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Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers

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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#21 » by BNM » Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:23 pm

BlazersBroncos wrote:Well, at least Little looks playable.


Clearly the team is wildly inconsistent right now. That's to be expected with a rookie coach and several new players, plus young guys being thrust into more prominent roles.

I think the pieces are there (Little and Simons both look much improved, Zeller and Nance look decent) and obviously Dame isn't going to continue to shoot this poorly (.454 TS%, .083 3FG%), but it looks like it's going to take some time to develop some consistency.
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#22 » by JasonStern » Tue Oct 26, 2021 7:30 pm

I mean, if you told me the Blazers start 1-2, I'd say that seems reasonable. But it's how they're 1-2. How do you lose to the Kings, blow out the defending western conference champs in the Suns, then get blown out by the Clippers? Still early, but looks like the new coach and back of the roster overhaul haven't solved the defense, but has caused a lack of continuity among the team. Hopefully it's fixable.
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#23 » by DeBlazerRiddem » Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:53 pm

This team is still live by the 3 die by the 3, if those shots aren't falling we do not have the ability to manufacture anything else at a high level. If those shots are falling it opens everything up for us.
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#24 » by BNM » Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:04 pm

JasonStern wrote:I mean, if you told me the Blazers start 1-2, I'd say that seems reasonable. But it's how they're 1-2. How do you lose to the Kings, blow out the defending western conference champs in the Suns, then get blown out by the Clippers? Still early, but looks like the new coach and back of the roster overhaul haven't solved the defense, but has caused a lack of continuity among the team. Hopefully it's fixable.


I believe it is fixable, but it will take time. How long? Who knows, but hopefully not more than 20 games. If the team is 7-13 at that point and not playing well, it could lead to the end of the current playoff streak, which I don't think will sit well with Dame.

Ironically, Dame's shooting, especially from deep, is part of their slow start. Even if he goes just 2-9 (.222) from 3 in the SAC game, POR is sitting at 2-1, which just feels irrationally much better than 1-2.

Even in the win over PHO, Dame played below average (for him), but we got a glimpse of the potential of the rest of the roster. We need the rest of the roster, especially Ant, Nas and Nance to step up like that on a nightly basis. Until they do, and Dame finds his shooting touch, there are going to be more ugly losses.

I still can't get over 30 TOVs in this day and age. That's just flat out sloppy play. The entire team needs to take better care of the ball. Lack of familiarity plays a role, but that's still inexcusable.
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#25 » by BNM » Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:20 pm

FYI regarding TOVs. In 9 seasons under Terry Stotts, the team high in TOVs was 24 - in his very first game as the Blazers head coach. Terry had a much more conservative style than Chauncey, but maybe it just takes a team a while to get comfortable with a new coach.

TOV/G by month for Stotts' first season in POR:

OCT = 24.0
NOV = 15.3
DEC = 12.9
JAN = 12.8
FEB = 10.8
MAR = 10.5
APR = 13.0*

*By late MAR, the team was in full on tank mode (lost their last 13 games), resting the vets and playing the young guys.

So, hopefully as the guys get used to their new coach and their new roles, the TOVs will decrease significantly. One would hope...
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#26 » by monopoman » Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:56 am

I mean Chauncy is really pushing for more ball movement, you can see guys in some cases overpassing and it leads to turnovers. We are seeing a lot less of give the ball to Dame or CJ and watch them go to work.

Now, I imagine that offense will still happen in late game scenarios or when the team is struggling to score, but Stotts seemed to default to that stuff a lot more.
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#27 » by DeBlazerRiddem » Wed Oct 27, 2021 1:47 am

monopoman wrote:I mean Chauncy is really pushing for more ball movement, you can see guys in some cases overpassing and it leads to turnovers. We are seeing a lot less of give the ball to Dame or CJ and watch them go to work.

Now, I imagine that offense will still happen in late game scenarios or when the team is struggling to score, but Stotts seemed to default to that stuff a lot more.


