Dwight Jaynes of CSNNW.com interviewed Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey at the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League this week. Here's a transcript. Video is here.
CJ McCollum -- will play two guard as well as one?
That's the goal. We had talked in the draft, we felt if he was 80 percent one and 20 percent two, he was a top-five pick. If he was the reverse, then we were going to have a chance to get him. What you're going to see is a guy who plays the point guard position in a different way that Damian [Lillard] does, probably more in a Mo Williams, Jason Terry [style], a little bit more aggressive scoring the ball. His versatility is what we like. He's a high-IQ guy. He can dribble pass and shoot. He has good instincts defensively. Being able to play both spots -- we'd like to be able to get Damian off the ball a little bit so we can open up his scoring. He's got a great opportunity for us.
Hard to play two for a rookie, especially when undersized?
I don't know if it is. Terry [Stotts] does an unbelievable job of putting people in actions, giving them freedom. The guys who struggle are the guys who can't get their own shot, and I think he can. The adjustment for him is the speed at the point guard position, when guys pick up and pressure him. Running a team, knowing all the multiple sets. That's going to be the adjustment more so than when he's off the ball at the two.
I think a lot of people forget, he could very well be a rookie in this game right now. He got drafted incredibly high, it wasn't a great fit in Sacramento, they were in a transitional period. He went to Houston, they were in a playoff push. They certainly played differently, they played a lot of mobile guys at the four. He's got a great opportunity with us because he brings a unique physicality. We just don't have those bangers, those tough guys, those 50/50 ball [guys].
His offense will come, I'm not worried about that. We have enough guys that can put the ball in the basket. What we need is guys who can defend and rebound, guys who can lay wood on people in the post. I think he's just getting his sea legs. We're going to empower him because we really wanted him.
Will you sign a 15th player or go ahead with 14?
I don't know. We're really comfortable with where the roster is. Unlike last year, the 14th guy on our roster is capable of playing in an NBA game. What we don't want to do is grab a guy, create another redundancy and have two guys on the inactive list. I like the the ability to do uneven deals. Having that roster spot, and the flexibility, we've got some tradeable contracts. We've done a really good job of not having to go out too far into the future. We've got a lot of young talent.
If the opportunity comes up once again to accelerate this and get another established veteran in, you don't want a deal to fall apart because you have to send something back rather than having an open roster spot to absorb a player.
New NBA CBA -- Will more contracts get dumped?
That's always there. You want to be opportunistic. We have been. Ironically, Robin [Lopez] and Thomas [Robinson] weren't really about dumping money to dump money, they were trying to create enough room, one was for Tyreke [Evans] and one was for Dwight [Howard]. To the credit of both New Orleans and Houston, they got both their guys. So the opportunity cost wasn't as high by conveying those players because they got what they wanted back and fulfilled their need.
We happen to be opportunistic. One of the things I think people are losing sight of, it doesn't matter if we acquire these guys as free agents or via trade. They were still guys in their salary slot with the number of years on their contracts, where they would have been on our free agent board would have been very high.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter