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Howard-Cooper: Blazers Ready For Claver & Freeland

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Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com has a piece on the Portland Trail Blazers adding Spanish forward Victor Claver and British big man Joel Freeland this summer. ---------------------------- "I think the time was absolutely right for both of them to come," said Neil Olshey, the new general manager who joined the organization years after both were drafted. "We’ve got a young roster and they’ve both got a chance to contribute immediately if their game translates from what they’ve done in international basketball. They both play positions where we’re going to need some depth. And they’ve both got transferrable skills. Joel’s ability to rebound, score around the basket, defend multiple positions. And Victor’s length, his ability to stretch the floor, he’s a nice complement to Nic." Indeed, Claver is expected to compete for minutes behind Nicolas Batum. The Olshey scouting report on Claver, who has been playing in the Spanish ACB League, regarded as the second-best league in the world? "I think defensively, he’s going to be able to do a really good job on threes with his length. He’s a good chase guy. He’s got quick feet, good instincts. He shrinks the court. He closes down passing lanes. We were hoping both were going to play in summer league, but clearly they’ve got a great opportunity now (with the Olympics) to compete at a really high level, which will accelerate their learning curve once they get back." ---------------------------- We posted some thoughts on Claver and Freeland from Blazers director of NBA scouting Mike Born earlier this week. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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