The future of Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo will finally be decided, one way or the other, by the end of Toronto's long weekend, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Smith reports that the Raptors have until Monday to officially exercise or decline Colangelo's option for the 2013/14 season.
According to Smith, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and new president/CEO Tim Leiweke have hired a head-hunting firm to whittle down the list of possible replacements for Colangelo. Two names being mentioned as potential candidates at Chicago's draft combine this week are current Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard and Thunder assistant GM Troy Weaver.
Smith notes that neither Pritchard and Weaver qualify as the sort of big-name, high-profile executive Leiweke was expected to target, given the Phil Jackson rumors. However, it's possible, according to Smith, that Leiweke is simply doing due diligence, and will ultimately stick with Colangelo and the current basketball operations staff for another year.
Head coach Dwane Casey's future also figures to be tied to the Colangelo decision. Casey has one year remaining on his contract, and Colangelo has indicated that if he's back, Casey will be too. A new head of basketball operations may decide to bring in his own coach.
Throughout this offseason we've seen dozens of players change teams, but just as important for several franchises was the movement by a few decision makers at the top. Hoopsworld.com's Derek Page took a look at several general managers who were either promoted by other teams or simply decided a new city might be a better fit. Here's a rundown of a few.
Neil Olshey: The former Clippers GM who now finds himself in Portland, Olshey goes from a team in contention for an immediate championship to one that appears to be rebuilding from the bottom up. Olshey's decision to change teams was impacted by the Clippers decision to pay him less than a competitive wage, but it's still a tough move to rationalize when looking at it strictly through a basketball lens.
Rob Hennigan: When you're young and an assistant general manager for a successful team, as Hennigan was for the Thunder, other franchises who're in desperate situations might find you attractive. That's exactly what happened with the Magic and Hennigan, who goes from one of the most promising situations to a long-term project.
Kevin Pritchard: With previous experience as the general manager of Portland, Pritchard heads into this new role alongside former Knicks general manager Donnie Walsh as the two prepare to take a young, small market team and make it a permanent contender.
The Pacers have made their front office changes official, announcing at a press conference this morning that Larry Bird will step down as president of basketball operations. Donnie Walsh will take over for Bird as the team's president, while Kevin Pritchard will replace David Morway and become the team's new general manager, tweets Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star.Wells reported yesterday that Bird would be leaving the Pacers, at least in part due to health issues. The team also announced Morway's resignation in a press release. The duo had plenty of success in the Pacers' front office, with Bird winning the league's Executive of the Year award last month, and Morway having drawn interest this offseason from a number of teams searching for a new GM, including the Trail Blazers, Magic, and Clippers. The team's new pair, Walsh and Pritchard, will work together, but Walsh will have the final say on basketball decisions, says Wells (via Twitter).
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported that the Pacers intended to promote Pritchard to GM.
3:13pm: GM David Morway has resigned, the Pacers announced today in a press release, confirming Wells' report below that suggested Morway was no longer employed by the team.
"While I deeply care about this franchise, sometimes change is important for everyone concerned," Morway said in a statement. "For the past year I have carefully and thoughtfully considered my personal, family and professional goals. After discussing all of these issues with our owner, Herb Simon, and Larry [Bird], I believe this is the right time to step away."winning the NBA's Executive of the Year award, Larry Bird will step down from his role as Pacers president, reports Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star. Bird is "100% sure" he won't return to the Pacers for next season, and will meet with team owner Herb Simon today to finalize his departure. According to Wells, Bird is dealing with some health issues, and will take at least a year off before deciding whether to return to a front-office position.
The move is the latest in an offseason shakeup for Indiana's front office. The team recently brought Donnie Walsh on board, and it appears now that he'll be Bird's replacement as club president, though that's yet to be made official. Kevin Pritchard has also taken on an expanded role, while former GM David Morway is no longer employed by the Pacers, according to Wells.
Bird had served as the Pacers' president of basketball operations since 2003.
Earlier today we learned that Pacers president Larry Bird will meet with team owner Herb Simon next week, likely to finalize a deal that will keep the Executive of the Year in Indiana, setting up Kevin Pritchard's promotion to general manager and current GM David Morway's exit from the team. Since Pritchard and Morway have both been in the discussion for the Magic's GM opening, today's news has had an effect on more than one front office.
6:33pm: Larry Bird and Pacers owner Herb Simon are expected to meet next week, tweets Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star. Bird must finalize a deal to stay with Indiana for Pritchard's promotion to become official.
4:57pm: When Larry Bird finalizes a new deal to remain president of the Pacers, he plans to promote Kevin Pritchard to general manager, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. According to Wojnarowski, Pritchard's promotion will spell the end of David Morway's successful tenure as Pacers GM.
Pritchard had been a candidate for the GM job in Orlando, where he reportedly might have teamed up with Tom Penn, a salary cap expert with whom Pritchard worked in Portland. Pritchard joined the Blazers as player personnel director in 2004/05 and held the GM job from 2007-10, compiling a mixed resume that included the drafting of LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Brandon Roy. His most prominent move was probably his worst, drafting Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant with the No. 1 overall selection in 2007. Pritchard was fired just before the draft in 2010, and became Indiana's player personnel director last summer. The Pacers brought Pritchard aboard despite the skepticism of Morway and owner Herb Simon, Wojnarowski writes, but Bird's trust in Pritchard, a former teammate from their playing days, won out.
Morway's name has come up often in connection with teams looking for general managers this spring. He interviewed for the Blazers job before it went to Neil Olshey, and is a candidate for the position in Orlando. His exit from Indiana comes as a surprise to many league executives who credit Morway with the recent success the Pacers have had, Wojnarowski writes.
It also ends speculation that Bird, who won Executive of the Year this season, would leave the Pacers, and probably extinguishes any chance of Donnie Walsh returning to an NBA front office this year. Walsh had been linked to the Magic job, but he seemed more interested in an opening with the Pacers.
We already heard from new Blazers' general manager Neil Olshey tonight, who implied that he all but has his mind made up that the man to fill Portland's coaching vacancy should be interim head coach Kaleb Canales. Portland is one of multiple franchises that needs to make decisions coaching and front office decisions this offseason. Let's look at some of those latest rumors as well as a couple more notes from around the league on this Tuesday night:
Earlier today we rounded up the latest from Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld on the Magic's search for a new GM, and the news continues to come in from Orlando as well as from Portland, where the Blazers are also looking for a GM. Here's what we're hearing:
As the Magic's search for a general manager continues, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld examines the potential candidates and shares what he's hearing on Orlando's plans. Here are some of the highlights:
It's been a busy week for the Magic, who fired coach Stan Van Gundy and parted ways with GM Otis Smith on Monday. Dwight Howard still may want out of Orlando, however, and the team could be open to accommodating him. Meanwhile, the team's search for a new general manager has them targeting Mitch Kupchak of the Lakers, but not Shaquille O'Neal. Let's check in on the latest out of Orlando: