Is it playoffs or bust this season for the Trail Blazers? It sure sounds like it based on what General Manager Neil Olshey told Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld. “We’re looking to take a step forward, but I think probably an accelerated step forward based on some of the offseason acquisitions we were able to make,” Olshey said. “Getting a veteran center like Robin and then building up the bench has kind of accelerated our growth a little bit.” More out of the Northwest Division..
- Don’t expect the Timberwolves to pull the trigger on a trade anytime soon. Coach Rick Adelman says other teams are reluctant to make trades right now. “Everyone thinks they’re going to make the playoffs,” he said, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune (Twitter link).
- That doesn’t mean that the T’Wolves won’t keep trying, however. Adelman also made it clear that the club is looking at out-of-house options at the small forward position, Zgoda writes. The Wolves have expressed interest in free agent Richard Hamilton, but things appear to be stagnant on that front.
- Richard Jefferson is embracing his veteran role on a young Jazz squad, writes Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune. “What we’re doing is expected,” he said. “You have a young team, whose roles are expanding. When you have a veteran rearm that’s used to playing in May and June, you come in with a different mindset. You come in with: ‘Hey. Let’s get in shape. Let’s get healthy. Let’s get ready for that long haul.’ This team is more: ‘Let’s set the tone. Let’s start establishing great habits as we move into the future.'” Jefferson came to Utah this offseason as a part of the Warriors’ salary dump.