Raptors finish front-office interviews

Toronto Raptors president Bryan Colangelo has completed interviews with four candidates for a high-ranking executive job, leagues sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Philadelphia 76ers general manager Ed Stefanski, San Antonio Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey, Indiana Pacers pro personnel director Kevin Prichard and former New Orleans Hornets GM Jeff Bower traveled to Toronto in recent weeks to meet with Colangelo, sources said.

There’s no clear frontrunner, but several sources have reason to believe Lindsey could hold an edge over the other three candidates. Lindsey is also on the short list for the Portland Trail Blazers’ GM job.

Among the four executives, Lindsey is also the candidate most likely to turn down an offer. He has a top executive’s job under Spurs GM R.C. Buford in one of the NBA’s preeminent and respected front offices. He’d have to be willing to leave that for Toronto, where Colangelo and coach Dwane Casey are on two-year contracts with an ownership mandate to get things turned around sooner than later.

Even if Colangelo cedes the GM title to get Lindsey – something he’ll almost assuredly have to do – it’s hard to imagine that Colangelo, an NBA two-time executive of the year, won’t still wield significant clout on every basketball decision.

Stefanski is in the final year of his contract, with new ownership waiting for approval from the NBA’s Board of Governors to take over. Pritchard lost his job as the Trail Blazers GM, and took a one-year scouting assignment with the Pacers that allows him to interview for higher-profile positions. Bower was fired as Hornets GM a year ago.

There’s no clear timetable on when the Raptors will extend a formal offer on the job.

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Adrian Wojnarowski is the NBA columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter. Send Adrian a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated Monday, Sep 19, 2011