Portland Trail Blazers – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2020-08-04T03:26:28Z https://www.hoopsrumors.com/feed/atom WordPress JD Shaw <![CDATA[Blazers Rallying Around Jusuf Nurkic]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167471 2020-08-02T22:29:53Z 2020-08-02T20:28:52Z
  • The Blazers are rallying around Jusuf Nurkic as his grandmother battles COVID-19, Jason Quick of The Athletic writes. Nurkic learned the news last week and immediately urged his grandmother to visit a hospital. “I think people don’t realize that s— is real out there, man,” Nurkic said. “We’ve been fortunate to be here and in a safe environment, being tested every day, but please … take care of yourself. Wear your damn mask … if you are outside, by yourself, do what you got to do. But if you are inside … protect people.”
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Jusuf Nurkic Talks Long Recovery Process]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167340 2020-07-31T21:04:05Z 2020-07-31T21:04:05Z
  • Ramona Shelburne of ESPN takes an in-depth look at Jusuf Nurkic‘s long recovery from the broken leg that sidelined him for 16 months, exploring what the Trail Blazers center gained from losing a year to that injury. “​For me to be on the sideline for 16 months, watching the team play and just being around them as more of a coach than as a player,” Nurkic said, “it gives you a totally different perspective for the game, for life, for my team and family.”
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    Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Damiand Lillard To Play Tomorrow]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167235 2020-07-31T17:27:02Z 2020-07-31T01:49:45Z Backup Thunder center Nerlens Noel missed the squad’s final scrimmage ahead of the NBA season restart in Orlando after accidentally not taking his daily COVID-19 test, according to Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman. The Thunder would go on to win that scrimmage, 131-120, against the Trail Blazers. Any player who misses a daily coronavirus test is required to quarantine in his hotel for at least a day before rejoining his team.

    • All-NBA Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard will play in the team’s first restart game on Friday against the Grizzlies, per Jason Quick of The Athletic. Lillard missed the team’s final two scrimmage games against the Raptors and Thunder with a sore left foot. “I was able to do everything [normally],” he said after a private 45-minute solo workout Wednesday. “I feel fine. I’m ready to go for tomorrow.”
    Jovan Alford <![CDATA[Stotts Expect To Have Full Team For Friday's Game]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167166 2020-07-30T02:25:48Z 2020-07-30T02:25:48Z
  • Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts told reporters this week that he expects to have a full team available for Friday’s seeding game against the Grizzlies, per Jason Quick of The Athletic (Twitter link). Portland currently trails Memphis by 3.5 games for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Lillard's Foot Issue Not Considered Serious]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166886 2020-07-27T22:00:27Z 2020-07-27T22:00:27Z
  • Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard missed Sunday’s scrimmage against Toronto due to inflammation in his left foot, but head coach Terry Stotts said the club doesn’t expect it to be “a long-term thing,” writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Nurkic, Collins Return To Action]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166532 2020-07-24T17:45:24Z 2020-07-24T17:45:24Z
  • The Trail Blazers – and head coach Terry Stotts – were happy with what they saw on Thursday from Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins, who were playing for the first time in 16 months and nine months, respectively. As Jason Quick of The Athletic writes, the team still wants to experiment with frontcourt options in its next two inter-squad scrimmages before deciding on a starting five for the seeding games. “Right now, I would like to see Nurk and Hassan Whiteside out there together and we can make decisions after that,” Stotts said. “At this point, I’m just keeping an open mind about it.”
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[NBA Announces Official Rosters For Summer Restart]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166155 2020-07-20T22:42:24Z 2020-07-20T22:08:40Z The NBA has announced the official summer rosters for each of the 22 teams involved in the resumption of the 2019/20 season. A total of 350 players make up the 22 squads, with only eight clubs carrying the maximum allowable 17 players. The Trail Blazers have the smallest summer roster, with just 13 players.

