A whole lot to unpack from today's introduction of the newest Portland Trail Blazers. In case you missed it earlier, here's a link to a few pictures, here's a link to a piece on Raymond Felton and here's a link to a look at Portland's two new rookies: Nolan Smith and Jon Diebler.
Finally, here's what Portland Trail Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan had to say about center Greg Oden on Monday. The Blazers must issue Oden a Qualifying Offer by Thursday to make him a restricted free agent.
Buchanan still wouldn't commit one one way or another on whether the Blazers would tender the Qualifying Offer to Oden but did say that the decision would be announced "Wednesday or Thursday" and that the organization was "very comfortable" with where it stands in relation to the situation.
Status of Greg Oden offer
"We have to officially tender him a qualifying offer by June 30. He doesn't have to sign it. he can go out and solicit an offer from another team and we have seven days to match. If he eventually decides not to sign an offer with other teams, he can sign our offer and play for us next year."
Do you know whether you will make the offer or not?
"We've talked about every option that we have available. We've had a ton of discussions on that. I think we feel really comfortable with where we're at right now. We've look at different routes that we can take. As I'm sure Greg is doing the same with his agent.
"At the end of the day we have to find what's right for our team. Greg is going to do what's right for himself. Whatever that ends up being, we're going to be supportive of it and hopefully have made our team better."
Did not drafting a big man signal that you plan to make Oden the offer?
"I don't think so. I don't think it had any affect on our decision with Greg. If we had added two or three centers in the draft or a trade that would be a different scenario but we added two backcourt players and I don't think that impacts where we're going with Greg at all. There were a couple of post players that we liked, one of them we went after pretty hard, but in the end that's totally separate from where we stand with Greg."
What can Greg Oden do right now rehab-wise?
"He's just starting to run on the ultra-G. It reduces the weight and stress that it puts on your legs. He's just getting ready to start doing that."
How is he progressing overall?
"He's doing really well, he looks great physically, he's in a great mindset, really optimistic about where he's at health-wise and his future so it's been very good."
How important is his weight?
"That's what we want him to be focused on, keeping himself light. That's a big part of recovering from that [microfracture] procedure. The sooner you get yourself down to your normal weight, the sooner you can ramp up your activities."Is he on schedule?
"Everything is on schedule. Everything they've told us is all encouraging."
When will you talk in more detail with owner Paul Allen?
"We've already discussed it quite extensively last week leading up to the draft. We feel very comfortable with where we're at. Get through the draft, get through today and then that will be the next thing on our plate."
Will the decision come down on Thursday?
"Wednesday or Thursday. We're very comfortable with our decision."
It would be a complete shocker if the Qualifying Offer was not tendered.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com |Twitter