Blazers Ahead at Deadline

The NBA trade deadline has come and gone. There were winners and losers, of course. Among the most notables in the “winners” category was Portland today. The Blazers made some rather important and incredible strides with little effort and risk. At first glance, it doesn’t appear to be much. They acquired Anderson Varejao from the Cavaliers in a 3 team deal with the Orlando Magic.

It is reported that the Blazers intend to waive Varejao as well. If this is true, it is a telling sign of Neil Olshey’s intentions for the franchise. It’s clear at that point that opportunity to build in the future is ample with the cash and / or picks that the team will be afforded by these types of moves. In this instance, by waiving Varejao the team is attempting to secure a draft pick, or line it’s pockets with cash. Both options lend to more flexibility and power to call shots in the future.

Overall it’s the sort of strategic move that needs to be made as Portland was already in a very good spot salary wise. There is nothing wrong with taking something good and making it better. Another angle to look at this is that so far, Olshey has managed to draft fairly well. That being said, stocking up on draft assets seems like a great idea. These moves by Olshey seem very intentional and are indicative of a conviction to rebuild intelligently. After today the franchise is left in an even better position should the Varejao deal finish as speculated.

-RCL

 

Time To Buy In

RipcityIt needs to be said. If you’ve been paying attention to the Portland Trailblazers you probably came into this season with not so high of expectations. Through perseverance, will, and the coaching of Terry Stotts the Trailblazers team is sitting nice and pretty at .500 at the All-Star break with an up-trending style of play. Although that is hardly a San Antonio / Golden State stat line, it’s still very important for the Blazer franchise. The reason why is because they are starting to prove everyone wrong in relation to expectations. I know there are plenty in the crowd out there that think that the team should tank and get a lottery pick. The lottery pick in turn would leave the Blazers in a better situation going into next season by having the opportunity to bolster the work in progress roster. This would not be a guarantee, but it would be a helpful opportunity. It’s also important to note, that after the break they will be approaching a more difficult spread in the schedule.

Regardless, the team checks in with some money in the wallet as well heading to the break. That could be bonus help in going after some pieces that the team could use to improve it’s list. Neil Olshey has done an amazing job managing the team’s roster and saving the dollars. He has put together a team of players in Portland on a shoestring budget worth more than what they appear to be on paper. With some players coming into their own and the chemistry really starting to show results, it’s exciting to see what the outcome will be. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a move by Olshey here at the trade deadline, but I wouldn’t be surpised if he didn’t either. The patience appears to be paying off. With Olshey’s roster management and Stotts at the helm, if you haven’t been paying attention to the Blazers so far, now is a good time to start.

-RCL