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The Portland Trail Blazers have signed center Georgios Papagiannis to a contract through the 2018-19 season.

Originally signed to a 10-day contract on March 8, Papagiannis holds career averages of 4.2 points (51.0% FG, 85.7% FT), 3.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 12.4 minutes in 38 games over two seasons with the Sacramento Kings.

Selected by Phoenix with the 13th overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft out of Greece, Papagiannis, 20, was dealt to Sacramento in a draft day trade.

In 33 games over two seasons with the NBA G League’s Reno Bighorns, Papagiannis (7-2, 240) posted averages of 13.7 points (51.3% FG, 77.2% FT), 8.6 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 2.24 blocked shots and 30.6 minutes.

The Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday signed center Georgios Papagiannis to a 10-day contract.

Papagiannis, 20, holds career averages of 4.2 points (51.0% FG, 85.7% FT), 3.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 12.4 minutes in 38 games over two seasons with the Sacramento Kings.

Originally selected by Phoenix with the 13th overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft out of Greece, Papagiannis was dealt to Sacramento in a draft day trade.

In 33 games over two seasons with the NBA G League’s Reno Bighorns, Papagiannis (7-2, 240) posted averages of 13.7 points (51.3% FG, 77.2% FT), 8.6 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 2.24 blocked shots and 30.6 minutes.

He will wear No. 19 for the Trail Blazers.

The Portland Trail Blazers signed guard/forward Brandon Rush to a 10-day contract today.

A nine-year NBA veteran, Rush (6-6, 220) holds career averages of 6.8 points (42.6% FG, 40.2% 3-PT, 70.6% FT), 2.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 481 games (163 starts) playing for Indiana, Golden State, Utah and Minnesota. Rush played 47 games (33 starts) for the Timberwolves during the 2016-17 season, averaging 4.2 points (37.4% FG, 38.6% 3-PT, 72.2% FT), 2.1 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 21.9 minutes.

Rush was originally selected by the Trail Blazers with the 13th pick of the 2008 NBA draft before being traded to the Indiana Pacers.

He will wear No. 21 for the Trail Blazers.

The Chicago Bulls have acquired forward Noah Vonleh and cash considerations from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for the draft rights to Milovan Rakovic.

Vonleh (6-9, 245) is in his fourth NBA season, having seen time with Charlotte (2014-15) and Portland (2015-18). He was originally selected ninth-overall by the Hornets in the 2014 NBA Draft. Vonleh has posted career averages of 3.9 points and 4.5 rebounds through 210 games (109 starts) with a career field goal percentage of .450. In 2017-18, Vonleh is averaging 3.6 points and 5.1 rebounds through 33 games (12 starts). The Indiana University product was a McDonald’s All-American in 2013.

Rakovic, 32, was selected with the 60th overall pick in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks. A native of Serbia, he currently plays for Neuchatel in Switzerland.

Chicago’s roster stands at 17.

 

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The Trail Blazers are a modest 20-18 this season. A solid record, good for 7th best in the Western conference through Friday’s games, but not spectacular. More was expected. But not a lot more. There’s no reason to think this squad should be fantastic this year. But perhaps a bit better than they’ve been. Should that put the coach on the hot-seat? Not in our opinion. But as for the local chatter, here’s NBC Sports Northwest:

Amid chatter that Terry Stotts is on the coaching hot seat and in jeopardy of losing his job, several Trail Blazers players said their coach not only has the team’s attention and respect, but has become a rallying point for the players.

“We all know what’s going on,’’ veteran Ed Davis said. “The guys on the team, we read about it, and I know Coach does … that ‘Hot Seat’ stuff and things like that. Everybody sees it, and I know while I’m here, (along with) a bunch of the rest of the guys in the locker room, we are going to fight for Coach. Every night. There is no quit in us. He’s our leader.’’

The Blazers (20-18) are seventh in the Western Conference, but have a losing record at home (9-10), and have scuffled for much of the season with inconsistent, disjointed play that several times has led disgruntled Moda Center crowds to leave games early, and in exodus.

Stotts, who is under contract through next season, has become a lightening rod for fan discontent as the team has struggled offensively and at times looked unmotivated as it dropped games to bottom-tier teams like Atlanta, Brooklyn and Sacramento.

