Originally written on Oregon Sports News  |  Last updated 11/18/14
The Portland Trail Blazers had their opportunities.  J.J. Hickson was allowed to leave, eventually signing with Denver.  Gorgui Dieng was still available at number ten in the 2013 NBA Draft.  The Blazers passed on him and instead selected Jeff Withey, the center out of Kansas in the second round.  But Neil Olshey turned Withey, regarded by many scouts as the best interior defender in the draft, into Terrel Harris and Robin Lopez.  All of this was a massive vote of confidence for 2012 first round pick Meyers Leonard.  While his fellow draft pick Damian Lillard was lighting up scoreboards, Leonard sat on the bench, showed an occasional flash of brilliance, and more often looked lost on defense and overmatched on offense.  No one expected Leonard to make an immediate impact, but what he showed did indicate a player ready to start year two. Leonard must be ready to start, at least in the mind of Neil Olshey.  Why else would the Blazers downgrade Jeff Withey, a player with trem...
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