Aug 09

Portland's Summer Of Dual Purposes

By caseyholdahl

Neil Olshey has accomplished quite a lot this offseason. He acquired a starting center in Robin Lopez and a young power forward in Thomas Robinson, all without giving up much of anything. He drafted CJ McCollum and Allen Crabbe who both possess a skill set, three-point shooting, that is required to run Terry Stotts' system. Then he went out and signed another shooter, Dorell Wright, to a free agent contract and another veteran, Earl Watson, in an attempt to shore up Portland's bench.

The primary goal of these moves are to make the Trail Blazers a better team in 2013-14. But Olshey is also a big believer in keeping players happy, which is one of the reasons why there have been significant upgrades made to both the locker room at the Rose Garden and the practice facility in Tualatin since he came on as Portland's general manager. It's also why has kept his players, particularly LaMarcus Aldridge, who was back in Portland for workouts last week, in the loop on all of the moves the Trail Blazers have made this offseason.

"I'm someone that keeps the players apprised of what we're doing, across the board," said Olshey. "LaMarcus and I have had a lot of conversations throughout the summer and it started the night before free agency, doing trades to get Robin Lopez and to get Tom Robinson and bolster our front court. He was pleased with that, we communicated that with one another."

And the last move of Olshey's offseason, signing veteran guard Mo Williams to a two-year contract, was also made with Aldridge in mind.

"Adding Mo was just another guy that can do the two things on the offensive side that LaMarcus excels at," said Olshey. "He can run pick-and-roll and he can feed the post and spot and space the floor."

The addition of Williams, along with the other moves made this offseason, undoubtedly makes the Trail Blazers a better team. So in that respect, Olshey has succeeded this offseason, and rather quickly at that. What isn't known, at least not yet, is if he's done enough to quell the concerns that Aldridge reportedly had/has with the makeup of Portland's roster. But according to Olshey, the signing of Williams helps.

"I think what was important for LaMarcus is we weren't 'rebuilding,' that we were rebuilding our talent base in terms of youth to get some talent on the roster and some asset value, but that we were willing to compete right away, too. And this is another signing that signals that."


  1. We are moving in the right direction.

    by Hg on 8/9/2013 2:23 PM
  2. Olshey is a task master. He stepped into the GM position and immediately established a short term and long range plan. His short term plan has been executed with precision. His long range plan is not complete. If you listen to his words he continues to say "flexibility" and "asset value". The structuring of contracts shows he is positioning the team for bigger and better things to come.
    A couple of years ago I was a fan that was screaming for Paul to get a GM hired. In hindsight, I am now pleased the search for a GM took as long as it did. We have a quality commander in charge of the team.

    by Divotking on 8/10/2013 5:07 PM
  3. Love the work Olshey is doing! Shows he know's what he's doing sense Kevin Pritchard, I really like the new additions to the team without losing much, it's very impressive. Even if this specific team doesn't work, I have faith in Niel to work his magic around the league and oversee the greatest organization!

    by tanneralan on 8/10/2013 7:04 PM
  4. very impressed with Neil! I feel he's taken great strides to help rebuild the Blazers around LA and shore up the bench! I remember a couple years ago LA was one of the dunk leaders of the NBA...I foresee lob city in the rip city this year!!

    by nhkhajavei on 8/11/2013 12:32 AM
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