Full article

Blazers Team Notes on Stotts

Now in his sixth season with the Trail Blazers, Terry Stotts was hired as the franchise’s 14th head coach on August 7, 2012. Stotts led the Trail Blazers to a 41-41 record in 2016-17 and has compiled a 243-205 record in fi ve-plus seasons with Portland. Stotts is the fourth-winningest coach in franchise history, and the fi rst Trail Blazers head coach since Mike Dunleavy (1998-2001) to reach the playoffs in four consecutive seasons (fourth overall in franchise history). Stotts was named the Western Conference Coach of the Month in March 2017 after guiding Portland to an NBA-best 13-3 record for the month. With Stotts at the helm, the Trail Blazers have ranked in the top-10 in scoring for each of the past four seasons (’13-14 to ’16-17).

Trail Blazers all-time scoring list

This is through Monday, December 11, 2017:

Trail Blazers All-Time Scoring List
Player, Total Points, Seasons Played

1. Clyde Drexler 18,040 (1983-95)
2. LaMarcus Aldridge 12,562 (2006-15)
3. Terry Porter 11,330 (1985-95)
4. Cliff Robinson 10,405 (1989-97)
5. Jerome Kersey 10,067 (1984-95)
6. Jim Paxson 10,003 (1979-88)
7. Geoff Petrie 9,732 (1970-76)
8. Damian Lillard 9,532 (2012-Current)
9. Mychal Thompson 9,215 (1978-86)
10. Rasheed Wallace 9,119 (1996-04)

Steve ‘Snapper’ Jones has died

Steve “Snapper” Jones, former Portland Trail Blazers player, team announcer and later NBA broadcaster, has passed away in Houston at age 75. Family members and friends confirmed Jones’ death this evening following a lengthy illness. Funeral services will be announced soon by the Jones family.

Jones played 64 games in a Trail Blazers uniform during the 1975-76 season, averaging 6.5 points per game in what would be his final year as a player. He was acquired by the Trail Blazers in October of 1975 for a sixth-round draft pick from the Golden State Warriors. The bulk of his pro career was spent in the American Basketball Association (ABA) where Jones was a three-time ABA All-Star and played for five franchises, including the San Antonio Spurs and Denver Rockets (now Nuggets) – both now teams in the NBA. His nine-year ABA/NBA pro career spanned 704 games, with an impressive 15.2 points per game average.

In more recent years, Jones carved a successful career as an NBA broadcaster, including providing color commentary for CBS Television when the Trail Blazers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers to win the 1977 NBA Championship. His broadcasting resume included work for ESPN/ABC, TBS, TNT, Fox Sports Net, USA Network and NBC, where he was an analyst for the “NBA on NBC” for more than a decade. Jones was also part of numerous Trail Blazers broadcasting tandems, including Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honoree Bill Schonely.

“Steve was as positive and good-natured a broadcasting partner as I could have had,” said Schonely of Jones, who would be a broadcasting fixture with the Trail Blazers for 26 years. “He loved to call me ‘Pops’ as a nickname, and we worked very well together on Trail Blazers games during some of the early years of the franchise. He was a terrific guy.”

In March 2012, Jones was honored at center court of the then Rose Garden arena (now Moda Center) by the Trail Blazers for his years of service to the franchise as a player and broadcaster. Among his Trail Blazers broadcasting partners along with Schonely were Pat Lafferty, Pete Pranica, Mike Rice and Mike Barrett. Jones moved to Houston in 2008 where he resided until his death.

As a collegiate player, Jones played for the University of Oregon from 1961-64, leading the team in scoring during the 1963-64 season. Born in Alexandria, Louisiana, but raised in Portland, Jones was a standout player locally at Franklin High School, leading his squad to an Oregon state championship in 1959. His younger brother Nick Jones, also a highly-touted player at Franklin and later Oregon, played for the Golden State Warriors and was a member of the Trail Blazers Community Relations staff for several years.

Wade Baldwin undergoes thumb surgery

Portland Trail Blazers two-way guard Wade Baldwin underwent successful surgery to repair an ulnar collateral ligament tear in his right thumb, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Michelle Carlson at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

The Trail Blazers signed Baldwin to a two-way contract on October 19. He is expected to miss six weeks.

Blazers bench off to good start

Here’s NBC Sports Northwest reporting on the Trail Blazers, whose bench has been a nice super-early season surprise:

One of the early season storylines during the Trail Blazers’ 3-1 start has been the emergence of a deep and effective bench.

Led by Evan Turner, Ed Davis and Pat Connaughton, the Blazers’ bench has the top offensive rating in the NBA (115.8), the third best net rating, and the third best plus/minus behind Toronto and the LA Clippers.

