Blazers Notes: Lillard, Claver, Freeland, Batum

While Dave Deckard of Blazer's Edge thinks there's hope for the Trail Blazers in the near future, he also thinks a number of arguments frequently made by fans, players, or the media don't hold water. A team having a "great attitude" or "flying under the radar" doesn't mean a surprise season is coming, according to Deckard.

We have a handful of other Blazer notes to round up this morning, after GM Neil Olshey talked to Joe Becker on KGW on Sunday. Here are a few highlights from Olshey's comments, which Ben Golliver of Blazer's Edge transcribed:

  • Olshey felt that Damian Lillard was not only the best fit for the Blazers at No. 6 overall in June's draft, but also the best player available when Portland picked. The GM expects the rookie point guard to be productive immediately.
  • Victor Claver and Joel Freeland should bring a team-first mentality to the Blazers, according to Olshey, who notes that Nicolas Batum is excited about the club's style of play getting some "international flavor."
  • Olshey on Batum's new contract leading to increased expectations: "I think Nic's going to embrace it. It was one of the reasons we were so anxious to embrace the offer sheet. When we met with Nic prior to him signing it, that was something he really wanted. He wanted to embrace being one of the leaders on the team. Having more responsibility on both ends of the ball."
  • Olshey praised Blazers owner Paul Allen and said that his experience in Portland has been "incredible" so far.
  • The Blazers GM mentioned that he was excited to see Blazers players in the gym recently, pointing out that LaMarcus Aldridge, who organized the voluntary workouts, has been a "solid voice of leadership for the young guys."

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