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Quotes from 12/5 Press Conference with Buchanan, McMillan and Miller - Pinwheel Empire
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Quotes from 12/5 Press Conference with Buchanan, McMillan and Miller

submitted 5 years ago by in Rip City

Chad Buchanan

On Brandon Roy:

“We had a great meeting with Brandon today, all three of us. Brandon’s in a great spot I think. He feels good, and he’s excited about the season. He told us that compared to where he was at last year compared to where he’s at right now, his body feels good. We’ve talked to his agent quite a bit, and we felt good about our meeting walking out of there today.”

“Brandon made the comment that last year that he was coming off a surgery, so coming into the season last year he said he felt a little bit of tweaks here and there with his knee. I think we saw a little bit at the beginning of the season last year, you could see that he was a different player. As he came back from the knee surgery during the season he was never quite back to where he wanted to be. I think he had enough time off this summer where he rested his knees. He went through his normal workout routines that he does in normal off-seasons up in Seattle. He played with a lot of NBA players and a lot of college players. He made the comment to us today that he feels really good right now. He says he’s tested his knee in his workouts and it feels very strong. He feels a lot different this year heading into camp than he did last year, and he’s very encouraged on how his knees feel right now.”

“Brandon made it clear that he wants to do whatever is best to help this team win, and that’s what you’d expect from a person like Brandon – very receptive to whatever role he ends up being in with this team” [McMillan chimes in: "And that includes coming off the bench."]

On Greg Oden:

“Greg Oden has kind of three options right now. The qualifying offer is on the table for Greg, which he can choose to accept. At that point, he’d be in camp practicing with us. Obviously he can entertain an offer from another team. At that point we’d have three days to match that offer. But right now where he’s at physically, I wouldn’t anticipate him being on the floor practicing at the start of training camp if he’s with us.”

“Kind of like Nicolas, we view Greg as a big piece of our organization moving forward. We’ve shown a lot of commitment to Greg, both on the court and off the court, and I think Greg feels like he has some unfinished business here. Long term, we’ve talked about a lot of different things with his agent, exploring all options. Obviously Greg has options he can consider, as do we. But Greg is in a good place mentally right now. Once he gets back on the court it’s obviously going to be an adjustment period coming back from another major knee injury, but I think he’s in a good place right now. The doctor’s reports have been very positive. We’ve been told that Greg is very anxious to get out there and prove himself. This is a big season for him. I think it’s his chance… like I said, he told us before the lockout that he has unfinished business, and that’s encouraging for us.”

“I would not anticipate him being cleared to practice on Friday. I think that’s highly unlikely. I think theoretically if he were to, but like I said that’s highly unlikely, I think he could sign his qualifying offer at 12:01 a.m. and be eligible to practice. I highly don’t anticipate that happening, but that is a possibility.” [Miller chimes in: "Although we wouldn't be upset if that happened."]

“As far as a timetable for return, we’re going to support Greg through this. When he’s ready to play, he’s ready to play. We’re not going to put a date on his return. Greg is in a good place with his recovery and with his mindset, and we just want to continue to support him. When he’s ready to step on the floor, he’ll know he’s ready.”

On Nic Batum:

“We’ve already begun starting that [discussing contract extensions] with his agent. We’ll likely have until the start of the regular season to do something along those lines, but we’re talking about all options with Nicolas right now. Obviously we view him as a big piece moving forward, absolutely. I think we’re both… Nicolas views himself as a piece of us moving forward, and that feeling is mutual.”

On free agency:

“We feel pretty confident we can add a player who’s going to help us through free agency that’s going to help us. Obviously we have a need on our front court, and I think we’ll be able to address that through free agency. We’ve had a lot of good discussions with a lot of players we respect who we feel can fit in seamlessly with our team. I think Nate’s on board with a lot of these guys as well, so we feel pretty good with where we’re at right now.”

On how Roy’s status affects free agency:

“Right now, we expect Brandon Roy in practice on our roster on Friday, so right now, that would drop us down in our free agency pool in the amount of money we have to spend. We’re going under the guidelines that we don’t have our full midlevel. Like I said, Brandon’s going to be on our roster come Friday, so we’re working off of that amount of money right now. We’re looking at everything right now. I think we’re more geared toward trying to sign a free agent big man right now, that’s what we’ve been kind of locked into for the last six days. Whether that’s a full mini-midlevel type player or a minimum player, that’s going to be determined by which player we bring in here.”

On Oden and free agency:

“With the lockout, the calendar of free agency is a little bit different this year. Friday we can begin signing or coming to agreements with free agents. Greg’s a restricted free agent so on Friday he can begin entertaining offers from other teams, and like I mentioned before, we would then have three days to match that offer or not match that offer. The earliest Greg could sign a contract would be a qualifying offer with us, or potentially an extension with us would be Friday, but it could be as late as Sunday if a team tenders him an offer as a restricted free agent.”

