Milt Newton, the Washington Wizards' director of player personnel, is no longer in the running for the position of general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers. A Wizards team spokesperson said the Cavaliers called Newton yesterday to inform him that the team was headed in another direction. Newton, 39, has been with the Wizards for the past two seasons.
He was believed to be the front-runner for the position, given his relationship with Detroit Pistons Coach Larry Brown. Brown has been rumored to be headed to Cleveland as the team's president of basketball operations at the conclusion of the season.
Brown is leading the Pistons in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals tonight, but he has health concerns since having hip-replacement surgery during the regular season. After days of denials, Brown admitted on Thursday that he had discussions with Cleveland about becoming team president but denied having a deal in place.
"I spoke to them, and I told them what I told you guys," Brown told reporters in Miami. "I said I want to coach. That's my goal. When the season is over, I told them I was going to be checked, and if I could coach, I was going to continue to do that."
Newton was a member of Brown's 1988 national championship team at the University of Kansas and worked as a scout under Brown for two seasons in Philadelphia. Newton was unavailable for comment yesterday.
-- Michael Lee