Friday, September 9, 2011
Blazers eye two more GM candidates
By Marc Stein
Two more names have emerged in the Portland Trail Blazers’ search for a new general manager.
Sources with knowledge of Portland’s thinking told ESPN.com that the Blazers have both Cleveland Cavaliers vice president of basketball operations David Griffin and Los Angeles Clippers vice president of basketball operations Neil Olshey on their wish list.
Yahoo! Sports reported last week that Oklahoma City Thunder executive Troy Weaver had already interviewed and that the Blazers have likewise targeted highly regarded San Antonio Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey.
Sources say Griffin has interviewed with the Blazers as well.
Yahoo! has also identified ESPN analyst Chris Mullin, formerly vice president of basketball operations for the Golden State Warriors, as a Portland candidate.
The Blazers are searching for a successor to Rich Cho, who lasted only one season as the replacement for Kevin Pritchard. Blazers director of scouting Chad Buchanan served as Portland’s interim GM through the draft after Cho’s departure but withdrew from consideration for the full-time position earlier in the summer. Cho has since joined Bobcats owner Michael Jordan’s front office in Charlotte.
Griffin just completed his first season in Cleveland after a long career with the Phoenix Suns that saw him rise from an intern in the media department to the head of the front office in three different Suns administrations alongside Bryan Colangelo, Mike D’Antoni and Steve Kerr. Griffin was offered Denver’s GM vacancy in the summer of 2010 but joined the Cavaliers instead when he and the Nuggets could not agree on contractual terms.
Olshey has been the Clippers’ general manager since March 9, 2010, replacing the ousted Mike Dunleavy after joining the organization as director of player personnel in 2003-04 and eventually serving as Dunleavy’s top aide. Olshey’s contract with the Clippers, however, only runs through October 2011.