The Portland Trail Blazers are in an interesting spot, this season was washed out by Damian Lillard's injury, and the team traded away both Norman Powell and CJ McCollum to quickly build around Damian Lillard. The Blazers also got rid of their previous General Manager Neil Olshey in December, and Joe Cronin stepped up in the interim to handle team affairs.
Well, he seems to have convinced the owners of his capabilities, with Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that the Blazers have promoted Cronin to the permanent General Manager position with a 4-year contract. According to the report, Cronin has vowed to continue the rebuilding job around Damian Lillard in the hope that they can finally win a championship with Lillard at the helm.
"The Portland Trail Blazers are promoting Joe Cronin to general manager with a four-year contract. Cronin, interim GM since December, takes over franchise at a pivotal offseason and has vowed to continue building around Damian Lillard."
Cronin has spent 16 years with the organization and according to the detailed report from Wojnarowski, sold the ownership of his vision so much so that they did not consider pursuing any potential outside hires.
"Portland ownership considered the idea of opening up the job to a search but ultimately was sold on Cronin's vision for the franchise and his ability to execute it, sources said. Cronin has vowed to continue building the roster around Lillard, an All-NBA guard."
The Blazers finished the 2021-22 regular season with the 3rd worst record in the Western Conference and can land a top pick in the draft to help this process. Lillard will turn 32 this year, he doesn't have too much time left in his absolute prime, so this will be a monumental task for Cronin as he tries to get Dame a championship-worthy roster. Whether he will manage to do it and help Dame deliver on his promise to the fans or not remains to be seen.