Tag:Mark Warkentien
Posted on: May 10, 2011 1:18 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2011 1:34 pm

Pat Riley, Gar Forman share Executive of the Year

Miami Heat president Pat Riley and Chicago Bulls executive Gar Forman will share the 2011 NBA Executive of the Year Award. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Their teams are poised to face off in the Eastern Conference Finals after finishing with the top records in the Eastern Conference and enjoying two of the busiest summers last season.

Sure, it's a copout, but it's not a total surprise that Miami Heat president and Chicago Bulls GM Gar Forman will share the 2010-2011 NBA Executive of the Year award. 
In his 13th season with Chicago and second as its general manager, Forman saw the Bulls win a league-best 62 games, rookie coach Tom Thibodeau earn the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2010-11 NBA Coach of the Year, and Derrick Rose become the youngest player to win the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2010-11 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player. Forman transformed a 41-win Bulls team by signing free agents Carlos Boozer, Ronnie Brewer, and Kyle Korver among others. 
Riley entered his 16th season with the Heat as the architect of arguably one of the most successful offseasons in NBA history. Riley re-signed Dwyane Wade, and signed perennial All-Stars Chris Bosh and LeBron James to form the core of a team that went on to win 58 games and capture the second seed in the Eastern Conference. 
Forman and Riley received each received 11 of a possible 30 votes from a panel of their fellow team executives throughout the NBA. The Bulls’ John Paxson finished third with three votes and San Antonio’s R.C. Buford finished fourth with two votes. Oklahoma City’s Sam Presti, New Jersey’s Billy King and New York’s Donnie Walsh received one vote each.
Riley and Forman offer dueling roster construction theories. Riley, obviously, has embraced the top-heavy approach by catering to the whims of two superstars (plus a semistar) and filling out the rest of the roster with spare parts and bit pieces. Forman has taken a more traditional approach, methodically building around a franchise point guard by collecting role players that complement his skills. 

Which approach will win out on the court? We should know the answer to that in a few weeks. But both are worthy of recognition even if that means we must swallow a tie for the first time in the history of this award, which dates back to 1972-1973. That Paxon also received three votes seems like it should have served as a tie-breaker, but oh well.

Previous winners of the award include Milwaukee's John Hammond (2009-2010), Denver's Mark Warkentien (2008-2009), Boston's Danny Ainge (2007-2008), Toronto's Bryan Colangelo (2006-2007) and the Los Angeles Clippers' Elgin Baylor (2005-2006).
Posted on: February 5, 2011 12:41 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 12:46 pm

Knicks name Warkentien director, pro personnel

The New York Knicks announced the hiring of Mark Warkentien as their Director, Pro Player Personnel. Posted by Ben Golliver. mark-warkentien

Last Sunday, we noted that the New York Knicks planned to add former Denver Nuggets executive Mark Warkentien to their front office. It was originally thought that Warkentien would serve as a consultant, however the Knicks made the announcement official on Saturday and bestowed the title "Director, Pro Player Personnel." 
New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that the team has named Mark Warkentien as director, pro player personnel. In this role, Warkentien will consult Walsh on preparation for the NBA Draft, have scouting assignments and will advise on personnel moves.
"Mark is an excellent basketball operations executive and we are pleased to add him to our staff of highly accomplished executives and scouts," Walsh said. "Mark will serve as a consultant and adviser and I look forward to working with him."
Warkentien most recently served as vice president of basketball operations for the Denver Nuggets, where he was named NBA Executive of the Year following the 2008-09 season. He joined the Nuggets in 2005 as director of player personnel and was elevated to vice president of basketball operations in 2006. Prior to joining Denver, Warkentien spent 14 seasons working in various front office positions for the Portland Trail Blazers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Seattle SuperSonics. Warkentien also spent 11 years in the basketball operations department at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas.
This title is generally thought of as a head of scouting role, with the director overseeing and compiling reports from the team's scouts to make recommendations to the team's upper management. In this case, since the Knicks do not have a GM, Warkentien will report directly to president Donnie Walsh. 

CBSSports.com's Ken Berger has noted that Warkentien's relationship with Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony and knowledge of the inner workings of Denver's front office may help the Knicks land him via trade. Berger also pointed out that Warkentien is represented by CAA, the same management company as Anthony. The Knicks now have less than three weeks to land Anthony in advance of the trade deadline.

Warkentien's hiring still feels like more than just "Melo-or-bust" for New York because he was named NBA Executive of the Year for 2008-2009 and was one of the biggest available names among the group of former NBA GMs, alongside Kevin Pritchard, Danny Ferry and Steve Kerr.

