COMMENTARY | The Portland Trail Blazers have found their sixth man.
After a season that saw the Blazers roll out one of the worst bench units in recent memory, Portland has added significant depth to its second unit with Thursday's signing of veteran guard Mo Williams and the additions of Dorell Wright, C.J. McCollum, Allan Crabbe and Thomas Robinson earlier in the summer.
Williams, 30, will likely be the first player off the Blazers' bench and will fill the role that rookie C.J. McCollum is being groomed for -- sharing the backcourt with Damian Lillard while taking some of the ball-handling pressure off the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year.
While the Williams signing came as a bit of a surprise, anyone who saw McCollum at the Las Vegas Summer League knows that the rookie is more of a scorer than a lead guard at this point in his career. He will benefit from at least one season of learning under both Lillard and Williams.
Although Blazers GM Neil Olshey didn't land any major free agents this offseason -- and that was likely never his goal as depth was the big issue for the Blazers -- he has to be commended for adding significant depth and a starting center while giving up very few assets and still maintaining flexibility going forward (none of the players added this summer have contracts that run past 2014-15).
This offseason has to be considered a success for Portland, especially given what the Blazers had to work with in terms of assets. The 2013-14 Portland Trail Blazers are already looking very intriguing on paper and should contend for a playoff spot in the loaded Western Conference -- now we just have to wait three months to see how the team looks on the court.
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- Portland Trail Blazers
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- Damian Lillard