Wes Wilcox was named general manager of the Cavaliers’ new Development League affiliate in Canton on Thursday. He will also remain in his present job as director of player personnel for the Cavs.
The duties go hand-in-hand. In his role with the Cavs, he served as the liaison to the D-League team in Erie, Pa. for the last four years.
“I’m excited,” Wilcox said. “It’s really going to be a natural transition. It’s 60 miles away now, so it should make the job more efficient. The game is over at 10 p.m. and I’ll be home at 11.”
The Cavs are the fifth NBA team to own their own D-League affiliate. They ended their partnership with the Erie BayHawks after last season and recently purchased the New Mexico franchise with the intent of moving operations to Canton.
They’re also in the rare position of having a member of their front office running their D-League team. The Houston Rockets and New York Knicks are among the teams with similar setups, but neither franchise owns their D-League affiliate.
“Having Wes in this role is another reflection of the synergy and connectivity that owning and operating our own D-League team in Canton provides,” Cavs GM Chris Grant said in a statement announcing the move. “As Wes has been an integral member of our staff for the past eight years, it enhances the opportunity for us to extend our team and organizational culture further into the player development process.”
One of Wilcox’s first priorities will be hiring a defensive-minded coach.
“We’re going to hire someone who is community driven, defensive-minded, team first and who has a strong, strong background in player development,” Wilcox said. “That’s what we want this to be about. The culture we have in Cleveland is the culture we want to
have in Canton.”
Wilcox joined the Cavs prior to the 2003-04 season after serving as the New Orleans Hornets’ video coordinator for one year. He was the Cavs’ advance game scout for four seasons, then served as the team’s college and pro personnel scout for three seasons. He was named director of player personnel in September.
The D-League season will begin in November regardless of the state of the NBA lockout.