Portland Trail Blazers WiretapPortland Trail Blazers Wiretap

Blazers Exercise 17-18 Options On Noah Vonleh, Shabazz Napier

Oct 24, 2016 12:44 PM

The Portland Trail Blazers have exercised the fourth-year contract options on forward Noah Vonleh and guard Shabazz Napier.

Vonleh, 21, posted averages of 3.6 points (42.1% FG, 74.5% FT), 3.9 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 15.1 minutes in 78 games (56 starts) last season with the Trail Blazers after being acquired from the Charlotte Hornets on June 24, 2015. Vonleh was the ninth overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Acquired on July 7 from the Orlando Magic in exchange for cash considerations, Napier, 24, has averaged 4.4 points (36.1% FG, 34.7% 3-PT, 76.2% FT), 1.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 15.2 minutes over two seasons with the Miami Heat and Orlando. Napier was originally selected as the 24th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Noah Vonleh, Shabazz Napier, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Blazers Undecided On Starting SF Despite Impressive Preseason By Maurice Harkless

Oct 15, 2016 8:18 PM

The Portland Trail Blazers are unsure who will start at small forward as they have three candidates in Moe Harkless, Evan Turner and Allen Crabbe.

"I will have a decision by Oct. 25," said Terry Stotts. "They're all playing well."

Harkless has played the best and seems to have the best on-court chemistry with the rest of the Blazers' starting five

Harkless' defensive versatility is potentially difference-making.

Bringing Turner off the bench gives the Blazers at least two ball-handlers and playmakers on the court at all times as he can stagger his minutes with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

Lillard praised all three players but essentially lobbied for Harkless.

"Moe ... just makes us versatile," Lillard said. "Being able to rebound the ball and push it, knock down threes, he can guard a bunch of positions, he changes the game in a different way. And I think he's been very good for us, from the end of the season all the way to now. He's kind of gained steam and he looks good. He's fitting in perfect."

Joe Freeman/Oregonian

Tags: Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Blazers Waive Luis Montero

Oct 15, 2016 6:35 PM

The Portland Trail Blazers have waived Luis Montero.

Signed as an undrafted free agent on July 9, 2015, Montero played in 12 games for the Trail Blazers as a rookie in 2015-16, averaging 1.2 points (26.3% FG, 11.1% 3-PT, 75.0% FT), 0.3 rebounds and 0.1 assists.

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

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Luis Montero, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Waiver

Damian Lillard Excited To Play Off The Ball

Oct 7, 2016 5:59 PM

Damian Lillard is looking forward to playing without the ball this season.

The Portland Trail 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.

“We didn’t come into the game and say ‘Alright Dame, you don’t handle the ball that much,’” said Lillard after Monday night’s victory. “It’s been all month we’ve been playing, I’ve been getting off the ball, just trying to get out of the sight of the defense so much. Come off pindowns, coming off flare screens, just not having the defense focus on me with the ball in my hand. Just trying to get high quality looks and be in a different position offensively because we have that luxury. That’s all it was. I’ve been doing it over the last month so I’m just more comfortable with it now. So in the game, it naturally happened.”

Lillard would sometimes shift to the shooting guard position with second unit point guards in the past.

“Back then, it was for four minutes or five minutes because we was dropping the ball into (LaMarcus Aldridge) and was playing off of that,” said Lillard of his previous ties playing without the ball in his hands. “Now it’s going to be primarily on the perimeter, so we’re going to be moving the ball around penetrating, kicking, flare screens, pindowns instead of it being throw it to the block and then we screen away action just to keep the defense off of (Aldridge). Now it’s going to be real live action. It’s the same but it’s a different thing.”

Lillard realizes he will be able to still score with frequency without the ball and it may increase his efficiency. 

“I think over the course of the game I’ll get high quality shots, I’ll be able to get better looks,” said Lillard of playing more frequently off the ball. “We’ve got sets now that compliment the roster that we have where I don’t have to have the ball and I don’t have to beat two defenders all the time. Sometimes the offense is putting the defense in position where it’s me and the big or my man gets left on an island and there’s a better opportunity for me. I’m excited about that.”

