Jeff Weltman Rumors

Toronto’s new GM Masai Ujiri not only got a $15 million deal, but took a broom to his front office, sweeping out all pro personnel people and college scouts. He’s looking to hire Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman to be his No. 1 assistant. Weltman and former Knick president Scott Layden were up for the Phoenix GM job that went to Ryan McDonough, formerly with Danny Ainge’s front office in Boston.
The Suns’ decision for their next general manager could come down to two men – Jeff Weltman and Ryan McDonough. Weltman, Milwaukee‘s assistant general manager, has been seen as a favorite since the beginning of the process, particularly after coming close to getting the job in 2010 when Lance Blanks was picked. But Weltman has a strong challenger in McDonough, the Boston assistant general manager.
The Suns’ search for their next general manager continues with Milwaukee assistant GM Jeff Weltman remaining the favorite, according to industry insiders. Weltman, former Indiana GM David Morway, San Antonio assistant GM and former Utah and New York executive Scott Layden and Boston 33-year-old assistant GM Ryan McDonough have been interviewed in Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby’s process. McDonough visited Phoenix on Tuesday.
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Jeff Weltman, as has been reported, is the frontrunner to be the Phoenix Suns’ next GM, and one source said he was team president Lon Babby’s preference when he first joined the Suns but that owner Robert Sarver was eager to tap the San Antonio Spurs’ braintrust and therefore preferred the now-deposed Lance Blanks. The bigger question is, how much longer will Sarver be calling the shots? One source says the increased evaluation of franchises inspired by the Seattle-Sacramento fight over the Kings has Sarver wondering if it’s time to cash out.
A good number of executives felt Lance Blanks got a raw deal when he was fired as the Phoenix Suns’ GM earlier this week. Blanks, who comes out of the Spurs’ highly regarded front office tree, is respected around the league and several execs thought he became the Suns’ scapegoat. Blanks was indeed pushed out front on a few moves that weren’t his doing, sources said. While blamed on Blanks, sources say the heavily panned signing of Michael Beasley to a three-year, $18 million deal was president Lon Babby’s call. Blanks, having worked with the volatile Delonte West in Cleveland, warned Babby that paying Beasley that much guaranteed money would take away his incentive to work hard and change. But Babby didn’t listen and got a disappointing 10 points per game on 40 percent shooting out of Beasley. Blanks also had little to do with the firing of Alvin Gentry, sources said. Milwaukee assistant GM Jeff Weltman, a longtime league executive who has worked for Detroit, Denver and the Los Angeles Clippers, is widely regarded as the frontrunner to replace Blanks in Phoenix.
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Now that the Suns’ GM job came open this week, the more likely GM candidates are names that are largely to the general fan – Milwaukee assistant GM Jeff Weltman and former Indiana GM David Morway, for examples. But Barkley is interested, but not desperate for the job. Barkley has not been contacted by the Suns he did talk Wednesday on Brad Cesmat’s “Pros 2 Preps” show (KGME-AM) and addressed the topic in his usual candid way.
Former Denver general manager Kiki Vandeweghe is the only candidate to have formally interviewed for the job, according to sources. The club has also had preliminary conversations with Jim Paxson, Larry Harris, Jeff Weltman and Tony DiLeo, according to sources, but the Clippers seem to have turned their focus to Thursday’s draft, where they hold the 53rd pick, and free agency.
Bucks assistant general manager Jeff Weltman said several of the players would be considered with the Bucks’ second-round pick, the 42nd overall selection in the June 28 draft. “At 42, you don’t know what you’re going to be picking,” Weltman said. “You pick the best player. We have needs on our team, but at 42 you feel like the odds are at a point where you have to go (with the guy) with the strongest likelihood to make the league, play on your team and hopefully address a need.”
Shake up in Milwaukee coming? “Based on the conversations I’ve had, you just don’t know what’s going to happen. I would imagine the Bucks are going to make some major moves. Scott Skiles, John Hammond, I think they’re both under the gun at this point.” Would Hammond bring director of scouting Billy McKinney and assistant GM Jeff Weltman to Portland? “Those guys are joined at the hip. Billy McKinney and John Hammond grew up together in Illinois. They’ve been best of friends since they were kids. So that’s a given. Weltman has been with John for the last five or six years so I can definitely see that as a scenario.”