PANIC!: Joe Dumars reportedly considering New Jersey Nets’ GM opening

The New Jersey Nets interviewed Joe Dumars for their general manager opening, according to Al Iannazzone of The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record. Avery Johnson and out-going GM Rod Thorn reportedly attended the meeting.

Dumars quickly issued denials to Chris Iott of MLive, Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News and Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.

Ellis goes a step further, citing a source who said the Nets are interested in Dumars.

What to make of this

It’s bad. Anyone who has read this blog knows I have a lot of faith in Dumars as the team’s general manager. Not only is he an a Pistons icon, he’s proven himself to be one of the league’s top GMs.

Speculating, I’d bet Dumars met with Avery Johnson and Thorn. I’d also guess Dumars is interested, but they didn’t consider the meeting "formal," which allows him to deny interviewing with a semi-clear conscience. It was a discussion among friends, not an interview – at least that’s how they can spin it.

The newspaper accounts make it appear Dumars was only asked whether he interviewed. Did anyone ask – and get an answer on – whether Dumars spoke with Johnson and/or Thorn in the last few days? If that’s a yes, we can go from there.

A year or two ago, Dumars never would’ve taken that meeting. In the end, I doubt he’ll go to New Jersey. But that he’s even entertaining the thought has me deeply concerned about the new upper management and ownership.

If Dumars actually goes, not only is it a huge loss, I don’t trust anyone in the organization to hire a proper replacement. John Hammond should probably be the first call, but if Dumars just left, would that give him pause about taking the job?

Hopefully, this is a wakeup call for Karen Davidson.