Portland Trail Blazers Rumors
After a busy summer that included his wedding, some basketball and, last night, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a Hillsboro Hops game, Meyers Leonard is fired up for another NBA season. And fired up to help Damian Lillard with leadership on this year’s team. “Obviously, Dame and I are the guys who have been here the longest and he’s going to be our leader. But I hope to be right there by his side, kind of a co-leader, right there having his back through the ups and downs,” Leonard said Thursday night in Hillsboro.
Lowe asked Olshey about whether the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, which didn’t allow the Blazers to give LaMarcus Aldridge a more lucrative extension last year hurt them, and Olshey said that it did. But he also said that it helps other teams avoid getting hamstrung by players at the end of their usefulness from demanding tons of years and money.
Olshey was also asked about reports claiming that LaMarcus Aldridge was prompted to say that he wanted to be the best Blazers player ever. Olshey laughed it off, saying he didn’t think it came “from a very reliable media outlet… it was a blog or something.” Lowe began to remind Olshey that it originated from Blazer’s Edge, but Olshey cut him off, asking what he (Olshey) would gain from prompting LaMarcus to make those comments.
Q: Al-Farouq Aminu’s contract: Why is that a good value contract for the Trail Blazers? Olshey: “In two years the cap’s gonna be 108 million dollars. With the cap going up, the deal will be less than what the mid-level will be in two years. His growth as a player was accelerated by playing for Rick Carlisle in Dallas…. We felt he could play multiple roles with LaMarcus or without.”
At around the 20 minute mark of the podcast, Olshey also talked in detail about the type of deals both Aminu and Ed Davis signed. With both contracts being descending deals meaning the money is front-loaded where the players earn less each year after the first year of the contract. Portland did this because they had to max out Damian Lillard who is on an ascending deal, meaning the money is back-loaded and he will earn more in each year of his deal. The Blazers felt this gave them more balance and flexibility if they want to make trades or sign other players down the road. This portion of the podcast is definitely worth listening in on.
In his first live appearance as Dame DOLLA, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard took the stage and performed in front of the crowd at Portland’s Holocene. Here’s a quick look at a clip from Lillard’s performance, courtesy of We Out Here Magazine and Team Lillard on Twitter.