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ESPN's Chad Ford gives Blazers' offseason an "A"

On ESPN Insider, Chad Ford hands out offseason grades to all of the Western Conference teams, and gives the Blazers an "A": GM Neil Olshey has been quietly rebuilding the Blazers while keeping up appearances that this might be a playoff team. With the addition of two more lottery picks in McCollum and Robinson, the Blazers have somehow managed to inject new blood into the franchise without giving up any of their key core players. After hitting a home run with Damian Lillard last summer, the Blazers believe they may have done it again with McCollum. Like Lillard, McCollum is a super scorer who lit up opponents in a small conference. Like Lillard, he also possesses exceptional maturity and an unrelenting work ethic. Together, they could give the Blazers one of the most dynamic backcourts in the league. Robinson was a top-five pick in the 2012 draft, but he struggled as a rookie in stints with the Kings and Rockets. He has the requisite strength and athletic ability to be a beast on the boards. It's his basketball IQ on the offensive end that's in serious question now. While he may not have been worthy of his lofty draft position -- he went one spot ahead of Lillard -- Robinson has upside and could be an important fixture off the bench. The team also upgraded in the middle, getting Lopez from the Pelicans. While Lopez is probably better suited coming off the bench, he had a very strong 2012-13 in which he posted an impressive 18.9 PER. He should battle second-year big man Meyers Leonard for the starting center position. Wright and Crabbe were also important additions. They came cheap, and both players can really shoot the basketball. All in all, Olshey has proven to be quite adept at sniffing out bargains in the market and pouncing on them. Not only do the Blazers have intriguing young players at every position on the floor, they also look talented enough to make a real run at the eighth seed in the West. In a few years, they may be far more dangerous than simply a team that you don't want to play in the first round.

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