Washington Wizards director of player personnel Milt Newton is considered the leading candidate to become general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Wizards President of Basketball Operations Ernie Grunfeld confirmed earlier this week that the Cavaliers requested permission to speak with Newton and interviewed Newton last week.
Newton is also in the running with San Antonio Spurs director of basketball operations Danny Ferry and both are believed to be the handpicked choices of Detroit Coach Larry Brown. Brown is currently leading the defending champion Pistons in the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat; he has spent the past few days denying speculation that he will bolt at the conclusion of the season to become team president of the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers have scheduled a news conference today to formally introduce Indiana Pacers assistant and former Wizards assistant Mike Brown as head coach. The team is expected to make a decision on its general manager soon, possibly as early as today. Attempts to reach Newton yesterday were unsuccessful.
Newton, 39, has spent the past two seasons with the Wizards and has been involved in scouting and talent evaluation. The Washington native played collegiate ball at Kansas, winning a national championship with Brown in 1988. Brown later hired Newton as a scout for the Philadelphia 76ers. Newton spent two seasons with the Sixers then was director of player personnel for the National Basketball Developmental League for three years before joining the Wizards. He also was assistant director for the USA Men's Basketball program from 1995 to '99.
-- Michael Lee