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The Blazers Acquire Moe Harkless From The Magic

Monday, July 13, 2015

 

This has been one of the busiest offseasons that the Portland Trail Blazers have endured in quite some time. Since the playoffs concluded the Blazers have kept only one starter from last year’s team. Nicolas Batum was traded to the Charlotte Hornets and LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez all left via free agency. Damian Lillard will be the only returner from last year’s team.

On Sunday, Portland was able to acquire another young player to add to their team. They agreed to send a future 2nd round pick to the Orlando Magic for Moe Harkless. Harkless was the 15th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft. Throughout his 3-year career he’s averaged 6.8 points, .8 assists and 3.5 rebounds. Although he didn’t play a ton of minutes last season Harkless is still a young player full of potential. With Orlando's roster constantly in flux he wasn’t able to truly find a niche with the team. But with Portland deciding to rebuild the 22 year old will surely be able to find some playing time this upcoming season.

The Harkless trade came right the Blazers were informed that Enes Kanter’s deal was going to be matched by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Portland had offered Kanter a 4-year deal for a reported $70 million dollars. 

The deal to acquire Harkless appears to be a low-risk high-reward situation that could prove to pay dividends in the long run. It’s no secret that the Blazers are in need of more players who can play out on the wing. Harkless is a young guy who Rip City will become familiar with in the upcoming months. 

 

Related Slideshow: 10 Things We Learned From Neil Olshey’s Press Conference

Here are 10 things that Rip City learned from Neil Olshey's press conference.

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The Trail Blazers Are Officially In Rebuilding Mode

Neil Olshey made it very apparent that this is an “emerging” team, and that many of these guys haven’t reached their full potential yet. He also acknowledged that it may take some time for this team to "gel." As of now the average age of the team is around 24 years old. Only Gerald Henderson and Chris Kaman are over 27. 

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Damian Lillard Is The Franchise Cornerstone

With LaMarcus Aldridge officially headed to San Antonio Neil Olshey and the rest of the organization turned to Damian Lillard to lead the team into a new era. This became official when Lillard and the Blazers agreed to a 5-year contract extension that will keep him in Rip City through the 2020-2021 season. Olshey reiterated several times that they are now building the roster around the 2012 Rookie Of The Year.

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LaMarcus Aldridge’s Decision To Leave Influenced The Blazers To Not Re-Sign Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews

The Blazers chose not to re-sign Robin Lopez and Wesley Matthews because of Aldridge’s decision to sign with the Spurs. “As happy as I am for Wes and RoLo — and they’re really good players and the organizations that got them are lucky to have them — both of them and their agents were notified very early in the process that they were tied to LaMarcus,” stated Olshey. Rip City will surely miss the hustle that RoLo and Iron Man brought every night.

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Neil Olshey Has High Hopes For Al-Farouq Aminu And Ed Davis

When Neil Olshey was asked questions regarding his 2 free-agent acquisitions he immediately lit up when speaking about Al-Farouq Aminu and Ed Davis. Olshey explained that Rip City should be excited to have these 2 guys because last year Aminu was a starter on a playoff team and Davis, at times, was one of the best players on the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers. 

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LaMarcus Aldridge Wasn’t Always Happy In Rip City

At one point during the press conference Olshey stated, “We didn’t inherit the happiest player in the world 3 years ago” when speaking about LaMarcus Aldridge. It appears as though that some of Aldridge’s displeasure began before Neil Olshey, Damian Lillard or Terry Stotts were even part of the organization. If he was unhappy in Rip City why did he re-sign with the team after his rookie contract expired in 2009?

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The Team Has Faith In C.J. McCollum

Although C.J. McCollum is one of the youngest guys on the team Neil Olshey made it known that they will rely heavily on him next season. With Wesley Matthews and Aaron Afflalo officially gone the starting shooting guard spot is up for grabs. Even if he doesn’t start there are still going to be a ton of minutes at that position.

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Neil Olshey Is A Great Salesman

With the departure of LaMarcus Aldridge Portland fans assumed that this team was going to be bad next season, and possibly for the foreseeable future. What Neil Olshey reiterated was that the future is still bright for the franchise. He explained that the Blazers are equipped with young talent, cap space and an owner that wants to win. 

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Damian Lillard And Meyers Leonard Will Be The Leaders Of This Team

Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard are the 2 longest tenured Blazers currently on the roster. They were also both drafted in 2012. Olshey explained that the newcomers will be looking to them for guidance this upcoming season. Lillard and Leonard will have to take on a larger role with the team than they have in the past. 

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The Blazers Have No Plans To Tank Next Season

Neil Olshey was very adamant that this team will not be tanking next season. As of now it appears that this team isn’t quite good enough to make the playoffs, but not quite bad enough to be awarded a lottery pick next season. Although the team is rebuilding, Rip City doesn’t have to worry about accumulating more loses than necessary.

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Neil Olshey Is Dedicated Not Only To The Blazers, But Also The City Of Portland

Neil Olshey made is very evident that he wants to put a team out on the court that the city can be proud of. One of the main reasons that he chose to appoint Damian Lillard as the new face of the franchsie was because he embodies the same things that Portland does. 

 
 

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