Podcast: Rip City Report, Epsiode 14

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
2 years ago

We’re in the final days of the 2013-14 regular season, but the Rip City Report podcast is still going strong with a new episode featuring Joe

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Freeman of The Oregonian and myself, Casey Holdahl, of ForwardCenter.net and Trailblazers.com.

On this week’s edition we discuss discuss the Trail Blazers clinching a playoff spot for the first time since 2011, the potential return of Joel Freeland and whether he changes Portland’s playoff rotation, which team the Trail Blazers matchup best with in the first round and answer fan submitted questions on the April 9 edition of the Rip City Report

You can listen to the podcast on Soundcloud or you can subscribe and listen to the Rip City Report on iTunes.

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Wojnarowski: Blazers Would Like To Obtain First Round Pick ‘If The Opportunity Strikes’

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
4 days ago

The 2016 NBA Draft is on Thursday, and as you’re probably well aware, the Trail Blazers do not currently own a pick in either round. Their first round pick, which ended up being the 19th selection, was sent to Denver as a part of the trade that brought in Arron Afflalo at the 2014 trade deadline. And their second round pick, which would have been the 48th selection, was sent to Cleveland — which Cleveland later traded to Chicago — as a part of the 2013 draft night trade that netted the Trail Blazers Allen Crabbe (by the way, I was the first person to tell AC he had been traded to Portland). Of course, just because the team doesn’t have a pick doesn’t mean they haven’t been preparing for Thursday’s draft for months, but as of today, the Trail Blazers are on the outside looking in.

Not that the Trail Blazers are alone in that. Portland is one of six teams this year that doesn’t have a first round pick in the 2016 Draft, which means there are numerous teams that have multiple first round picks. And according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Johnathan Givony on today’s The Vertical Podcast, therein lies the opportunity for a team like the Trail Blazers. The combination of teams, some of which that are necessarily looking to add a bunch of young players, owning multiple picks and the vastly different opinions teams have regarding players in this year’s class leads both Wojnarowski and Givony to believe there’s an opportunity for teams to get into the first round…

Adrian Wojnarowski: Every year there are plenty of trades, I think there will be even more this year, for a few reasons. One being, teams that we talked about — Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto has multiple picks, and Phoenix, Denver — they do not want to bring in a training camp full of kids. They can’t come out of this draft with three young players, most of these rosters aren’t built to do that. I think we’re going to see a lot of deals.

And there’s teams outside of the first round — Portland, Brooklyn, Houston — who, if the opportunity strikes, would like to get in. If there’s a player that they want who’s lingering there in the early 20s and they think they can get at him, then they potentially make a deal on draft night.

This is one, I think, especially with the multiple picks, I think you might agree, that we’re going to see a lot of movement. Teams jumping out, teams jumping in. The way the mock draft looks right now, I think it’s going to look very different Thursday night by 10 o’clock.

Jonathan Givony: Definitely. It’s two things we talked about. First of all, every team has this draft rated very, very differently and if there’s a player that a team has rated as a lottery pick and he starts sliding into the late teens, I think you’re going to see a team jump up and try to get him. If DeAnte Davis, if he starts sliding into the later part of the teens — if Henry Ellenson, if Skal (Labissiere), if (Ivica) Zubac. There’s so many big guys, that’s what’s interesting about this draft. There’s so many power forward/centers that think they’re going to go in the lottery and there aren’t enough spots for them because the NBA, their just not that interested in big men anymore…

(snip)

I think that free agency is going to be in the back of everybody’s head, there’s so much new money coming in, everybody is going to have cap room. Like you said, they’re not looking to get kids. Kids aren’t getting you to the playoffs, kids aren’t winning you playoff games, and so they’re going to want to stay lean. That means not having three or four guys that you draft that you need to bring to training camp. So that’s where I think things are going to get real interesting and teams that are really aggressive are going to jump up and try and get some of these guys that slide down the board.

What it might take to acquire a pick in either round is anybody’s guess, but one thing you can be sure of is that a team owned by Paul Allen is going to be active on draft night — one needs to look back no further than to last year’s draft, where the Trail Blazers flipped their pick, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, to the Nets in exchange for Mason Plumlee and Pat Connaughton for proof of that. And Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey has already vowed the team will be “aggressive” if any of the players they have on their wishlist become available, meaning that just because they enter Thursday’s draft without a pick doesn’t mean they’ll leave empty handed.

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Podcast: Rip City Report, Calabro And Pre-Draft Edition

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
5 days ago

Greetings Trail Blazers fans. With the 2016 NBA Draft scheduled to take place on Thursday and the Trail Blazers recently making changes to their broadcast team, Joe Freeman, he of The Oregonian/OregonLive.com, and I, Casey Holdahl of ForwardCenter.net/TrailBlazers.com, felt like it was a good time to break our hiatus to record a new edition of the Rip City Report podcast, which you can listen to below…

In this edition we discuss the Cavaliers winning the 2016 NBA Championship, talk to Kevin Calabro, fresh off of calling the deciding Game 7 of the NBA Sunday night, about taking over play-by-play duties for the Trail Blazers, discuss Portland’s options going into the draft considering the team doesn’t have a pick in either round and answer a host of your Twitter-submitted questions. Hopefully there’s enough here to get you through until the next time we record, which probably won’t be long.

You can find the Rip City Report on SoundcloudiTunes and Stitcher. Listen to it with your dad if you forgot to get him anything for Father’s Day.

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Audio: Terry Stotts On ‘The Vertical’ Podcast

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
3 weeks ago

In between playing a few rounds of golf and enjoying some of Oregon’s finest beverages (I’m assuming), Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts joined Chris Mannix on “The Vertical” podcast to discuss his past as a player and coach and Portland’s unexpected 2015-16 season…

Adrian Wojnarowski, NBA oracle and head of “The Vertical,” leads off the podcast, with Stotts’ segment with Mannix starting just before the 42 minute mark. Whoever put the post together was kind enough to break down the topics in case you don’t have time to listen to the whole thing, and I’ve transcribed a few segments for your reading pleasure…

Stotts on CJ McCollum’s season, which culminated with the third-year guard being named the NBA’s Most Improved Player…

“I knew he was going to have a good year and I knew he would probably be in the conversation for Most Improved. Now, I wouldn’t have said how many points he was going to average or anything else, but I knew that the opportunity was going to be there and he was going to take full advantage of it because he’s extremely skilled, he can put the ball in the basket and. There were some question marks — one was his health — because he had had injuries each of the three previous seasons, we made him our backup point guard, that was something that he hadn’t done at this level. So there were certainly question marks in certain areas, but the fact that he could score and do what he can do well, I don’t think that surprised anybody within our organization.”

Stotts on Damian Lillard using slights from the media, perceived or otherwise, as motivation…

“I will say in this day and age, I think everybody knows what everybody is saying about everybody. If they don’t read it, a friend reads it or a friend retweets it or forwards the tweet. It’s really hard not to know what’s going on out there and people can try and say, ‘No, I don’t pay any attention to that’ but Damian is a very honest person and he’s true to himself. To say that he doesn’t know what is being said, it wouldn’t be truthful. I think a lot of players and a lot of people in general use that as motivation. I find it funny how people think that Damian is alone with that because you have goals and he wants to do well, he wants to prove what he can do. I think it’s more about what he’s capable of rather than what people are saying.”

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