Joe Cronin becomes Blazers general manager after serving in interim role

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FILE – Portland Trail Blazers interim general manager Joe Cronin is introduced before an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Joe Cronin has been named the Portland Trail general manager Blazers after occupying an acting position since December. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman, File)

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Joe Cronin has been named general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers after serving in the interim role since December.

Cronin became interim chief executive after Neil Olshey was fired following an investigation into allegations of a toxic work environment.

Cronin has since reshaped the Blazers’ roster, making several trades before the February deadline that put the team under the luxury tax threshold and freed up cap space. In the biggest move, guard CJ McCollum was traded to New Orleans, ending his long run as Damian Lillard’s partner in Portland’s backcourt.

The Blazers finished 27-55 this season, their worst record since 2005-06 when they won just 21 games. Portland also finished 13th in the Western Conference in Chauncey Billups’ first year as Blazers head coach, snapping a streak of eight straight playoff appearances.

The Blazers await their fate in next week’s NBA Draft Lottery ahead of the June 23 draft. The free agency opens in July.

“We’ve established a great working relationship over the past six months and have the same vision of what it takes to win a championship in this league,” Billups said in a statement Tuesday. “I look forward to bringing Joe’s vision to life with our entire front office.”

Cronin signed a four-year contract with the Blazers.

He’s been with the Blazers since 2006 and became a professional scout and salary cap analyst in 2010. He was named the team’s director of player personnel in 2014 and was promoted to assistant general manager last year.

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Sandy A. Greer