VIDEO: Dwight Jaynes Interviews Neil Olshey

Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey hasn’t talked to the media much this season, as he’s preferred to work behind-the-scenes rather than in full view. But he did recently grant a two-part interview to Dwight Jaynes of CSNNW to discuss Portland’s success this season.

Some highlights from part one

Olshey on Portland’s improved record this season …

“It’s a testimony to these guys and Terry what they were able to accomplish. A 10-game jump would’ve been really impressive, and now we’re heading to what might be a 20-game jump. I don’t think anybody foresaw that.”

On the play of Robin Lopez …

“I think everyone forgets that there was a time not long ago when Robin was drafted where there was a question mark about who got the better player in that draft, whether it was New Jersey — and [Brook Lopez] has gone on to have an incredible career, and he’s an All-Star, but I think Robin, because of a couple of injuries, because of depth on the teams he was on, just hadn’t been given an opportunity that we were able to give him. Which was, being a day-one starter, not look over your shoulder, and play next to the best power forward in the game.”

And some highlights from Part Two

On LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard potentially courting free agents …

I think it’s a window into what type of people LaMarcus and Damian are. I think, probably even more important than whether or not they can deliver on that promise, is the fact that they’re willing to try. It’s an endorsement of our culture. It’s an endorsement of the things we’re trying to do here. It’s a belief in our mission.”

On not having a pick in the 2014 NBA Draft

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“Anyone who has met Paul Allen knows there is no area of our business he is more concerned with than the draft. There’s young talent, and we’ve talked about this before – when you don’t have a lot of assets when you take over, you have to generate assets and you have to be opportunistic. The draft is a time for opportunism. You just never know what kind of deal will include a pick. You don’t know when you can convey a pick or a future first because there’s an opportunity.”