Details on Portland's Front Office Shakeup Emerge
On Thursday, columnist John Canzano of The Oregonian laid out a theory that Allen's advisors had been seeking to wrest control of the emergent franchise back from the basketball folks -- that'd be Pritchard and Penn -- and used Penn to wedge that opening. The supposed slight was that Penn misrepresented a contract offer from the Timberwolves last summer in order to get a promotion and raise from Allen. (Canzano obtained proof, apparently from Penn's agent, which reportedly refutes that claim.)
Canzano tends to be quite partisan on ownership/management battles; as such, his doomsday account, quite honestly obviously sourced from folks sympathetic to Pritchard and Penn, was taken with a grain of salt by many Blazers fans. But Henry Abbott, a Blazers fan who happens to head ESPN's TrueHoop and is really plugged in on Portland matters, followed Canzano's piece with his own dystopian view. Abbott wrote late last night that according to sources the agent for both Pritchard and Penn began sending out feelers about job opportunities for the pair, believing that the Blazers wouldn't be keeping Pritchard around long-term. As such, Abbott writes, the Penn firing serves as a vindication for those fears.
Pritchard is signed through the 2010-11 season. Suffice it to say that should he become available, there would be substantial interest from lower echelon teams, given the way Pritchard has been able to bring Portland back from the dead.