Portland Trail Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan joined Brian Berger on 750 AM The Game to give the latest update on the team's thinking towards center Greg Oden. The Blazers must offer Oden a Qualifying Offer by June 30 to make him a restricted free agent.
Of note, Buchanan mentions the possibility of a sign-and-trade.
You can download and listen to the audio here. Here's a transcript of the conversation. Questions are paraphrased. Answers are word-for-word and in blockquote.
How to establish Greg Oden's value?
It is tough. We drafted Greg No. 1 and we still believe that was the right pick. We love what Greg has provided in the time that he has been on the court. Obviously it hasn't been as Greg or we had hoped. He's shown enough glimpses that you know if he is healthy for a sustained amount of time he has a major impact on our team. You have to listen to what the doctors say, you have to listen to Greg and how he's feeling and make the assessment from that point forward.
We like Greg for us long term. We didn't extend the Qualifying Offer yet but we have some discussions we still want to go through. Right now we're focused on the draft. We'll address it when the time comes. We're happy with what Greg has done this spring and where he's at right now, working hard, he's really locked in on getting himself back healthy again. He's in a really good place both physically and mentally right now. We're really happy with what we've seen from him.
Logistics and timing of Qualifying Offer deadline before end of the CBA
We have until June 30 to extend him his Qualifying Offer. At that point, he becomes a restricted free agent meaning he can go out and solicit offers from other teams. Other teams can make an offer to him. we will have seven days to match. Come July 1, depending on what happens, that process may be stalled.
In a normal year, July 1 other teams can putting out offers on Greg much like we did with Wesley last year. We'll have seven days to make a decision to match that offer or to let Greg go to another team. At that point, we could do a sign-and-trade if we wanted to do that. Greg also has the option of turning down offers from other teams and could turn down an extension if we decided to offer him one at that point, he could turn that down and take the qualifying offer and play out next season and become an unrestricted free agent a year from now.
Both sides have options in this right now.
What's his market value?
That's a very tough one to assess. You do look at comparative contracts around the league. Guys in similar position, similar age, productivity levels, but Greg is very unique like you mentioned because of his health history. It's very tough for us to determine -- and the rest of the league for that matter -- if you're trying to put an offer on Greg and force us to make a decision on it. It's going to be tough to determine that value.
You go back to the fact that he's 23 years old, when he's been on the court he's been a major impact for us, I think that will factor into the number that we come to or another team comes to. It's tough at this point to put a dollar amount on that.
Timeline for recovery
I'd have to refer that to the doctors. They've told us microfracture procedures is typically a 12 month recovery time most of the time. October - November - December, probably for Greg. We're not going to rush him back. We want him completely healthy and comfortable with where he's at before we bring him back. We're going to trust what the doctors tell us, and what Greg tells us, from when he's ready to step back out there. We're not going to put a timetable on him. It's a unique situation for a guy who is coming back from multiple knee injuries. We want to make sure he's ready, the doctors say that he's ready, before we put him back out there.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter