The reshaping of the Timberwolves’ front office continued on Tuesday, with the report that the team has hired Noah E. Croom as its new Assistant General Manager.
Hailing from East St. Louis, Croom graduated from Stanford University in 1987 and went on to receive a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1990. After spending time at a prestigious law firm (Latham and Watkins, in New York City), Croom spent three years working in the NBA league office, specializing primarily in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. In 1995, he became the Assistant G.M. of the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies, a position he held until 2000. In 2002, he joined Goodwin Sports Management (GSM) as an agent, where he remained until now. Some past clients of theirs include LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, Jason Kidd, Paul Pierce and Candace Parker; GSM currently represents Damian Lillard, DeMar DeRozan and Matt Barnes, among others.
In 2012, he was interviewed by the Portland Trail Blazers to be their General Manager, an opening that was ultimately filled by Neil Olshey. Croom’s area of expertise is the salary cap; he advised many teams on its intricacies during his time at the league office in the early 1990s, and was dubbed the Grizzlies’ “capologist” by their G.M., Stu Jackson, in the late 1990s. He’s spent nearly a decade and a half on the other side of the coin as an agent, making him uniquely qualified to help handle the coming decisions on extensions for Gorgui Dieng, Shabazz Muhammad, Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine and Karl-Anthony Towns.
In short, this isn’t the kind of move that’ll pique the interest of the casual fan, but could end up being very important. The division of labor in the front office is an important part to any successful NBA franchise, and now the Wolves have their coach (Thibodeau), chief personnel man (Layden) and a “numbers” guy (Croom). Hopefully, he can aid the team in making the wisest, most prudent decisions regarding contract extensions in the next few years, because those are the choices that’ll make or break them.