As noted on Tuesday night, Portland Trail Blazers President Larry Miller and Acting GM Chad Buchanan were on Blazers Courtside with Blazers Broadcasters Mike Barrett, Mike Rice and Brian Wheeler. Video is here.
Here are some additional quotes from Buchanan, who was asked about the team's GM search, what is needed for the organization to take the next step and the future of interim coach Kaleb Canales.
"I would first say that Larry has been outstanding to me. He supported me when he first put me into this role and he's been by my side since Day One. There's a lot of great people in this organization, people sitting at this table, people at the Practice Facility, people down at the Rose Garden. It's just a great organization to be a part of. I've expressed that I want to be a part of the organization moving forward because that's a genuine feeling for me. I enjoy the people here. That's most important for me, enjoying what I do and I enjoy being a part of the Trail Blazers.
"Whether I'm considered for the GM position or not, being able to retain myself within the organization is important to me. I love what I do, I love the people I work with. We've taken a step back, I still feel like around the corner there's really good things for this franchise, this team and this city. I want to be a part of it. This is my eighth year with the team, I've invested a lot of time and energy in this team, whether it's in the position as general manager or a different position, I'm going to be a soldier about it and want to help this team get a championship."
What happens if an outside GM candidate is hired?
"I would anticipate if they bring in another general manager that they're going to want to pick our brains about, 'What was your intentions here?'. When we first took over last summer, we were looking to this coming summer to set ourselves up to have cap room, to field a competitive team this year... I would anticipate whoever the next general manager is that comes in would want to sit down with us and say, 'What is the direction you're headed? How did you get where you're at? What free agents have you targeted? What players have you targeted in the draft? How does it all fit together? Tell us about your team.'
"That's kind of what Rich [Cho] did with us. He picked our brains on every possible scenario with our team, our players, our coaches, everything about the organization. I would anticipate it being the same. But there's a chance a new GM comes in and wants to go down a completely different path. That's always a possibility. We feel like where we've set ourselves up if we continue down this path we're in a good position."
Timeline if an outside GM candidate is hired
"Ideally, if you have the Draft at the end of June and right into free agency after that, you need some time to prep yourself for that whole plan. It's two major periods of your organization and your roster -- the Draft and free agency. Having enough time to prep that, plan that out, sit down and meet with the people you want to meet with, to evaluate your own players, evaluate the free agents that you've targeted, to evaluate the Draft prospects, that takes some time... Ideally you want a good month or so to be able to do that I think in an ideal world.
"Our mindset right now is that we're going to proceed forward. We're on a track that we like where we're going until we're taken off that track, whether that's a new GM being brought in or it's kept as is through the Draft. We're going to keep our eyes forward, not peripherally. We're going to keep our eye on the ball."
How does this roster improve?
"In order to take that next step you have to have some proven NBA players... LaMarcus [Aldridge] is a really good piece but we need probably two more really good pieces of that caliber. Hopefully it's one or two guys on your roster that blossom into that, or maybe it's someone you draft, or maybe it's someone you bring in via trade or free agency. That's the most important thing for our team to take the next step -- add one more and preferably two more high level caliber players."
Would interim coach Kaleb Canales be retained if a new coach is hired?
"I wouldn't be able to answer that for sure. Kaleb has made an outstanding impression on everyone in our organization. I would hope that if he's not chosen as the next head coach that there's a role for him on the staff. I think any head coach that comes in here is going to recognize what he brings to this team and that person's staff. You don't want to see a guy like that walk out the door because he's so valuable to what we're trying to do here as an organization. Ultimately that will be up to the head coach, if it's not Kaleb. Whoever the head coach is will have a chance to get to know him, if he doesn't already. [If you] get a chance to meet Kaleb and what he's about, who wouldn't want a guy like that?"
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter