Archive for the ‘ Portland Trail Blazers Blog ’ Category

Rockets trade Thomas Robinson to Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired forward Thomas Robinson from the Houston Rockets in exchange for the NBA rights to Kostas Papnikolaou and Marko Todorovic along with two future second round picks, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Robinson, 22, is entering his second NBA season after averaging 4.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 15.1 minutes in 70 games with Sacramento (51 games) and Houston (19 games) in 2012-13.

“Thomas is a dynamic young big man with tremendous upside,” said Olshey. “He is an elite athlete and brings a unique set of physical tools to our roster. He has the potential to be one of the best young power forwards in the league and his development will be a priority for us.”

Drafted by Sacramento with the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Robinson (6-10, 237) played three seasons at Kansas, where he averaged 17.1 points (50.5%), 11.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.08 steals and 31.8 minutes in 39 games his junior year. A consensus First Team All-American in 2011-12, he earned the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year Award as a junior.

Trail Blazers sign Dorell Wright

Trail Blazers sign Dorell Wright

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free agent forward Dorell Wright, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Wright, 27, holds career NBA averages of 9.3 points (43.1% FG, 36.7% 3-PT, 81.1% FT), 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in nine seasons with Miami, Golden State and Philadelphia.

“Dorell brings a versatile skill set on both sides of the ball,” said Olshey. “He gives us the ability to stretch defenses on the offensive end while guarding multiple positions defensively.”

Wright’s 434 3-pointers made over the past three seasons rank fourth in the NBA during that span. He led the league with 194 3-pointers in 2010-11.

Selected by Miami with the 19th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft out of South Kent Prep, Wright (6-9, 205) averaged 9.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 79 games (eight starts) last season with Philadelphia.

Wright will wear No. 1 for the Trail Blazers.

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

The reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year, Crabbe, 21, begins his NBA career with the Trail Blazers after finishing his junior season at the University of California.
Portland acquired Crabbe, selected with the 31st overall pick, from Cleveland on draft day in exchange for two future second round picks.

Crabbe (6-6, 210) averaged 15.7 points (44.6% FG, 38.2% 3-PT, 81.9% FT), 5.7 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in three seasons at California. His 209 3-pointers rank third in school history.

He will wear No. 23 for the Trail Blazers.

Dorell Wright

Free agent wing Dorell Wright has agreed to sign a two-year contract for $6 million with the Trail Blazers, agent Greg Lawrence said.

The signing won’t become official until Wednesday.

“He was really impressed with Coach Stotts and Neil (Olshey) and how they thought he would fit in,” Lawrence said. “He’s excited about playing with (Damian) Lillard and he likes the city.”

Wright, a 6-foot-9 sharp-shooter, last season averaged 9.2 points and 3.8 rebounds as a reserve for Philadelphia.

Reported by Jason Quick of the Oregonian

The Portland Trail Blazers selected CJ McCollum, Jeff Withey and Marko Todorovic in the 2013 NBA Draft. Portland acquired the draft rights to Allen Crabbe, the 31st overall pick, from Cleveland in exchange for a 2015 second round pick and a 2016 second round selection. The Trail Blazers also traded 40th overall pick Grant Jerrett to the Oklahoma City Thunder for cash considerations.

“It was a great night for our team,” said Trail Blazers Owner Paul Allen. “CJ McCollum was the player we wanted going into the draft, and I’m very excited to watch him thrill our fans in the Rose Garden next season.”

Portland selected McCollum, 21, with the 10th overall pick. 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. 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 (6-4, 200) is the first player from Lehigh ever selected in the NBA Draft.

“We’re pleased with how tonight went because we were able to select the players we identified as priorities in addition to some that we didn’t think would be available given our original draft range,” said General Manager Neil Olshey. “Now we’ll get into Summer League, see what we have on the floor with our young guys and add high-caliber veterans as we work to create a more competitive team for next season.”

The Trail Blazers selected Withey, 23, out of Kansas with the 39th overall pick. The two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year is the Big 12’s career leader with 312 blocks. Withey (7-0, 235) averaged 8.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.67 blocks and 19.8 minutes in 117 games over four seasons.

Portland drafted Todorovic, 21, with the 45th overall selection. The Podgorica, Montenegro, native made his Spanish ACB league debut with DKV Joventut Badalona at the age of 18. Todorovic (6-10, 243) spent the 2012-13 season with F.C. Barcelona, averaging 2.3 points, 1.5 rebounds and 6.0 minutes in 20 games.

Crabbe (6-6, 210) played three seasons at California, averaging 15.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 34.7 minutes in 98 games. He was named Pac-12 Player of the Year by coaches in 2013 when he garnered All-Pac-12 honors for the third consecutive season. Crabbe, 21, led all Pac-12 players as a junior last season with 607 points scored.

Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers hope to strike gold for a second consecutive year during Thursday night’s draft.

A year ago, Portland used the No. 6 pick to select Weber State guard Damian Lillard, who became the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. The Blazers pick at No. 10 this year.

What Blazers management has thought about this year’s draft in recent weeks is anyone’s guess. Portland general manager Neil Olshey and coach Terry Stotts haven’t spoken to the media since the team’s first individual draft workouts in late May. But Olshey has often said the team’s preference is to take the best available player over need.

The Blazers’ needs include a defensive-oriented post player and depth. During a season in which Portland went 33-49, starters LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Lillard ranked among the NBA’s top 10 in minutes played because of a thin bench.

Though some have tabbed this year’s draft as weak to average, the Blazers believe there are players available who can improve their roster.

Reported by the Associated Press

The Trail Blazers on Friday continued their predraft workouts, evaluating six more players at the practice facility in Tualatin.

The group of prospects included multiple players with NBA bloodlines (Glen Rice, Jr., a 6-foot-5 guard from the D-League and Larry Drew II, a 6-2 guard from UCLA) and another with ties to Oregon (E.J. Singler, a 6-6 forward from Oregon). The rest of the workout included: Ian Clark, a 6-3 guard from Belmont; Ed Daniel, a 6-7 forward from Murray State; and Trevor Mbakwe, a 6-8 forward from Minnesota.

Reported by Joe Freeman of The Oregonian

The next phase of the Trail Blazers’ 2013 offseason begins on Thursday, when the team hosts its first predraft workout in preparation for the NBA Draft.

Blazers GM Neil Olshey does not release the name’s of predraft visitors until shortly before workouts open to the media, so it’s unclear who the visitors will be or how many prospects will be roaming the practice facility in Tualatin. But it’s an important day, nonetheless.

NBA front offices place significant value on predraft workouts. Sure, Olshey and his staff have evaluated many of these players extensively for nearly a year. In some cases, they’ve been monitoring the players since they were in high school. But bringing them to Portland allows the Blazers’ brass to put them through tailor-made workouts and to test their athleticism and basketball ability in a variety of ways.

Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

Wesley Matthews has elbow procedure

Wesley Matthews has elbow procedure

Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews has undergone an arthroscopic procedure on his left elbow.

Matthews’ recovery should take three to four weeks. The procedure, an arthroscopic debridement, was performed at a St. Louis hospital on Wednesday.

Reported by the Associated Press 

A look at Trail Blazers offseason needs

If the Blazers keep their lottery pick — and that’s a big if as it appears Olshey will look for willing trade partners — it is likely the team pursues a shooting guard.

The Blazers have four pressing needs this offseason: a starting center, a backup point guard, a high-scoring shooting guard and depth at small forward. With $11.6 million in cap room, a lottery pick and three second-round picks, they have enough assets to probably solve two, maybe three, of those issues this summer.

Olshey has been frank about searching for a starting center either in free agency or via trade. Olshey has also expressed an interest in retaining Eric Maynor as his backup point guard, which will likely come using a $2.6 million exception for teams over the cap.

This draft class is largely considered a down class, but if there is a strength, it is at shooting guard, where Ben McLemore (Kansas), Victor Oladipo (Indiana), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Georgia), Franklin and Glen Rice Jr. (Georgia Tech/Development League) as well as combo guards like CJ McCollum (Lehigh) and Carter-Williams.

– Reported by Jason Quick of the Oregonian

The Portland Trail Blazers have hired Nate Tibbetts as an assistant coach, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Tibbetts, 35, joins Head Coach Terry Stotts’ staff from the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he served as an assistant coach for the past two seasons.

“Nate is an exceptional addition to our staff and I am very excited to welcome him to the Trail Blazers,” said Stotts. “He possesses a strong work ethic and a passion for coaching. He has been instrumental in developing young players in the D-League and in the NBA. Additionally, his successful head coaching experience in the D-League provides a unique ability, which will complement our current staff.

“Along with the rest of the staff, he will also assist in game plan preparation and execution.”

Prior to joining the Cavaliers, Tibbetts spent two seasons as head coach of the NBA Development League’s Tulsa 66ers. He guided the Oklahoma City Thunder’s D-League affiliate to a 64-41 (.610) record and two trips to the playoffs during his tenure there.

Tibbetts was selected to be the United States head coach in the 2011 Pan American Games, where he led the group of D-League players to a bronze medal, USA’s first medal since 1999.

Tibbetts was a member of the D-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce coaching staff for four seasons and was promoted to head coach after his first two campaigns. The former University of South Dakota standout was an assistant coach at the University of Sioux Falls from 2001-05.

He joins current assistants Jay Triano, David Vanterpool, Kim Hughes and Dale Osbourne on Portland’s coaching staff.

2012-13 NBA All-Rookie Teams

2012-13 NBA All-Rookie Teams

The Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard, the unanimous selection for the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year, headlines the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie First Team, the NBA announced today.

Lillard was the lone unanimous First Team selection (58 points, 29 First Team votes), while the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal and the New Orleans Hornets’ Anthony Davis totaled 57 points each, including 28 First Team votes. Rounding out the 2012-13 NBA All-Rookie First Team are Dion Waiters of the Cleveland Cavaliers (50 points, 21 First Team) and Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors (47 points, 18 First Team).

The voting panel consisted of the NBA’s 30 head coaches, who were asked to select five players for the first team and five players for the second team, regardless of position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team. Two points were awarded for first team votes and one for second team votes.

Lillard, the sixth overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, made a clean sweep of the NBA Rookie of the Month Award in the Western Conference this season. Among first-year players, Lillard ranked first in scoring (19.0 ppg), assists (6.5 apg) and minutes (38.6 mpg). According to NBA.com/Stats, the Trail Blazers had an offensive rating of 105.0 points (per 100 possessions) when Lillard was on the court compared with 93.5 points when he was on the bench.

For the season, Beal averaged 13.9 points to go along with 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists. On the season, he recorded 13 games of 20-plus points and six games with a least four three-pointers made. The overall top selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, Davis excelled after the All-Star break, averaging 15.3 points on .520 shooting from the field and 9.3 rebounds. He posted 11 double-doubles. Overall, Davis averaged 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds 1.8 blocks and, 1.2 steals in 64 games.

Sporting averages of 14.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 28.8 minutes per game, Waiters scored in double figures 45 times, including 14 games of 20 points or more. While his 81 regular-season starts ranked second among rookies, (Lillard, 82 games), Barnes helped the Warriors secure a playoff spot by averaging 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 25.8 mpg.

The NBA All-Rookie Second Team consists of the Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond (35 points, 10 First Team), the Toronto Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas (31 points, six First Team), the Charlotte Bobcats’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (29 points, three First Team), the Detroit Pistons’ Kyle Singler (17 points, one First Team), and the Cavaliers’ Tyler Zeller (15 points, three First Team).

Damian Lillard wins 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year award

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is the recipient of the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy as the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year, the NBA announced today. Lillard was a unanimous selection, having totaled 605 points as he received all 121 first-place votes from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers was the last unanimous selection (2010-11).

The New Orleans Hornets’ Anthony Davis finished second with 306 points and the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal finished third with 94 points. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

Among first-year players, Lillard ranked first in scoring (19.0 ppg), assists (6.5 apg) and minutes (38.6 mpg). According to NBA.com/Stats, the Trail Blazers had an offensive rating of 105.0 points (per 100 possessions) when Lillard was on the court compared with 93.5 points (per 100 possesions) when the first-year player was on the bench. When on the court, Lillard assisted on 36.5 percent of Portland’s field goals while scoring 23.9 percent of his team’s points.

Lillard, the sixth overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, made a clean sweep of the NBA Rookie of the Month Award in the Western Conference this season. He set an NBA rookie record by making 185 three-point field goals, surpassing the 166 triples made by Golden State’s Stephen Curry during his 2009-10 rookie campaign.

Read NBA fan reaction and share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

Trail Blazers waive Jared Jeffries

Trail Blazers waive Jared Jeffries

The Portland Trail Blazers have waived forward Jared Jeffries, General Manager Neil Olshey announced today.

In 38 games during his only season with the Trail Blazers, Jeffries averaged 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 9.2 minutes per game in 2012-13.

In 11 career NBA seasons, Jeffries has averaged 4.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 21.6 minutes in 629 games (335 starts) with Washington, New York, Houston and Portland.

Rasheed Wallace retires from basketball

Rasheed Wallace retires from basketball

New York Knicks Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations and General Manager Glen Grunwald announced forward/center Rasheed Wallace has retired from playing professional basketball.

“Rasheed has given this team everything he had,” Head Coach Mike Woodson said. “He is a winner, true professional and leader on and off the court. Due to his injury, he will not be available to play for us during the playoffs. We owe this season’s success to veterans like Rasheed.”

According to the Associated Press, “Wallace ended a two-year retirement this season to join the Knicks and was a key player off the bench during their strong start. But he hadn’t played since December before returning Monday against Charlotte, but he exited after 4 minutes because of continued soreness.”

Wallace, 6-11, 245-pounds, averaged 7.0 points, on 38.7-percent shooting, and 4.0 rebounds over 14.1 minutes in 21 games this season. In his 15th NBA season Wallace missed 60 games due to an injured left foot. On Feb. 27, new X-rays showed progression to a fractured left fifth metatarsal and he had surgery on Feb. 28.

“Both teams played hard.”

“Ball don’t lie.”

And so goes Sheed.

With the NBA regular season ending tonight, the Knicks, who clinched the No. 2 seed in the Eastern conference, may soon add another veteran to aid them in the playoffs, which begin Saturday, April 20.

Read NBA fan reaction or share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

Kenneth Faried

The Denver Nuggets are getting good at bittersweet moments.

Andre Iguodala scored 28 points and the Nuggets set an NBA franchise record with their 55th win Sunday, beating the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers 118-109 but losing another starter.

On the day Ty Lawson (right heel) returned to Denver’s starting lineup for the first time since March 27 and played an encouraging 31 minutes, forward Kenneth Faried sprained his left ankle in the opening minutes while driving for a layup and didn’t return.

”We’re dropping like flies, man,” Lawson said. ”Well, it’s not too serious, I heard, so he might be out for a week or so. He’s a tough guy.”

Although X-rays were negative, coach George Karl stressed that he didn’t want to guess about Faried’s availability for the playoffs that start next weekend until after his top rebounder goes for an MRI on Monday…

Iguodala also grabbed seven rebounds, dished out nine assists, blocked three shots and had three steals to go with his 28 points, marking the first time in his career he’d posted those numbers in a game.

And rookie Evan Fournier scored 24 points in his second career start, sinking a pair of crucial 3-pointers in the closing minutes after the Trail Blazers had cut a 20-point deficit to 104-101 with 3:33 left.