Never was the bench more on display than during Tuesday’s home opener against New Orleans, when the starters struggled and needed big games from Davis, Turner and rookie Caleb Swanigan to pull out a 103-93 victory.

Full article

CJ Wilcox out after knee surgery

Portland Trail Blazers two-way guard CJ Wilcox underwent successful arthroscopy on his right knee today, it was announced by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Evan Ellis at Southwest Washington Surgery Center.

The Trail Blazers signed Wilcox to a two-way contract on August 9. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

Blazers sign Wade Baldwin to two-way contract

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard Wade Baldwin to a two-way contract.

Baldwin, 21, averaged 3.2 points, 1.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 12.3 minutes in 33 games (one start) as a rookie with the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2016-17 season.

With the introduction of two-way contracts, NBA rosters have grown from 15 spots to 17, adding a pair of two-way players that can spend up to 45 days on an NBA roster and the remaining time on an NBA G League roster. Baldwin, whose G League assignment has yet to be determined, joins CJ Wilcox as the team’s two-way roster players.

The 17th overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft out of Vanderbilt, Baldwin (6-4, 200) posted averages of 12.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.33 steals and 28.2 minutes in 33 games (22 starts) with the NBA G League’s Iowa Energy last season.

CJ McCollum suspended one game by NBA

CJ McCollum suspended one game by NBA

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has been suspended one game without pay for leaving the bench area during an altercation, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 9:33 remaining in the fourth quarter of Portland’s 113-104 preseason win over the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 11 at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

McCollum will be suspended for the first game of the 2017-18 NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

The Portland Trail Blazers have waived guards Isaiah Briscoe, Archie Goodwin and Anthony Morrow, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

All three players were signed to training camp contracts last month.

Briscoe, 21, averaged 6.2 points, 1.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 11.1 minutes in six games (one start) for the Trail Blazers this preseason.

Goodwin, 23, posted preseason averages of 6.2 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 10.4 minutes in five games.

Morrow, 32, finished the preseason averaging 4.8 points, 0.2 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 10.2 minutes in five games.

Portland’s roster stands at 14 players entering the season opener on Oct. 18 at Phoenix.

Trail Blazers sign Anthony Morrow

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard Anthony Morrow to a training camp contract.

A nine-year NBA veteran, Morrow (6-5, 210) has played for seven franchises, most recently suiting up for the Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls during the 2016-17 season. For his career, Morrow has averaged 9.4 points (44.7% FG, 41.7% 3-PT, 88.0% FT), 2.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 21.8 minutes in 564 career games (142 starts).

He will wear No. 24 for the Trail Blazers.

Trail Blazers sign Archie Goodwin

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard Archie Goodwin to a training camp contract, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

In four NBA seasons with Phoenix, New Orleans and Brooklyn, Goodwin (6-5, 205) holds averages of 6.3 points (42.9% FG, 23.6% 3-PT, 70.0% FT), 2.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 14.5 minutes in 165 career games (15 starts).

He will wear No. 2 for the Trail Blazers.

Trail Blazers waive Andrew Nicholson

Forward Andrew Nicholson’s time on the Trail Blazers was short-lived.

The Blazers waived Nicholson today, president of basketball operations Neil Olshey announced.

Portland acquired Nicholson from the Brooklyn Nets on July 25 in exchange for Allen Crabbe.

The Portland Trail Blazers have announced a contract extension for President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey, taking him through the 2020-21 season.

“Neil has done an excellent job improving our team and getting us into the playoffs. With our young and improving roster, I expect our franchise to keep improving,” said Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen. “Continuity in the front office is important as we continue to grow, and this extension shows the confidence we have in Neil’s leadership.”

“I appreciate the confidence Paul Allen has in myself and the entire Basketball Operations staff,” said Olshey. “I look forward to building on the foundation we have developed and the continued partnership with Bert Kolde, Chris McGowan, Terry Stotts and the entire Trail Blazers organization. On a personal note, I’m very happy for my family as we’ve really embraced Oregon and the incredible spirit of Rip City.”

Promoted to President of Basketball Operations in 2015, Olshey was named the 10th General Manager in franchise history on June 4, 2012, and finished his fifth season at the helm in 2016-17. In his role, Olshey leads the organization’s Basketball Operations, overseeing talent evaluation, player personnel decisions, contract negotiations and salary cap management.