Walsh and Warkentien received a great piece of news this week: They will not have to forfeit any draft picks for the illegal workouts conducted by Knicks scout Rodney Heard under former Knicks president Isiah Thomas.

For more on Donnie Walsh's own contract situation, Berger has you covered.
Posted on: February 2, 2011 5:05 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 12:31 pm

NBA rumor updates: Carmelo, Warkentien, Lakers

CBSSports.com's Ken Berger provides the latest updates on Carmelo Anthony trade rumors, whether the Los Angeles Lakers will make a move, why the New York Knicks hired former Denver Nuggets executive Mark Warkentien and who is in the mix to be the next head coach of the Indiana Pacers. Posted by Ben Golliver.

In a pair of CBSSports.com videos this week, NBA writer Ken Berger broke down the latest on some of the major trade rumors and personnel changes around the NBA with host Lauren Shehadi. 

Always first on the docket: Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, who now has just three weeks to be moved prior to the trade deadline. "Sources are telling me that there is some indecision within the Knicks organization, some disagreement, even, as to how hard they should push for a trade bringing Carmelo to New York," Berger reports. "Those against the move view Anthony strictly as a scorer and the Knicks have plenty of scoring. They think he would be a good option as a free agent but not if major assets have to be given up in a trade when the team has so many other pressing needs."

Speaking of the Knicks, Berger investigates why the team hired a former NBA GM with ties to Anthony as a consultant. "What exactly is the Knicks' motivation for hiring former Nuggets GM Mark Warkentien as a consultant? Sources that have known Warkentien and Knicks President Donnie Walsh for years say this is a Walsh-driven move and bodes well for his future with the organization. Walsh has a contract extension that he's discussing and an option that has to be picked up by April. Several rival executives, however, are telling me this looks more like an effort on the part of ownership to appease CAA, who represents both Warkentien and, guess who, Carmelo Anthony."

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of their yearly mid-season turmoil. Berger suggests that the Lakers pretty much have their hands tied when it comes to swinging a deal prior to the deadline. "The Lakers are not happy with how they are playing right now and would like to do a minor deal to kind of tweak things," Berger reports. "The problem they have: they are pretty much locked in with their core players, many of whom are over 30 and have money coming to them for several years down the road. They don't really have any attractive trade pieces that teams would be willing to give them a complementary player. Like, for example, the Wizard and Kirk Hinrich. The Lakers have long been high on Hinrich but they don't have anything the Wizards would want. A team like that would want expiring contracts and cost savings and the Lakers just don't have that. L.A. is going to have to figure this out from within. I just don't see anything more than a minor deal presenting itself between now and the deadline."

You can watch the video below.

In this week's NBA Drive, Berger also laid out the latest on the Indiana Pacers, who fired coach Jim O'Brien last week and could be in for a management shuffle this summer, as all their key pieces have contracts that expire at the end of this season. "Owner Herb Simon came out this week and backed Larry Bird, said he wants him back next season," Berger said. "So that should be a strong indication that Larry and general manager David Morway will be back. Their contracts are both up. With the vote of confidence from Herb Simon, who, by all indications, is happy with the direction if not the results. I think as long as Larry wants to be back, he will be."

Berger continued, saying the Pacers will also be re-assessing their coaching position this off-season. "The first order of business will be hiring a new coach, who may very well be interim coach Frank Vogel. There's some other interesting names on the Pacers list though. Former Cavs coach Mike Brown, former Pacer Mark Jackson, and Jazz assistant Tyrone Corbin. Those three names are going to be in the mix, as well as a darkhorse, Hawks assistant Lester Conner, a little-known name around the league, but he was on the Pacers bench last season, and I think he's going to get some consideration."

You can watch this week's edition of NBA Drive with Lauren Shehadi, featuring a guest appearance from NBA Blogger Matt Moore, below.

Posted on: January 30, 2011 9:32 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2011 11:03 pm

Knicks to hire Mark Warkentien as consultant

The New York Knicks will reportedly hire former Denver Nuggets executive Mark Warkentien. Posted by Ben Golliver. mark-warkentien

Here's some news that figures to kick up another solid round of Carmelo Anthony trade rumors: the New York Knicks are reportedly set to hire former Denver Nuggets vice president of basketball operations Mark Warkentien as a consultant to president Donnie Walsh, according to Yahoo! Sports.
In a move that undoubtedly has roots in the pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks president Donnie Walsh has reached an agreement with former Denver Nuggets general manager Mark Warkentien to join the Knicks as a high-level consultant, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday.
The hiring of Warkentien is expected to be a prelude to a larger and more specific front-office role in the future, but that’s still an issue to be worked out. As the Knicks work to acquire Anthony through a trade this season or in free agency this summer, there’s no minimizing Warkentien’s institutional knowledge of the Nuggets organization and ownership, as well as a strong relationship with Anthony.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms the Yahoo! report and further explores the hiring's implications on the Anthony trade talks.

