Portland Trail Blazers: 10 Ideal Replacements for Rich Cho as GM of the Team

Wesley HodgesContributor IIIJune 7, 2011

Portland Trail Blazers: 10 Ideal Replacements for Rich Cho as GM of the Team

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    Courtesy of The Associated Press
    Courtesy of The Associated Press

    The revolving door position that is known as the General Manager of the Portland Trail Blazers opened up again this past week. Rich Cho was let go after less than one year on the job.  Unlike last year, with the firing of Kevin Pritchard, this move was not expected by many and certainly not this soon.  

    During Cho's brief tenure, perhaps the best remembered move is the trade that brought Gerald Wallace to Portland in exchange for essentially bench players and future draft picks. But apparently even a trade of that caliber was not enough to appease Paul Allen, who, despite his deep pockets, has become one of the scariest NBA owners to work for.

    With that being said, the Trail Blazers organization is a proud one with a lot of history therefore a lot of high profile candidates are expected to be interviewed for the position.  

    Here we'll look at a few of the more commonly mentioned ones, as well as others which may have an outside shot. 

1. Danny Ferry

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    CLEVELAND - JUNE 02:  General Manager Danny Ferry of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates after the Cavs won 98-82 to win the Detroit Pistons in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2007 NBA Playoffs on June 2, 2007 at the Quicken Loans Aren
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Danny Ferry was mentioned as a candidate for the job last year. This summer his name is coming up again.  

    He is currently employed as the vice president of basketball operations with the San Antonio Spurs. However the allure of being the top man in Portland—outside of Paul Allen of course—could prove to be too much to pass up if offered to him.

2. Donnie Walsh

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    NEW YORK - MAY 13:  Team President Donnie Walsh  speaks to the media during a press conference to introduce the Knicks new head coach Mike D'Antoni (not shown) on May 13, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowl
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    It's easy to nitpick with Walsh because the Knicks missed out on LeBron James last summer and will still only be a fringe playoff team going into next season.  

    But the truth is that they are in a much better place now than they were when he went to them and are at least going to be entertaining to watch going forward. Portland might be a place where he can try his hand at being a GM over a team that already has most of the necessary pieces in place to compete.

3. Otis Smith

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    ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 18:  Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith speaks to the media regarding the aquisition of Gilbert Arenas from the Washington Wizards, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark from the Phoenix Suns at Amway Arena on Decemb
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Many in Orlando aren't happy with the way the Magic seem to be heading.

    This should worsen with the noise surrounding the free agency of Dwight Howard only expected to steadily increase over the next year. Smith has taken on some bad contracts in trades that didn't work out and spent a lot of money on players that weren't quite worth it.  

    In Portland he would get a chance to start over, working with Paul Allen's money and a roster whose core is young and ready to be competitive for the next several years.

4. Rick Adelman

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    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 10:  Head coach Rick Adelman of the Houston Rockets signals a play in the first half against the Boston Celtics on January 10, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Adelman is well known in Portland already from his days as a coach of the Trail Blazers several years back. He would be a good fit for the team because of his familiarity with the system as well as his many years of experience in the NBA.  

    He has shown that he has what it takes to help build a winner as a coach. It is reasonable to think that, at this stage of his career, his talents may be best suited to building winning teams from the front office.

5. Joe Dumars

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    AUBURN HILLS, MI - NOVEMBER 04: President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars of the Detroit Pistons introduces Allen Iverson #1 at press conference after being traded from the Denver Nuggets on November 4, 2008 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hil
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Dumars is not as popular in Detroit as he once was.

    He will always be beloved for his time there as a player and for helping to bring them a championship in 2004 but things have not gone well since that time.  Drafts, free agent signings, and trades; nothing has really worked out well for Dumars in recent seasons.

    While he has shown in the past that he has what it takes to build a team that can contend for several seasons, maybe it's time for a change of scenery.

6. Chris Dudley

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    PORTLAND, OR - JULY 18:  Oregon gubernatorial candidate Chris Dudley premeets drivers and speaks before the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Bi-Mart Salute to the Troops 125 on July 18, 2010 at Portland International Raceway in Portland, Oregon.  (Photo by Jona
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Chris Dudley recently ran for Governor of Oregon. While he hasn't publicly expressed any interest in the GM position, he is very popular among the locals and would be a great choice.  

    He is an experienced business man who played with the Blazers for many years and would be familiar with Paul Allen and his ways of running the team.

7. Danny Ainge

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    BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 28: The Boston Celtics President Danny Ainge waves during the 2008 NBA World Championship ceremony before a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the TD Banknorth Garden on October 28, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: Us
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    It seems unlikely that Danny Ainge would leave the comfort of what he has built in Boston to come to a perennial playoff but no championship team in Portland.  

    However the stress on him has been evident over the past couple of seasons, and a change of scenery could be just what he needs.

8. Terry Porter

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11:  Head coach Terry Porter of the Phoenix Suns watches the action against the Los Angeles Clippers on January 11, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  The Suns won 109-103.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowle
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Terry Porter is another candidate who, according to Joe Freeman of the Oregonian, has expressed interest in the vacancy.  

    He doesn't have any experience with this type of position but has coached at the NBA level before and is well liked among fans.  His time as a player for the Blazers would help him to understand what the team needs going forward as it continues to build towards being a championship contender.

9. Kevin Pritchard

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    DENVER - APRIL 19:  Head coach Kevin Pritchard of the Denver Nuggets reacts during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on April 19, 2005 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.   The Nuggets won 119-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    The question here is whether or not Paul Allen would be willing to step back from his unpopular firing of Pritchard last summer and bring him back for one more round.  

    Pritchard is still under contract with the Blazers and is well liked among the fans. More importantly he has shown the ability to both draft and trade with success.

    If it doesn't work out, Allen could always fire him again...

10. Paul Allen

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    PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 21:  Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen celebrates  his team's 10th consecutive victory  during the game against the Denver Nuggets at the Rose Garden on December 21, 2007 in Portland, Oregon.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly ack
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Does this mean that Paul Allen would hire himself as the new general manager?  

    Not necessarily. But as we've seen from this whole ordeal that has played out clear since last summer, Allen wants to be in charge. While he doesn't necessary want to be the public figure that Mark Cuban is, he wants a GM that will be his public face and say all the right things.

    Hiring a "puppet" GM would let him control the action behind the scenes.