Caplan: Blazers need “true” playoff run to make Aldridge happy
Jeff Caplan of NBA.com did his preview of the Portland Trail Blazers today and wrote that in order for the Blazers to keep their all-star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, they have to make the playoffs.
The actual, on-court story in Portland is one of optimism. Aldridge, arguably the league’s top power forward, has a superior cast around him compared to last season’s paper-thin roster that demanded Aldridge, stat-stuffer Nicolas Batum and Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard all log top-10 minutes in the league.
Olshey traded for 7-foot center Robin Lopez and forward Thomas Robinson, and signed veteran free agents Mo Williams, Earl Watson and Dorell Wright. He drafted Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum, but a fractured foot will delay the start of his season, and shooting guard Allen Crabbe out of California. Olshey beefed up Portland without infringing on the club’s financial flexibility to add more in the coming summers.
The goal is to build the roster on the fly by continuing to add young, up-and-coming talent and reliable veteran role players to the core of Aldridge, Batum, Lillard and Wesley Matthews. Olshey knows if he can avoid the all-out rebuild undertaken by the Philadelphia 76ers, for example, then he’ll have done all he can to make Aldridge happy.
Read Caplan’s full preview here.