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The Portland Trail Blazers are open for business.
The trading business, that is.
Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, appearing on NBA TV, said the team is looking to add experience.
“There’s a great foundation there, we need to continue to add veterans; the draft was the draft, we didn’t have a lot of resources in free agency,” he said. “We had the tax-payer midlevel, we broke that up… and now we’ll go into the rest of the offseason looking to make trades to bolster the top nine guys in our rotation.”
— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 10, 2018
Olshey said it’s important for the franchise to not overreact to how last season ended. Portland earned the No. 3 seed in the rugged Western Conference, only to be upset — and swept — by sixth-seeded New Orleans in the first round of the playoffs.
“I think we’ve said that we’re not going to overreact to a playoff loss. There’s some contextual things there, we had some injuries to Moe (Harkless) and Evan (Turner), they were a unique matchup for us in terms of style of play so we didn’t have as much of a foundation in terms of playing small with (Nikola) Mirotic — he obviously had a great postseason, much better than he had in the regular season,” he said.
“But we’re not going to underreact to it, either,” he continued. “I think we’re losing a little bit of perspective that we did win 49 games, we finished third in the toughest conference and won the division outright, and I think we need to take some pride in that and understand we need to keep building on it, while also understand we had the second-youngest roster in the NBA last year.”
Toward that end, Portland signed guard Seth Curry as a free agent earlier this summer.
“He had a great year the year before in Dallas. We loved his shooting and his IQ. We’re really looking to build our second unit, with Evan Turner playing more of a facilitator role and we need to surround him with shooters,” Olshey said. “So Seth has the ability to be a secondary ball handler as well as a knockdown shooter and can pair with Evan and pairs with some of the guys we brought in.”
In regards to making trades, being present at the Las Vegas Summer League certainly sets a stage, if nothing else.
“I think proximity lends itself to more collaboration in terms of having discussions about players, but honestly that goes on every day,” he said. “So if you see trade talks go on they’re probably happening by phone back in the hotels rather than out in the open in the lobby at Thomas & Mack.”