Less than a month after joining the Trail Blazers, Olshey drafted Damian Lillard (sixth overall), the fourth unanimous NBA Rookie of the Year in league history, and Meyers Leonard (11th overall). He then named veteran coach Terry Stotts head coach of the Trail Blazers on August 7, 2012. Olshey also drafted and developed guard CJ McCollum (10th overall in 2013), winner of the 2015-16 NBA Most Improved Player award.

Last season, Olshey made a trade-deadline move to acquire center Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first-round draft pick from Denver in exchange for Mason Plumlee and cash considerations on February 13. That move ignited the Trail Blazers’ climb into the NBA Playoffs for the fourth consecutive season – even with the youngest roster in the NBA.

“Knowing Neil will continue to lead Basketball Operations well into the foreseeable future is a great thing for our franchise,” said Trail Blazers President and CEO Chris McGowan. “I am excited to continue our partnership in running this organization on and off the court with the goal of delivering a world-class experience for our fans.”

The Trail Blazers will tip-off the 2017-18 regular season beginning October 18 with road games at Phoenix, Indiana and Milwaukee, before returning to Portland for their home opener versus New Orleans on October 24.

The Portland Trail Blazers will tip-off their 48th NBA season at the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, Oct. 18, it was announced today by the NBA.

Portland will open the 2017-18 campaign with a three-game road trip, followed by a four-game homestand that begins with the home opener vs. New Orleans at the Moda Center on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

All 82 Trail Blazers games will be televised by national carriers or CSN, and aired on the Trail Blazers Radio Network.

Among the highlights at the Moda Center in 2017-18: the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors make the trip up on Feb. 14 and March 9; the Cleveland Cavaliers travel to Portland on March 15; the L.A. Lakers make their lone appearance in the Rose City on Nov. 2; and the Boston Celtics come to town on March 23.

The Trail Blazers will play 10 of their first 14 games at the Moda Center to begin the season, and seven of their final 10 on the road.

Portland will take on 10 of 14 Western Conference opponents twice at home and twice on the road, while playing Golden State, San Antonio, Dallas and the L.A. Lakers only three times apiece. Of those matchups, the Trail Blazers host Golden State and San Antonio twice, and the L.A. Lakers and Dallas once. The team will face each Eastern Conference team twice.

The Trail Blazers will close out the regular season on Wednesday, April 11 vs. Utah.

Trail Blazers sign CJ Wilcox to two-way contract

The Trail Blazers signed guard CJ Wilcox to a two-way contract today.

Wilcox (6-5, 200) holds career NBA averages of 2.0 points (37.0% FG, 33.3% 3-PT, 81.3% FT), 0.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 5.7 minutes in 66 games over three seasons with the LA Clippers and Orlando Magic.

With the introduction of two-way contracts, NBA rosters have grown from 15 spots to 17, adding a pair of two-way players that can spend up to 45 days on an NBA roster and the remaining time on an NBA G League roster. Wilcox’s G League assignment has yet to be determined.

Originally drafted with the 28th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Clippers,
Wilcox, 26, has spent parts of each season on an NBA G League roster, posting averages of 16.9 points (47.3% FG, 42.2% 3-PT, 79.2% FT), 3.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 30 games (19 starts) with Fort Wayne, Bakersfield, Canton and Erie.

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed forward Caleb Swanigan to his rookie contract, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

The Trail Blazers selected Swanigan with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft.

Swanigan (6-9, 250), 20, posted averages of 14.4 points (50.1% FG, 37.6% 3-PT, 76.0% FT), 10.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in two seasons at Purdue.

A consensus All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year as a sophomore, Swanigan averaged 18.5 points (52.7% FG, 44.7% 3-PT, 78.1% FT), 12.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in his second season with the Boilermakers. Swanigan ranked second in the nation in rebounding in 2016-17 and became the first player nationally since the 1985-86 season to have 640 points, 430 rebounds and 100 assists in a season.

His 28 double-doubles last season were the most in Big Ten history and the 13th-most in NCAA history. A finalist for the Wooden, Naismith and Oscar Robertson Player of the Year Awards, Swanigan became the first player since Tim Duncan of Wake Forest (1996-97) to average 18.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in a season.

Swanigan will make his Trail Blazers debut at the 2017 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Portland tips off its schedule on Saturday, July 8 vs. Utah at 3 p.m. (Pacific).

He will wear No. 50 for the Trail Blazers.

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