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Super Bowl 50

Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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GM search nearing its conclusion

The Sports Xchange

--The Blazers have narrowed the list of candidates for their vacant general manager position to three, "and we are pretty close to making a decision," president Larry Miller said.

Miller said about a half-dozen candidates have been formally interviewed and added that three who have met with owner Paul Allen are still being considered.

Four candidates have been in front of Allen: Indiana GM David Morway; former New Orleans coach and GM Jeff Bower; Tony DiLeo, assistant GM and senior vice president in Philadelphia; and Neil Olshey, GM and vice president of the Clippers.

Olshey, 46, replaced Mike Dunleavy as the Clippers' GM in 2010 after having spent the previous seven years with the club as an assistant coach, assistant GM and director of player personnel.

DiLeo, 56, served as interim head coach when Maurice Cheeks was let go by the 76ers in 2008, taking them to a 32-27 record and the playoffs after a 9-14 start under Cheeks. He has spent 22 years with the Philadelphia organization in a variety of positions, including director of scouting and director of player personnel.

Bower, 51, served two stints as New Orleans' GM and was head coach of the Hornets in 2009-10. He is among five candidates -- including Pritchard -- for the open GM job in Orlando.

Morway, 51, has been a member of the Indiana front office for 12 years. He interviewed with the Blazers owner in Seattle.

--The Blazers brought in six prospects for an early pre-draft workout, including centers Tyler Zeller of North Carolina and Meyers Leonard from Illinois. The Blazers need help most at center and point guard. Zeller could be a candidate if Portland keeps the No. 11 pick; Leonard will probably be taken later in the round.

"Tyler can face up and shoot the ball," said Portland's acting general manager, Chad Buchanan. "He runs well, has soft hands and a good touch around the basket. He's not the defensive presence Meyers is right now, but he is more polished offensively, and a very high character kid."

"That's something they're going to have to sit down and figure out -- look at the identity of this team and what we could use going forward. We have a lot of salary-cap room now, and two good draft picks coming up. Things are going to look totally different next year." -- LaMarcus Aldridge, on what the Blazers need to do to improve during the offseason.

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