With the Atlanta Hawks eliminated from the playoffs, changes could be in order on the court and in the front office. General manager Rick Sund, in the last year of his contract, has drawn interest from the Portland Trail Blazers, according to sources.
The Blazers recently asked the Hawks for permission to speak to Sund, but Hawks ownership refused to grant permission until its season ended. Sund agreed with ownership's stance.
"I don't want to discuss anything until the end of the season," Sund said by telephone before Thursday's season-ending 83-80 loss to the Boston Celtics. "At the end of the season, we'll address the future."
Sund's contract ends on June 30 and the Hawks have attempted to initiate talks about a contract extension. However, Sund, in his fourth year in Atlanta, has insisted on keeping his options open, the sources said.
While no interview with Portland had been scheduled as of late Thursday night, a meeting between Sund and the Blazers is likely.
The 60-year-old Sund is very familiar with the Pacific Northwest, having served as the GM of the Seattle Supersonics from 2001-2007. An NBA lifer, Sund has been in the league for roughly 38 years, working in the front offices of the Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks, in addition to the Sonics and Hawks.
The Blazers have interviewed Indiana GM David Morway and former New Orleans GM Jeff Bower, as well as had discussions with TNT analyst and former Suns executive Steve Kerr, about their vacant GM position. Sources also told ESPN.com that Portland has interest in Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak.