Western Notes: McCollum, Nance Jr., Wolves

Speaking at a press conference today, Blazers guard C.J. McCollum raved about the team’s moves this offseason and what they mean for the season ahead, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian relays. “I think we have a little bit of everything,” McCollum said. “You look at the roster, the way we put different pieces together, bringing in Festus Ezeli, a guy who has championship-level experience defensively, impacts the game right way. Can hedge ball screens. Can do a lot of things we’re not accustomed to. Then you look at Mason Plumlee, a big who can handle the ball, can initiate the offense, can kind of serve as our defacto point guard a lot of times in situations where Dame (Damian Lillard) and I were getting trapped. Bringing back (Allen Crabbe) was big, a guy who can knock down shots, defend high-level wings. Bringing in Evan Turner, a versatile wing, who can pass, play-make, play on the ball, and I think he’ll be an improved three-point shooter.

So we brought back Maurice Harkless, we brought back Meyers Leonard, we brought back a lot of young guys who are thirsty, thirsty to get better, thirsty to prove that the success wasn’t a fluke, thirsty to prove they’re worth what they are getting. A lot of guys are looking forward to the challenge of, like Neil said before, exceeding expectations again and continuing to win and build. Because we care about the city, we care about where we come from, we care about what we represent. And I think that’s what you get, guys who are team-first.

Here’s more from out West:

  • Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr., who injured his wrist during Las Vegas Summer League play, is progressing well and is expected to resume full basketball activities in two weeks time, per an announcement by the team.
  • In his look at the Timberwolves‘ offseason moves, Bobby Marks of The Vertical opines that the most important addition was coach/executive Tom Thibodeau, who will be counted on to teach the young roster how to be winners. The scribe also notes that the additions of Cole Aldrich and Jordan Hill were vital for the franchise, given the health concerns of Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Garnett.

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