    Injured players who didn’t make the trip to Orlando – such as Nets stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant – don’t show up on the official rosters list, but injured players who traveled with their teams – including Mavericks big man Dwight Powell and Pacers swingman Jeremy Lamb – are included, even if they won’t play this summer.

    Besides players who are injured, voluntarily opted out, or were ruled out after contracting COVID-19, there are a few more notable omissions on the list, which we’ll round up here:

    • Houston Rockets: William Howard
      • A two-way player, Howard recently reached a two-year deal with ASVEL Basket in France, so it makes sense that he won’t be playing for the Rockets this summer.
    • Los Angeles Clippers: Johnathan Motley, Mfiondu Kabengele
      • As previously reported, Motley and Kabengele didn’t travel to Orlando with the Clippers and won’t be playing this summer.
    • Milwaukee Bucks: Cameron Reynolds
      • The Bucks only brought one of their two-way players (Frank Mason III), as Reynolds doesn’t show up on their official roster. The reason for his absence is unclear.
    • New Orleans Pelicans: Josh Gray
    • Philadelphia 76ers: Ryan Broekhoff
      • Broekhoff was signed as a substitute player to fill the Sixers’ open two-way slot, but later announced that he hadn’t traveled to Orlando because his wife, who is “high risk,” tested positive for COVID-19. Based on his omission from Philadelphia’s roster, it appears that Broekhoff won’t be joining the club after all.
    • Phoenix Suns: Tariq Owens
      • The Suns left one of their two-way slots open and apparently didn’t bring their lone two-way player to Orlando. The reason for Owens’ absence is unclear.
    • Portland Trail Blazers: Moses Brown
      • Despite only having 13 players available in Orlando, the Trail Blazers won’t have Brown – their second two-way player – with them. The reason for his absence is unclear.
    • Washington Wizards: Gary Payton II

    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Carmelo Sheds Weight To Play Small Forward]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=165932 2020-07-18T15:59:34Z 2020-07-18T01:00:03Z Trail Blazers veteran Carmelo Anthony has slimmed down in anticipation of playing more often at small forward during the restart, according to Royce Young of ESPN. Anthony has mainly played power forward in recent seasons but with big men Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins returning from injuries, Anthony is making an adjustment by shedding weight.

    “I kind of challenged myself to get down to that weight where I feel comfortable with playing the 3, comfortable running around and utilizing things I can do within our system from playing the 3,” the Trail Blazers forward said. “That was a big motivation for me to come back at that exact weight, or around that weight, 230, 235. I haven’t seen 230, 235 since early, early in my career.”

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Community Shootaround: Western Conference Seeding]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=165310 2020-07-13T18:10:24Z 2020-07-13T18:10:24Z As we detailed on Friday when we discussed the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, there will be an opportunity for teams to move up – or down – in the standings when play resumes on July 30.

    With eight “seeding games” on tap, teams are unlikely to make up five- or six-game deficits on the clubs ahead of them in the standings, but there’s a strong likelihood of a shake-up in instances where teams are only separated by a game or two.

    That’s even more true in the Western Conference than it is in the East, albeit not necessarily at the very top of the standings, where the 49-14 Lakers hold a fairly comfortable lead on the 44-20 Clippers. The Lakers’ magic number to clinch the conference is just three, so they’re a safe bet to hang onto the No. 1 seed.

    After that though, there’s some congestion in the standings. The Clippers’ lead on the Nuggets (43-22) is just 1.5 games. Denver holds an identical lead over the Jazz (41-23). Utah, meanwhile, is just a couple losses away from slipping down to the No. 6 seed, as the Thunder (40-24) and Rockets (40-24) are right on their heels. The 40-27 Mavericks round out this group of six teams, a game-and-a-half behind OKC and Houston and just 5.5 games behind the second-seeded Clippers.

    A number of those six clubs bunched up in the middle of the Western Conference playoff picture will face one another when play resumes. For instance, the Thunder – who have the potential to move up or down a couple spots in the standings – will open the restart against the Jazz and Nuggets and eventually finish their season against the Clippers. The Clips will face the Mavericks and Nuggets in addition to OKC. Dallas opens its eight seeding games by playing the Rockets.

