Archive for the ‘ Portland Trail Blazers Blog ’ Category

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.

Trail Blazers sign rookie Zach Collins

Trail Blazers sign rookie Zach Collins

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed center Zach Collins to his rookie contract, it was announced yesterday by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

Acquired in a draft day trade with Sacramento, Collins (7-0, 230) was selected with the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft.

Collins (7-0, 230) posted averages of 10.0 points (65.2% FG, 47.6% 3-PT, 74.3% FT), 5.9 rebounds and 1.77 blocks in his lone season at Gonzaga.

In his freshman season, Collins, 19, led the West Coast Conference in field goal percentage and blocked shots (69), good for second-most in a season in Gonzaga history. A WCC All-Conference Second Team selection as well as a member of the WCC All-Freshman Team, Collins averaged 9.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.00 blocks during the 2017 NCAA Tournament while guiding Gonzaga to its first National Championship Game appearance.

In a Final Four matchup against South Carolina, Collins, a Las Vegas native, recorded 14 points (6-10 FG, 1-1 3-PT), 13 rebounds and six blocks.

Collins 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. 33 for the Trail Blazers.

Blazers trade Tim Quarterman to Rockets

The Portland Trail Blazers have traded guard Tim Quarterman to the Houston Rockets in exchange for cash considerations, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

“We thank Tim for his contributions to the team and wish him all the best for the future,” said Olshey.

Quarterman, 22, appeared in 16 games for the Trail Blazers during his rookie 2016-17 season with the team, posting averages of 1.9 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 5.0 minutes.

Portland originally signed Quarterman as an undrafted free agent out of LSU on July 25, 2016.

Allen Crabbe undergoes foot surgery

Allen Crabbe undergoes foot surgery

Portland Trail Blazers guard Allen Crabbe underwent successful surgery to repair a stress reaction of the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

Crabbe is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in September.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Martin O’Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

In 79 games (7 starts) this season, Crabbe averaged 10.7 points (48.8% FG, 44.4% 3-PT, 84.7% FT), 2.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists. The NBA’s second most accurate 3-point shooter at 44.4%, Crabbe posted the highest percentage from beyond the arc in franchise history by a player with 100-plus 3-pointers.

Allen Crabbe to undergo foot surgery

Allen Crabbe to undergo foot surgery

Portland Trail Blazers guard Allen Crabbe will undergo surgery Thursday to repair a stress reaction of the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

The surgery will be performed by Dr. Martin O’Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

In 79 games (7 starts) this season, Crabbe averaged 10.7 points (48.8% FG, 44.4% 3-PT, 84.7% FT), 2.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists. The NBA’s second most accurate 3-point shooter at 44.4%, Crabbe posted the highest percentage from beyond the arc in franchise history by a player with 100-plus 3-pointers.

Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, who was part of the big Trail Blazers turnaround that took place when he arrived from the team in trade from the Nuggets, has a fracture in his leg but is returning much earlier than anticipated and will be playing hurt against the Warriors. Here’s CSNNW reporting:

From doubtful to starting! The Bosnian Beast is back!

The Trail Blazers announced Nurkić will play in Game 3 vs. the Golden State Warriors at the Moda Center Saturday night.

Nurkic fractured fibula in his right leg on March 28th and was expected to miss at least two weeks before he was re-assessed.

Before the series, Nurkić told reporters, “if it was up to me I’d play right now.”

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) shows Portland center Jusuf Nurkić has a non-displaced right leg fibular fracture, it was announced today by Neil Olshey, Trail Blazers president of basketball operations.

Nurkić will be sidelined for two weeks, at which time he will be reevaluated.

In 20 games since joining Portland, Nurkic is averaging 15.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.25 assists in 29.2 minutes.

The NBA announced today that the March 6 game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves, which was postponed due to unsafe playing conditions on the arena floor, has been rescheduled for Monday, April 3 at 6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET at Target Center.

Festus Ezeli undergoes season-ending surgery

Trail Blazers center Festus Ezeli, who hasn’t played at all this season, underwent surgery on his left knee, team president of basketball operations Neil Olshey announced today.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Robert LaPrade at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado.

Ezeli will miss the remainder of the 2016-17 season.

Ezeli spent the first three seasons of his NBA career as a member of the Warriors. The Blazers, who at 27-35 have the 9th best record in the Western conference through Tuesday’s games, were counting on him as a defensive, rebound-grabbing presence. They’ll have to wait until next season to see what he can do.

Ed Davis undergoes season-ending shoulder surgery

Trail Blazers center Ed Davis underwent successful arthroscopic surgery today to stabilize the labrum in his left shoulder, it was announced by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

Davis will be out for the remainder of the 2016-17 season, but is expected to be ready for the 2017-18 training camp.

The NBA game scheduled for this evening between the Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center in Minneapolis, MN has been postponed due to unsafe playing conditions on the arena floor.

The game will be rescheduled at a later date.

Trail Blazers center Festus Ezeli is expected to undergo surgery next week on his left knee, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

While the exact surgery date is pending, it will be performed by Dr. Robert LaPrade at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado.

Ezeli will be out for the remainder of the 2016-17 season.

Evan Turner has a broken hand

Evan Turner has a broken hand

Further medical evaluation confirms that Portland guard Evan Turner sustained a fracture of the third metacarpal in his right hand.

He is expected to be sidelined for 5-6 weeks. The injury will not require surgery.

Turner injured his hand during the third quarter of Portland’s 114-113 win at Dallas on Tuesday.

In 50 games (10 starts) this season, Turner, 28, is posting averages of 9.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists.

Cavaliers and Trail Blazers trade draft picks

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired an unprotected first round draft pick from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for a 2018 first round pick, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

The 2018 pick sent to Cleveland was originally acquired from the Cavaliers along with Anderson Varejao in exchange for a future second round selection on Feb. 18, 2016.

Portland now holds two first round selections in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Damian Lillard says Blazers need to get mean

Three of the last four Player of the Week winners in the NBA have used the Portland Trail Blazers’ porous defense as a springboard to earn the weekly honors.

The huge nights from Jimmy Butler, Anthony Davis and Kevin Love left Damian Lillard pondering the missing element behind Portland’s inability to slow down opponents this season. His solution is straightforward: The Blazers need a mean streak.

“That might be the change that needs to be made … is us just not being the nice team (where) everybody likes each other,” Lillard said following Blazers practice on Monday. “That’s a great story, but maybe we’ve got to play a much more mean game.”

From the outside, it seems like teams don’t feel much resistance going against the Blazers’ defense. Portland struggles guarding pick and rolls and locating opposing players in transition.

Oregonian

Quick Take: The Blazers are 9-10 this season. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are having excellent seasons. But the Blazers’ main story this season has been their defense. It’s been miserable. The squad has a league-worst defensive efficiency, through yesterday’s games.

Trail Blazers exercise contract options on Noah Vonleh and Shabazz Napier

The Portland Trail Blazers have exercised the fourth-year contract options on forward Noah Vonleh and guard Shabazz Napier.

Vonleh, 21, posted averages of 3.6 points (42.1% FG, 74.5% FT), 3.9 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 15.1 minutes in 78 games (56 starts) last season with the Trail Blazers after being acquired from the Charlotte Hornets on June 24, 2015. Vonleh was the ninth overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Acquired on July 7 from the Orlando Magic in exchange for cash considerations, Napier, 24, has averaged 4.4 points (36.1% FG, 34.7% 3-PT, 76.2% FT), 1.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 15.2 minutes over two seasons with the Miami Heat and Orlando. Napier was originally selected as the 24th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Mason Plumlee played and started all 82 games last season for the Trail Blazers, averaging 9.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 25.4 minutes per outing. Although those assist numbers don’t pop out, Plumlee is versatile, an excellent passer, and nobody would be surprised were he to eventually put up a triple-double in a game. Here’s CSNNW with more:

Mason Plumlee and the pursuit of a triple-double

The growing question among the Trail Blazers is not whether center Mason Plumlee will record a triple-double this season, but how many.

“Oh, I can see him getting a lot of them,’’ Damian Lillard said Wednesday after Plumlee had eight points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in 24 minutes in the Blazers’ 88-84 exhibition win at Utah.

Two developments have led teammates to predict the esteemed accomplishment of recording double-figures in three categories.

First, Plumlee has developed a mid-range jump shot, which this preseason has graduated from offseason experiment to a legitimate part of his arsenal…

Second, the Blazers have added new offensive sets this season that will more often feature him in play-making positions. The new role builds off his effective playoffs, when he helped pick apart the Clippers with his athleticism, decision-making and passing.

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