 

Nate McMillan

On Brandon Roy:

“One of the things we have to look at is Brandon going back into that starting lineup. That is something we didn’t see last year due to medical reasons. Brandon is feeling better, so Brandon back at the two position is something that I’m leaning toward, and making our adjustments from there.”

On why he’s leaning towards putting Brandon back in the starting lineup:

“He feels good. He feels better. I mean Brandon’s an All-Star. Because of what happened last season, we had to make adjustments as far as limiting his minutes to try to get him back to the floor to be productive. We felt at that time, we meaning Brandon, myself, Dr. Roberts, Jay, that we had to limit his minutes to try to make him productive. Bringing him off the bench is the role we kept him in, but we have not seen him back in the starting lineup. He feels much better now, and that’s something we’re going to take a look at.”

“Brandon is well aware of the schedule, and what is out in front of him. Again, this will be possibly an adjustment that we will have to make once we get into the season. But right now, that plan is to play him. There are no restrictions on playing him. I haven’t been told that we can’t play him or that I shouldn’t expect him on back-to-back games, so that’s the approach we will take. We’re hoping he can be productive out there, and if not, we’ll have to make adjustments like we did last season.”

On the roster:

“I like my roster. I think we have a team that’s for the most part in their prime. We have a second unit that could possibly be young. I like what we did earlier, adding Felton to our team… a young guard that’s in his prime along with Wesley, Brandon, LaMarcus, Nicolas, and then we get very young with our guards in Armon and Nolan, but I like this group.”

“I think this roster is a good roster. Last year we had to juggle and make so many adjustments because of injuries. The fact that with Brandon… we didn’t know if he was going to have surgery, he ended up having surgery. When he returned we didn’t know if he was going to be able to play, how many games he was going to play… We now know that he feels much better. We didn’t take a look at that when he returned last year. I thought Wesley stepped in and did a very nice job at the two position. We know what Nic can do out on the floor. Nic stepped into a role when Gerald was traded to us and was very good coming off the bench. I think with this lineup, we do have a little bit more depth if Brandon is in the starting lineup, or if we rotate Brandon to play with that second group, however we make that adjustment. It does give us a little bit more balance and a little more depth when you have Wesley and Nic possibly coming off the bench. And we hope that big Greg Oden will be a part of that.”

“For us this year, it’s going to be important that LaMarcus continues to improve. IT’s going to be important that Wesley and Nicolas improve their game and bring more to the floor. Felton… there’s some unknown with our team this year. Can we get to the tempo, and what tempo will that be with Felton as opposed to Andre Miller… and Brandon. If we can get Brandon back to being consistent with what he does out on the floor and knowing what we can get night in and night out, I just like where we are. Same with the big guy, with Greg. Getting him out on the floor, and getting some consistency with our guys. LaMarcus has to raise his level of play. Last year he pretty much became the go-to guy for us. Nothing changes, we’re certainly going to stay in that direction. But I do feel like Wesley, Nicolas, Brandon, those guys, their level of play must raise for us too. Be able to get into the playoffs and go further than the first round.”

On the compressed 66 game schedule:

“I think depth becomes even more important. Right now we have 19 back-to-back games. Two of those back-to-backs will be three games in three nights. For the entire league, it’s going to be a challenge. You play just about every other day. To me, it’s almost like major league baseball. Your practices are gonna be your games, and the days that you have off are going to be days to recover. After you leave training camp for seven, eight, nine days, there’s not a lot of practices for the rest of the season because again, you will be playing just about every other day. So again, depth is going to be important. We want to try to address some of that in the free agency. That’s going to be important, that you try to have efficient practices where you get a lot done in a short period of time, and we’ve talked about that.”

 

Larry Miller

On Brandon Roy:

“As I said last week, we’ve made no decision on amnestying Brandon. Right now, our plan is that Brandon is going to be a part of this team during training camp, and hopefully when we start of the season. Again, we had a great meeting with him today. I think we all came away feeling good about where Brandon is. His level of excitement about coming into this season, his level of commitment to wanting to make this team better all came through in the meeting we had with him. So now, when training camp starts, we’ll see Brandon out on the court and take it from there.”

“At this point, our plan is for Brandon to be a part of this team going forward. He will be at training camp, and hopefully he can show us what he can do. He will be a part of the team when the season starts.”

“The other comment that Brandon made today is that his confidence level is very high right now. He’s feeling really confident, and that’s a good thing.”

On exercising the amnesty clause on Roy:

“We would not make a decision to amnesty Brandon Roy without looking at every single factor involved. That being where he is mentally, where he is physically, what’s best for the team, what’s best for Brandon. At this point we have no decision to amnesty Brandon. Our plan is for Brandon to be a part of this team.”

 

CLICK for video of the press conference

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