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Neil Olshey: Blazers Had “Big Trade” Opportunity Last Summer

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Olshey warned against making promises to potential draftees as it allows flexibility in deals on the “Dwight & Aaron Show.”

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2018 NBA Draft less then a month away, the Portland Trail Blazers and President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey are busy weighing their options for a potential selection or trade involving the No. 24 overall pick in the draft. In a recent interview on the “Dwight & Aaron Show,” Olshey spoke on a few key points revolving around the team and the draft.

First was the mention of a potential “big trade” that was on the table last summer:

“There are a lot of pitfalls to [committing to draft prospects]. One of the scary things about those commitments is that it takes away your flexibility. We had an instance last year where there were opportunities to commit to guys, and we were reluctant to do it.

And as it turned out, we were involved in potentially a big trade that would have conveyed multiple draft picks to the other team. And we wouldn’t have been able to pursue that opportunity if we had given our word to a player, his family and an agent.”

While discussing the talent in this year’s draft, Olshey brought up the No. 24 pick’s value in both selections and trades:

“I think our pick will have value both ways whether we select and add another young player we think can eventually grow and contribute to the organization, or whether we use that piece as an asset to go acquire a veteran player with an established body of work that can step into a playoff team and contribute in April.”

Another key point is the Blazers’ decisions in trades, or lack thereof, last year:

“We have to look at it as a positive that we didn’t invade our trade exceptions, we’ve got our Tax Payer Mid-Level [Exception], both those are in play; we’ve also got the 24th pick in the draft, and these are the roster-building tools we’ll put in play.”

You can listen to the rest of Olshey’s appearance here.

Editor’s note: Thank you to Blazer’s Edge contributor Kody Tarbell for this write-up.