9:27pm: A new name has been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Chris Grant. Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.com (via Twitter), has heard that TNT analyst Kenny Smith might be considered for the position. Smith had previously had discussions with the Kings about their vacant GM job over the summer. Smith hasn’t commented yet, but when the Kings job was in play, he stated, “Honestly, I’ve been looking at both — coaching, and a lot of things have been coming these last couple of years, and this time I’ve been taking it serious. My kids are at an age where I feel comfortable. And the other years, the kids were just too young. I didn’t want to be in it. But I just started taking it serious.”
2:57pm: Interim GM David Griffin is expected to have a shot at keeping his job long-term, writes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, but there are already other candidates. The Cavs have performed a background check on Knicks director of pro personnel Mark Hughes, and Cleveland is also expected to reach out to Raptors executive vice president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman, Berger reports. Berger’s sources also indicate Clippers executive vice president of player personnel Gary Sacks could become a candidate.
Weltman was a finalist for the Suns GM post this summer before Phoenix picked Ryan McDonough instead. He has family ties to the Cavs, for whom his father, Harry Weltman, served as GM in the 1980s. Berger suggests that Sacks could be anxious to seek greater control than he has with the Clippers, who took away some of his powers when they hired Doc Rivers.
Berger also expects the Cavs to pursue Phil Jackson, given owner Dan Gilbert’s affinity for splashy names, but that appears to be merely an educated guess. Berger names a handful of other qualified candidates, though none of them are formally linked to the job.