Here's a full transcript of Portland Trail Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan's comments to reporters regarding guard Brandon Roy, center Greg Oden and forward LaMarcus Aldridge during a Friday evening media availability that took place five hours after the team's first day of training camp wrapped up. Earlier on Friday, Blazers coach Nate McMillan addressed the first day of training camp and took questions regarding Roy and Oden.
Blazers president Larry Miller was in transit from New York City following an NBA Board of Governors meeting on Thursday and was not present. Buchanan spoke while fellow basketball operations executive Mike Born and Bill Branch looked on.
Other Friday posts...
As always, questions are paraphrased and bolded and answers are word-for-word and in blockquote.
"There's a lot of stuff going on with our organization right now and our team. Part of the reason for the delay: I wanted to give everybody an update on LaMarcus. As you're aware he was not at practice today. As part of every year, LaMarcus goes through a meeting with his cardiologist. In 2007, you'll remember he had a condition called WPW that he had addressed, a minor procedure. LaMarcus bounced back from it. Strong obviously, he's turned into the player he is today.
"Going through his appointment with his routine check-up today they found a recurrence of that so they addressed that today. We expect LaMarcus to be back within a week or two weeks. The doctors feel really good about things. Obviously it's a little disappointing for LaMarcus but we're very optimistic that he'll be back on the court here in a short amount of time.
"We're upbeat about LaMarcus' recovery and he'll be back out here on the court shortly.
"Brandon Roy, you'll have to bear with me, a lot of this stuff all kind of happened within the last 24 hours. Last night, Brandon's representatives contacted me and informed me that Brandon, after careful consideration, after meeting with the doctors, talking with his family, contemplating his future, has decided that he would like to pursue a career-ending injury due his knees and the condition of his knees.
"Obviously it's a very, very difficult day for us, losing an All-Star. Obviously a huge component of our organization over the last few years. Turned this franchise around. A very, very, as you can imagine, an emotional day for us and for Brandon, obviously. We're working through that right now. It's somewhat in the infant stages of going through that process and getting that process started. But very supportive of Brandon through all of this. It's a very difficult decision as you can imagine. As he looks to his long-term health, I think he decided that his family is important, he's a family guy as everybody knows, that kind of outweighs the basketball, which it should. I think as he weighed where things might be headed with his body, he felt this was the right decision in consulting with doctors and his family.
"Lastly with Greg, Greg had an MRI as you know in Vail, Colorado. Upon examining the results of the MRI, we had some concerns. We had discussions today with his representatives and have come to an agreement on a 1-year offer with Greg at a smaller number than the Qualifying Offer. We're hopeful that Greg can get back on the court this year. Maybe not quite as optimistic as we were before but we feel like Greg Oden is worth that risk for one year and hopefully we'll see him back on the court this season ."
Optimistic about LaMarcus Aldridge?
"I got a phone call from Jay, who is out there at the hospital with LaMarcus, and this is just now coming out. The doctors feel good about the procedure today. Very optimistic that it will be a week and he'll be back out on the court. They feel very good that it will be a full recovery.
"It's the same procedure he had in 2007. It's called WPW. It has to do with -- I'm not a cardiac specialist but they had to eradicate an extra node in his heart that's very, very common procedure. Doctors said it's a very routine procedure for them. Obviously it's a little alarming that there's a recurrence of it but they felt really good with it after coming out of the procedure today."
"Yes. The exact same procedure he had done in 2007. It's a condition where he has nodes firing through multiple channels in his heart and they go and try to address that to keep it in one channel.
"Every year LaMarcus goes through this normal exam with the cardiologist which is different than our team. The cardiologist was not available until today. Upon examining him on a stress echo, they felt like they wanted to do some further testing. When they went and did the further testing, this is the procedure they felt was the best route to correct it."
Surprised by call from Roy's agent?
"Shocked. We had a great meeting with Brandon on Monday. We felt excited by Brandon being in camp today on our team. For us putting our roster together we had him penciled in in our rotation. Very shocked. It's something that you don't plan for your All-Star, player a caliber of Brandon, to walk away that quickly. At the same time we understand his concerns. It's concerns that we've had and Brandon's had for a little while. As he consults with the doctors and he feels like this is the right thing to do for him."
