ChrisHaynes, CSNNW.com Trail Blazers Insider (@ChrisBHaynes)
Withnews out that the Indiana Pacers will match the Portland TrailBlazers' four year, 58 million offer sheet made to All-Star centerRoy Hibbert, leaves the Trail Blazers without a legit talented centerto play alongside LaMarcus Aldridge in the frontcourt.
Generalmanager Neil Olshey says the focus will now be on the development ofMeyers Leonard the team's 2012 No. 11 pick.
Leonardwill still need some veteran tutelage at his position as he preparesto bang with the best and strongest big men in the world. The oneplayer the Trail Blazers have on their roster that fits that mentorrole at the five spot is Kurt Thomas.
However,Thomas has told CSNNW.com that he has yet to speak with Olshey andreally doesn't know what his future holds.
Ihaven't spoken to him (Olshey), Thomas said. I'm just going togo in and do my job until I hear otherwise.Thomas,39, has one year left on his deal that pays him 1.3 million nextseason. Keeping Thomas around couldn't hurt due to his leadership andinexpensive expiring salary.
Hesays at this point in his career, he's all about winning and doingwhat's best for the team and that's why you won't hear him talking about atrade or a buyout.
Lastseason he had high expectations for the team and that hasn't changed.
Ithought I was coming to a playoff team last year, but things happenlike that in the NBA, Thomas said. I'm a professional andwhatever I'm asked to do, I'll do it. We still have some good piecesand some good new rookies.
Asfar as my status with the team, I don't know. I'll let my agent handlethat, but I'm happy where I'm at, Thomas said.
Thomasrecently completed his 17th season in the NBA and has acareer average of 8.3 points per game, 6.8 rebounds, and a 48 percentfield goal percentage.