Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts held a press conference Thursday to discuss the 2013 NBA Draft. He addressed reporters following GM Neil Olshey (transcript here).
The Blazers selected Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum at No. 10, traded for California guard Allen Crabbe at No. 31, selected Kansas center Jeff Withey at No. 39 and selected Montenegran forward/center Marko Todorovic at No. 45. (Information on second round picks can be found here.) The Blazers also selected Arizona forward Grant Jerrett at No. 40 but traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder for cash considerations.
Here's a transcript. Video is below.
His versatility, he's used to playing point guard, he has skills to play off the ball. Offensively he'll be able to complement our roster with his versatility. Defensively, it's tough for young guys to learn the defense but I think he has good instincts, he's smart, he has good length, that's going to be a process for him. Him playing as a combo one-two fills two holes for us.
What position: point guard or two guard?
Put it this way: the ball was in his hands a lot and he was making plays, whether it was passing or shooting or scoring. He had a lot of responsibility on that team to be a play-maker, whether you call it a point guard or whatever. He was a primary play-maker for that team.
Remind you of Damian Lillard?
I don't know. I didn't pay a lot of attention to Damian in college. I wasn't here for the draft and in Dallas we weren't looking at him that much. I have a hard time comparing him to Damian when he was in college and what he was doing.
Draft versus free agency
It's good to have talent and good, young players. I thought our players this year got better. The players we're adding to our roster through the draft helps a team. They bring energy, they bring a certain level of talent, they've got to improve, that's part of our job as a coaching staff, to improve that talent. The roster is not set. We've got free agent holes to fill, those are going to be important decisions for us as well.
Some reason why you draft four-year guys?
I think everybody saw Damian's talent. Everybody saw C.J.'s talent. People had C.J. going higher in the draft. I just think the way the draft played out, we were fortunate to get him. The league valued Damian's talent last year and they valued C.J.'s talent this year.
How was C.J. McCollum's workout?
He's a really good shooter and to be honest he didn't shoot the ball that well. That wasn't very much of a concern for us, because that's his strength. Getting to know him, getting to talk to him, the workouts are valuable, you get to meet the player, see him move. But I don't think a lot of draft decisions are made off of a one-hour workout. As Neil [Olshey] mentioned, he saw him play in December and knew what type of talent he was then, even before he hurt his foot. The workout was more about his demeanor, take him out to dinner, get a feel for how he moves. You watch film on him so you kind of know what you're getting.
Describe C.J. McCollum
He's a smart young man. I think he's ready for the moment. He's confident in what he can do. I think it's unfair to him and Damian to lump them together. They are both their own players and own men. The fact that they are both four-year players from mid-major schools is certainly a common denominator. I think they're both their own guys.
Friendship between Lillard and McCollum
I know Damian is excited about the pick. I do believe that C.J. did want to be here, that he connected with Damian prior to the draft. I think having that, they can kind of go through this whole process together. Damian is going to be great for C.J. based on what C.J. went through last year.
Damian Lillard to play Summer League?
I don't think so. I think Damian will be in Las Vegas but we've got a full roster for Summer League.
Reasonable expectation that McCollum is a lead guard in second unit and possibly the Sixth Man?
I think that's a reasonable expectation to have. It's a lot of responsibility. What Damian did last year was extraordinary and he set the bar very high. I think C.J. is going to have some growing pains along the way but he's talented enough, smart enough, that he'll improve, learn the league and find out what works for him and what we need him to do.
Does adding extra shooters indicate you will push the pace or play more small ball?
A lot of that depends on the game. I would like to play at a little bit faster pace than we did last year. Having C.J., who is used to having the ball and pushing it up [will help]. There was a lot of pressure on Damian to try and do too much. The flow of the game was a little bit easier when we got Eric [Maynor] at the end of the season. Hopefully with C.J., having multiple handlers, we're able to pick up the pace and tempo at the offensive end.
See Allen Crabbe workout? Were you a part of the decision?
No. To be honest I kind of read up on him before I came out here. I think Neil [Olshey] gave you a little bit better synopsis of his talent than I could.
I think in the second round, I've always been a big believer -- we have a lot of people and personnel who are out there all year long looking at college practices, college games and watching film. They know the personnel in the second round much better than I would ever hope to. The second round is pretty fast and furious. I didn't really get involved in that part.
As for getting C.J., that goes back to a long time ago, when we zeroed in on a guy that was going to be pretty good for us.
Jeff Withey -- a challenge for Meyers Leonard?
I think it's a little early to say that. We still have to fill out the roster with free agency. Certainly they are both the same position and they'll be competing for minutes.
You could use a position battle as motivation for Meyers, like a carrot?
It could be a carrot for Jeff too. [Laughs]
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