Portland Trail Blazers president Larry Miller joined Mike Barrett, Brian Wheeler and Antonio Harvey on Blazers Courtside on Monday night to answer some questions at the end of the 2010-2011 NBA season. Video link here.
Also on Monday, Blazers GM Rich Cho addressed the media. Here are links to Cho's comments.
I like everyone else wasn't ready for the season to be over on Thursday. But I think we've got a lot to look forward to. I think there were a lot of good things that happened over the course of the season. Even though it didn't end the way we had hoped, I think we've got a lot to say, 'hey, this was a good season.'
I want to first and foremost thank our fans who hung in there and supported us through some tough times and actually if it wasn't for the fans I think some of those games we won at home thisyear we wouldn't have won.
Can you bypass the qualifying offer and make a long-term offer for Greg Oden?
That's a good question. I believe we could. [Blazers GM] Rich [Cho] would probably be the guy to know the exact answer to that. But I believe we can offer something longer if we wanted to. The way that process usually works is that we offer the qualifier and then wait to see if anybody else makes an offer that you can match at that point.
Business-wise how did the season go?
We had a really good season. The sellout streak continued. Again the fans continued to support us, the sponsors continued to be there and support us. That being said, financially we're still in a situation unless there is a change to the current model, we're going to continue to be in a situation where we lose money. That's kind of what's going on with the current CBA discussions right now. That's all I can say about that without getting fined.
Does Portland's playoff success hinge on getting Greg Oden back healthy?
I wouldn't say it necessarily hinges on that. We've got some great players on our team. If you look at LaMarcus [Aldridge] and what Wesley [Matthews] did this year. Adding Gerald [Wallace]. Nic [Batum]. We've got the nucleus of a good team with the players that we have. I think, though, everybody, myself included, sat there during the playoffs and thought, 'Man, can you imagine if we had Greg playing with this group we have right now.' What that team could do, the potential of what that team would look like. An issue and a question that's on everybody's mind to be sure. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of talk about it.
The reality is that we have a good team, we got through the adversity of not having Greg to make the playoffs, I do think if we had had Greg in the middle there it would have made life a lot easier for a lot of our guys.
Greg Oden made some comments that his contract situation is "his move" rather than your move. Do you get the sense that he wants to be here?
I think Greg knows what we've invested in him. I think he appreciates what this organization has done for him and I think Greg will want to be here. But the reality is that it is our call. We have the option of making the qualifying offer or not. Once we make the qualifying offer, then if another team is interested in Greg and they make him an offer, we have the option to match it. So the reality is it's our option.
At this point, if things continue to move as they are in terms of Greg's rehabbing and the work that he's putting in, because he's working very, very hard. I talk to [Blazers trainer] Jay Jensen almost daily and he tells me how hard Greg is working and that Greg is progressing along very, very well. If that continues then it is our option to say, 'OK, yeah, we're going to make the qualifying offer.' And, as you guys know, if we make the qualifying offer he becomes a restricted free agent not unrestricted.
Rich Cho wouldn't say for certain that you would extend the Qualifying Offer to Greg Oden. Is that how you feel too?
I agree with Rich, I wouldn't guarantee it. But I will say, like I said, if things continue to progress the way they have, I would think we would make the offer.
Having Greg Oden would really help LaMarcus Aldridge
Not only does it help LaMarcus but Gerald doesn't have to play down there. Gerald's even said in the past like, 'Hey, I'm a guard, I'm playing down there to help LaMarcus out.' But if you put Greg in there with LaMarcus and Gerald that's a pretty potent frontline.
Are the Blazers a homecourt advantage team this season if Gerald Wallace is on the roster from Day 1?
I think so, yes. I think if we had Gerald for the entire season he makes a difference for us in helping us to win some games we didn't win during the course of the season. So, yeah, I do.
What's in store for Brandon Roy's future?
Well, it's still to be determined. But Brandon helped us win some games. The biggest one of the season being the playoff game that he helped us to win. We don't win without Brandon doing what he did in that game. So he showed that he still can do it. It's just a matter of how often and how healthy he is and what his body will allow him to do.
But Brandon has shown he can still help this team to win so we've just got to see how things play out and see what role he will play going forward. But he absolutely has shown this season, on more than one occasion, that he can help us to win games.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter