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Rod Thorn, on his second run as the NBA's president of basketball operations, plans to leave the league office and retire in August, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Thorn is highly regarded around the league, a figure who commands respect among executives, coaches and players.
Thorn, 73, returned to the league office in August 2013 to oversee the league's daily operations under commissioner Adam Silver, an appointment that had been planned to be a two-year bridge to a longer-term successor, sources said. Kiki Vandeweghe, the NBA's vice president of basketball operations, is a strong candidate to be promoted to take Thorn's job, sources said.
Thorn had three stops as a general manager – with the Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers. He was the NBA’s Executive of the Year in 2001-02 for orchestrating the Nets’ dramatic turnaround that led to an NBA Finals run. Thorn might best remembered for drafting Michael Jordan to the Chicago Bulls with the third overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft.
Before joining the Nets in 2000, Thorn had run the league's operations under former commissioner David Stern for 14 years.
The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame honored Thorn with its John Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award this year.
Thorn was an All-American at West Virginia, and the No. 2 overall pick in the 1963 NBA draft. Thorn had two head-coaching jobs, the ABA's St. Louis Spirit and Chicago Bulls, before moving full-time into administration.
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