Tony Ronzone, who made his name as the league's premier international scout before adding Pistons director of basketball operations to his resume this season, has been all over the world: Russia, New Zealand, South America, the Middle East, and everywhere in between. From the sounds of it, he's about to add yet another stamp to his passport... to Canada. From the Detroit News:
The Raptors are close to naming Tony Ronzone , the Pistons' director of basketball operations and chief international scout, as their assistant general manager.
Pistons president Joe Dumars said that the Raptors' have not asked for permission to talk to Ronzone but added that he wouldn't stand in Ronzone's way of taking that promotion.
Ronzone, who was instrumental in the Pistons drafting of Mehmet Okur , Milicic and Carlos Delfino , has been with the organization for five years.
That's very interesting. With the new leadership being assembled around new GM Bryan Colangelo (formerly of the Phoenix Suns), don't be surprised if the Raps finally figure out a way to retain some of their young stars. According to the Toronto Sun, Ronzone is on Colangelo's short list, which has only one other name: former Magic GM and current Blazers scout John Gabriel.
Granted, I'm hardly qualified to judge which of the two would be the better addition to the front office, but just going off of what I know, I'd rather go with the guy who was one of the first to jump on the Yao Ming and Dirk Nowitzski bandwagon and helped unearth Memo Okur, Carlos Delfino, and, yes, Darko Milicic. All I know about Gabriel is that he signed Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady to huge contracts which served as an albatross around Orlando's neck for years. And whatever work he's done for the Blazers, well, it's not working: that team is about 10 games worse than the next-best team in the West.
If you're a GM, do you want your second-hand man to be the guy with fresh ideas, or the guy who just throws money at problems? I'll be sorry to see him go -- he was definitely one guy I wish I could have interviewed for this site -- but I wish him all the best if/when he takes the job.