The Portland Trail Blazers announced on Thursday that Pro Scout/Salary Cap Analyst Joe Cronin has been promoted to Director of Player Personnel.
The Portland Trail Blazers have promoted Joe Cronin to the position of Director of Player Personnel, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.
Cronin, now entering his ninth season with Portland, most recently served as the team's Pro Scout/Salary Cap Analyst, a position he's held since 2010.
In his new role, Cronin will manage all aspects of the NBA Salary Cap for the team, college and international scouting in preparation for the NBA Draft, and NBA scouting for free agency and trades.
"Joe possesses a unique skill set that is critical to the success of our organization," said Olshey. "His expertise and contributions in multiple areas make him an invaluable member of our front office staff."
Cronin joined the Trail Blazers as a Basketball Operations Intern in 2006 after finishing graduate school at the University of Denver, where he earned his master's degree and served as the Graduate Assistant for the men's basketball team. A Denver native, Cronin played college basketball at Regis University and the University of Northern Colorado.
Cronin's promotion comes after the recent departures of front-office executives Mike Born and Chad Buchanan.
Born, Portland's director of NBA scouting, parted ways with the Blazers back in May.
Buchanan, Portland's director of college scouting, left to take the Charlotte Hornets' assistant GM position under former Blazers GM Rich Cho earlier this week.
Portland hasn't had a director of player personnel since Kevin Pritchard filled the role before his promotion to assistant GM and later GM.
Blazers GM Neil Olshey's front office now includes two assistant GMs in Bill Branch and Steve Rosenberry, who were both hired by Cho, a scouting staff and an analytics team.
Back in 2010, I wrote an extensive piece on Cronin.
Cronin's NBA story -- like Cho's incidentally -- began with an internship. During the 2006-2007 season, he found a job listing in Portland soon after finishing graduate school work at the University of Denver. "I just finished up and told myself, 'I want to get in the NBA, I'm going to do whatever it takes,' Cronin told me in Las Vegas on Sunday.
His career arc started to accelerate when Pritchard was named General Manager and put a new focus on the team's scouting infrastructure. "Kevin Pritchard got hired on as GM and kept me on and it just kind of progressed from there," Cronin said. "They had me scouting right away, I kind of kept working my way up."
Buchanan said that Cronin began an apprenticeship of sorts under former Vice President of Basketball Operations Tom Penn, getting up to speed on the intricacies of the salary cap and the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement. "Tom was kind of mentoring Joe throughout the year on the salary cap stuff. And then when Tom was let go Joe kind of took over all of that and has really picked up things really quickly. For Mike and Larry [Miller] and I, he's invaluable to us because he understands some of the intricacies of the CBA that Mike and I aren't as trained on as he has become."
Born said Cronin has become a go-to person when the group meets to go over details like front-loading a contract offer or checking with the league office on this or that finer point. "His knowledge of the cap has been a tremendous help to both Chad and myself because he knows a lot of that stuff but he if doesn't know it, he will find it out, which makes us feel very comfortable. He's been huge in the last month or so for us."
Joe Freeman of The Oregonian wrote about Cronin in 2012.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter