Blazers Notes: GM Search, Batum, Hickson

It's been a busy few days for the Trail Blazers, as the team deals with LaMarcus Aldridge's injury woes amidst reports that Steve Kerr isn't interested in Portland's GM vacancy and Jamal Crawford is expected to turn down his 2012/13 player option. A number of Blazers beat writers have a few more updates on the team this morning, so let's round them up….

  • Blazers president Larry Miller says ideally the team would hire a general manager before deciding on a new coach, so the new GM could help with the coaching hire, as Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune writes.
  • Miller added that he hopes to bring the new GM aboard "well before" the June 28th draft. The timetable is complicated by the team needing to be granted permission to talk to candidates currently with NBA clubs.
  • Miller on restricted free agent Nicolas Batum: "Right now, our plan is to retain him. Hopefully, (another team) doesn't make him a crazy offer."
  • The Blazers would like to pursue free agents using their cap room before turning to their own free agents like Batum and J.J. Hickson, potentially going over the cap to keep them.
  • With his recent play on the court, Hickson is making a case to stay with the Blazers long-term, writes Mike Tokito of the Oregonian.
  • Talking to Jason Quick of the Oregonian, Miller downplayed the team's current GM "vacancy": "If we decided tomorrow to name Chad [Buchanan] the GM, what would change? In essence, the reality is nothing would change other than we would promote Chad into that permanent role. It's not like we have nobody watching the store. That's not the case. We have a really effective person and an effective team who are managing our basketball operations…. So to the fans and to the people who are saying the answer is getting a GM … we have a GM."
  • Earlier this morning, we discussed Jamal Crawford's potential free agent interest in the Warriors.
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