What changed since Monday?
"We spoke with his representatives. I texted Brandon today. I would have to defer that to Brandon. I think it was just a couple days of reflection for him. Listening to the doctors' advice and evaluation, I think that factored in as well a little bit. But I think it was a combination of factors for Brandon bu I would have to defer that to Brandon."
Will you amnesty him?
"We're looking at all options right now. This is something that came upon us. You try to be prepared for everything but that's something we're working through right now. The new CBA is just being put together, we're still getting some of those rules clarified for us as far as what our options exactly will be. But we will look at all options."
Size of Greg's new offer?
"I won't reveal the details on that. It's not what the $8.8 million Qualifying Offer was but I wouldn't reveal the number at this point."
Did you stop to consider not signing Oden?
"No, we believe in Greg. This is a tough setback for Greg but at the same time we feel like Greg is worth the risk. He's put in a lot of effort with his recovery and we're hopeful that he gets back out there this year."
Do you retain Bird rights?
Information on Oden's setback?
"I can't get into specifics of that."
Would he need surgery?
"I can't get into specifics of that either. I will just say that we're less optimistic of him being out there on the court sooner rather than later."
Something he can rehab?
"I just can't get into specifics of that."
Explanation of LaMarcus Aldridge's timeline?
"LaMarcus is very worn out right now. The doctors feel like with a couple of days off his feet he will be out and be back home tomorrow and within a week or so is what they've told us, he'll be back on the floor."
"It's very sad with regard to Brandon. You guys all know what he's meant to this organization. The quality of person he is. How he's represented us. Obviously LaMarcus was a scare. I'm not going to lie about that. I feel much better after hearing where things are at after the procedure today. With Greg, we're a little discouraged on what we saw from the test results yesterday but at the same time we still feel like there's some hope for Greg to get back there, hopefully this year. We feel like he's worth it."
Looking to add another guard?
"We're exploring all options right now. We kind of have to go through the process of the career-ending injury process which could impact the roster spots for us. So we're exploring all options right now. I know in talking with Nate today, Nolan and Elliot had great practices, so that's encouraging. We're going to have some young players who are going to have an opportunity to step up and perform. That's why we drafted those guys. We believe in them and expect them to get out there and provide us a lift when Nate asks them too."
Medical retirement cap implications?
"We would receive cap and tax relief from the 1-year anniversary from when the injury was deemed to occur. And that's a detail we're still trying to iron out with the new rules."
Brandon would still be a part of this year's roster?
"Until we waive -- or if we were to waive or amnesty him, he would still be on the roster.
"He would still be on our books from one year from the point he is deemed to have a career-ending injury."
Stuck with mini-Mid-Level Exception unless you amnesty him?
Comfortable going into the season with roster as-is?
"I still like our core. We've got some tough, hungry guys on our team. Brandon -- that's a tough blow for our team. Greg we were hopeful to have him being a productive player for us sooner rather than later. That's kind of an uncertainty at this point. Getting LaMarcus back out there healthy is going to be a major piece to get back out there. We brought in Raymond Felton to run this team. He brings some experience, some toughness, some hunger. Wesley Matthews, Gerald, Nicolas on the wing. Marcus Camby's experience inside. Some young guys behind them. Obviously we have some holes to try to address here in a short amount of time. That's what we are trying to do here every night. Discussions with a couple of potential free agents out there. I still believe in the core of this team. It's not going to be easy. We'll have to rely on some younger players to step up off the bench for us. I think this team has shown its resiliency in the last few years. We've been through a lot of challenges the last few years and I have no doubt Nate will rally the troops and get our guys going this year."
Still feel there's not much difference between MLE and mini-MLE?
"The caliber of player you can get at a full Mid-Level is a little different than a mini-Mid-Level but players are waiting it out to see where the chips fall. That dictates where a guy's price range might land. I think there's a lot of players that see an opportunity, veteran players see an opportunity with our team because we are so young on our bench. But you are looking at a little different caliber player with the Mini-Mid-Level. But we still feel like some of the players we've targeted can come in here and contribute for us."