Chauncy very well might do that too once he realizes we (and indeed most teams) don't really have the personnel to pull off a free flowing offense and that the turnovers hurt us more than the extra opportunities help us.

We saw the same criticisms with Nate McMillian when we let him go, that the new coach, the offensive guru under Carlisle, would bring an up-tempo offense but as time went along Stotts ended up defaulting to a more conservative approach as well. I think there's a reason that tends to happen and I don't think its because the coach gets lazy or anything but they come to realize that the risk of taking the ball out of Dame or CJ or whomever is the most experienced ball handler's hands is often not worth the reward.
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#28 » by monopoman » Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:23 am

DeBlazerRiddem wrote:
monopoman wrote:I mean Chauncy is really pushing for more ball movement, you can see guys in some cases overpassing and it leads to turnovers. We are seeing a lot less of give the ball to Dame or CJ and watch them go to work.

Now, I imagine that offense will still happen in late game scenarios or when the team is struggling to score, but Stotts seemed to default to that stuff a lot more.


Chauncy very well might do that too once he realizes we (and indeed most teams) don't really have the personnel to pull off a free flowing offense and that the turnovers hurt us more than the extra opportunities help us.

We saw the same criticisms with Nate McMillian when we let him go, that the new coach, the offensive guru under Carlisle, would bring an up-tempo offense but as time went along Stotts ended up defaulting to a more conservative approach as well. I think there's a reason that tends to happen and I don't think its because the coach gets lazy or anything but they come to realize that the risk of taking the ball out of Dame or CJ or whomever is the most experienced ball handler's hands is often not worth the reward.


Well, I think there is a middle ground here.

Blazers were a bottom 3 team for assists, in the league the last two years, and the year before that we were bottom 4. I can see a tad more passing being a good thing, now maybe Chauncey has gone too far that direction, but that doesn't mean we go back to the exact same offense Stotts ran.
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#29 » by Epicurus » Wed Oct 27, 2021 4:45 am

Do you seriously object to having the number 2 and 3 offense in the last two years? The merit to more passing may be a better points per possession, but not necessarily. Indeed it is just as probable it means less p per p. An offense should optimize the offensive talents of a roster and lineups within it, not so mythical design of the RIGHT WAY ( there is no such thing).
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#30 » by Epicurus » Wed Oct 27, 2021 4:48 am

BTW, there were two different offensive playstyles under Stotts---the one of the Aldridge period and the one sans Aldridge ( or any other serious offensive talent at forward).
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#31 » by JasonStern » Wed Oct 27, 2021 5:51 pm

edit: should have read all of the posts before replying. looks like others already made this point.

BNM wrote:FYI regarding TOVs. In 9 seasons under Terry Stotts, the team high in TOVs was 24 - in his very first game as the Blazers head coach. Terry had a much more conservative style than Chauncey, but maybe it just takes a team a while to get comfortable with a new coach.

TOV/G by month for Stotts' first season in POR:

OCT = 24.0
NOV = 15.3
DEC = 12.9
JAN = 12.8
FEB = 10.8
MAR = 10.5
APR = 13.0*

*By late MAR, the team was in full on tank mode (lost their last 13 games), resting the vets and playing the young guys.

So, hopefully as the guys get used to their new coach and their new roles, the TOVs will decrease significantly. One would hope...


I mean, that's a bit misleading as it is a different offensive philosophy. Under Stotts, we were highly efficient but we played hero ball, always coming in at or near the bottom in assists, ball movement, etc. If Dame/CJ/Melo hold the ball for 70% of the possession, you're bound to have less turnovers.

Meanwhile Billups is trying to increase ball movement, hoping that the increase in turnovers is offset by an increase in open shots and holding opposing defenses accountable for more players. Limited sample size, so we don't know yet what system is the best - especially given a roster that had nine years of the go ahead to play hero ball. But blaming Billups for more turnovers without acknowledging why is a bit disingenuous.
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#32 » by Wizenheimer » Wed Oct 27, 2021 6:17 pm

DeBlazerRiddem wrote:
monopoman wrote:I mean Chauncy is really pushing for more ball movement, you can see guys in some cases overpassing and it leads to turnovers. We are seeing a lot less of give the ball to Dame or CJ and watch them go to work.

Now, I imagine that offense will still happen in late game scenarios or when the team is struggling to score, but Stotts seemed to default to that stuff a lot more.


Chauncy very well might do that too once he realizes we (and indeed most teams) don't really have the personnel to pull off a free flowing offense and that the turnovers hurt us more than the extra opportunities help us.

We saw the same criticisms with Nate McMillian when we let him go, that the new coach, the offensive guru under Carlisle, would bring an up-tempo offense but as time went along Stotts ended up defaulting to a more conservative approach as well. I think there's a reason that tends to happen and I don't think its because the coach gets lazy or anything but they come to realize that the risk of taking the ball out of Dame or CJ or whomever is the most experienced ball handler's hands is often not worth the reward.


ironically, the rate of touches for Dame and CJ haven't changed. Last year, Dame averaged 0.44 touches/minute & CJ averaged 0.52 touches/minute. This season, it's still 0.44 for Dame & 0.52 for CJ

I think a pretty good argument could be made that all things considered, it should be Dame with the higher rate of touches than CJ. Dame is simply much better at running the offense. And when Dame creates his own offense, he's also much better at it in terms of efficiency....except over the first 3 games of this season. But to me, the obvious factor at work here is that when Dame plays off the ball, he simply doesn't have the type of teammates, like Batum or Steve Blake for instance, that can get the ball to him or back to him

last year, CJ attempted a shot every 3.46 touches; this year; this year it's every 3.08 touches. Last year, Dame attempted a shot every 4.09 touches; this year it's every 4.21 touches. So, in this new semi-socialist 'everybody-gets-touches' offense of Billups, it's kind of crazy that CJ still gets touches at a higher rate than Dame while his FGA/touch has actually increased. Dame's FGA/touch has decreased. Dame must have have received a different memo than CJ

now, some obvious context is that CJ has been hot while Dame has been cold. So there very well could be some 'go-with-the-hot-hand' dynamic at work. Still, there's a real shadow of MeJ hanging over all those stats

more than that though is gauging impact. CJ has had two hot starts to the season in a row. The first 12 games last season, and the first 3 games this season. A revealing number is that in those 15 games, when CJ has been hot and shooting more while posting a usage rate well over 30%, Portland's record is only 8-7, a .533 winning percentage. Meanwhile CJ has missed two substantial stretches of games over the last 3 seasons when Dame has had to carry the load; 37 games. In those 37 games, Portland's record is 24-13, a .649 winning percentage. Making that even more stark a difference, is that Nurkic was injured both times CJ was and missed 28 of those 37 games. Another way to look at it is that the Blazers with CJ as 'the man' a healthy Portland wins at the rate of 44 wins in a regular season. With Dame as the man, and missing both CJ and Nurkic, the Blazers win at a rate of 53 wins in the regular season, which ironically happens to be thehighest number of regular season wins in the Dame/CJ era.

but then anybody who has watched the Blazers over the last 7 season seasons knows that Dame has broad shoulder and can carry the team to wins and the playoffs. CJ has very narrow shoulders. So I guess Billups has a decision to make, if he's actually in control of it. That being what is more important: keep CJ going; or get Dame going

* I'll explicitly add the 'understood' asterisk so nobody has to mention it: a 3 game sample size can be highly skewed statistically from what it will be at 33 games
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#33 » by monopoman » Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:23 pm

I mean part of those stats are over a 3 game sample size, and if I recall CJ was on fire against the Suns so he was putting up shots more. It seemed like CJ couldn't miss in the Suns game, and he played more than Dame did in that one if memory serves.
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#34 » by BNM » Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:29 pm

JasonStern wrote:edit: should have read all of the posts before replying. looks like others already made this point.

