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SI: Raptors Hire Babcock, Embry and English As New Management Team.

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by MacBeth, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. MacBeth

    MacBeth Member

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    Raptors reload
    Toronto to hire Timberwolves' Babcock as new GM
    Posted: Friday June 4, 2004 5:58PM; Updated: Friday June 4, 2004 6:08PM


    Two league sources have told SI.com that the Toronto Raptors will hire Minnesota Timberwolves' vice president of player personnel Rob Babcock as the team's next general manager. Joining Babcock in the Toronto front office will be NBA Hall of Famer Wayne Embry as the assistant general manager and former player Alex English, who will serve as the club's new director of player personnel. The team is expected to formally announce the moves on Monday.

    Babcock will arrive in Toronto after spending 10 seasons with the T'wolves, the last two of which he served as general manager Kevin McHale's top assistant. Prior to becoming a team vice president, Babcock spent eight years as the club's director of player personnel and two as a scout. Embry, a four-time All-Star with the Cincinnati Royals, became the first black general manager in the league when he was hired by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1972.


    Babcock was one of five candidates short-listed by the Raptors several weeks ago when the team began the process of replacing longtime GM Glen Grunwald, who was fired at the end of the season. Babcock was considered the favorite of Jack McCloskey, who served as Detroit's general manager during their back-to-back title seasons in 1989 and '90 and has been serving as the chief consultant to the Raptors during the GM hiring process. One of two finalists for the position, Babcock's chief competition for the post was Jeff Weltman, assistant GM of the Denver Nuggets. The other three executives under consideration were Philadelphia'a Tony DiLeo, former NBA player Len Elmore and Portland's Mark Warkentien, who was considered one of the early favorites and had the support of several within the Raptors organization.

    When the team hesitated to hire either Babcock or Weltman after both had been interviewed a second time two weeks ago, speculation arose that the team was going to move in a different direction and possibly pursue John Hammond, the assistant general manager of the Detroit Pistons. Hammond, however, told associates in the NBA last week that he had not been contacted by the Raptors and did not expect to be a candidate for the job. Rumors also suggested that Hall of Famer Julius Erving, a favorite of Raptors star Vince Carter, was also being considered for the post. Raptors insiders, however, claim that Erving was never a candidate, although the team was interested in speaking with him about taking on a secondary role with the team.

    While Toronto initially appeared to be searching for a more celebrated candidate with a stronger personality, Babcock became an option when the team was able to surround him with well-known NBA names in Embry, considered one of the most respected general managers in the league before he left the GM ranks five years ago, and English, the NBA's 11th all-time leading scorer, who served as an assistant coach with Philadelphia 76ers this season.

    One of Babcock's first dutires will be to hire a coach to replace Kevin O'Neill, who was fired after the season. The Raptors' new GM will also need to decide the fate of Carter, who was sidelined for 33 games by a left quadriceps tendon strain and a strained right knee last season and has frustrated some within the organization with his failure to take charge of the team. If Carter were to be traded, it would most likely happen on NBA draft night, in conjunction with other moves. This year's draft is expected to be highly volatile; a number of players and draft picks could be traded.

    Hiring Babcock should bring some order to what has been an embarrassing, month-long search process. The Raptors hope that hiring two front-office men as respected around the league as Babcock and Embry will allow them to move forward quickly.


    Sports Illustrated senior writer Ian Thomsen covers the NBA beat for the magazine and is a regular contributor to SI.com.
     
  2. MacBeth

    MacBeth Member

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    I would appreciate opinions on Babcock and Embry, and I suppose even English, or just general thoughts about the choices.
     
  3. KellyDwyer

    KellyDwyer Contributing Member

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    Embry's one of the finer basketball minds the NBA has ever employed, it's nice to see him get back into the league. If Babcock can pick up on half of what Wayne brings to the table, the Raptors will be in good shape.
     
  4. KellyDwyer

    KellyDwyer Contributing Member

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    Also, prior to this season, Babcock and McHale have done a remarkable job of bring in unheralded vets -- and the Raptors could use a few of those.

    Year after year, guys like Reggie Slater, Kendall Gill, LaPhonso Ellis, Terry Porter and othes have come in for one year on the minimum and made an impact (having to work around KG's contract).

    Babcock and McHale have had quite a few missteps, but that is one bonus that Toronto fans should look forward to.
     
  5. MacBeth

    MacBeth Member

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    KD: Thanks!
     
  6. Sane

    Sane Member

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    I heard Vince Carter may be unhappy with this choice and may ask for a trade. Is that true MacBeth? I know he was asking for Erving.
     
  7. MacBeth

    MacBeth Member

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    I know he had asked for Erving to be at least interviewed, which did happen. At this point anything on his reaction would be speculation. I have heard that some within the organization fear he might be ticked off, but no one has said he actually is, and they did meet his request to at least talk to Dr. J. He's never really been an ultimatum kind of guy; just wants to see real progress and is tired of carrying the team. Was initialy unhappy they didn;t trade the no.4 pick last year ( not as a reflection on Bosh) because he wanted immediate help, but was soon saying it was ok, and later said that Bosh is going to be special and that the two of them make for a bright future.

    Erving and Carter are neighbours, so it's understandable that he;d pull for him, but whether he;d go so far as ask for a trade is something I simply don;t know.
     
  8. KellyDwyer

    KellyDwyer Contributing Member

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    How wary are you of the ownership situation up there MacBeth?

    I'm no Vince Carter fan, to be sure, but trading him now would be pointless. His trade vaule is at an all time low, and in a league that has trouble putting the ball in the basket, he can at least be counted on for 18-25 a night.

    Bosh is a gem, a cerebral kid who plays like a more advanced Jermaine O'Neal. If Embry knows talent, and Babcock knows how to deal with a messy cap situation, then things should turn around.

    GG's unending commitment to mediocrity will keep the team in the lurch for a while, though.
     
  9. MacBeth

    MacBeth Member

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    It's not really the ownership that's a problem. I myself don't like Peddie, their President, who is sort of a meddler that doesn't know basketball. For example he hired Kevin O'Neal over Grunwald's objections, and then when things didn't go well and O'Neal and Grunwald could barely stand each other, he fired Grunwald, siad he;d leave it to the new GM to decide O'Neal's fate, and then fired him a little bit later.

    But the owners, particularly Tanenbaum are pretty good IMO.

    Agree about trading Carter; not sure it's all time low, as he played very well last year, especially second half, but it's not a good time. Carter, Bosh, this year;s draft pick, Rose, Marshall...that's a pretty good group for now, and Bosh, Carter and hopefully someone like Devin Harris makes for a very good future. Only way i trade Carter, unless he asks for a trade, is if he continues to be lax about off season conditioning and injuries result.
     
  10. peleincubus

    peleincubus Member

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    i think maybe if i were the raptors. you could start out fresh and trade vince carter for the 3 pick and jamal crawford or something like that.

    then you could have deng and bosh along with there pick this year. would probably end up getting another good pick out of this next season. then by the start of the season after that roses contract should be about up and you can use that money to resign bosh.

    which is kind of what the bulls tried to do but you have bosh which seems mature, a duke player, and then whoever you think they would get with there other picks. so it would probably work better for them.

    but as i have read before the trouble with giving up carter is he is the guy that sells the tickets. but if you could make it out of his shadow in a couple years you would have one of the very best young teams in the league. and probably one of those guys would end up being as good or better then carter.
     
  11. KellyDwyer

    KellyDwyer Contributing Member

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    As someone who has given up on the industry and returned to being a fan ... a Bulls fan; I gots to say -- no Bulls fan would make that trade. And most of us cannot stand JC.

    Yes, Chicago needs a scoring wing; but we'd rather draft a wing and keep Crawford on the cheap.
     
  12. Sane

    Sane Member

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    With Denver lurking, how exactly will you keep Crawford on the cheap? isn't he a restricted FA?

    I can see Denver making a big offer. The Clippers might even surprise us - remember, they would have matched Odom's contract if Odom hadn't trashed the min public.
     
  13. KellyDwyer

    KellyDwyer Contributing Member

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    With the contract that Kiki has (supposedly, allegedly) already offered Camby, they can't offer much beyond 6-7million a year.

    For a potential 20ppg a night guy, that's on the cheap.

    And if le Clips want to drop their wing kids (Q and Simmons and Keyon and Maggette), go ahead.
     
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