Archive for the ‘ Portland Trail Blazers Blog ’ Category

The Portland Trail Blazers in 2015-16 look nothing like last season’s edition. A lot of key players left, and they’re going to take wins along with them. But as the Oregonian says — and we agree — this year’s Blazers should still be plenty of fun to watch:

Blazers should be fun to watch this season

The latest and perhaps most dramatic example of this came in an exhibition game Sunday night, when the Blazers overcame a 21-point deficit to beat the Utah Jazz in overtime, 116-111, before 16,532 at the Moda Center.

Never mind that three Jazz starters didn’t play. Or that most of Utah’s key rotation players rested for the bulk of the fourth quarter and overtime after building that sizeable lead. The young-and-hungry Blazers refused to end the night without putting on a show, riding the hot hand of CJ McCollum, the prolific scoring of Damian Lillard and the impressive defense of Ed Davis to outscore Utah 50-27 over the final 17 minutes.

“This is a young team, athletic and we have an All-Star point guard, so every night we’re going to be in games,” Davis said. “We’re going to fight, it’s going to be a long season, it’s going to be a lot of up and downs. But every night we’re going to fight and give it our best effort.”

For much of the night, it looked like it would be one of those nights where the effort wasn’t enough. Instead, with more than one memorable highlight and plenty of late-game drama, the effort and success went hand-in-hand.

Minor injury scare for Damian Lillard

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on Damian Lillard, the heart and sole of the Portland Trail Blazers. Lillard has managed to play all 82 games in each of his three regular seasons, and to keep things that way may want to cut down on his preseason minutes:

Minor injury scare for Damian Lillard

It was the one sight no Trail Blazers fan wanted to see Thursday: Damian Lillard limping off the court.

But there was the Blazers’ star at the end of the third quarter, hobbling off the court with a wince because of a re-aggravated left ankle sprain.

Although Lillard called the injury “minor” it was enough of a scare to cause him to reverse his thinking about his play moving forward this preseason.

“I need to stay off the floor,” Lillard conceded after Thursday’s 118-101 exhibition victory over Golden State.

The Trail Blazers beat the Warriors 118-101 yesterday. It’s just preseason, but for a rebuilding squad like Portland any sign of positivity is welcome. Here’s the Oregonian reporting:

Allen Crabbe steps up in Blazers preseason win

Allen Crabbe played his best game with the Blazers, Damian Lillard powered through a tough shooting night and the Blazers saw a wide range of contributions from virtually everyone who played. Eleven players scored and nine recorded an assist as the Blazers leaned on their entire roster.

But none was better than Crabbe, who finished with 25 points and four assists on 9-for-12 shooting, including 5-of-6 from three-point range. He swished threes, buried pull-up jumpers in transition and nailed midrange shots from all over the court. Crabbe was such a factor, he recorded a ridiculous plus-minus of plus-42. It was the first time he’s scored 20 or more points in any pre-or-regular season game with the Blazers.

As he scored from everywhere, his teammates followed suit. Lillard recorded 22 points, six rebounds and three assists, shaking off a 3-for-18 shooting night by making 15 free throws. CJ McCollum had 19 points and five assists, Al-Farouq Aminu had 11 points and eight rebounds and Pat Connaughton added 10 points. Every Blazer played less than 29 minutes as Stotts opted to limited minutes.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard averaged 21.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game last season. Enjoy this video showcasing some of his best highlights:

Blazers exercise options on CJ McCollom, Mason Plumlee, Noah Vonleh

The Portland Trail Blazers have exercised team options on guard CJ McCollum (fourth year), center Mason Plumlee (fourth year) and forward Noah Vonleh (third year), it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.

McCollum, the 10th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, holds averages of 6.3 points, 1.4 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 14.5 minutes in 100 career games in his first two seasons with Portland.

Plumlee, the 22nd overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft by Brooklyn, has averaged 8.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.77 blocks and 19.9 minutes in 152 games during his first two NBA seasons. Portland acquired Plumlee and the draft rights to guard Pat Connaughton from Brooklyn for guard Steve Blake and the draft rights to forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Vonleh, the ninth overall pick by Charlotte in the 2014 NBA Draft, appeared in 25 games for the Hornets during his rookie season, averaging 3.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.2 assists in 10.4 minutes. Portland acquired Vonleh and guard Gerald Henderson from Charlotte in exchange for forward Nicolas Batum.

The Portland Trail Blazers have promoted Jim Moran to assistant coach on Head Coach Terry Stotts’ staff, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.

“I am excited to add Jim to our coaching staff,” said Stotts. “He is a young coach with a bright future. He has a terrific work ethic coupled with a refreshing personality. He has already demonstrated a unique ability to work with our players and he will add a new perspective for us.”

Moran joins a staff that includes fellow assistant coaches Jay Triano, David Vanterpool, Nate Tibbetts and Dale Osbourne.

Moran begins his first year on the Trail Blazers bench in 2015-16 after spending last season in Portland as an associate video coordinator. A player development coach for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League in 2013, Moran played his entire professional career for CB Gran Canaria in the Spanish ACB League from 2001-11.

He is the only player in team history to have his number retired by Gran Canaria, finishing his career with 2,060 points, 802 rebounds and 321 assists. Moran played collegiately at William & Mary, where he was twice named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association Team his junior and senior seasons. A native of Syosset, New York, Moran played for the Irish Men’s National Team from 2001-06.

This summer, basketball teams around the world are trying to lock down spots in the 2016 Olympics. Here’s the Oregonian reporting on a new member of the Portland Trail Blazers:

Al-Farouq Aminu steps up for Nigeria at AfroBasket

Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu helped Nigeria get one step close to qualifying for the 2016 Olympics on Wednesday. Aminu led his home country to an 88-63 win over the Central African Republic at the AfroBasket, a FIBA tournament held in Tunisia in which the winner earns an automatic bid to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

Aminu scored a team-high 15 points to go with eight rebounds and three assists in just over 20 minutes of playing time. He hit 6 of 8 shots and added an impressive dunk in the opening minutes of the game when he finished a half court alley-oop lob from teammate Olaseni Lawal.

Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has taken his talents to San Antonio, but feel free to enjoy some of these memories of his time on the Portland Trail Blazers:

Trail Blazers waive Brendan Haywood

Trail Blazers waive Brendan Haywood

The Portland Trail Blazers have waived center Brendan Haywood, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.

Portland acquired Haywood, guard Mike Miller and two future second round draft picks from the Cleveland Cavaliers on July 27 in exchange for cash considerations.

According to the Oregonian, “the Blazers acquired Haywood on Monday, along with sharpshooter Mike Miller, in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland moved Haywood to shed his $10.5 million salary and gain luxury tax relief, and the Blazers — who acquired two second round draft picks in the deal — never planned to keep him on their roster.”

Cavs trade Mike Miller, Brendan Haywood to Blazers

The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded center Brendan Haywood, guard/forward Mike Miller and two future second round draft picks to Portland, General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

As a result of the trade, the Cavs will receive two trade exceptions of approximately $10.5 million and $2.8 million, respectively. The two draft picks that Cleveland is sending to Portland in the deal are the Cavaliers’ own 2020 second round draft pick, and the more favorable of Minnesota’s own 2019 second round draft pick and the Los Angeles Lakers’ own 2019 second round draft pick.

Haywood, a 13-year veteran, has played in 816 games (549 starts) with Washington, Dallas, Charlotte and Cleveland, averaging 6.8 points on .528 shooting from the field, 6.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 22.9 minutes per game. This past season with the Cavs, he played in 22 games (one start) and averaged 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds in 5.4 minutes per game.

Miller, a 15-year veteran, owns career averages of 11.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 28.3 minutes over 965 games (568 starts) with Orlando, Memphis, Washington, Miami and Cleveland. During the 2014-15 regular season, he played in 52 games (15 starts) with Cleveland and averaged 2.1 points and 1.8 rebounds in 13.5 minutes per game.

Here’s reporting on an agreed trade that should be official soon:

Mike Miller and Brendan Haywood being sent to Blazers

The Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to trade Mike Miller and Brendan Haywood to the Portland Trail Blazers in a deal aimed to create future options and save luxury-tax money, sources told

The Blazers will likely cut Haywood and could eventually work a buyout with Miller and will receive two future second-round picks from the Cavs for facilitating the deal with their cap space.

The Cavs will create two trade exceptions with the move, one for $10.5 million, which will be the largest active trade exception in the league, and the other for $2.94 million. The Cavs will also receive cash in the deal, sources said.

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard Phil Pressey and forward Cliff Alexander, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.

Pressey, 24, holds NBA averages of 3.1 points (33.3% FG, 35.7% 3-PT, 66.0% FT), 1.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 125 games (11 starts) over the past two seasons with the Boston Celtics.

