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Old 07-21-2011, 08:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow Chisholm: Raptors continue search for Colangelo's assistant

However, despite the impressive resume's that each bring to the job, no one is exactly sure what any of them would do if they were hired by Colangelo. Colangelo has made specific mention of the fact that he'd be using the title of general manager as an enticement to high-profile candidates, but it would be a limited general manager's role when compared to the power most similarly-titled executives wield on other NBA squads. In theory, the job could be tailored to the man hired to fill it, but that does leave the question as to what are the empirical qualifications the team is looking for to give context to their active search.

Considering that Colangelo would still be handling trades, signings and the draft, it would seem that the only overriding qualification that the Raptors are looking for is someone who has the experience and clout to talk Colangelo down from some of his more outrageous trades and signings. A voice in the room with actual managerial experience (Lindsey may not have ever been a GM, but his voice carries weight) that can force Colangelo to consider the advisability of signings like Hedo Turkoglu's $50-million deal from 2009.

When it comes to small moves Colangelo has been consistently solid in Toronto, as has he been with the draft, but when he shoots for the moon, one gets the impression that there isn't anyone strong enough around Colangelo to get him to fully reflect on the move before he signs off on it. While it's hard to say how attractive that job would be for any of the candidates that the team is chasing, it's pretty hard to deny that such a figure is currently missing from Toronto's front office.

To that end, Stefanski actually makes for a slightly on-point candidate. As GM of the Nets, Stefanski was not only involved in getting Jason Kidd from Colangelo in exchange for Stephon Marbury (a move that secured New jersey two trips to the NBA Finals), but he was also instrumental in hoodwinking Rob Babcock into trading Vince Carter from Toronto for pennies on the dollar.

If you're looking for a GM that can prevent Colangelo and Toronto from making terrible moves, getting a guy involved in the worst move that each made might not be a bad start. It might also help that he is used to acting as GM under a domineering president (Rod Thorn, in both New jersey and Philadelphia), although he may also be eager to escape from such an arrangement with his next NBA job.

The Raptors are still very early in the process of seeking out this high-ranking executive. With the lockout continuing on with no end in sight, making expensive hires is not exactly a priority in most NBA offices, so Toronto isn't on the same kind of timetable that they set for themselves when they hired Dwane Casey in advance of the draft. No doubt Colangelo would like to have someone in place whenever the abbreviated free agency period begins, but until the serious negotiations begin winding down the lockout, no urgency needs to be placed on this search.

Whenever the hiring does finally go down, though, it will be very interesting to hear exactly what this new executive's actual responsibilities will be while acting as a GM under someone as hands-on as Colangelo. Regardless, if the man hired is one of the aforementioned names it would count as yet another strong hire in a summer of strong off-the-court additions for the Raptors organization. At a time when no players can be traded or signed, it's really all that the team can do for now to improve its fortunes.
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