Sonics to target R.C. Buford, Larry Bird

Jonathan Daniel

The new Seattle ownership group has reportedly discussed going after Spurs general manager R.C. Buford and former Pacers president Larry Bird to run the franchise after relocation.

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the new Seattle ownership group has discussed targeting San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford and former Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird to run the franchise.

Chris Hansen's Seattle group wants to completely rebuild the franchise pending approval of the deal stuck with the Maloof family late Sunday night to move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle. Current Kings general manager Geoff Petrie will not be retained and will reportedly retire at the end of the season.

Buford and Bird have proven to be two of the NBA's top executives over the course of their careers. Buford has done an excellent job building and maintaining a strong talent base in San Antonio, and many consider the Spurs to be the most well-run organization in the entire league.

Wojnarowski says that it would take a hefty offer to pry Buford away from his cushy position in San Antonio, an offer that would likely need to include some sort of equity in the new Seattle franchise. Buford would also likely want autonomy in assembling and running the basketball operations of the team.

Bird won the NBA's 2011 Executive of the Year Award before stepping away from his position in the spring to address some health problems. But the former Celtics great plans to get back in the game, and he is not contractually obligated to return to the Pacers.

A front office team of Buford and Bird would certainly be a step in the right direction to get the franchise back on track. The Kings have not finished with a winning season since 2005-06, and while there are some nice parts in place, a clearer vision is needed for the future. And perhaps a strong management team would be able to effectively harness the immense talent of DeMarcus Cousins.

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