Danny Ainge, Tayshaun Prince Among Early Names Linked To Blazers’ GM Search

Former Celtics head of basketball operations Danny Ainge will be among the names “sure to surface” in the Trail Blazers’ search for a general manager, per Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.Danny Ainge

The Blazers fired Neil Olshey as president/GM after conducting a month-long investigation into workplace misconduct. Olshey had been on the job for a decade.

Other potential candidates include Bulls GM Marc Eversley, Suns VP of basketball operations Jeff Bower and Grizzlies executive Tayshaun Prince, a former teammate of current Blazers coach Chauncey Billups with the Pistons.

Knicks GM Scott Perry is another candidate who will warrant consideration, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Ainge had already been linked to the job before Olshey was dismissed, as SI’s Howard Beck suggested last month on the Crossover Podcast that Ainge would be a natural candidate.

A native of Oregon, Ainge played for the Blazers during the 1990-91 season. He was also at the helm as the Celtics were an Eastern Conference contender. They won a championship with Ainge as the top basketball executive in 2008.

Ainge, 62, stepped down from his role running the Celtics at the end of last season and was replaced by former coach Brad Stevens, hired by Ainge.

That said, Beck pointed out that there is no indication that Ainge has an interest in the Blazers’ director of basketball operations job, given that it has yet to become available.

While the Blazers’ are beginning their search, director of player personnel Joe Cronin has been promoted to interim GM.

The Blazers (11-12) have made the playoffs eight straight seasons, the longest active streak in the NBA.

“The Portland Trail Blazers are committed to building an organization that positively impacts our colleagues, communities and the world in which we live and play,” the team said in a statement announcing Olshey’s firing. “Following the conclusion of the independent review of concerns and complaints around our workplace environment at the practice facility, the Portland Trail Blazers organization has decided to terminate General Manager and President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey, effective immediately due to violations of the Portland Trail Blazers’ Code of Conduct.

“Out of respect for those who candidly participated in that privileged investigation, we will not release or discuss it. We are confident that these changes will help build a more positive and respectful working environment.”

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