Joe Cronin Rumors
After two departures in the Trail Blazers front office, we have news of somebody moving up in the Blazers organization. Pro scout and salary cap analyst Joe Cronin was named the Director of Player Personnel on Thursday evening. “Joe possesses a unique skill set that is critical to the success of our organization,” said Olshey in a release from the team. “His expertise and contributions in multiple areas make him an invaluable member of our front office staff.”
After spending a half-hour rattling off details about trade exceptions, trade kickers, midlevel exceptions, mini-midlevel exceptions and a zillion other head-spinning subjects that constitute the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, it was time for Joe Cronin to face a pop quiz. Interim general manager Chad Buchanan and other members of the Trail Blazers’ management team rave about Cronin’s under-the-radar contributions to the organization and they regularly brag that he knows the CBA like the back of his hand. He’s so in tune with the ins and outs of NBA salaries, they say, that he can spout off the top of his head contract details of every player in the NBA — a list that stretches more than 400 players long. OK, hotshot, how much does … Dallas Mavericks guard Delonte West make? “Easy, he’s a minimum salary guy,” Cronin said, without blinking. How about Chicago Bulls sharpshooter Kyle Korver? “He’s got one more year on his deal, it’s conditional and it has a $500,000 guarantee,” Cronin promptly answered.
The people behind such maneuvers rarely earn headlines, but Cronin’s job is becoming more and more valued as GMs place a premium on salary cap knowledge and owners focus more on the bottom line. “It wasn’t that long ago that deals were always done for talent reasons,” Penn said. “But more and more, deals … are being done for financial, contractual reasons. It’s an advantage for an organization to have a creative, dynamic deal maker. This isn’t just adding up numbers and seeing if trades work. It’s about thinking more creatively, strategically, and understanding the books and finances of other teams and what’s motivating other teams. That’s the secret sauce.”