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Tuesday , Jun , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Sam Presti leaving OKC for Portland?

Sam Presti, who yesterday celebrated a third anniversary as Sonic/Thunder GM, making him a rising free agent according to my records, claims he's perfectly happy in Oklahoma. However, a Northwest source claims he interviewed in Seattle (home of Portland owner Paul Allen) for the Blazers' job. Oh, that's right, the job's taken. Kevin Pritchard owns one year on his contract but he and everyone else (I do believe the Post had it months ago,) believe he'll be fired immediately after the draft.

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HoopsVibe's Quick Call: Where there's a little smoke, there's bound to be a ‘blazing’ fire, right?

Well, change will surely be burning through the Portland Trail Blazers' front office. Here's what we know:

1) GM Kevin Pritchard has been on the hot seat for months. He allegedly doesn't gel with longtime coach Nate McMillan. And there's a feeling he lacks the experience to turn the Blazers into a contender. 

2) Pritchard is heading into the final year of his deal. An extension does not seem to be forthcoming and owner Paul Allen probably doesn’t want a lame-duck executive.

3) As the New York Post is reporting, Pritchard’s dismissal is probably imminent.

4) Oklahoma City Thunder executive Sam Presti is highly sought after.

5) When asked if he had interest in the Blazers’ gig, the former San Antonio Spurs whiz kid shot down this rumor.  

6) Presti has assembled the NBA’s best young team in Oklahoma City, so it’s unlikely he’d bolt with Kevin Durant and company heading into their prime.

7) Allen, the man behind Microsoft, has far greater resources than Clay Bennett and the small market Thunder.

Conclusion: Allen is looking to stabilize Portland’s front office, especially with news of another scandal in his organization. He wants Presti. And he’s phoned friends around the league for information about the Thunder’s architect.

It seems Presti is content in Oklahoma City, though. He has full control of basketball operations. He clicks with owner Clay Bennett. And his organization is poised to benefit from him drafting wisely.

There is one wildcard: money. Allen has too much of it, while Bennett and his partners were hit by the economic downturn. Still, Presti - unless he receives a massive offer he can't refuse - isn’t heading anywhere.   

Is Presti leaving Oklahoma City for Portland? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.

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Saturday , Jun , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Coaching Carousel: Monty Williams to New Orleans; Tom Thibodeau to Chicago or New Jersey

The New Orleans Hornet quickly reached an agreement Friday night with Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams to be their next head coach after Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau withdrew from consideration earlier in the day, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that Williams' deal will be made official no later than Saturday after Thibodeau, who was offered New Orleans' job last week, informed the Hornets that he plans to pursue opportunities with the Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets.

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HoopsVibe's Quick Call: New Orleans got their man off the NBA coaching carousel. Well, sort of.

Once it became clear Boston Celtics defensive guru Tom Thibodeau had little interest in the Hornets gig, the club went all out for Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Monty Williams.

Williams is a fine choice. He's young, personable, hardworking and smart.

This, however, may not be enough to resurrect a Hornets squad that fell behind in the competitive Western Conference last year and lacks the financial resources to catch up through upgrading their talent.

Meanwhile, Thibodeau is a lock for a head coaching gig, either with the Chicago Bulls or New Jersey Nets. Of course, he'd also get serious consideration with Boston -if Doc Rivers retires at season's end. 

Got thoughts on the coaching carousel?

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Wednesday , Apr , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Marcus Camby Signs Two-Year Extension with Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed forward/center Marcus Camby to a two-year contract extension, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Camby posted averages of 7.0 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.13 steals, 2.04 blocked shots and 31.2 minutes in 23 games (all starts) with the Trail Blazers this season. He ranked second in the NBA in rebounds (11.8), fifth in blocked shots (1.97) and eighth in steals-to-turnover ratio (1.04) for 2009-10.

“Portland felt right to me since I got here and the support from the team, fans and organization has been incredible,” said Camby. “I’m looking forward to continuing my career as a Trail Blazer and think this team can do something special.”
 
[press release]
 
 
 

 

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Wednesday , Apr , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Blazers Say Brandon Roy Could Play this Postseason

One day after Brandon Roy did his first post-operative activity, the Trail Blazers are leaving open the option that the All-Star guard can return in the playoffs, perhaps as soon as the first round series against Phoenix.

Roy, who had minor surgery on April 16 to repair the torn meniscus in his right knee, shot free throws on Monday and moved around on the knee, reporting to athletic trainer Jay Jensen and general manager Kevin Pritchard that he was encouraged. Roy said there is no swelling or pain.

“He looks terrific, he really does,’’ Pritchard said. “And Brandon feels really good. Does that mean he is going to play? No. It means we are going to leave the option open.’’ 

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Tuesday , Apr , 20 , 2010 Marija Kero, The Knicks Chick

The Knicks Chick on Why the Celtics Are Going Home and the First-Round Match-ups

HoopsVibe is proud to welcome Marija Kero, better known to many of you as The Knicks Chick, to the team. Marija will be checking in with videoblogs covering everything from her beloved Knicks to Ron Artest's latest hair-related mishap. In her first piece, Marija shares her thoughts on Boston's bad temper, the surging Mavs and the ghosts of NYK past appearing in the postseason. 

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Friday , Apr , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Brandon Roy to Undergo Knee Surgery on Friday

Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy will undergo surgery on Friday to repair a partial meniscus tear in right knee, it was announced today by Trail Blazers General Manager Kevin Pritchard.
 
“This was not an easy decision to make,” said Roy.  “But, if I’m going to be out there, I want to be contributing.  If we’re fortunate enough to advance in the playoffs, having the surgery now gives me the best opportunity to help our team.”
 
Dr. Don Roberts will perform the knee arthroscopy on Friday morning at Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver, WA.  A timetable for Roy’s return will be set following surgery, but he’ll be sidelined for at least the first round series vs. the Phoenix Suns.
 
“This is a setback, but we’ve been overcoming injuries all season long,” said Pritchard.  “This is about looking long-term and doing what’s best for Brandon.”  

Roy left at the 5:45 mark of the second quarter of Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Lakers after experiencing pain in his right knee. 

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