Interview: Pritchard discusses Przybilla, Oden, VP of basketball operations
Transcript of an interview conducted Tuesday with Portland Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard.
Pritchard on the likelihood center Joel Przybilla will pick up a player option and rejoin the team next season:
Well, it’s up to him. He’s (got) a … deal where he can early terminate the contract. He doesn’t have to do anything. If he doesn’t terminate it, then it just stays in place.
On when Przybilla has to make a decision:
I think it’s (June) 30.
On filling the team’s vacant vice president of basketball operations position:
It’s not out of my hands. That’s my decision. I would say that we’re softly starting the process. But it’s not important to me to do something quick. I want to make sure we get the right person.
On whether Michael Born and Chad Buchanan are still candidates:
They will be at a level that is always equal to any person we’re going to bring in. Because in multiple divisions, they’re influential. That’s what their job. I don’t get into the hierarchy of all this. It wouldn’t necessarily be an upgrade for them to do it. They’re already ranked right next to me and working as close as possible.
On whether it’s important to fill the position before the draft, to help out with salary cap and Collective Bargaining Agreement-related issues:
We’d like to get as much firepower as we could have. What I would tell you is, over the last few years, I think collectively we’ve improved. And Joe Cronin (scout/basketball operations manager) has moved up to … that category. He’s not a rookie anymore. He’s still learning. But he’s not a rookie. … He’s a scout. He’s kind of a director of scouting. His title is scout. But he’s done all of our cap stuff now for the last three years. He’s done all of our cap books and all our information. He’s super talented. And he’ll be somebody that takes on more responsibility as we move on.
On looking at free agency:
We’re not in that. Because the draft takes so much energy and is so important to do right. It’s not that we’re taking our eyes off free agency. It’s just that, right now, we need to spend the majority of our time on the draft.
On the status of Brandon Roy and Greg Oden:
They’re doing terrific. Brandon is working really hard right now on his overall conditioning. I would tell you that he looks as good as he’s looked in a long time. He says his knee feels all right. And Greg, we’re meeting with tomorrow. Bobby (Medina) has said that his knee looks terrific. Now, it’s just about the process of working back into shape and getting him prepared. Everybody is doing well.
On whether the meeting with Oden will focus on how he works through the summer:
Yeah. We’ve talked to him about it. But we want to get everybody on the same page and make sure we’re coordinated, because it’s a big summer for him.
On whether there is a preference that Oden remains in Portland during his rehab:
We like it, obviously, when he’s in the practice facility and around. But (we) realize this is part of the process, if he needs to be home for a little bit. He’s committed to being here a majority of the summer.
On how the Blazers plan to use the No. 22 pick in the first round:
We’re going to look at every option.