Thursday, June 29, 2006

Recap of Quick & Pritchard Chat

Jason Quick and Kevin Pritchard joined Oregonlive's Eric Marentette for a chat today. Following is a breakdown of the key points:.

Jason Quick:
  • McMillan envisions both Aldridge and Roy playing a lot. Brandon is probably more NBA ready than LaMarcus, but sees both playing extensively. McMillan also thought that Aldridge will play both Center and Power Forward, but predominantly PF.
  • Portland's next move is signing Joel Pryzbilla. They recognize they are thin at center.
  • The next move will be to move Darius Miles.
  • Was the Ratliff-LaFrentz exchange done because the team had to do it to get Roy? Quick wasn't sure, but regardless Raef has skills that Portland will be able to use. McMillan envisions LaFrentz playing with Zach Randolph frequently. Quick doesn't see LaFrentz as the starting center, however; he thinks if Portland doesn't sign Pryzbilla that they'll bring in another veteran center.
  • What about the logjam at PG? The team doesn't know if Sergio Rodriguez will be playing for the team this year or if he'll stay in Europe. But likely one of the team's four point guards (Blake, Jack, Dickau, Rodriguez) will be dealt.
  • Will the team's style of play change based on the players they acquired? Well, the players they got are very young and the team itself is still a few years away from being competitive. But the guys they did get are fast, athletic guys who can shoot which will fit into Nate's uptempo style of play.
  • Who drove the deals yesterday and made everything happen? Quick doesn't know for sure, but he thinks it was Kevin Pritchard.

Kevin Pritchard:

  • This draft more than any other draft had players that could go at various ranges throughout the lottery; hence Portland felt they had a great chance to get very good players at various spots.
  • Regarding the Chicago deal: it was very tough to lose Viktor Khryapa. They know for sure that Chicago was entertaining multiple offers, and so was Charlotte, with teams trying to move into their spots to select players that Portland wanted. He is very, very confident that Portland would not have ended up with the players that they got if they hadn't made those moves.
  • As for Sergio Rodriguez, they are in contact with his agent, but can't comment further. They've had him on the radar for two years.
  • Back to Ratliff and LaFrentz: Pritchard says that Theo was injury prone, but as his age at a 2-year contract he'd be 35 at the end. With Raef, he's younger and will be able to produce longer (and will be younger at the end of the deal). They loved his ability to shoot from mid-range which will space the floor and help out Zach Randolph. They felt the paint got really clogged last year, and Raef will help with that.
  • What about the logjam at shooting guard with Martell and Roy both at the 2? Pritchard isn't worried about that; if both guys can play, they'll get minutes. They compliment each other to a T. They loved Roy's ability to affect the game without scoring (making a great pass, a steal, a rebound, etc). He has the ability to get into the paint and make other players better.
  • Joel Freeland: he's a high-risk, high-return player. Has a chance to be very good in 2-3 years.
  • Joel Pryzbilla: The team has made it clear to him that he is a big priority. Pritchard is flying to Milwaukee tomorrow so he can see him at midnight on June 30th (the early moments of the morning of July 1) so he can visit Joel and let him know how special he is to the team.
  • He hinted that the team will be very proactive in this coming offseason; they aren't done with yesterday's moves. They're going to keep on making changes.
  • Once they got four guys that they really wanted (Aldridge, Roy, Rodriguez, Freeland) then the #31 pick became very expendable. They had done a tremendous amount of research regarding what they could get for that pick, (the team ended up turning it into two more second round picks) and they got assets that will be able to be used in future trades.
  • The priority this offseason was that the team needs to be able to score more points. They feel that with Raef and Brandon Roy, they've addressed that for the immediate future, as well as the long-term with Aldridge (as well as Martell and Jarrett Jack).
  • What can he tell us about the Darius Miles situation? Pritchard plans on having him back and the team "will do everything they can to maximize the player that he is".
  • Summer league roster: Ha, Sinanovic, Sean Dockery (PG from Duke), Pickney (player from Nevada), Fred House (an overseas player) were the guys he mentioned. But he hinted that Roy and Aldridge and Freeland would all be there too, although Sergio won't because he's playing on the Spanish national team.
  • Paul Allen: what about his interest in the team? He threw some money around yesterday, etc ... is there a new interest in the team? Pritchard doesn't believe it will affect whether he sells the team or not.

That's what I could gleam through all of the rhetoric. I was a little disappointed that Quick didn't have more of a scoop, but it was great to hear Pritchard be so honest. Lots of interesting stuff there. I'll be posting again tonight with a bit more analysis and thoughts on Portland's huge night yesteday.

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