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After a surprising regular season that led to a 49-33 finish and earning the third seed in the rugged Western Conference, the Portland Trail Blazers suffered an unceremonious four-game sweep at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans.
The sweep prompted questions on whether the team needs to hit the reset button, some speculation whether general manager Neil Olshey and/or coach Terry Stotts should be replaced. Even breaking up Portland’s dynamic backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum has been whispered.
Having some time to reflect on what went down at the hands of Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo in the playoffs, Olshey believes he became “a little too conservative” in terms of making possible moves.
“Probably one of the things we were a little too conservative with this offseason and at the trade deadline was, we were probab’t far too protective of our draft pick and our trade exceptions and the tools we had to continue to build the roster long-term,” Olshey said during ESPN’s coverage of the NBA Draft Combine.
At this moment, Portland owns the 24th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, which will provide a young player to aid in the long-term progress of the team. However, that pick could have been utilized in a deal at the Feb. 8 trade deadline, when Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan was mentioned as being a target of the Trail Blazers.
Which has Olshey changing his tune a bit in what Portland might do this summer.
“I thin this offseason, we shift our focus to playoff-caliber guys,” he said. “Guys that hit the right benchmarks with a body of work that can really perform come April.”