Full Court Press

via rlv.zcache.com

It's in your best interest to start preparing yourself immediately for a Post-KP reality in Portland.  If you were planning to organize a public show of support I would suggest getting on that right now. It's never too late to make a statement. If you put something together and would like media coverage send me an email.

Here's what you might have missed on Blazersedge recently...

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Kevin Pritchard: Home Being Shopped | Head Hunters Finding His Replacement | Would You Resign? | Blazers Brass Mum | The Circus

Monty Williams: Deserves His Chance | Gets His Chance

Draft Express talks Blazers Draft | Evaluating Bench Players

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Click through for reactions and updates to the Kevin Pritchard situation, thoughts on Monty Williams's new job and a few draft tidbits.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

John Canzano says the Blazers should end Kevin Pritchard's misery and fire him immediately...

Pritchard is being humiliated professionally. He's being forced to prepare for this month's draft, knowing he probably won't last a week beyond the pick. Basically, his esteem has been sliced off, and planted on the top of a stake on the steps of the Rose Garden, and maybe, they're hoping Pritchard will just quit. 

...

Allen needs to cut Pritchard loose. Fire him today. Set him free. Start over. If only to allow the organization to get its focus back. The Blazers are distracted again, and the organization can't find its way while the so-called leaders of the organization are busy buffing the shine off the guy they once declared as their Golden Boy.

A couple of years ago I thought Allen had finally figured out how to be an owner when he hired Pritchard and stepped out of the way. Now, it's obvious that Pritchard and the Blazers can't go a single day further together if they both hope to be productive.

Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune: Kevin Pritchard confirms his house is being shopped but says he's looking for a new one... 

Kevin Pritchard confirms that his Lake Oswego home is on the market. The 4,071-square foot dwelling (3,362 main house, 709 guest house), with a total of five bedrooms and 4 1/2 bathrooms, is for sale by Sothebys Real Estate via pocket listing (not entered into multiple listing, exclusive rights to broker Terry Sprague) for $3.6 million.

Pritchard says he has his eye on another house and that it shouldn't be construed as the Trail Blazer general manager expecting he is about to lose his job. This despite a weekend report from Yahoo Sports that says the club has hired a private headhunting firm to line up potential hires for the GM position.

Meanwhile, Pritchard is heading up Portland scouting operations for the June 24 NBA draft, looking at what would seem to be a firing shortly thereafter. With owner Paul Allen and team President Larry Miller mum as a mime on the subject of Pritchard's status, it appears he is about as much a "lame duck" as a GM can be.

David Aldridge of NBA.com on KP...

The Blazers are not distinguishing themselves with how they're handling the impending dismissal of Kevin Pritchard. If you're going to fire him, show some class and do it now. You would think he was owed that after rebuilding the roster in three years and ridding Portland of its "Jail Blazers" nickname. But we know the antipathy for Pritchard runs deep inside the walls of Paul Allen's Vulcans, and they're acting in an incredibly callous way.

Coup of Rip City Project on the Kevin Pritchard headhunting...

This doesn't necessarily seal Pritchard's face, as the team could, theoretically just being seeing if there is even an upgrade or lateral move - to a more "acceptable" personality, for them, I'd guess -  but that's not even glass half-full thinking, that's glass-overflowing-with-an-abundance-of-fresh-water-thinking, at least until we hear more. The main takeaway is simple, the Blazers are very serious about moving on with their GM position.

I stand by the position that this would be a monumentally silly move BUT, if the team is going through with this, Presti is absolutely one of the best possible candidates. That said, Presti seems fairly committed to a good thing in Oklahoma City, and there doesn't seem to be much reason for him to leave barring a huge financial offer from Portland. And even then, I don't know why he would leave. At the moment, I'd guess his inclusion in the story is primarily because he is the biggest name Wojnarowski heard of in his reporting.

Dwight Jaynes on KP and the brain trust...

Now we could debate whether you would fire someone for it, but one thing we probably couldn't debate is what has gotten Pritchard in the doghouse - his reaction to it all. When Penn (and Pritchard's) agent, Warren LeGarie, come forth with the proposition that Penn's firing was a move against Pritchard, KP did nothing to dispute that - EVEN THOUGH HE KNEW WHY PENN WAS ACTUALLY FIRED. And he knew it had nothing to do with him, or even with basketball.

