The firing of Portland Trail Blazers president of basketball operations and general manager Neil Olshey has opened up one of the league’s dream jobs — constructing a championship roster around Damian Lillard’s final prime years.
Perry has a longstanding relationship with current Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups. Perry was a Pistons front office executive when Billups won his only NBA championship in 2004.
When Perry was with the Orlando Magic, he recruited Billups to become Frank Vogel’s top assistant in 2016. But Billups ultimately chose family over the coaching opportunity. Perhaps this is the perfect time for them to link up in a pivotal season for Portland and its franchise player.
Before his arrival to New York in 2017, Perry had extensive experience as a front office executive with the Pistons, Seattle Supersonics, Magic, and the Sacramento Kings.
Perry is well-respected around the league after building a solid resume as a front office executive for over two decades.
He helped the Pistons construct a roster that won two Eastern Conference titles out of six appearances (2003-2008) and one NBA championship in 2004. Before the Seattle Supersonics relocated to Oklahoma City, Perry worked as their assistant general manager for one season and was partly responsible for drafting Kevin Durant. He returned to Detroit for four more seasons as vice president of basketball operations. Afterward, he continued his work with Magic’s front office that selected Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon and constructed the current Knicks core as the general manager.
Perry recently signed a two-year extensionÂ with the Knicks after he helped team president Leon Rose’s seamless transition to his executive role from being one of the top basketball agents.
Another name floated around in the Yahoo! Sports story is Chicago Bulls general manager Marc Eversley. Meanwhile, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer added Memphis Grizzlies executive Tayshaun Prince and San Antonio Spurs executive Brent Barry to the mix as potential long-term replacements.
Billups and Prince were teammates in the Pistons championship team. Barry is a prominent basketball figure in Portland after starring for four years at the Oregon State University in college.
The Trail Blazers fired Olshey for violations of the organizations’ code of conduct. They have promoted director of player personnel Joe Cronin to interim GM while searching for a permanent replacement.
Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo