- Ramona Shelburne, ESPN Senior Writer
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While the Clippers will begin the free agent signing period Saturday at 9 p.m. with the three-man ad hoc front office by-committee that's been in place for the past month, support within the organization has coalesced around director of player personnel Gary Sacks, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.
Sacks, 44, has been with the organization for 17 years and is well-regarded among players and throughout the organization. He's primarily handled college scouting but has increased his responsibilities over time.
Sacks, team president Andy Roeser and head coach Vinny Del Negro have been running the Clippers' front office since former general manager Neil Olshey left to become Portland's GM in early June.
Roeser is primarily handling the search for a new GM and has had had preliminary conversations with Jim Paxson, Larry Harris, Jeff Weltman, David Griffin and Tony DiLeo, according to sources, but has only formally interviewed former Nuggets GM Kiki Vandeweghe. Griffin withdrew from consideration on Monday.
Roeser has been methodical in his approach to the search. When Olshey left so close to the draft, he determined it was best to proceed slowly and thoughtfully rather than rush to get someone in place before the June 28 draft, where the Clippers only had the 53rd overall pick.
Sacks has always been a strong in-house candidate for the job because of his strong relationships with Clippers players, staff and around the league. Support for him within the organization has ratcheted up in the last week as the team opens free agency. It's not clear whether, if hired, he would be seen as the long-term solution, or, like Olshey did in the past, would have to work on a short-term basis and prove himself.