The New York Daily News reports Anthony's reaction to the news: "As far as I'm concerned that's a great addition to their organization."

Warkentien is perhaps best known for landing point guard Chauncey Billups in a blockbuster 2008 trade for Allen Iverson. He has also established a reputation as a negotiations expert, having studied the art of deal-making extensively at Harvard.

Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke is said to be a demanding man to work for, as he runs the Nuggets by focusing on payroll management and profit maximization to a degree many owners do not. Pitching a deal with the scope and magnitude of a Carmelo Anthony trade takes a keen sense for what motivates an owner, and Warkentien's direct knowledge of those motivations would absolutely be an asset that could pay immediate dividends for the Knicks.

Still, this move feels like more than just "Melo-or-bust" for New York. Warkentien was named NBA Executive of the Year for 2008-2009 and was one of the biggest available names among the group of former NBA GMs, alongside Kevin Pritchard, Danny Ferry and Steve Kerr. Warkentien brings roughly 20 years of NBA experience to the table -- including a long record of scouting -- and the network of relationships that go along with that experience. 

During the four seasons that Warkentien headed up the Nuggets, Denver won 45, 50, 54 and 53 games. So whether or not Warkentien helps the Knicks land Anthony prior to the trade deadline, his hiring represents another sign that the Knicks franchise, a team on the rise, is looking for people to help transform it into a true title contender. 
Posted on: August 4, 2010 1:17 pm

Names popping up for Nuggets GM opening

Posted by Royce Young

One thing can be certain about whoever is hired as Mark Warkentien's replacement in Denver: Carmelo Anthony better like him.

Anthony is reportedly planning on testing free agency waters next summer and will leave a three-year extension on the table. So while Denver looks for a new general manager, whoever that person is, has a tall task in front of him.

Right now, one name has popped up in two places. Both Doug Smith of the Toronto Star and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! mentioned Masai Ujiri of the Raptors, who has ties with the Nuggets from a few years ago. Smith says, "there is legitimate interest both ways" and feels like Ujiri is almost assured at least an interview.

Another name is Wizards' executive Tommy Sheppard, also a former employee of the Nuggets. As Spears says, Nugget owner Stan Kroenke loves both Ujiri and Sheppard. Finally, Spears also mentioned former Suns GM David Griffin and described him as a "strong candidate."

Of course there are still guys like Kevin Pritchard and Danny Ferry on the market who are proven and well respected GMs. But it appears, at least in the early going, that Denver is interested in someone formerly connected to the franchise.

Whoever gets the job has a strong centerpiece for next season. But the real job is convincing 'Melo to stay and then finding the pieces to satisfy him if he does. Evidently Warkentien, one of the best GMs in the league, didn't fit in well with Kroenke and the organization. So maybe the job is a tall task altogther and not just because of 'Melo's extension.

Posted on: August 4, 2010 11:00 am
Edited on: August 4, 2010 11:02 am

Warkentien to be strong candidate for the Knicks

Posted by Royce Young

Late Tuesday, the Nuggets let go two of their top executives - Mark Warkentien and Rex Chapman. The reasoning was simply because as a press release said, "We decided that it would be best for all parties to go their separate ways."

It was somewhat shocking just in a sense of Warkentien's success (named 2008-09 Executive of the Year), but as Ken Berger noted, expected to come for months. But Warkentien is considered a star in the NBA front office world, so like Kevin Pritchard, he'll be a hot commodity.

And Marc Berman of the New York Post says
, the Knicks might be a prime landing spot for Warkentien if Donnie Walsh decides to make a hire to pass along some responsibility. Berman also notes, "The Post reported recently the well-respected Warkentien, a friend of Walsh's, had a preliminary interview with the Knicks last summer after being given permission by the Nuggets owner."

Teams are turning over front offices left and right it seems, so a proven builder and winner like Warkentien will likely be at the top of most wishlists. Warkentien constructed a roster in Denver that played at a high pace, so teaming him with Mike D'Antoni's offensive system could be a nice fit. And by all accounts, Warkentien had a good relationship with Carmelo Anthony, so maybe hiring him would be a step in winning over 'Melo next summer.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com