According to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey is hoping Nicolas Batum can increase his scoring this season like Eric Gordon did in his third year, when his PPG jumped from 16.9 to 22.3. If Batum can take that sort of step forward, Olshey says he has reason to be optimistic about the Blazers' future.
"I'm not putting a number on Nic, but if Nic can make a jump, if Wes [Matthews] can make a jump, if L.A. [LaMarcus Aldridge] can just be L.A., and Damian [Lillard] can be who we think he has the ability to be, we're not that far away," Olshey said. "And having a lottery pick potentially, and three second [round picks], and having $13MM in room potentially, is a pretty good position to be in eight months from now."
Here are a few more updates from around the Western Conference:
- The Mavericks have indefinitely suspended Delonte West again for conduct detrimental to the team, the club announced today in a press release. As Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com tweets, it seems likely this suspension will last longer than West's last one did.
- Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News thinks Mavericks rookie Bernard James, the third pick of the second round this June, could use some D-League seasoning.
- Robert Sacre is moving closer to locking up a spot on the Lakers roster, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
- Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post believes Andre Iguodala, who can invoke an early termination option for 2013/14, will instead sign a long-term deal with the Nuggets.
- Even after waiving Eddy Curry and Derrick Brown, the Spurs won't necessarily keep Josh Powell on their regular season roster, but Powell tells Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News that he thinks he's shown the team enough to warrant consideration.