Haynes: Blazers GM Neil Olshey Could Address Weak Bench At Trade Deadline

Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey says he could look to address his weak bench at the trade deadline.

Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports that Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey told reporters at shootaround on Thursday that he could look to address his team's bench at the trade deadline.

"I think it's something we're hoping to address internally," Olshey said. "We brought over guys like Victor Claver and Joel Freeland. We have a rookie like Will Barton who we're really high on in terms of his upside and we have solid veterans like Sasha [Pavlovic], Ronnie [Price], and Jared [Jeffries].

"We expect Nolan to kind of kick it into gear here a little bit...I'd rather solve it internally where guys step up that are bench-level type players. Guys like Luke Babbitt. But if not, it is something we'll try to address at the trade deadline going forward and if not, it'll be something with our cap flexibility and draft picks this summer, we'll make a move there."

On Wednesday, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reported that Blazers coach Terry Stotts was happy with his reserve unit.

"Personally, right now, I don't think it's a problem," Stotts said. "Our bench is providing us exactly what we need. They're all very good complementary players and they're all fulfilling their roles."

...
"There's not a guy on our bench that I expect to come in and score 20," Stotts said. "That's not who they are. But what they are, are very good NBA players who can complement the scorers that are in the game with them. So I think it's important that we stick to who we are and work with that.

"I think too much has been made out of our bench scoring."

Candace Buckner of The Columbian has some numbers on the bench.

Curiously missing from that list of deficiencies is the Blazers' bench, a second unit that ranks last in the league in scoring (12.8).

The Lakers, confounded in learning principles of the Princeton offense, are the only other reserves scoring less than 20 points per game.

...

"I said all along, our bench, the players are complementary players," Stotts said. "It's my job to make sure there are scorers out there but there's not a guy on our bench (who) I expect to come in and score 20. That's not who they are. But what they are, very good NBA players who can complement the scorers that are in the game with them."

...

"They're playing hard. The second unit isn't very experienced, so it's what to expect," [Wesley] Matthews said. "They're playing hard, they're learning. That's all you can ask for. They'll continually grow, continue to get better (and) as the bench does, we will and it'll be a good look for us."

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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