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Northwest Notes: Blazers, Afflalo, Jackson

Blazers GM Neil Olshey made it clear that Thursday’s trade for Arron Afflalo was a product of the team’s emphasis on the present, as he told reporters and as The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman transcribes.

“It’s one of the things about our league; you can’t be a development team and a winning team,” Olshey said. “They’re not always independent of one another, but they’re more independent than people would like to admit.”

All five Northwest Division teams made trades Thursday, and that included two deals in which Northwest teams hooked up with each other. We rounded up the latest on the Wolves, the lone team that didn’t make an intradivision trade, earlier today, and now here’s what’s happening in the rest of the division:

  • The Nuggets expected that Afflalo would command $9-10MM a year in a new contract this summer, reports Chris Mannix of, who writes in his Open Floor column. The new Blazers shooting guard has a player option likely worth $7.75MM for next season, up from his base salary of $7.5MM. That’s because playing with Portland means he’ll probably trigger the bonus for making the playoffs that’s part of his contract, notes Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • There were strong feelings in the Nuggets organization that the presence of JaVale McGee negatively influenced a “winning culture,” Mannix also writes in the same piece.
  • Reggie Jackson sat out a game at the beginning of the season because he was disappointed the Thunder didn’t trade him, a source tells Royce Young of, who delves into the frayed relationship between Jackson and his now former Thunder teammates.
  • The development of Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors and the desire for cap flexibility motivated the Jazz’s decision to trade Enes Kanter, not Kanter’s trade request, Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey insists, as Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune relays.
  • Dorell Wright, a free agent at season’s end, would prefer re-signing with the Blazers over a deal with any other NBA team, as he tells Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders.
  • There’s a decent chance Tibor Pleiss, the draft-and-stash prospect whom the Jazz acquired Thursday from the Thunder, leaves his Spanish team soon, making him available to sign with Utah, a source indicated to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune (Twitter link). Pleiss, a center, is currently under contract through 2016, as our draft rights held database shows.
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