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Neil Olshey Says Blazers “Have to be Realistic” About Trade Deadline Options

Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey spoke about the team’s lack of moves in the final days before the trade deadline.

Neil Olshey
Blazers GM Neil Olshey and Shooting Guard CJ McCollum share a laugh before a game.
Getty Pictures

A trade deadline with more hype than actual movement came to an end today, and the Portland Trail Blazers stayed mostly silent during the trade talk frenzy.

Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey spoke with The Vertical about the team staying quiet during the deadline push.

According to Olshey, the team’s status as a small market plays a large factor in how the front office makes decisions. He discussed this with Bobby Marks of The Vertical:

I think all of us have to be realistic of what player acquisition vehicles are available to us. You’ve been with a big market team. We’ve all identified what the big market destinations are for free agents. I think we’ve done a good job of finding value in free agents, but in terms of finding quality players we are going to have to be more draft-centric.

The Blazers added center Jusef Nurkic and a protected first-round pick in a trade with the Denver Nuggets last week that sent forward/center Mason Plumlee to Denver. This gives the Blazers as many as three first-round picks in the upcoming NBA Draft. Olshey explained his reasoning behind the transaction:

We wanted to build more for the future. We added Jusuf Nurkić, a young big guy. We like his potential. He came along with a first round pick, so having three picks in this draft — having all of our players offer cost-certainty because they’re all under contract — gives us a lot of flexibility to make deals when we get into the offseason.

The full interview can be heard here: