Archive for the ‘ Portland Trail Blazers Blog ’ Category

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard Pat Connaughton, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.

“Pat’s character, competitive nature and ability to make shots will be a welcomed addition to our team,” said Olshey. “He is an excellent fit for our basketball system and our culture.”

Acquired in a draft day trade with Brooklyn, Connaughton (6-5, 215) was selected with the 41st overall pick in the second round of the 2015 NBA Draft.

Connaughton, 22, averaged 10.5 points (45.0% FG, 38.6% 3-PT, 77.7% FT), 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in four seasons at Notre Dame.

An All-ACC Third Team selection in 2015, Connaughton posted averages of 12.5 points (42.3% 3-PT) and 7.4 rebounds his senior year for the Irish, who made an NCAA Tournament run to the Elite Eight.

Connaughton will make his Trail Blazers debut at the 2015 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Portland tips off its schedule on Saturday, July 11 vs. Boston at 5 p.m. (Pacific).

He will wear No. 5 for the Trail Blazers.

Trail Blazers sign Al-Farouq Aminu

Trail Blazers sign Al-Farouq Aminu

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free agent forward Al-Farouq Aminu, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.

Aminu, 24, holds averages of 6.4 points (43.7% FG, 28.6% 3-PT, 72.6% FT), 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.96 steals in five seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans and Dallas.

“Farouq’s energy, athleticism and developing skillset will have a significant impact on our roster,” said Olshey. “His versatility on the defensive end is unique and will translate immediately. His ceiling as a player is very high and his best days as a player are still ahead of him.”

Playing for Dallas last season, Aminu posted averages of 11.2 points (54.8% FG, 63.6% 3-PT, 78.9% FT), 7.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 2.00 steals and 1.60 blocked shots in five games (two starts) vs. Houston in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Originally selected by the Clippers with the eighth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft out of Wake Forest, the Atlanta native competed for Nigeria at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Aminu (6-9, 215) will wear No. 8 for the Trail Blazers.

Trail Blazers sign forward Ed Davis

Trail Blazers sign forward Ed Davis

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free agent forward Ed Davis, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.

Davis, 26, has career NBA averages of 7.2 points (55.6% FG, 56.6% FT), 6.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 1.01 blocked shots in five seasons with Toronto, Memphis and the Los Angeles Lakers.

“Ed’s ability to impact the game from both the center and power forward positions will provide us with the opportunity to utilize his length, athleticism and rim protection from multiple areas of the floor, said Olshey.”

Shooting a career-best 60.1% (282-for-469) from the field last season with the Lakers, Davis also set new career highs of 8.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.24 blocked shots in 79 games (24 starts).

Davis was originally selected by Toronto with the 13th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft out of North Carolina.

Davis (6-10, 240) will wear No. 17 for the Trail Blazers.

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on a solid veteran that you haven’t thought much about lately:

Keith Bogans, not the usual summer league player

Bogans was a surprise addition to the Blazers’ summer league roster, which typically features first-and second-year NBA players with guaranteed contracts or 20-something free agents looking to fight for a training camp invitation. But for Bogans, summer league is an opportunity to fight for one last chance to end his career the right way.

He hasn’t played in a game since Jan. 7, 2014, when he scored nine points in 13 minutes for the Boston Celtics during a blowout loss to the Denver Nuggets. A week later, he was excused from the Celtics for “personal reasons,” although multiple reports indicated Bogans was frustrated with his playing time (he played just 55 minutes over six games) and that contributed to his dismissal from the team.

He sat out the rest of the season and, after a series of trades, was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers during training camp last October. NBA rosters were more or less set by then, so he decided to take a season off and clear his head.

Here’s the Oregonian reporting that Wesley Matthews is still leaving the Trail Blazers to sign with the Dallas Mavericks, whether DeAndre Jordan joins the Mavs or decides to cancel his reported agreement and returns to the Clippers:

wes matthews will join Mavs

Wesley Matthews says he will sign with the Dallas Mavericks regardless if center DeAndre Jordan changes his mind and returns to the Los Angeles Clippers, sources close to the player told The Oregonian/Oregonlive.

