Roy, source say Pritchard was not removed from contract negotiations

Excerpts from this week’s Blazer page, which ran March 29 in The Columbian.

As a media storm engulfed the Blazers last week, the relationship between general manager Kevin Pritchard, president Larry Miller and owner Paul Allen was analyzed and dissected.

Out of all the reasons given for an alleged fracture in the relationship between Pritchard and Portland’s top-level management, one of the many accusations that stood out centered on a report that Pritchard’s lead role during contract extension negotiations last summer with Blazers guard Brandon Roy had been taken away and placed in the hands of Miller.

Roy and the organization reached a stalemate in July, with tension reported between both camps. But Roy and the Blazers eventually agreed in early August to a five-year, $82-million extension.

A source close to the negotiations said this week that the Blazers displayed some reluctance on the terms of Roy’s extension, but added that the organization’s stance was normal for negotiations. In addition, the source said it appeared Pritchard, Miller and Allen were united throughout the process.

Pritchard has not been made available to the media since engaging Monday in a 15-minute press conference, during which he answered a variety of questions about his relationship with Miller and Allen, and his future with the organization. Portland’s GM reportedly spent the remainder of the week scouting the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and Pritchard was not available for comment when reached Sunday.

Tuesday, Roy addressed questions about Pritchard’s involvement with the negotiations.

Roy on Pritchard’s role: “That’s funny. Because in negotiations, I wasn’t hands on. I just kind of — my agent would call and I’d be like, ‘Uh, no.’ Or I’d be like, ‘All right. Getting closer.’

From what I know, I always thought my agent dealt with Kevin. So, I’ve never really known Larry to negotiate contracts. When it got close to being done, KP called me and we talked. So, I didn’t — I don’t know about the whole Larry thing. I’m sure Paul was involved; he’s the owner. It’s his money. But I don’t know how much Larry Miller was involved.

From what I know, talking to my agent, no, Kevin never disappeared. So, I don’t know if they aided him on it. But from my whole time talking to my (agent), no. They went through a period where we didn’t speak much, but that was — we didn’t speak much to anybody. That was July-ish. Most of July. That was kind of a dead period. I know they were dealing with free agent stuff. But it was never thought that (Pritchard) wasn’t involved. No.

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