Casey Holdahl/NBA.com

Tags: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

RealGM Radio: Northwest Division With David Locke, Adam Mares

Oct 7, 2016 5:44 PM

Host Danny Leroux (@DannyLeroux), David Locke of the Utah Jazz and Locked on Podcast Network (@Lockedonsports) and Adam Mares of Denver Stiffs (@Adam_Mares) break down the Northwest Division.

In the offseason review, they pick who got better and worse, discuss notable moves (17:29), choose the Northwest’s best newcomer (34:03) and pick the rookies they are most excited to see (42:16).

In the season preview, they rank the teams 1-5 (50:58), predict how many playoff teams will come out of the division (1:08:41), choose breakout players (1:10:30) and much more.



Sponsored by Blue Apron (http://blueapron.com/RealGM)

Subscribe to RealGM Radio on iTunes or via the XML feed


RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, RealGM Radio

Damian Lillard Couldn't Bring Himself To Join Super Team

Oct 4, 2016 5:27 PM

Damian Lillard has ruled out ever joining a super team in free agency.

Lillard won't hit free agency until 2021 at the earliest.

“I really don’t care about the chance they give us," said Lillard. "If somebody wants to go join people and do that then it’s not against the rules. They can do it. It’s just more pressure to win when you do it. Some people say, ‘Oh, they’re just joining up. They have to do this to win it.’ But we play the game to win it, so when people do it, that’s their decision.

“I wouldn’t do it. That’s just not who I am. I might just have too much pride for that or be too much of a competitor where I couldn’t bring myself to do it. But it also makes it more fun. You get to take a monster down, and that’s always fun.”

Andrew Joseph/For The Win

Tags: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Paul Allen Comfortable With Big Financial Commitment To Blazers' Payroll

Sep 27, 2016 6:34 PM

The Portland Trail Blazers became a far more expensive team in the short and long-term this offseason by re-signing Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard and Moe Harkless while also signing Evan Turner in free agency and extending C.J. McCollum.

Paul Allen was asked if he had any apprehension about investing so much in the team.

"Well, Neil (Olshey) and I go over all those things closely, I think," said Allen. "One of the big decisions was when we discussed signing Evan (Turner) and that worked out. And to get Meyers (Leonard) and Moe (Harkless) back, they were all very deliberate decisions we evaluated. The financial consequences are significant, but that's because we believe in this group of guys. They showed what they can do last year."

Allen was reticent to give specifics on expectations this season.

"I always try not to make, as you know — I think we've done this for a while — I don't make particular predictions on the number of wins and losses. But I think we have a chance to be significantly better than last year. And I think everybody was really encouraged to see how the team came together last year, how well the coaching meshed with the talent. And the guys that Neil brought in, I think, exceeded everybody's expectations. So that was a very encouraging year last year and hopefully we'll build on that."

Allen also said the Blazers are doing well from a business perspective.

"Good. Good. We had a very good year last year. Obviously, we're increasing our payroll. But all the media numbers and everything go up, too. So we're going to be spending more this year, but we think it's justified."

Joe Freeman/Oregonian

Tags: Portland Trail Blazers, NBA

Blazers To 'Modernize' Uniforms Next Season

Sep 27, 2016 3:12 PM

The Portland Trail Blazers will "modernize" their uniforms when Nike takes over the NBA contract for the 17-18 season.

The Blazers could unveil their new uniforms in the spring.

Portland's uniforms have remained relatively unchanged since the early 1990s.

Andy Giegerich/Portland Business Journal

Tags: Portland Trail Blazers, NBA

Greg Stiemsma Agrees To Camp Deal With Blazers

Sep 12, 2016 11:49 AM

Greg Stiemsma has agreed to a camp deal with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Stiemsma last played in the NBA during the 14-15 season, appearing in 17 games with the Toronto Raptors.

Stiemsma spent training camp ahead of the 15-16 season with the Orlando Magic. During Summer League in 2016, Stiemsma participated with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Tags: Greg Stiemsma, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Blazers Again Meet Up In San Diego For Workouts, Bonding

Sep 1, 2016 5:58 PM

The Portland Trail Blazers have met up in San Diego for the second straight season for workouts and bonding.

