From Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski:
The Portland Trail Blazers have empowered a private headhunting firm to research and reach out to potential general manager candidates, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The use of the firm is further evidence embattled GM Kevin Pritchard has fallen out of favor with ownership and likely will be replaced before next season.
At least two current NBA front-office executives have been targeted, sources confirmed, and the firm has also made several fact-finding calls about Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti.
Read the entire story. One other thing that stuck out to me was, “some potential candidates are uneasy about the ownership dynamic in Portland.” No kidding.
This doesn’t necessarily seal Pritchard’s face, as the team could, theoretically just being seeing if there is even an upgrade or lateral move — to a more “acceptable” personality, for them, I’d guess — but that’s not even glass half-full thinking, that’s glass-overflowing-with-an-abundance-of-fresh-water-thinking, at least until we hear more. The main takeaway is simple, the Blazers are very serious about moving on with their GM position.
I stand by the position that this would be a monumentally silly move BUT, if the team is going through with this, Presti is absolutely one of the best possible candidates. That said, Presti seems fairly committed to a good thing in Oklahoma City, and there doesn’t seem to be much reason for him to leave barring a huge financial offer from Portland. And even then, I don’t know why he would leave. At the moment, I’d guess his inclusion in the story is primarily because he is the biggest name Wojnarowski heard of in his reporting.
UPDATE: I haven’t been able to post this as internet has been down, but here are some updates from Jason Quick, posted on Twitter late last night:
Paul Allen declines comment on Kevin Pritchard. Spokesman says Allen “won’t talk about personnel until decisions are made.’’
KP on Saturday watches a movie, hears about Yahoo! report and declines comment. Sez he will continue to do his job and prepare for draft.
Name heard today as a possible target for Paul Allen in his hunt for the next Blazers GM: Jerry West.