The Orioles’ courtship of their 2014 fourth-round draft pick, pitcher Pat Connaughton, is set to stretch into a third year as the dual-sport athlete considers his future in the NBA. Appearing on MLB Network Radio on Monday, Connaughton, who just finished the second year of a three-year contract with the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers where only the first two years guaranteed, said he’s “not going to unrealistically chase a dream if it appears that dream is getting farther and farther away.”
Recently, Duquette said Connaughton was set to be in Sarasota, Fla., where the team has its spring training complex, for a charity event hosted by college basketball analyst Dick Vitale, and would stop by the facility “and see our people and maybe work out.” Connaughton spent a couple of weeks throwing in Sarasota last summer after his rookie season in the NBA. Vitale’s charity gala was held in Sarasota on May 12.
The pursuit of Olshey signals a possible willingness within ownership to make a significant financial commitment to hire an elite league executive. To pry Olshey, or any sitting top basketball decision-maker, Atlanta would undoubtedly have to offer draft or financial compensation to a team. Those conversations never started with the Blazers, sources said. It is unclear if Olshey would’ve had interest in discussing Atlanta’s opening with team owners. He joined the Blazers as the franchise’s top basketball executive in 2012, after leaving the Clippers.