of the New York Post
discusses the front office turmoil in both New Jersey and Portland and pinpoints Kevin Pritchard's agent, Warren LeGarie, as a major culprit
[Disclaimer: This is the Post so read skeptically and take it for what it is worth.]
First, much like Dwight Jaynes yesterday
, Vecsey goes after LeGarie's motives and credibility. An excerpt...
It can be detrimental to your career if he recklessly pushes his luck and bullies the wrong billionaire purely to show how slick he is and/or to test his juice quotient.
The sharpest specifics in this piece are the exact numbers placed on Kevin Pritchard's contract. Vecsey also co-signs Henry Abbott's earlier report
that LeGarie has been attempting to find a different destination for Pritchard...
After they extended Penn's contract, LeGarie pushed the envelope further by attempting to get the relatively underpaid ($800G) Pritchard a new contract.... For the last couple of months, LeGarie has been maneuvering under the cover of darkness to pinpoint a destination for Pritchard next season.
At $800,000, Kevin Pritchard represents the single best value in the entire organization, better even than Nicolas Batum or Juwan Howard. Putting aside all of the politics and looking at money alone, I can't fault Pritchard in any way for having his agent poke around if he really was flatly denied a raise. Given his contributions to the organization there is no question he deserves more money. He has earned it. If he isn't being appreciated by the higher ups, that is on them, not him.
At this point, Vecsey's piece takes a hard turn towards the unbelievable...
Though it's impossible not to imagine Nuggets VP Mark Warkentien trying to slip back into the picture in Portland, where he worked under Bob Whitsitt, nobody should be mildly surprised this summer when Miller assumes general manager duties.
Warkentien has been the only name that I've heard come up repeatedly in hypothetical conversations about potential replacements for Pritchard. If things do go completely nuclear over trust issues between Vulcan and Pritchard/Penn as Abbott suggested was possible, it would make sense that Vulcan would return to a familiar name, especially one with a very solid recent track record and a long NBA background.
Warkentien can reasonably pitch two things the Vulcans apparently want: the trust factor that comes from a known commodity and the promise of an accelerated championship timeline (Denver made the NBA's final four last year and could easily do so again this year).
One other factor weighing here: This recent Adrian Wojnarowski article
notes that Warkentien has not yet been offered a contract extension by Denver and was floated as a possible hire for the Clippers position.
But Miller, a former Nike executive with no NBA pedigree and a huge "Jumptown" development project already on his plate, makes a very unlikely General Manager candidate, even in an acting capacity. He surely has more experience and know-how evaluating the feet of basketball players than he does evaluating their pro potential and roster fit. If speeding up the championship timeline is the goal, installing Miller makes no sense whatsoever.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter
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