A very ebullient Clippers Assistant GM Neil Olshey took questions this morning at the Clippers workout facility. The pointed message Olshey conveyed is that the Clippers regarded the #1 pick and Blake Griffin as synonymous. “We were all hoping the result to be Blake,” Olshey said at one point.
I’d like to upload the sound sometime soon. In the interim, here are some highlights:
On the crowded frontcourt and the likelihood the Clippers will move someone:
I’m sure Mike Dunleavy is sitting on his flight from Spain right now going over those scenarios. Obviously, we’ve strengthened a strength last night with getting Blake…Right now, we want to catch our breath, get to know Blake a little bit, then Mike will play around. We’re going to do whatever we have to do to improve the roster, but I don’t think there’s anything specific we have to do today. We’re going to evaluate the roster. There are positions we need to solidify out on the perimeter. We need someone to play behind Baron. We’ll look into those options. If it’s a trade, it’s a trade. If it’s free agency…If we can keep it all together and figure out a way to play them all, we’ll do that too.
On whether Griffin could potentially see minutes at the small forward, and is quick enough to play the position:
I absolutely think so. Offensively, I think Blake is a lot more versatile than people give him credit for. Part of the college game is using guys to the advantage of the team … Blake was very one-dimensional [at Oklahoma] because he was so good at that one dimension, they didn’t need to expand it. They had perimeter guys like Willie Warren, [Juan] Pattillo, Taylor [Griffin]. They kind of kept him in a box, and he average 23 and 14 doing it. He has phenomenal lateral movement. He’s quick. He’s a high-level athlete … Some teams that have small 5s — he has the physicality to play against them. He’s ideally suited at the 4. But I also think that as a 3 — this series [Denver-Lakers] is indicative — you’ve got a big 3 in Lamar Odom out there. I think Blake’s got the quickness to play him away from the hoop, and the physicality to bang with him on the block.
There’s more to come, hopefully in audio format.