AN OFFER TO GRUNWALD? Glen Grunwald is no longer the general manager and senior vice-president of the Raptors, but that doesn't mean he won't be kicking around the Air Canada Centre in future years.
Richard Peddie, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. president, said yesterday that Grunwald may be offered another position with the club, although if it is a basketball position, the final say will rest with the new GM, when he is hired.
"We actually talked about that, and it's possible, only because it's Glen Grunwald," Peddie said. "Not with everyone you would talk about something like that."
Peddie said he would like to have the new GM in place by June 27, the day of the draft. But that may not be possible.
"Maybe the best candidate is under contract with a club that's going to go deep into the playoffs," he said. "(NBA teams) all have windows that they can talk. I may approach that team, but they may say wait for the playoffs (to end)."
If a GM is not in place by draft day, Peddie said a committee made up of himself, director of player personnel Jim Kelly, Grunwald, in his temporary role as a team consultant, and others, will step in on behalf of the team.
Peddie said MLSEL will conduct a thorough search for the absolute best man for GM and insisted that money will not be an object.
"We want the right candidate and we'll take the time necessary to get that," he said. "The beauty of this process is we really didn't start (searching for a new Maple Leafs GM last season) until July 1. We're starting this much earlier."
Peddie suggested that MLSEL also might might create an assistant GM position for next season.
"It has to be a basketball person," he said. "We don't need more suits. I've got great finance, sales and legal (people). We need a basketball person."
As for the draft, Peddie acknowledged that the Raptors have not done a good job in picking great players with their lower picks in seasons past, and that is something the organization will address. Despite the team's woes, he said there are some good signs for next season.
"I think Chris Bosh is a good sign," Peddie said. "I think picking up Jalen Rose and Donyell Marshall are good signs. The team's playing harder, which is a good sign. But we're standing here at 30 wins, so we just really felt we plateaued."