Olshey took questions on free-agency after the draft and appeared to be more forthcoming about strategy than I expected. He basically said he is looking for big moves in free agency and is not looking for mid-salary range moderate upgrades.
Sarah Hecht has quotes on her blog at trailblazers.com:
it’s not going to stop us from being very aggressove this year. But what you’re not going to see is adding the five, six, seven million dollar moderate upgrade. We’re not going to do that. That’s not going to get us to a championship caliber organization, where you spend money just because you happen to have it.
... we’re going to be very aggressive for guys that we think are impact players that move the needle for this organization and if we get them we’ve really accelerated our curve and if they’re not there we’re not going to go for moderate upgrades.
He says if they can't get the impact players they could carry over cap space into 2013-14. I would interpret that to mean being very careful not to add any players with contracts that would last more than a year unless he was certain they would be part of a longer term solution.
On tendering JJ Hickson a Qualifying Offer (to make him a restricted free agent):
We’re still discussing it. We went big tonight in the draft, we’ve been talking to Joel Freeland’s agent, we’ve been talking to Andy Miller as well just kinda keeping him apprised of it. I think what we’ve really go to do is hone in on our free agent strategy and just see how much his cap hold and his qualifying offer impact our strategy.
That sounds like Hickson may not get a QO.
Blazer Cap Room (renouncing all free agents except Batum and Freeland) and NOT giving Hickson a QO is $17.3M if we use the space before signing Batum.
But if we sign Batum to a $10M contract before using the cap room on other free agents, then the cap room would be $12.7M (which is $17.3 - ($10M-$5.4M cap hold) ).
What do you think about cutting Hickson loose? What about Olshey's strategy to go for impact players or wait it out a year, presumably by just adding vets with one year on guaranteed contracts?