For news that broke this morning, please see the twitter page until I get a chance to pull it all together.
Here's a video of Portland Trail Blazers General Manager Kevin Pritchard's comments this afternoon at the Practice Facility.
KP discusses the team's rumored interest in Paul Millsap, the ongoing "amicable" negotiations with Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge and other topics. This post will updated with a transcript and additional comments/thoughts later this afternoon.
On Current Status
We're working hard there's no doubt about it. We're looking at all our options. We're excited about the possibilities. Maybe they happen tomorrow, maybe they happen in 2 months. Maybe they hapepn at the trade deadline. We like the fact that we have a 54 win team, a great young team. We expect the four rookies from last year -- Oden, Rudy, Bayless and Batum -- their growth is important, maybe more important, than anything we do in free agency or by trade. Excited about the season, me personally seeing guys in this gym it makes me sparkle a little bit.
On Paul Millsap
We're looking at all our options. I wouldn't say we are just looking at that. We are talking with him, that I can verify. But he's not the only person we're talking to. We are selective. It's not just a fit here anymore, it's a special fit. We are very selective. I know a lot of free agents have signed with other teams and that's ok with us. We feel like there are certain guys that are right for us and some guys that don't fit.
I'm a big believer in that you get the best player. Nate is an unbelievable coach, he always figures out how to blend the talent together. If you can get the best player available, go get him.
On Brandon/LaMarcus Contract Extension Talks
In any negotiation there are conflicts, right? LaMarcus and Brandon are absolutely critical to what we are doing going forward and they are going to be here a long time. We are having amicable talks with their agents, we've known their agents for a long time, they've done Martell Webster, it's that group, it's not like we are going through this for the first time with those guys. It's amicable. We plan to make it amicable. More importantly, Brandon and LaMarcus will be here for a long time.
I was disappointed. I can't hide my emotions that way. Very disappointed. We went through a process with him. We got to a point where we both felt comfortable. But here's what I do know, if it wasn't right for him it wasn't right for us. We are after players who are about winning, who are about being successful and who are about being unselfish. If it didn't fit, it didn't fit and I'd rather know now than later.
Other statements made after above video...
More on Brandon and LaMarcus Negotiations
We all value Brandon and LaMarcus so much. We know they are a part of this organization for a long time. We are going to do everything we can to come up with a solution. Whether it's this week or next week, we don't know. It's so important to us and to them... they've been a part of this turnaround. I was part of a group that drafted him. I have a special bond with those guys. We are going to negotiate with those guys always in good faith. Always.
I don't want to get into all of that, that would be a Brandon question or his agent question, but there potentially could be yes.
I wouldn't rule either one out.
It's part of his development. I don't want to put pressure on his development. LIke "If he doesn't do great, he's out" -- last year he was the MVP, right? It's a little bit of a change. What we really want from Bayless is to convert to a guy that can come in and make guys better. I know for a fact he can go get 30 points in a summer league. What we want to see is growth as a point guard.
Are you disappointed by Free Agency so far?
Not at all. We have a 54 win team that's young, that's growing, and we hope they all can continue to grow. I don't think anyone on our team CAN'T get better. That's a unique position and we are sitting on some cap space. You don't make a move just to make a move. You make the RIGHT move. Whether it presents itself today, in a week, in a month, you don't know. We're not afraid to pull the trigger and we're going to be active to try to create some of those things.
Free Agents or Trades?
You limit yourself if you're saying you're just going after free agents.... there are so many opportunities... we are one of the few remaining teams that has cap space. You've got to be creative in how you use it.
On Finding The Right Fit
It's hard just adding someone, right? it's hard just adding a player that isn't better or a better fit for us. Nate and I talked about it today... we could do a lot of things, there are a lot of things out there but we love Batum, we love Roy, we love LaMarcus, we love Rudy. We feel like we have these cornerstones and foundation pieces and all these guys that are still growing.
-- Ben (email@example.com)