What I have here isn't a definitive statement, it clearly really is just an observation, and an opinion that leads to a question.
When I listen to interviews with CJ. McCollum he sounds in his attitude and approach to the game so much like Damian Lillard that it's "Twins Separated At Birth" scary. They may turn out to be very different players, but it seems their psychological approach to the game is at least very similar to each others.
Coming out of the Jail Blazers era, The Blazers started to value a players character. In recent years The Blazers have admitted to putting a lot of stock into getting to know the player they draft. It seems that one of the final "tests" that a high Blazer draft pick must pass, is going to dinner with Blazer primaries.
Also the past 2 drafts at least, The Blazers have employed a team performance psychologist, Dana Sinclair to conduct interviews with potential draftees.
My observation is that this approach has resulted in The Blazers obtaining Players that are of good character and have certain competitive attitudes. And this is all well and good, I'm not advocating for an abandonment of the evaluation of character.
But what I am worried about, is the question, Is The Blazers approach, so lock-step with the idea of valuing character, as well as applying a psychological profile, That we are beginning to get the same "player" year after year? In other words are The Blazers applying an approach and system to their evaluation of potential draftees that leads to such a narrowing of candidates that we end up with a roster all with players of a very similar psychological profile?
And really? Is there a danger to that? While I remember the pain and embarrassment of the Jail Blazer era, and I certainly would not want to return to that, I also have to wonder if The Blazers would be willing to pick a player, or trade for a player that might not exactly fit the psychological profile they seem to be now applying.
What I'm saying is would The Blazers draft a player that perhaps did NOT impress in a dinner situation? Perhaps a player that isn't necessarily articulate, maybe one that doesn't always say the right things?
Has The Blazers approach become so cookie cutter uniform that it is limiting the talent pool The Blazers choose from?
Some great players in the NBA have been players that weren't necessarily the best conversationalists.
I hate to say it, but sometimes you need the "Grunt and Slobber" guy. The player that might not give you the best or most dazzling and optimistic Pre-game interview or post game interview, but the guy that can play.
Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard, CJ. McCollum, even Will Barton all share similar psychological traits....they all interview well, they all have supreme self confidence. Don't get me wrong, these are good things BUT...
Maybe what The Blazers need, is a guy that doesn't impress at the dinner table. That might not be the best interview. That might even flunk a few aspects of a psychological evaluation. Maybe The Blazers need to put away the cookie cutter and see what they get