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Western Notes: Blazers, Tolliver, Westbrook

The Trail Blazers have had a busy offseason as the franchise hopes to keep the momentum going from its surprising 2015/16 season. GM Neil Olshey, speaking at a press conference to formally announce C.J. McCollum‘s extension, noted that keeping the roster intact was his first priority heading into the summer, Sean Meagher of The Oregonian relays.

Player retention was big this summer,” Olshey said. “We did what we could in terms of free agency, bringing in skill sets more than players – skill sets from the outside. But at the end of the day when you’re the youngest team in the playoffs last year, you made the second round, we had a much better second half of the year than we did the first half, we felt like we were tracking up … it was imperative we keep this group together because we think it has tremendous upside and potential and it’s going to continue to grow.”

Here’s more from out West:

  • Anthony Tolliver, who inked a two-year deal with the Kings this offseason, hopes he can help mentor DeMarcus Cousins as well as produce on the court this season, Dan Lovi of NBA.com relays. “He has all the talent in the world,” Tolliver said of Cousins. “He’s phenomenal, especially on the offensive end, but I really feel like he can improve. Hopefully I help him become better.
  • The Clippers made the most out of their limited cap space this offseason, adding a number of players via below-market contracts who should bolster their bench in 2016/17, Bobby Marks of The Vertical writes in his review of Los Angeles’ summer. The scribe also opines that it is vital for the team to develop 2016 draftees Brice Johnson and Diamond Stone, given the team’s lack of cap flexibility.
  • While Russell Westbrook‘s renegotiation and extension with the Thunder appeared sudden to many, it was a move that had been in the works for a couple of weeks, writes Royce Young of ESPN.com. According to the scribe, OKC knew it had a commitment from Westbrook when it rescinded its qualifying offer to Dion Waiters. A move that was needed to free up the necessary cap space to complete the arrangement.

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