Portland Trail Blazers Media Day 2022 featured interviews with all the important figures on Portland’s roster and front office staff, but none more important than General Manager Joe Cronin. Cronin is heading into his first full season as Blazers GM, behind a solid nine months of work which saw multiple trades, signings, and draft picks.
Danny Marang of Blazer’s Edge and 1080 The Fan helped keep us updated on Cronin’s interview responses. They included plenty of thoughts about the present and immediate future.
Cronin has high hopes for the entertainment value of the New Look Blazers:
Very confident that we’ll be a very entertaining and watchable product that makes noise for years to come.
We understand we’re trying to get better each day.
We wish we had a game tonight we’re ready to go.
Feel like we have a very talented, athletic, skilled group that is going to be a lot of fun to watch on a nightly basis.
On Damian Lillard’s load management and the rotation, Cronin had this to say:
We haven’t dove deeply into it yet (Lillard’s load mgmt) we want to be very aware of it with him and the rest of the roster.
As far as Shaedon goes, Chauncey won’t hear it from me. If he believes in him and thinks he can help us, then he’ll play. (On Sharpe cracking rotation)
Cronin is enthused about the younger players on the roster, but believes that the team still has more growing to do.
We want to give those opportunities to the young guys especially Shaedon but we have to balance those opportunities with our starters to get things going.
This group is different in that it’s gotten after it more than any group I’ve ever seen.
We realize we’re a little small and in a perfect world we’d like to be bigger. But we prioritized versatility and I’d say we lean more to the talent than the position - but with that we recognize there’s some limitations there.
Two of Portland’s younger players who were recovering from injury over the summer should be ready to go:
The only guy that won’t be able to go in training camp is Gary Payton II
This means Nassir Little and Shaedon Sharpe are full goes for camp/preseason.
On the departure of Assistant Coach Edneisha Curry, Cronin was taciturn:
On staffing changes, as far as Coach Curry goes we’re thankful for the contributions she made and we’re thankful for what she did here.
But Cronin did offer thoughts on extensions, or lack thereof, among Portland players.
On Little’s extension - we’ve just had conversations, and just expressed how highly we think of Nassir, but we really haven’t gotten into it.
On Grant’s extension - they have to wait 6 months to extend and give more parameters.
And finally, courtesy of Sean Highkin, we hear how Cronin feels about his team’s fitness to contend this year:
Joe Cronin on how close the roster is to contention: “I don’t know yet. I like our talent, I like our mentality. But we have a group of guys who haven’t really played together.”
Check around the site today for more Media Day 2022 interview summaries.