Becky Bonner is the director of player development and quality control for the Orlando Magic and may one day become the NBA's first female general manager.
"I just think she's got unlimited potential," said Jeff Weltman, who hired Bonner from the league office in June, with the promise of full involvement in basketball operations and the belief she could one day run a team of her own.
"I want to be a GM," said Bonner.
Many teams attempted to hire Bonner in recent years but Weltman was the first to explicitly offer a roadmap to becoming a GM. Weltman's mother, Arlene, was an early NBA trailblazer as one of Commissioner David Stern's top executives in the 1980s.
Bonner was a Division I player who worked in the league office for six years. Bonner is the sister of Matt Bonner and Luke Bonner.
As Kim Bohuny, the NBA's senior vice president of international basketball operations, and a longtime mentor, told Bonner in the spring, "You can be a pioneer."
"She could be the first female general manager," Bohuny recalls Weltman saying.
Bohuny's advice to Bonner was just as direct: "I said, 'Becky, you have all the intangibles to do this. You can be a pioneer. You've grown up on the game. ... If this is what you want, this could be an incredible opportunity for you, and you could pave the way for so many women.'"
There have been a number of female hires across the league in recent years. Amanda Green has been with the Thunder since 2012 and is a cap expert. Teresa Resch has been the Raptors since 2013 and she is now vice president of basketball operations and player development. Linda Luchetti has been vice president of player operations for Utah since 2015 after a decade with the franchise. Michelle Leftwich was hired away from the league office by the Hawks to be their cap expert. The Nets hired Natale Jay to be their contracts and salary cap specialist.
Ariana Andonian has been a scout for the Rockets for three years and remains the only female scout in the NBA. Veteran scouts surveyed by BR Mag say they know of no others.