Text Brandon or call him?
"Just texted him. I tried calling him last night. It was, to be honest with you, it was a hard night for us. Just coming to grips with where this was headed. I can only imagine what Brandon and his family are going through. However hard it was for us, it was 100 times harder for Brandon and his family. Definitely thinking about him and what he's going through emotionally right now."
Paul Allen's reaction
"Brandon -- it's an emotional reaction for all of us because of what he's meant. From our coaches to our players to management to Mr. Allen and to our entire organization. It was an emotional day. Including Mr. Allen. He knows what he's meant to this organization and he feels for him. We hope for the best for Brandon and I know that we would love to at some point have Brandon play a role in this organization in some other capacity because he's going to be a Blazer for life in our eyes.
"With Greg there was some discouraging news but we've been through this before. We've had a lot of obstacles put forth the last few years for us. Our guys have been resilient but at the end of the day those guys on the court are out there practicing today. That's our team and we believe in those guys. We stressed that to them today before practice. You have to put these distractions aside and just go out there and play. That's their jobs. We've got a good group of guys, they're going to have good chemistry, they're going to play hard for Nate and we're going to play the right way and I feel confident about us being a very competitive team this year."
Looking to address the two in free agency?
"We are looking at some options at the two. Like I said we believe in Elliot, Nolan, Nicolas can slide to some two. Armon if he has to play some two he can. Wesley Matthews I feel is a very solid two guard. You don't have the veteran depth there and that's something we're looking at right now. We're somewhat limited with our resources so you have to get pretty creative to a certain degree. But we are looking at some options at the two. Our priority still remains in the frontcourt."
Free agency plans changed or slowed down?
"Absolutely not. We have a tremendous staff. Joe Cronin, Mike Born, Bill Branch, Steve Rosenberry, those guys have been -- it's been a group effort getting through all this. We've delegated certain tasks beginning last night when we got the news on both Greg and Brandon so we've delegated those tasks and I feel very comfortable that we have an efficient operation going right now to get done everything we need to get done. There is a lot on our plate right now, I'm not going to lie. But we feel good about where we are at and it will get done."
Try to convince Brandon to change his mind? Is he 100 percent comitted to this decision?
"This is Brandon's decision. We're disappointed that he's not going to be a part of our organization. This is totally his decision. Where he's at health-wise, we understand it. We are going to support him through this. We would not try to talk a guy into doing something, he's already made a decision."
Best decision is to amnesty him?
"We're looking at every option. There's pros and cons of that."
What are pros of not amnestying him?
"I don't want to get into that right now. But there are... I'll just leave it as we are looking at all options at this point."
Team doctor examined Roy on Thursday?
"Yesterday it was our doctor but he's had numerous visits with various doctors, both team doctors and outside doctors."
Greg could have just accepted Qualifying Offer. What happened?
"After getting the results of the MRI last night, we had extensive talks with the doctor in Vail, our team doctor evaluated the MRI, we spoke with Greg's representatives. I think they were very, very classy about the situation. They understood our concerns. We were able to work together on an agreement we felt was fair on both sides. I'd like to give a lot of credit out to Greg's representatives for going the direction they did. I think we came to a conclusion that's fair to both sides."
He could have just taken the Qualifying offer rather than negotiate?
"They could have signed it. I think it was a lot of discussions between us and the representatives last night and they understood -- very ethical agent and Greg's representatives handled it first class because they understood the concerns. They were very reasonable about it and worked with us on it."
Who was on call with Greg's agent, you or president Larry Miller?
"It was both of us. Larry is in New York but you would think he was in the conference room for the last about 24 hours. We've been on the phone extensively."
When will Larry and Brandon speak with the media?
"I'm not sure on Brandon. I believe Larry is going to be back here tomorrow. But I wouldn't know when those will be before the media."
Explain LaMarcus's procedure
It was an ablation procedure. They went through his femoral vein and went in there and addressed it the same way they had done it in 2007... Exact same procedure.
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