Archive for the ‘ Portland Trail Blazers Blog ’ Category

Portland guard CJ McCollum successfully underwent a non-operative ultrasound procedure today to repair the fifth metatarsal fracture in his left foot. The procedure, which is designed to promote bone growth, was performed at the OrthoCarolina Foot and Ankle Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina by Dr. Robert Anderson.

McCollum will remain sidelined indefinitely and will be reevaluated in six weeks.

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum will undergo a non-operative ultrasound procedure on Wednesday to repair the fifth metatarsal fracture in his left foot.

The procedure, which is designed to stimulate bone growth, will be performed at the OrthoCarolina Foot and Ankle Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina by Dr. Robert Anderson.

Mo Williams looking to do big things for Trail Blazers

On the eve of the Trail Blazers’ training camp, Mo Williams issued an unusual and confident pledge to the rest of the NBA:

“My slogan for the year is, I’m going to be a problem,” he said.

And for the first time in a Blazers uniform, he offered a glimpse of what that looks like.

On a night in which the defense continued to look like a work in progress, when the offense sputtered to another sluggish start, when the Blazers lost for the second time this exhibition season — 104-98 to the Phoenix Suns — there was one encouraging development Wednesday night at the Moda Center.

Williams finally played. And, after shaking off a little rust, he looked dynamic, electric and every bit capable of being a difference-maker.

Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

Several key Blazers are banged up

Several key Blazers are banged up

The Trail Blazers were back at practice Tuesday after making their preseason debut Monday in an 89-81 loss to the Clippers. That meant a little more court time for two of their key players, LaMarcus Aldridge and Mo Williams.

The veterans, who both sat out Monday’s game nursing injuries, went through Tuesday’s workout. Neither was sure if he would play in the team’s second exhibition game, against Phoenix at the Moda Center on Wednesday.

Aldridge continues to come back from a strained left quadriceps he suffered last Wednesday while running a sprint.

“I felt good,” Aldridge said. “We didn’t do a whole lot, but I felt good going up and down, a little sore, but that’s a given.”

Reported by Mike Tokito of the Oregonian

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Portland Trail Blazers rookie CJ McCollum broke his foot during practice Saturday and is out indefinitely

Terry Stotts initially told the media following practice Saturday that McCollum had sprained his foot and left practice early.

However, the Trail Blazers public relations department later announced via twitter around 4:30 this afternoon that McCollum sustained a fracture of the 5th metatarsal bone. The Trail Blazers announce that a date has not been announced for surgery.

Reported by Erik Gundersen of the Columbian

McCollum is figuring out life in the NBA, and in some ways, training camp will be a way for the Blazers to figure out McCollum, whom they acquired with the No. 10 pick of June’s draft. McCollum played well enough in summer league – averaging averaged 21.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists – that it seemed he might have a significant role in the Blazers’ rotation this season.

That might have changed Aug. 8, when the Blazers made a late acquisition, signing free agent point guard Mo Williams, a former All-Star who started for Utah last season.

Blazers coach Terry Stotts said Williams will be a key part of his “core” group, which will include starters Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez.

“Core guys aren’t going to change,” Stotts said.

Reported by Mike Tokito of the Oregonian

Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers have exercised their third-year options on Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard and Thomas Robinson, General Manager Neil Olshey announced today.

Lillard, the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, averaged 19.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists in his rookie campaign with the Trail Blazers. Only the fourth unanimous Kia NBA Rookie of the Year in league history and fourth Trail Blazer to win the award, Lillard finished last season as one of three rookies in NBA history with 1,500 points and 500 assists.

Leonard, the team’s 11th overall pick in last year’s draft, posted averages of 5.5 points and 3.7 rebounds on 54.5 percent shooting from the floor and 80.9 percent from the charity stripe in his first season with the Trail Blazers.

Robinson, entering his second season in the league, joined the Trail Blazers in a trade with the Houston Rockets on July 10, 2013 in exchange for the NBA rights to Kostas Papanikolaou and Marko Todorovic along with two future second round picks. In his rookie season, Robinson averaged 4.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 15.1 minutes in 70 games with Sacramento (51 games) and Houston (19 games).

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The Portland Trail Blazers have signed rookie forward Richard Howell, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey. We assume that this is a non-guaranteed contract that merely brings Howell to Blazers training camp and gives him a chance to prove himself worthy of a regular season contract.

Howell, 22, averaged 12.7 points (51.8% FG, 63.3% FT), 10.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 31.6 minutes his senior 2012-13 season at North Carolina State. A First Team All-ACC selection last season, Howell ranks fifth all-time in school history with 1,055 rebounds.

He appeared in three games for the Denver Nuggets 2013 NBA Summer League entry in Las Vegas, averaging 1.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.30 blocked shots and 10.7 minutes.

With the addition of Howell (6-8, 257), the Trail Blazers roster stands at 19 players.

The Idaho Stampede will hold exclusive player tryouts in advance of the team’s 2013-14 season, the 16th season in the team’s history.

The organization, under direction from the Portland Trail Blazers, the team’s single NBA affiliate, will host the tryouts in Boise on Sept. 21, 2013 at the Ada County Boys and Girls Club (610 E. 42nd Street, Boise, ID 83714) and in Portland on Sept. 28, 2013 at the Trail Blazers Practice Facility (7325 SW Childs Rd., Portland, OR 97224). Both tryouts will start with registration at 9 a.m. and end no later than 12 p.m.

These exclusive tryouts will offer players the opportunity to show their abilities in front of Stampede coaching and scouting staff, along with Trail Blazers personnel, with the chance of an invite to Stampede training camp.

Reported by the Oregonian

Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers are changing radio stations for the third time in three years.

The Blazers will air all preseason and regular season games on Fox Sports Radio AM 620 during the 2013-14 season, the team announced today.

The Blazers had been on AM 1190 KEX since last August. Both AM 1190 and AM 620 are owned by Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.

“We are excited about the opportunity to broadcast our games on a station the offers an all-sports format,” said Trail Blazers President & CEO Chris McGowan. “This transition also allows us to avoid any preemption throughout the course of the season.”

 Reported by Micah Rice of the Columbian 

Luke Babbitt agrees to play in Russia

Luke Babbitt agrees to play in Russia

Portland Trail Blazers free agent forward Luke Babbitt has agreed to a one-year deal with the Europe club BC Nizhny Novgorod of Russia, a league source informed CSNNW.com.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the fact that no announcement has been made, added that the deal does not contain an NBA-out clause.

Babbitt’s agent Bill Duffy confirmed the deal saying, “My take is Luke needs to play 30 minutes a game and play a more expanded role. We’ve had recent success with both Danny Green (of the San Antonio Spurs) and Patrick Beverley (of the Houston Rockets) getting an opportunity to develop their games in Europe and return to the NBA. The NBA is a league of opportunity. We feel strongly this is the best move for Luke at this time.”

Reported by Chris Haynes of CSNNW

Trail Blazers sign guard Dee Bost

Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers signed guard Dee Bost to a contract, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey. We assume this is a nonguaranteed contact that will bring Bost to training camp, where the team will evaluate him further.

Bost (6-2, 176) played four seasons at Mississippi State, where he averaged 15.8 points and 5.6 assists as a senior. Bost finished his career with 633 assists, tops in Mississippi State history and eighth all-time in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

Last season he played for Buducnost Podgorica in Montenegro where he averaged 8.3 points and 1.8 assists in 21.5 minutes per game.

Bost, 23, becomes the 17th player on the Trail Blazers’ current roster.

The Rose Garden is no more. The home arena of the Portland Trail Blazers is the same building, but with a new name.

The Portland Trail Blazers and Moda Health have unveiled a community partnership that changes the name of the Rose Garden to the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, effective immediately, in a 10-year agreement.

The agreement was jointly announced during a press conference today in the center’s South Atrium. At the request of Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen, the new logo for the Moda Center, when unveiled at a later date, will incorporate a rose as a salute to the city of Portland.

“These are the types of large-scale partnerships that are going to take our organization to the next level,” said Trail Blazers President & CEO Chris McGowan. “This agreement enables us to reinvest in the company and the team at levels that impact every aspect of the fan experience, including the facilities, amenities, events and even the product on the court.”

Physical transformation of the renamed arena and Rose Quarter will begin immediately, with new signage and other visual elements being added gradually. New graphics for the home court surface of the Trail Blazers will debut in time for the team’s 2013-14 regular season home opener on November 2 versus the defending Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs.

“Since our company was founded in 1955, we’ve invested in projects that create healthy people and healthy places,” said Dr. William Johnson, President of Moda Health. “This partnership reaffirms our commitment to this community as we invite people now to join us in creating in the heart of our city a neighborhood that celebrates healthy urban living. We know that together we can be more. Be better.”

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, in sounding his endorsement of the agreement, sees the new Moda Center as pivotal to the city’s plans for the Northeast Portland neighborhood that has been the home of the Rose Quarter since 1995.

“We know it’s always a blend of the right civic organizations and the right business partners,” Mayor Hales said. “In that, I suppose, it’s not too different from a coach picking a starting five. The Trail Blazers and Moda Health: that’s a great combination.”

When McGowan first arrived as Trail Blazers chief executive officer in November 2012, he placed a priority on finding a partner to revamp the Rose Quarter. To pilot that process, McGowan hired Los Angeles-based Premier Partnerships, one of the leading naming rights agencies in the country. Over the ensuing months, Premier Partnerships and the Trail Blazers engaged in presentations to and received proposals from numerous companies around the world.

“Though we never geographically limited the brands or companies willing to consider this opportunity, we hoped a locally-based partner would come to the forefront, and we are thrilled to be partnering with a company that shares our vision for the arena and the Rose Quarter,” said McGowan.

Mo Williams happy to join Trail Blazers

Williams said that he had other suitors, even teams where he could have filled in as the starting point guard. However, no destination seemed as tempting as Portland. In his eyes, Rip City is on the rise.

“I like everything that Neil (Olshey) is doing here,” said Williams, who has averaged 13.8 points (38.6 percent 3-point shooting), 5 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 10 NBA seasons. “When we talked, he was really passionate about making the playoffs and he knows the type of player and person that I am, that winning is really important to me.

“That’s why my decision took a long time because I wanted to make sure that I was in a position to win. That’s what I see here. That’s why I came here because I feel like I can be a piece of the puzzle for this organization, for these young guys.”

Reported by Candace Buckner of the Columbian

Portland Trail Blazers sign Mo Williams

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free agent guard Mo Williams, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Williams, 30, holds career averages of 13.8 points (44.0% FG, 38.6% 3PT, 86.9% FT), 2.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 0.95 steals in 10 seasons with Milwaukee, Cleveland, the L.A. Clippers and Utah.

“As a player, Mo is an explosive scorer and willing facilitator,” said Olshey. “As a person, his character and professionalism will set an outstanding example for our young players on the court, in the locker room and in the Portland community.”

An NBA All-Star in 2009, Williams averaged 12.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, a team-high 6.2 assists and 1.00 steal for the Jazz last season.

“I’m very excited to be back with Mo again,” said Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts. “He adds versatility, scoring and veteran leadership to the team.”

Williams (6-1, 195) played collegiately at Alabama and was selected by Utah with the 47th overall pick in the second round of the 2003 NBA Draft.

He will wear No. 7 for the Trail Blazers.

The NBA announced today that Terrel Harris of the Portland Trail Blazers has been suspended without pay for five games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program.