Undrafted out of Missouri, Pressey (5-11, 175) averaged career highs in scoring (11.9 ppg) and assists (7.0 apg) his junior 2012-13 season, finishing No. 13 nationally in assists per game on his way to First Team All-SEC and All-SEC tournament honors.

Also undrafted, Alexander, 19, averaged 7.1 points (56.6% FG, 67.1% FT), 5.3 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 1.32 blocked shots in one season at Kansas in 2014-15. His field goal percentage led Kansas and ranked fourth in the Big 12 last season.

The 2014 Naismith Boys High School Player of the Year, Alexander (6-8, 240) was a 2014 McDonald’s All-American, a member of Team USA at the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit and earned co-MVP honors at the 2014 Jordan Brand Classic.

Allen Crabbe out with sprained ankle

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on a Trail Blazers summer league injury:

Allen Crabbe out with sprained ankle

The Trail Blazers will be without shooting guard Allen Crabbe the rest of Las Vegas Summer League. But they will have him back well before the start of training camp.

A magnetic resonance imaging test performed on Crabbe’s left ankle revealed a ’severe sprain’ but did not show any serious damage, the team announced on Thursday.

His recovery is expected to take four to six weeks, so he will not play again in Las Vegas but will be back with time to spare before the start of the 2015-16 season.

Magic trade Maurice Harkless to Blazers

Magic trade Maurice Harkless to Blazers

The Orlando Magic have acquired a conditional future second round draft pick from Portland in exchange for forward Maurice Harkless, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Harkless played in 45 games (four starts) last season with Orlando, averaging 3.5 ppg. and 2.4 rpg. in 15.0 minpg. He led (or tied) the team in assists once. Harkless scored in double figures three times, including a season-high 18 points on Mar. 18 @ Dallas.

Originally selected by Philadelphia in the first round (15th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft, Harkless was acquired by the Magic on Aug. 10, 2012 as part of a four-team, 12 player deal. He has appeared in 201 career NBA regular season games (104 starts), all with Orlando, averaging 6.8 ppg., 3.5 rpg. and 1.08 stlpg. in 22.9 minpg.

Trail Blazers sign guard Luis Montero

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

Montero, 22, worked out for the Trail Blazers prior to the NBA Draft and is on the team’s 2015 NBA Summer League roster.

Playing for Westchester Community College in 2013-14, Montero averaged 15.6 points (52.9% FG, 43.7% 3-PT, 67.2% FT), 5.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

A native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Montero (6-7, 185) played high school basketball at Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Massachusetts.

Trail Blazers sign Damian Lillard to contract extension

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard Damian Lillard to a contract extension, bringing the two-time NBA All-Star under contract through the 2020-21 season, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.

According to, “the deal is the maximum five-year extension worth $120 million. The extension kicks in with the 2016-17 season.”

Lillard, 24, has career averages of 20.2 points (42.9% FG, 36.8% 3-PT, 86.1% FT), 3.8 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 0.95 steals and 36.7 minutes in three seasons with the Trail Blazers.

“I’m grateful to the Trail Blazers organization for believing in me with this contract extension,” said Lillard. “The city of Portland has made me feel welcome since the day I arrived. My family and I have made Portland our home.

“I feel fortunate to be a part of a great organization and community. I’m proud of what we’ve created together as a team and I’m excited to keep building.”

Selected by Portland with the sixth overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft out of Weber State, Lillard holds the NBA record for most 3-pointers in a player’s first three seasons (599), while becoming the first NBA player since 2003-04 to record 4,000 points and 1,200 assists in his first 200 games.

“From the day he arrived in Portland, Damian has embodied all of the characteristics we value and expect as a player and a person,” said Olshey. “The level of commitment we are making to one another provides the foundation our organization will be built on. We could not find a finer example of the organizational culture we are working to create than Damian.”

Lillard set new career highs in points (21.0 ppg), rebounds (3.8 rpg), assists (6.1 apg), steals (1.18 spg) and field goal percentage (43.4%) during the 2014-15 season.

The first NBA player in 14 years to start in all 82 games for the same team in each of his first three seasons, Lillard represented Portland as an NBA All-Star in 2014 and 2015, earning All-NBA Third Team honors in 2013-14.

Lillard is one of four players in league history to be the unanimous NBA Rookie of the Year after winning the award in 2013.

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.

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