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Rumor: Pelicans and Wizards may target Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren

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Don’t go Mike Zarren!

NBA: Boston Celtics at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Zarren is widely recognized as one of the best and brightest assistant GMs in the business. As a result, when GM openings happen, his name tends to come up in rumors pretty often. In fact, rumors have indicated that the Sixers have had their eye on him at least twice.

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Zarren’s name has come up again with the regular season winding down.

Per Marc Stein:

New Orleans must decide whether it wants to go outside the organization for a new general manager to replace Dell Demps, who was fired in February, or give the job to Danny Ferry, Demps’s interim replacement.

Zarren’s name has surfaced as a potential target for the Pelicans and for Washington if the Wizards’ owner, Ted Leonsis, responds to his team’s unsightly (and, to be fair, injury-filled) 30-44 campaign with the management shake-up he has long resisted. Ernie Grunfeld was installed as Washington’s president of basketball operations in June 2003.

Any time Zarren’s name comes up I’m always very conflicted. On one hand I wish him all the best and hope that he gets the front office position that he so well deserves. On the other hand, I’d hate to lose him for the Celtics.

The Wizards are perpetually a mess, but one has to wonder how much of that is a result of being perpetually in the hands of Ernie Grunfeld. The Pelicans would, of course, be a very interesting fit. In particular because it could pit Zarren against his former boss Danny Ainge in Anthony Davis trade negotiations. He certainly would have an up-close understanding of the Celtics players and trade assets.

Still, here’s hoping (selfishly) that Zarren decides to stick with the team that he grew up rooting for (he’s a Swampscott native).