With Lon Babby and the Phoenix Suns attempting to land a “first-rate talent evaluator,” the candidates – as expected – will include Milwaukee Bucks assistant general manager Jeff Weltman.

Babby, the Suns’ president of basketball operations, cited the aforementioned evaluation component of the GM job one day after firing Lance Blanks last week and beginning a search that has included little news so far.

Weltman, who was offered the same position by Babby in the summer of 2010, has received permission from the Bucks to interview for the Suns’ job, according to a report by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

So if Weltman becomes the next lead judge of basketball talent for the Phoenix franchise, what level of expertise can we expect? Well, he hasn’t been the final decision-maker during any of his stops in an NBA front-office career that began in 1988, making the actual level of his influence difficult to assess.

But, according to league insiders, the 48-year-old Weltman has had considerable talent-evaluation input dating back to his work as director of player personnel for the Los Angeles Clippers. Weltman, the son of former ABA and NBA personnel executive Harry Weltman, got his first job as the Clippers’ video coordinator.

He became the assistant to legendary player-turned-general manager Elgin Baylor in 1994, and he had a big impact on the Clippers’ roster shakeup on draft night 2000.

Although the Clippers weren’t able to parlay their talent upgrade into appreciable success right away, Weltman did play a big role in moves that landed rookies Darius Miles, Keyon Dooling and Quentin Richardson as well as first-year swingman Corey Maggette that evening. The Clippers eventually built a talented young roster that included the aforementioned players along with Lamar Odom and Elton Brand.