Interview: Blazers president Miller on GM search, free agency, trade talks

Transcript of an interview conducted Friday afternoon with Portland Trail Blazers president Larry Miller.

Miller on the team’s search for a new general manager, and where the team is at in free agency:

Things are going good. I think we’re getting pretty close to being able to get that done. … It looks like the Wes Matthews deal is going to go through for us.

It’s all going to work out. … If you look at where we were a year ago, when we had a (general manager) and an assistant GM in place, and what we did last summer at this time and what we’ve done this time, it’s not — as a matter of fact, we probably are a little bit ahead. Because last year, we went through (Hedo) Turkoglu, we didn’t get him. We went through (Paul) Millsap, we didn’t get him. And then in a similar situation, we got Wes Matthews. So, that worked out even better for us. And then we ended up with Andre Miller, and that was later in the summer, and we still may end up doing something else. So, I don’t think, in spite of what some of the thoughts may have been out there, I think we have continued to make progress, even without a GM in place.

On how likely it is the Blazers pull off a big trade before the 2010-11 starts:

I would say we are continuing to look at that scenario. And if the right situation is there for us that’s going to make us better as a team, we’re going to go after it. The reality is, we’re continuing to pursue whatever opportunities are out there. I’ve spent a ton of time down here in (Las) Vegas talking to GMs, talking to team presidents, talking to a bunch of folks, agents, just to kind of see what might be out there. And the reality is, these are all people I’ve known for a long time. It’s not like I’m trying to establish new relationships with these people. These are people that I’ve known for years. So, it’s just working with them in a little bit different capacity. But it’s not like they’re not folks that I’ve already known and have relationships with.

On the GM search, where things stand, and whether there is still a clear-cut lead candidate:

I feel very good about where we are. And we’ve got some very good candidates. All three people are all really strong, solid candidates for this role. And I’m 100-percent confident that we’re going to end up with a strong, solid person in this role. I’m a 100-percent confident in that.

On meeting with Blazers owner Paul Allen:

My feeling is that it will happen sooner than later, I’ll put it that way.

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