I really dislike the idea of this post, as I find it hard to believe/accept that the team (Allen and the Vulcans) are going to fire Kevin. But at this point it looks to be the case. If so, I'm starting to think the next GM may be Mark Warkentien. It makes some sense to me because I Idon't think the Blazers will be able to land some of the names that are being thrown out there - Jerry West and Sam Presti - can't see Jerry coming out of retirement for this, and Presti has a lot of autonomy and would likely want to see what he can continue to build in Oklahoma City.
Many other potential GM canadates would likely be very hesitant with the way the team is handling the situation with Kevin Pritchard, and may not see themselves with as much autonomy as they would ideally like to have. This brings me to Mark Warkenstien. His contract is up this summer in Denver. He still has a home in the Portland area, word has it that when he was the assistant GM in Portland (believe from '94 - '04) he had a good working relationship with Paul Allen and the Vulcans. and there is some chatter that he may be looking at moving on...wonder if he hasn't signed an extension because knows of the situation in Portland and covets the job (just speculation on my part).
If this is the case, I'm not real excited about it. Mark was here, under Whitsett, during the Jailblazer years and helped construct that team. I'm not excited when looking at the current Denver Nugget team. I would go into this questioning his ability to recognize good team chemistry and the importance of good character in building a team. He gets credit for trading Allen Iverson for Chauncy Billups, but he was also the one that traded for Iverson and thinking he would team up well with Carmelo Anthony (I believe in hearing him interviewed a few months back, he said he was contacted by Detroit, looking to deal Billups, and they inquired about Iverson). When on the Blazers, he was credited for drafting Zach Randolph among others.
This team recently lost a good assistant coach, one with a lot of character (as a Minnesota Viking fan it reminded me when they lost their defensive coordinator, Tony Dungy, when he became the head coach at Tampa). They likely will soon lose a good GM, who brought in players with a lot of character. Will see who they bring in, but at this point I'm loosing some confidence in them going forward.