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Clippers promote Gary Sacks

Club appoints him vice president of basketball operations. He was the Clippers' director of player personnel the last two seasons and is headed for a 19th season with the team.

September 04, 2012|By Ben Bolch

Three months and several candidates later, the Clippers have a vice president of basketball operations.

Introductions won't be necessary in the team's Playa Vista offices.

The Clippers promoted longtime team executive Gary Sacks on Tuesday to fill the position vacated in June when Neil Olshey departed to become general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Sacks is entering his 19th season with the team, having served as director of player personnel for the last two seasons. Working alongside President Andy Roeser and Coach Vinny Del Negro, Sacks helped engineer a number of moves this summer as the Clippers bolstered a team that last season advanced to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs for only the second time in franchise history.

"His recent role this very productive summer, as well as his many contributions during the course of his tenure, made it clear that he is the right person to lead our basketball operations department," Roeser said in a statement.

Sacks beat out several candidates who had expressed interest in the position, including Kiki Vandeweghe, former general manager of the Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets, and David Griffin, vice president of basketball operations for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Sacks' hiring continues a trend of the Clippers' promoting from within; Olshey had been an assistant general manager when he replaced Mike Dunleavy in March 2010.

"I'm excited to take on this new role with the organization," Sacks said in a statement. "We have a very strong roster with great depth of talent. I look forward to helping to build on the success we had last season. I am very excited to see how far we can go this year, plus we are well-positioned for the future."

Blake Griffin recently endorsed Sacks for the job after the Clippers made a flurry of moves to fortify their roster for next season. They signed Griffin to a five-year extension, re-signed veteran guard Chauncey Billups, traded for Lamar Odom and signed free agents Jamal Crawford and Grant Hill, among others.

The Clippers are scheduled to open training camp Oct. 1.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

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