– Reported by Arnie Stapleton of the Associated Press

Kenneth Faried

No matter what happens the rest of his career, Nolan Smith has accepted that he will always be linked to Kenneth Faried.

After every mammoth dunk, every dizzying double-double, every hustle-infused highlight-reel moment Denver’s “Manimal” unleashes, somewhere, some disbelieving Trail Blazers fan will curse under his breath: “He should be a Blazer.”

“I don’t blame them,” Smith said. “I don’t blame them at all. Seeing what he’s doing, seeing how he plays when he’s on the court with his team, it’s very easy to say, ‘Damn, we could have had him.’ But they could have had Michael Jordan, as well. It’s part of the draft. They’re mad at Greg Oden, too. So you can just add me to the guys they can be mad at.”

And there’s no question Blazers fans are mad. The team’s decision to select Smith one spot ahead of Faried with the No. 21 overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft is one of several personnel moves that led to last season’s roster implosion and this season’s rebuild.

– Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

Greg Oden

When former No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick Greg Oden unexpectedly stopped by the Rose Garden Wednesday night, he slipped into the bowels of the building to speak to some of his former teammates. Aldridge was one, and while he said it was nice to see his one-time frontcourt mate, it also was odd.

“Like a ghost,” Aldridge said, describing running into Oden.

Aldridge said he didn’t ask Oden — who’s career was derailed by five knee surgeries — if he was contemplating a comeback. But based on Oden’s appearance and attitude, Aldridge guessed that Oden was.

“He said he was doing good,” Aldridge said of Oden. “He looked slim. He said he was wearing his old suits from draft night. I said, ‘Congrats on that.’

“I think he will (attempt a comeback). He looks like he’s trying to.”

– Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

Reggie Evans

Reggie Evans’ Brooklyn teammates egged him on, making sure he knew just how many points and rebounds he had against the Trail Blazers.

In the end, Evans finished with a career-high 26 rebounds and matched his career best with 22 points, and Brooklyn beat Portland 111-93 on Wednesday night. Evans is the first NBA player to reach both those numbers in a game this season.

And to top it off, he was battling an infection that kept his right eye half-shut throughout the game.

”I just wanted to win, that’s it,” Evans said. ”But after a while your teammates get to tell you how many rebounds you got. Typical of my teammates: ‘Oh, you got this many. You got this many. You got this many.’ I just take whatever I can do.”

Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo called Evans’ performance ”absurd.”

It was Brooklyn’s 20th road win of the season, matching a franchise best. Brook Lopez added 28 points for the Nets, who built a big lead early and stretched it to as many as 30 points.

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 24 points despite rolling his right ankle in the first half and briefly leaving the game…

Blazers rookie Damian Lillard, who is averaging just over 19 points, didn’t score before having 10 points in the third quarter. He finished with 15.

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

Washington Wizards guard John Wall and Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge today were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 11 through Sunday, March 17.

Wall led the Wizards to a 3-1 week with averages of 24.0 points (fourth in the conference), 11.0 assists (second in the conference), 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals (third in the conference). Wall posted three point-assist double-doubles and ranked sixth in the East with a field goal percentage of .617. He collected a season-high 14 assists on March 12 against the Cleveland Cavaliers (95-90 loss) and a season-high 29 points on March 15 against the New Orleans Hornets (96-87 win).

Aldridge led the Trail Blazers to a 2-1 week behind an NBA-best 27.0 points, 10.7 rebounds (seventh in the conference), 3.0 blocks (third in the conference) and 3.0 assists. Aldridge shot 19-of-19 from the foul line on a week in which he posted a point-rebound double-double in each contest, including a 22-point, 10-rebound, five-block effort on March 14 during a 105-90 win over the New York Knicks.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Al Horford, Denver’s Kosta Koufos, Miami’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and San Antonio’s Tim Duncan.

Basketball blog