Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey has been on the job in Portland for four and a half months, having gone through his first draft and free agency period with the team this summer. While the Blazers may not be a contender this season, Olshey is enthusiastic about the direction the roster is taking, and spoke to Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune about the club's outlook. Here are a few of the highlights from Olshey:
On the trade market and whether the Blazers will get involved in deals:
"Everybody wants to feel things out for a little bit before making changes. We’re not going to make any moves that will take away long-term flexibility, unless it’s absolutely a player to add to our core. We’re not going to make incremental moves that don’t move the needle…. We took a lot of discipline to put ourselves in position where we could have a max (salary) cap slot next summer. We could be aggressive in free agency. We want to have that flexibility. We want to make big moves. We don’t want to make marginal moves."
"We have to look at whether or not we even need that cap room [next summer]. We’re trying to judge which players are going to be in the free-agent market. That will impact our decision as much or more than whether or not we like the three guys who have options. We like all of them. The question is, is there an opportunity cost by taking ourselves out of free agency to a certain degree if we pick up the options?"
On whether owner Paul Allen will be patient throughout Olshey's rebuilding process:
"I’m going to accelerate this as quickly as possible without sacrificing the big picture. We want to win at a high level and for it to be sustainable. We don’t want quick fixes, where we’re back to the drawing board every offseason, trying to hold on to something that’s slipping through our fingers. Paul is buying into it right now. My promise to him is we’re going to move this as fast as humanly possible with sacrificing sustainabilty."