Blazers wait to resume GM search
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers won't immediately re-start their search of a new general manager now that the NBA lockout appears to be at an end.
Blazers president Larry Miller says that instead, the duties will be handled as a team, with himself, owner Paul Allen and interim GM Chad Buchanan calling the shots. And that includes decisions about guard Brandon Roy and restricted free agent Greg Oden.
Miller disputes reports that the Blazers plan to use the amnesty clause in the league's new labor agreement to waive Roy, a three-time All-Star.
We want to bring in somebody when we do bring in a GM that really enhances the team that we have in place. We just didn't feel like we found that in our initial search and right now we are happy with where we are.” -- Trail Blazers president Larry Miller
Roy has a maximum-salary contract that keeps him with the Trail Blazers until at least the 2013-14 season, but he has had a series of issues with both of his knees.
The Blazers contacted Roy's agent Wednesday morning and will look at several factors before making a decision.
"With everything that Brandon has done for this organization, there's no way we would make a decision like that without having conversations with them, without evaluating where he is and seeing what's going on with him," Miller said.
It was not yet clear when decisions regarding amnesty would have to be made, Miller said. He spoke to reporters at the Rose Garden on Wednesday, the same day teams were allowed to speak with agents. The Blazers will open their practice facility to players Thursday.
The league hopes to have the new collective bargaining agreement ratified by Dec. 9 so that teams can open training camp and free agency can get under way. Among free agents, Miller confirmed that the team is looking at former Blazers Joel Przybilla and Jeff Pendergraph because of a need for post players.
There's no timetable for naming a general manager.
Former Blazers GM Rich Cho served less than a year on the job when he was abruptly dismissed in May. Buchanan was named interim general manager and helped the team conduct the draft.
As the labor dispute stretched on, the Blazers suspended the search.
"We want to bring in somebody when we do bring in a GM that really enhances the team that we have in place," Miller said. "We just didn't feel like we found that in our initial search and right now we are happy with where we are."
The Blazers also talked to Oden's agent on Wednesday.
Portland offered the former No. 1 draft pick an $8.8 million qualifying offer to stay in Portland back on June 29. That means the often-injured 7-foot center is a restricted free agent. The Blazers can match any offers that other teams make for him.
The 23-year-old Oden didn't play last season after microfracture surgery on his left knee. He missed his rookie season in 2007-08 after microfracture surgery on his right knee. Two seasons ago he broke his left kneecap.
Because of his injuries, the former Ohio State star has played in only 82 games over parts of two seasons, averaging 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Oden would not likely be ready to play until January.
"From all indications, Greg is doing very well. His rehab is going great. The doctors are pleased with where he is," Miller said. "Mentally it sounds like Greg is in a good place. I think he feels good about our organization and how we've supported him through all this. Hopefully Greg will be here and will be able to help us out this season."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press