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Hassan Whiteside, Damian Lillard Named Players Of The Week

Mar 20, 2017 3:58 PM

The Miami Heat’s Hassan Whiteside and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 13 through Sunday, March 19. 

Whiteside finished second in the East in rebounding (13.7 rpg) and 11th in scoring (20.0 ppg) while shooting an NBA-best 73.0 percent from the field as the Heat went 2-1 for the week.  He also paced the East in blocked shots (2.67 bpg) and extended his streak with a block to a season-high 26 straight games.  The 27-year-old center posted double-doubles in all three games to set the franchise record for consecutive double-doubles with 12.  With 14 rebounds in a 123-105 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 17, Whiteside became only the second player in team history to grab 900 rebounds in a season, joining Rony Seikaly (1991-92).   

Lillard led the Trail Blazers to a 3-1 week, with all of Portland’s wins coming on the road.  He paced the league in scoring (35.3 ppg) and added 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 55.1 percent from the field and 59.4 percent from three-point range.  Lillard was also 36-for-36 from the free throw line.  On March 15, the 26-year-old guard scored 36 points in a 110-106 win against the San Antonio Spurs.  Lillard closed the week by scoring a season-high 49 points and matching a career high with nine three-pointers in a 115-104 win over the Heat on March 19.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Award

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Ed Davis Out For Season With Shoulder Surgery

Mar 8, 2017 11:25 AM

Ed Davis underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to stabilize the labrum in his left shoulder.

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.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Ed Davis, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Injury

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Festus Ezeli To Undergo Knee Surgery With Cadaver Donor

Mar 5, 2017 12:05 AM

Festus Ezeli is expected to undergo an unconventional surgical procedure on his left knee next week.

The procedure will involve the use of a cadaver donor, league sources said. Ezeli has sought a donor for months, sources said, but due to his 6-foot-11 stature, finding a matching donor was problematic.

Ezeli will officially miss the entire 2016-17 season after signing a two-year, $15.2 million contract with the organization last offseason.

One source said Ezeli could be out for an entire year to recover from the procedure.

No NBA player has ever undergone surgery with the assistance of a cadaver donor.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Tags: Festus Ezeli, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Injury

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Blazers Were Close To Jahlil Okafor Trade Before Dealing For Jusuf Nurkic

Feb 18, 2017 5:36 PM

Before the Portland Trail Blazers traded Mason Plumlee to the Denver Nuggets for Jusuf Nurkic and a first round pick, they were close to acquiring Jahlil Okafor from the Philadelphia 76ers.

Talks between the Blazers and 76ers were advanced enough for Philadelphia to pull Okafor from their lineup.

The Blazers broke off trade talks with Philadelphia after they decided instead to deal for Nurkic. Portland now has three first round picks.

David Aldridge/NBA.com

Tags: Jahlil Okafor, Jusuf Nurkic, Philadelphia Sixers, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Blazers Determined To Trade Festus Ezeli By Deadline

Feb 12, 2017 7:27 PM

The Portland Trail Blazers are determined to trade Festus Ezeli before the trade deadline.

Ezeli could be of value to a team trying to get to the salary floor.

Ezeli is in the first year of a two-year deal for Ezeli that pays $7.4 million this season but is guaranteed for only $1 million next season. 

Ezeli has been injured all season.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Tags: Festus Ezeli, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Blazers Acquire Jusuf Nurkic, 1st Rounder From Nuggets For Mason Plumlee

Feb 12, 2017 2:42 PM

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first round pick in exchange for Mason Plumlee.

Portland owns three picks in the talent-rich 2017 NBA draft, including its own, Cleveland’s and Memphis’ via the deal with Denver. 

Nurkic gives the Blazers a talented offensive player who has more upside on defense.

Plumlee is a more established center whose ability to pass the ball is an ideal complement.

Portland has $130.7 million in guaranteed contracts for the 2017-18 season. Plumlee will be a restricted free agent in the offseason.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Tags: Jusuf Nurkic, Mason Plumlee, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Evan Turner Suffers Broken Hand

Feb 8, 2017 11:39 AM

Evan Turner suffered a broken hand in the Portland Trail Blazers' win on Tuesday over the Dallas Mavericks.

Turner broke the third metacarpal in his shooting hand. A timetable for Turner's recovery has yet to be established.

"We haven't really discussed it yet," said Turner, who believes he suffered the injury in a collision with Harrison Barnes. "I just know I was injured. The guy that checked it out just said it didn't look like you need surgery or anything. It's really just all about my pain tolerance and what I can take, so not going to really worry about it. I guess I'm lucky I wasn't in crazy pain."

Turner is in the first season of a four-year, $70 million deal.

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: Evan Turner, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Injury

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Damian Lillard: D'Angelo Russell 'Poked The Bear'

Jan 11, 2017 1:15 PM

D'Angelo Russell engaged Damian Lillard in a war of words and had to be separated. Lillard had shot 3 of 14 from the field and the Portland Trail Blazers held just a one-point lead over the Los Angeles Lakers. Lillard responded by scoring 13 points, including 11 in a row.

"[Russell] poked the bear and you seen what happened the rest of the game," Lillard said.

Lillard said that confrontation with Russell "absolutely" ignited his strong play.

"As far as that situation, since last game, he's been doing little slick elbows," Lillard said of Russell. "And I play the game clean. I'm from Oakland. I ain't with that extra stuff and nobody can just do what they want to me.

"I got called for a foul to start the third quarter for reaching in, but when I reached in the only reason there was contact is because his elbow came up again. After he blocked my shot, I was walking to my spot, and I felt like he went out of his way to get that elbow in there again. And I told him, 'That ain't gonna fly.' And I wasn't interested in anything else that was said after that. We ain't going to do it on the court so we'll be in the back and whatever happens, happens."

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA

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Cavs Trading 2017 First Rounder To Get 2018 Returned From Blazers

Jan 5, 2017 8:37 PM

The Cleveland Cavaliers are trading their 2017 first round pick to the Portland Trail Blazers in order to get their previously traded 2018 first round pick back.

The Cavaliers will then trade their 2019 first round pick to the Atlanta Hawks as part of the Kyle Korver deal.

Cleveland traded their 2017 first rounder to Portland at last year's trade deadline as part of the Anderson Varejao deal.

Because of the Stepien Rule, teams cannot trade first round picks for consecutive drafts.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

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Damian Lillard Returning From Ankle Injury After Missing Five Games

Jan 5, 2017 3:38 PM

Damian Lillard will return to the Portland Trail Blazers' lineup on Thursday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Lillard has missed the past five games with an ankle sprain.

Portland has posted a 2-3 record during the stretch Lillard has missed.

Lillard is averaging 27.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game this season.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Tags: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA

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Blazers Not Interested In DeMarcus Cousins, Nerlens Noel
The Blazers could use a rim protector at center to anchor their defense.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Terry Stotts' Job Secure Despite Blazers' Disappointing Start
Terry Stotts signed a three-year extension with the Blazers in May of 2016.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Damian Lillard Day-To-Day With Sprained Ankle
Results of an X-ray came back negative but Damian Lillard left the arena in a walking boot.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Festus Ezeli Likely To Undergo Season-Ending Knee Surgery
Festus Ezeli's left knee has failed to adequately respond in rehab.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Blazers Travel With 'Happy Lights' For Road Locker Rooms
The lights are named for what they are designed to counteract: Seasonal Affective Disorder, a depression-adjacent condition brought by a dearth of exposure to natural sunlight.

Jake Fischer/Sports Illustrated

Hassan Whiteside Considered Blazers 2nd Option In Free Agency
Hassan Whiteside quickly signed with the Heat but he also had interest in the Blazers.

Erik Garcia Gundersen/Miami Herald

Evan Turner: Some Previous Coaches 'Didn't Comprehend My Game'
The Celtics have missed Evan Turner while he hasn't quite found his place with the Blazers.

Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Damian Lillard: We Got No Haters Here
The Blazers insist they won't end up like the Suns who exceeded expectations and then quickly became undone by infighting.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Damian Lillard: We Kind Of Suck Right Now
Portland ranks 29th in defensive efficiency at 111.5 points per 100 possessions overall.

Joe Freeman/Oregonian

Festus Ezeli Seeks 2nd Opinion On Left Knee
Concerns have been emerging about the long-term health of Festus Ezeli's knee.

Joe Freeman/Oregonian

Kevin Durant Defends Greg Oden On 'Biggest NBA Bust' Comments
Greg Oden said he was "one of the biggest busts in NBA history" and that "it would only get worse as Kevin Durant continues doing big things."

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Greg Oden Expects To Be Remembered As 'Biggest Bust In NBA History'
Greg Oden played in just 82 games over five seasons with the Blazers due to various injuries.

Jeff Goodman/ESPN

Festus Ezeli Suffers Setback In Recovery From Left Knee Procedure
Festus Ezeli suffered swelling in his left knee after he took part in two Blazers practices on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18.

Jason Quick/CSNNW

Chandler Parsons Was Close To Signing With Blazers, 'Went With Heart' Choosing Memphis
Chandler Parsons was offered a four-year, $94.7 million contract in free agency by both the Grizzlies and Blazers.

Ronald Tillery/Memphis Commercial Appeal

RealGM Radio: Extension/Option Deadline With Dan Feldman
Host Danny Leroux and Dan Feldman of NBC's Pro Basketball Talk break down the NBA's rookie scale extension and option deadline.

RealGM Staff Report

Mason Plumlee Unlikely To Sign Extension With Blazers
Portland has depth at center with Leonard and Festus Ezeli in addition to Plumlee.

Jason Quick/Oregonian

Blazers Exercise 17-18 Options On Noah Vonleh, Shabazz Napier
Noah Vonleh posted averages of 3.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 15.1 minutes in 78 games (56 starts) last season with the Blazers.

RealGM Staff Report

Blazers Undecided On Starting SF Despite Impressive Preseason By Maurice Harkless
Maurice Harkless has played the best and seems to have the best on-court chemistry with the rest of the Blazers' starting five

Joe Freeman/Oregonian

Blazers Waive Luis Montero
During the 2016 NBA preseason, Luis Montero recorded three points (1-1 3-PT), one assist and one block in his lone contest against Utah on Oct. 3.

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Damian Lillard Excited To Play Off The Ball
The Blazers signed Evan Turner in free agency in a move that some questioned but he gives the team another playmaker with the ball in addition to Lillard and CJ McCollum.

Casey Holdahl/NBA.com