    Given the strength of competition in the West, seeding could be paramount in the postseason. The Nuggets, for example, could conceivably face the Jazz, Thunder, Rockets, or Mavs in the first round and would likely prefer some opponents to others in that group. The Jazz, currently at No. 4, could be motivated to avoid the No. 6 Rockets in the first round, since they’ve been eliminated by Houston in each of the previous two postseasons.

    At the bottom of the playoff picture, the No. 8 Grizzlies (32-33) have essentially no chance to move up, since they’re seven games back of Dallas. But they’ll be looking to increase their lead over the Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs, and Suns — if they can finish with more than a four-game lead on all those clubs, they’ll avoid a play-in tournament. If the Nos. 8 and 9 seeds finish within four games of one another, a play-in tournament will be necessary to determine that final playoff spot.

    A newly-healthy Blazers squad will be a major threat to the Grizzlies, as will a Pelicans team that faces one of the league’s weakest schedules over the course of the eight seeding games.

    What do you think? Do you think we’ll see much movement in the Western Conference’s top eight? Will the Grizzlies be knocked out by one of the challengers behind them in the standings? What do you expect the West’s top eight seeds to look like by the time the playoffs begin?

    Head to the comment section below to weigh in with your predictions!

    JD Shaw <![CDATA[Blazers Frontcourt Impresses In Return To Court]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=165257 2020-07-13T12:19:54Z 2020-07-12T22:00:10Z
  • The Trail Blazers’ big men looked good in their returns to the court last week, Jason Quick of The Athletic writes. Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins have both healed from their respective injuries, with Portland now sporting three seven-foot players when including Hassan Whiteside. “They both looked like the way we remembered them,” coach Terry Stotts said. “I told Nurk that — he’s the Nurk I remember playing at both ends of the floor. He made some really good passes, good rebounds. And Zach was full of energy. You couldn’t tell either one of them missed time. It was very encouraging.”
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    Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Melo Excited To Return To Small Forward]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=164797 2020-07-09T02:39:24Z 2020-07-09T01:47:12Z Trail Blazers small forward Carmelo Anthony is looking forward to a return to his original small forward position now that the team’s starting power forward Zach Collins has returned to health, per Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com.

    Anthony, a 10-time All-Star with the Nuggets and Knicks, has averaged 15.3 PPG (while shooting 37.1% from long range and 84.3% from the charity stripe), 6.3 RPG and 1.6 APG for the Blazers. The 36-year-old was inked to the club as an injury replacement for Collins in November. Portland’s 29-37 record slots the team in as the No. 9 seed in the West.

    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Longtime Assistant Osbourne Doesn't Go To Orlando]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=164712 2020-07-08T12:23:06Z 2020-07-08T01:40:20Z
  • Trail Blazers assistant coach Dale Osbourne did not travel with the team to Orlando, Dan Sheldon of NBC Sports Northwest tweets. No additional details were provided by coach Terry Stotts. Osbourne has been on Stotts’ staff for eight seasons.
  • CJ McCollum believes the Trail Blazers can snare the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. Portland enters the restart 3.5 games behind Memphis, which currently has the eighth-best conference record. “I think we have as good a chance as anyone,” McCollum said. “It’s as healthy as we’ve been in a long time … I think we have as good of chance as any of the teams going for that eighth (spot).”
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Restart Notes: Mental Health, Scrimmage Schedule, Trail Blazers]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=164418 2020-07-05T21:24:12Z 2020-07-04T16:22:19Z The NBA will place a strong emphasis on the mental health of players as they prepare to enter the campus in Orlando, writes Brett Martel of The Associated Press. Players are looking at a prolonged absence from their families as they head to Walt Disney World in a few days to begin training camps. They also face restrictions on where they are permitted to go, along with the knowledge that they’re in a state where COVID-19 cases are rapidly rising.

