via www.nba.comBy the time this goes to post we may know whom Vivek Ranadive intends to at least interview for the pivotal role of General Manager for the Sacramento Kings if not in fact hire. While there was some speculation that maybe Phil Jackson could become interested, I believe his recent public diss is because Phil has designs on a part owner/GM role with the Seattle Sonics whenever they eventually are awarded an expansion team or should the Sonics buy another team that lacks the support of a Sacramento (cough - Charlotte.) Until then I expect him to continue to travel to promote his book and spend time networking with other GMs, consulting, and reading Yi Ling to enhance his philosophical proficiency.
In all seriousness Vivek is not likely to put out a cattle call for anyone and everyone to interview. There is too much to do and not enough time to do it. I expect Vivek will pluck from the pool that he is most familiar with, lives close to and can start executing with immediately. If you look at the Golden State Warriors front office roster it looks like this:
Bob Myers - I won't waste time considering Bob Meyers, 38 years old, to be a candidate. The former Sports Agent with WMG originally from Danville, promoted to GM of the Warriors last season has been integral to their turn around from lottery bound to playoff contender. This from a team that didn't want to keep Jeremy Lin and wanted Carl Landry is now viewed by some as the team to watch in the NBA. No chance we steal him away.
Larry Riley - Almost 40 years of coaching, scouting and front office experience at both the collegiate and NBA level including stints with the Bucks, Grizzlies, Mavericks and currently Director of Scouting with the Warriors after spending two seasons as the team's General Manager. Was originally hired as an assistant coach and then promoted to General Manager. Reading though the lines he helped show Myers the ropes and was kept on to focus on his strengths namely scouting. Doubtful he is selected by Vivek mostly because he is not a part of the new breed of money ball minded analytical minds likely sought out by Vivek.
Kirk Lacob - Son of Co-owner Joe Lacob, 26 years old, works for Bob Myers as Assistant General Manager while assisting with all aspects of the team’s day-to-day basketball operations including player personnel evaluation, draft preparation and scouting, as well as helping to further the use of statistics and technologies in basketball operations. He has also served as the team’s player development representative with the league office, coordinating and implementing programs to aid in the overall development of players both on and off the court. He also serves as the General Manager of the Dakota Wizards, the Warriors-owned NBA Development League affiliate. Originally from Woodside, CA, graduated from Stanford with a degree in Science, Technology and Society.
Because Joe is not looking to retire and loves being the front man for the franchise, it is possible Kirk who almost went to work for Steve Kerr of the Suns might be interested in being groomed for the GM role with the Kings. I could see a scenario where Vivek whom likely will be surrounding the Front Office with a significant brain trust could promote Kirk up to this role and possibly retain Geoff Petrie to help with the knowledge transfer. I conclude there is a small to decent chance Vivek hires Kirk.
Travis Schlenk - The 39 year old Assistant GM for the Warriors has many fans that have worked with him in the NBA including Don Nelson, Pat Riley and Eric Spolestra "We lean on him heavily as to what he thinks of a player, how much the player will improve," GM Bob Myers said recently. "Usually, he’s the one on the staff that’s seen the player the most." He goes on to share, "He’s arguably the hardest-working person in the organization...he’s not afraid to travel. He’s up late. He’s on prop planes going to the middle of nowhere." It would appear he would be a good fit given his self assessment. "I like the idea of building a team. I like the process of trying to mesh personalities and find the right pieces to the puzzle."
Several respected minds in the NBA including Jerry West think he will ascend within the NBA front office quickly stating, "I think he’s ahead of the game at looking at a team and understanding its strengths and weaknesses," West said. "Ultimately, one person is going to have to pick that one player. That person is responsible. He has the ability to do that. He’s not afraid." With the Warriors Schlenk oversees a cutting edge system called SportVU, named for the Israeli startup that developed the tech. Stats, the Chicago-based data-crunching outfit in charge of providing a new era of advanced basketball analytics. They were early adopters of this program and Schlenk is the expert.
Based on his tech savy, work ethic, ability to evaluate talent in combination with harmonizing personalities (all players drafted are given a comprehensive personality test) and his organization skills--while not being too old nor too inexperienced--he may just be another understated humble and very much Vivek's guy.