Transcript: Portland Trail Blazers GM Rich Cho On Greg Oden

Following Game 6, Portland Trail Blazers GM Rich Cho laid out some of his thoughts regarding the end of the season and his early wishlist for the offseason.

During a lengthy media availability on Monday, Cho fielded questions and expanded a bit on those comments.

I'll post his answers in a few separate posts to make them easier to digest.

First up: his thoughts on center Greg Oden, who is a restricted free agent this summer after missing the entire season with knee injuries. Questions are in bold and are paraphrased. Answers are in blockquote and are word-for-word.

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Is Greg [Oden] the first order of business this summer?

The season just ended four days ago. We can't even tender Greg a qualifying offer until the day after the Finals. And we have until June 30 to do that. He'll be a priority in our offseason.

Is there a question that you'll make the qualifying offer?

As long as he's working hard and his rehab is going well, I'm pretty sure we'll give him a qualifying offer.

How much work does this roster need?

I really don't think we're that far away. If we can add Greg to the roster next year and add a couple more pieces. 

Why might you approach contracts for Greg Oden and Andre Miller differently?

Well, I think part of the difference is that Greg is 23 years old and he's seven feet, 280 pounds. That's definitely something you have to consider.

Why do you have hope for Greg Oden?

Well, all the indications from the medical standpoint are that it's coming along well. I see him in here every day working hard. Getting a sweat up every day. He wants to come back and come back and play well.

Are you still one or two moves away from contending like you said last summer?

When I said that, that was with a healthy Brandon and a healthy Greg Oden. Now that we've added Gerald and if we add Greg to the mix, I don't think we're that far away. 

Will Greg Oden be popular on the free agent market?

It's hard to say. I'm not sure, to tell you the truth. I do think teams in general like seven foot guys that play well. In his 20 or so games last year, he was playing very well.

Will you consider offering Greg Oden a long-term deal?

We're going to look at a lot of different options. I don't know if it will be a qualifying offer, if there's something short-term, long-term, we're going to look at a lot of different options.

Do you think teams will try to front-load an offer to Greg Oden?

I mean that's always a possibility. With the new CBA I'm not even sure what the rules would be obviously.

What are your realistic expectations for Greg Oden's health?

I think he'll be back. He's working hard. His surgeon says that microfracture is healing well. That's all I can go by. What the doctors say and how hard he's working. A lot of it is up to him and how hard he works. And we'll go from there.

How far away is Greg Oden from basketball activities?

He's a ways away. I don't know exactly. But he's a ways away.

Is Greg Oden your No. 1 priority moving forward?

Greg is definitely a priority. Again, we can't tender him anything, no team can tender a qualifying offer until the day after the Finals have ended. And you have to do it before June 30. That's something we'll address when the time is right.


Did you talk to Greg Oden in his exit interview and what did he say?

Greg said he wants to be here. He's looking forward to playing here and playing next to [LaMarcus Aldridge]. I think if you put him next to L.A. and Gerald Wallace we'd have one of the best frontlines in the league.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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