Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts joined Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck and Jordan Brenner for The Full 48 podcast, published on Thursday morning. The three of them discussed the acquisition of Jusuf Nurkic, the Warriors’ year-to-year dominance, the pairing of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and much more for the first half hour. Follow this link to timestamps and the iTunes download, and check out the excerpt below for a quick taste.
Beck: Terry, just looking at where you take the next step—how a team moves forward—I mean, we saw with Utah this year, obviously injuries had held them back, but they were one of those kind of young teams that added a few veterans over the summer and ‘boom,’ they finally made that move that every team is looking to make up the standings, up the bracket; is the move for the Trail Blazers going to be about what you can still add given restrictions with the cap and everything else from the outside, or is it more about internal growth at this point, in terms of making that step so that you’re not facing that unenviable task of having the Warriors in Round 1, but getting up to the middle part of the bracket or the top part of the bracket? How do you make that next step?
Stotts: Well, I think internal growth is certainly going to be a big component for us. We’ve shown that we’re not necessarily a destination for free agents. You know, Joe Johnson goes to Utah as a free agent. Portland, we’ve had difficulty attracting higher profile free agents. We have three first-round draft picks, which are valuable either—whether we use them or don’t use them—I think they’re valuable, but the internal growth has been a staple of what we’ve done here for the last five years. Players have gotten better. Players that are still here and players that are no longer here have gotten better. Since we have everybody under contract, I think that has to be a big focal point for us.