Interview: Born discusses contract extension, Pritchard
Transcript of an interview conducted Friday evening with Michael Born, Portland Trail Blazers director of NBA scouting.
Born on whether the timing of him and Chad Buchanan, Blazers director of college scouting, signing two-year contract extensions Friday has any connection with Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard’s future with the organization:
It’s hard for me to even say. With our contracts being up at the end of June, that’s something that we’ve been working on now for a little bit of time. The timing of it just happened to be the timing. I don’t think it was planned to happen today in any particular way. But we’re excited to be here, and I think Chad would tell you the same exact thing. We’re happy to be here. And what’s going on with Kevin, they’re going through their process, and that’s not something that we can really control. It’s not something that we’re really that involved in. And I think part of this is just, it’s an exciting time of the year for us, because it’s the draft, which we love. It’s the culmination of almost all the work that you do, starting back a year ago, because you’re looking at guys that summer to get ready for the next draft. And I think with the free agency coming up July 1, even though we won’t be huge players with the marquee guys, it’s an exciting time of the year for us. And it just seems like we’ve been so focused on the (draft) … we feel like it’s the one time of the year you can really improve your team. And it’s one of the tests that we do: trade deadline and free agency and the draft. And so I think we’ve just been really focused on that, and hoping that we can continue to help this team get better.
On what moved the process forward during the last 48 hours:
I don’t think there’s anything specific. It’s been sort of an ongoing process. And, like I said, the timing of it — I don’t think there’s any specific timing. It happened today versus two days ago, or it happened next week. It’s been there, and it’s obviously been something that we’ve been thinking about. But I don’t think in any capacity it’s had us take our eye off the ball. It’s there. You deal with it. But we’re locked in every day on workouts, and talking with our scouts and coaches and watching video. Talking to agents and other teams in the league and gathering agents just like we always do. It’s just sort of one more thing that’s in your day that you’re hoping gets done at some point. But, the fact that it was done today wasn’t a huge issue. It could have been something that could have been done after the draft as well. But we felt like over the course of the last week or so that there was some pretty good discussion going on. We’re excited to continue to be here and be part of this organization.
On having any contact with Pritchard during the last 48 hours while considering the Blazers’ offer:
We were taking care of it by ourselves. But Kevin was great in this. I think he’s been a big proponent of this trying to get done. I think this speaks highly of him wanting to look out for us and take care of us. Even though his situation, he doesn’t know what his situation is going to be, he’s wanted us to look at this deal really hard. So, he’s been great and he’s been very supportive. We’ve talked with him quite a bit about it. He’s the GM, so this is part of what he does.