Colangelo serious about beefing up front office
By Ryan Wolstat, QMI Agency
|Toronto Raptor president/general manager Bryan Colangelo is looking to boost the basketball IQ of his front office. According to a report, three names are the frontrunners. (MARK O'NEIL/QMI Agency)
With new head coach Dwane Casey’s staff in place, Bryan Colangelo is getting serious about beefing up his front office.
For a number of months, the word has been that Colangelo, the Raptors president and general manager, was considering, if the right candidate came along, dropping the GM portion of his portfolio – at least in title – and handing it to somebody else.
That wouldn’t mean the new addition would have final say though. While a fan of a consensus, brainstorming approach, Colangelo has always been an executive who gets the final word and that would not change.
But with the Maple Leafs building up a front office group around Brian Burke that is the envy of the NHL, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Ltd. appears set to see the Raptors follow suit.
Whether they made that a condition when they re-upped Colangelo for two years with an option or whether it was his call is unclear at this point.
Maurizio Gherardini, formerly the assistant GM to Colangelo and currently senior vice-president of basketball operations has been extended through the 2011-12 season, though his role, like the rest of the current staff’s, could be shuffled if a GM is brought in.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Colangelo is hoping to interview San Antonio vice president/assistant GM Dennis Lindsey, Philadelphia GM Ed Stefanski and former New Orleans GM Jeff Bower.
Lindsey is the cream of that crop having worked under two of the top minds in basketball in Spurs GM R.C. Buford and head coach Gregg Popovich since 2007. Prior to that he spent 11 seasons with the Houston Rockets.
Stefanski also served as GM of the New Jersey Nets, helping turn that team into a two-time NBA finalist. He pulled off the Vince Carter heist from Toronto and made several strong draft choices while in New Jersey.
In New Orleans, Bower drafted Chris Paul, arguably the best point guard in the NBA, fourth overall and helped rebuild that franchise from a lottery afterthought until being let go a year ago.
According to Wojnarowski, the interview process might not start until August and Lindsey has turned down offers to be GM in Phoenix and Minnesota for the past two years.
That would seem to make his bolting for Toronto unlikely.
But Colangelo will give it a go, nonetheless.