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Trail Blazers re-sign Jusuf Nurkic

The Trail Blazers yesterday re-signed center Jusuf Nurkic.

According to ESPN.com, the deal is a a four-year, $48 million contract.

Nurkic averaged 14.3 points (50.5% FG, 63.0% FT), 9.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.41 blocks and 26.4 minutes in 79 games (all starts) for the Trail Blazers last season.

“As a 23-year old starting center, Jusuf is an integral part of the core of this roster,” said Olshey. “He has been an impactful addition since joining our team and we are excited about the prospect of this long-term commitment leading to continued individual and team success.”

According to ESPN.com, “Nurkic, 23, turned down a more lucrative four-year deal several months ago, but the marketplace has tightened and he chose to take this deal on Friday, sources said. The deal includes a partial guarantee in the fourth year.”

Nurkic averaged career bests in points and rebounds last season while leading the Trail Blazers with 27 double-doubles. He finished tied for ninth in the NBA in blocks per game and tied for 13th in the league in rebounds per game.

The Trail Blazers acquired Nurkic from Denver on February 13, 2017 along with a 2017 first round draft pick in exchange for Mason Plumlee, a 2018 second round draft pick and cash considerations. After joining Portland, Nurkic averaged 15.2 points (50.8% FG, 66.0% FT), 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.90 blocks and 29.2 minutes in 20 games (19 starts) to finish the 2016-17 season.

Originally selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 16th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft, Nurkic was traded to Denver in a draft night deal.

In four seasons with Denver and Portland, Nurkic holds career averages of 10.4 points (48.5% FG, 61.2% FT), 7.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 21.6 minutes in 238 games (157 starts).

Trail Blazers sign Seth Curry

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free agent guard Seth Curry.

Curry, 27, joins the Trail Blazers from the Dallas Mavericks, where he averaged 12.8 points (48.1% FG, 42.5% 3-PT, 85.0% FT), 2.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.13 steals and 29.0 minutes in 70 games (42 starts) during the 2016-17 season. He missed the 2017-18 season while recovering from a stress fracture in his lower left leg.

“We expect Seth to be an impactful addition to our backcourt as his skill set will translate immediately,” Olshey said. “He is an elite shooter with the ability to play on or off the ball.”

After going undrafted out of Duke in 2013, Curry (6-2, 185) played in one game each for Memphis and Cleveland during the 2013-14 season, and two games for Phoenix during the 2014-15 season before signing with Sacramento for the 2015-16 season.

For his career, Curry holds averages of 10.2 points (47.3% FG, 43.2% 3-PT, 84.4% FT), 2.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 23.2 minutes in 118 games (51 starts).

He will wear No. 5 for the Trail Blazers.

Trail Blazers sign Gary Trent Jr

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed rookie guard Gary Trent Jr.

Acquired in a draft day trade with Sacramento, Trent Jr. was the 37th overall pick in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft.

Trent Jr., 19, averaged 14.5 points (41.5% FG, 40.2% 3-PT, 87.6% FT), 4.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.16 steals and 33.8 minutes in 37 games (all starts) as a freshman at Duke during the 2017-18 season.

Trent Jr. (6-6, 209) was one of 10 finalists for the 2017-18 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award and was named to the 2018 NCAA Tournament All-Midwest Region Team. He finished third in the ACC in three-pointers made (97) and was the fourth freshman in Duke history to lead the team in three-point field goal percentage.

He will wear No. 9 for the Trail Blazers

Trail Blazers sign Nik Stauskas

The Portland Trail Blazers signed free agent guard Nik Stauskas today.

Stauskas, 24, holds career averages of 7.0 points (38.6% FG, 34.9% 3-PT, 80.1% FT), 2.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 21.1 minutes in 267 games (63 starts) over four seasons with Sacramento, Philadelphia and Brooklyn.

“Nik is a versatile and talented perimeter player that will seamlessly fit into our style of play,” said Olshey.

Selected by the Kings with the eighth overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft out of Michigan, Stauskas (6-6, 205) spent one season in Sacramento before playing his next two years in Philadelphia. He split the 2017-18 season with Philadelphia and Brooklyn.

A native of Mississauga, Canada, Stauskas averaged a career-best 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists during the 2016-17 season with the 76ers.

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.

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