Did you get the contract you were expecting this summer or were you expecting a little bit more?
PM: It’s hard to say with the economy we’re at. I mean, the contract I got is great. I’m pleased with it. It’s more than what I expected I was going to get in the market we’re in.
How was the whole experience of being a free agent? Were you nervous during the summer?
PM: There was a little bit of that. It was a little frustrating. I was hoping it would be over pretty soon. But in the end it worked out on my best interests. So now I’m really happy and pleased with the situation.
Who has been the best player so far in the preseason?
PM: Deron Williams, he has come to play every day. There’s a couple of guys who have made major improvements from last season, including myself. You got Carlos (Boozer), Memo (Okur)… Everybody has come with a chip on their shoulder and well in shape.
Is the atmosphere on the team affected in any way by all the speculation about Carlos Boozer?
PM: Not at all. We don’t really think about it until people bring it up. We forget about it when we get on the court. That’s just not our business. We get on the court and we play basketball.
Do you feel ready to play more at the small forward position this season?
PM: Yeah, I think I’m ready for it. I’m capable of doing that, extending my game out to the small forward position. I think I will help my team doing that. But there’s still a lot of things I got to work on and get better at to do that.
You said this summer you were expecting to be a starter this season. Maybe that’s not going to happen. How do you take that?
PM: It’s not a big deal to me. Starting or not starting, we’re still going to have a good team. I’m still going to be a major part of this team. Even if I come off the bench, I’m still gonna play a lot of minutes. Starting or not is not really going to affect the way I approach the game or anything like that.
You were drafted in the second round. I guess that had to give you extra motivation to succeed in the league. Is that right?
PM: Absolutely. I mean, I still keep a chip on my shoulder. I’m trying to make teams pay for that. Still got a point to prove. People still don’t think I should be where I’m at right now, so I always keep a chip on my shoulder.
How was camp with the U.S. team the past summer? Did you enjoy the experience.
PM: It was a great experience. I would love to be on that team. I would love to travel the world and play basketball. Overall, it was a great experience for me to pay with those guys out there and just get a look.