Who’s Got Next – Part 2: As the NBA season comes to a close on Wednesday a number of coaches and executives will likely be let go, especially personalities on teams that failed to meet expectations. Last season saw 13 coaching changes and eight front office hires. There won’t be nearly as many open front office jobs, but it looks like three or four opportunities could surface. Last week we took a look at some of those jobs and worked through a list of possible candidates.
Like most lists, the feedback from around the league offered up several more names to consider, so here is the second wave of ‘likely to get interviewed’ front office candidates.
Doug Collins: As bad as it went for Collins in his final days with Philadelphia, there is still a sense that he has some fans among NBA owners looking for a “face-of-the-franchise” guy. It’s possible that Collins gets his name associated with some of the front office jobs that come up, but there is doubt in NBA circles that Collins would be back with a team so quickly. When it comes to known candidates Collins is that, but its seems unlikely that he is hired this year, but he does seem like someone that’s going to get linked to jobs based on feedback from others around the league.
Joe Dumars: The worst kept secret in the NBA is that Dumars is out in Detroit. Those around the process call it a mutual decision. Reports from the region say Dumars will hang around as an adviser to the team while he finds his next job. Word is he may have one, and it’s not the Cavaliers, however other things have to play out first. Do not be surprised to see Dumars land in a team president’s chair fairly quickly after the season ends and teams begin to make changes.
Tony Ronzone: Currently with the Dallas Mavericks as Director of Player Personnel, Ronzone is a seasoned veteran. He has coached at virtually every level and was responsible for international scouting for Team USA for years. Ronzone was the first American to coach the Chinese National team and has organized and held clinics in more than 50 countries. He’s won gold medals and NBA championships. Ronzone has a track record for finding the diamond-in-the-rough type players and is a world traveler. Ronzone was in the mix for the Sacramento job last year and was a name mentioned by several insiders as one of the better pure basketball guys of the bunch. Few would-be front office candidates have Ronzone’s basketball pedigree. He is absolutely a name to watch this summer.
Chad Buchanan: When asked to list potential candidates for soon-to-open General Manager spots, Buchanan’s name was one of the first mentioned by a wide range of NBA insiders. Buchanan acted as the interim general manager in Portland prior to the hiring of Neil Olshey and is well liked and respected in NBA circles. Buchanan is currently the Director of College Scouting for the Blazers, and combined with the team’s draft history and their current on-court success Buchanan is a name to watch, especially as teams look for a new face and a new direction.
»In Related: Top 100 NBA Draft Prospects.
David Morway: Most of what the Indiana Pacers have today came on Morway’s watch. The Pacers have always had a complex decision making hierarchy and Morway typically played the role of day-to-day manager. Morway is a smooth front-facing executive who is smart with the cap and a good day-to-day leader. As teams like New York look for someone to run the show every day, Morway becomes an interesting candidate. Morway was one of the finalists for the Sacramento Kings job and was in the running for Phoenix too. It’s very likely that Morway is at the head of the class this summer as well. Morway is currently the Assistant General Manager in Milwaukee and with the team potentially being sold this summer, change at the top in Milwaukee could push the current staff out and open that situation up for new faces there too.
Bobby Marks: Another name that appeared on virtually everyone’s list was Brooklyn’s Bobby Marks, in fact there was talk last summer that Marks was on Memphis’ radar to replace Chris Wallace, who was doing the dance with Sacramento. Marks is highly respected both for his understanding of the front office of a NBA team, but also as a scout and talent evaluator. Most insiders who commented on potential openings labeled Marks as a ‘can’t miss hire’.
»In Related: NBA Team Salary Cap Situations.
Mark Hughes: Another name that was on virtually every list was New York’s Mark Hughes. Hughes’ background is more on the coaching side too, having coached in the CBA for several years before landing with the Orlando Magic in 2002. Hughes has been a scout with Knicks for several years and currently carries the title of Director of Pro Personnel for the them. Hughes is extremely well liked and people that have worked with him say it’s simply a matter of time before he is running a NBA team.
Frank Ross: Currently with the Washington Wizards as Director of Player Personnel, Ross also spent some time as a scout for the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Charlotte Bobcats. Ross was a highly touted player at American University. Ross’ name surfaced on a number of lists and from all accounts he is a name that could sneak into a job this year much like Rob Hennigan did in Orlando two years ago and Ryan McDonough did last year in Phoenix.
»In Related: NBA Draft Picks Owed.
Ryan Carr: Currently the director of scouting for the Indiana Pacers, Carr was another name on several lists. Carr has been a key part in the Pacers’ overhaul and with the success they have had this year he is likely going to be mentioned in connection with more than a few open jobs. Carr has been more of a behind the scenes guy in Indiana, but when you look at the gems they have found late in the draft, Carr has been a big part of that.
Adam Simon: When you think of the Miami HEAT you normally don’t get very far down the list, mainly because of how compartmentalized the organization is, however Simon was a name mentioned several times by insiders as a guy that is likely going to get looks from NBA teams. Simon has been with the HEAT in almost every capacity possible including serving as a video intern at one point. Simon currently carries the title Assistant General Manager for the HEAT, but also acts as the team’s D-League affiliate General Manager. Simon is well regarded as a talent evaluator and a solid cap guy. He too could be an under-the-radar hire this year, much like Pete D’Alessandro was for Sacramento last year.
Matt Lloyd: In the first installment of this list last week, Orlando Assistant General Manager Scott Perry made the list, however several NBA insiders were adamant that Magic Assistant GM Matt Lloyd was more likely to land a GM job first. Lloyd has come up from the bottom, starting as a member of the game night staff in Chicago while working his way into media relations and ultimately into a scouting role with the Bulls. Lloyd is an extremely hard worker and has a solid basketball resume. Lloyd has done a lot of the heavy lifting for the Magic on the draft front for the last two years and has been a key part of the Magic’s rebuild. If the insiders are right, look for Lloyd to get some looks around the NBA this summer.
Justin Zanik: Currently the assistant general manager of the Utah Jazz, Zanik was a long-time sports agent. Zanik is as dialed into the international scene as almost anyone, but when it comes to savvy deal making Zanik is among the tops in the business. Given that Zanik just landed the Jazz job it might take him another year or two before he gets real consideration for a GM job, but he is absolutely a candidate worth talking to.
Gersson Rosas: Currently with the Houston Rockets, Gersson left last summer for a brief stint with the Dallas Mavericks that did not work out. Highly regarded in NBA circles as a keen talent evaluator, Rosa handled the General Manager duties for the Rockets D-League team the Rio Grande Vipers during two championship runs. Rosa has held virtually every job you can hold in a NBA front office, Rossa is a name to watch again this summer.
Insiders Video: Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic talks about dropping to the Dallas Mavericks and being banged up in the loss.
Today’s Six Things: Every day we try and give you six things you may have missed, so without further ado; here are today’s Six Things:
- Head to Head: Who Are The Biggest Names Traded?
- Serge Ibaka To Win Defensive Player Of The Year?
- Cheap Seats: Who Are The Super Sophomores?
- How the Suns Are Overcoming Contract Issues.
- How Al Jefferson has Transformed the Bobcats.
- Phil Jackson’s Carmelo Anthony Conundrum.
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