BNM wrote:FYI regarding TOVs. In 9 seasons under Terry Stotts, the team high in TOVs was 24 - in his very first game as the Blazers head coach. Terry had a much more conservative style than Chauncey, but maybe it just takes a team a while to get comfortable with a new coach.

TOV/G by month for Stotts' first season in POR:

OCT = 24.0
NOV = 15.3
DEC = 12.9
JAN = 12.8
FEB = 10.8
MAR = 10.5
APR = 13.0*

*By late MAR, the team was in full on tank mode (lost their last 13 games), resting the vets and playing the young guys.

So, hopefully as the guys get used to their new coach and their new roles, the TOVs will decrease significantly. One would hope...


I mean, that's a bit misleading as it is a different offensive philosophy. Under Stotts, we were highly efficient but we played hero ball, always coming in at or near the bottom in assists, ball movement, etc. If Dame/CJ/Melo hold the ball for 70% of the possession, you're bound to have less turnovers.

Meanwhile Billups is trying to increase ball movement, hoping that the increase in turnovers is offset by an increase in open shots and holding opposing defenses accountable for more players. Limited sample size, so we don't know yet what system is the best - especially given a roster that had nine years of the go ahead to play hero ball. But blaming Billups for more turnovers without acknowledging why is a bit disingenuous.


It's not disingenuous at all. You completely missed my point. I wasn't "blaming" Billups for anything. I was pointing out that even with a very conservative, experienced head coach like Terry Stotts there is an adjustment period where the TOVs start high and come down as the players get used to the new coach, new offense, new roles, etc.

What I was showing with those numbers is the TOV under Stotts, in his first season with POR, started out high and steadily came down (except for APR when the team was tanking and resting their vets - as noted) over the course of the season. I think it's reasonable to expect something similar under Billups and we should be patient before "blaming" him for anything.

That's exactly wat I stated in my concluding paragraph:

"So, hopefully as the guys get used to their new coach and their new roles, the TOVs will decrease significantly. One would hope..."
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#35 » by BNM » Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:51 pm

Wizenheimer wrote:more than that though is gauging impact. CJ has had two hot starts to the season in a row. The first 12 games last season, and the first 3 games this season. A revealing number is that in those 15 games, when CJ has been hot and shooting more while posting a usage rate well over 30%, Portland's record is only 8-7, a .533 winning percentage.


When analyzing statistics, it's always good to remember that:

Image

You're not actually trying to say it's CJ's fault Dame is 2/24 from 3-point range so far this season, are you?

Likewise, it is in no way CJ's fault the team is only 8-7 in the 15 games you cite. CJ being "hot" is not the reason POR lost those 7 games. The simple truth is Dame has started poorly and inconsistently the last two seasons while CJ has come in playing solid, consistent ball from the opening tip off of the first game.

I'm not privy to either player's off season routines, but over the last two seasons, it sure looks like CJ's off season routine has him ready to start the season playing great and Dame's doesn't.

Another simple truth: Damian Lillard is POR's best player and when he plays poorly the team struggles to win.

For those 15 games you cite, in the 8 games POR won, Damian Lillard's stats were:

.500 FG%, .438 3FG%, 29.4 ppg

In the 7 games POR lost:

.344 FG%, .190 3FG%, 19.9 ppg

As expected, as Damian Lillard goes, so go the POR Trail Blazers.

CJ, by comparison has been much more consistent. In the 8 wins:

.471 FG%, .448 3FG%, 28.6 ppg

In the 7 losses:

.464 FG%, .438 3FG%, 25.4 ppg

Trying to somehow pin POR's 8-7 record in those 15 games on CJ for being "hot" seems like an incredible stretch. Especially when a much simpler explanation exists. Damian Lillard has started the last two seasons poorly and has been very inconsistent over those 15 games. When Dame shoots well, the team tends to win, when he shoots poorly, the team is much more likely to lose. That seems like a much more logical explanation than trying to blame the poor record on CJ being "hot".
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#36 » by Wizenheimer » Thu Oct 28, 2021 4:28 pm

BNM wrote:
Wizenheimer wrote:Trying to somehow pin POR's 8-7 record in those 15 games on CJ for being "hot" seems like an incredible stretch. Especially when a much simpler explanation exists. Damian Lillard has started the last two seasons poorly and has been very inconsistent over those 15 games. When Dame shoots well, the team tends to win, when he shoots poorly, the team is much more likely to lose. That seems like a much more logical explanation than trying to blame the poor record on CJ being "hot".


you're reading between the lines poorly...I did not say CJ being hot is the reason Portland was near .500. What I'm saying is that CJ being hot doesn't have much bearing on whether Portland wins or loses. He has narrow shoulders and can rarely carry the team anywhere.

That's the opposite of Dame. How Dame goes so go the Blazers. Dame is Portland's heart and it's engine and that's been clear since Aldridge left. Dame has broad shoulders; he can, and has, carried the team to lots of wins and 8 straight years of the playoffs. That's why opposing teams always put their best defender on Dame; not on CJ. They recognize which player on Portland can beat them...and which player can't

what I've wanted for the last 7 years is for Portland to add a player with not only better talent than CJ, but with talent and skills that complement Dame rather than being redundant. Portland absolutely needs another elite player to contend, but Olshey's infatuation with CJ is taking all the air out of the room....IMO
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#37 » by BNM » Thu Oct 28, 2021 5:49 pm

Wizenheimer wrote:
BNM wrote:
Wizenheimer wrote:Trying to somehow pin POR's 8-7 record in those 15 games on CJ for being "hot" seems like an incredible stretch. Especially when a much simpler explanation exists. Damian Lillard has started the last two seasons poorly and has been very inconsistent over those 15 games. When Dame shoots well, the team tends to win, when he shoots poorly, the team is much more likely to lose. That seems like a much more logical explanation than trying to blame the poor record on CJ being "hot".


you're reading between the lines poorly...I did not say CJ being hot is the reason Portland was near .500. What I'm saying is that CJ being hot doesn't have much bearing on whether Portland wins or loses. He has narrow shoulders and can rarely carry the team anywhere.

That's the opposite of Dame. How Dame goes so go the Blazers. Dame is Portland's heart and it's engine and that's been clear since Aldridge left. Dame has broad shoulders; he can, and has, carried the team to lots of wins and 8 straight years of the playoffs. That's why opposing teams always put their best defender on Dame; not on CJ. They recognize which player on Portland can beat them...and which player can't

what I've wanted for the last 7 years is for Portland to add a player with not only better talent than CJ, but with talent and skills that complement Dame rather than being redundant. Portland absolutely needs another elite player to contend, but Olshey's infatuation with CJ is taking all the air out of the room....IMO


So, in your opinion should Olshey have accepted Morey's offer of CJ + 3 FRPs and 3 pick swaps for Ben Simmons?

I agree, in general, that a trade needs to be made to better balance the roster. We have been a guard heavy, forward thin team ever since Aldridge and Batum left. I was extremely disappointed that Olshey tripled down on his small guard infatuation at the trade deadline and went after Norm Powell over Aaron Gordon.

Nothing against Norm Powell in a vacuum, but he is not what POR needed/needs. ORL was having a fire sale, and I think POR could have easily landed Gordon. Instead, Olshey went after Powell and let Gordon go to a conference rival who ended up eliminating POR in the 1st round.

However, in the present, I believe it is Daryl Morey's obsession with getting a Harden-like haul for Ben Simmons more than Olshey's alleged infatuation with CJ that is holding up any protective CJ for Simmons trade.
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#38 » by Wizenheimer » Thu Oct 28, 2021 7:13 pm

BNM wrote:So, in your opinion should Olshey have accepted Morey's offer of CJ + 3 FRPs and 3 pick swaps for Ben Simmons?


no. That's way too high a price. I've said it before, but the Blazers should be extremely cautious about trading any unprotected past Dame's player option in June 2024. That would mean starting at the 2025 draft. That would mean just one unprotected pick and one unprotected swap (assuming Chicago agrees to un-protecting the pick owed). But I could be talked into an unprotected 2025 pick, reluctantly.

there is plenty of risk with Simmons, and Dame is getting older. Prudence dictates some caution

I remain unconvinced that Olshey would trade CJ anyway. Reports are he held CJ untouchable in the Paul George trade discussions and followed it up by holding CJ untouchable in the Jimmy Butler trade discussions. Haven't heard anything about the Kawhi & Harden trade discussions, but it would follow a pattern if CJ was untouchable then too

and now with Dame back to making noises about staying in Portland for good, Olshey is off the hook and can maintain his love affair with CJ
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#39 » by BNM » Thu Oct 28, 2021 8:08 pm

Wizenheimer wrote:
BNM wrote:So, in your opinion should Olshey have accepted Morey's offer of CJ + 3 FRPs and 3 pick swaps for Ben Simmons?


I remain unconvinced that Olshey would trade CJ anyway. Reports are he held CJ untouchable in the Paul George trade discussions and followed it up by holding CJ untouchable in the Jimmy Butler trade discussions. Haven't heard anything about the Kawhi & Harden trade discussions, but it would follow a pattern if CJ was untouchable then too


I do recall hearing from credible sources that Neil offered IND any three players other than Dame, CJ or Nurk, plus all four 2017 FRPs for Paul George. I was in favor of including CJ at the time, and in hindsight it is a no-brainer.

At the time, I can kind of understand Neil's reluctance to include CJ. He was only 25 and improving by leaps and bounds. In 2015-15 he had won MIP, but I was even more impressed with his improvement in 2016-17. He continued to improve his counting stats, but not due to an increase in minutes, it was due to an increase in efficiency (he even led the league in FT% that season and came close to a 50/40/90 year). Paul George publicly demanded a trade and POR was not on his preferred destination list. With only 1 year left on his contract, Neil was probably reluctant to trade the improving CJ for a potential 1-year rental of Paul George.

I haven't heard any credible sources that Neil refused to include CJ in any potential trade for Jimmy Butler. Jimmy basically forced his way to MIN so he could reunite with Thibs rather than go through a rebuild in CHI.

Your last sentence is pure unfounded speculation (which also fits a pattern).

To me, the biggest non-trade mistakes Neil has made is not including CJ in the Paul George offer and not picking up Aaron Gordon on the cheap at the trade deadline (and that one didn't even involve CJ). Of course, there are probably many other non-trades we've never heard about, but none of the other non-trades you allude to have any credible source to back them up.
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Re: Game 3: Portland vs LA Clippers 

Post#40 » by Wizenheimer » Fri Oct 29, 2021 1:09 am

BNM wrote:I haven't heard any credible sources that Neil refused to include CJ in any potential trade for Jimmy Butler. Jimmy basically forced his way to MIN so he could reunite with Thibs rather than go through a rebuild in CHI.


I'm not going to bother googling it...AGAIN (since I've done it before in past discussions about this). But Dwight Jaynes explicitly reported that Olshey was talking trade for Butler but refused to include CJ. And Jaynes is the local version of Olshey speak, like Woj is the national version

by the way it was only 3 (not 4) non-lottery firsts offered for PG 13. Without including CJ the offer would have had to have been something like Meyers + Harkless...which was not a serious offer at all

remembered where the Jaynes news was:

https://www.blazersedge.com/2018/9/23/17892724/jimmy-butler-trade-rumors-trail-blazers-interested

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