What if the Blazers had a scout solely devoted to scouting out non-player personnel? Primarily coaches, GMs and assistant GMs. Here's my rationale:
So I had this crazy idea for a new role in the Blazers organization that appears very relevant given the GM and assistant GM openings...
We've got, what, 4 or 5 scouts for players, right? And 15 players maximum. Well, GM + coach + assistant GM is 3 and they're paid at least an average of a million dollars a year each (or something like that - I know 800k is the low end for a GM). So it makes sense to me to employ 1/5th of the scouting resources (in salary at least) on looking for these kinds of guys.
The advantages seem pretty clear. We'd have someone paying attention to up-and-comers in other offices, like Rick Cho in OKC, or David Griffin formerly of Phoenix. There would have been an instant short list of candidates when Tom Penn was fired (admittedly it was probably planned to let the new GM choose his assistant or something but we didn't know there would be a 'new GM' at the time). The organization could have skipped the whole 'search firm' for KP's replacement, and it would be easier to find bargain deals with young up-and-comers (like we do with players such as Batum via international scouting). All of this also applies for assistant coaches - Nate could have had a list of offense-oriented assistants on his desk several weeks ago and interviewed all of them by now.
The main downside I see to this whole thing is that with a stable organization, often you don't need this sort of 'scouting' all the time. Thus the 'search firm' as a sort of high-intensity, quick look at candidates. And maybe this role could be combined with whoever's the cap guy, or resident legal counsel, or whatever. But I think it would be very worth it to have this database of information currently existing. You're more likely to get a good evaluation of a GM or assistant GM back in the middle of the season before you're even imagining being interested in hiring him than in a hurried two-week stretch during the free agency period right after he was fired. Plus it might not be much more costly than hiring a search firm, and certainly not very compared to the value of having a good GM in place.
What do you guys think?