May 12, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum (88) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a basket against the San Antonio Spurs in the second half of game four of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday Soundoff: Nicolas Batum Talks Future and More

Continuing the segment we began last week, I have conglomerated the most pertinent Trail Blazers news and best Trail Blazers articles from around the web, June 16th to June 22nd:

 

Nicolas Batum Talks Blazers’ Future, French Connection, Overseas Hoops and More – Jared Zwerling, BleacherReport

B/R: This past season, you averaged a career high in rebounds per game (7.5). In March, you averaged a double-double (13.0 points and 11.0 rebounds). What was your approach?

NB: If you want to be a good basketball team, you’ve got to win the rebounding battle. I can’t let the two bigs [Robin Lopez and LaMarcus Aldridge] do it themselves, so I tried to do better on the boards. If you watch all the best small forwards in the NBA, they’re all good rebounders. So if I wanted to be in that category, I’ve got to be better on the boards.

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Portland Trail Blazers: Salary Cap Space and Summer Moves – Dave Deckard, BlazersEdge

The cupboard is bare for Portland. They have no 1st Round pick this year. They have no 2nd Round picks until 2018 and Sacramento has the right to swap positions on the 2018 pick. Teams are allowed to sign their draft picks even if they’re capped up or in luxury tax territory. This is one of the main ways of building/renewing a roster even if you can’t afford free agents.

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Charlotte Hornets targeting Trail Blazers’Chad Buchanan for front office job – Joe Freeman, OregonLive

Earlier this month, the Hornets and longtime front office executive Rod Higgins parted ways, creating an opening on General Manager Rich Cho’s staff. Cho, who served as general manager of the Blazers during the 2010-11 season, is familiar with Buchanan from their time together in Portland.

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McCollum making up for lost time during offseason workouts – Casey Holdahl, ForwardCenter

“Defensively, you want to continue to get better and improve and make sure you’re in the right spots to guard on and off the ball,” said McCollum regarding the areas he’s working to improve during workouts. “Offensively, it’s always good to continue to learn the scheme, learn the system and just try to get better each day. Defensive has been the main focus, not just for myself but everybody individually and the coaching staff. Just continue to try to try to critique different ways to cover ball screens and continue to get better.”

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Transcript: Blazers Coach Terry Stotts Talks Spurs, Workouts, Draft On “Courtside” – Ben Golliver, BlazersEdge

Meyers Leonard — I see a bright future

I do too. What’s disappointing for me, we won 54 games, by all accounts it was a terrific season. If you want to focus on Meyers not playing, it’s taking a myopic look on this past season. Joel Freeland beat him out. It was much more about what Joel did do than what Meyers didn’t do. He’s a talented big man. It’s a catch-22. He hasn’t played against top competition and he didn’t get that opportunity because we were in a winning mode last season, he was’t given the opportunity to develop, play through mistakes, that a lot of young big guys get in that situation.

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Tags: Chad Buchanan Cj Mccollum Free Agency Nicolas Batum Portland Trail Blazers Terry Stotts

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