Jody Allen Rumors
But how does anyone know for sure? How can franchise chair Jody Allen, or her right-hand man Bert Kolde — or whoever is making the decisions these days — know? There was no search. No candidates flew in for an interview. No phone calls were made to feel out if people were interested. No nothing. “They were never opening it for a search,” one prominent agent said.
JD Shaw: The Blazers have officially named interim general manager Joe Cronin as the team’s new full-time general manager. Statements from chair Jody Allen, Cronin and head coach Chauncey Billups:
I’m told there is no plan for the franchise to be relocated. Portland has a functional arena, loyal customers and commissioner Adam Silver wouldn’t dare repeat the biggest mistake of David Stern’s career — ushering the Sonics to Oklahoma City. It’s why the timing on the negotiation of the existing lease agreement and the potential auction is so interesting. The city wants to get a deal done. The franchise does, too. Most believe the NBA will eventually put expansion franchises in Seattle and Las Vegas and provide a multi-billion dollar windfall split by the rest of the league’s owners. That will undoubtedly be baked into the sales price in Portland.
The NBA franchise and the City of Portland remain in “productive discussions” about the lease that ties them together, per a city source. The lease expires in 2025 and includes ironclad language that ensures the team stays through 2023. Said the source: “The negotiations are a priority for both sides.”
A source who works for the Vulcan, Inc. mothership tells me that the NBA franchise will be prepared for an auction in the next six to 18 months. The whisper is that Vice Chairman Bert Kolde will lead the effort on behalf of the Paul G. Allen Trust. The franchise braintrust is carefully tracking what happens with the sale of the Denver Broncos, too.
The next big question is whether Cronin will be making the decisions in the summer. Two prominent agents who represent front office executives told The Athletic that the Blazers have yet to reach out to any of their clients, which is not surprising considering most teams would not want their employees interviewing around the trade deadline. Cronin said he has not been told by Blazers chair Jody Allen what his future looks like. “The message has been the same, that this could take a while,” Cronin said. “The Blazers have always told me they are going to talk to other people, and I agree with them. They should. Be diligent. Research. This is an important hire. I welcome the challenge.”