The San Antonio Spurs will be undergoing a major change in the front office.
According to a report from Jabari Young of The Athletic, long-time Spurs general manager R.C. Buford is preparing to leave his role in order to take a new position with the Spurs’ parent company, Spurs Sports & Entertainment. Buford will be replaced as Spurs GM by assistant GM Brian Wright, who joined the Spurs in 2016.
From The Athletic:
“The news: After a little more than 15 years serving as GM, Buford is getting prepared to bequeath the role to assistant GM Brian Wright, league sources have confirmed to The Athletic. Wright will report directly to Buford, who will officially get a new title that some around the NBA believe will be a role helping to oversee Spurs Sports & Entertainment.
When the Spurs initially hired Wright in 2016, he stayed behind the scenes and focused mainly on scouting. But sources have informed The Athletic over the last year Wright has been more involved, even fielding calls and packages for the trade of Kawhi Leonard the previous summer… Buford has been busy preparing for a new role over the last years taking business/leadership courses at Stanford University and Duke University.
Whether the Spurs will add to their front office or continue to promote from within, time will tell. Though Buford and Gregg Popovich will continue to oversee the team and have the final say, Wright’s promotion to a position Buford held for more than a decade suggests he will have more authority when roster moves are collectively discussed, and more than likely obtain additional powers in the future.”
Buford joined the Spurs in 1994 and has been with the organization in a variety of roles – including Head Scout, Director of Scouting, and General Manager – since. He has won five NBA titles with the Spurs (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014), and four as general manager (2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014). He was named the NBA’s Executive of the Year twice (2014, 2016).
Though Buford will still have major input into San Antonio’s decision-making process, the fact that he won’t be as hands on moving forward will be a big change for a Spurs organization that has relied on consistency and stability over the course of the past two decades.