As we inch closer and closer to the June 28 NBA Draft, it becomes more and more of a big deal that the Portland Trail Blazers still haven't hired a coach or a general manager.
There's still time, but the way Portland has operated in the past, it's difficult to have faith that owner Paul Allen and his staff will get these two key hires made before the draft. And it doesn't help that the guy believed to be the leading candidate for the GM job -- Los Angeles Clippers general manager Neil Olshey -- opted on Friday to remain in L.A.
It's not technically a necessity for Portland to have a GM and coach in place before the draft, and yet, it kind of is.
The Blazers want to bring in a solid general manager, who can help attract a top-notch coach and make a handful of moves before the 2012-13 season begins, including figuring out what to do with those two first-round picks the team has for the upcoming draft.
The less time the new GM has to prepare for the draft, the more likely it is that it'll be Allen and his current front-office staff, and not the new guy, who makes the decisions. And that's not what Portland needs, nor is it what fans want.
It's time for new blood and a fresh approach in Rip City. It's time for Allen to appoint a good GM and then let him do his job. It's time for the Blazers to go after someone like Jerry Sloan or Mike D'Antoni. And it's time for the team to make a splash with its on-court personnel moves this summer.
The Blazers have the No. 6 and No. 11 picks in the first round, and you can bet that NBA draft hopefuls are well aware of the instability in Portland right now.
So, too, are the big-name free agents the Blazers are hoping to land. Letting the GM and coach hirings drag on will do nothing to entice Deron Williams or Steve Nash to relocate to Portland.
The Blazers have draft picks, salary cap space to sign free agents and trade bait if they choose to acquire a new point guard or center that way.
So many options, at this point. But the Blazers need to get their hires made so there's plenty of time for those options to be weighed, examined and executed.
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