PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers removed the
interim tag from general manager Steve Patterson's title Monday.
Patterson also has been the team president since 2003 and said he
will perform both jobs for as long owner Paul Allen wants him too.
"I serve at the pleasure of the owner and whatever role he
wants me play, I'm happy to do it," Patterson said late Monday.
Patterson took over the general manager duties after John Nash was
fired in late May. Nash spent three seasons as general manager, a
time of rapid decline for the once-proud franchise. The Trail
Blazers finished 21-61 last season and lost 19 of their final 20
Wasting little time revamping the roster, Patterson swung a
half-dozen deals on draft day. By the end of the evening, the team
added four first-round picks -- including lottery selections
LaMarcus Aldridge of Texas and Brandon Roy of Washington -- and
along with veterans Raef LaFrentz and Dan Dickau.
Center Joel Przybilla re-signed with the team in July, agreeing
to a five-year, $32 million deal. Later in the month, center
Jamaal Magloire came over from Milwaukee in a trade for Steve Blake, Brian
Skinner and Ha Seung-Jin.
Also Monday, the team elevated Kevin Pritchard from director of
player personnel to assistant general manager. Pritchard had been
considered a front-runner for the GM job.
Patterson said the personnel decisions made this summer were a
collaborative process and Pritchard played a large role. But he
declined to call Pritchard his heir apparent.
"I don't try to predict the future, but I tell you he's a
bright young talent," Patterson said.