Joe Cronin Rumors
Longtime Trail Blazers executive Joe Cronin was elevated to the interim general manager role after Neil Olshey’s firing in early December. With Lillard’s future still uncertain, he needs to upgrade this roster to calm those waters. Sources say Detroit’s Jerami Grant and Boston’s Jaylen Brown are the types of talents that would achieve that goal, but it remains to be seen if Cronin can pull something like that off.
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: Portland’s interim GM Joe Cronin is making his first significant addition to the Blazers’ front office, hiring Cleveland’s Andrae Patterson as assistant GM. Patterson has been the Cavs’ Senior Director of Basketball Ops and also spent 4 years in Utah’s front office.
Does Cronin have the power to trade All-Star Damian Lillard? The consensus is no, and there’s no expectation Portland will move Lillard. If that’s the case, the Trail Blazers would need to include McCollum’s $30.9 million salary to Philadelphia for Simmons.
The Blazers recently let go of their top basketball executive, Neil Olshey, promoting Joe Cronin in the interim. While Cronin will run the team until an official hire, it’s unclear if that hire will happen before the trade deadline. Sources indicate he’ll have an opportunity to keep the position long-term, but Chicago Bulls general manager Marc Eversley, G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Boston Celtics vice president of player and organization development Allison Feaster are the front-runners.
Now that Cronin has moved into the big seat, their connection seems even more relevant. A first-time coach, and a first-time general manager are leaning on each other, both anchored by their deep-rooted history. “I know who he is, because I’ve known him since he was 17,” Cronin said. “And he is the same guy today as he was then. The trust is there. I know Chauncey Billups as a person, I know exactly what that is, and I’m very lucky to have him.”
Billups still shakes his head at the happenstance of it all. “I just think it speaks to Joe’s incredible character and his work ethic, and being able to keep his head down and grind and make it through time and time again,” Billups said. “I mean, nobody knows him. Until now, nobody knows him. But the people within, in the NBA circles, he is very, very highly and well thought of because of who he is. He is wicked smart.”