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.