Harris’ suspension will begin with the first game of the next NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

According to the Associated Press, “Harris was acquired by the Blazers from the Pelicans in July as part of a three-way trade that brought Robin Lopez to Portland and sent guard Tyreke Evans went to the Pelicans and guard Greivis Vasquez to the Kings. Harris, a three-year veteran, has played for Miami and New Orleans, averaging 2.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 42 games.”

Meyers Leonard may do big things for Trail Blazers

He’s out of position too often. He’s awkward at times, and the only thing that’s consistent about his game is that it’s reliably inconsistent. In fact, the Trail Blazers spent a good portion of their summer seeking a player who could make him a back-up. But every time I see Meyers Leonard on the basketball floor I believe he will one day be the answer in Portland.

Leonard turned 21 last NBA season. And if you want to polarize your next cocktail party, wait for a lull, and ask for a show of hands of those who believe Leonard will one day start a playoff game at center for the Blazers. Because this city is no longer Eastside vs. Westside. It’s not hipsters vs. yuppies. As division goes, there are those who believe Leonard will blossom, and those who think he’s a stiff.

I see a star.

Far as we know, Leonard spent his summer league hacking opponents around the basketball and tweeting about various Cirque du Soleil shows on the Vegas strip. But he also attended a Big Man’s Camp, and got stronger, and worked on his footwork.

Reported by John Canzano of the Oregonian

Trail Blazers sign guard Earl Watson

Trail Blazers sign guard Earl Watson

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed veteran free agent guard Earl Watson, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Watson, 34, owns career averages of 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.02 steals and 22.6 minutes in 12 NBA seasons with Seattle, Memphis, Denver, Oklahoma City, Indiana and Utah. As a veteran, it’s expected Watson will just provide backup minutes off the bench.

“Earl is a consummate professional and one of the most competitive players I have ever been around,” said Olshey. “His leadership, command presence and ability to affect games with his defense are attributes we value highly, and specifically targeted in our search for players at his position.”

Watson (6-1, 200) spent the past three seasons playing for Utah, where he averaged 2.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 17.3 minutes in 48 games last season.

UCLA’s all-time leader in steals (235) and minutes played (4,371), Watson was selected by Seattle with the 40th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft.

He will wear No. 25 for the Trail Blazers.

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed rookie guard CJ McCollum, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Portland selected McCollum, 21, with the 10th overall pick in last month’s NBA Draft. The Canton, Ohio, native averaged 21.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.05 steals and 32.9 minutes in 111 games over four seasons at Lehigh.

All players selected in the first round of the draft are guaranteed to receive a contract. So, this signing was standard and expected.

A two-time Patriot League Player of the Year, McCollum is the all-time scoring leader in league history with 2,361 career points. McCollum (6-3, 200) is the first player from Lehigh ever selected in the NBA Draft.

He will wear No. 3 for the Trail Blazers.

Pelicans trade Robin Lopez to Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired center Robin Lopez and guard Terrel Harris from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for the draft rights to Jeff Withey, future second round draft considerations and cash, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Lopez, 25, averaged career-highs of 11.3 points (53.4 FG%), 5.6 rebounds, 1.56 blocked shots and 26.0 minutes in 82 starts last season with New Orleans.

“Robin is a starting-caliber center coming off the best year of his career,” said Olshey. “He fills a void at a position we made a priority this offseason, and his size, ability to protect the rim and emerging offensive game are all key elements in achieving our goal of having more of a presence in the paint on both ends of the floor this season.”

Lopez (7-0, 255) holds career averages of 7.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 17.4 minutes over five seasons with New Orleans and Phoenix. He spent his first four years with the Suns after being drafted with the 15th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft out of Stanford.

He will wear No. 42 for the Trail Blazers.

Harris, 25, played 20 games for Miami and New Orleans last season, posting averages of 0.8 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 6.9 minutes. Owning career averages of 2.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists in two NBA seasons, Harris (6-4, 195) appeared in four postseason games for Miami during the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

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