefanski and Bower (or others with GM experience) so they will be cautious.
Meanwhile, if the lockout does end soon, interim GM Chad Buchanan will be the man during the free agent frenzy. He will make decisions about whether to use the amnesty provision on Brandon Roy and how to restructure a team with some real talent but who was built to have Roy as a cornerstone.
Then whomever they hire as GM eventually will have to live with Buchanan’s decisions. Although part of the issue may be they are not his decisions, but rather come from above him.