Blazer Banter

Trail Mix: Lillard’s Big adidas Deal, Olshey Interview And Home Court

(AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

(AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

It was reported that Damian Lillard was going to opt out of his current shoe deal with adidas.

Lillard’s agency, Goodwin Sports confirmed that the point guard agreed to an extension with adidas. USA Today’s Sam Amick reports that Lillard’s deal is only behind Derrick Rose (adidas) and LeBron James (Nike) in size:

While the exact figures of the eight-year deal were not immediately known, a person with knowledge of the contract said it is smaller only than that of Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (reportedly $185 million over 13 years with Adidas) and the Miami Heat’s LeBron James (reportedly $20 million annually with Nike) among NBA players. If certain incentives are met, the deal could extend to 10 years. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the financial terms are not typically disclosed.

Brian Windhorst and Darren Rovell of ESPN.com say that the deal could be worth up to $100 million dollars:

The deal, which can extend to 10 years, could be worth up to $100 million including incentives and options, sources told ESPN.com. It’s believed to be the largest shoe deal since Derrick Rosesigned a 13-year deal in 2012 that could be worth more than $185 million. LeBron James andKevin Durant, both of whom are with Nike, are the highest-earning active players when it comes to shoe endorsements.

Dwight Jaynes of CSNNW got a rare interview with Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey where he indicates that the Blazers will trade into the 2014 draft where as they currently are without a pick.

With no pick, how does draft preparation unfold?

“Anyone who has met Paul Allen knows there is no area of our business he’s more concerned with and more invested than the draft and young talent. We’ve talked about this before, when you don’t have a lot of assets when you take over, that you inherit, you have to generate assets and you have to be opportunistic. And the draft is a time for opportunism and you just never know what kind of deal will include a pick. You don’t know when you can convey a pick or a future first because there is an opportunity. Last year, we conveyed two future seconds to grab Allen Crabbe because we thought he was that good and he was a great fit for what we were trying to accomplish. All you have to do is go over the track record of the league at draft time and how many times deals involved players for picks, people acquire picks within a deal. I moved picks when I was with the Clippers for future picks in order to get involved in the current draft because it can help the roster. You got to be prepared for that. It’s no different, we talked about this at the trade deadline, and we didn’t make a move. It didn’t mean we weren’t working around the clock to generate opportunities. We just chose to forgo those opportunities because we thought the group, as a whole, was better served chemistry-wise and growth, with what we had brought up to that deadline. And I think the draft is the same thing. We’ll be in here; the season will end whenever it ends, hopefully later rather than sooner. We’ll take a day to do exit interviews and coaching interviews. We’ll be back in and we’ll be at Chicago Pre Draft, we’ll be at group workouts in Los Angeles, we’ll be bringing guys in here to work out. We’ll be watching film and getting our board ready because again, if you don’t do the preparation, most battles are won before they’re fought, you can’t get that phone call and know what you’re doing if you weren’t prepared.”

Will Paul Allen stay out of this year’s draft?

“I would think that at some point there’s going to be an announcement from the Portland Trail Blazers [that we] select somebody, somehow.”

CSNNW.com’s Chris Haynes has the full transcript as well as the videohere.

NBA.com’s David Aldridge made his All-NBA selections and other awards. The only Blazer that made the cut for any accolades was Damian Lillard, as a guard on the Second Team:

ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM

G: Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers
G: James Harden, Houston
F: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City
F: LeBron James, Miami
C: Joakim Noah, Chicago

ALL-NBA SECOND TEAM

G: Stephen Curry, Golden State
G: Damian Lillard, Portland
F: Kevin Love, Minnesota
F: Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers
C: Tim Duncan, San Antonio

ALL-NBA THIRD TEAM

G: Goran Dragic, Phoenix
G: DeMar DeRozan, Toronto
F: Paul George, Indiana
F: Carmelo Anthony, New York
C: Dwight Howard, Houston

When I was thinking about All-NBA teams, I was trying to find a place to put LaMarcus Aldridge but as DA’s lists illustrates, that’s very hard to do. Carmelo Anthony’s team didn’t make the playoffs but it wasn’t really his fault at all.

I think the best argument would be replacing Paul George with Aldridge considering the Pacers recent self-destruction and George’s turnover problems. However, it’s still a tough argument to make considering George’s excellence on the defense end. Or, if Tim Duncan can be considered a center for the second team, is there any reason why Aldridge couldn’t replace Howard?

Speaking of Howard, the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs play tonight on NBATV at 5PM. If the Rockets win tonight, they will clinch homecourt advantage against the Blazers.

If they lose tonight’s match-up, they’ll still have to lose to the Pelicans in New Orleans on the last day of the season and Portland would need to win their final game of the season to host Game 1 of their first round series against Houston.

After last night’s thriller, Ben Golliver of Blazersedge.com spoke to some of the Blazers about potential x-factors in a series against the Rockets and that’s right here.

 

 

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He started writing about NBA Basketball for SwishScout.com before being the Sports Reporter Intern for TrailBlazers.com. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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