Portland Trail Blazers president Larry Miller joined Chad Doing on 750 AM The Game on Friday morning. Here's the audio. Here's a transcript.
Why so many rumors persisting about the sale of the Blazers?
"I really don't know. I don't know if someone is giving someone false information or someone is making up information or someone is trying to create a story that does't exist. I really don't know. What I know is what [Blazers owner] Paul [Allen] has said repeatedly and we even had [NBA commissioner] David Stern come out this week and [say], 'The team is not for sale and I would know it.' If anyone knows what's going on with NBA teams, David Stern knows. Not only that the team is not for sale but that Paul has told [him] not to bring him any buyers at this point. Stern is constantly in touch with people looking to buy teams. He knows who is out there looking to buy a team, and if a team is for sale, he's the guy who does a lot of the orchestrating of putting buyers and sellers together.
"For him to come out and emphatically say that Portland is not for sale and to not bring him any buyers, to me that should kind of shut that up."
Challenging time for the organization right now
"It is a challenging time and an exciting time as well. An opportunity for some new defining moments for this organization. We're doing everything we can to make sure the decisions we make are the right decisions and the best decisions as far as the team and organization are concerned. That's why we've taken our time with the GM search. The goal right now is to get that done first and then we'll address the coaching situation. I still say, even if we don't have someone in place by the time we draft, which that is our goal, with [Acting GM] Chad [Buchanan] and his team out there, we're going to be in a good situation for how to address the draft.
"We're really looking forward to seeing what happens with the [Draft] Lottery on the 30th and see how we shake out. Hopefully New Jersey gets the fourth pick and then we'll get to have two good first round picks that we'll have a lot of options to do things with. Trade them, use them, a lot of options that we would have to look at... We've already started looking at who is going to be free agents out there, who fits what we are looking for and how we can go after those free agents. It's an exciting time, it's a challenging time, we're up for the challenge. We're going to do our best to make this team better."
[Ed. Note: As explained here by Dave, the Nets pick -- acquired in a March trade for Gerald Wallace -- cannot land at No. 4. The only possible options are: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9.]
Nicolas Batum contract
"We negotiated with Nic's agent during the season before the deadline, we negotiated with his agent to try to see if we could get a deal. We thought we had an idea of the value that Nic was worth. His agent had a different idea. We tried but we just couldn't come to a decision. Now what will happen, once free agency starts, other teams will be able to put their offers in front of Nic if they want to. That will help determine the market value for us. The good thing is that we have the option to match any offer made to Nic. That will kind of help us determine his market value. It's tough. Agents and players have one perspective, teams have another perspective. Generally you can come to a point of agreement and I think we'll be able to do that in this case."
LaMarcus Aldridge's hip surgery
"Everything turned out fine. He's rehabbing, resting, doing well. [Trainer] Jay Jensen has been down there with him, was there with him for the surgery. I've been talking to Jay on a regular basis. LaMarcus is doing great."
J.J. Hickson's contract situation and could he recover Bird rights?
"That's something that is going to have to be arbitrated or figured out. The league has one position and the players association has another position. We'll have to get that worked out and I'm sure it will be worked out in time to work on J.J.'s contract."
J.J. Hickson's game
"He played great when he was here. He used to kill us when we played them. I don't know what happened in Sacramento, didn't seem like he was a fit there. He came here and we saw the guy we saw in Cleveland. He was impressive, played hard, energy guy and could score around the basket."
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