Patterson's deals for Blazers net permanent GM job

Updated: October 10, 2006, 1:45 AM ET
Associated Press

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 games.

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.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press