    “This is one of the mental parts about it that guys have to adjust to, where someone like me, I go home and it’s where I kind of relax,” Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday said. “I try my best not to bring my work home with me so I can hang out with my wife, my dog, and my daughter and I can do things like that. … I think that’s going to be a little bit of a challenge, especially after like seven to 10 days.”

    Holiday, whose wife is expecting their second child, is one of many players who will be separated from responsibilities at home. Gordon Hayward will consider leaving the Celtics when his fourth child arrives in September, and Grizzlies guard Ja Morant will likely miss his daughter’s first birthday in August. Families won’t be permitted to join players in the Disney environment until the second round of the playoffs.

    “Let’s not kid ourselves. This quarantine situation is going to be very difficult,” said Pelicans VP of basketball operations David Griffin. “… It’s going to be about who can keep themselves in the best frame of mind, quite frankly.”

    There’s more relating to the restart:

    • The NBA has announced its week-long schedule for scrimmages, with each team playing three times (Twitter link). Games will get underway July 22 with the Magic facing the Clippers and will continue through July 28. The league made an effort to schedule teams against opponents in the opposite conference or against an unlikely matchup in the first round of the playoffs, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
    • The shutdown has affected the balance of power for the playoffs by allowing several players time to recover from injuries, notes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. The Trail Blazers may have benefited the most, getting back big men Zach Collins, who had been sidelined since October 27 after having surgery for a dislocated left shoulder, and Jusuf Nurkic, who suffered fractures to the tibia and fibula in his left leg late last season. “They look great,” Damian Lillard said. “They make me feel way more confident going in, both of them. Like I forgot … I didn’t forget, but I forgot who they were. It’s been so long that I almost forgot.”
    • Malika Andrews of ESPN offers a video look at what life has been like since entering the WDW campus.
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Blazers Weighing Starting Lineup Options]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=164205 2020-07-02T16:08:26Z 2020-07-02T16:08:26Z With Trevor Ariza unavailable for the NBA’s restart this summer, Damian Lillard thinks the Trail Blazers could opt for a big starting lineup that features Carmelo Anthony at the three (Twitter link via Royce Young of ESPN).

    As Jason Quick of The Athletic writes, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts confirmed that returning center Jusuf Nurkic will reenter the starting lineup alongside Lillard, Anthony, and CJ McCollum. That leaves one starting spot up for grabs, and if Portland goes big, Zach Collins or even Hassan Whiteside could occupy that last spot.

    “I haven’t ruled out starting Hassan and Nurk together,” Stotts said when discussing the Trail Blazers’ lineup. “Why not? … It gives you something to write about.”

    Stotts, who referred to Ariza as the Trail Blazers’ top perimeter defender, suggested that the team will fill that hole in its rotation with a “by-committee” approach. As Quick details, Anthony, Gary Trent Jr., Mario Hezonja, and Nassir Little could all play a role in that committee.

    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Blazers Sign Guard Jaylen Adams]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=163878 2020-07-01T17:47:33Z 2020-07-01T17:46:34Z JULY 1, 12:46pm: Adams has officially signed with the team, Wojnarowski tweets.

    JUNE 29, 8:05pm: The Trail Blazers are expected to sign point guard and G League MVP runner-up Jaylen Adams, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

    Adams will replace veteran forward Trevor Ariza on the roster. Ariza opted out of the league’s restart plan due to family reasons.

    The 6’2” Adams appeared in 34 games last season with the Hawks. The 24-year-old appeared in 34 games with the Wisconsin Herd this season, racking up averages of 20.9 PPG, 5.2 APG, 4.9 RPG and 1.7 SPG in 31.7 MPG. He went undrafted in 2018 after a stellar college career with St. Bonaventure.

    As a substitute player, Adams won’t push the Blazers further into the luxury tax. His salary will be included in total league salaries but won’t count against Portland’s cap, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.

    The Blazers still have one open spot on their 15-man roster.