First comes the new general manager. Then comes the decision on Dwight Howard.
The first part of that decision could come by the end of the week, reports magicbasketballonline.com.
A source close to the decision making process within the Orlando Magic organization has informed me that the team is close, and likely to name their new General Manager by the end of the week….
More importantly, my source has also said that the new GM will make the decision on Dwight.
Is there really much of a decision there? Either he commits — which by all reports he is not willing to do — or you have to shop him around. Why would you invite the circus of last season back to town?
As for who gets to make that call? A lot of people have been linked to the job. The biggest names are former Knicks GM Donnie Walsh (who the Knicks said could talk to other teams) and current Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak (who may not have been given that right). Also discussed have been former Hornets GM Jeff Bower, former Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard and current Thunder assistant GM Rob Hennigan.
Whoever gets the job, he better like rebuilding projects.
We all had our laugh, time to get serious about the Orlando Magic general manager search.
How about this for a start, from Ken Berger at CBSSports.com — Mitch Kupchak of the Lakers.
So while there have been no public indications that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak will be available or wants to leave Los Angeles, Kupchak is expected to be among the first wave of candidates the Magic pursue, one of the sources said…
The Magic also are interested in speaking with Pacers general manager David Morway and former Hornets GM Jeff Bower, both of whom have interviewed twice for the Trail Blazers’ opening, and former Portland GM and current Pacers executive Kevin Pritchard, sources said. Magic officials believe former Pacers and Knicks president Donnie Walsh would be a good fit, but sources say the team is convinced that if Walsh returns to a front-office job, it will be in Indiana in the likely event team president Larry Bird retires.
I have heard from multiple sources that Kupchak is not happy with the Lakers — working closely with Jim Buss, son of long-time owner Jerry — and is looking to get out.
However, Kupchak said on Wednesday that he has not intention of leaving the Lakers and that working with the Buss family was “the best job,” as reported in the Orange County Register. Kupchak is ever the straight shooter and company man and would never say anything to harm the Buss family or the organization. It’s not his style.
Whether it is Kupchak or someone else, the Magic are clearly looking for a veteran GM to take the helm and set a direction. From there a coach will be hired, but the GM will be first. Which is as it should be.
Jason Kidd is not ready to retire after this season.
He will be 40 next season but has played solidly this season — 5.9 points and 5.2 assists per game with a PER of 12.4. He might be reduced to being a backup — especially if he returns to Dallas and they fulfill their goal of landing Deron Williams — but he is not ready to hang them up.
But when he does, he has a plan — he wants to be a general manager. He wants to go from organizing a team on the court to organizing the team from off it.
Here’s his quote, from Alex Kennedy at Hoopsworld (via SLAM).
“I would like to go upstairs,” Kidd said. “I’d like to be the person who puts all of the pieces together. We’ll see if that works out.”
It’s a tough transition to make — just because a guy has the athleticism and is considered a smart player doesn’t mean he really is good at player evaluations. Most of the time when you hear a player suggest a trade, it’s a bad idea. It also tends to go the better the player the worse they are at it. Plus, for modern players being a front office guy is a lot of long hours for a whole lot less money than they were just making.
But there have been and still are exceptions — Jerry West, Danny Ainge, Pat Riley, John Paxson, and Mitch Kupchak, just to name a few.
Jason Kidd maybe can be one of those exceptions. He certainly is a cerebral player. And he’ll get a chance (maybe in Dallas), someone will give him a shot.