Portland Trail Blazers general manager Rich Cho went on 1080 The Fan's Primetime with Isaac Ropp and Jason Scukanec to discuss some hot topics, including Greg Oden, Joel Przybilla and Rudy Fernandez.
Here's a full transcript. Questions are bolded and paraphrased. Answers are direct quotes and blockquoted.
Update: Here's a link to the audio.
What's the number one item on your agenda this morning?
"I got a lot of pressing issues. We're just trying to improve the team. Just trying to look forward to the season."
What's an average day for you like?
"It's a little bit of everything. I'm looking at different deals to improve the team. Trying to reach out to some of our players. Looking at our staffing issues. Looking at training camp coming up in another month. A little bit of everything, really."
Have you met with Greg Oden?
"I flew out to Indianapolis on Sunday night and watched him workout Monday morning and had a nice dinner with him on Monday night."
Where does Greg Oden stand?
"He's continuing his rehab. I saw his rehab at the rehab place he's at. After that he worked out on the court for a couple of hours. He's progressing along fine. He's not ready to play in a game right now. He's working very hard. We're pleased with his progress. He's going to be fine."
Earlier this year the talk was Oden might be back for the playoffs. What happened or why is he still not ready to play?
"I wasn't here then. I don't know all the situations around that. I do know that Greg has been working really hard, working hard in the rehab and working hard on the court... When I was there on the court on Monday Buck Wiliams worked with him. He's developed a nice relationship with Buck. Buck is going to be a good tutor for him. He's just working really hard. I'm excited to get him back on the court working full time."
Did you talk to him about expectations?
"It is a contract year for him and he understands that. He understands that. The approach I've taken with him is to support him as much as possible. We're 100 percent behind him. We're pushing him along but I don't want to rush him and have him re-aggravate the injury."
What was your impression of Oden?
"He's a very, very nice young man. He's committed to winning. He wants to win. He wants to be a very good player. He wants to be more of a leader this year. I'm going to try to push him in that direction."
You have done a lot of injury analysis. Does it tell you anything about how Oden might be able to recover or what to expect from him in the future?
"Yeah, I don't want to reveal what we discovered but I do a lot of analysis and Greg was obviously in that group because he had sustained the injury. There's a ton of data out there, you just have to go out there and get it and decipher it. Data can only give you one part of it. It can help you make an informed decision and you go from there."
Is Oden behind schedule?
"[Greg Oden] is on schedule."
So he'll be ready for opening night?
"I didn't say that. We're pleased with his progress and I don't know whether he'll be ready to play opening night or not. It just depends on how it's coming. But we're pleased with his progress and he's working really, really hard."
When do you expect him back then?
"It's hard to say. When I spoke with the doctors and the trainer, it's hard to say how fast the bone will heal. It's hard to say. Once you get on the court, he's rehabbing, he's doing a lot of drills to rehab but then when you get on the court you just have to see how it goes."
Are you still looking into trades for Rudy Fernandez?
"I've talked to a lot of teams. I don't want to get into specific trade talks. The whole Rudy issue is out there so I will speak to it a little bit. I have been active in talking to a lot of teams."
The process with Rudy has turned a little ugly, hasn't it?
"Well, I have been in the league since 1995 and I've been in situations where other players have wanted out. This isn't the first time this has happened and it probably won't be the last time. I've been in these types of situation before. This one is very vocal unfortunately and hopefully it won't be as vocal going forward."
Does a situation like this make it difficult to work with an agent regarding other players in the future?
"It certainly doesn't help. You try to look at each transaction or each incident by itself and each negotiation by itself and then move forward. It's a business so you try to isolate it and move forward. Start with a clean slate with the next player."
Would you consider releasing Rudy Fernandez's rights?
"We won't release his rights."
Not even an option?
"No, that's not an option right now."
When is Joel Przybilla going to be ready to play?
"He's back in Milwaukee working really hard. He's continuing his rehab. I've spoken to the trainer and he's come along well."
Will he be back ready to go for training camp?
"I don't think he'll be back for camp. Not playing on the court. He'll be at training camp. Right now with Joel we're looking at probably a November or December time frame."
Would you go out and get another body if Przybilla and Oden aren't ready to go?
"It's possible we go out and look for somebody but I don't want to rush it. Because you go out and get somebody and then you have to cut somebody once Greg and Joel are back. We had re-signed Marcus Camby to an extension and also LaMarcus [Aldridge] can play some five in spots."
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