The Portland Trail Blazers have shifted this offseason to fully build around Damian Lillard following the departure of LaMarcus Aldridge.
“We had a lot of veteran free agents, [but our offseason plan] was all based on LaMarcus’s decision,” Neil Olshey said. “We had brought some guys in prior to July 3 when LaMarcus informed us he wasn’t coming back, that we felt could play either way — they could be really good additions to our current group or they could be guys we could move in another direction. We were preparing for this opportunity. We were kind of trying to play both ends against the middle and then LaMarcus informed us he wasn’t coming back, so we went full bore with guys in the same career arc as Damian Lillard.
“Damian’s our best player right now. He’s a two-time All-Star. We’re going to bring in players that complement Damian, his skill set, how we want to play, and who can grow with him as he continues to improve.”