Matthews, who last week gave a verbal agreement to Dallas to sign a four-year deal worth around $13 million the first year, is expected to sign and be introduced to the Dallas media on Thursday, the first day the NBA moratorium ends.

Blazers set to add Ed Davis

Trail Blazers set to add forward Ed Davis

At this point, there’s no reason to think that LaMarcus Aldridge will be back with the Portland Trail Blazers. They’ve added several big-men, and have now reportedly agreed to a deal with Ed Davis. Here’s the Oregonian reporting:

Blazers set to add Ed Davis

Unrestricted free agent Ed Davis has verbally agreed to sign a 3-year, $20 million free agent contract with the Blazers, according to Yahoo Sports. The deal will not become official until the NBA free agent moratorium ends on July 9.

Davis, 6-foot-10 and 240 pounds, averaged 8.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game and shot 60 percent from the field last season for the Los Angles Lakers. The No. 13 pick of the 2010 NBA draft, who is 26 and entering his sixth NBA season, is a skillful rebounder and effective interior scorer who adds even more athleticism to the Blazers’ evolving roster.

After striking out on Greg Monroe, Davis’ signing was a must for the Blazers, who are still waiting to hear if All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge plans to return to Portland.

Blazers, Al-Farouq Aminu agree to deal

Al-Farouq Aminu is an excellent hustle player, but so far in his NBA career he’s considered backup material. Good backup material, with the potential to do bigger things thanks to his hustle and defense. But the Portland Trail Blazers are reportedly willing to pay him more than expected. Here’s the Oregonian reporting:

Report: Trail Blazers, Al-Farouq Aminu agree to deal

The Trail Blazers did not waste any time plugging their hole at small forward.

Shortly after NBA free agency opened at 9:01 p.m., the team agreed to a deal with unrestricted free agent Al-Forouq Aminu, his agent, Raymond Brothers, confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive.

The deal, first reported by Yahoo Sports, is valued at $30 million over four years.

Aminu, 6-foot-9 and 215 pounds, averaged 5.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game last season for the Dallas Mavericks and is entering his sixth NBA season.

The No. 8 overall pick of the 2010 NBA draft, Aminu features high-level defensive ability and a high-energy style, but a below-average long-range shot.

Nets trade Mason Plumlee to Trail Blazers for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Steve Blake

The Brooklyn Nets acquired the draft rights to forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and guard Steve Blake from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for center Mason Plumlee and the draft rights to guard/forward Pat Connaughton, Nets GM Billy King announced Thursday.

“We are very excited to add Rondae to our roster,” said King. “He is the type of athletic wing we were looking for, and we felt he was the best defensive player in the draft.”

“I also wanted to thank Mason for his time with the Nets and wish him the best with his new team. Mason worked extremely hard from the first time he stepped on the court in training camp last year, and I am sure he will have a long and successful career.”

Hollis-Jefferson (6’8”, 220) was selected with the 23rd pick in tonight’s draft by the Trail Blazers before being dealt to the Nets. He played two seasons at Arizona and helped lead the Wildcats to two Elite Eight appearances and a 66-9 regular season record. As a freshman, Hollis-Jefferson averaged 9.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 blocks in 25.3 minutes per game in 38 games (six starts) en route to Pac 12 All-Freshman Team honors. In his second and final season at Arizona, Hollis-Jefferson posted averages of 11.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.8 blocks in 28.7 minutes per game in 38 games (25 starts). He was named to the All-Pac 12 First Team and garnered Pac-12 All-Defensive Team honors.

Blake (6’3”, 172) is a 12-year veteran who has appeared in 812 career games (345 starts) with Washington, Portland, Milwaukee, Denver, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State. He holds career averages of 6.7 points and 4.0 assists. Last season in Portland, Blake recorded averages of 4.3 points and 3.6 assists in 18.9 minutes per game in 81 games off the Trail Blazers’ bench.

Plumlee was originally drafted by the Nets with the 22nd pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. In 152 games (67 starts), he posted averages of 8.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in 19.9 minutes per game. Plumlee earned All-Rookie First Team honors in 2014.

Blazers trade Nicolas Batum to Hornets

Blazers trade Nicolas Batum to Hornets

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired forward Noah Vonleh and guard Gerald Henderson from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for forward Nicolas Batum, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.

Vonleh (6-10, 240) enters his second NBA season in 2015-16 after Charlotte selected the Indiana standout with the ninth overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft. In 25 career games with the Hornets, Vonleh, 19, is averaging 3.3 points (39.5% FG, 38.5% 3-PT, 69.2% FT), 3.4 rebounds, 0.2 assists and 10.4 minutes.

In his lone season at Indiana, Vonleh averaged 11.3 points and led the Big 10 in rebounding (9.0 rpg) on his way to Big 10 Freshman of the Year and All-Big 10 Third Team honors.

An NBA veteran, Henderson (6-5, 215) holds career averages of 12.0 points (44.3% FG, 30.9% 3-PT, 79.4% FT), 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 27.5 minutes in six seasons with Charlotte. Selected with the 12th overall pick in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft out of Duke, Henderson, 27, ranked 26th in the NBA in free throw percentage last season (84.8%), while leading the Hornets in scoring 17 times.

“Nic Batum was a key contributor to all of our recent success,” said Olshey. “He will truly be missed as a person and a player. We wish Nic all the best for the future.”

In 481 career games (428 starts) with the Trail Blazers, Batum posted averages of 11.2 points (44.6% FG, 36.3% 3-PT, 83.4% FT), 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 30.8 minutes. Acquired in a 2008 draft day trade with Houston, Batum’s 751 career 3-pointers are the third-most in franchise history.

Arron Afflalo becomes free agent

Here’s the Oregonian with a Portland Trail Blazers update:

Arron Afflalo becomes free agent

Arron Afflalo is officially a free agent.

The Trail Blazers’ shooting guard had until the end of the day Monday to exercise a $7.75 million player option for the 2015-16 season and remain in Portland one more year. But he did not opt in and is now an unrestricted free agent.

The move, which was expected, leaves the Blazers with two shooting guards on their roster — CJ McCollum and Allen Crabbe — who have started a combined 12 regular season games in their careers.

In addition to Afflalo, starting shooting guard Wesley Matthews is also an unrestricted free agent.

Steve Blake exercises Blazers contract option

Portland Trail Blazers guard Steve Blake has exercised his player option for the 2015-16 season, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.

Blake (6-3, 172) appeared in 81 games for the Trail Blazers last season. In 350 games (232 starts) over five seasons with Portland, Blake holds averages of 7.8 points (41.4% FG, 39.8% 3-PT, 78.2% FT), 2.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists.

For his career, Blake has averages of 6.7 points (40.1% FG, 38.5% 3-PT, 77.8% FT), 2.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists over 12 seasons with Washington, Portland, Milwaukee, Denver, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers and Golden State.

Blake, 34, played four years at the University of Maryland, where he won an NCAA Championship in 2002, and was selected by the Washington Wizards with the ninth pick in the second round (38th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft.

LaMarcus Aldridge had thumb surgery today

LaMarcus Aldridge had thumb surgery today

Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge underwent successful surgery today to repair the injured radial collateral ligament of his left thumb. Dr. Thomas J. Graham performed the procedure at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

Aldridge is expected to be able to return basketball activity in approximately eight weeks.

The Blazers finished the regular season with a 51-31 record. They lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the NBA playoffs, in five games.

In the regular season, Aldridge averaged 23.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. His season almost ended early due to his thumb injury, but he played through it.

Nic Batum knows he had a bad season

And Nic Batum aims to do something about it

Nicolas Batum knows he had a lousy season for the Portland Trail Blazers, who on Wednesday were eliminated in the first round of the 2015 NBA playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies. Here’s the Oregonian reporting:

Nic Batum is aware that he had a disappointing season

“All I know is everybody has one bad year,” Batum said. “You have to learn from it. Why? And how can I get better?”

Batum said the first change will be how he manages his time in the offseason. He said his late decision to join the French National team last summer ended up over-extending him.

“Last year, I didn’t manage my offseason well,” Batum said. “I didn’t plan to go with the national team last summer, and when I did, I had already made plans to make appearances and camps. I didn’t rest.”

This summer, he said he will play for the French National Team, but he will rest before he reports in August.

Tim Frazier wins 2014-15 D-League MVP and Rookie of Year awards

Maine Red Claws guard Tim Frazier, currently a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, has been selected as both the 2014-2015 NBA Development League’s Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year, as voted on by the league’s 18 head coaches.

Frazier (6-1, 170, Penn State) played in 41 games for the Red Claws, 40 as a starter, averaging 16.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 9.5 assists, good for second-best in the NBA D-League. Frazier led the NBA D-League with four triple-doubles while also recording 14 double-doubles for Maine. He scored a career-high 34 against the Delaware 87ers on Jan. 3, and led the team in scoring nine times and assists 37 times.

“There’s no question about it, Tim had an MVP-caliber season in Maine this year,” said Malcolm Turner, NBA D-League President. “It takes a special young man to be as consistently dominant as he was this season, and to do it as a rookie is even more impressive. It’s fitting that our coaches recognized his hard work and his talent by selecting him as both the MVP and the Rookie of the Year. We look forward to watching his game continue to mature as his NBA career unfolds.”

During his rookie campaign in Maine, Frazier was named NBA D-League Performer of the Week three times and was selected as a 2015 NBA D-League All-Star. He earned three GATORADE Call-Ups during the season, two to the Philadelphia 76ers and most recently to the Trail Blazers on March 30. In his first-ever NBA game on Feb. 9, Frazier dished out 11 assists in 35 minutes at Boston for Philadelphia. He recorded his first NBA double-double on April 15 when he recorded 13 points and 10 assists for Portland at Dallas. Frazier owns NBA career averages of 5.2 points, 5.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 11 games with the Sixers and Blazers.

“This season, Tim quickly established himself as one of the league’s elite guards with NBA potential,” said Red Claws Head Coach Scott Morrison. “It was an honor and a privilege to take the court with Tim this season and I hope to be watching his progression in the NBA for years to come.”

Frazier becomes the second player to earn MVP and Rookie of the Year honors in the same season, joining Devin Brown who achieved the feat in 2003.

Damian Lillard struggles in Blazers Game 1 loss to Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies beat the Portland Trail Blazers 100-86 Sunday to take a 1-0 series lead. Blazers guard Damian Lillard struggled badly, shooting 5-of-21 for 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Here’s the Oregonian reporting:

Damian Lillard was locked in at long last. This was the stingy and smothering laser-like All-Star effort we’d been promised all week by the guard. It was the defensive performance of a lifetime.

Here was Lillard late Sunday night, long after the Blazers Game 1 loss against the Memphis Grizzlies, shutting down the scrutiny, one dress sock at a time. He’d already toweled off like a retiree watching a sunset. Now, the Blazers All-Star guard sat on a folding chair, back to the room, checking text messages.

It was so crowded with media in Lillard’s corner of the locker room that when guard Steve Blake emerged from the showers he had to dispatch a locker room attendant through the mob of cameras to retrieve his clothes. Also, during the Lillard filibuster a reporter from TNT asked Chris Kaman if he wouldn’t mind giving the network a quote, as Lillard was about to bleed their deadline out.

