Blazers Sack Front Office's No. 2
But apparently, Pritchard had his own little Pritchslapper within the organization. On Tuesday, the Blazers fired Tom Penn, Pritchard's No. 2, because of "philosophical differences." Just 10 months ago, Penn reportedly emerged as a top candidate for Minnesota's vacant G.M. job. The Blazers wanted to keep Penn, and gave him a raise and a new job title (vice president of basketball operations). But something has changed since then. Dave Deckard of Blazers Edge surmises that Penn overstepped his bounds, leading to some discord in the front office. The Oregonian's John Canzano has plenty of theories: that Penn, even after the promotion, sought out a G.M. job with the Clippers (Penn denies this), that owner Paul Allen had pre-existing bad blood with Penn and found out the Minnesota offer was overstated by Penn.
Whatever the case, Penn is out of a job, and Pritchard is less one well-respected cap expert. There aren't many obvious G.M. openings for Penn to chase this summer -- the Clippers job should be open, in addition to the position in New Jersey and potentially in Philadelphia, New Orleans and Golden State. But as a bright star in basketball circles, Penn should surely land on his feet. What the Blazers do going forward is more of a mystery.