The Blazers approached this season’s trade deadline determined not to part with one of their top rotation players unless the team was able to land a major upgrade in return, Jason Quick of CSNNW.com relays. “We went into the trade deadline trying to be opportunistic,’’ Portland executive Neil Olshey said. “I’m happy for this group. What they have been able to do on the floor put us in position where we weren’t looking to break up the roster and look to change the core group of guys. It’s a testament to the work they have done and the success they have had. We shaded ourselves toward more future assets as opposed to bringing in guys right now who might – quite honestly – disrupt the chemistry we have going. It took a lot of work to put this group together knowing how all the pieces fit and how they would fit into [coach] Terry’s [Stotts] system and how they would fit into our culture and how they would basically fall in line behind Damian Lillard‘s leadership. We are not going to tinker with that.’’
Here’s more from out West:
- The Rockets don’t mind being back over the luxury tax threshold as a result of the Donatas Motiejunas trade with Detroit being voided, but the loss of the top-eight protected 2016 first-round pick they would have received from Detroit stings, Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter). The power forward not passing Detroit’s physical scuttled a three-way deal made prior to last Thursday’s trade deadline.
- According to a physical therapist who is well-versed in the recovery process ahead of Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, the chance that the big man returns to the form he displayed before his injury is less than 10%, Peter Edmiston of The Commercial Appeal relays (on Twitter). Gasol will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery Saturday on his broken right foot.
- The Rockets have assigned Sam Dekker to their D-League affiliate as he continues to make his way back from surgery, the team announced. This will be the rookie’s third trek of the season to Rio Grande Valley.