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Blazers 'close' to picking GM; three candidates remain from four who talked to owner Paul Allen

Larry Miller said Tuesday the Trail Blazers have narrowed the list of candidates for their vacant general manager position to three, 'and we are pretty close to making a decision.'

'We are in the final vetting stages of seeing whether we can make a hire,' said Portland's team president, who refused to lay a time line for the decision.

Miller said about a half-dozen candidates have been formally interviewed and that three who have met with owner Paul Allen are still being considered.

Sources say four candidates have been in front of Allen: Indiana GM David Morway; former New Orleans coach and GM Jeff Bower; Tony DiLeo, assistant GM and senior vice president in Philadelphia, and Neil Olshey, GM and vice president of the Clippers.

DiLeo and Olshey both met with Allen last week in London.

Miller declined to comment on any of the candidates or to confirm any names of the finalists.

Olshey, 46, replaced Mike Dunleavy as the Clippers' GM in 2010 after having spent the previous seven years with the club as an assistant coach, assistant GM and director of player personnel. Olshey's agent is Warren LeGarie, who represented former Portland GMs Kevin Pritchard and John Nash and ex-Blazer assistant GM Tom Penn.

DiLeo, 56, served as interim head coach when Maurice Cheeks was let go by the 76ers in 2008, taking them to a 32-27 record and the playoffs after a 9-14 start under Cheeks. He has spent 22 years with the Philadelphia organization in a variety of positions, including director of scouting and director of player personnel.

Bower, 51, served two stints as New Orleans' GM and was head coach of the Hornets in 2009-10. He met with Allen in New Orleans in early May. Bower is among five candidates - including Pritchard - for the open GM job in Orlando.

Morway, 51, has been a member of the Indiana front office for 12 years. He interviewed with the Blazer owner in Seattle.

Chad Buchanan, the Blazers' director of college scouting who has served as interim GM for more than a year, is a fallback choice.

'If we end up not hiring one of these three (finalists), or if somebody else doesn't surface that we don't know about now, we'd move Chad into the role,' Miller said.

The Blazers must also hire a head coach.

'There is no time line involved there, either,' Miller said, 'but we want to have the GM involved' in the hiring process.