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Transcript: Blazers GM Rich Cho Year-End Thoughts On The Upcoming Summer

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Following Game 6, Portland Trail Blazers GM Rich Cho laid out some of his thoughts regarding the end of the season and his early wishlist for the offseason.

During a lengthy media availability on Monday, Cho fielded questions and expanded a bit on those comments.

I'll post his answers in a few separate posts to make them easier to digest. Posted earlier: 

Click through for a transcript of his thoughts on the potential for a lockout,  this year's draft class, his draft strategy, this summer's free agent class, Paul Allen's assessment of the season and more. 

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter

Questions are in bold and are paraphrased. Answers are in blockquote and are word-for-word.

Have you received any restrictions from ownership on spending?

No. That's something I'll speak to Mr. Allen about. 

What was Mr. Allen's mood after the season?

Yeah, I think he was disappointed. You have to ask him to be sure but, as with all of us, he was disappointed in the first round loss. I think at the same time he realizes we did have a lot of adversity. Only nine teams had a better record than us during the season. There's a lot of reason for optimism after we acquired Gerald Wallace we were 10-6 against teams with .500 records or better. Before we acquired Gerald we were 10-18 against teams with .500 or better records. There's a lot of reason for optimism.

Do you have the pieces you need to make trades? Do you have a lot to work with?

Sure, yeah, I feel like we have a lot of assets. We're going to look to improve the team in every way possible.

How different will the roster be on opening night?

That's too hard to tell. I will say that we will be diligent in doing everything we can to make the team better. But I don't want to speculate now on how different the roster will be.

Will you have an active offseason?

Yeah, it's possible. We're going to look to improve the team. At the same time I want some level of continuity too because I think it helps when 

Size and speed coming from veterans or drafting?

Either or. Find a couple of players. You can find a young guy that has experience that's the best option but those guys are hard to find. 

Draft or trades a bigger deal?

It's really going to be a combination of the draft, free agency, trades. That's how I've always approached it. Sometimes it's better one way versus the other.


Does the scouting department think this draft is deep or not so deep?

The draft is not as deep as in other years but they'll be some good players. 

Draft for need or best player available?

I always like to go for best player.

Need to address the center position in the draft given Oden's injuries and Camby's age?

Yeah, that's definitely a possibility. Again, the offseason is going to be for evaluation and trying to put the puzzle together. We're really happy we brought in Chris Johnson. He's under contract next year. He was the D-League Defensive Player of the Year and he showed some flashes of really being a good player here.

You don't really need more young guys compared to needing experience

That's one way to look at it. The other way to look at it, you look at some of the young players out there, that were drafted in the late-teens or early-twenties. You can't even trade for them. You can find a good player who can get into your rotation. I mean, look at Wesley Matthews, he was undrafted. Nic Batum was a mid-twenties pick. You can find those guys. So I don't think you can make a blanket statement that the 21st pick is not worth anything.

Will you approach the draft with a less risky approach than recent years?

It's always a risk analysis. You're trying to weigh talent versus risk. I definitely consider the medical history of guys when we're going to draft or trade for them.

This year's free agent class

There's some good free agents out there. Class is probably not as strong as some classes in the past but I can't talk specifically about those names.

Do you prepare as if there's not going to be a lockout next season?

Well, I can't even talk about the lockout so I'm very hesitant to even mention that word. So hopefully there won't be one but just keep going, business as usual.

Threat of a lockout alter anything you do?

I'm just approaching it as business as usual.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter