At the end of the season, Nate McMillan will be a free agent.
But McMillan is handling his business a little different than recent high-profile payers — he is being quiet. Make no mistake, he wants a new deal in Portland, but he wants to prove he deserves it by taking the Blazers to new heights this season.
McMillan and GM Rich Cho explained their thinking to the Portland Tribune.
“We’ve talked about it, and (another extension) is something we’ll evaluate toward the end of the season,” first-year General Manager Rich Cho says. “For now, he’s under contract.”
“There was some conversation (about an extension), but my decision was to not negotiate during the season,” McMillan says. “I’m totally fine with it.”
“I’m happy to be here,” he says. “I want to continue coaching here for a long time. That was my reason for coming to Portland” from Seattle in 2005.
“At the same time,” McMillan says. “I believe the organization should be in a position to look at where this team is going and make that decision. Me not talking about an extension, please don’t read into it that it’s a sign I don’t want to be here. I do.”
This could be a brilliant move by McMillan — he could prove invaluable and his stock and price tag would rise. Of course, the disaster scenario is out there, too.
In the end, it’s kind of refreshing to see someone let his work do the talking and see where the chips fall where they may.