The Portland Trail Blazers recently parted ways with long-time head coach Terry Stotts. As it turns out, that move might be the first of many with the Blazers reportedly looking at the possibility of blowing up their roster.
Blazers president for basketball operation Neil Olshey recently addressed the press in his end-of-season interview and apparently, anything is possible at this point. When asked about the prospect of breaking up the Damian Lillard-CJ McCollum partnership, Olshey had a cryptic response:
“You've been here a while,” Olshey told Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report (h/t Dylan Mickanen of NBC Sports). Has anything we've ever done gotten out in public before it's happened in regards to trades or free agency. We don't discuss our players in a public forum, it's not fair to them. It's not what we do here… but we also understand this is a business.
“Nothing is ever off the table if it advances us closer to a championship.”
The fact that Olshey did not sound off on the possibility of breaking up the Lillard-McCollum duo speaks volumes of the type of mindset the front office has entering the offseason. Both players have already been linked to numerous trade rumors, so at this point, it is worth wondering if these two have already played their final game as a Blazers duo.
For what it's worth, Olshey did also say that he expects the majority of the team's starting five to remain in Portland:
“We’ve got 80 percent of our starting lineup under contract and returning absolutely,” said Olshey.
Both Lillard and McCollum are on long-term deals, while Jusuf Nurkic and Robert Covington will be in the final year of their respective contracts. Norman Powell, on the other hand, has a player option for the coming season, so perhaps he's the odd man out here
Whatever the case may be, it's definitely going to be a very interesting summer for the Blazers.