Allen: Blazers Committed to Youth Plan

Discussion in 'Portland Trail Blazers' started by Shapecity, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Shapecity

    Shapecity S2/JBB Teamster Staff Member Administrator

    Jan 30, 2003
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    <div class="quote_poster">Quote:</div><div class="quote_post">Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen on Monday said he is committed to the team's youth movement and trusts himself not to veer from the rebuilding plan by trading for a veteran to make the team more competitive.

    "A transition like this is not something you take lightly," said Allen, who watched Monday's practice before hosting a function at the Portland Art Museum for the team's sponsors.

    "We had extensive discussions during the summer about the direction we wanted to take leading up to the draft, and we all looked at each other and said, 'This is the direction we are going to take.' It's a multiyear process, and the fans and I are going to have to be patient with it."

    Allen said the Blazers' long-term plan to build around young, and thus less expensive players, is also predicated on the financially changing times of the NBA.

    "I think the payrolls of the league have gotten to a level now -- depending on the arena deal and the revenues locally -- where it's more challenging for smaller- and medium-sized markets to justify higher payrolls," Allen said. "That's one of the reasons we and other teams have had to have more modest payrolls."

    The Blazers long have carried one of the largest payrolls in the league; in 2001-02 they paid a league-record $104 million in salaries. But this year, general manager John Nash said, their payroll will be just less than $60 million.

    Allen acknowledged that other small-market teams, specifically San Antonio and Sacramento, have achieved success without paying astronomical salaries, saying, "That's definitely the direction we are trying to head toward."

    Trades already have been a topic this season on the Blazers. Players have suggested roster moves to become more competitive, and unsubstantiated rumors out of New York have suggested the Blazers were looking to acquire expiring contracts from the Knicks. But Allen said his priorities are centered more on the future.

    "You want to see (the youth) develop, because often you don't know what you have on your roster until a few years," Allen said.

    "The more veteran players . . . team's are always calling other teams, so you have to listen and think, 'Will this make it better two, three, four, five years down the road?' Because this is much less about how this is going to change immediately, but rather, is it a solid change for the franchise down the road, when the younger players are reaching their peak?" </div>


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