Kaman obliged and left. Blake eventually dressed, conducted an interview and left the room. So did the rest of the Blazers teammates. One by one, from Robin Lopez to Nic Batum to Wesley Matthews and back, the Blazers absorbed the disappointment and disappeared out the locker room doors.

Trail Blazers clinch spot in 2015 NBA Playoffs

The 48-25 Portland Trail Blazers have officially clinched a spot in the 2015 NBA playoffs, joining the Warriors, Grizzlies, Rockets and Clippers in the West so far, leaving three West spots still up for grabs. Here’s the Oregonian reporting:

The Blazers dominated the the Suns after halftime and emphatically punched their postseason ticket with a 109-86 win in front of a sellout crowd of 19,441 Monday night at the Moda Center.

“It wasn’t like it was earth shattering,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said, downplaying the the playoff berth. “Honestly, our goal was beyond just to make the playoffs.”

Portland led by six at the half before putting the game away to open the third quarter. The Blazers hit 12 of their first 15 shots, including 4 of 5 three-pointers, en route to scoring 35 points in the first 9:05 of third quarter.

When the buzzer sounded at the end of the third, the Blazers had the game in hand with a 92-65 lead and the starters got to watch the final twelve minutes from the end of the bench.

Blazers sign Tim Frazier for remainder of season

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard Tim Frazier for the remainder of the season, President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Frazier, 24, signed two 10-day contracts with the Philadelphia 76ers last month, averaging 5.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.00 steal in six games (three starts).

Frazier (6-1, 170) joins the Trail Blazers from the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League, where he posted averages of 16.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 1.66 steals in 41 games (40 starts) this season.

The D-League leader with four triple-doubles, Frazier is a three-time D-League Performer of the Week. Frazier played for Penn State from 2009-14, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors his junior year.

He will wear No. 10 for the Trail Blazers.

Joel Freeland, Shawne Williams suspended for headbutting each other

Portland Trail Blazers center Joel Freeland and Detroit Pistons forward Shawne Williams have been suspended one game without pay for headbutting each other. The penalties were announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 1:15 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Trail Blazers’ 118-99 win over the Pistons on Friday, March. 13, at Moda Center.

Williams will serve his suspension tonight when the Pistons travel to Utah to play the Jazz. Freeland will serve his suspension on Sunday, March 15, when the Trail Blazers travel to Toronto to play the Raptors.

To view the play, click on this link.

CJ McCollum back in Blazers rotation

CJ McCollum back in Blazers rotation

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on the aftermath of the Wesley Matthews injury in Portland:

It’s not the circumstances he likely pictured, but Trail Blazers second year guard CJ McCollum is back in the role he envisioned for himself heading into the season.

He’s a top option off the bench for a Portland team making a playoff push.

Of course, now he’s backing up Arron Afflalo and not Wesley Matthews, but McCollum’s role, the minutes and opportunity are back to where they were in the beginning of the season.

“Take advantage of whatever minutes you get and continue to gain trust,” McCollum said of his mindset at Blazers on Monday. “That’s the biggest thing. The past is over with.”

Wesley Matthews suffers season-ending injury

Wesley Matthews suffers season-ending injury

Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews will miss the remainder of the season after rupturing his left Achilles tendon in Portland’s 94-75 win over the Dallas Mavericks Thursday at the Moda Center.

The injury occurred at the 10-minute mark of the third quarter.

Matthews posted averages of 15.9 points (44.8% FG, 38.8% 3-PT, 75.2% FT), 3.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.28 steals and 33.7 minutes in 60 games (all starts) for the Trail Blazers this season.

According to the Oregonian, “the Blazers initially announced that Matthews had a “left foot injury” and would not return to the game. Following magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests on Matthews’ left leg, the team updated his status saying he would miss the remainder the Blazers season with the Achilles injury. Rehab for a ruptured Achilles is usually projected between six to nine months. The Blazers have not announced if or when Matthews will undergo surgery for the injury.”

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