Four names to watch (and one not to watch) to be the next Trail Blazers GM
After a decade at the helm, Neil Olshey was fired as general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Officially, Olshey was fired for “breaching the Trail Blazers’ code of conduct,” creating a toxic work environment. However, he also left a mess on the pitch behind (good luck finding someone who doesn’t think that was part of the decision). While Olshey said the roster wasn’t the problem at Portland last season, this season has shown that this is clearly a big part of the problem – and it fits awfully with the more aggressive defensive style the new coach has. Chauncey Billups wants to play.
Whoever the new GM is, he has a lot of work to do – work that includes keeping Damian Lillard happy and long term in Portland (things may go beyond the point of no return, little doesn’t matter what the next CEO will do, but it has to be priority # 1).
There is a lot of cleaning to be done and Joe Cronin has been promoted to Acting General Manager. Who could get this long-term job? Here are five names to watch out for.
1) Scott Perry
Perry is currently the general manager of the New York Knicks, but he works for team president Leon Rose, who has the hammer on the decisions. Perry is currently number 2 and a move to Portland would move him to the big seat. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports has said Perry will be given heavy consideration.
Perry has a 20-year resume in the league, including stops in Orlando, Sacramento, Seattle and Detroit. He has a reputation for building strong relationships around the league and he has a long list of contacts.
2) Marc Eversley
Eversley is the general manager of the Chicago Bulls, but like with Perry in New York, he’s really No.2 in that front office, in this case working for Arturas Karnisovas. Eversley is also highly respected in the league and has worked in Toronto, Washington and Philadelphia. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports also came up with Eversley’s name.
3) Brent Barry
A 14-year NBA player, NBA television analyst and front office manager, Barry is currently vice president of basketball operations for the San Antonio Spurs. He has less front office experience than Perry or Eversley (four years) but has a long history in the game and connections throughout. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report came up with this.
4) Danny Ainge
From the moment it was clear that Olshey was in trouble, Ainge’s name popped up – but usually from people outside of Portland. Ainge is originally from Oregon, having grown up in Eugene (less than a few hours outside of Portland). The longtime Celtics executive stepped down from that role ahead of the start of this season, and it’s unclear if he wants to return to leading a full-time squad or if he would like more. a consultant role (Ã la Jerry West).
5) Tayshaun Prince will not get the job
Prince, a former teammate of Portland Billups coach, currently works at the Grizzlies front office and has been linked to work by Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. However, Jason Quick – the longtime Trail Blazers insider, now with The Athletic – took that down.
A popular name proposed to replace Neil Olshey in Portland has been Tayshaun Prince, who is the Memphis Grizzlies ‘front office vice president and former Blazers coach Chauncey Billups’ teammate. However, a source said Prince is not a candidate at the moment.
– Jason Quick (@jwquick) December 3, 2021
The smart money at the start is on Perry or Eversley, but it won’t be easy to take them out of those jobs in the big markets.