Jim Paxson was named President and General Manager of Basketball Operations on July 31, 2003 following four seasons as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He joined the Cavaliers as Vice President of Basketball Operations on September 17, 1998.
Paxson oversees all basketball operations of the franchise, including the screening, interviewing, hiring and evaluation of the Cavaliers administrative, coaching and player personnel, as well as short-term and long-term strategic planning. He functions as the franchise’s decision-maker on all trades and player procurement, including free-agent signings and the NBA Draft. Paxson negotiates all player contracts and manages the salary cap and the franchise’s annual basketball operations budget. He also oversees the Cavaliers professional and amateur scouting efforts inside and outside the NBA.
Paxson made several key player personnel moves during the 2003-04 season and the Cavaliers more than doubled their win total from the 2002-03 season, narrowly missing the 2004 NBA Playoffs by only one game. After making numerous difficult roster changes since taking on the role of General Manager in 1999, he has maneuvered and positioned the Cavaliers well to now grow and achieve success at a high level in a way that can be sustained for the long
Paxson came to the Cavaliers after a long association with the Portland Trail Blazers, which began in 1979 when he was the team’s first-round draft pick (12th player chosen overall). He played nine seasons in Portland, where he was a two-time NBA All-Star and was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 1984. He finished his playing career with the Boston Celtics from 1987-90 before returning to the Trail Blazers in 1993-94 as offensive skills coach.
Paxson was selected by Portland fans as one of the 10 members of the Trail Blazers 25th Anniversary season all-time “Legendary Lineup.” He was the first player in Blazers history to score 10,000 points and he remains one of five Portland players to have accomplished the feat. Over his 11-year NBA career, Paxson scored 11,199 points and averaged 14.3 ppg in 784 games. He played in 53 career playoff games, averaging 10.5 ppg. He was inducted into
Oregon’s Sports Hall of Fame in the summer of 1998.
Two other members of the Paxson family also played in the NBA. Jim’s father, James Sr., played with Minneapolis and Cincinnati from 1956-58. His brother John was in the league for 11 seasons, including nine with the Chicago Bulls, where he is now the team’s general manager.
An Ohio native, Paxson graduated from the University of Dayton, where he was an All-America basketball player in 1979. He was also a member of the Academic All-America team that year. In 1985, Paxson was inducted into the Dayton Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2000 was named to the 10-player UD Arena “All-Arena” team, honoring the best players to have played in that building during its 30 years.
Jim and his wife, Candice, reside in Bratenahl. Jim has two sons, Michael and Nick, and Candice has two sons, Brett and Aaron. Candice also has four grandchildren.