More photos » Mark Duncan - AP
about 1 year ago: Cleveland Cavaliers assistant general manager Lance Blanks, left, presents a jersey to Anthony Parker at the team's headquarters in Independence, Ohio Monday, July 13, 2009. The Cavaliers signed Parker, the brother of WNBA star Candace Parker, as a free agent. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
I'll be adding more, but I wanted to supersede my post from this morning.
Maybe my post was all they needed to make a decision, huh?
Blanks comes from the Cleveland Cavaliers. He joined that organization in 2005, after spending the previous 5 years with the Spurs (last position: Director of Scouting). Before that, Blanks played in the NBA for, among other teams, the Detroit Pistons.
I'm checking right now to see if he played there at the same time as Grant Hill and coach Alvin Gentry were around. I think that's the case. Later note: Nope, they missed each other. Blanks was there and gone before those guys arrived.
**Added #1: link to Seth's writeup of Cleveland's drafting while he was there (very good writing)
**Added #2: the official release, including quotes from the Suns folks...
**Added #3: check out this interview with Babby tonight on Blanks. Babby repped Bowen?!?!?
Here is my evaluation from this morning on Blanks:
Lance Blanks - Assistant GM, Cleveland Cavaliers
The only one 100% confirmed as a candidate, because he had an interview last week with the Suns, is Lance Blanks. Before Danny Ferry was fired this summer, Blanks was the #3 talent evaluator in the front office.
I question that front office's track record though. Sans LeBron James, who they got as a gift 7 years ago for being the worst team in basketball, that current roster is a mishmash of role players who probably won't make the playoffs. Add in Ferry's poor choices of high-priced talent to pair with LeBron (Shaquille O'Neal, Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams and previously Larry Hughes, Damon Jones and Ben Wallace), I have to question the work of that front office as a whole.
Now, it's possible the Lance Blanks was the voice of reason, but how can we know that? In the draft, they haven't found any diamonds in the rough, though JJ Hickson looks like a keeper and many years ago Anderson Varejao was a good pickup. But Boobie Gibson? Christian Eyenga? Who else made it to the rotation?
[Note by Seth Pollack, 08/05/10 6:20 PM MST ]
A review of the Cavs draft history since Lance took his talents to Cleveland in 2005.
Here's the official release from the Suns:
PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns have named former player and veteran NBA executive Lance Blanks the club's general manager, the team announced today.
"After a thorough search, we believe we have found the perfect choice to serve as our general manager," said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. "Lance Blanks is a first-rate talent evaluator, basketball executive and person. We are thrilled that he will be joining the Phoenix Suns."
An experienced and successful talent evaluator, Blanks combines the high basketball IQ of a former player with a 10-year track record in the front offices of two of the league's most successful franchises over the last decade. The 43-year-old Blanks joins the Suns after spending the last five seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers as vice president of basketball operations and assistant general manager, a tenure during which the Cavs owned an overall record of 272-138 (.663).
Prior to joining the Cavaliers in 2005, Blanks spent the previous five seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, originally joining the club in 2000 as a scout. Blanks was then promoted to the role of director of scouting in September 2002. During his time in the Alamo City, the Spurs won two NBA Championships and drafted Tony Parker and Luis Scola.
Selected in the first round of the 1990 NBA Draft (26th overall) by the Detroit Pistons, Blanks spent two seasons with the Pistons and one with the Minnesota Timberwolves, appearing in 142 career NBA games. He played one season in the CBA and three in Europe where he led teams in Hungary and Cyprus to league championships. A former Texas "Mr. Basketball" as a high school standout in 1985, Blanks attended the University of Texas and led the Longhorns to the Elite Eight in the 1990 NCAA Tournament. Blanks' 20.0-point collegiate scoring average ranks third-highest in Longhorn history.
Currently in Senegal with the NBA's Basketball Without Borders, Blanks has been active in the program, which encourages positive social change in education, health and wellness through basketball, since its inception in 2003. He also serves on the steering committee for the Ron Brown Scholar Program, established in 1996 to provide academic scholarships, service opportunities and leadership experiences to young scholars of outstanding promise.
Blanks has two daughters, Riley and Bryn. His father, Sid, played eight NFL seasons with Houston, Washington and New England; his cousin, Larvel, played eight seasons of MLB baseball.