Portland Trail Blazers WiretapPortland Trail Blazers Wiretap

Blazers Won't Bring Back Festus Ezeli

Apr 25, 2017 6:03 PM

Neil Olshey confirmed that Festus Ezeli will not return to the Portland Trail Blazers next season.

Ezeli underwent an experimental knee surgery in March.

Ezeli signed a two-year, $15.2 million contract with the Blazers last offseason. Ezeli has a partially guaranteed contract at $7.33 million.

Ezeli didn't appear in any regular season games for the Blazers.

Joe Freeman/Oregonian

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

Damian Lillard: Defeating Warriors Becoming An Obsession

Apr 25, 2017 12:02 PM

Damian Lillard has developed a new obsession with trying to beat the Golden State Warriors.

"You have to be obsessed with that because you know that they're so good that they're going to be there," Lillard said after a 128-103 loss in Game 4. "That's who you're going to have to get through to get to where you want to get to. That's what it is."

Lillard had 34 points in 31 minutes in Game 4.

"I wouldn't say it was a successful year," Lillard told ESPN. "We got tested, and I think we answered the bell. I felt like we showed our true colors by the way we fought. But I wouldn't say successful. I think it was growth. A year of growth for us."

The Blazers also lost to the Warriors in the playoffs in 2016. Lillard talked about how well the Warriors play together.

"You also got to understand that if you ever want to get out of the West, you're going to have to go through them," Lillard said during his media address. "And for me, I understand that's what it is. It's always been that way in the NBA. I think about when the Pistons were just beating up on [Michael] Jordan. [They] were just kicking his butt every year, and he had to get through them if he wanted to get to where he wanted to get to. That's just what it is. [The Warriors are] going to be there. They're going to be there every year. We have to look at that and understand that we got to be better. We have to go get better,and come back better as a group if we want to move past them."


Chris Haynes/ESPN

Tags: Damian Lillard, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA

Jusuf Nurkic Ruled Out For Game 4

Apr 23, 2017 7:51 PM

Jusuf Nurkic has been ruled out of Game 4 by the Portland Trail Blazers after returning for Game 3.

"He didn't do any further damage," Terry Stotts said on Sunday. "There was soreness, tenderness and it just wouldn't be wise to have him play through that."

Nurkic was limited to 3-to-5 minute shifts in Game 3.

Nurkic's mobility was limited though he made an impact on the game.

"It was a really good effort I thought," Stotts said. "He's a big part of our team and not only was it a good effort for these playoffs and this team, but I think going forward it spoke a lot to who he is and what kind of teammate he is."

Mike Richman/Oregonian

Tags: Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Injury

Rick Carlisle, Dwane Casey, Terry Stotts Interviewed As Package Deal In 2008

Apr 22, 2017 1:30 PM

Rick Carlisle, Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts each were fired as head coach of the Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks around the same time in 2007.

The trio sat out the 07-08 season and interviewed with a number of teams as a package deal before settling on the Dallas Mavericks.

“Rick and I joked about this,” Casey says. “If he got a head coaching job, he would hire me as an assistant. And if I got a head coaching job, I was going to hire him as an assistant. We kind of bonded together on this. We got Terry with us and we kind of interviewed as a staff.

“We met with the Knicks. We interviewed in Chicago. We met with Donnie Nelson at Rick’s house. The next morning, Mark Cuban flew into Indy and we interviewed again. We were a package deal. Rick was the head coach. I was in charge of the defence. Terry was in charge of the offence.”

The Mavericks went on to win the title in 2011. Casey was then hired by the Toronto Raptors and Stotts went to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Steve Simmons/Toronto Sun

Tags: Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors, NBA

Damian Lillard Scores Franchise Record 59 Points

Apr 9, 2017 1:38 PM

Damian Lillard scored a franchise record 59 points in the Portland Trail Blazers' 101-86 win over the Utah Jazz.

Lillard made 18 of 34 field goals, including 9 of 14 three-pointers, and 14 of 16 free throws.

Lillard eclipsed Damon Stoudamire's single-game franchise scoring record (54 in 2005) points and surpassed Brandon Roy's Moda Center scoring record (52 in 2008).

Lillard has now scored 30 or more points 27 times this season.

"So when I went to the line, I missed the first one and I was like, 'All right, I'm going to finish with 59 even if I make the next two,'" Lillard said. "So when I missed the second one and (the crowd) was like, "Oooooh,' I was like, 'What happened?' I made the last one and I looked up and I had 59. And I was like ..."

Joe Freeman/Oregonian

Tags: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard Named Players Of The Month For March

Apr 3, 2017 5:12 PM

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard have been named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.
Antetokounmpo helped the Bucks finish an Eastern Conference-best 14-4 in March, the franchise’s first calendar month with at least 14 victories since going 16-2 in February 1971.  The 22-year-old from Greece averaged 22.4 points (ninth in the East), 8.4 rebounds (10th in the East), 4.8 assists, 1.78 blocked shots (fourth in the East) and 1.33 steals in 18 games. He also shot 51.4 percent from the field, his fifth straight month above 50.0. Antetokounmpo posted five point-rebound double-doubles during the month, including three that featured more than 30 points each. The All-Star forward capped the month by recording 28 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists in a 108-105 overtime victory against the Detroit Pistons on March 31.     
Behind Lillard, the Trail Blazers went an NBA-best 13-3 in March to surge into eighth place in the Western Conference. Lillard ranked third in the NBA in scoring (29.1 ppg) and tied for fourth in three-pointers made (55) to go with 6.0 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.44 steals in 16 games. The 26-year-old guard shot 48.3 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from three-point range and 87.7 percent from the free throw line.  Lillard posted eight games with at least 30 points, including a season-high 49-point performance in a 115-104 road win over the Miami Heat on March 19. He matched a career high with nine three-pointers and hit 12-of-12 at the free throw line against Miami.    

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Award

Jason Kidd, Terry Stotts Named Coaches Of The Month

Apr 3, 2017 2:49 PM

The Milwaukee Bucks’ Jason Kidd and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Terry Stotts were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in March. 
Kidd led the Bucks to an Eastern Conference-best 14-4 record, the franchise’s first calendar month with at least 14 victories since going 16-2 in February 1971.  Milwaukee had identical 7-2 records at home and away from the BMO Harris Bradley Center.  The road success featured wins over the East-leading Boston Celtics, the playoff-bound LA Clippers and the surging Trail Blazers.  The Bucks finished March in fifth place in the East – which is their current standing – after starting the month in 10th.        
Stotts guided the Trail Blazers to an NBA-best 13-3 record in March as Portland climbed into eighth place in the Western Conference.  Portland went 6-1 on the road, including victories against two West playoff teams, the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder.  The Trail Blazers closed the month on a five-game winning streak, highlighted by a 117-107 home victory over the West’s third-place team, the Houston Rockets, on March 30.  Stotts’ team led the NBA in three-point field goal percentage (41.7) and ranked third in field goal percentage (48.7) and fourth in scoring (111.3 ppg).          

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Award

Jusuf Nurkic Out At Least Two Weeks With Fibular Fracture

Mar 31, 2017 9:16 PM

Jusuf Nurkic has been diagnosed with a nondisplaced fibular fracture in his right leg.

Nurkic will be out two weeks and then 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 Blazers are currently considered the favorites for the eighth seed in the Western Conference/

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Injury

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

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

Festus Ezeli To Undergo Knee Surgery With Cadaver Donor
Festus Ezeli is expected to undergo an unconventional surgical procedure on his left knee next week.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Blazers Were Close To Jahlil Okafor Trade Before Dealing For Jusuf Nurkic
Talks between the Blazers and 76ers were advanced enough for Philadelphia to pull Jahlil Okafor from their lineup.

David Aldridge/NBA.com

Blazers Determined To Trade Festus Ezeli By Deadline
Festus 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.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Blazers Acquire Jusuf Nurkic, 1st Rounder From Nuggets 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.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Evan Turner Suffers Broken Hand
Evan Turner broke the third metacarpal in his shooting hand.

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Damian Lillard: D'Angelo Russell 'Poked The Bear'
D'Angelo Russell engaged Damian Lillard in a war of words and had to be separated.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Cavs Trading 2017 First Rounder To Get 2018 Returned From Blazers
The Cavaliers will then trade their 2019 first round pick to the Hawks as part of the Kyle Korver deal.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Damian Lillard Returning From Ankle Injury After Missing Five Games
Portland has posted a 2-3 record during the stretch Damian Lillard has missed.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

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