New Prez/GM on Way?

Front Office Search Continues

By: NBASCOUT / Special to

The Nets are still searching for a President and/or General Manager as Rod Thorn is expected to step down on Friday according to reports. It\’s unclear whether the President and General Manager positions will be combined or VP Bobby Marks will be promoted and assume the GM duties.*

Mikhail Prokhorov, in New Jersey later this week after returning from the owners meeting in Las Vegas, may also back-up interview candidates for the position after Rod Thorn annoints a potential successor. Dan Ferry, the former Cavaliers GM, has now surfaced as a finalist along with Billy King, the former 76ers GM. Conflicting reports suggest that former Trailblazers GM Mike Pritchard may still be in the mix, but that isn\’t certain.

Of the three, I would probably hire Mike Pritchard, Dan Ferry and Billy King in that order if I were limited only to these candidates. Pritchard did a very creditable job in Portland transforming the wild \”Jailblazers\” into a playoff team albeit he took 7-footer Greg Oden at the top of one draft over Kevin Durant. In all fairness to Pritchard, though, Oden was the unanimous consensus number one pick that year and it was very hard for Mike, and most other personnel types, to see that one coming. Every GM has more than a few mistakes on his resume.

As for Dan Ferry, he\’s a nice guy. He\’s learned a lot over the years attempting to surround LeBron James with a supporting cast that\’d win a title. He got to the finals, but no cigar. He made too many impossible compromises to make LeBron happy and even that didn\’t work at keeping him around. He went through a lot of Dan Gilbert\’s money in the process. Maybe he has better luck in a major-market venue.

Billy King is a good fellow that was GM of the 76ers for nine years. He did some, if not quite a few, good things on his watch like hiring Larry Brown to coach the team and bringing in some nice talent to make that work. Still, some of the contracts he took on or engineered to reward players like Chris Weber and Samuel Dalembert made it hard to sustain ongoing success after the team peaked with a surprise finals appearance against the Lakers in 2001. There was a reason why Sixers management let him go to replace him with former Nets GM Ed Stefanski. Towards the end of his tenure, Billy went through three coaches that he hired and fired within a brief span of fifteen months trying to bettter his results. It reminds a little of the Isiah Thomas saga in New York and the Nets need stability and continuity.

Stay tuned as more emerges about this critical hire.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2010 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at

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