Can't you understand why this would anger upper management? I mean, if this is all true (and a lot of NBA people seem to be buying into it), Pritchard seems to be throwing Larry Miller and Paul Allen under the Vulcan bus - when he actually knew better.

...

Portland is rumored to be attempting to extend the contracts of head of college scouting Chad Buchanan and pro scouting director Mike Born. They're worried both will leave when Pritchard does, following him - which is likely. If they stay, they'd be crazy not to ask for significant raises.

It will be very telling if the Blazers don't clear house and do decide to extend Buchanan and Born, who have impeccable reputations in the scouting community, and are true assets.  

Seth Johnston of BustaBucket.com on KP...

My take is that Pritchard is smart enough to understand that this has been going on for a while, and that he has a strategy of his own. This news may or may not change that strategy.

Pritchard could leave now looking like the talented GM that fell victim to meddling ownership and office politics. He could land a better job elsewhere. Meanwhile, the Blazers are making their GM job look less and less desirable. Sure, the owner is super-rich and the team is talented, but would a top GM candidate want to deal with undermining bosses? I wouldn't. If Pritchard has been waiting for the most opportune time to leave, this may be it.

Darnell Mayberry asks Thunder GM Sam Presti about k.com/thunder-insider-would-sam-presti-bolt-okc/article/3466701?custom_click=pod_lead_nba-thunder" target="_blank">his potential candidacy as Kevin Pritchard's replacement and then concludes...

One day after an Internet report named Thunder general manager Sam Presti as a potential successor to Portland GM Kevin Pritchard, Presti responded to the speculation.

"Portland has a general manager, and I have a great job here in Oklahoma City," Presti said Sunday. "I am excited to be a part of what we are building."

...

But when you consider the talent level of the Thunder players, the fact that they're Presti's own and he admittedly likes what's taking place here, the time just doesn't seem right for Presti to jump ship. Not for a place in Portland.

ESPN Rumors on Jerry West being tied to the Portland job...

Remember: There was a report that the Clippers courted West as Mike Dunleavy's replacement as GM, but he turned down their overtures. So this isn't the first time West's name has popped up as a possible replacement in an executive's role.

There's also some chatter that West could be in play for the Warriors' GM job once the team changes hands to a new owner.

So if West's name dies off for Portland, it may again come up later this summer when the Warriors are sold.

Brian T. Smith on Monty Williams...

One in which he could also look back on five years spent working with McMillan, lead assistant Dean Demopoulos, and general manager Kevin Pritchard as they reshaped and reformed the Blazers, turning the franchise from one of the weakest in professional sports into one of the strongest.

"The first year was tough," Williams said. "But the last four years, I really understood right from the jump that this was a special place. And that if I ever have to leave, it'll be tough."

Williams then spent several minutes emphasizing just how tough.

Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune on Monty Williams...

Monty Williams is nothing if not ambitious. It was never a secret that he wanted to be an NBA head coach. Now Williams, an important piece of Nate McMillan's staff through their five-year run with the Blazers, is the new coach of the New Orleans Hornets.

Williams, 38, becomes the youngest head coach in the league, supplanting Miami's Erik Spoelstra (39). Williams is a bright young mind who has the makings of a fine head coach. One thing I've always appreciated about Monty is his quotability without relying on cliches. He has a great way of going above and beyond in describing a player or a situation - a gold mine for a journalist.

Ezra Caraeff of Portland Roundball Society on Monty Williams...

While William's on-court bravery (playing in the NBA against doctor's orders due to his Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy), leadership, and pedigree in the Spurs coaching kennel are noteworthy, Williams proudest achievement is a 21-year-old that wears #88 and speaks French. Nicolas Batum was a late first round sleeper two years back, a raw player that few teams knew much about. But in two short seasons (even less when you consider that he missed a large portion of this year following shoulder surgery), Batum has blossomed into one of the better defenders in the league, and a player with a staggering amount of discipline and ability on the hardwood. His success is directly linked to Williams, who took Batum under his wing and taught him to be the perfect role player and tenacious defender that has the unfortunate chore of covering names like Bryant, Anthony, and Durant on a nightly basis.

Truth be told, no decent Blazer supporter wants Williams to go anywhere. While Williams clearly has the skills to run a franchise from the sideline, it's his ability to nurture and groom upcoming players that is truly invaluable. 

Quick Hits

Drop anything I missed in the comments. And, please, frequent the FanShots.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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