ChrisHaynes, CSNNW.com Trail Blazers Insider (@ChrisBHaynes)
ThePortland Trail Blazers are in a serious dilemma. At first, wordwas out that they wanted to make a splash in hiring their nextgeneral manager. Then it's reported that they went out and interviewedNoah Croom a sports agent at Goodwin Sports Management.
Notexactly what I call a splash.
Now,Trail Blazers' president Larry Miller is attempting to woo TNTanalyst Steve Kerr. I hear Kerr is seriously giving the job someconsideration, but he is happy with his current gig as it gives himthe freedom to be with his family more often in lovely San Diego.
Justas Dwight Jaynes has been saying all along, I'm not sure you want tobring in a guy who you have to convince and persuade to take theopening. It should be someone who WANTS the position.
It'snot as if Kerr's GM resume is lights-out.
Millerhas told CSNNW.com that there is high interest in the Trail BlazersGM opening and no one would dispute that. I just think that with allthis flirting around with strangers being done, the right fit forthis organization is right under their nose.
TrailBlazers acting GM Chad Buchanan.
Buchanan,39, has been with the organization for eight years and has witnessedthe firing of Tom Penn, Kevin Pritchard and Rich Cho. Outsiderslooking in may feel this job is a disaster waiting to happen inworking for Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen.
Butthat's the beauty of Buchanan, we may not know for sure why hispredecessors got canned, but I'm sure Buchanan has an idea and he's very intrigued about having the opportunity to run his own team.
What's better than appointing someone in-housewho knows their limitations and obligations working for Allen?
Asof now, Buchanan hasn't had an interview with Miller nor has one beenscheduled or requested. However, that doesn't mean he's not interested in the job.
"Ihaven't asked to be interviewed, Buchanan told CSNNW.com. Ifthey want to bring me in for an interview, I'll be more than happyto. I've been with this organization for a while and I'd like toremain here. This is a special place to me and my family and if I gotan interview, great, if not, I just want to be part of theorganization going forward.
Justlook at some of the moves the Trail Blazers have made with Buchananat the helm:
In the summer of 2010, Buchanan and Michael Born filled in as GMs and orchestrated the theft of the Utah Jazz's Wesley Matthews, basically front-loading a 5-year, 34 million offer sheet to the restricted free agent at the time. The Jazz refused to match and Matthews became a Trail Blazer.
Most thought that was too much money to spend on Matthews after one season in the league, but with what has transpired with Brandon Roy, it looks as if that was a sound investment.
OK,trading for Raymond Felton was bad, drafting Nolan Smith over KennethFaried doesn't appear to have been the right selection, and theerosion of this season falls on Buchanan's lap and he'll be the firstto admit that.
Ithink you could look at some of the moves we've made recently and saythings didn't work out and I'll take responsibility for that,Buchanan said. I have to own it.
Butjust like a competitor, when Buchanan was handed lemons, he madelemonade.
GeraldWallace could have opted in next season for 9.5 million but wastraded to the New Jersey Nets for Mehmet Okur (who has since beenreleased and his 10.8 million comes off the books at season's end),Shawne Williams, and a top 3 protected first round draft pick.
Williamshas told CSNNW.com he's opting into his 3.1 million for nextseason, but that's not a major concern.
MarcusCamby was shipped to the Houston Rockets for Hasheem Thabeet, JonnyFlynn, and a second round pick. Both Thabeet and Flynn areunrestricted free agents this summer and their tenure here has giventhe Trail Blazers time to assess if these are players for the team'sfuture.
Withall that being done, the Trail Blazers have set themselves up to bemajor players in free agency with anywhere from 15-20 million in capspace available.
Andthe gentleman responsible for this flexibility...you guessed it,Buchanan. However, being the humble and modest individual that he is,he wouldn't take the credit for it.
Ido like the situation we're in as far as having the potential tobring in an impact player, Buchanan said. But, I couldn't do itall by myself. It's been a team effort with Michael Born, Joe Cronin,Bill Branch, Steve Rosenberry, our stat analysis guy Ben Falk, andscouts Sean Kiely and Jason Filippi.
We'veall put in countless hours to make sure we put our team in the bestpossible situation going forward.
Oh yeah, and there's that guy named J.J. Hickson who Buchanan picked up off waivers who has been an outright stud for this team.
Toooften organizations get stuck in thinking they have to bring insomeone who has a ton of GM experience. However, the simple fact isthat times have changed and players have changed. Nowadays, ayounger man such as Buchanan, who can relate to players and get a feelfor what type of playersindividuals they really are is highlybeneficial.
Andlet's not forget Buchanan's other title as director of scouting, sohe knows how to evaluate talent.
AllI'm saying is that there maybe more qualified candidates out therefor the Trail Blazers GM position, but there's no one out therethat's going to fit THIS UNIQUE POSITION the way Buchanan would.
Hopefully,Allen and Miller take notice and realize that their GM search doesn'thave to extend very far. It's right there in their own backyard.