Nearly everyone except for Noah Vonleh, who underwent surgery on his thigh, is in attendance.

The Blazers have gone through basketball workouts and weight lifting sessions at San Diego State University while also enjoying downtime together off the court.

After the trip, most of the team will return to Portland to work out at the team's practice facility for three weeks before training camp starts in late September. 

Mike Richman/Oregonian

Tags: Portland Trail Blazers, NBA

Noah Vonleh Out 3-4 Weeks With Surgery On Right Thigh
Noah Vonleh underwent a successful procedure to remove a bone fragment from his right thigh.

Mike Richman/Oregonian

Festus Ezeli Out Six Weeks Following Injection In Left Knee
The injection in Festus Ezeli's knee is intended to alleviate pain and improve function.

RealGM Staff REport

Grant Jerrett, Blazers Agree To Camp Deal
Grant Jerrett last played in the NBA during the 14-15 season with the Jazz.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Blazers Collaborate With Stumptown On Special Coffee Blend
Stumptown was founded in 1999 in Portland and was acquired in 2015 by Peet's Coffee.

Tim Brown/Oregonian

Neil Olshey: Blazers Prefer Favorable Contracts Over Cap Space
The Blazers entered the 2016 offseason with substantial cap space and are now a capped-out team.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Maurice Harkless Agrees To Four-Year, $40M Deal With Blazers
Maurice Harkless' deal will be fully guaranteed with no options, but it could reach $42 million with incentives.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Blazers Sign Tim Quarterman To Camp Deal
Tim Quarterman posted averages of 11.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 0.97 steals in 33 games (27 starts) his junior 2015-16 season.

RealGM Staff Report

C.J. McCollum Agrees Upon Four-Year, $106M Max Extension With Blazers
The deal contains no options or trade kickers for C.J. McCollum.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Maurice Harkless, Blazers Remain In Contract Stalemate
Maurice Harkless' agent, Happy Walters, says several teams have reached out to him with interest.

Jason Quick/Comcast

Blazers Match Allen Crabbe's Four-Year, $75M Deal With Nets
The Blazers have matched the four-year, $75 million offer sheet Allen Crabbe signed with the Nets.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Meyers Leonard, Blazers Agree To Four-Year, $41M Deal
Meyers Leonard was in restricted free agency.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Allen Crabbe, Nets Agree Upon Four-Year, $75M Deal
With bonuses, Allen Crabbe's deal could reach $83 million.

Adrian Wojnarowski/the Vertical

Festus Ezeli, Blazers Agree To Two-Year, $14.7M Deal
Festus Ezeli has agreed to a two-year deal with the Blazers.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Festus Ezeli Meeting With Blazers In Portland
Festus Ezeli began the offseason as a restricted free agent but the Warriors rescinded their qualifying offer to him once Kevin Durant committed to sign.

Marc J. Spears/The Undefeated

Blazers, Magic Finalizing Shabazz Napier Trade
Shabazz Napier figured to be Orlando's fourth point guard this season.

Josh Robbins/Orlando Sentinel

Gerald Henderson, 76ers Agree Upon Two-Year, $18M Deal
Gerald Henderson played last season for the Blazers following his trade from the Hornets.

Chris Haynes/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Report Of Allen Crabbe Agreeing Upon Four-Year, $70M Deal With Nets Refuted
The Blazers reportedly will not match the offer sheet for Allen Crabbe.

David Pick

Pau Gasol Receiving Offers In $18M-$22M Per Year Range
Pau Gasol has received interest from the Raptors, Blazers, Bulls, Timberwolves and Spurs amongst others.

Marc Stein, Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Raptors, Wolves, Blazers, Spurs Interested In Pau Gasol
Pau Gasol could elect to wait until after Kevin Durant makes his free agent decision before moving forward with his own choice.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Wizards, Spurs, Wolves, Hornets, Blazers, Mavs, Magic In Mix For Ian Mahinmi
Ian Mahinmi had a breakout season for the Pacers in 15-16.

David Aldridge/NBA.com